Flaskaland
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
 
War, and sex, and rock and roll

Yesterday's news is that the war's taken over the search engines, outpacing sex and music in search queries. In the never ending news from the war zones, today's winner for bad ideas is the lad mag publisher that has taken upon itself to ship over createloads of free copies of the magazine to men in service. I can relate anything to the music industrial complex.

This reminds me of another war, back when a woman who became famous in the New York-London subset started out her career as a "model" for "men's magazines." What that might mean to some if they happened to look at those photos would vary. One person's idea of "glamor" is another person's "gross out." In her instance, she traded on her Asian appearance for cheaply produced specialty men's magazines for U.S. military personnel in Viet Nam during the war. Produced in the U.S. as a side project by a low-level editor of some skin mag like "Playboy" and distributed only in Southeast Asia, the tone of the magazine was about "Penthouse" level, the cover a military olive drab and glossy black, the rag called "Fortune Cookies." Sociologically speaking, a magazine of this sort is interesting if depressing. You know as well as I it's a jerk off rag, but aimed towards the men in service who were intrigued by Asian appearance. Not too safe to get too close to many Viet Namese women at that time aside from the officially sanctioned brothels and bars on R&R, so the mag realistically filled some kind of niche.

"It is no great matter to make a goddess into a witch or a virgin into a harlot; but to achieve the contrary, to give the humiliated dignity, to make the fallen worth coveting, for that either art or character is needed." [J. W. Goethe, 1749-1832]

When Goethe wrote that, I’m pretty sure he didn’t have people like her in mind. The rock stars she socialized with once she got a leg up were all careening badly behaved stumble bum drunks. Those were the big boys, the rich and famous ones. Everyone knows this about her, but no one mentions it because it's like reminding a German his uncle was a Nazi during the war. Just keep in mind, I regard her as the kind of woman who says, "I always have rich boyfriends." Now, she's married to a faded-from-fame musician. Nonetheless, her society speaks of her in respectful euphemisms that don't begin to provide any real depth to a person I see as a rather shallow creature, if you can see what I mean.

Two rock stars later, she got a job with a major record company, lasting all of a year there (actually that was a typical time-frame for any administrative type female who wasn't related by blood to the owner). She was physically attractive, dressed well, presented an alluring and promising appearance, and lent the atmosphere an air of the "exotic woman." Then she got a job with another. Can any of us assume she didn't give it away, because that would cheapen her wares, but that she was more than willing to be friendly with those men she recognized as influential or powerful who could aid her with advancement in her career. Imagine her in her high-priced short-length silk kimono sitting on a couch sipping a high-ticket drink waiting to dress to go out for her expense paid outing to a fancy restaurant and free access to a club for a night's entertainment, and you might have an accurate picture.

She moved around and visited a lot and already had many connections that soon would become the property of the record company.
In the big scheme, she really didn't do very much, but who among them would care? She was thought to add an aura of (some body's idea of) sophistication. These women are noticable, available, and easy to come by because they are hovering everywhere at the edges of the music business. In fact, they are always moving towards the forefront because they are encouraged to and they are not in any way reserved. They are there to be used. They’re always looking for boyfriends because the boys can help them with their agendas.

If this were your constant environment in terms of women, do you feel your own attitudes toward women would become somewhat skewed and contaminated even if you happened to step out of that reality? As a male preferring women, would you just gladly dip from the available fish in the pond? Would prolonged exposure to this environment permit you to feel free to be disrespectful of all women thinking they must all be like that, were they but “offered” the chance. Or would you try to demean them with put downs and other misogynistic remarks should they not fall into that group? In other words, what kind of person do you believe you would you become in this sort of environment? Making use of those women means you’re damaged goods, too, you know.

You people don’t know me, but like anyone else, I can be compassionate when there is a reason or extenuating circumstances. Other times, I’m as judgmental as the next and have every right to be, because in looking at others and saying “yuck-phooey, that’s an ick-shit way to go” helps me decide how I will try to behave and so who I will be. Age doesn’t matter, kids, look forward to it
as one long ongoing process.

P.S. to my Guardian Angel: Those crateloads of porn mags making their way now to the Gulf, can you make sure please they become kindling, compost, or fish food before they arrive on scene. Much bad karma in those glossy pages that shouldn't be passed on any farther.
 




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Compiling the best online articles about music so there will be more of both in the future. In periods of drought, the reader will be innundated by my own blogs on the matters.

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