America's Number One Seller

I may be cavalier and, yes, outright perverted, but I cannot tell a lie.

Thursday, August 11

Type-Casted: Hottie with a Heart

Another Friday, another date. He's letting me pick the flic, and I'll woo him with my unexpected 'good taste' by opting for a premiere showing of Four Brothers. It's a shoot'em up action piece, but has it's appeal for any ravenous vixen: Mark Wahlberg.

Aside from his drop-dead good looks and chiselled form (and being the perfect age for me), Mark always offers something else: a charming and unexpected sensitive side, and this time around, the plot seems to be built around it. As the tagline reads: "They came home to bury mom... and her killer."

It's all that surprising that Hollywood seems to have built a story around Mark's type-caste, however. His filmography has been a decade in the making, and he hasn't been so much pigeon-holed as he has honed.

In the greatly conceived but poorly done I Heart Huckabees, Mark portrayed a borderline schizoid who despite his anger management problems, was endearingly committed to working things out. Caught in the grips of an existential crisis, his character was looking for that ever elusive and delicate balance in life so that he could finally foster happiness (rather than anxiety) in those around him.

Earlier in Three Kings, Mark was borderline mercenary who, though scrambling after a prize, couldn't help but to show empathy and care for the war ravaged bystanders along the way. And before that there was The Big Hit, where Mark played a ruthless hitman who was just too polite to stand up for himself in everyday situations.

So, tomorrow night, while my date scours his mind for some way to subtly come into physical contact with me, I'll be winding up my libido over the eye-candy on the big screen. Then, if he's sufficiently impressed and demonstrated himself worthy, my libidinous fires will have already been stoked into burning straight through the night and, if he looks half as good as Mark with his shirt off, into the morning.

Wednesday, August 10

Crying Out Wolf Between the Sheets: Women in the Free Marketplace

A media-darling and fashion mogul, American Apparel CEO, Dov Charney, is up to his usual exhibitionist tricks. This time, however, instead of beating off for Jane Magazine (for an article that has disappeared from the public eye quicker than a dissident in Stalinist Russia), or candidly running his mouth off in a non-politically-correct fashion, he'd taking heat over two sexual harrassment suits.

Like all other lawsuits, these were initiated with allegations, and until they're carried out in court, they'll remain just that. Unlike pleading your case to a jury of twelve peers, however, some accusations are sufficient enough evidence for a conviction in the court of public opinion. While some lynch-mobs have already presumed Charney's guilt and begun discussing sentencing, other outlawed loners are hopelessly trying to appeal the verdict.

Even the media seems to have bought into its own sensationalism. Spotlight hungry writers (such as myself) are swarming story before it subsides, trying frantically to get their two-cents in before the bank closes. But there's been no new developments since the lawsuits were first filed, and everyone seems to be regurgitating what everyone else has already said, ver batim.

But ours is a society founded by puritans, and our greedy consumption of of sex weighs heavy on our consciences. We post the ads everywhere, are lured in by them regurlarly, and when it doesn't sit well with us, we blame everyone but ourselves. It would be nice if we could be more honest with ourselves, but humility is Jesus's area of expertise, and the mere mortals that we are, we'll burn whoever doesn't seem to be eager to be saved.

We're just humans, really only apes, and to be so consumed by our libidos is just natural. Skeptical? Well Charney's own marketing strategy is proof. Remarkably successful, it does away with the artifice and pretence that every other piece of consumer smut bothers with. Seeming to reflect Charney's own transparency, American Apparel ads cut straight to the chase: normal people with average features displayed in a way that tickles the interest of our libidos.

As a single, thirty-something, women, I can appreciate the pressure of a biological clock countdown. Not being the inexperienced and insecure, starry-eyed idealist that I once was, I know what it really means to have a libido. After I'd recovered from the initial shock of my husband leaving me for an office temp five years my junior (and twenty pounds my inferior), I began to take the time to realy get in touch with the person I am, with the animal I am.

Since then I've been shot down more times than I'd like to count, and have refused my share of unsolicited and unwanted offers too. What I've learned is that rejection is never easy, no matter which end of it that you're on.

My point is that just because something is unsettling, it doesn't make it unjust. As one of my idols, Celia Farber, points out in an insightfully honest piece on sexual harassment, "Lechery is a drag—but it is not a crime."

If we can't stop lechery, we can at least stop building a church upon it, stop measuring and quantifying and collecting it. Because to do so is only to be complicit with the very formula for regression that it implies, that we are inseparable from our sex value to a man, be it positive or negative.

And it's true! When sexual revolution ripped through the fabric of our society, it left us as exposed and vulnerable as men. With freedom comes danger and responsibility, and if we're going to be on equal footing with men, then we have be able to play in the same league by the same rules.

If you've ever waded through a pervasively gay-male milieu, you'd know that the candidly cavalier attitude most men assume is not reserved only for women. Survivng in freedom requires strength.

In the mess of the media storm surrounding Dov Charney and American Apparel, I'll I've personally been able to sift out is that he's being charged with precipitating a "hostile work environment." Nowhere is it alleged that he ever persistently propositioned any of the plaintiffs. Charney has admitted to benig a sexually charged being and having relations with employees, but has denied the more severe allegations in relation to this case.

If Charney actually instructed employees to scout women that he would want to have sex with, I'm much more inclined to believe that he was being perfectly metaphorical, and that the plaintiff has taken a quote entirely out of context to use it against someone who has made themselves an easy target through his reckless transparency. And if he did invite anyone to masturbate, it would be harassment only if the request was repeated; and I can't imagine anyone repeatedly pursuing the kind of rejection that must ensure after such a refusal.

Something here just doesn't add up. If Charney was the predator that he's being made out to be, I imagine that after a few, brave souls came forward, more would follow from the thousands that work for him, and there would be some further developments for the media to latch onto. But there hasn't been and, instead, commentators are left to recycle what little material there actually is on this out there.

On closer examination, these women seem more like a fraudulent bunch looking to exploit and extort a vulnerable target. We should be outraged over how the babyboomer media is running amok of laws that are needed to protect bonafide victims by sensationalizing the vague charges of a few women who filed complaints only after being fired.

As Farber mused about Bill O'Reilly, I hope that Charney doesn't settle and fights these charges in the courts. America and its new generation of women deserve to have the facts scrutinized in a court of law, rather than swept under a carpet of confidentiality.