Posts Tagged ‘Porn’

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The History of Media: Visual Arts Edition Vol. 3

June 8, 2010
[After what seems like forever, but has only actually been a month, The History of Media is back with the conclusion of yet another cliffhanger (the dreaded ellipsis) and will most likely end in yet another ellipsis. If you’re just joining us, be sure and check out Volumes One and Two, which had blazed a bloody, but dignified, trail up to this point.]

The VCR's patented "dust collection" technology allowed it to look outdated several years before its time.

Post-Ellipsis
The movie industry, flush with success, strutted away from the battle that never was, having fended off its new drinking buddy, television. Up to its collective ears in record-breaking movie receipts, the film industry (yet again) kicked back on its gold-plated laurels and lazily watched the money roll in.

The cinema was enjoying a new Golden Age, ushered in by the advent of the multiplex, the still-viable drive-in industry and some of the finest movie making ever, in the form of Airport, Airport ’75, Airport ’77 and Airport ’79: New Moon.

But as was foretold by the harrowing ellipsis at the end of the last volume, a new enemy would rise (mostly from the East). This new invention would kill the film industry harder that it had ever been killed before.

The first commercial VCR came bundled with six technicians, each assigned a button.

The VCR
Japanese electronics company JVC kicked Old Man Movie right in the throat with their VHS (Video Home System) player that promised a new era of TV and movie-dependent independence. Now people could watch television and movies in the comfort of their own home, on their own schedules.

No more standing in line at the box office or endless waiting for their favorite programs to hit syndication. The public was now in command of its mostly pre-recorded destiny, leading to skyrocketing VCR sales and not much change at all in box office receipts.

Quite obviously, home taping was once again killing an industry.

An apoplectic Jack Valenti (representing the MPAA) stormed a listless Congress, demanding that they get off their overstuffed asses and do something, goddammit. During his Oscar-worthy performance, Valenti compared the theoretical damage done by home taping to a combination of the Holocaust, My Lai Massacre and that time when he got beat up in grade school.

The television industry fought back as well, claiming that the public had no right to watch their favorite shows and movies, whenever and wherever the hell they wanted to. “What of our precious and highly annoying advertising?” they whined. “They’ll be able to skip past it, thus rendering our efforts useless. Not to mention blockbuster lineups like ‘Must See Thursday,’ which will now become ‘Can See Whenever the Hell We Want.'”

"While you were out, the VCR secretly replaced your memories with tangled masses of worthless magnetic tape."

The Positive Negatives of the VCR Invasion
However the film and TV industries greatly overestimated the public’s willingness and ability to program their VCRs, meaning that most viewing was still prerecorded movies or “live” TV. In fact, the general inscrutability of the VCR usually meant that it was regarded as a minor household diety whose mood swings and impenetrable manual were tolerated in exchange for nearly “on-demand” viewing.

Much like any diety, the VCR would periodically demand a sacrifice, devouring random tapes like “Child’s First Birthday” (priceless) or a New Release rental from Blockbuster (considerably more expensive).

Not only that but the VCR’s entropic delivery system caused videotapes to degrade steadily in a short period of time, soon reducing the act of watching an “old favorite” to a tedious bout of dicking around with tracking in a futile attempt to make the movie look like something other than scrambled Cinemax porn featuring dialogue recorded underwater.

Steve got directions to the adult bookstore, only to find he was already there...

“Boon:” Not Really a Dirty Word
Not every industry felt threatened, however. The new videotape proved to be a boon for the porn industry which was thrilled to have another delivery system. Porn theater staffers were thrilled to see their semen cleanup time drop by over 50%. Porn aficionados were thrilled to be able to “privatize” their perversions, without fear of being accosted by women’s right groups, soft news journalists or the Sarasota, FL Sheriff’s Department.

In other news, the trench coat manufacturers fought this turn of events with “Home Masturbation is Killing the Coat Industry” pickets. This movement never coalesced, mainly due to the fact that few people were willing to wear t-shirts or hoist signs with the word “masturbation” prominently featured.

Horrors! Who will gouge me for ancient "New Releases" and late fees now?

As the years went on and prices dropped, the movie industry began to embrace this “threat” as a powerful ally in its constant struggle to make even more money. They were delighted to discover that the public was more than willing to purchase something they had most likely already paid to watch in a theater. They were made positively giddy with the realization that the public would buy the same movie twice, provided one version was slapped with a “Special Edition” label and contained a cursory 5-minute “Making Of” featurette cobbled together from second unit footage and “found sound” recordings.

Movie rental businesses were thrilled as well, what with suddenly having a reason to exist and the opportunity to charge $3.99/night for a tapes that had been on the New Release wall for nearly half a decade.

Coming up next:
A veritable rogue’s gallery of industry killers, each more diabolical than the last.

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Life’s Little Lessons Vol. 1

December 31, 2009

"Cliche #46: Sunrise/Sunset." Available at Inspirational Stock Photography.

Sometimes events happen in your life and you know right away that they were meant to happen… to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or help figure out who you are, or who you want to become. Other times they seem to happen to shape people’s perception of you, long after the critical first impression.

You never know when these will happen or what shape they’ll take, but when you they occur, you know that very moment that they will affect the rest of your life in some profound way.

And sometimes things happen that at the time seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, will power or heart. It’s only with the power of open-mindedness and hindsight that you will be able to look back at these events as horrible, painful and unfair. And if therapy is involved, prohibitively expensive.

Like when the clerk at the adult bookstore informs you that they have run out of black bags and only have two different types remaining: clear and promotional bags featuring the phrase “A Fistful of Dolly.” And you begin to question whether this was the best use of your lunch break and ponder the quickest route back to your vehicle, which is parked between a storefront daycare and the local NOW office.

Yes. Difficulties lie ahead but everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or bad luck. Sometimes your day just won’t cooperate. Perhaps it’s time to simplify. Consider cutting down on your carbon footprint by bringing in your own reusable (and nondescript) porn bag. Try marking it with something like “Adidas” or “Not Porn.”

So as you begin your nonchalant speedwalking, you hear your name being called. You turn around to see a recent ex-girlfriend who is apparently out shopping with your mom. You find them drawing closer and attempt to jam four DVDs and a half-dozen magazines into the pockets of your sports coat.

You can’t think of what to say. It’s all stuff no one would believe, like “It’s for a bachelor party,” or “I lost a bet,” or “It’s time for ‘the talk’ with my oldest son.” None of that will draw attention away from your colorful porn and the fisting reference. For that matter, you don’t even have kids.

Without these small tests, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless. Can you feel the blood rising and your heart beating faster? That’s life right there, deflowering your dignity.

So after embarrassing yourself and everyone else, you head back to your car and drive to work, forgetting that you left your porn on the roof while you got into the vehicle. It’s gone now, but it will live on, causing many angry letters to be written to many editors by many perturbed parents and outraged NOW members.

The successes and downfalls that you experience can create who you are, and the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones, not to mention the most scarring and psychologically debilitating. You can expect some awkward phone calls from your mom and a mental (and mutual) restraining order from your ex-girlfriend.

Life. Too often we take these formative experiences for granted and try to “power through” them to get on with what’s left of our lives. It’s time to sit back and take stock of these experiences to better prepare ourselves for an often unpleasant future.

Thanks for reading.

Next on Life’s Little Lessons:
Your wife returns home from the local Christian women’s retreat pregnant. And a lesbian.

-CLT