Monday, October 10, 2005

One Step Ahead of Hollywood

A team of Australian medical researchers have conclued that Hollywood fails to show the negative consequences of sex and drug use. Out of the 87 films included in the study, only Pretty Woman included a reference to birth control or STD prevention. Actually, that condom scene sticks out in my mind, because it was painfully cheesey (even in the context of that movie), and incongruous--like it was added in a later draft by someone with a social conscience, but had nothing to do with the plot of the film.

On one hand, it is amazing that scientists get research money not just to watch Hollywood movies, but also to verify the patently obvious.

On the other hand, the authors of conclude that "there is convincing evidence that the entertainment media influences behaviour," and therefore "the motion picture industry should be encouraged to depict safer sex practices and the real consequences of unprotected sex and illicit drug use."

Note that their conclusion is not that Hollywood should be regulated or constrained, but rather, encouraged. I'd be very happy with that. When I watch older movies I am always shocked to see people smoking--which I'm no longer accustomed to seeing in real life or in films. Hollywood managed to cut down on-screen smoking all by themselves--no reason they can't at least take STD-prevention seriously. And, the way Hollywood whores itself out for product placement revenues, there's no reason why they can't strike lucrative deals with Trojan and friends to make it worth their while.

I am also pleased to announce that for some years now I have been leagues ahead of Hollywood on this score.

I have always had extremely vivid dreams. My dreams are sometimes so intense I remember them for years afterwards. I also dream entire narratives (usually of the horror genre--my subconscious makes Stephen King look like Beatrix Potter), which my husband and family, among others, have encourged me to write up as screenplays.

In college, I started a pattern of having "safety first dreams." Every time I had a dream about fooling around with a guy, just as things were starting to get hot and heavy, I'd suddenly explain to the lothario in question that before we could proceed, we'd have to get a condom. And then, the dream would turn into The Great Scavenger Hunt, and we'd be looking all over for condoms for the rest of the dream. (Raw deal, huh?)

Somehow I don't think Hollywood wants these dreams as screenplays. But if they want my help, they can just leave a coment on the blog.

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