Readers may think that they know this world. Many of the names may seem familiar. You may think you’ve been to the places mentioned. But you haven’t. Because this world exists a half-blink to the left of the world you live in. In this world, mass media have outgrown the confines of national boundaries or legal regulations. Broadcast television has spun off multimillion dollar closed-circuit, membership-only channels that cater to the tastes of niche markets worldwide. The internet mobilized so quickly in the 1980’s that it quickly outpaced bricks-and-mortar political and economic institutions to reshape the world into a place where the virtual and the real blend and blur, where democracy elects regional leaders through virtual social networks, and where those leaders are replaced the moment their poll numbers fall below 50%. The political economy is one instantaneously responsive unit, with the Titans of the entertainment industry commanding power never seen before in history, based on their ability to give the people what they want, what they lust for, what they demand.
In this world, Eli Brody is a Titan among Titans. He cornered the gay entertainment market in the early 90’s with gay broadcast entertainment and membership channels devoted to the varied tastes, erotic and otherwise, of gay men. Generating an immense capital base from his gay entertainment empire, he subsequently emerged as one of the top five titans of the teen girl entertainment genre, benefiting from considerable crossover between the two markets. Riding this wave of market success, Eli rose to the political top of the culturally dominant West Coast North America region in 2004. He has remained the top industry and regional political leader for the longest consecutive tenure of any Titan in postmodern history.
Eli Brody stays behind the camera, but he’s nothing if not camera-ready. At a modest 5’8″, Eli crafts his body daily through swimming, weight training, and private grappling sessions. He keeps his dark hair just long enough to show his natural curls. His piercing brown eyes peer from an angular face with a square jaw and strong chin. The public never sees Eli without a West Coast casual business suit, but his tailored suits frame a strong, slender torso with a broad chest and shoulders. His trousers are amply filled with his thick thighs. Eli is an object of lust not only because of his carefully crafted physique and good looks, though. Eli exudes the power he possesses. Men and women are drawn to him because he commands and controls; he is a postmodern Titan managing the personalities that people tune into, deploying the faces and the bodies that the world consumes. “The talent” maintain a popular following and political economic power of their own, but it is Eli that makes the talent, breaks the talent, and gives the people whatever they, and he, want.
The Focus Group – Daniel Craig vs. Christian Bale
The last movie theater in North America closed in 1995. Streaming internet and home theater technology put sticky floored theaters with skyrocketing ticket prices out of business. The “film” industry had become a high-rollers’ club for entertainment industry Titans like Eli Brody. TV series and low-budget made-for-TV movies vied for marketshare with lower-salaried talent, lower-tech effects, and writers that tended to recycle through one body of plot lines every thirteen years. On the other hand, the “film” industry deployed stars that commanded a mass audience of devoted fans, tech-intensive sets and effects, and cream-of-the-crop writers who recycled plot lines with slightly more originality. Big budget films streamed across the same bandwidth as TV, but sponsorships and audiences could make or break a Titan with one film.
Eli Brody had seen fellow Titans destroyed by poorly chosen money-pit films. Eli had a knack for picking winners, though. Specializing in the gay male and adolescent female demographics, Eli produced a handful of films each year that invariably made money and built the fortunes and careers of elite talent that could deliver what the viewing public demanded.
Daniel Craig was an English actor who Eli discovered toiling in the European Region TV circuit. Eli immediately saw Daniel’s potential and offered him a project contract for more money than Daniel had ever seen. Daniel learned quickly to trust Eli’s guidance. Their partnership transformed Daniel into a “box office” champion who had his audiences eating out of his hand. Under Eli’s tutelage, Daniel’s body was toned, he was effortlessly confident, and he could make his audiences orgasm with a flash of his bright blue eyes.
Although Christian Bale was six years younger than Daniel, his film career was longer. Once a child star, Eli saw Christian as a young adult and began throwing him some projects. Christian first made it big with the adolescent female demographic, but with Eli’s urging, Christian put on muscle, took off his clothes, and hardened the cocks of a loyal gay male audience. With each new hit, Christian listened less and challenged Eli’s career advice more and more.
Daniel was slated for a pet project that he had negotiated when he filmed his last cocktease blockbuster. Eli humored Daniel’s insistence on taking some “high art” roles now and then, just so long as Daniel maintained his market power with major revenue projects. Christian had grown interested in the art-film, though, and he had given Eli the ultimatum to give the part to him, or else Christian would shop his talents elsewhere.
Eli resisted. “Daniel can draw his audience along with him on this project. I’m not sure you can pull that off,” Eli countered.
“What the fuck are you talking about, E?!” Christian raged, his Welsh inflection apparent only when he was angry. “I could be wearing a dress and still make the boys cum!”
Eli filed that idea away, then offered Christian a shot at the project. “I can pull together a focus group to test the audience response to the two of you. I’ll give this to you Christian, if you can win over the focus group. If not, I pick your next project for you with no input, no right of refusal. You do it my way. Do we have a deal?”
Christian smirked and shook Eli’s hand. “I’ll destroy that old man,” he said cockily.
Christian arrived at an unmarked alley entrance to an anonymous brick building in Seattle. A hugely muscled blond man in a t-shirt and cut-off jeans opened the door when Christian knocked. He waved Christian in, instructing him to follow the hallway to the right all the way to the end and enter the last door on the left. “Change out of your clothes and to get ready for the fight. Someone will come for you,” the doorman said.
Christian had no idea what sort of fight he was in for. Coming into the business as a child star, Christian had managed to pick up productions without screen tests or focus groups as a young adult. Despite being new to the need to really compete for a role, he was beginning to get a picture of the focus group he had to win over. As he walked down the hallway, naked men with towels wrapped around their waists were milling about, going in and out of rooms, looking Christian up and down. Christian found his dressing room and entered, noting that there was no door. The room was empty except for a towel lying on a bed. Christian pulled off his jacket and unbuttoned his shirt, stripping down to his jeans. Christian looked at himself in a mirror on the wall. He was in top form. His aggressive weight training and cardio schedule had left him shredded, practically zero body fat, with tightly layered muscles. Christian peeled off his jeans and wrapped the white towel around his white Calvin Klein briefs.
A knock at the door frame startled Christian. He jumped and turned, to find Eli standing dressed only in a towel, leaning against the wall. Eli had a carpet of short, dark hair across his chest and in a fine line down the center of his rippled abs. Eli crooked his finger, beckoning Christian out of the room. Christian walked into the hallway, and Eli placed his hand across Christian’s shoulder, directing him down the hallway as Eli explained what was about to happen. “You’ll be fighting Daniel in a small arena. Your focus group will watch, and I advise you to take note of the feedback that they give you. I’m no longer the one you need to win over, Christian. They are. Secure a submission from Daniel any way that you can. Once the match is over, we’ll poll the focus group to see how they felt the two of you did.”
Eli brought him to a halt at a closed, unmarked door. Eli opened the door, and firmly pushed Christian through. Christian found himself in a dark, narrow hallway. About 10 feet in front of him, he saw light and an opening into another room. Christian walked out of the dark hallway and found himself in a small room, about 15 feet square. The walls were painted black and the floor was covered in wall-to-wall black gym mats. About 10 feet up the walls, Christian could see a balcony surrounding all four walls, filled with men in towels. As they caught sight of Christian, a low cheer arose, as some of the men applauded over a rumble of conversations. The room felt damp and hot, a musky smell of sweat and sex hanging in the air.
The crowd on the balcony erupted into raucous shouts and applause suddenly, all eyes seeming to fix all at once on Christian. Confused, Christian waved at the men and smiled. He jumped with a start when a warm hand touched his shoulder. Turning suddenly, he found that Daniel Craig had just walked up behind him from the same hallway by which Christian had entered.
Daniel was a couple of inches shorter than Christian, but more thickly muscled and a little heavier. Where Christian was all shredded muscle, Daniel looked more like a longshoreman, or perhaps a pornstar playing the part of a longshoreman. Daniel’s arms, shoulders and chest were huge. His waist was not as narrow as Christian’s, but his abs were a rock hard wall of tight muscle. A dark blond trail of hair extended downward from his bellybutton, disappearing beneath the towel wrapped around his waist. Daniel’s ample butt stretched the terry cloth, and the bulge at his crotch suggested Daniel was packing something impressive from the front as well.
Laughter and cheers mixed from the balcony, as Christian flinched away from Daniel in surprise. Christian walked backward to the to the center of the room, Daniel following him, holding his gaze. Daniel spoke calmly to Christian, “Don’t worry kid,” he said in his English accent. “I won’t embarrass you… unless that’s what they demand.” Daniel nodded at the men on the balcony, who cheered wildly.
Christian lunged forward, wrapping his arms around Daniel’s powerful waist. Daniel lifted his arms as Christian approached, allowing himself to be captured in his opponent’s embrace. Christian squeezed tightly and lifted Daniel up off the mat, taking advantage of his extra height and pressing his face against Daniel’s mounded pecs. Daniel allowed himself to be held for several seconds, clearly unaffected by Christian’s bearhug. Daniel smiled up at the balcony, giving them two thumbs up. The men howled in laughter.
Daniel stretched his arms out straight to the sides, then with a snap, he brought his fists together, boxing Christian’s ears sharply. Christian yelped in pain, dropping Daniel to the floor and backing away, holding his ears and wincing in pain. Daniel lifted his arms victoriously and waved at the crowd above. Turning his back on Christian, Daniel blew kisses at a group of men cheering particularly loudly behind him.
Christian rushed forward and ripped the towel away from Daniel’s waist to humiliate him. The balcony erupted even louder in applause and cheers, as Daniel turned slowly to face Christian, smiling slyly, completely naked. Daniel rubbed his chest with his left hand while rubbing his right hand down his abdomen and grabbing his thick cock and balls. Daniel’s crotched was shaved except for a small crescent of hair, framing the base of his cock in short, dark blond curls. Christian stood watching, stunned, as some of the men above dropped their own towels and started rubbing themselves.
Nervous sweat trickled down Christian’s ribs as he sized Daniel up. Daniel was almost certainly stronger, and he seemed to know what these men liked. For the first time, Christian began to doubt that he could win this thing. Angrily, Christian darted low to Daniel’s side, wrapping his arms around Daniel’s neck as he came upright to stand behind him. Christian pulled Daniel’s towel, still in his hands, across his neck, drawing it taught, choking Daniel savagely. Daniel clawed at the towel, his face quickly growing dark red. Daniel fell to his knees as Christian towered above and behind him. Christian placed his right knee in the center of Daniel’s back, leveraging his weight backward to choke Daniel harder. The balcony grew quiet, watching intently, listening to Daniel’s choked grunts .
As Daniel’s left hand continued to claw at the towel around his neck, his right hand flicked behind his back. He latched a hold of Christian’s towel, still wrapped around his waist, and tugged it loose. Christian’s towel fell to the floor, and a chorus of “boos” erupted from the balcony. Catcalls rained down on Christian, telling him to “drop the under-roos, kid!” Christian realized that his decision to retain his underwear was costing him with the crowd.
Christian released his choke on Daniel and awkwardly pulled down his underwear. The balcony was filled with competing jeers and cheers, as Christian bared his ass, doubled over to draw his underwear off his feet. By this time, still red in the face, Daniel had spun around on his knees in front of Christian. With a savage look in his eyes, Daniel grabbed Christian’s ankles before he could get his Calvin’s off. Daniel pulled Christian’s feet out from under him, dropping him on his now bare ass. Daniel ripped Christian’s underwear to shreds, then used the strips of cloth to bound Christian’s feet. The crowd hooted and hollered their approval.
Trussed up by the ankles, Christian tried to squirm away from Daniel. Both men had broken out into a full sweat in the heat and musk of the arena. Daniel pursued his opponent, grabbing Christian’s ankles firmly and standing up, pulling Christian’s legs up off the mat. Daniel lifted Christian and spun him around in circles by his ankles, helpless. As the room spun, Christian’s eyes rolled upward into his head, a wave of nausea washing over him. Finally, Daniel slammed Christian on his back in the middle of the room, breathless and dizzy.
Christian kicked to try to free his ankles from their bonds. Daniel reached down, squeezing his left hand between Christian’s sweaty thighs and cradling Christian’s neck in his right arm. Scooping him up in his arms to rest horizontally across his chest, Daniel paraded Christian around the mat, kneading his round ass with his left hand. Daniel came to a standstill in the center of the room, and a hush fell upon the crowd in anticipation of what Daniel might do next. With a loud grunt, Daniel hoisted Christian high up on his upper chest, then dropped him powerfully, driving Christian’s back down across his outstretched knee. Christian screamed out in pain, and the crowd erupted into cheers.
Daniel used his right hand to pin Christian’s chest in a savage over-the-knee backbreaker. Then Daniel grabbed Christian’s cock in his left fist, massaging. Christian’s dick responded immediately, swelling, growing thicker and longer under Daniel’s manipulation. Christian groaned as Daniel jerked him semi-erect. Then savagely, Daniel gripped Christian’s cock and balls tightly. Christian screamed, his hands darting forward to try to pry Daniel’s left hand away. Daniel squeezed harder, “tut-tut”-ing at Christian. Grunting fiercely, Daniel pulled upward on Christian’s trapped cock and balls, lifting him off his knee a fraction, and then driving him downward to the mat. Christian’s back arched away from the mat in pain, Daniel’s left hand still maintaining his brutal cock claw.
Both men were covered in sheets of sweat now. Still maintaining his control over Christian’s crotch, Daniel leaned over Christian’s face and shook his blond hair, showering him with sweat. The balcony hooted in approval. Then Daniel swung his right leg over Christian’s prone body, straddling his chest, facing Christian’s crotch. Daniel’s right hand joined his left hand in squeezing Christian’s cock and balls. Christian screamed in desperate pain, arching his lower back. Christian’s arms were pinned beneath Daniel’s thick legs, and Daniel’s ass was directly in front of Christian’s face.
Daniel leaned forward onto his hands, still locked on Christian’s crotch. Daniel extended his legs straight backward, his body planked above Christian’s head. Daniel began doing push-ups over his opponent, his triceps and chest straining. As Daniel dropped low, he rubbed his cock around Christian’s face . Then he pressed his body up, leveraging his full upper body weight onto Christian’s trapped crotch. Again, Daniel dipped low, pressing his swelling cock, across Christian’s face, then up again. Up and down, Daniel pressed. The crowd counted the push ups eagerly, “…eight! …nine! …ten!”
Daniel pulled his knees forward again to straddle Christian’s chest, releasing Christian’s bruised, swollen cock. With both hands, he dug into Christian’s vulnerable abdominal muscles with savage claws. Digging his fingers in and pulling the muscles apart, Daniel elicited a pained scream from Christian.
After a torturous minute, Daniel released the abdominal claw and spun around to straddle his opponent’s midsection, now facing Christian’s head. Daniel massaged Christian’s sweaty, tight pecs for a moment, as Christian gasped trying to catch his breath. Then savagely Daniel clawed at his opponent’s pecs, the fingers of each hand digging into the sides were the muscle met the rib cage. Pressing his thumbs into the meat of each pec, Daniel pulling upward. Christian screamed, frantically trying to pry Daniel’s fingers away from his chest. Christian arched his body, trying to buck his opponent off of him. Daniel simply dug his fingers deeper and pulled harder. Daniel leaned forward, maintaining his pec claws, placing his mouth a fraction of an inch away from Christian’s trembling mouth. “Submit!” Daniel said commandingly. Christian closed his eyes and shook his head no.
Daniel pulled his feet underneath him, then pulled Christian off the mat by his trapped pecs. Christian’s face was contorted in pain, tears flowing down his cheeks, as Daniel dragged him to his feet. Daniel pushed Christian backward into the wall, pressing his body into his claws digging into Christian’s chest. Then Daniel grunted loudly as he lifted his arms upward, sliding Christian’s sweaty back up the wall by his trapped pecs. Daniel’s arms locked, fully extended, suspending Christian’s body more than half a foot off the floor. Christian winced silently, his mouth hanging open and his eyes squinting shut. “How does that feel?” Daniel asked, almost sounding like he sincerely wanted to know. “It looks really painful. Submit now and I’ll put you out of your misery.” Christian’s eyes remained closed, tears squeezing out the corners, but he shook his head no.
Daniel shifted his center of gravity, pressing his full body weight onto his right hand. Releasing his left claw, Daniel watched Christian’s right pec spasm and twitch involuntarily. Then Daniel thrust his left hand against Christian’s balls, squeezing tightly. Christian screamed in pain, then cried, “I submit!” Applause broke out from the balcony, as a chant of “Dan-iel! Dan-iel!” erupted spontaneously.
Instead of releasing his grip, Daniel dipped his left shoulder low. Peeling Christian away from the wall, Daniel lifted him over his head by his clawholds on Christian’s left pec and balls. Daniel locked his arms straight over his head, and walked slowly to the center of the room, balancing his victim carefully overhead. Christian was sobbing in pain, sweat pouring off his body in streams onto Daniel’s powerful body below him. Daniel held his opponent overhead until his own body began to fatigue, his muscles jumping and wobbling with the strain. The crowd continued chanting, “Dan-iel! Dan-iel!”
Finally, Daniel dropped his decimated opponent downward. Christian fell helplessly, then crashed violently, his weakened stomach folding across Daniel’s outstretched knee. Christian bounced upward, and Daniel shoved him forward. Christian slammed to the mat and rolled over twice, then lay motionless, groaning deliriously. The crowd was howling, near hysterics.
Daniel kneeled on one knee next to Christian’s head lying on the mat. He stared down silently for half a minute, then leaned his head low, his lips again a fraction away from Christian’s mouth. “The next time you try to steal my role,” Daniel growled lowly, “I’ll fuck you until you split in half.”
Daniel jumped to his feet, stomping his foot onto Christian’s startled midsection. Daniel flexed his right bicep for the adoring crowd, while his left hand massaged his semi-erect cock.
After Daniel and the crowds exited the arena, Eli had to carry Christian cradled in his arms back to the dressing room. Eli waited with him for 30 minutes before Christian was able to sit up on the bed, his head clearing and every inch of his torso throbbing in pain. As Christian pulled his jeans and shirt over his still wet body, Eli reported “You definitely have a following. Although your performance was significantly harmed by your showing up in your underwear, there was nearly universal approval of the way you endured your suffering for a nice, long time. As I expected, though, 95% of the focus group identified Daniel as both the winner and their favorite. So he’ll keep his project. And about your claim that you could draw an audience even if you were wearing a dress…”