A Manifesto Regarding Sexually Explicit Movies and Modern Medicine – by Gary S. Smolker

Updated November 3, 2014

Our Challenge

Our challenge is to answer the following questions:

  1. What drives “demand” for sexual content in movies?
  2. Why are people so hungry to see “sex in movies”?
  3. What are the action implications, ramifications and impact of having sex, drugs, alcohol, and sexually explicit dialog and visuals in movies?  What does having those elements in a movie tell us and tell future generations about how people feel, what people want, and/or what is currently going on in the world?
  4. What are the impacts of modern medicines/movies on mental state, sex drive, creativity, human health, human conduct and relationships?
  5. What do recently released movies show us about human culture, the state of society, what is going on today and the history of mankind?
  6. Are current movies a mirror of our times?
  7. Are movies propaganda?  Are movies being used as propaganda?
  8. Are movies medicine?
  9. How do movies impact behaviors?

Consider the following possible answers:

  • People are interested in sex.
  • People like sex.
  • Sex is a basic human instinct.
  • “Having sex” is a basic human need.
  • “Sex” is a robustly marketable commodity.
  • Sex is evident in almost all behavior with regard to how all people live their lives.
  • Sex is critical to life as we know it.
  • “How would you like your sex?” is an important question to persons “selling” a product or service or ideology.

Consider the Role (Being) Played by Western Sexually Explicit Films in Provoking and Inflaming the On-Going War Being Raged by ISIS in The Middle East

Consider the social and political ramifications of sex in the movies, i.e. consider the possibility that a large population of Arab/Muslim men in the Middle East are in a constant intense rage against the depiction of sex and sexual freedoms in Western Movies because they fear that women in their countries will become “sexually liberated” as depicted in American movies.

People everywhere can’t resist watching sexually explicit movies because (a) men and “their women” are sexually insecure and/or (b) men and “their” women are sexually repressed, and/or (c) men and their women are horny.

Consider the Role Being Played by Western Sexually Explicit Films in Promoting the Woman’s Liberation Movement and/or the Feminization of Men

Also consider the possibility that the biggest current things happening in Western Civilization – which are totally repulsive to many people – are (a) the realization by women that they don’t “need” men and (b) the feminization of men in Western countries.

Relatedly, consider the possibility that the thought that women don’t need men is having traction among women in economically depressed Arab and Muslim countries where men can not support (their) wives or families and young men cannot pay for shelter for themselves and have to remain living at home.

In economically depressed Arab and Muslim countries, as well as in many Western developed countries, women have to “work” to earn enough money to pay for food for themselves and other members of their family.  Some of these women are coming to the conclusion that men cannot support them or their children and therefore they do not “need” men.

The Role of Evolution

Assuming a “feminization of men” is taking place in Western societies, is the feminization of men in Western societies part of an evolutionary process leading to the “modernization of the human species” through a long-term evolutionary selection of less aggressive and more “family” oriented men by women which will turn humans into a more cooperative species?

Roles Movies Play in Society

Lastly, ask yourself the following three additional questions:

  1. What functions do movies perform?
  2. What purposes do movies fulfill?
  3. What process do movies further?

Then, consider the following potential answers to those three questions:

Movies (can) do more than entertain us.

Movies are evidence. What a movie depicts is a historical statement (a clue) of what is going on in society.

Movies can positively enrich and further human development.

Insight

With respect to movies we watch and everything else in life, all of us need someone with enough expertise, knowledge and intelligence to tell us what we are looking at but can’t see or understand.

My Challenge

My challenge for the past month has been to figure out the social message(s) film makers such as Chris Rock and Seth MacFarlane are conveying in their movies, “Top Five” and “A Million Ways to Die in the West.”

About three quarters of the movies I have seen in the past two months had graphic sexual content, albeit not one of those movies was a “girly” or “sex movie”, nor did I go to any of those movies to see a depiction of sex in any movie. I believe no-one went to any one of these movies to see “sex in a movie.”

My Personal Big Picture Questions

Sexually explicit dialog in movies doesn’t seem right to me.

I have asked myself:

  1. Why is that?
  2. Why has the sexually explicit dialog in current movies I have seen in the last two months seemed “wrong”?
  3. What are the action implications and ramifications of the extensive amount of sexually explicit dialog and sexually explicit visuals in movies I have seen in the past two months?

Are We In the Midst of A Third Sexual Revolution?

One friend has written:

I think the sexually explicit dialog is an old thing, just getting much worse now, unfortunately, maybe some reaction will come against it.

Less than a year after we were married I was away for 3 weeks at a training course soon after starting with the State of North Carolina.  That was very early in the days of MASH.  I watched one episode that I thought so full of sexual innuendo that I never watched it again; now the shows and movies are much more explicit.  Anyway, MASH became so popular that it became part of the culture that I missed.  Someone once said I reminded her of Radar and I had no idea what she was talking about.

Another friend wrote.

This is so funny – several of the longest lasting TV shows such as MASH and FRIENDS and perhaps CHEERS (hum all one name shows) don’t have much sex in them at all, re movies go back to “Star Wars”, “Spaceballs”, “Wizard of Oz”, “Gone with the Wind” and others … no to low sex … who says its wanted anyway?  Might be just a bunch of sales hype.

That is the past.  Now is now.

Another friend recently told me:

We are now witnessing the feminization of men in Western civilization. (a) As women in the west realize they don’t need men for financial support – that they can and/or will need to support themselves – they come to the realization that they (women) don’t need men.  (b) Men need women more than women need men.  Men in the West realize they need to be more attractive to women.  In order to be more attractive to women men in the West are being “forced” to become more feminine.  (c) Male chauvinism among educated people in the West is in the process of becoming extinct.

“A Million Ways to Die in the West”

The big name establishment critics panned “A Million Ways to Die in the West.”

I have nothing but praise for “A Million Ways to Die in the West.”

As a comedic documentary “A Million Ways to Die in the West” is a work of genius.

“A Million Ways to Die in the West” is not merely a comedic work of art.  It is also a social study.

In “A Million Ways to Die in the West” the main woman character (played by actress Charlize Theron) has (the stereotype) characteristics associated with males  and the main male character (played by Seth MacFarlane) has the (stereotypical) characteristics associated with females.

The social point this movie makes is that men and women both have the ability to succeed in business and to stand up to bullies.

In “A Million Ways to Die in the West” the main male character (a sheep farmer named Albert Stark, played by Seth MacFarlane) is dumped by his long time girl-friend Louise (played by Amanda Seyfried).

The main character (Albert) is a coward who is “dominated” by Anna after he has been dumped by Louise.

Anna becomes Albert’s new girl-friend as a result of a series of events that result in experiences they share with one another.

Anna has all the characteristics normally associated with male “stars” – i.e., she is a noble, strong, talented, intelligent and brave person.

Anna is like Malala Yousafzai, the woman who just won the Nobel Peace Prize.

In many clever ways, “A Million Ways to Die in the West” is an extremely clever parody of women’s liberation, the women’s lib movement and of liberated women in Western society.

It is a dramatic presentation of the on-going feminization of men in Western societies.

The main character’s best friend’s girlfriend Ruth (played by Sarah Silverman) is a prostitute.

Ruth works in a saloon where she has sex with ten different customers on a slow day, but hasn’t had sex with her boyfriend Edward (played by Giovani Ribisi) because Ruth and Edward are Christians who believe it would be wrong for them to have premarital sex with one another.

This movie makes the point that weak people take drugs to increase their courage.  During the course of this movie, cowardly sheep farmer Albert Stark (played by Seth MacFarlane) takes drugs to increase his courage before a scheduled gun fight is to take place.

This movie also makes the point that women are often “trapped by conventions.”

In that regard, in one comedic scene, the weak main male character Albert asks his strong new girlfriend Anna: Why did you marry him — referring to the main bad guy in this movie, he man outlaw Clinch, played by Liam Neeson?  She [Anna/Charlize Theron] replies: “I married him when I was nine years old because I didn’t want to be a fifteen year old spinster!”

Although the things that happen in this movie are implausible, they make sense.

The characters in this movie are plausible and charming characters.  In their own magical way they are each likable and engaging.

If you watch this movie, at all times you will want to know what will happen next.

In many ways, this film accurately portrays how life in the United States was lived in the past and how life in the United States is lived today.

Recent Sexually Explicit Main Stream Movies

I attended the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September, 2014.

The movies I saw at TIFF were made by film makers from all over the world:  USA, Belgium/France, South Korea, France, Canada/Germany, China, Jordan/Qatar/United Arab Emirates/United Kingdom, and United Kingdom.

Three hundred ninety-two films from seventy-nine different countries were shown at TIFF.

Eighteen of the twenty films I watched at TIFF had significant sexual content.

“Top Five”

Among other sexually charged films, I watched the world premier of Chris Rock’s USA movie “Top Five.”

“Top Five” turned out to be a film about the sex life and career of a character played by Chris Rock (Andre Allen) who is a successful comedian and comic.

The story in “Top Five” revolves around the interaction between a female New York Times critic (played by Rosario Dawson) who savages Andre Allen’s work and Andre Allen.

Andre Allen “discovers” himself (learns that he can be a creative artist and a funny comedian without taking drugs) and also learns about the New York Times’ critic’s sex life while she is interviewing him.

“Top Five” is also tangentially and gratuitously about Andre Allen’s reality show star fiancee (played by Gabriele Union) who wants Andre Allen to boost her reality TV show.

“Top Five” boasts scenes which are obscene to me.

However, each one of those scenes are a representation of the current state of human affairs and a statement regarding the current state of our culture in America.

I don’t know what audiences’ (including black people’s and hip people’s) reaction to those scenes will be.

Will audiences think those scenes are obscene, false and insulting – a slander to the dignity of black people and/or a slander to the dignity of the comedians and entertainers showcased in that movie – or, will audiences think those scenes are erotic or will will audiences understand that those scenes are a social criticism, a parody, a satire about fame, sex, family, making money and insecurity in America or will audiences have a different reaction to those scenes?

I think Chris Rock did a good job (a) of making fun of making money, (b) of making fun of  reality stars, reality stardom and reality shows, (c) of making fun of “sex” in America, (d) of making money in America, and (e) of the on-going feminization of men in America.

My Philosophy

My philosophy is: For a movie to be a (financial) success it must first be a moral success.

I prefer movies that have a message, an idea and/or information that makes people think and talk – movies that say something to me.

I love learning:  I like to come away from watching a movie knowing more than I knew before and I like to come away thinking about something I never thought of before and/or thinking about something in a new way.

Movies that have screenplays like that lead to actors so immersed in the proceedings that they seem to forget themselves at times and to become so real as to be almost unreal.

Just as an embalmed mummy in a museum tells the tale of ancient Egypt, so will our movies portray human conditions to future generations.

 

 

Copyright © 2014 by Gary S. Smolker

About Gary S. Smolker

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: No enterprise can exist for itself alone. Every successful enterprise ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others. Otherwise, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist. Imagination, open mindedness and flexibility are the most important factors in unlocking potential. Those who embrace innovation, improvisation, continuous learning, time management, are action oriented, high energy, passionate, creative, purposeful and intense individuals are best equipped to succeed. We all have ideas and the ability to make progress by sharing information and our ideas and also by changing our ideas when appropriate. We should always be on the lookout for teaching and mentoring moments. We hold time like water in our hands; however tightly we clench our fingers, it drips away. But, if it falls on a seed, a seed may grow to become something that will have a positive social impact. PERSONAL INTERESTS: I have a passion to learn, to innovate, to lead, to mentor and to teach. I seek to write things worth reading and want to do things worth writing about. I enjoy (a) driving a fast car, (b) having intense conversations (c) teaching/mentoring, (d) reading and (e) being involved in productive activity. PERSONAL: I believe in cultivating and backing passionate people, innovation, and old fashioned good ideas. I love making human connections and spreading good ideas. I am strongly motivated to achieve in situations in which independence of thought and action are called for. PERSONAL GOALS: I want to live life vibrantly, to be as sharp as a tack until my last breath and to change the world by being me. My personal goal is to be fully engaged in life, to lead by example, to set high standards and to continue to amass firsthand experience and knowledge in all that interests me. PERSONALITY: I love fun and mischief. I relish absurdity. I have an irreverent, facetious and satiric disposition. I dread boredom. I have spent a lifetime reading. I have no bias against people who have lived successful and/or complicated lives. I write to release tension, to get things off my chest. SOCIAL MEDIA: I post articles on the "Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange" blog at www.garysmolker.wordpress.com, and "Dude's Guide to Women's Shoes" at www.dudesguidetowomensshoes.com. I also post images and comments on Instagram @garyspassion. CONTACT INFORMATION: Gary Smolker, Smolker Law Firm, 16055 Ventura Blvd., Ste 525, Encino, California, 91436-2609, USA. Phone 1-818-788-7290, e-mail GSmolker@aol.com.

Posted on October 26, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Perhaps the perceived need to view (i.e., vicariously experience) sexual content in movies, both dialog and visual stimulation, is to appeal to our more base instinctual nature.

    As biological organisms, we are hard wired to respond to certain cues provided by the opposite sex. A good part of our response during sex is also hard wired into our biology. As men and women in 2014, however, each society/culture has a certain expectation about the nature and characteristic of what constitutes “appropriate” sexual activity.

    More interesting questions related to what we hear and see in the movies might be … Why are the sexual behaviors of one society/culture viewed as inappropriate by another? Are sexual acts that have no potential to result in reproduction abnormal or are they also a hard wired biological response?

    The history of pornography in this country – as told by Larry Flint (Hustler) and Hugh Hefner (Playboy) provides some interesting historical perspectives. What was once taboo in this country is now accepted without question. What happened? Why did it happen? What is the next logical step in our sexual evolution? Do movies follow or precede the evolution of sexual behavior?

    • Jim,

      We are in the midst of a culture war in my home, in the United States, in the Middle East, and in the entire World.

      One of the significant reasons those Arab/Muslim leaders in Muslim states who want to wipe Israel off the map is fear that the women in their chauvinistic seventh century mind-set world will recognize something called “women’s rights” – the equality of women.

      Israel is a thorn in their side because of the status of women in their countries vs. the status of women in Israel.

      WHAT PROOF DO I HAVE OF THE MODERN DAY MARCH FORWARD OF WOMEN DEMANDING TO BE TREATED AS EQUALS?

      EXHIBIT “A” Last night, my girl-friend sent me an article (via email) on how to load a dishwasher.

      I don’t know how to load a dishwasher.

      When and where I grew up, women did the dishes.

      My girl-friend believes: If she does the cooking I should do the dishes.

      This is but one example of the evolution of sexual behavior.

      EXHIBIT B – On October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, the Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai in the head at point blank range while she was riding home in a school bus from school in an attempt to kill her.

      They tried to kill Malala because she stood up and fought for her right to an education, in the Swat Valley in Pakistan.

      This year she is the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and a global symbol of peaceful protest.

      Malala’s life is an example of the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

      EXHIBIT C- Women everywhere refuse to be kept down. They take on leadership positions.

      Although Seth MacFarland’s movie “A Million Ways to Die in the West” is full of “explicit sexual dialog” the strongest bravest most intelligent character in that movie is a woman who “bosses” the main character.

      She has “good character”, has good intentions and is a very plausible character.

      By having a woman be the strongest character in his film “A Million Ways to Die in the West”, Seth MacFarland is “merely” “humorously” reflecting the “realities of modern day life” both in the old west – where women had to survive in a hostile rural environment – and today in the United States – where women have to survive in a hostile urban environment.

      In his movie, “A Million Ways to Die in the West” – a sexually explicit film which uses “sex” and scenes of the weaker sex (women) acting much more bravely and strongly then the so called stronger sex (men) – Set MacFarland records a variety of social developments, social evolutions and social points for posterity.

  2. Interesting view! While I find that pushing the envelope on what society may find taboo is fundamental to our freedom of speech and expression, I can’t help but sometimes wonder if sex in the movies and society is pushed on us as a way to distract us from thinking too much. I too prefer movies that make us think and talk and I also wonder if the “demand” for sex in the media is real or artificial.

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