July 22nd, 2004

taken out of context

There should be a snappy Subject line here, but i can't think of one.

Another 8-hour day, though there was copious time spent on LJ/e-mail (some even with Ellyn’s explicit blessing). Reminder to any area people (all 4 of you or whatever): this Saturday, 10:30-4:30; breakfast and lunch provided.

Worked on a Girl Talk piece on female Olympians and also on a Health feature on teens and anxiety, including hacking up an interview with a doctor. Wow, verbal interviews transcribed... not just the “so’s” and “well’s” and the restarting mid-sentence, but just the amount of repeating oneself and meandering toward an answer.

The girls had presentations today. They were given 5 controversial topics and each group picked one to research and do presentations on. So obviously i kept problematizing. I’ll just give you the highlights.

One was on the sex industry -- prostitution, stripping, (virtual) child porn, the use of sex in the mainstream media.

One of the examples given in the discussion of music was Ludacris’ “You’s a Ho” and i thought of susiebabylon and the politics of reclamation/subversion.

The discussion of (virtual) child porn dovetailed nicely with the fact that i had just read that section in Civil Liberties: Opposing Viewpoints (2004) on my lunch break.

During the discussion of porn in general i kept thinking of Katie Roiphe’s The Morning After: Sex, Fear, And Feminism On Campus which i had just read a few days ago (and rather recommend, though Last Night In Paradise: Sex And Morals At The Century's End is rather missable).

One thing i thought was interesting was that the presentation was about how the sex industry degrades women, like in and of itself, but their handout included stats like the following:
--28% of visitors to porn sites are female.
–13% of women admit to accessing pornography at work.
--9.4 million women access adult web sites each month.

They talked about the dangers involved in prostitution and stripping, and during the Q&A i called them on that, querying how much of that was inherent in the lack of regulation.

They’re a bunch of a 15-17 year olds who had only a couple of days to do the project, so i decided not to push with stuff like “What about lesbian porn? Is that inherently oppressive?” (And i didn’t read the handout until after everything was over, otherwise i might well have pressed that issue.)

From the sublime to the ridiculous? Watched Smackdown tonight. Yes yes yes, WWE is hella problematic on many levels, and mostly i don’t think it’s worth watching anymore, but i have a childhood fondness for it (and it keeps begging for a dissertation).

John Cena’s totally Stone Cold Steve Austin, and i didn’t like Austin at first and then i came to really like him, and the same thing seems to be happening with Cena. And the man’s writers are good. (Last week: “I have a handicap. You wouldn’t hit a guy in a wheelchair.” *pulls him up* “You ain’t in a wheelchair now.”) And he seems to be striving for the kind of charisma the Rock had. Not sure if he’ll ever attain it, but he is good. And he’s clearly being written as a good guy ‘cause it’s the baddies like Kurt Angle whom he goes up against. Damn, he’s Austin going against McMahon, ‘cause Angle’s the Smackdown general manager now, so he’s the McMahon figure.

I hate Eddie Guerrero with a fiery passion. All on account of the horrible plotline from when i was in high school and he was emotionally abusive to Chyna and i will never forgive the writers for that.

Pitting him against Angle is the only way to make him look good, ‘cause Angle is so horrid. Making people beg for their jobs? Hello Mr. McMahon. (I called that parallel while watching, didn’t think of thus expanding the Cena parallel until i started writing this up.)

I only caught the last minute of that confrontation ‘cause i’d been watching CSI, but at least part of that confrontation ended up as we called it. Wasn’t expecting them to bring Mr. McMahon in. (Though given that i called the parallel, perhaps i should have.) Good to know they’re not trying to make Eddie a good guy, ‘cause hello, siding him with an irredeemable character.

Why do matches never get called on account of interference? Why are there never supplementary refs on hand to? I mean, obviously it makes it easier to do a variety of plotlines, but after too much of it it just begins to seem patently ridiculous. I was reminded of this piece my father sent me (sidenote to the link: Ragnarok?) which talks about, among other things, how ridiculous it is in the world of serial fantasy that nothing that happens ever seems to have any lasting impact (the bad guys never leave Gotham or Metropolis or whatever; no one ever starts executing bad guys after they’ve escaped for the umpteenth time, etc.).

JBL says no one’s worthy to challenge him for the title. I call Undertaker. Bam, i’m right. My dad makes me switch to CSI, so i miss most of the encounter. Am excited, though. Love old school Undertaker.

I almost feel like i should tape Smackdown and just fast forward to the good parts. But that would imply a level of dedication i’m not sure i really wanna claim.