Posts Tagged ‘race’

From animal liberator to animal hunter: Life and death in the Dollhouse.

Friday, April 10th, 2009 by

Crossposted from V for Vegan.

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Caution: Spoilers ahead! (More specifically, after the blockquote.)

Firstly, I’m extremely happy to report that, as promised by Ms. Dushku, Dollhouse has improved by leaps and bounds since last I blogged about it. Not only have we gotten to know Echo – our hero – a bit better, but more importantly, the show has addressed “the consent issue” head-on.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. For those who haven’t seen the show, here’s a brief summary via Wiki:

Eliza Dushku plays a young woman called Echo, a member of a group of people known as “Actives” or “Dolls”. The Dolls have had their personalities wiped clean so they can be imprinted with any number of new personas, including memory, muscle memory, skills, and language, for different assignments (referred to as engagements). The new persona is not an original creation, however, but an amalgam of different, existing personalities. The end result incorporates some of the flaws, not just the strengths, of the people used as templates. The Actives are then hired out for particular jobs – crimes, fantasies, and the occasional good deed. On engagements, Actives are monitored internally (and remotely) by Handlers. In between tasks, they are mind-wiped into a child-like state and live in a futuristic dormitory/laboratory, a hidden facility nicknamed “The Dollhouse”. The story follows Echo, who begins, in her mind-wiped state, to become self-aware.

As I noted before, the Dolls’ lack of agency in both their “wiped” and “programmed” states makes it impossible for them to give meaningful consent – for any of their actions, including sexual relations. When a doll “has sex,” she (or he) is actually being raped. Usually the rapist knows full well that he (or she) is “having sex” with a programmable “doll” – so it’s rape with intent. Occasionally, however, the “doll” is sent on a covert/undercover mission – for example, to seduce a certain FBI agent – and sex becomes a tool she (or he) uses to that end. Such cases still constitute rape, but…well, it’s hard to say who the rapist is when the “doll’s” partner believes that the encounter is consensual. The Rossum Corporation, perhaps?

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Whopper Virgins, SNL Style

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 by

Crossposted from V for Vegan.

While searching the internets for the latest “meat-as-sex” Burger King commercial (BK’s Burger Shots, natch), I stumbled upon this SNL parody of BK’s “Whopper Virgins” series. I’m fairly certain that SNL is poking fun at BK for devising such an absurd and culturally insensitive campaign, but with varying levels of success.
 


 
Take, for example, the man who tried to run away with the Whoppers: “This food could feed my village for a month!” Here, Western excess as exemplified by Burger King is the butt of the joke, as opposed to the impoverished villager himself.

Other “subjects” seem puzzled; they’ve never seen a burger before, so they’re unsure what to do with it. The “Whopper as a hat” bit is deliberately over the top, but in trying to poke fun at BK’s idiotic PR stunt, SNL also mocks (unintentionally?) “those silly foreigners.” Or perhaps SNL means to imply that the BK “researchers” are the stooges, seemingly for expecting such behavior from the uncivilized heathens to begin with?

I only wish SNL had aimed their axe at the root of the problem, namely, the conflating of “meat” with sex, and “meat”-eating with masculinity.

Your thoughts?