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Media Bites – Guitar Hero & Porn

September 15, 2009

This week’s Media Bites takes a look at a recent commercial for the video game Guitar Hero. The spot uses pornographer Hugh Heffner, which is a way of normalizing the pornography industry. We also look at the use of a scene from the 1983 movie Risky Business, a film that glorifies prostitution.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Rikk David permalink
    September 16, 2009 1:18 am

    You have got to be kidding me! I’m new here, having been invited by Girbe Eefsting… and the first thing I hear about from GRIID is this? With the world in the state it’s in, with the unprecedented attacks through the media on our president, with the economy on the shakiest ground imaginable, with the healthcare issue burning uncontrollably, with all that and more going on you choose to attack a couple of harmless, humorous well produced commercials?! WTF?!

    If this really does represent what GRIID is all about, please remove me from the list.

    If you really consider Hugh Heffner a pornographer we have no common ground.

    If you consider Risky Business to be a movie about endorsing prostitution, we have no common ground.

    Big Pharm, Insurance Nazis, One Sided Hate Radio, Glen Beck, gun carrying protesters… hell even the management of the venerable Grand Rapids Symphony are real problems yet you waste time on this… this… this drivel?!

    I have no idea who you (Jeff Smith) are or what you stand for but you really need to lighten up and maybe try having a sense of humor. Oh and try and get your priorities straight and then maybe you can move on to attempting to get a real life.. Sheeesh.

    Disappointed, disillusioned and disgusted, Rikk David

    ps- Actually, upon further reflection, just go ahead and remove me now. I have no business spending any time whatsoever with even more narrow minded conservative holy rollers than I already have to.

  2. Jeff Smith permalink*
    September 16, 2009 1:28 am

    Rikk, if you looked at anything else we have posted or monitored, you will see that most of our media work has been about war coverage, election coverage, watchdogging the corporate world, exposing racism, and enviromental destruction. The last Media Bites we did was about bogus health care ads that were critical of the President. Having said that, I don’t think that questioning pornographers is a waste of time, especially since pornography causes harm both in the production of it and the consumption of it. I object to the exploitation of women as much as I do the racist policies that drive US foreign policy.

    It is too bad that you jumped to such a conclusion about who we are and what we do because of one deconstructed commercial.

  3. September 16, 2009 3:38 am

    […]”especially since pornography causes harm both in the production of it and the consumption of it.”

    ALL porn producxtion? ALL porn consumpxtion? While I could agree that the exploitation inherent in any capitalist industry should be resisted, to single out sex-work (porn, prostitution) also strikes me as prudish. What, is GRIID now xtian? “Stop porn culture”?? I’ll get my freak on as I please, thank you. Improve and expand porn culture would be a better idea.

    Oh, by the way, all people have bodies and are therefore objects; complaints of “objectification” are redundant/useless (at best).

    – John

  4. Jeff Smith permalink*
    September 16, 2009 1:19 pm

    John, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I didn’t say that all production and consumption of porn causes harm, I said that harm is caused in production and consumption, both physical and psychological harm. If you wanted to explore that a bit more I would suggest you read Robert Jensen’s “Getting Off” or watch the documentary the Price of Pleasure.

    Secondly, the work that GRIID does has not singled out the sex-trade industry, rather we see it as part of a larger aspect of exploitation or oppression, whether that be of workers, people of color, immigrants, children, women or non-human life. I think that hardly qualifies us as prudes. What we try to do with our media analysis is develop a culture of critical thinking, and we always try to apply a race, class and gender analysis to the work, thus we have tackled corporations, governmental & religious institutions, militarism, white supremacy and sexism.

    GRIID has no religious affiliation and to imply that we do because we challenge the mainstreaming of a capitalist enterprise like pornography seems a bit off the mark. We certainly don’t care what you do in privacy and we are not advocating censorship, rather a critical look at the images and messages of media.

    Lastly, in response to your suggestion to improve and expand porn culture is what the porn industry is always doing and since it is a capitalist enterprise some of the US-based porn producers are going to third world countries to use their cheap labor of women and children for production. This makes complete sense from a business point of view, minimize your overhead, cut costs, and have access to a large population of economically depressed people who will do most anything to feed their families. Therefore, I find it difficult to comprehend the benefit of expanding porn culture.

  5. Vic Cabot permalink
    September 27, 2009 1:13 am

    Wow, seriously. I may not always agree with you, Jeff, but sheesh, I think you hit a couple a boys too close to home there. I wouldn’t take it too personally. I see the point of a critical eye on media, and I appreciate the concept even if the content is not always spot on with me. Keep doin’ it just like you have been, I say.

  6. September 27, 2009 6:36 pm

    Thanks Vic, appreciate the feedback. I am glad that people don;t always agree with me, plus it provides a greater opportunity for some dialogue.

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