Sunday, September 16, 2007

Notable similarities. I wanted to point this out months ago, but I figured I'd do it today when I saw the video on Video Hits this morning. That is, there are some notable similarities between the video for Nelly Furtado's song "Say It Right" and Kylie Minogue's video for "Can't Get You Out of My Head".

Both feature the singer with curly hair in a short dress on a city rooftop with glare behind them.

In both, they dance with hands held to head.

In both, they and the backup dancers do bizarre, stylised hand-squeezing gestures.

Thank you for your attention.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Picture this (with your mind). The other day at work we were bemoaning the fact that so few people have whizz-bang mobiles that do all the flash multimedia stuff. The ads show people using this technology in their everyday lives and relationships, but I still know heaps of people who have really basic phones that can't even receive images.

This week was Work Bowling Excursion, and alcohol impaired my bowling ability to such a hapless extent that I took a photo of the scoreboard as a memento. I wanted to send the picture to someone I was meeting for further drinks afterwards - that person who's been listed in my phone as Don't Call Or Text ever since my doofusy SMS fuckup. (Not like I'm any better now; last night I mistakenly sent an excitable analysis of the wonderful movie Die Hard 4.0 to my friend Grace. I hadn't seen the movie with her and as far as I know, she isn't particularly interested in the Timex-watch-in-a-digital-world antics of Detective John McClane.)

Anyway. I didn't know if Don't Call Or Text had a phone that could receive images, so when I showed up I asked him. "Funny you mention it," he said. He'd been having what he described as an SMS "flirtation" with some chick. She'd texted him that she was masturbating, and he replied to the effect that he'd like to see that.

So she sent him a photograph of her vagina.

This really bothered me and it still does. My first thought was that a closeup of female genitalia doesn't make for the most aesthetically pleasing image. My second thought was that it was just such a dumb thing to do, so fucking obvious, y'know? [Adopts 'Junior Bear' voice from the Warner Bros cartoons.] "Duh, he said he wants to see me masturbate so I will send him a picture of my vagina!" I would have sent a photo of my face, or my fingers all glistening - but that's just me.

I think that's the difference between erotica and pornography: porn is about the externalisation of sex - because you can't feel a porno, you have to see everything in the most obvious and spectacular way. By contrast, erotica is about the internalisation of sex - the prioritising of feeling over seeing. (I've given thought to this topic before.)

What really gets me about this obviousness, though, is that it really pleased Don't Call Or Text. I really expect more imagination and creativity from people; no wonder I am probably never going to have sex again when stupidity actually turns men on more than wit. But let's leave me out of it. I'm really angry about the raunch culture that produces behaviour like this: that some women think objectifying themselves with their own camera phones constitutes flirtation. Even if Don't Call Or Text was right there watching this chick masturbate, I doubt he'd be sticking his head right in there the way she positioned her camera. Even if he was fiercely concentrating on her crotch, there'd be no escaping that here was a person. Not a fucking disembodied slab of meat.

I feel especially angry that objecting to raunch culture makes me seem humourless, or prudish, or a killjoy, because I've always subscribed to a libertarian brand of feminism that allows people to make their own choices without my moral judgement. The thing is that I expect more of men and women - if a guy sent me a picture of his erect cock I'd just be disappointed by his lack of imagination. I'd much rather hear him tell me what he was doing with it and what he wanted to do to me.

Also, I wonder if this chick imagined that complete strangers would be looking at photographs of her genitals. Don't Call Or Text immediately showed the photo to his friend, with whom he was out drinking at the time. He offered to show it to me, except I refused to look at it. It irritates me beyond belief that she might not be worried at all - that she'd actually get off on it. That kind of exhibitionism tells me someone lacks self-respect; that they think all they have to offer. But again, if I go talking about lack of self-respect I come across all "second wave feminist" trying to impose my beliefs on someone. That's what ultimately frustrates me the most about raunch culture: its complete resignation to the idea that this is the best women and men can expect of each other.

In any case, I'm glad I don't call or text. We had quite a few more drinks and he started to get busy hands, and I told him quite sharply that if he wasn't planning to buy, he should get his hands off the merchandise.

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