Pop Attention Span

Trying to keep up with the zeitgeist

That’s some well-coded language

While the idea has been brought up many times previously, the door has opened to Nevada’s legal brothels to hire men as prostitutes. As with the currently employed female prostitutes, male prostitutes will be able to choose if they serve male or female clients.

However, an industry lobbyist has voiced his opposition to the business expanding the potential clientele.

“There should be some fallout and backlash from this decision,” (George) Flint said. “Some may feel it’s a repugnant thing to do or something that does not have the appetite of the state as a whole.”

“We’ve worked hard for years to make the traditional brothel business in this state socially acceptable an something we can be proud of that most Nevadans accept,” Flint added. “We have some concerns that this can be diluted by what Ms. Bobbi Davis wants to try.”

Flint went on to say that he’s proud of the industry’s track record in preventing the passage of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, between prostitutes and clients.

“Now we’re going to get into an areas that doesn’t enjoy the same track record that our industry has enjoyed,” he said.

Hm, now why would the safeguards currently in place not be effective for male sex workers? After all, the risks don’t differentiate if the professional is male or female, so making sure prostitutes follow safe sex guidelines shouldn’t change things. Oh, I get it, once you introduce teh gay, that all attempts to prevent HIV infection are useless because AIDS is a gay disease. Is that what you’re trying to say, Mr. Flint?

The interesting bit about Flint, however, comes in how the article describes him early on.

George Flint, the former Assemblies of God minister who has been lobbying for the Nevada Brothel Owners Association for 24 years

Strange bedfelows, eh?

Coded language isn’t new to the industry, as the article notes early on, the state only banned men from working as prostitutes indirectly:

Men were previously barred in Nevada from the oldest profession because codes specified that prostitutes must undergo “cervical” testing for sexually transmitted diseases, which ruled out men.

I’ve been to Vegas (where prostitution isn’t legal) a few times and the thing that stands out about “Sin City” is that the definition of “sin” has its clear limits. Strip clubs and the euphemistic “escort services” advertise everywhere but aside from the two major male reviews (or the inclusive Zumanity), you don’t see any of those ads with men presented as the ones to be on the receiving end of the gaze. You can’t even try to figure out which showgirl revues include male dancers among the cast by looking at the advertising.

December 13, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on That’s some well-coded language

Inexplicable comment

Jerry Bruckheimer is surprised at how well the Prince of Persia movie tested, especially among women:

What we found when we tested the movie a few weeks ago, and it tested extraordinarily high which surprised me because I always think these things are going to fail but this one turned out great; the women were a surprise because I thought we made a terrific movie for the boys because the girl is beautiful but the women flipped over this film.

Let me see if I understand this. Bruckheimer expected men to like the movie because the lead actress was hot. However, he was surprised women liked it  because… he doesn’t think women  find Jake Gyllenhaal hot?

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Comments Off on Inexplicable comment

How do you update a Britcom from 1978?

Well, here are two shows in development that I wasn’t expecting. For one, the BBC has announced they’re looking at developing an Butterflies for American audiences, a Britcom that ran from 1978 to 1983 and has been a PBS mainstay.

Butterflies — which followed a housewife’s midlife crisis as her sons became slackers in adulthood and debated an affair with an ex-boyfriend — certainly captured the zeitgeist of the time but can it be relevant 30 years later? The series largely dealt with the idea that the concept of marriage had changed and that women were no longer marrying for the same reason that Ria, Butterflies‘ heroine, did. Ria’s husband Ben was a good provider but distant emotionally and the arrival of her ex-boyfriend, Leonard, made her realize her marriage lacked romance.

How do you update such a theme in an era of shows like Weeds, Gilmore Girls or 30 Rock with heroines whose problems make Ria look like a quaint relic? You could say that at the core of Butterflies is the story of a woman contemplating adultery and that’s a story that hasn’t been told sensitively (instead of being played for sensationalism) in a while, but updating Butterflies sounds as daunting as taking Absolutely Fabulous out of the 90s and into the 21st century.

At the least, I’m looking forward to hearing the show’s theme song “Love is Like a Butterfly” (performed by Dolly Parton below) updated.

October 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on How do you update a Britcom from 1978?

Now leaving “Mars”

SPOILERS below for both the American and UK endings of Life on Mars.

—-SPOILER WARNING—-

Continue reading

April 2, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on Now leaving “Mars”

What killed The Chopping Block?

Even if you hadn’t watched it, I’m sure that (if you heard of it) you knew that NBC’s latest attempt at a reality cooking competition (remember Celebrity Cooking Showdown?) The Chopping Block was an utter trainwreck of a show.

The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley has a theory to why the show failed and, well, it makes me wonder about her ability to judge the format:

As anyone who has watched “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Top Chef” or “Iron Chef America” knows, cooking shows are no more about food than talk shows are about conversation. Chef competitions, in particular, showcase personality and pressure cooker brinkmanship — boiling stockpots and roiling tempers. Success depends on the charisma of the star, the chemistry (preferably bad) of judges and contestants and, above all, timing.

Now, there may be a delicate balance at work on Top Chef when it comes to focusing on food or personality but food is a definite part of it. Top Chef is the kind of show people watch and walk away hungry. Viewers want to be wowed by the food so that they can dream of visiting their favorite cheftestants’ restaurants or just try some of the recipes at the Top Chef website. That’s why producers switched from open auditions to recruiting the cast in the third season. Continue reading

April 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Comments Off on What killed The Chopping Block?

Legacies end

My TV viewing isn’t affected, but it’s still sad to hear that CBS is canceling Guiding Light. Having debuted as a radio serial (about a preacher’s family, his faith being the titular “Guiding Light”) in 1937, the soap opera has been broadcast on radio or TV for 72 years, a run that will end on September 18.

The soap has long been troubled and facing rumors of cancellation In the mid-90s, it almost became the second soap to end soon after a period where reviled producer Jill Farren Phelps was in charge (that, instead happened to Another World) but negotiations were able to save the show.

More recently, the series tried to experiment with its format under producer Ellen Wheeler in an attempt to find ways to save money and make the show more buzz-worthy. Those efforts included one day a week being reserved for more episodic storylines (which resulted in the Marvel comics crossover) and, later, a revamping of how the show was filmed, giving the series a look inspired by reality TV dramas like The Hills. The ideas may have been solid, but from what I saw of viewers’ reaction, the writing failed to live up to the potential of those concepts.

Guiding Light was the first soap I got drawn into. In my part of the country, it followed the game shows I used to watch regularly during summer break and, eventually the opening segment (something involving Lujack’s adventures) drew me into the story.

At least, CBS came to a decision about the serial’s fate early so that they could let the writers give it a proper send-off. (Though, as with most troubled soaps, I have to wonder if the current team is up to the task of giving this show an ending worthy of its legacy.)

One thing that will be interesting to follow in the coming days is the rumor that some actors will move to the remaining Procter & Gamble soap, As the World Turns. ATWT (for a short time) became the home of a handful of Another World stars after that soap ended . That might not be good news for ATWT, however, considering how the show is currently struggling to deal with its reduced budget, as a small number of sets and not being able to use most cast members every day has negatively affected storytelling. That said, at least ATWT has the continuing buzz generated by its gay teen couple Luke and Noah.

As for what replaces Guiding Light the most likely suspect is probably a light entertainment talk show… something daytime TV has in spades. Sadly, that will continue as long as those shows get a large audience for a cheap production.

April 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Comments Off on Legacies end

OMG Muppets!

I’d love to see the world the way Kenneth the Page does:

March 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on OMG Muppets!

Has EA learned a lesson over the ‘Spore’ DRM controversy?

This is certainly surprising news and possibly good tidings for video game consumer advocates. The Sims 3 designer Rod Humble announced today that will only have limited copy protection as a part of the game. This is a sharp contrast to the DRM on Spore which was highly controversial for the limitations it set on users, Worse was the lawsuit that accused the DRM of being highly invasive. Instead, The Sims 3 will make use of the same disc-check used in games like The Sims 2, Fallout 3 and Oblivion.

While I’m definitely sympathetic to the concerns that motivate publishers to use DRM, those sympathies don’t include giving up my own expectations for security or a willingness to accept a product with less functionality (like, say, a game that I might not be able to install if I get in a nostalgia kick in ten years). Most importantly, I don’t want to have to turn over the security of my machine to a video game publisher, so they can ensure the game I’m playing is still the legal copy it was a few months ago. I would have liked to buy a copy of Spore but once I looked at what came with the game included, Spore just didn’t look interesting enough to accept the risks and inconveniences its DRM attached.

So this is thrilling news and I can go back to actually paying attention to news about The Sims 3 with anticipation.

March 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on Has EA learned a lesson over the ‘Spore’ DRM controversy?

Surprise

When I heard Radar collected a list of the ten most hated people on the internet (cutely titled “The Internet is for Scorn”), I was sure Perez Hilton would make the list. I mean, if crudely drawing phalli on photos in Microsoft Paint and outing celebrities who don’t hire them to promote their albums weren’t enough, his behavior went far in justifying the “racist gays just were looking for an excuse to take down Isaiah Washington because he’s black” defenses.

Then again, maybe the Radar editors knew Hilton would probably enjoy hearing his name, no matter what the context.

April 8, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on Surprise

Can we put this one off forever?

Fox has delayed the premiere of their reality show When Women Rule the World. Knowing the history of Fox reality shows, had a good chance this one would have brought misogyny on television to a new high. Hopefully, this’ll get shifted to the mostly-unwatchable (okay The Search for the Next Elvira ruled) Fox Reality Channel.

April 8, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on Can we put this one off forever?