I saw documentaries. Let’s talk about them.

I’ve had a busy week at my jobbie-job so while I was working on Keynote decks I opened up Netflix on the side of my screen and watched a bunch of documentaries.First, I saw After Porn Ends, which is about the life and times of several porn actors. It pretty much is like any other career in that some people really hate what they did and have massive regrets and other performers are fine with it and enjoyed the sex and the spotlight. I did not know that porn actors worked so little. I assumed that it was like a five-days-a-week, 9-5 type job, but it’s totally not. The lower-end folk work about one day a week and if they get famous enough they film as infrequently as seven or eight times a year. They do other stuff on the other days, like signings and appearances and headlining in strip clubs, but they have surprisingly little “interpersonal relations”. I mean, what the actors do in their free time is their business, but if work is the only time they have sex, they’re not having a whole lotta sex. The other thing I noticed in the film but was not surprised by is the men seem to deal with the life much better than the women. To be a male who has worked in porn is to be a stud, but to be a woman who has worked in porn is to be a whore. That’s a bit of a disappointment to me since they did the same exact job. I hope in the future that if a woman is a former porn worker, after she retires and becomes a regular-job-owner she is treated like a person, not a social outcast.


Then, to balance it out, I watched (A)Sexual, which is about people who don’t have any sexual attraction to anyone or anything. As with any sexual preference there are all kinds and types, but the majority of them are friendly and want to be in relationships with people. Humans are drawn to herds and companionship, and the asexuals are no different, they just don’t want to engage in any sexual behavior. It’s a fairly new movement and is different than celibacy. Celibacy means you want to hook up, but choose not to. Asexuality means you don’t want to, so you don’t. One thing I realized while watching this documentary is how snotty sexual people are to the asexuals. All I could think was, “They aren’t infringing on anything you do, if anything they’re removing themselves from the dating pool so you have more options, so shut the hell up and leave them alone.” I imagine that if I was asexual I would feel like a total outsider in our culture because so so much of what we see and what we encounter is driven by the desire to be with another person, or be seen as attractive by a specific person.


Finally I watched Bully, about kids who get bullied. This is a hot-button issue for me because I was bullied mercilessly as a kid. Here’s what I realized after watching this program: there are two types of kids who get bullied. One are the kids who have no control over their predicament (an ethnicity different from everyone else in the school, short, funny-looking, mentally-challenged, poor, etc.) and there are the kids who bring it upon themselves by saying or doing epically dorky things. I was both, predominantly the latter. I dressed like a weird artsy person. I spoke before I thought. I didn’t understand social cues and made people uncomfortable. If I could give kids in school one piece of advice, it would be BLEND IN. BLEND IN REALLY HARD OR BE VERY QUIET, and then when you get to college do your thing. Don’t fly your freak flag until after you leave high school unless you’re okay with people shunning you or mocking you. People stop being as mean in college and especially after college, and there’s a reason for that. I saw a play called Well and one of the lines that I loved was, “The good thing about being an adult is you can leave.” There’s one scene in Bully where the kids are all lined up on the playground and it looks like a shot from prison. If you’re grown up and people are mean to you in your job, you quit. At a party, you go home. In your town, you move. If you’re a kid, you can’t do anything. You HAVE to go to this place and do stuff you don’t want to do all day, otherwise you get in trouble with the government. That makes school a jail-like environment, with gangs and hierarchy and bribery and blackmail, all that stuff. Two things to look for if you watch this movie:

  • The opening credits scene where the kid is alone on the bus and The Scala Choir sings Teenage Dirtbag, which is one of my favorite songs. Beautiful.
  • The well-wishing but astonishingly inept Vice Principal and her handling of two specific bullying situations. I gasped and put my hand over my mouth during one of them, it was so shocking how poorly she dealt with it. It’s got to be a gift to be that dense.


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