Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Last Seduction, DVD Review

I can't say enough about this film.
It is my favorite. It's such a favorite film of mine that when I came to New York and didn't have a "drink" when going to bars, I ordered a Manhattan like Bridgette and to this day I still drink it.

 What makes this film so good to me is one, she's smart and two she doesn't pull back. It would've been easy to have her chicken out and go good girl at the end. But Bridgette  has her eyes on the prize from beginning to end. Whether you consider her the Devil or a tarnished angel she doesn't stop.
Also she thinks.
It’s so wonderful to see someone sit down and have to figure out a problem, to have to plot a manipulation, to leap at opportunities that may mean nothing and MAKE them mean something.
I like the fact that she plays every card in the deck: sex, homophobia, lust, and race, anything it takes to in a sense stay alive.

Now this may seem like a thoroughly evil person but there points in this film where Bridgette  does "crack" or try to really be herself. There's the one where Mike asks who she is, what she's doing and she tries to explain to him about her husband and the money while playing pool. He doesn't take her seriously. For two reasons, he doesn't think she's that smart or capable and he can't fathom himself doing it either. One thing I've learned is that the smarter you see yourself. The more capable you feel about yourself the easier it is to understand others even if their goals and methods are opposed to your own. It takes smarts to see smarts.

There's also the point where Bridgette  has been forced to fake the accident with the private investigator. Before she leaves and is caught, she tries to have Mike comfort her, to really listen to her. But two things have happened. She's played the game so well that her sincerity comes across as false and two; he doesn't want someone without secrets. Who doesn't have the upper hand? Some people are drawn to being destroyed by others because it validates their existence. If someone would take the time to destroy you it means that you exist, that you have meaning. But Bridget does crack here, she's ready to fess up and be with Mike as an equal and he blows her off to play hockey. Her voice even cracks and in some ways we can see how Bridgette  is the way she is because no one is a race horse like she is. That she is tougher because the disappointment of others has made her tough to begin with. That honest emotion I can relate to and it's why I like Bridgette   If she was just uncaringly evil, she'd be no fun but you understand why Bridgette  is the way she is if you look at when she lets her defenses down.

Above all else she is the consummate chess player, understanding that the game is never to the pieces your playing with but to destroying the other side. Being cut off from running because of her husband's debts and her desire NOT to run has boxed her in into not so much fighting in the way that men or women perceive fighting but the way thinkers do. A thinker knows that everything and everybody is a weapon or a defense in a fight. That each word is a calculation, that each action should mean or be about something and seeing that ability on screen is what makes this film on my top 3 favorite films of my entire life.

And I've seen tooooooooooooo many movies to say that lightly. Another film on that short list is Fresh.

Thank you for reading,
Kyle Phoenix
Email: kylephoenixshow@aol.com
Website: http://kylephoenixsite.com/
Blog: http://kylephoenixshow.blogspot.com/2012
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Friday, December 2, 2011

Are Strippers, Porn Stars, Lap Dancers, Escorts Exploited?: Black, White, Puerto Rican---Is Everyone Justa Freakin'?

Here in the big bad ( and badddd) city of NYC the trend has gone from bars, lounges and dance clubs to the push to be more...attractive. Attractive to a greater clientele and sometimes a younger and older clientele. The clothes have come off. Throughout the city, all five boroughs the clothes have come off----male and female. Now whether that's right or wrong I'm not going to morally go at but what I am going to look at is the question/statement that runs through my head when I'm in clubs watching people do this:

"If he/she knew Microsoft Office Word they wouldn't be doing this"

I teach at a university and a variety of other projects around the city, particularly focusing on adult education so a lot of my students/mentees are in their 20s and early 30s. This tends to be the most trying, difficult time of a younger persons life as they are (hopefully) advancing their education but still need to work and support themselves. Younger people may be more appearance driven so they tend to be a larger demographic of those who work out, their metabolisms are faster so they tend not to be as out of shape and most importantly they are still developing their moral, social and self esteem cores. All of these factors make them available to using what they have, shaking their moneymakers, swinging on the pole for all they're worth. Which I would defend they have a right to do with their bodies as they will, when legally over the age of 18.

However, does it work out? And frighteningly enough, are the more exploited Black and Latino?

Dancer: 80% or More Under Educated

The potential progression looks like this: you need to make some extra cash. You're reasonably cute: You're willing to be near to total nude and will allow varying degrees of touching to occur upon your body for money. You do a little dance, make a little noise and get down one night. You walk out with a fist full of dollars for a few hours work and that's intoxicating to anyone, particularly to someone who might be in a financial bind. You go back. A one time lark turns into a scheduled work assignment, the money is initially good. However the very nature of any capitalistic project/business is that the Demand will change the Supply to not only be present but also innovate and have some sort of variety. The Dancer (male or female, I want to be fair about this) has then to innovate their act/their appearance or farm themselves out to more clubs or take what they can get. The problem with all of these alternatives is that it requires a level of sophisticated innovative thinking. And politely speaking, the innovators are the smallest percentage of the Dancers, as the innovators would naturally graduate to bigger and better things. The business is therefore full of predominantly, 80% or higher, under educated Work Horses. Logically speaking the more educated you are the less forms of degradation/exploitation you will put up with as you have the capacity to discern exploitation and make a plan or a stand to remove yourself from it in a shorter span of time.  The ones left behind need to eat/survive.

Dancer Becomes an Escort

Now your Work Horses have less options. They tend to not have an advanced or complete basic education (GED/high school degree) so they have learned perhaps survival skills but not critical thinking and divergent thinking that allows for innovation. But the money is still good. Somewhere in here the two other options come in---Porn or Escorting. Which comes first depends on the individual. Someone tips you $20 or more consistently and they're nice to you, they're reasonably attractive, they offer money for a private lap dance, they offer more money for a "date" and boom you're an "Escort". (Note: I'm using the term Escort purposefully rather than prostitute as a prostitute may be picked up in random spots in public and an escort is making a "date" appointment. You might think the discernment is silly but those who do this work are very specific. Also escorts tend to be paid more.) As an Escort you're being paid $200 or more an hour, comparable or even more than stripping/dancing and perhaps you're young enough or needy enough or intoxicated enough to need the money, to enjoy the sex, to want the intimacy, to actually like your date.

Dancer Becomes Porn Star
Going from a Work Horse dancer to Pornography is similar to becoming an Escort except that maybe the date is to bring you into a company/camp where you'll be part of scene or two (average pay is $200 to 500 a scene). Again you're in the bind of perhaps liking it, needing the money, making an assured amount instead of the maybe amount as a dancer (maybe the patronage will like you and tip you the equivalent). The contracts that Porn stars must sign in order to get paid and the conditions which they live/work under will shock you! No, really, it will ruin how you might view your favorite porn.

Exploitation and Risk

Under-educated men and women have nothing but their bodies to offer in exchange for survival. They are controlled by several multi-billion dollar industries/vehicles that in no way give revenue back on their talent (Bars, Porn/Video companies, Dates/Johns). And what we must throw in to the mix is that all industries, particularly in Western civilization, are influenced by racism and misogyny and to some degree misandry---so the Black & Latino people, male and female in this are often paid less and asked/demanded to do more. For instance being in pornography scenes that are mandatory bare-backing (non-condom) sex scenes.

Facts and Figures

---Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino communities have been disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS in America.

---In 2009 the highest percentage of new HIV diagnoses were among those aged 40-44 years.

---The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publish HIV statistics for 40 states and 5 dependent areas with confidential name-based HIV infection reporting. AIDS statistics include all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as the 5 dependent areas.

---Blacks/African Americans accounted for half of all new HIV diagnoses and just under half of new AIDS diagnoses in 2009. Of the total number of people living with an HIV diagnosis in 2008 in the 40 U.S. states and 5 dependent areas, 46% were black/African American; 31.6% white; 20% Hispanic/Latino; 1.3% multiple races; 0.6% Asian; 0.4% American Indian/Alaska Native; and 0.04% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander.

---Among men diagnosed with AIDS in 2009, 56% of black/African American men, 65% of Hispanic/Latino men and 79% of white men became infected with HIV through male-to-male sexual contact. Among women diagnosed with AIDS in 2009, 78% of black/African American women, 75% of Hispanic/Latino women and 68% of white women became infected through heterosexual contact.

Back to Basics:

We can see from above statistics the impact, the devastating impact and so this leads me back to my question: "If he/she knew Microsoft Office Word they wouldn't be doing this"

We'll tackle that in Part 2 of this article.

Thank you, I look forward to your emails and comments. And as always check your local listings for The Kyle Phoenix Show broadcast times in NYC. You can always find more information about me, topics and tips on relationships, finance and life strategies on http://kylephoenixsite.com/