Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Sex, the City, the Kitsch, and the Massage

I seldom write about movies. That's because most of them are the product of a Hollywood-infested cinema. But I did find a TV series worth discussing: "Sex and the City". With its sexist, pseudo-feminist, hedonistic and groce-quasi-elitist (financial elitism) traps, "Sex and the City" is by far the best description of fake democratic ideals: women are smarter than men (and, if they want to, they can control every little thing in a man's life), sex is all that there is to the average Joe, any social problem has an "out-of-the-box" tricky solution (if your husband is impotent, file a divorce, because the marriage will never work!), the perfect guy is always a Mr. Big (yeah, recalling the "big is beautiful" American stereotype), the pun is a shadow of the Sun (to be read: puns are a clear sign of intelligence), food and clothes make us what we really are (my God, how creepy is that?).

"Sex and the City" integrates the most common by-products of consumerism. As its name shows, it deals with both sex and the characteristics of a post-industrial New York City: shallowness, superficial ethical dilemmas, individualism, and, above all, money. Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) are the protagonists. Carrie is ugly, but her writing talent accomplishes what her beauty should have done instead. Samantha is the embodiment of hedonism. Everything that she does, is in the name of sex. Her life is centered upon it. Miranda is a fancy lawyer who despises men, unless they give her orgasms. Charlotte is unstable and always in doubt about her life. She doesn't know what she really wants, she vacillates between romanticism and the obtain-pleasure-for-its-own-sake behavior.

 The dilemmas that the four friends are confronted with vary from abortion to cheating on one's husband. There's nothing impressive about the topics of the movie, unless those who watch are teenagers...then, yes, you have to pay attention not to miss any episode! So why was the series challenging to me? Because it made me asks questions like: why do women think like that? why do they need to be so picky? why is marriage such a big issue? why is money so important? There's no exceptional answer to all these questions, everything is so straightforward and impossibly dumb that it makes you give up thinking altogether...

Women like Samantha or Miranda don't know why they think as they think, and don't care about questioning their beliefs. They're just satisfied with their way of life, their arrogance doesn't allow them to be critical about it. The only one who adopts such a "philosophical" attitude is Carrie - and the reason is that she writes a column about "Sex and the City", therefore she is pushed to think. She takes a critical stand on life because it is her job to do it. The other three characters approach life with some sort of ironical superiority that allows them to position above those whom they interact with. They feel like being beyond the ordinary aspects of womanship, but they are, at the same time, ordinary. This is the "paradox" of the Hollywood type of movie, which is taught in schools as "realism": ordinary characters in ordinary circumstances. "Sex and the City" tries to be "realistic", although its realism paradigm is highly debatable: Charlotte, a totally non-Christian girl, marries a totally non-Christian guy without having sex prior to their marriage; Carrie is neurotic, but also highly realistic (however, not the Woody Allen kind of character); Miranda tends to be a lawyer that knows "what she wants", but often excludes her desires from her wishlist in a sado-masochistic attempt to be herself; Samantha falls in love for Richard, a rich romantic cunning mister who cheats on, and lies to, her, but in the first four seasons of the series she poses in a powerful woman who can master the minds of men and persuade them to be as she likes. Life is, of course, contradictory, but many of the situations in which the four protagonists find themselves are doubtful and hard to buy.

"Sex and the City" is very instructive for the young girls in need of power. They learn tips and tricks from the movie and eventually feel confident that things will look up if they apply them to their lives. However, as it happens, that's not the case. "Sex and the City" is only a piece of brainwashing Hollywood production with no perspectives whatsoever outside a society deprived of authenticity, whose values are brought about by unjustified individualism (materialistic - if Carrie likes that pair of shoes, that means it's the best one, if Miranda loves Steve, then Steve is the best guy for a lawyer-woman), and whose social problems are reduced to sex and lifestyle. How pitiful is that, may I ask...yet real!?

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