from an interview with journalist Susannah Breslin
It’s funny because, as you know, I emailed you when I was an aspiring journalist in college and I asked you for advice on how to end up doing what you were doing at the time, which was reporting on the realities of the industry. You were totally supportive but you were also like, look, whatever you do, don’t go to Porn Valley. Your exact words were, “It’s a meat-grinder for the human condition.”
I mean, studying the sex industry is really challenging work. It’s hard to be a sex worker, it’s hard to inhabit that world and it’s also hard to study it and be around it, because it’s brutal. It’s not, in my opinion, a business like any other. That’s part of why not a lot of women have written about it. The payoff after you’ve spent time writing about or working in the sex industry is your understanding of human nature is unrivaled. You just see people flayed. You see what impulses really drive us. It was hard for me for several years to come back from that. Once you’ve seen humanity laid bare, there’s a time when you kind of want to unsee it, go back to living in Cinderella land.
It’s always complicated. It’s never black and white. It’s never all misogynist or all feminist. It’s complicated because it’s a business that reflects our interior, and the interior is always conflicted and at war with itself.
The thing I would say most male porn stars have in common is that they desperately want women to love them. I did a TV pilot years ago that was gonna be about my life as a sex writer and when we were done wrapping the pilot, the executive producer and I had lunch and he said, “So what is the porn industry really about?” And I said, “What do you think it’s about?” He said, “Love,” and I said, “Yeah, that’s right.”
“One can also talk about the fact that a lot of New Yorkers live and work in the sky. It sounds corny and some people in New York tilt their heads and look at me, but it’s true. It’s amazing. It’s not everyone, but it’s a lot of people. You get these huge windows, like we have right here, and you’re putting yourself in the perspective of the city all the time. It’s interesting, isn’t it? What happens is: Within this metropolis, you’re always in the frame. Within the frame it’s quite lonely, these huge apartment buildings and office towers, all these windows and reflections, reflecting the surroundings where you are. It’s a lot of stuff to deal with, and it’s a reality. Maybe I heighten it by putting the camera on it — this is cinema — but it’s not a case of telling a story that’s different from what’s already here.”—Steve McQueen
The phrase tired and emotional is a chiefly British euphemism for drunk. It was popularised by the Britishsatirical magazine Private Eye in 1967 after being used in a spoof diplomatic memo to describe the state of Labour Cabinet minister George Brown, but is now used as a stock phrase. The restraints of the parliamentary language also mean it is unacceptable in the House of Commons to accuse an MP of being drunk, but one may use this or other euphemisms such as not quite himself and overwrought. The Guardian describes the phrase as having joined those “that are part of every journalist’s vocabulary”. Because of this widespread interpretation, one source cautions professional British journalists against its use as “even if the journalist meant it literally”, it could be considered defamatory.
The author there focused on “we shouldn’t tell girls that beauty matters,” but I’m waaaaay more disturbed by the idea that only super-specific areas of science should be interesting to girls. It’s the context that’s the real problem, not the content. If you wanted to just make “the science of beauty” products, fine by me, but the message behind creating two sets - one for boys and one for girls - is that any of it is “boy stuff.” That’s a dangerous message to put into the world. GIRLS LIKE WEIRD SLIME TOO.
Twilight movies are like the girl version of watching the Superbowl. In that they can only be enjoyed when really drunk.
And it was awesome, except for the part when all the werewolves started talking to each other WITH THEIR MINDS and then it got really stupid and I leaned over to Laura and Maile and whispered, “Okay. Right now, for the first time all night? I’m kind of embarrassed to be wearing a giant wolf suit.”