Creating Poly Culture: a British soap, Hollywood, webcomics, and Minx's strategic vision
Of course bushels of new drama (and comedy) would take its place. But at least it wouldn't be so hackneyed.
Woody Allen has always mined this territory (for instance in last year's Vicky Christina Barcelona). Now, more drama writers may be starting to see the possibilities. From England, Helen M. writes that the teen soap opera "Hollyoaks" has taken an unexpected twist. The plot was going along ordinary lines about a couple both cheating on each other with the same man. "Now," writes Helen, "it has turned into a proper 'open relationship', as they are calling it, between all three. There are catch-up clips here: tinyurl.com/crvr2j."
A user comment to episode 20: "Thank god i found this..... thank you... i didn't know that this could happen".
Okay, I'll make a prediction: Hollywood won't be far behind.
At Loving More's Poly Living Conference outside Philadelphia last month, Reid Mihalko provided some insider gossip about this. Reid writes TV screenplays and knows that crowd. He co-created a pilot show of his own for a comedy/drama series called "Polly and Marie" (say it fast get it?), and he said "HBO almost bought" it. (Watch the trailer.) "There's a lot of interest in getting this [topic] on TV," he said, "but nobody is quite biting, because nobody knows if the advertisers will want it. It's kind of happening, but you don't see it yet, because it's not on the air yet."
When'll be the tipping point? The keynote speaker at Poly Living was Cunning Minx of the Polyamory Weekly podcast, and she made an astute point. She told the crowd of about 100 that it's time for the poly-awareness movement to start shifting focus: from education explaining polyamory to people who've never heard of it to culture-building creating recognizable pop images of the polyfolk-world that represent us well, that we can be proud of, and that will appear in people's minds when they think of us.
Right now, she said, what pops into people's minds when they hear the word "polyamory" is maybe swingers at parties, or Mormon polygamists in the desert, or mostly a blank-slate question mark. We need to create our public image.
Think of the images in your mind when you hear "accountant," or "hippie," or "cowboy." If we don't create our own culture-images the ones that pop into people's heads when they hear the word outsiders are surely going to do it for us.
How do we do this? We can create our own stories, art, and music. "Twitter. Blog. Podcast," said Minx. "We need novels, music, movies. We need to show our poly culture. Let's show what poly culture is like. This is our next step." We can inspire the larger culture industry, such as the people who produced the new play All My Love, the new webseries "Family", even webcomics like "Fans" (here's a recent page).
But the biggest thing that any of us can do, wherever we are, is (in the words of Goddess of Java), "Be a credit to your kink". Model what good poly people are about. Hell, model what good relationship people are about. Be kind, honest, ethical, self-aware, self-disclosing, bold, generous, caring. Display integrity. Expect integrity in others. As Emerson said, "character is everything." This is how the world is ultimately going to judge us, and how poly culture will rise or fall.
You can listen to Minx's talk while watching her PowerPoint.