To What We Shall Believe

To What We Shall Believe

I've been busy with non-writing stuff lately and not able to post as often I'd like. But before busy times sweep in again I want to link to some recent Internet coolness, like the below video I saw discussed on the About-Face blog.

* Little Sophie, with the help of her mother, criticizes the intense pressure women face to be beautiful. “Why do you want to look like someone else?” she asks. “Do you want me to grow up wanting to look like someone else?” In fact, that's what alot of businesses want. It makes it easier to sell women (and men too) stuff they don't actually need and we should all be doing what we can to fight those negative influences. Good going, Sophie! You and your mom rock.

There's more coolness over at the ever-awesome Scarleteen sex ed site where fabulous Scarleteen founder Heather Corinna has penned an article called:

* Love the Glove: 10 Reasons to Use Condoms You Might Not Have Heard Yet. Teenagers aren't the only ones who should read this! There are plenty of young people who are smart about safe sex and plenty of adults who are dumb about it. Here's a peek at the article:
#2. Because barebacking isn't as cool as you think. I've been having a sense of déjà vu lately when hearing some hetero girls say they're "not into condoms" with a wink and a grin, or that they, unlike those other girls who use condoms and who they tend to frame as killjoys, are willing to go without condoms, in this way that rings of trying to aim for a certain social status by being the one willing to risk health and life... From my point of view, what I see in these cases is a young woman having some big esteem issues and who seems to feel it's worth it to risk her life and health for a temporarily increased sexual appeal. While our sexuality and our sexual relationships can support our self-esteem, they tend to be poor places to try and get self-esteem, especially if our sex lives involve a habit or precedent of not caring for ourselves and inviting or allowing others to treat us without real care.
And how about that #5: Because it feels good! Yep, check out the article if you want to find out why...

* You know how when people trot out that ol' adage “sex sells” they're more often than not talking about sexualized images of women being used to hawk everything under the sun? Yeah, well, it turns out that when it comes to movies, at least, that saying is BS. Melissa Silverstein over at Women & Hollywood has written about a new report that refutes the “sex sells” myth. The study, which was recently published in the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts journal, analyzed 914 mainstream Hollywood films released from 2001 - 2005 and found that “sex and nudity do not, on the average, boost box office performance, earn critical acclaim, or win major awards.”

If anything, too much hard-core action could actually hurt a film's performance. On average, the less sex and nudity, the higher the gross. The more sex and nudity, the lower the gross — by approximately 31 per cent.

"All in all, it appears that sex may neither sell nor impress. This null effect might suggest most cinematic sex is in fact gratuitous," write the authors.

"It is manifest that anyone who argues that sex sells or impresses must be put on notice. At present, no filmmaker should introduce such content under the assumption that it guarantees a big box office, earns critical acclaim, or wins movie awards. On the contrary, other forms of strong film content appear far more
potent, either commercially or aesthetically.
 * Finally, you might well already know that Somalia-born, Toronto-raised hip-hop artist K'naan has the official World Cup 2010 tune (speaking of the World Cup, I'm still pissed that Ireland was robbed of a spot!) with a remixed version of Wavin' Flag. This song is an instant classic. One of those songs that get better every time you listen to it. Let's take a few minutes to soak up the inspiration...

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