Cindy Sherman, Untitled 255, via cindysherman.com
- Paul Hasegawa-Overacker felt his identity was subsumed when dating artist Cindy Sherman, and made a documentary that tackles this subject and more titled Guest of Cindy Sherman. It’s a fascinating story line, though not with out note, that it’s mostly the gender reversal that makes it interesting. Typically women dating famous men don’t break up with them — they’re happy for their success. Of course, this issue is more complicated than I’ve made it out to be since it’s also much more socially acceptable for a woman to take the less dominant role. An interview with Paul H-O at Salon.
- Of all the controversy Grand Theft Auto IV seems to inspire, I’m surprised I haven’t read more from Serbians upset about the portrayal of the main character, as a Serbian immigrant, assassin, prostitute fucker and murderer, and just all around asshole. The debate that has thus far inspired the largest Wikipedia entry began in September 2007, when Jack Thompson filed a suit against Grand Theft Auto IV, claiming that the assassination target of a mission in the game was a lawyer character based on himself. It’s possible he had a point — the man had previously campaigned against other Grand Theft Auto games, and had stated he would take various measures to prevent the sale of the game by Rockstar to minors — though the court didn’t think so, and the man has been barred from suing to block the sale or distribution of any future games published by Take-Two or any of its subsidiaries.
If you get through the trailer you will notice that not only are the sex scenes very real looking, most of the women are killed shortly after forcibly performing sex acts. So, many young men are going to have their first (or already have, as this is not new content for GTA) sexual experiences via GTA and then they are going to kill the women they are sleeping with. The implications of that are mind-blowing. It is no question that GTA is merely reflective of the bigger misogyny embedded in capitalist patriarchy, but the question is why is a game that depicts such violence towards women so popular? How is that acceptable?
- I haven’t played the game, so I can’t speak to how it compares to the last, but from a youtube video originally circulated by Ladies of Liberty City (no longer available) there’s no disputing that the game isn’t full of warm fussy feelings towards women. Admittedly, I’m slightly relieved to be more or less disinterested in the aesthetics of the game due to the problematics of the game itself.
- In other unrelated non art stories, I’m vaguely disturbed by the amount of woman hating permeating celebrity blogs lately. In as much I read about how good Madonna looks for her age, there’s almost always someone who’s creeped out by the fact that she’s almost 50, so any amount of sexuality she exhibits is therefore inappropriate. As annoying a personality as she may be, I’m happy that she continues to control the way in which her body is used to promote music sales. Just because you’re 50 doesn’t mean you’re dead.