reactions vi

sexual hysteria — at both ends of the spectrum

Basically, the two pieces below concern hysteria: the first around women who say they didn’t consent and it’s believed they did; the second around women who say they consented and are told they didn’t. It’s so much fun being a woman.

Women writing about rape culture are considered to be creating “hysteria” because apparently rape culture isn’t real. On the other hand, you have ongoing sex trafficking hysteria completely out of proportion to actual sex trafficking cases. It’s the non-trafficked sex workers who are believed to not be real. Either way you look at the two issues, women aren’t being listened to or believed, and the end result is more harm to women. (I’ve little doubt that some real sex trafficking victims can’t find help and are stuck in their situation.)

As a light-hearted bonus, here’s a quick common-sense test of what constitutes sex trafficking vs sex work.

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$2 bill documentary

Last week I was interviewed by John Bennardo for the $2 bill documentary he’s shooting. I was nervous but it turned out to be the easiest and most fun interview I’ve done, probably due to it not having any political slant.

The $2 bill isn’t an intense interest of mine, but he found my post about it and was intrigued. He told me about other interviews he’s shot and I learned a few things. He’s a professional with solid work experience, so I think the film will turn out well. He’s good enough that the Federal Reserve allowed him to shoot a printing of $2 bills. This may be the only documentary on the $2 bill, so if you’re interested, follow his Twitter feed!

He’s going the full-indie route with this, which means all production costs are coming out of his pocket. He has a Kickstarter page (which closes Nov. 9) to help raise funds for the shooting/editing. He’s doing the film festival route when it’s done at the end of next summer. In other words, no one else is directing his vision for the film — it’s all him. I like that. It’s a labor of love.

Shot by John's assistant
Shot by John’s assistant

He’s still looking for more people to interview, so contact him if you have something you’d like to say about the $2 bill. (He also offers the option to donate a certain amount and get in the film!) It’s a documentary and does not revolve around strip clubs — my interview was just a small portion of his overview of the bill.

I didn’t think there would be much to say about the bill — I haven’t given it thought for years. But he really knew how to guide the conversation and I came up with new insights, plus recapping my blog post. He was someone else who thought I’d be more comfortable shooting in my home, which isn’t true. We shot in the conference room of his hotel and the setup was professional. Other than trying to decipher construction signs on the road, the hotel wasn’t an issue.

It was fun! If only everyone could be like this.

things i’ve learned from movies and tv

— Characters never shut doors. The only time they shut a door is if it’s a plot point. It’s like they didn’t grow up with parents who were concerned about heating/cooling the outdoors, or their parents enjoyed paying inflated electric bills. If bad guys are chasing me, I’m going to take an extra split second to close the door behind me so they can’t tell exactly which way I went.

— Ever since the success of Pirates of the Caribbean, any slightly disreputable character named Jack must have some association with alcohol and wear black eyeliner.

— The average teenager is incredibly erudite when writing in their personal diary, as opposed to their postings on Twitter, Facebook or personal, public blogs.

— Nearly everyone owns the exact rectangular, powder-blue plastic laundry basket that I do.

— Gunshots don’t hurt unless pain and/or death is a plot point. To avoid painful gunshots, don’t be an expendable character. Or, don’t be a main character who requires pain and/or death to move the story forward.

— You don’t have to train or even wear running shoes if you want to chase someone through miles of city streets or woods at top speed. Just go!

— You only lose cell reception if it’s a major plot point, otherwise your phone should work everywhere in the universe.

— Sustained screaming is the normal reaction to any emergency situation, and nobody remembers 911 unless it’s a major plot point. Corollary: see above.

— It doesn’t matter if you’re in another country, if someone is pawing through your desk drawer or closet, you will suddenly, silently, appear behind them.

— People enjoy creating awkward silences, broken only by penetrating, hurtful insight of each other. Witty retorts never come to characters at 3am but at perfectly-timed moments. Everyone remembers everyone else’s deep dark secrets in minute detail. Entire lives are shaped by 1-3 major childhood events involving the other major characters.

— Women fall in love with the men who annoy them most. They also fall in love with stalkers. It usually takes one hour to three days for a woman to fall in love for life.

— Prostitutes never have “normal” clients, they all seem to come from Planet Weird.

— Prostitutes have never had anyone in their entire lives who loves them other than a loser character. They also have zero standards, despite having been with countless men and likely seeing both the best and worst sides of mankind. This life experience leaves them in an emotional fugue state, in which they’re vulnerable to very lame pickup lines and no emotional depth from their hero.

— You can disappear for decades, return to your family, and get all caught up with about two pages of dialogue.

— The Strip in Las Vegas is only, like, one mile long and has over 100 casinos that change locations. Racing the Strip at top speed is so tempting since there’s never any traffic. It’s also really easy to land a plane on the Strip. Bothering with the actual airport is a waste of time because it’s so far out of town.

— The only time being in a car crash affects you is if it’s a major plot point or you’re expendable. That neck-snapping motion you see onscreen isn’t severe whiplash, it’s just a “jolt” and it never affects anyone.

— Whenever a phone rings, don’t answer it! Just stare at it in horror/wonder/surprise. Doing this allows you to psychically figure out who is calling you and why before you ever pick up the phone (with trembling hands, of course). You’ll never receive a phone call from a bill collector, telemarketer, appointment confirmation, wrong number or a relative who isn’t a main character.

— Settling into a new abode is easy. You live out of a suitcase and never unpack. Or mysterious beings unpack a 10-room house overnight and everything is in place.

— Special Wiseguy mention: making sure all the letters of your government agency name fall on either side of the doorway isn’t a concern. Just let that E hang out there and hope no one bumps their head on it. Go to 0:21 to see it in all it’s alphabet glory.

hard candy

I heard about Hard Candy when it came out, but since I couldn’t catch it in the theater, it fell off my radar. Last night in Blockbuster it caught my eye. Mainly, I was hoping for something that would be a fair trade for staying up past my bedtime.

Instead, I ended up with a movie so good I was pumped after seeing it.

There isn’t much plot to the movie. It is an exploration of two people, one of them not at all what they seem to be. It’s a bloodless, sexless horror movie that is and isn’t about blood, sex and horror. Rarely has a movie taken me through amazement, revulsion, sympathy, laugh-out-loud black humor, reversal of loyalties, suspense, horror-movie satire and genuine horror too. This post contains some small spoilers, so don’t read past here if you plan on seeing it.

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