We recorded two Hours of Slack (or something like Hours of Slack) every day during the 17X-Day Drill, all with Stang and Dr. Hal, this particular first one also with special guest Priestess Pisces. By the strangest chance, the first hour of recording required ZERO cuts and came to One Hour Exactly. And, it’s RELENTLESS! Subjects touched upon: Mole stampede mystery. The superstars at X-Day. The sad case of the Facebook Bob Dobbses. Pisces’ Mean Meme. The Church: “Teaching the Unteachable What No One Wants to Know.” Monster movie girls and puberty. “STAY OFF THE STRAW.” Donkey island. All SubGeniuses are differently fucked up. Sallack vs. Sakkak. Stang the Sacred Nutless Chimp. I lost my virginity at Dr. Dark’s Drive-In. Earwigs diapers. Strange sounds, footprints in the woods. Stang’s new poem about the gorilla. (Uncensored on the Internet version)
The basics are that for every one female-speaking character in family-rated films (G, PG and PG-13), there are roughly three male characters; that crowd and group scenes in these films — live-action and animated — contain only 17 percent female characters; and that the ratio of male-female characters has been exactly the same since 1946. Throw in the hypersexualization of many of the female characters that are there, even in G-rated movies, and their lack of occupations and aspirations and you get the picture.
It wasn’t the lack of female lead characters that first struck me about family films. We all know that’s been the case for ages, and we love when movies like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen hit it big. It was the dearth of female characters in the worlds of the stories — the fact that the fictitious villages and jungles and kingdoms and interplanetary civilizations were nearly bereft of female population — that hit me over the head. This being the case, we are in effect enculturating kids from the very beginning to see women and girls as not taking up half of the space. Couldn’t it be that the percentage of women in leadership positions in many areas of society — Congress, law partners, Fortune 500 board members, military officers, tenured professors and many more — stall out at around 17 percent because that’s the ratio we’ve come to see as the norm?
OK, now for the fun part: It’s easy, fast and fun to add female characters, in two simple steps. And I want to be clear I’m not talking about creating more movies with a female lead. If you do, God bless and thank you. Please consider me for that role.
Step 1: Go through the projects you’re already working on and change a bunch of the characters’ first names to women’s names. With one stroke you’ve created some colorful unstereotypical female characters that might turn out to be even more interesting now that they’ve had a gender switch. What if the plumber or pilot or construction foreman is a woman? What if the taxi driver or the scheming politician is a woman? What if both police officers that arrive on the scene are women — and it’s not a big deal?
Step 2: When describing a crowd scene, write in the script, “A crowd gathers, which is half female.” That may seem weird, but I promise you, somehow or other on the set that day the crowd will turn out to be 17 percent female otherwise. Maybe first ADs think women don’t gather, I don’t know.
And there you have it. You have just quickly and easily boosted the female presence in your project without changing a line of dialogue.
Yes, we can and will work to tell more women’s stories, listen to more women’s voices and write richer female characters and to fix the 5-to-1 ratio of men/women behind the camera. But consider this: In all of the sectors of society that still have a huge gender disparity, how long will it take to correct that? You can’t snap your fingers and suddenly half of Congress is women. But there’s one category where the underrepresentation of women can be fixed tomorrow: onscreen. In the time it takes to make a movie or create a television show, we can change what the future looks like.
There are woefully few women CEOs in the world, but there can be lots of them in films. We haven’t had a woman president yet, but we have on TV. (Full disclosure: One of them was me.) How can we fix the problem of corporate boards being so unequal without quotas? Well, they can be half women instantly, onscreen. How do we encourage a lot more girls to pursue science, technology and engineering careers? By casting droves of women in STEM jobs today in movies and on TV. Hey, it would take me many years to become a real nuclear physicist, but I can play one tomorrow.
Here’s what I always say: If they can see it, they can be it.
“Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD distortion, the jitteriness of digital video, the crap sound of 8-bit, all of these will be cherished and emulated as soon as they can be avoided. It’s the sound of failure: so much modern art is the sound of things going out of control, of a medium pushing to its limits and breaking apart. The distorted guitar sound is the sound of something too loud for the medium supposed to carry it. The blues singer with the cracked voice is the sound of an emotional cry too powerful for the throat that releases it. The excitement of grainy film, of bleached-out black and white, is the excitement of witnessing events too momentous for the medium assigned to record them.”—
Brian Eno, A Year With Swollen Appendices (via fleurlungs)
"Angela Carter… was not a horror writer in the same sense as Anne Rice or Stephen King; the bulk of her work is classified as magical realism (a made-up, jerk-off genre that permits English departments to acknowledge the existence of the human imagination), but her most celebrated book is a high gothic collection of short stories called The Bloody Chamber that you should read immediately if the genre holds any appeal for you. Or even if it doesn’t…"
“For example, in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, the main character walks down a street passing by a number of shops whose names were specifically chosen and window displays specifically arranged by the director to convey additional meaning to the scene and to the film. At 720p or at a bitrate under 8Mbps, those details become indistinct and illegible. It becomes impossible to know that Kubrick was trying to tell you anything with those storefronts, let alone discern what he was trying to say.”—Netflix becomes Postmodern, splits into two, and races for the bottom | Partial Objects (via timoni)
"It is further claimed that many cases will never be disclosed due to the severity of the offences that took place, and also the high profile status of those involved…
"A ‘total disclosure event’ would see citizens of the United Kingdom take to the streets in their hundreds of thousands, if not millions, as the extent of the crimes are revealed. The offences include the rape, torture and murder of children…"