Monday, August 1, 2011

Sexploitation


I haven't ranted in a while, and since July registered alarmingly LOW viewership on Wood's Stock I get the impression that I need to break up the reviews with a few cans of crazy out of my deranged mind.

Last month I went to a concert downtown. It was the quintessential free outdoor summer-time show that bleeds Americana. I hadn't been to a concert yet so I figured that as unimpressive as the roster sounded (Allred, really? Why do we as consumers allow this person to continue performing?) I'd throw on some flip flops and a t-shirt and go get my summertime on.

I should've stayed home.

Besides the fact that the talent was utterly forgettable, I realized soon after arriving that the event was being hosted by Fight The New Drug.

For those of you who haven't spent a lot of time around predominantly LDS college campuses in Utah, FTND is a anti-pornography club who's mission is to "raise awareness" about the dangers of pornography.

I remember a marketing class I had once where we were all assigned into groups and given the task of raising $1,000 for charity. We had to turn in mission statements and my professor said that if anyone stated their mission as "raising awareness" he would fail us on the spot. Rightly so.

"Raising Awareness" is one of those good sounding yet innocuous phrases that actually mean nothing. As my professor pointed out, it is an un-quantifiable goal. Unless you plan on going door-to-door both before and after your project/event to quiz everyday citizens on their awareness of a particular group/topic there's no way of knowing if you were successful.

Which brings me back to FTND. They don't care that their battle is un-winnable because they have no intention of actually winning a battle. Between acts a group of 7 20-something men came out on stage and shouted into a microphone "I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH PORNOGRAPHY" (intended as a pun, not a confession. They have a "problem" with it, get it?) amid a chorus of cheers from a mostly female crowd.

It was a pure exercise in futility. What's more, it was one of the most blatant displays of a desired ego massage that I've ever seen. Here you had 7 unremarkable men who's primary skill set involve the ability to attend classes on time with 17,000 peers and how to make a symmetric faux-hawk using OTC hair product. These men had never been cheered, and yet here they were receiving the adulation of 3,000 people simply by putting on a club t-shirt and standing on stage, declaring themselves "better" than the New Drug.

I'm sure somewhere in the crowd were 7 girls, brought to the event as dates, who were lucky enough to see their men taking a stand against a multi-billion dollar industry that degrades women and brings out the prurient instincts of men.

It's a ploy for attention, pure and simple.

Standing in front of 3,000 Mormons and saying "Pornography Sucks" is the Cause-al equivalent of taking candy from a baby. It's the same as holding an event where the message is "Cancer Sucks," or "We hate racism," or "Democracy is good."

They weren't raising money for an anti-pornography campaign. They weren't rallying behind a politician who had pledged to destroy the porn industry. They were merely putting on a pair of skinny jeans, spritzing some cologne and screaming "HEY, PORN IS BAD" to a crowd made up of some of the most conservative youth in the country.

So, FTND club, thank you for a forgettable evening and forgive me if your useless attempts made little to no effect on my level of "awareness." Try actually DOING something next time.

6 comments:

  1. It's like having your campaign slogan for student body president at a university be "Students First" Unfortunately for our world, pretentious douche-bags think alike. Maybe next time their featured musician will be Travis Chambers.

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  2. i get the point now that i read it. at first i thought you were belittling people who think porn is bad. it was these bone-headed "20 somethings" however, that were doing just that... some people have no idea what they're doing....

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  3. I have the same sentiments about "raising awareness." I've heard that a lot with cancer... like there are people out there who don't know about it?

    Haven't heard about FTND... guess that is what being outside Utah will do.

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  4. "how to make a symmetric faux-hawk using OTC hair product." haha! I quite enjoyed this.

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  5. I don't know why you think it is necessary to put down good men with noble intentions. There could be nothing further from the truth when you say they are doing this as a "ploy for attention".

    Maybe their approach isn't perfect and their marketing needs some help, but they are trying to educate people on the scientifically proven damage that pornography does to the brain.

    Instead of attacking them why don't you provide your professional expertise to help improve the organization?

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  6. I've never heard of the club - but your post did make me laugh. V and I were having this conversation the other day watching runners sweat it out with "cancer awareness" t-shirts. Are they really helping to cure cancer? Good for them. Cancer does suck. So does porn. It does seem like there's a better way though. (Hmm, I feel I should add as my own rebuttle that I think sometimes those races use the entry fees for cancer research.) :)

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