Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Blood is Compulsory

We're more of the love, blood, and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can't give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They're all blood, you see.

Since I'm doing the procrastination thing anyway, I wanted to share a conversation I overheard the other day at my favorite local cafe/deli:

Well, actually, it was a month ago, so I don't remember the exact words, so I'll have to paraphrase.

The grown-ups at the table next to me are talking about YA books...

Oh, wait, I'm a grown-up.

Let's try that one more time:

I came to gradually realize that the group at the table next to mine are talking about YA books...and they sounded like librarians. So , being the nosy person I am, I started eavesdropping on their conversation. Much of it was blah, but I did find one bit to be both amusing and annoying. They were talking about what books were popular and good for teens. Stephen King was mentioned, and then dismissed by one of the librarians - because they have sex scenes.

If anyone reading this has yet to see This Film is Not Yet Rated - stop and go see it right now. Just go buy it since you can't get it at Blockbuster, Netflix takes forever, and you'll be glad you did anyway.

Aside from raising such good questions as "why is blood compulsory?" it also points out that, while violence is more acceptable than sex in kid and teen rated movies (in the US), exceptions are made for sex which includes violence. Which is an even scarier observation than the ones that led to it, if you ask me.

Dworkin gets lots of crap for having said that all sex is rape, which besides being not true, has to be one of the worst examples of taking a quote and using it out of context. What Dworkin was talking about is pretty much the same thing that John Water's comments on in This Film is Not Yet Rated when it comes to rape and sexual violence and movies. He argues that part of the reason that there are so many BDSM porn sites on the internet is not just due to it being more accessible, but also due to rape, assault, and derogatory remarks being the first type of sex most kids are exposed to when it comes to media portrayals of sex. When rape is how we define sex, how can we distinguish sex from rape?

I'm not sure how much of a direct connection there is between ratings and online porn, but I can't see it being healthy for us to shield teens from consensual sex, but not violence. And I really don't see how it's healthy for them to have seen more fictional depictions of rape than fictional depictions of people having consensual sex. Especially (relatively) realistic portrayals of consensual sex.

Which is why I take issue with the MJ statue as is, and the number of similar items, but disagree with those who argue that it does not belong in comic shops because it is pornographic.

PS - if you want a much better written response to This Film is Not Yet Rated and these specific ideas, go read Amanda's take, which was good enough to convince me to go buy the movie just so that I could see it.

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