Thought Police Part IV: media
I read this post on OMSH last night. I was a bit taken aback surprised by what I was reading. In the post, Heather mentions that she succumbed into watching an R-rated movie called 88 Minutes (imdb) with Al Pacino. Here are some of my thoughts on media and policing your own thoughts. Naturally, these are my views. Some of them actually are similar to Heather’s, but in different degrees and about different things.
I saw that movie a few months ago. I didn’t think much of the movie at the time. I enjoyed seeing how all these smoking hot women were fawning all over a decrepit Al Pacino.
As for the violence, it’s pretty common in movies. I rarely look at ratings before watching a movie. Actually, I enjoy watching R rated movies since the content will be more mature. I hate it when cinematographers have to censor themselves while putting a story on the screen. I love Hong Kong action movies and the Japanese thriller movies, especially from Miike Takashi. There is this movie called Audition by Takashi. You can probably find it in North American specialty DVD rental shops.
The movie isn’t gruesome. It starts very simply and normally. There isn’t much gore of violence, but it’s hidden and implied. I’ve only dared to watch that movie once, even though I have it in my DVD collection. I watched a friend’s copy. My own copy is still shrink wrapped after 7 years. Needless to say, it’s disturbing.
Nevertheless, I do agree with not watching too much violence on TV or in movies. I do enjoy action movies, but some extreme horror movies from Japan and Hong Kong have made me wary of seeing dismembered bodies in media. Well, that’s not really true. What actually put me off that is watching the numerous autopsies that you see on CSI-like shows. A good zombie flick or horror movie doesn’t really disturb me. I think that Suspiria is one of the greatest movies of all time.
Actually, I don’t watch the autopsies that I see in CSI and other procedural crime dramas anymore. I just find it too much. I don’t really want to see some guys organs or open chest. It’s the habitual way that this is presented in these shows that disturbs me, as well as the context. When I watch CSI, I want to watch a murder mystery. I don’t really want to know all of the details that go on in the morgue.
Then again, I’m a movie aficionado. I’ve watched thousands of movies from all over the world in my life. I’ve been a movie critic in the past and I enjoy going to movie festivals and seeing indie art house movies. Paranoid Park is a fine example of a recent movie that I really enjoyed.
This has been taken to another extreme with Nip/Tuck. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the show but I don’t watch the surgeries. I think that this kind of encourages body dysmorphic disorder. It doesn’t bother me, but I can imagine how it could influence borderline personalities or people who are vulnerable about their body image.
As for nudity, well I don’t really mind it either. I have been married with my wife for three years. I have been with her for 7 years. Any man who says that he hasn’t got a porn stash is lying, believe me. All men have some kind of porn somewhere. From digital media to some Playboys hidden away somewhere.
[A quick note here, since this is partly a mathematics blog, I just wanted to state my proposition more clearly. Most men have a secret/not-so-secret porn stash. Not all of them. I'm sure that to any such generalization, we can find a counter-example to disprove it. Therefore, I'd rather state it this way. Naturally, this comes from personal experience, from the friends that I have met over my life since college.]
When it comes to nudity, I have more of an European opinion than an American one. I’m not a prude. I don’t really see the problem. The human body is beautiful. Something beautiful needs to be exposed. My wife is a part time fine art photographer. I do some photography as well. I try to capture beauty wherever I see it.
Nudity doesn’t really turn me on or overwhelm me with lust. It’s just there. It’s found in art, in photography and pornography. Am I repulsed by porn? No not really. A good porn movie is fun to watch with your wife as well…
[Porn is pretty vast. There is a lot of porn nowadays tailor made for women by women. No longer are only men creating porn. The obvious generalization that all porn actresses are exploited and are nothing more than prostitutes isn't as easy to verify anymore. Actually there is still porn that exploits women, but feminists are making porn in order to empower themselves. I believe that some women actually do like working in porn. Then again, I've only known one stripper in my life and I met her in a club, not a strip-club. I actually didn't know she was a stripper until she told me.]
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