Posted in Books, Cats, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Here We Are Now Entertain Us

1bull18People have many different ideas about what is ‘entertaining’. At times, entertainment can go over-the-top, get over-inflated, and well, confused. Let me help.
Rape is not entertaining.
Not sexy, not hot, not romantic, not cool.
It shouldn’t just be used as a plot device, trope, or to increase ratings.
Rape should never, ever be used to sell T-shirts.

It’s simple, rape, like any other kind of abuse is about control, forcing someone to do something against their wishes, it’s about taking away choices, and having power over someone. It’s not something to be trivialized, used, excused, ignored, rationalized, or worse, not talked about because it’s uncomfortable or awkward.

Strangely, the internet is agog about a TV rape instead of real rapes.
Battle cries roar, you must boycott Game of Thrones and HBO!
If you watch this show you’re supporting rape culture and misogyny!
I won’t stop watching a show because I’m told I have to, anymore than I will start watching a show because I’m told I have to; it’s my choice.

1aHBO1

Rape is about a choice being taken away.
We sometimes forget we have choices. We can turn the channel or not stream it. We can buy a different brand. Read something else. Watch something else. Listen to something else. Go to different restaurant. Cancel a subscription. Choose not buy at all…not because we’re told not to, but because we choose to.

1kindness4

I love TV, I make no apologies.
Like most people, I have varied reasons I start watching programs and varied reasons I stop:
I grow bored, I forget it’s on which clearly implies I wasn’t that interested, cancellation, moving to a network or streaming service I don’t have, or they do something that strikes me as bizarre, annoying, disgusting, doesn’t fit with the show, etc.
I feel the same with all forms of entertainment.
In this case my choice was to keep watching a series I’d enjoyed or to do something else.
I had to ask myself, was I supporting rape culture so HBO can sell more:
Stark hockey jerseys, All Men Must Die baseball caps,
Winter Is Coming mugs, replica weapons, Pop! toys,
I Will Take What Is Mine With Fire and Blood T-shirts,
jewelery, games, action figures, and collectible dragon’s eggs?

1life8

TV is an evolving entertainment medium, so it’s not surprising sometimes it loses its way. Fangirls, fanboys, tweets, memes, podcasts, conventions, cosplay, posts, and on and on. All that attention must be overwhelming. Imagine the pressure of having all those ratings, revenues, adulation, actual worship thrown at you? Wouldn’t it be tempting to try to get more and more and more?
I understand the need for: ads, commercials, publicity, product placement, merchandise, etc., but where will it end?

1blog44History and the world today certainly aren’t all sugar and spice and everything nice, nothing sells faster or gets tongues wagging more than sex and violence, it’s been that way for a long time, but I wonder, for Game of Thrones and their viewers, could their gratuitous Jump the Stark moment turn out to be their Jump the Shark moment?

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 20:  HAPPY DAYS - "Fonzie Goes to Hollywood, Part III" - Season Five - 9/20/77, Fonzie (Henry Winkler) accepted a challenge to jump over a shark tank while water skiing.,  (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)Perhaps I need to revisit some of my entertainment choices.

As for the entertainment industry, remember, those with the most power should also show the most grace.

1bull12

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Author:

Very me

115 thoughts on “Here We Are Now Entertain Us

  1. You raise such a thought-provoking point about the attention and pressure in the industry. I’ve always attributed salacious topics exactly to that and dismiss them quickly. Like you, the control always lies with me, and I enjoy that freedom to choose no matter what the subject matter contains. I’ve never seen Game of Thrones, but I’ve heard good things about it. I rarely watch TV – and I don’t mean that to sound pretentious at all – it’s just never been in my family’s lifestyle. I now have that song from Nirvana stuck in my head as I drink my morning coffee…but I like it 🙂

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    1. Thank you kindly. It’s been buzzing in my head since I watched it and I wasn’t going to write it then I thought, no, I shouldn’t shy away because it’s awkward, silence is the enemy.
      Isn’t it kind of fun when you get a song stuck in your head, I’m always waiting to see what replaces it. 😉
      Hope this day treats you well. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Glad you wrote it – it was a wonderful piece. As a matter of fact, just read another blog and the song “Que Sera Sera” was mentioned, so there you go. Talk about a switch in music genres! Hope you have a great day as well 🙂

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  2. It is important, your alerts to this scourge and the need to keep criminalizing the sordidly-demeaning violating of girls/women/boys/men that rape visits on unsuspecting victims. TV is notorious for wanting to attract by way of pushing the boundaries of acceptability. When the day arrives that rapists are portrayed as ill and in need of understanding over their ‘syndrome’ or ‘disease’, I’m done. I’m done anyway. I am done with a ‘medium’ specializing in series dedicated to prison interpersonal abuses, dysfunctional reality show families, the celebration of winning by way of annihilating the others trapped on their remote island. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, the medium I engage in the most is books. I know before I begin what I am in for, and know by the time I end, I will have actually learned something of value.
    Thank you for your thoughtful and provocative post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. More and more each day I find myself pulling away from certain programs which is disappointing because I love TV, well, maybe I will have to start using the past tense, I loved TV, for me it was a wonderful entertainment…more and more I don’t feel as entertained.
      Thank you kindly for your wise words and insight, hope this day is good to you. 🙂

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  3. You are right, people have a choice to make when it comes to what to watch and it’s entirely up to them. As for the Game of Thrones scene that has been talked about so much, I don’t understand what the fuss is all about. It wasn’t used for “entertainment”, it was part of the story, it wasn’t filmed in a crass way at all. Rape is (obviously) a horrible thing and I would never support a show that gratuitously use it “for kicks” – I just don’t think that is what happened in that episode at all. It seems to me there is a particularly virulent brand of feminism out there that is intent on finding something, anything, to get upset about. That’s just my opinion of course 🙂

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    1. We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. I’ve read the books long before there was a series and watched the series – that scene didn’t make any sense.
      At any rate, the good thing about choice is, people can keep watching or not. Hope this day is good to you. 🙂

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      1. I read the books as well, are we even referring to the same scene?! There have been so many changes from the books that haven’t made sense to me and to be fair, I haven’t been impressed with this season but I’ll keep watching – they haven’t managed to put me off completely yet 🙂
        I hope you have a lovely day too 🙂

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      2. Oh I’m used to books being changed, I’m still getting over what was done to Where The Wild Things Are (shudder).
        I understand why they feel need to change things, ie Ramsay marrying Sansa Stark instead of Jeyne Poole and I’ve heard all the showrunner spin, but I remain unconvinced they’re not using rape for entertainment and profit.
        After the storm last night, it’s lovely here, another example of how things can change so quickly. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I have such a problem with books being changed, I wish I didn’t read so much because I’ve always read whatever is being made into a movie or TV adaptation before it comes to the screen so I’m inevitably disappointed, apart from a few exceptions.
        I wasn’t happy with some changes in “tv” GoT but because they have effectively made those changes, I felt “that scene” was appropriate, especially with the Brienne plot change they’ve made in the TV show.
        I personally think they’ve toned it down, generally, because the first two seasons I felt there was a lot of gratuitous sex and violence against women which disturbed me somewhat. Anyway, we all have our own interpretations and that’s fine 🙂
        I’ve heard about that storm across the pond, I swear the weather never used to be that crazy when I was a kid. I’m glad you’re fine though, again, have a lovely day 🙂

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      4. I often think it would be better to not be able to compare the books with the TV series and movies. Then again, I suppose we have to remember they’re adaptations, not verbatim, still, it can make for some disappointments.
        Yes, we’re lucky to be able to have choices. 🙂
        All the best. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the books so much, but even though it had violence it felt integral to the story. It’s hard seeing the changes on the show where the violence, sexual or not, seems gratuitous & unnecessary.

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    1. In the books I thought the violence was usually used to highlight the difficult choices people have to make, often due to circumstances beyond their control. The Tv series seems to have moved away from that.

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  5. Hi Donna, I confess I haven’t seen the show but I think your point is immensely important, there is so much violence and violent sexuality on screen these days put there purely for titillation and ratings it doesn’t surprise me people become more and more desensitised. I think unfortunately it highlights how very little times and humans have changed over the centuries despite our thin veneer of civilisation.

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  6. First let me say that I totally agree with everything you shared in this post. That said, I’m going to offer a slightly different view of the Game of Thrones rape. Yes, it was horrible. My husband’s reaction was as visceral as mine and it stayed with us for the next couple days.

    There is a tendency in the US national political scene to misrepresent rape as somehow “consensual”, or “boys will be boys”, or “it’s just rough sex”, or “if a woman didn’t want to be raped, she wouldn’t” or “it’s impossible for a husband to rape a wife” or “women who are raped can’t get pregnant” or “women should share custody rights with their rapists,” or “rape is a women’s issue.” These statements represent an element of our population that thinks rape is no big deal, or somehow in a woman’s control, and it pisses me off, to be frank about it.

    Rape is a fact or real possibility in the lives of women. Most women think about it. It sits in the backs of our minds. For those who think it’s no big deal, I hope they saw the Game of Thrones episode. I hope they were as horrified as my husband was. Men need to be horrified.

    The last episode of Outlander had the start of the rape of Jamie. That too was horrible. It made me wonder how men felt about rape after seeing a powerful man raped. Was that somehow “consensual”, or “boys will be boys”, or “it’s just rough sex”, or “if a man didn’t want to be raped, he wouldn’t?”

    I think sometimes these scenes, if done well, can open eyes. For some people, talk is talk and the horror doesn’t sink in. To SEE it happening to someone the viewer cares about, to hear the cries and see the emotions, may alter thinking. Movies and television have an impact on culture and change opinions on a host of issues, sometimes quickly. I’m glad this created a buzz and made people uncomfortable. It should.

    Thanks for letting me rant a bit. I appreciate the post and all the thoughtful comments:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I watched it I thought, as sick as it made me feel I thought, maybe it will open discussions and it did, but not very productive ones. Those who already understood how horrifying rape is agreed, but some of the comments on the boards were, well, suffice it to say, I felt a lot sicker then. It’s much easier to blame the victim than the face the reality that human beings can do such damage to each other.
      The problem with the use of rape, violence, torture, etc. as entertainment is that instead of enlightening audiences it’s often desensitizing them instead. I think we need to stop blaming, excusing, trivializing issues like this and then people might be able to talk about them in a rational manner that might lead to change.
      Thank you for your wonderful and wise rant, please feel free to stop by anytime and rave, you always have such compassion, calm, and wonderful insights. 🙂
      Thank you so much for your rant

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I hear you on the desensitization. That is very true of violence in general, which seems to be increasingly gruesome and graphic. And our culture does seem to be growing ever more violent. But I would note that in most “entertainment” violence is glorified. The heroes are as violent as the villains. Hopefully, rape will never be portrayed in that light. Thanks so much for the discussion. It certainly has made me think.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. you make a very good point here: if you don’t like something, don’t watch it. Yes, unlike being raped – there is a choice, and more should exercise it if they do not want to watch this show. It”s not my kind of show, so I chose not to watch it a long time ago. Blessings!

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  8. jump the Stark/jump the shark… most awesome use of the English language since ‘can I have bacon with that’ was invented… I did a post just now about the news media… these two posts should be cobbled together and printed into a poste and hung in every laundry mat and fast food franchise in the world!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Teagan. I wasn’t going to write, but then I kept reading such horrible comments from people online and I thought, sometimes you have to haul yourself up on that soapbox. 🙂
      Hope this day treats you kindly. Megahugs!!!

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  9. I’m glad today that I’m in the cold about this Throne show. Never interested me in the least, Donna. My choice.

    I agree totally that rape is not to be portrayed or considered as anything except what it is in real life: an ugly act of violence and control. A crime. Not entertainment.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It really is too bad that sensationalism and fear are what sells. I had major anxiety a few years ago and decided to quit watching the news entirely. It changed my world. We certainly do get to choose what we allow into our lives. It’s just up to us to do it. Thanks for the great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly for dropping by. Yes, I find myself turning off the TV more and more which is a shame because for me TV was always a great way to relax and enjoy. 🙂
      Hope this day treats you well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I realize my personal preferences aren’t for everyone, but I either quit watching or chose not to watch, Game of Thrones, White Queen, House of Cards, Spartucus and about a million other series/movies because – I appreciate that this stuff went on – I can get the enormity of the history of mankind’s inhumanity to mankind – and I can grasp it without being exposed to graphic re-enactment scenes about such things –
    Cuz I can know the horrors in human history, and try to not repeat them, but durn if I want those graphic images waking me up in the middle of the night with nightmares! 🙂

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    1. Certainly that’s the part we always need to remember, we have a choice whether to watch or not watch and it’s important to know yourself well enough to know when something is too disturbing or is triggering.
      Thanks for dropping by, hope this day treats you kindly. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 I like to think of my brain like a computer – GIGO (garbage in garbage out) on the other hand, one man’s trash is another’s treasure – so prefer self-imposed censorship over regulatory censorship! 🙂 Hope your day is a great one, too!

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      2. LOL- What a coincidence! My son and I were talking just a few days ago about weird dreams that seem so real, but once you wake up, you think, “Wait! None of that made any sense!” – I like to think our dreams/sleep time is when our brain empties the recycling bin, Optimizes the Disk, runs a defrag and does a security scan – – 🙂 The other oft heard reference I’ve heard in regards to our brains is, “It’s like a garden, it’s your job to keep it weeded and nourish that which you wish to prosper” – – 🙂

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      3. 🙂 I’m still trying to find time to try an herbal/dandelion/white wheat beer fermentation recipe – – supposed to be beer that cleanses your liver – instead of toxifying it – LOL – 🙂 And I do love the taste of beer – – 🙂

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  12. Excellent article. Apparently, the need to sensationalize and grab attention had gone a step too far. It’s a shame that no one paused and said, “Because we CAN do this, SHOULD we?” I don’t watch Game of Thrones, because I don’t have HBO and I can only get it on disc from Netflix, but it’s a good program. Someone certainly showed poor judgement, but folks can watch or not. This is a free country and there is an Off button on the remote.

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    1. I think in too many areas of life we should be asking that profound question,

      Just because we can do it, does it mean we should?

      Thank you for taking the time to drop by and share your wise words. Hope this day treats you kindly. 🙂

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  13. Many years ago I lived rural remote and went cold turkey on TV watching. After 5 years,when my family moved and I was able to watch again, I found that I had lost my taste for it. But my kids grew into teens and I enjoyed watching some shows with them, The Office, The Office, The Food Channel, The Baseball Game 😉 I know there is excellence on TV and maybe I’ll watch more someday, but for now, I’m OK with being a bit out of the loop. Excellent post, Donna.

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      1. I love TV, from most eras, in different ways. I can’t wait. Loved the Dave Barry interview, as did my son who laughs a lot when reading his work. Thanks. I’ll wait with bated breath for the interview. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I got a lot more reasons not to watch GOT then just rape. from the start the show simply bored the crap out of me. Then the writers started doing what any so-called edgy show do nowadays…show boobs! I mean we have seen them a million times but for some reason people just can’t get enough of it. the afterward they started using reverse standard logic. They make the bad guys win because…IDK we have to keep people interested. After a while that seems to be getting boring rape seemed like the next logical choice for these guys. I don’t know about other people, but I just don’t like shows that are boring but relies on “shock value”…I bet you take away all that shock value and GOT or most shows on HBO simply becomes the most boring shows out there. People say the show is smart and original when deep down the clearly know they are a cheap knock off of “Lord Of The Ring” and sprinkle of “the war of the roses” of British history. And about the choice issue, well people don’t care. If you watch GOT you probably watch it simply to see messed and degrading thing happen to the human kind as blunt as possible. No one cares because This society is conditioned to brush off things labeled as entertainment. In this brain-washed society, people are told not to care. I am fortunate to not have been born and raised in a completely different culture and so people’s reaction to thing like rape seems weird to me. There is no hope for this world. Oh great post by the way 🙂 This what I had initially intended to say but rambled way too much again, so I am sorry 😛

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    1. I like different types of TV programs and other forms of entertainment for many different reasons and then I find myself bored or not wanting to watch them for many different reasons. I get what you’re saying…I think luckily people have the ability to turn the channel or turn it off or not turn it on, or whatever and I hope they understand where that freedom comes from and continue to fight for it – sadly by the amount of people that vote, I doubt they do.
      About your making bad guys win comment, here’s a post I did awhile ago about that sort of thing https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/06/charming-savage-events/
      And about it being a knock off, totally, then again, most things are imitations or inspirations of other books, programs, movies, historical events, etc. and here’s my kind of tongue-in-cheek post about obsessions with shows like this. 😉 https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/04/07/you-know-youre-obsessed-with-game-of-thrones-when/
      I think everything swings back and forth; I think people are slowly awakening from their techno slumber, I just hope it’s not too late.
      Thank you kindly, I totally enjoyed your ramble, please, feel free to pop by and ramble anytime. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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