Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Gods Must be Crazy: Globalization and the American Adult Film Industry

As I prepped for my interview with Nica Noelle last week, I watched some documentaries on the adult film business and caught up on some related reading about the subject.

In doing so, I finally watched the BBC's much discussed documentary Hardcore Profits about the global economy that is the adult film industry. I love to be surprised. While I am initially embarrassed at having one's ignorance revealed--as opposed to willful stupidity, two very different states of emotional being--I embrace it. Life is good when you are made to realize how much more there is to learn.

As a post-industrial service economy, America primarily exports culture and ideas. For whatever reason, I had overlooked how pornography would likely be central in that economy. Duh. Color me stupid.

This segment of Hardcore Profits calls forth a mix of emotions. On one hand, I cannot help but to laugh and snicker at the prospect of the local American porn monger showing up on a moped and selling his wares in a rural sub-Saharan or other "traditional" community. The brothers all gather in a hut and watch a bunch of gonzo-style American porn which both titillates and fuels their dreams of the faux good life that is America. The roads may not be lined with gold, but the heterosexual male gaze of gigantic penises and ever willing and impossible to satisfy women dominates all things. 

Thus the question: where is the XXX version of The God's Must be Crazy?

Ultimately, after watching Hardcore Profits, the most troubling take away in my eyes is how extreme porn may either be 1) encouraging sexual violence against women in Africa and 2) reinforcing a broader rape culture ethos both in the United States and elsewhere. 

And of course, there are poor young men want to find work from wherever they may or however they can. Some brothers try to leverage Heading South, others write a letter with the desperate hope that a fairy porn godfather/mother will pluck them from obscurity and up into fame. Some just hustle on the street corner.

Wherever you may live, poverty sucks; poverty also breeds desperation.


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Paul Sunstone said...

Porn seems to me an easy thing to be fooled by in part because it has changed so much in such a short time. It's begun to dawn on me that today's porn isn't what I grew up with -- or even what I knew just a few years ago. Instead, much of it seems to have taken violence, objectification, and misogyny to a whole new level. I once felt secure in my belief there was nothing wrong with what consenting adults wanted to do to each other in front of a camera. But how true can that be when what they do fuels a rape culture?

chauncey devega said...

Check out the whole documentary. We are not in Kansas anymore brother.

colt said...

why is that, everytime a white media show or speak about any country in Africa, it has always to be some remote poor village, that nobody has even heard about in the land, filled with laughing extra dark sambos? really sick of this racism