The Vicious Cycle of Minority Representation

This might not be my longest, most drawn out entry, but I came to a realization today when I was out talking with a woman. The whole crux of what I’m saying rests on an understanding of what the movie “Get Out” means to me, but not necessarily the specific plot points of the movie.

What made the movie such a huge deal for me was the way that it seemed so different from other movies, namely in that it chronicled experiences that I felt were things that only I had felt. It got into a personal space for me and put those things up on the screen for audiences of millions of people who might not have the same life experience.

And people loved it.

That’s the problem with Hollywood character representation. We have your “Get Outs” and your “Atlantas” and these things show a side of minority life that we don’t often see. A lot of film execs say things to the affect of “white audiences just don’t like to see minority characters” and that puts unfair blame on white audiences at large.

The real issue is that a lot of minority characters are stock types and they don’t seem genuine. Sure, there are going to be some bigots who don’t accept characters like them, but the writers are writing them and using other media they’ve been exposed to as a template and since there’s always been poor minority representation in movies it comes off as a parody of a parody of a parody. The real person there gets distilled down to a set of tropes that people are tired of seeing. White audiences are tired of it and so are audiences of color.

But the problem isn’t the white audiences don’t know how to accept those unlike them, the problem is that writers aren’t writing characters that should be accepted.

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Austin

I went to Austin for the first time in years the other day and one of the things that really shocked me is that it’s a different city than I remember it. Something must have changed about me or maybe it was the fact that I didn’t go downtown, but the city had a different life.

I’ve decided that, as part of my journey to become a better photographer, I need to make more trips to Austin.

In Which I Make a Text Based Rube Goldberg Machine to Blame Space Ghost Coast to Coast for a Problem I Have with a Trend in Comedy

Comedy has an intertextuality problem and it’s all the fault of “Space Ghost Coast to Coast”.

Okay, that’s a hell of an opener and it might not really make sense because there’s a lot to walk back and unpack there. Intertextuality is the relationship between texts, usually it is a term reserved for actual written texts. In the sense that I’m using it we’re just talking about a text as being any kind of media.

Every text or piece of media is influenced by something, hell, even if something is looking to actively ignore other texts that as a conscious decision is still a choice made because of the relationship to other texts. It’s not a bad thing by itself, but the way it’s come into comedy seems to mostly not work.

Back to the point about why this is all Space Ghost’s fault. Space Ghost was a shitty cartoon made in 1966 Hannah Barbera (I swear the word Barbera didn’t have an ‘e’ in it before I wrote this) and in 1994 Cartoon Network used old footage of the original show to make a late night talk show. This show was what started what we have come to know as Adult Swim (the late night programming block on Cartoon Network most nights of the week).

Adult Swim was pretty experimental at first and it wasn’t like anything else that we’ve ever seen on television. After Fox canceled “Family Guy” in 2002 Adult Swim stepped in to run the show in syndication and that along with huge DVD sales helped to cause Fox to take the show back, but pre-2003 Family Guy and later Family Guy became different shows. Audiences in 2003 were using online forums to talk about shows more than ever and audience reaction to some things changed parts of the show. Meg was kind of ignored before, but now she was outright hated by others in the cast and the cut-aways and references to other media and history and just anything got far more intrusive.

The show doubled down on the shock humor and just referencing other things. Not even referencing them in a way that informs the scene or the rest of the story. You see this kind of comedy used in other shows, not so much the cut ways, but the references. Some of them care enough to fit the reference into what’s actually happening. When Archer says “I hate surprises, well except surprise fellatio, unless it’s the Midnight Cowboy kind” that references another piece of media, but it’s also not stopping the action of the plot and even if the reference were removed it would be funny.

Family Guy just throws any old reference up into a space to waste time in an episode. Twenty-one minutes turns into thirteen when you find a way to waste the other eight on bullshit. And the huge problem with it all is that it’s become a way that people will talk to others. I can remember a time when just pointing out that you and someone else remembered something wasn’t in and of itself comedy.

Especially considering that a lot of people don’t even remember the things that are being referenced on Family Guy (seriously, does anyone really remember the DuMont Television network? It ran from ten years, from 1946 until 1956 when it was dissolved).

I’ve seen it creep into real life to a small degree with some of my friends. They’re not even referring to things from media some of the time, they’re just referencing unfunny, unremarkable bits from our actual lives. It’s usually used as a kind of exclusion of a party who is there that didn’t share in the moment. Can’t see any other purpose for it.

As I pointed out earlier with the Archer example this kind of thing can work. When enough people are in on the joke and the joke holds some relevance and doesn’t distract or when it’s just really smart, but not in a condescending way. Your average writing team on television isn’t crafty enough to pull it off, especially not on a weekly basis.

Maybe you can point out that it is a small thing or that it’s not really having any effect that wouldn’t have happened, but that’s just not how intertextuality works. Other works are going to be affected by what’s happened, even if they are affected because they resist the change.

A Review of Passengers and the need for a Hollywood Introspective

What the fuck is it that Hollywood wants? For the last several years it seems like at every beat of the year there’s some dark and gritty take on X. We got to see the gray, grim-dark, take on a Batman and Superman who are only outmatched in their hatred of each other in their hatred for themselves. We see scripts pushed darker by studio interference so often that no one ever talks about the alternative.

Rogue One is an example of a movie that was actually changed after a director got the go ahead to make it darker and that is actually an okay thing on some level, but we see the opposite with Passengers.

Passengers was a blacklist script darling that was supposedly one of the best movies that wasn’t being produced. It stayed in development Hell and was eventually supposed to star Emily Blunt and Keanu Reeves. The original script that the movie was going to have had a different ending that drew on the themes differently. While the troubling issues that the movie brought up were still present, they were explored in a more nuanced way and, to quote one friend, wasn’t “Hollywooded the fuck up”.

Spoilers past here for both the Passengers movie and the script that was never produced.

Here’s a quick rundown of the plot. A ship is carrying people to a far off world to colonize it. Everyone is placed in stasis pods and one pod malfunctions. Chris Pratt plays the man who wakes up. He goes for a year and three weeks alone before waking up a woman (Jennifer Lawrence) that he has spent time admiring and being in love with, but he lies and says she woke up by chance. He courts her, they fall in love, and the robotic bar tender in the ship let’s it slip that Pratt woke her up. It’s discovered later that the entire ship is malfunctioning due to the complication that woke Pratt up originally and he and Lawrence work together to fix the issue.

In the original ending they succeed in fixing the issue and manage to reboot the whole ship’s system saving the ship and themselves. But the reboot causes the ship to launch all of the other passengers into space. Five thousand people die. Lawrence questions whether she can come to grips with Pratt’s choice in waking her. On one hand he’s doomed her to never reach the new planet they’re traveling to, but on the other they’re alive because her pod wasn’t fired into space. When the ship reaches the new planet their descendants disembark.

The theatrical ending of the movie, the only one that was actually produced, ends with everything going down much the same, they have to reboot the ship and also open a door to vent plasma into space so that the core doesn’t rupture, but Chris Pratt has to go outside of the ship and actually manually open the door and is almost lost in space in the process. His suit ruptured and the tether broken, Pratt floats to what would be his death, but Jennifer Lawrence dons a suit and rushes out to save him, the two make up after he is revived and the problem of what he has done is essentially ignored. He does give her the option to sleep in the Sick Bay pod that they discover, but she declines and stays awake with him.

The real issue here is the issue that the movie seems to try and make a love story out of the idea that a man forced a woman to be alone with him in the hopes that she would fall in love. One of the deleted scenes on the blu-ray actually has her questioning him (after the big reveal) asking if he ever thought that if they’d just met back on Earth would he think she were capable of even noticing him. It might sound harsh, but it comes from a drunk woman who has been robbed of her life where any number of things could have turned out differently.

The movie gets a lot wrong along the way too. There’s a bit of dubious science that keeps this from looking like something like Interstellar or The Martian. There’s the whole Laurence Fishburn character that doesn’t actually have enough screen time or back story to make an impact and kind of just serves as a device to explain the problem of the third act.

With the almost everybody dies ending you’re getting at least one thing that kind of makes us realize just how fucked up the fact that he did this to her was, but she also rationalizes it with the idea that she could have very well died along with everyone else on the ship so she has whatever time is left as they travel. It’s still shitty what he did and he still robbed her of real choice, but he inadvertently saved her life and it would make her cooling to him make more sense.

In the theatrical script it seems like his risking his life to vent the plasma is more of an apology and that he is kind of assuming the blame for dragging her into this, but at the same time there’s some hope for him that he’s saving his own skin in the process. She makes the choice to go out and save him and to forgive him, but the choice of him saving her is more deliberate here. It’s not out of some predatory sense that he has to be with her that he saves her at the end. It kind of loses the theme of the movie for what was supposed to be a happier ending, but it also kind of tries to gloss over the big reveal just a few minutes earlier.

This could have been a much darker, better movie, but Hollywood didn’t want that. We can have plots about forced romances that get glossed over, but don’t let the ending be sad!

And real quick a note on casting. I love Chris Pratt. I think he’s super talented and charismatic, but the studio had a chance to cast someone potentially less attractive or at least less expected in the lead male role. I think that had we seen a black actor (less expected) that audience reactions and willingness to forgive the character would be less likely. Let’s consider for a moment that Donald Glover had been the Pratt character (just because I fucking love Donald Glover) and that he had done things the same way.

How do you think that would have changed the movie? How would that have changed people’s desire to see the Glover and Lawrence characters together?

How about if we picked someone less conventionally attractive. John C. Reilly steps into the Pratt role and he’s the same blue collar guy courting an attractive, younger, richer woman by dooming her to die in space? Is that a love story?

For a guy who likes brevity, I’m running long. But this was a conundrum of a movie that had a lot of strange angles that it was coming from. It touches on being an enjoyable watch until you think of the deeper issues with the science in the movie (if you were stuck in a large free floating ball of water in zero G you’d be able to swim out because water is still, well, fucking water) and the morality of what’s happened.

What’s happening is the movie is just disappointing. It could have been a much more interesting picture with some changes and I don’t want original scripts to stop being shot because of the shortcomings of this one. I want more science-fiction to come out of Hollywood. But I want them to be truly thought provoking and, if they’re going to go after the hard questions not to fuck it all up.

Is This Liberalism

I have never watched many of the politics based programming on television because it wasn’t having the kind of conversations that I want to see, but HBO seems to know me. Edit: There is an error with this theme for my Wordpress where contractions in the first word apparently fuck the whole post up.

“Last Week Tonight” and “Real Time with Bill Maher” have become mainstays of my weekend shows. I tend to watch them back to back late Sunday night after everyone else is in bed. I genuinely agree with most everything Jon Oliver says, and let me tell you he had a hard sells for me. I thought I was always see him in Jon Stewart’s shadow because of his years on the “Daily Show”. After the time that he filled in for Stewart proved that he had what it took, I still remained skeptical. I mean, a big part of the show was the writing staff.

His move to HBO did him some justice though and he surpassed the “Daily Show” in my mind almost immediately.

Real Time is a different beast all together. I was the show because the guests are people that I want to see discuss things. I skipped an episode once (the one with Milo Yiannopoulos) because I felt that even giving that kind of person a platform to reach more people was in bad taste, but the more I hear about the episode the more that I think I should have watched it.

There’s a phenomena in the liberal community that seemed to be at its height right after the election. The idea at its best is that social issues are less important and that we should concentrate on the big things and at its worse there are those who are only able to care about the issues that affect them directly.

Marijuana legalization would be a pretty big deal considering the number of people locked up for such a minor drug, but when that’s the only thing you’re considering important in a world with out of control pay inequality and where people are literally dying while the government could do something about then there’s something seriously wrong.

And let me just say that social issues do mean a lot. Maybe you’re not gay or black or hispanic or a woman, but a hell of a lot of people are and these issues are their day to day lives. Bill Maher brings legalization pretty often and he treats the whole thing with a sort of reverence. This past week when comments Bill O’Reilly made about Rep. Maxine Waters’s hair came up on Maher’s show her immediately shot the whole story down and say liberals sweat the small stuff. Let’s try to remember that the guy shot down a valid point she made about Trump by saying  “I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig.”

There’s layers of hypocrisy to the statement itself, especially when O’Reilly is defending a man who has the hair that Trump does. But then add to that how Maher handles the statement by dismissing the whole thing too.

Maher is one of the only ones I see on the airwaves doing this kind of thing, but he represents a swath of the liberal population that seems to be unconcerned with real gender and racial equality and treat it like one of those things that we’ll get to after all of the other things are done.

So what party is left for the rest of us? We’ve got one that openly vilifies us and another that thinks of us as an afterthought or votes in their pocket to be drummed up every four years when they need us, but forgotten any other time.

I got into liberalism because I felt that it was the ideology that served the People with a capital “P”. I was pretty conservative for years and I grew up going to Catholic school and thought abortion was wrong and that we had to be patriotic and stand by our President no matter what things he did. I found those policies didn’t work for me slowly over time and I grew up and learned what was important to me.

If liberalism doesn’t represent the people and work for the good of everyone, what good is it to us? Liberalism that doesn’t do that doesn’t even seem like liberalism at all.

 

“Logan” is the best X-Men film yet, but that isn’t saying much.

“Logan” having an ‘R’ rating seems more a reaction to the success of “Deadpool” now than anything and that kind of highlights my issue with the movie. It’s not a bad movie by any stretch and it’s probably the clearest vision that anything super hero related and made by Fox has had besides “Deadpool”.

Them not really doing anything with the ‘R’ rating besides blood and gore and cursing is kind of what I expected. I honestly thought the cursing crossed over into silliness at times. There was no need for some silly sex scene in these movies and I’m glad they never went that route. There’s some nice hints about the future world “Logan” occupies. 2029 isn’t too far fetched, but it’s also just different enough. Things feel more lawless.

In the past I’ve said that it might be a strength that the mutants of Marvel have been kept away from the rest of the universe. There’s such a diverse and large number of characters from the X-Men books that they can support their entire own reality filled with super heroes in a world where genetic mutation gives someone control over the weather or portals in their eyes leading to a dimension filled with beams of concussive force.

For the first time that separation from actual Marvel hurt this movie. The world felt smaller when just mutants had been in it than the one in the Old Man Logan book. A lot of the references to Spider-Man or the parts with an older more grizzled Hawkeye would have been awesome to see, but Fox doesn’t have those properties and really it’s no one’s fault but their own. Fox is the one keeping themselves from a Sony like deal with Marvel and Disney and a chance to basically print money.

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And these things might not seem like they affect the movie, but they really do. The movie is technically good and there’s a real emotional center to all of it, but it feels weaker because they had to lean on the X-23 storyline and only on the X-Men storyline in general. When I heard they were doing an Old Man Logan style story I got really excited, but then got really sad that we couldn’t see a lot of the wonderful things.

This is one of those case where a movie really didn’t suck by any stretch and was a good watch, but it feels like it wasn’t as good as everyone has been saying it is. Honestly the X-Men series has been so wishy washy that anything this tightly plotted and competently written looks like the fucking “Magnificent Ambersons”.

Don’t think that I’m telling you to stay home or this isn’t worth it, I’m just saying not to get your hopes up too high. It’s a good movie, but it’s not surprising. X-Men had the potential to be at this level for a long time and we have Fox to thank for it not being that way.

“Get Out” Reviewed

This is spoilers light if there’s any at all. I’m mostly going to discuss my feelings about the film, the movie going experience, and the subject matter as it relates to me.

Let me pain the picture: I am running late getting my ticket because it’s raining and the only reliably fun thing to do in this city when it rains is watch a movie. San Antonio is a city built for the outdoors. The Riverwalk, outdoor malls, the downtown market area, Mexican restaurants with patio seating…

It’s our bread and butter. Even then I thought that the crowds would be seeing Logan on it’s opening weekend, but no my theater was almost sold out. I bought one of the last four seats.

Given the obvious racial overtones of the movie I expected it to be mostly black and Hispanic, but the movie was mostly a white audience. I set next to a guy who was about as good ol country boy as they come and his black girlfriend. It was a strange feeling and with the anxiety creeping back in lately I didn’t want to be in a theater full of people to begin with.

I stuck it out and the first thing I will say about this movie directly is that it’s a strange feeling to have your experiences translated to the screen in such a relatable manner. Black people and white people may work in the same buildings and share the same streets and businesses or even neighborhoods, but there’s a certain level of segregation that goes on even today. This creates situations where people don’t know how to act around other races in casual settings. It’s not always the case, but it happens.

And if you’re the only black person at a party or function you can feel like you’re on display. If you’re dating a white woman (or really any woman of another race) it’s a conversation that might come up before you meet their family or friends: “Do they know I’m black?”

Sure, the most organic way to bring this up would be a picture of the two of you. But when you open the door and let it be known you’re dating outside your race you open the door to strange shit. People warning you of things to look out for and offering up all kinds of advice that you honestly didn’t ask for.

Another strange thing that happens sometimes when you’re black around a group of white people who aren’t used to it is they’ll bend over backwards to try and prove how not racist they are. They’d vote for Obama for a third term if they could. They’re jealous of how powerful and beautiful Serena Williams is. Then they’re name dropping black artists or actors or telling you how  articulate you are.

These things aren’t malicious, at least not in the sense of intention, but they still make you feel bad and uncomfortable. They still make you feel like you don’t belong.

“Get Out” frames all of this in that sense. You feel Chris’s status as an outsider from the moment that he arrives. You have to sit through the award dinner conversation about the athleticism of the black body or hear someone wax on about how their father did so much to help blacks in the past.

And that’s the thing, in the later stages “Get Out” makes a great little bit of horror, but the early part of the film sets up the feeling of alienation and it’s shocking how well it’s done and how you could feel the dread in the entire audience.

Movies like this are important. I told a friend over the phone that I had seen movies about racism from a black perspective before  and I had seen black genre movies before, but the two are usually separate. Anything about racism is set in a historical context of slavery or some overwhelming sense of self-determination to overcome adversity. They’re never just set in just suburbia and the few that might be out there weren’t this well polished.

Media plays an important part in normalizing behavior and what people expect. There’s a lot of important stories out there that need to be told. Last year when Donald Glover’s new show “Atlanta” was set to premier he said that he had hired all black writers for the show because there was more to the black experience in America than most people had ever seen on television and that it might surprise people. I don’t know if you have to separate out the writers, but you have to be willing to listen to the experience of others and take them as valid.

And I’d say with the clapping at the end of this movie people did just that.

Outline Time

I’ve always considered outlines to be kind of artificial.

There was this glorious, wondrous idea in my head of what a real writer should be and how they should strive to preserve their vision in its purest form. It sounds like some kind of romantic period ideal when I write it out like that, but I felt that outlines boxed a writer into a set of events that might need to be changed to better fit the story.

They weren’t something bad writers did as much as they were cheating, at least in my mind.

Now without much development on the writing front I’ve started to watch a lot of videos and read a lot about other writer’s methods and Jenna Moreci said something in one of her videos that stuck with me: writer’s that outline should plan their story back to front. Start with the ending and you’ll know what leads to where. If you work on the characters in conjunction with the actual outline there’ll be less chance of you needed to make up stuff on the fly when you’re actually writing and less chance of writer’s block.

My ending is something that’s worried me. I’ve never been good at endings, though when I come up with something it fits so well. Problem is that I go back and edit all over the place to shape the story around it.

How much editing do I do? Well, my last completed novel ended up shedding three whole chapters when I went back and edited. I read three whole chapters and realized that the problem created and solved in the space of thirty double-spaced pages could be dropped with no consequence to the rest of the book.

That’s exactly the kind of thing that an outline would protect against.

The problem becomes how to even do an outline. I have bits of a story written, some of it out of order and all of it related. I need to outline the parts in between and see what still needs to stay. Outlines are something I never learned to do because even in school the teachers realized that I could keep my ideas straight and in order for five to twenty pages, but when we’re talking about two to three hundred pages things get a little harder.

So this is where we are: I have to learn how to construct an outline and plan a concrete ending. I have the idea of an ending, but I need something thematically fitting and something the events around my story build to. If I find that the events I have planned out or written out don’t fit that theme I have to cut them or repurpose them for a later project.

It’s time to get brutal with it and stop letting “I can’t” be an excuse. I would suggest that anyone who hasn’t checked her out, give Jenna Moreci a glance. Also, if you do outline any tips are welcome.

It’s Time to Stop Ignoring Our Problems

San Antonio can’t seem to decide what season it is. At a time when we should be feeling the first bits of Spring it feels like late October. The birds came back seemingly too early and people are wearing gloves, knitted caps, and long jackets.

Central and South Texas are a little dramatic when it comes to the cold and we really didn’t have time to adjust to any one kind of temperature this year. The thermostat has been all over the place–we saw the nineties in February and then that same week saw it dip into the forties. It’s inconsistent and frustrating.

And it seems to me that anyone watching would immediately see this as a sign that something is changing. People love to say it’s the volatile Texas weather, but it didn’t used to be. From about 2005 until 2013 it basically didn’t rain in this city and when I lived here last time in the early 2000s it was warm and dry or cool and dry most of the year. I remember seeing a heavy severe rain once. This past six months we’ve had very rain, hail and tornadoes.

I remember that this city seemed to have the most stagnant, predictable weather and now it doesn’t. We see unseasonable rain in California and an Oklahoma so dry the ground burns and more of those so called ‘one hundred year floods’.

Climate change used to seem like the kind of thing that we needed to study more, to me at least. I was skeptical of it, though I’m not a scientist by any stretch. Now we can see the changes and it’s probably too late or almost too late to really do anything but lessen the extent of the long term damage.

You can say that the whole climate change thing is cooked up by the Chinese or made up to make some money for the ‘clean energy industry’, but one of those doesn’t make sense and the other ignores that more powerful industries stand to benefit from lying about clean energy. We saw claims that the Prius was more harmful to the environment than a Hummer even though there’s no real source of that proof besides a right leaning British newspaper. There are the claims that there’s such a thing as clean coal, when we shouldn’t even be looking at something as primitive as coal when we have the sun and the wind. And there was some advertisement that the sun could go out or the wind could stop…well if that happens we’re all fucked anyway.

All you need to know is it was in the sixties in Antartica and it’s still technically Winter. You can’t make that shit up.

 

Pornography is Media too and it doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

A woman who has her reputation built in the pornography and sex industry has come out in support some troubling things. Jenna Jameson, who had earlier backed Trump, defended the KKK and spoke out about the “Muslim rape gangs overrunning Sweden” on Twitter.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with selling sex, pornography, or even prostitution in theory–but there seems to be a long history of people exploiting women rather than empowering them in these industries and in the case of porn, there’s a long history of racism, in fact there’s enough of it that it’s probably the only thing you can Google with the word “porn” in it and not find actual porn on the first page. Here’s another link for the sake of having it here.

 

No one should be saying that she doesn’t have the right to an opinion. I don’t believe in the argument against celebrities stepping into the limelight to voice their problem with something in the country. After all, they’re citizens the same way we are, the things that plague our country affect them and their children and families.

The issue I have with this is it all seems kind of odd what she’s defending. The KKK, the extremist wings of the Christian Right, the Alt-Right and their band of Neo-Nazis propped up by the likes of Breitbart are the same people who claim women don’t have a voice or claim that women are worthless. Remember that there was some claim that women voting was part of the problem when it looked to most people like Trump was going to lose.

I don’t think that it’s a hard line connecting the racism of the sex industry with the racism of one of it’s workers. Every person in an organization doesn’t have to subscribe to the tenants of where they work. But doesn’t it feel odd that one of the favorite insults of the Alt-Right Gamer Gate types has it’s roots in porn where a white man watches as his wife is taken and used by a black man (we’re talking about the word “cuck” here)? Doesn’t it feel like something is up when the men who label porn online can’t seem to stop referring to the women as sluts, whores, cunts, or whatever else long enough to write a title?

We talk about attitudes about race being affected by the entertainment we intake. Minorities being normalized by appearing in normal roles in television shows and movies and books. Movies still get blasted when they change the race of a character in a way that might be perceived as more “PC” or even when roles are written from scratch and cast with minorities in mind.

These things aren’t brought up in reference to pornography though. The advent of the internet brought with it the unexpected golden age of porn. Where someone fifteen years older than me grew up hiding crinkled images stolen from an old magazine in a lock box a teen in the early 2000s  could find a treasure trove of pictures just by typing a misspelled “pussie” into his search bar. There is already talk about what that does to a kid sexually, but what about what it adds to their view of other races and sex?

Look at the front page of a porn site’s long list of categories. Click through some even. It’s hard to find a video of someone black having sex where their blackness isn’t what the video uses as a selling point. The same can be said about other types of people too. Everyone is broken down by category. Blondes. Redheads. Chubby. MILF. But finding a black couple is like finding a four leafed clover and when your view of sex and relationships is shaped partially by porn from a young age (which it shouldn’t be in the first place) everything in porn is telling you “these people aren’t the norm”.

Now, does this shit doesn’t really matter? The good porn is on Tumblr or Reddit anyway and it’s made by regular people who are brave enough to put themselves out there, not an industry that’s breaking everyone down into categories…but then what about this generation? The one right now. People younger than thirty-five and in middle-class America grew up on this. Shaved genitals have become such a big thing that crabs are almost gone and that came about around the time the internet showed us that women are supposed to look like Barbie Dolls down there. Porn might even be changing how we feel about sex.

If it can do all that, why would we say it can’t have an affect on the kind of couples we see as normal? Why does it matter that a woman with more than 35 Adult Video Awards to her name is saying racist shit on Twitter? We don’t exist in a vacuum and, like it or not, the things we intake do have some effect on us. Did porn make Jenna Jameson racist? I can’t say one way or another. But being told that you’re more valuable than someone as a performer because of their color of your skin seems like it is the kind of thing that might start to sink in after a while.