Monday, February 23, 2009

TPoP L.A. Return by Invitation Only

Well, it turned out pretty much like I called it. Today Nina made voice contact with the indivdual at U.S.C. here in Los Angeles who is coordinating the 2/26 showing of The Price of Pleasure and was told that this showing would be for "faculty, staff and students only" and thus closed to the general public. The voice on the phone declined to divulge the physical location at which the screening would take place.

Clearly, there are some people Professors Sun and Jensen and their cronies don't want to meet face to face. I'm shocked, shocked I say! After they've shown such ethical regard for the rights and concerns of those who appear in their masterpiece of documentary objectivity, I'm positively gob-smacked that they would go into hiding at the prospect of encountering these individuals in person. How could this be?

Are the makers of this film, as it turns out, cowards as well as liars? If not, why their reluctance to have it widely seen in the very locus of the industry it claims to expose? One would think this would be the venue in which the producers would want to make their case the most fervently. They were certainly nervy enough when it came to trucking their cameras around the floor of the AEE in Vegas, hounding performers who were trying to work and promising to tell their side of the story. Of course, in that situation, it was the producers who were asking the questions.

Clearlly, when they're the ones whose actions are being "questioned" and "examined," well, that's quite a different matter.

Anyone who believes in his or her creative work stands behind it, even in the face resistance. What does it say about the motives, methods and character of these flimmakers that they batten down the hatches merely at the prospect of being confronted by a handful of angry women in the same age group as the invited students who feel they were exploited and misused in the making of this project?

Nothing good. In trying to shame all of us, they seem to have been more effective at shaming themselves, both in the content of their cinematic smear-job and in the behavior they've exhbited while trying to ensure it's viewed only by those already sympathetic to its one-note message.


  1. "Gonna take my problem to the United Nations":

    (From TPoP Screenings page)
    New York City, NY
    03.06.09, Friday
    4-6 pm
    United Nation
    Commision on the Status of Women

  2. I do wonder what the behind the scenes rationalization of excluding the adult business - and anyone else - is.

  3. That is really scary that they're showing it at the UN Commission on the Status of Women. It shows how important it is to speak out against these people because theirs is currently the message that people in high places want to hear.

  4. In a lot of ways, this is typical of the tactics the anti-porn movement, at least its "progressive academic" wing, have been using for a while. They're trying to reach people in academia, some college students who are on that path, politicians, NGOs, etc, law enforcement, social workers, basically, people with power who either haven't had much exposure to the issue or lean toward their views. And avoid like the plague any real discussion or debate, especially with people who are actually in the sex industry and could address their accusations first hand. (Obviously, there are exceptions, like that womens' studies prof who came out for a civil debate with Ren and Jill Brenneman.)

    Basically, they're trying to get legislation and social policy by making an end run around the democratic process.

    On a similar topic, and something I've been meaning to post about, there's an annual conference sponsored by the British Academy on pornography legislation. The first of these was last year, the second one is coming up. As one might suspect, most of the presentations are by anti-porn academics, notably Gail Dines:


  5. I guess we should've expected that. Maybe by some chance there will be allies who are also USC students?

    I can't believe they're going to the UN with that crap. At least that body doesn't seem to be as irrationally reactionary as US authorities. Didn't Bi-Kan Moon come out in the support of legalization and/or decrim? Or did I dream that?

  6. Oh, but did I not call it right, or what??

    The old saying holds true again: when you can't handle the message, shoot the messenger...or change the venue so that you don't have to deal with the messenger.

    And of course, they want a hearing with the better to legitimize their message of porn censorship and their attempt to attach themselves onto the "sex trafficking" panic by making themselves seem progressive.

    Yeah..."unbiased and objective". In the same way that Fixed Noise is "fair and balanced". And the same way that Bill O'Reilly is a journalist.

    There are progressives at USC who can crash this party...right???


  7. Is there a USC student or faculty member willing to to to this "secret showing" and confront these cowards??

  8. "In a lot of ways, this is typical of the tactics the anti-porn movement, at least its "progressive academic" wing, have been using for a while. They're trying to reach people in academia, some college students who are on that path, politicians, NGOs, etc, law enforcement, social workers, basically, people with power who either haven't had much exposure to the issue or lean toward their views."

    This right here is my real concern. TPoP isn't meant for the likes of us, or even for the general public, in which its producers have no faith, brainwashed as everyone but themselves is by The Patriarchy.

    The clear intent of this project and its highly selective marketing campaign is to target present and future policy makers with the broad agenda of influencing them to support the kind of idiotic restraints on sex commerce currently being crammed down the throats of Europeans. That's why the skewed "reasoning" of this piece of crude agitprop must be called out wherever it shows up, because it shows up in places where it can do real harm to any rational consideration of the issues it claims to address.

    That it has made it all the way to the U.N. is yet another example of the effectiveness of the radfem anti-porn brigades targeted propaganda strategy. Of course, let's not forget that, as Gail Dines shrilly insists, her side of the debate has been "totally silenced! Totally!"

    Yeah, right, if you don't count those university screenings, op-ed pieces in major newspapers, Fox News talkfests and now a showing for some folks a the U.N.

    Their message is getting out. It's our message that isn't being heard, and we have ourselves to blame for that to the degree that in the current political climate few defenders of sexually explicit speech are willing to insist on their share of microphone time.

    That old adage about a lie traveling half way around the world before truth can get its boots on applies here. The sensationalized claptrap of TPoP is a much easier sell than the complex arguments for freedom of speech that necessarily must appeal to reason over shocked indignation.

    Do I think anyone in that U.S.C. classroom will rise to challenge the blatant lies and devious tactics of TPoP and its creators? Could happen. Will that isolated individual stand a chance against the orchestrated harangues to which he or she will be subjected in a stacked house? Doubtful.

    We're going to have to do better at making our case independent of challenging theirs, though that task is also necessary. Right now, the other side has the floor and we need to take it back from them if we want those not directly involved in making or consuming porn to give our views a fair hearing.

    That is, unless we care to go the direction of the E.C. countries where radfem extremism is currently vogueish. Let's not forget that our current administration, of which many seem so enamored, is more in line with the S.D.P. governments of Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands and the U.K. than it is with traditionally libertarian liberals.

    Many of us are weary after eight years of battling the religious right and Mr. Bush's D.O.J., but the conflict ahead is just as crucial and will require resources of will and intelligence equally hard come by.

    That's why I've made a personal mission of gumming up the works for the TPoP gang. It's not just that I hate their stupid movie and the vile methods they employed in making and selling it.

    It's the agenda behind it that inspires my alarm and contempt.

  9. Ernest,

    You check out the Media Education Foundation.

    Their page on TPoP

    **Michael Kimmels praise of TPoP pretty much sums up why the film was made in the first place.

  10. Beste,

    Oh yes, I've read the increasingly candid disclosure of TPoP's true agenda on their site. It's been like a strip tease but a lot less entertaining. Little by little, all talk of a "non-judgmental" analysis of porn has melted off to reveal the steely ideology beneath the whole venture.

    I think anyone who really wants to know what this picture is all about and why it was made only needs to amble over there and read what these people and their supporters have to say about it.

  11. "Oh yes, I've read the increasingly candid disclosure of TPoP's true agenda on their site. It's been like a strip tease but a lot less entertaining."

    Thanks a lot for the mental image of a stripping Jensen, Ernest.

  12. This would seem to qualify for an old fashion sit-in.

  13. Aspasia,

    Sorry about that. Perhaps a different metaphor would have been less unappealing.

  14. Roykay,

    I think they've already considered that possibility, as they're keeping the location secret. The U.S.C. campus is huge and trying to organize a sit-in on such short notice without knowing exactly where the event is taking place is pretty daunting.

    Also, because we're talking about a private university here, they can easily throw us off the campus or have us arrested, which would make good street theater but would require getting media coverage in place before the action.

    I've organized such things in the past, and my experiences with last-minute attempts haven't been very encouraging.

    What we may do is attempt to interest some local MSM in contacting U.S.C. to ask some questions about the whole thing.

    But whatever we do, this round will essentially end in a draw. They get to show their movie to their selected crowd of true believers unchallenged by any of us.

    But they have to do it sub rosa with no publicity, a small audience and in a maximum security setting. I'm sure if they could control access to exclude critics, they'd much prefer a bigger turnout and more attention.

    Instead they have to skulk in here, unspool their reel of bullshit in secret and then slip away like the thieves in the night they are.

    They now know that if they ever attempt to con a larger group with their nonsense here in L.A., they'll have to face us and I'm betting that will never happen. These courageous crusaders are unlikely to bring their mighty word to our doorstep again.

    Thus, they demonstrate that they are gutless wonders and dishonest manipulators, which isn't exactly news, but certainly helps prove what we've been saying about them all along.

    And I'm sure this little tale will get around and someone somewhere will call them out publicly about their sleazy behavior here.

    The real question is, just what are they so afraid of?

    You can bet they'll end up having to answer that question somewhere.

  15. An article from the NYU student paper on the UN screening: link. Very one-sided.

  16. Damn...I should have thought to ask Audacia Ray whether she had seen or heard anything about the screening. She was at the UN on Friday for the Conference on Women, and she even gave a presentation to that group.