"... as cheap as throwing a dinner party and only serving things that are covered in melted cheese".
June 10, 2002 12:17 PM   Subscribe

"... as cheap as throwing a dinner party and only serving things that are covered in melted cheese". What's sexy? If you scroll down to "A boob-flash in the pan is worth two in the bush", Heather Havrilesky (queen of the casually tossed off Pixies quote) explains just what it would take to make Ari Fleischer look sexy. Safe for work, but you may have Britney/Ari flashbacks that last all day. (Bonus link, text safe for work, but linked images aren't: Eric S. Raymond on bad porn. "Like any good scientist, I proceeded to do some research ...")
posted by maudlin (13 comments total)

good god I love Polly...er...Heather.
posted by Hackworth at 12:21 PM on June 10, 2002

I'm not sure what I'm looking for here.
posted by muckster at 12:45 PM on June 10, 2002

If you're looking for Heather's post: her blog doesn't have perma-links, so you have to scroll down to the May 29 entry.
posted by maudlin at 12:48 PM on June 10, 2002

How long before Matt deletes this thread?
posted by donkeyschlong at 2:07 PM on June 10, 2002

Why was this posted? I'm not usually such a stickler, but does "the best of the web" now include some "witty" comment Heather made? Please.

She had her fifteen minutes on NPR, and now that crap is sooo 1997.
posted by rocketman at 2:40 PM on June 10, 2002

im not sure why she's being slagged, but i think that when she writes it's usually terrific.

shes funny, smart, and hits pop culture right between the eyes.

shes the only reason that i ever read Salon.

all that, and she's not a man-hater.

incredibly rare, these days.
posted by tsarfan at 2:47 PM on June 10, 2002

eric sure was thorough.
posted by moz at 3:12 PM on June 10, 2002

OK, I must have screwed up here, probably because I really didn't draw an explicit parallel between the two links in my post in the expectation that anyone reading both pieces would see the connection.

The first link was a link to a woman's brief diss of over-used cheesecake and/or porn imagery such as the Catholic school girl look. She doesn't go on a full-frontal attack, she just slaps it down.

The second link (which I expected to get more attention) was a much longer analysis by one man who finds most porn terribly unappealing, placing much of the blame on the overused trappings of sexiness -- the overstyled blond hair, tacky shoes, etc. He also examines *why* men tolerate and even seek out such porn, coming to a conclusion that would probably have him labelled a man-hater if he were a woman:

"... if most porn is bad, it's because most porn consumers want it to be bad. ... The sheer aggressive ugliness is far too consistent to be the result of incompetence. ... I am forced to the unhappy conclusion that plausibility is exactly what most porn consumers don't want. ... if bad porn is a compensation for male feelings of powerlessness, we should expect it to become steadily tackier, uglier, more strident, and more popular in direct proportion to the degree that female power in the real world increases."

Given this analysis is *not* coming from some sensitive New Age guy stereotype, I found it, um, interesting. Read the rest of his article or not.
posted by maudlin at 3:15 PM on June 10, 2002

Well, I thought the ESR thing was interesting. As much as I'm inclined to go with his analysis, though, I have to think that a lot of tastefully erotic, non-bad-porn images of women can be explained by the same kind of male powerlessness. How else do you explain the appeal of Natalie Portman's pliant-Lolita persona?

Let's see what Richard Stallman has to say about all this. On second thought, let's not.
posted by transona5 at 3:46 PM on June 10, 2002

Hey, she had her 15 mins. for 5 years on Suck, thank you very much.
posted by Hackworth at 4:54 PM on June 10, 2002

Actually, I think I'm pretty qualified to talk about this. I run my own porn site autopr0n and in the past few months I have looed at (let me check here) 88 thousand pornographic images. Its actually very rare that I'll get 'turned on' by any of the pictures, but a lot of times I find the subjects to be beautiful. And yeh, there is a lot of bad porn out there. I think ESR is way off in his analysis though.

ESR's problem is that he's a moron. Not stupid, but more of the self-aggrandizing idiocy that he so uniquely defines. It seems as though everything he writes (at least that I've read) is somehow designed to make him look super-smart and wonderful.

So of course he's way over-analyzed this stuff. The sea of bad porn out there is caused, basically, by the same thing that causes so much bad music, like Creed or N'Sync. The vast majority of people just have no taste.

Movies, music, and porn. People just want to enjoy the music, be entertained, or get off. They don't care about the esthetics of the porno they're looking at.

There's no deeper misogyny or anything like that in porn. (well, sadly there is if you read the copy on some of these porn sites... But I don't think that's the cause of most of the lame porn ou there)
posted by delmoi at 7:38 PM on June 10, 2002

boob flash post here, and bad porn post here. Just how hard did you (not) look for permalinks?
posted by dhartung at 9:24 PM on June 10, 2002

dhartung - your l33t web skilz rule. Now will you please lay off being such a jackass to everyone whose posts don't rub you the right way?
posted by Irontom at 9:31 AM on June 11, 2002

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