Sunday, September 11, 2016

Delusion of Illusion: The Man on Top of the World

The Man on Top of the World has only been released for not even a whole month yet, and it feels like it has been out for much longer! What interesting, amazing perspectives I'm learning from by people who have read/reviewed it or who have reached out to me personally to have a discussion about.

One of those discussions have been about some readers disbelieving that for how often Jon and Izzy fucked, the band couldn't have possibly been clueless about their affair. Even though it's understandable why some can't suspend disbelief with this, there are 3 things to keep in mind, some food for thought:

1) This book is in Jonathan's POV. In his mind, view, and perspective, he thinks that his bandmates have no clue. But that doesn't necessarily mean that his mates are as clueless as he thinks they are.

2) Yes, Jon and Izzy fuck a lot. It's fair to assume that their bandmates suspect that these two do, indeed, have a sexual relationship. However, two people fucking is not enough of a reason for anyone to assume that two people are lovers. Sex alone isn't a relationship, or a declaration of love. Jon and Izzy fucking all the time is not enough to show or imply to anyone that they're dating. Around their bandmates and Izzy's entourage, they are unafraid of showing how close they are. They are always by each other's side. They drape their arms flirtatiously over each other's shoulder. But that's it. None of these things are enough to hint that they are lovers either, and that's what Jonathan wants: for them to show everyone that they are lovers, and for everyone to know and see that they are boyfriends. 

3) Whether or not their mates knew the truth, it's not as if they would openly talk about it with Jon and Izzy. Why would they? It's one thing for these guys to talk to each other about all the women they fuck, but with men, that's another. It was the 70's, an era of free loving, where everyone fucked everybody, where everyone knew that women fucked women and men fucked men, and that some men and women fucked both men and women, but it was not something that was talked about as openly and freely. For all the frivolity, hedonism, and mayhem, even if it was public, homosexuality and homosexual relationships was still not an open discussion, not even in the material world. It had to be private and secret. The band had no reason or right to say anything to Jon and Izzy about them fucking, or about whether or not they are in a relationship. They had to be hush just the same.

This is all in the context of the time period, which was extraordinary for its freedom, and yet still caged. They were free, and yet not free. But as it were, nothing was ever quite what it seemed.

I hope and would like to think that many readers can see the context of all these 3 points before, during, or after reading, and most of all, have some fun with this, in taking the time to think:

Did the band really know, or truly did not know, that Jon and Izzy are lovers?

All can be open to interpretation! I'd love to hear yours :).

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