i have so much homework but i want to play bioshock but i also know i can’t until i’ve finished homework so instead i’m doing fuck all cause i don’t want to do homework but won’t play video games until i’m done
YES OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS POST MORE THAN I HAVE EVER LOVED BEFORE
To make it more clear, the forer effect is when people will go “oh yeah that totally fits me!” to a horoscope or personality quiz, but in reality the descriptions are vague and general enough to fit a wide range of people
no but seriously i have a lot of emotions about an asexual nicholas angel growing up convinced that he’ll feel sexual attraction at some point, when he learns to relax or switch off or whatever and then it just. it never happens. because a lot of aces feel that way, i know i certainly did, and god imagine him coming out and trying really hard not to look as nervous as he actually is
A brief essay because Hot Fuzz is important to me, as is asexual representation in media. You can probably guess where this is going…
Yep, I’m raiding the Evidence Room. It’s time to talk about the sexuality of our hero, Nicholas Angel - well, lack thereof.
It’s in the symbolism
Whether it was intentional or not, Angel is written to show a lack of sexual (and likely romantic) attraction to all other characters. He is also paired with many symbols commonly associated with either asexuality or chastity.
First off, the peace lily. It is repeatedly stated that Angel cares more for the plant than for a previous girlfriend - the only relationship we are told of. While Angel could have been given anything to nurture - a cat, a collection of quilts, anything - he is instead written with a plant. Danny even jokes that Angel’s ex-girlfriend lost interest in him because he ‘did it with a plant’ - something which suggests both a lack of sexual intimacy within their relationship, as well as one of those things asexual people hear a lot: ‘Oh, so you’re like a plant?’, followed by unwarranted laughter. As expected, Angel shrugs it off and says ‘no.’
Next, the cake. We get a beautiful camera angle which shows just Angel’s head and the shaking plate of cake, which Danny presents to him. Though he denies it, I consider this a showcase of his insecurity, which has dissolved by the end of the film, when he celebrates with the rest of the station.
Finally, the name. In addition to using ‘Angel’ to demonstrate the strength of his moral compass, it cultivates an image of chastity. In Biblical context, angels are not human, and do not reproduce. The use of a white horse for Angel’s final patrol also contributes; the ‘white’ horsemen is cited as ‘Righteousness’ and displays absolute ‘godliness’ and purity from sin.
Angel ended the relationship with Janine. She tells us that it was his idea for them to ‘take a break’, although she is still insistent that he needs to ‘switch-off’ from work, sometimes. Danny mentions this later, and, while Angel is much more concerned with his opinion than he was with Janine’s, he makes minimal changes in his behavior.
It is admittedly difficult to find canonically asexual characters, so I must base this on one that is widely accepted: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. While similarities in their jobs are possibly the product of coincidence, both men are explicitly stated to be ‘married’ to them, and uninterested in pursuing other people instead. Angel does not see this as a problem, either, even when other characters do.
Dismantling the stereotypical action hero
There’s a reason I don’t usually watch movies from this genre: they tend to overemphasize the hero’s masculinity - a term I use here to indicate idyllic yet abrasive heterosexuality. Nicholas Angel is vital to queer representation, as he is a popular character who subverts this completely.
Most importantly, no love interest is included in the movie. One was originally written, but she did not make it to the final film - her important dialogue was shifted to Danny, which, in turn, changes the comments from having sexual undertones to having those of a platonic partnership. For me, it was a joy to watch the hero go home with a friend to watch movies and have a drink, rather than to rush off to a motel with a woman he uses solely for sex and then disposes of.
Angel seems to share my aversion to the media’s glorification of sex; however, while I do not read the character as entirely sex-repulsed, it makes sense to include sex-repulsion in any pop-culture references to asexuality. It seems to be too difficult for audiences to grasp the concept or for writers to convey it, without using the repulsion as a crutch. Which is fine with me; I’m happy it can be discussed at all. Anyway…
Angel is presented to two main women in the film, both of whom are stated to enjoy casual sex. The first he meets is Doris, a member of the Sandford Police Service. She is introduced to him as the station’s only ‘policewoman’ - a term he immediately corrects, on account of being sexist. I don’t think it’s far-fetched for me to suggest that a stereotypical action hero would choose to reply with something like ‘that’s for sure!’ while the camera panned slowly down from her face. Refreshingly, he recognizes her merits as a police officer only, and ignores her flirtatious comments.
The next woman he meets is the actress, Eve Draper. When Danny explains that she was ‘fingered’ by an older man, Angel chokes on the juice he is drinking, and doesn’t allow Danny to finish his sentence. Despite being an important part of the motives they are collecting, Angel is so disturbed by this comment that he cuts it off and does not mention it again - he lets Danny explain it. Also, after it is suggested that Eve is having an affair with a married character, due to her physical attractiveness, all Angel can say is that she has ‘a distinctive laugh.’
I just love the idea of Angel being the antithesis of a typical action-movie hero. And, while all of this may be an ‘accident’, as Danny would say, I find it hard to believe that a team of inventive writers and directors, always so careful in their research, did not at least toy with this idea during their creative process. It exists as a subversion of the genre, if nothing else, and that is something Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright do consistently well, with grace and enthusiasm.
my computer wouldn’t start up and i had to do a recovery reboot and i have all my documents thank god but i lost the digital art i’d been working on, all my programs and video game files, all the music that wasn’t on my phone, and a lot of other shit and basically i have to reinstall everything and start from scratch and im really upset