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05 September 2004 @ 08:30 pm
Two interesting stories on 60 Minutes this evening:

Porn in the USA
In the past 25 years alone, pornography has grown to a $10 billion industry in the United States alone, and that's just the first of the numbers that will surprise you.

This is Jeopardy
Behind the scenes on one of America's most popular game shows.

Note: they mentioned Ken Jennings' reign of terror resumes tomorrow.
Dr. Aculaoontzgrrl on September 5th, 2004 05:46 pm (UTC)
I think it's pretty cool that porn is becoming so mainstream and lucrative. A lot of this has led to a higher demand for quality porn which has led to much better movies. Companies like Vivid constantly put out higher and higher quality films. Which is cool because the actors get paid better, treated better, etc. The more respectable an industry porn becomes, the more respectable porn stars feel about themselves, and really when the day is over, isn't that what matters?

I always wanted to start producing films of the "adult" flavor, but alas I am so very very lazy. So I'll probably be an underpaid NOCling for the rest of my life. Man talk about the supposed lack of self respect that many anti porn movements say porn stars have. Working shift work for too little money seems to me to be far more condusive to no self respect to me. But who knows. Mebbe one day I'll break the shackles of the NOC slave world and move on to bigger and better things.
keep it darksnidegrrl on September 5th, 2004 06:16 pm (UTC)
My general bibliography on the subject of porn can be found in the porn_rage community info. It's fun that they only quote the psycho pro-censorship anti-porn conservative advocates. Gives the rest of us a bad name. I missed the CBS report, but I'm sure I'll hear more about it.

I already heard the numbers (or at least what they were at the time of his writing) from our buddy Eric Schlosser. It's a very interesting book. I'd recommend we read it for book club but we kinda already read one of his.
PMMJ: Memento - the Factscheetahmaster on September 5th, 2004 07:41 pm (UTC)
The above link seems to be the complete transcript of the 60 Minutes report.

They were really mostly discussing the business side of things, and how things have changed so drastically in the past quarter century to allow/encourage the industry's growth.

And the Schlosser book, while one I do want to read, appears to only be discussing the illegal side of things. To be honest, the story tonight caught my attention for the business side of things. Well, that and the moral angle. But anyways.

Lala: chop chopangela_la_la on September 5th, 2004 10:08 pm (UTC)
YNOT Masters is a site you might be interested in, it's a community-type forum for adult webmasters. They always have very good articles about censorship and obscenity law, in addition to tons of business resources for the adult industry. AVN Online is another site in a similar vein, but (in my opinion) not as good. Both have adult banner ads, by the way, for those wacky people reading this at work.

One thing the CBS article doesn't talk about is how porn, like so many other industries, is losing smaller companies at a rapid rate... the political climate is really unfriendly right now [1], unless you're with a big company like Vivid or Hustler or whatever. What this means, ultimately, is that like any monopoly there will be fewer and fewer choices in the marketplace. This might not seem like such an important thing, because Vivid et al do put out a hell of a lot of product, but it means that interests which are considered "marginal" will get pushed aside in the interest of the more mainstream, dominant paradigm-type stuff. Businesses which deal in niche stuff [2] go under because they can't afford the lawyers to defend themselves if their number comes up at the DOJ.

Anyway, I should probably not write a novel in your journal, but this is something of a pet topic for me, as well as something I know way more about than the average bear.

1. Clinton didn't have a single obscenity prosecution while in office, whereas Ashcroft made clear, when appointed, that a crackdown on pornography was his main objective.
2. I know that sounds like I just mean scat fetish or something, but it also means, for instance, porn with fat people in it that isn't woefully offensive and entitled something like "Fat Disgusting Whores Part 74". Or dyke porn without the wigs and fake fingernails.
PMMJ: Memento - the Factscheetahmaster on September 5th, 2004 10:54 pm (UTC)
Berry interesting read, thank you.

I had actually read something brief a while ago about the monopolizing of the porn industry, but the article I read seemed to think it was one industry where smaller indie productions could always get a foot in the door. But anyways.
Dr. Aculaoontzgrrl on September 6th, 2004 06:21 am (UTC)
From what I've read theres been a huge push for a lot of the niche stuff, or also just companies starting out in the industry to move to the internet because it's much cheaper, and easier to get your product out to a large amount of people that way. And of course in times of government repression of pornography you can move your site to a provider in another country to avoid lawsuits.

I hope that we see and end to the Bush administration, and an end to the increase in obscenity prosecution. The more mainstream porn is, the more fun porn gets made. The more repressed it is the more it appeals only to the lowest common denominator. And porn is a useful and fun tool. Hell it taught me what a blowjob was. And I've talked to many a girl who felt better about her shape, her parts, etc when she saw other naked women and realized that she was normal.
Lala: chop chopangela_la_la on September 6th, 2004 11:09 pm (UTC)
I do see internet porn as different, of course. I am thinking more of other types -- magazines, movies -- that rely a lot more on very specialized distribution networks, and larger production costs than most small companies can afford. Not that it's anything new, of course, but the distributors definitely seem to have tightened up.

I think the prevalence of internet porn is a really interesting phenomenon, socially. A lot of people who would never have stepped foot into a store to buy a video or magazine will succumb to the curiosity factor and look at it online. I wonder what the "conversion rate" is, as far as how many of those will become hardcopy porn consumers and how many will never seek out any other type. As a consumer myself, I'll go right ahead and say that internet smut is my least favorite type, by far. It does bother me, on some level, the fact that kids are exposed way earlier to the very sexist images that predominate mainstream porn before they have the emotional tools to deal with it -- hell, a lot of adults can't deal with it. I don't know what the answer to that is. Involvement in various levels of the adult industry really only served to make me more confused, and more conflicted, about porn than I ever was before. Still, I don't deny that for many people it's a positive force. God knows I spent much of my childhood reading as much about sex as I could, but I still remember the first time I saw an adult movie (ah, hotels!). Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words. I had no idea of the mechanics of any of it before that.
Dr. Aculaoontzgrrl on September 7th, 2004 04:28 am (UTC)
I don't know. There are certainly some awful sites out there (just as there are some awful magazines or movies) but there are also some great sites that are fun. And the ability for a lot of girls to be able to put up their own sites and manage themselves, or just perhaps have the ability to model where they couldn't have before is pretty cool. And I see sites such as naked nerds or that gothic girl porn site as fun and good because it's not just nudity, it's smart counter culture nudity! Or something like that.

I think one answer to exposing kids to porn is parental involvement and responsibility. They could, oh say...monitor what their kids are looking at, use the parental control tools that several ISPs offer, etc. It could also help if they started an on going dialog with their children about sex at a young age, and remained available for answering questions so that when children did happen upon naked images it wouldn't be such a huge taboo awful deal. But really when it comes down to it, porn or no porn, I am just hugely disturbed by the lack of actual parenting that goes on these days so ignore my sarcasm. It's not aimed at you. It's aimed at the imaginary masses of stupid adults who are under the imppression that the governement should be raising their children, or whatever.

But back to kids and porn, back in the "old days" kids still managed to find porn. Hell I saw my first porn magazine around 8. My friend found her dad's stash of "Oui" magazine and we HAD to look. Other then perhaps giving me a slightly abnormal obsession with boobs, I can't say that it's harmed me. And I saw my first movie at 12 when another friend stole the movie "Bad Americans" from this family she babysat for. It was more amusing then harmful, but I learned a lot that day about how the whole mechanics of sex worked. If kids do stumble upon a porn site on the internet it doesn't nessisarily mean they'll be messed up. I geuss a lot of it depends on the kid, and the site.
Super Karate Monkey Death Carfrecklefaerie on September 5th, 2004 07:56 pm (UTC)
Salman Rushdie presents his views of pornography in a soon to be published book entitled XXX:30 Porn star.

In his essay "The East is Blue" Rushdie argues "Pornography exists everywhere, of course, but when it comes into societies in which it's difficult for young men and women to get together and do what
young men and women often like doing, it satisfies a more general need."

Where can I find the odds on yet another middle eastern death warrant for the man?
PMMJ: Kareem vs. Brucecheetahmaster on September 5th, 2004 08:10 pm (UTC)
Do we need *another* death warrant? I mean, since no one ever cashed in the first.