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Nov 2013 07

by Blogbot

This Thursday, November 7th on SuicideGirls Radio, hosts Nicole Powers and Juturna Suicide will be discussing feminism and porn – and whether feminist porn is an oxymoron – with award winning adult movie actor and director Kimberly Kane, SG model Adria Suicide, her partner artist-cum-x-rated-actor Zak Smith a.k.a. Zak Sabbath, and the sexually irrepressible recording artist Smoota.

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Nov 2013 06

by Nicole Powers

“The beautiful lie was much more profitable than the ugly truth.”
~ Alex Gibney

Lance Armstrong was a man with an incredible and inspiring narrative. He beat testicular cancer and fought his way back to health and to victory in a record breaking seven successive Tour de France races (1998-2005). “It’s just this mythic, perfect story, and it wasn’t true,” Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey in a televised mea culpa first broadcast in January, 2013.

Armstrong had not only dodged rumors and accusations of doping throughout his racing career, he’d viciously attacked those whose stories didn’t lineup with his own. Following the 2005 Tour de France, in which he’d set the fastest pace in the history of the challenging and mountainous race, he announced his retirement. It’s likely he now wishes he’d quit for good while he was ahead.

However, in 2009 he returned to the sport for what he hoped would be a victory lap. As he was preparing for his big comeback, Armstrong invited Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney along for the ride. However, the story Gibney’s cameras would ultimately capture was far different from the one that anyone concerned had anticipated.

Armstrong failed to win his comeback Tour, though he placed a respectable third. Despite, or maybe because of his inability to recapture his former glory, the doping allegations intensified. Following a second ill-fated comeback attempt in 2010, Armstrong announced his retirement in 2011, but the charges of cheating didn’t end with his pro-cycling career. In August 2012, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced that Armstrong had chosen not to contest a litany of evidence compiled against him. The agency stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him from the sport for life.

Over the course of three years, Armstrong’s story had gone from too good to be true to that of one massive and highly orchestrated lie. Instead of capturing the truth on film, as might normally be the goal of a documentarian, Gibney had watched a lie remarkable in its scope and brazenness unfold.

Gibney was forced to shelve his original film, but was able to revisit the project after Armstrong agreed to a final interview in which he promised to come clean. The resulting documentary is a winning piece of action filmmaking and a compelling example of storytelling. In it we see the fascinating anatomy of a lie, and witness Armstrong frame and re-frame his truth.

We spoke with Gibney – whose previous credits include Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, and Taxi to the Dark Side – about his film, which might not chronicle a Tour de France triumph but is nevertheless a tour de force.

Nicole Powers: I have to say, I thought this was a really strong documentary. The way that you paced the race scenes, even though I knew who’s going to win, you still had me on the edge of my seat in the way I might be if it were a fictional movie.

Alex Gibney: I appreciate that. Honestly, we tried really hard. We did have some resources in this film. When we shot the Tour, we had 10 cameras, so we were able to shoot it like an action movie – and I feel like we delivered on that.

NP: You absolutely did. The whole circumstances surrounding this movie are so bizarre. I understand that originally Lance had approached you to produce a movie about his comeback. Why do you think he chose you, because you’re not the kind of person that’s going to make a puff piece on him?

AG: Well, it’s not quite accurate to say that he approached me. My producers Frank Marshall and Matthew Tolmach – Tolmach at the time, when we started way back when, was an executive at Sony – they had been thinking about doing a fiction film based on Lance Armstrong’s book, It’s Not About the Bike, for some time. They had Matt Damon, who I believe was going to star, and they kept writing scripts but they couldn’t get satisfied with the scripts. So when Lance told them that he was going to be doing his comeback in 2008, they went to him and said, we’d like to shoot it, and Lance agreed. Then they went looking for a director and found me…I asked them the same question that you asked, which is, look guys, I just did Taxi to the Dark Side, why do you want me for this? They said, well, we think you’re a good storyteller, but are you interested in this story? I said, yes. I said I was interested in will – his will. Both the best part of it, this inspirational idea that someone on the edge of death can come back and be better than they were before; but also the darker side of it, the idea that winning at any cost is okay so long as you win.

NP: Subsequent to you shooting the first round of material for this film, the big lie came out. Where you were in production on the original film when things started to unravel?

AG: We were finished. We had mixed the film. Matt Damon had narrated it. We were done. Basically things started to come out and we started to add a few cards at the end of the movie. But the first movie was not absent of doping. From the very beginning, I asked Matt and Frank if I could deal with this issue – because I thought it might have been one of the reasons that Lance decided to come back, to put all those questions to rest. So the first film did have an element of it. It was a rather small element, but it was there. But then we kept putting cards at the end of the film. At some point we realized we were going to have to have about 20 pages of cards at the end of the film and we’re probably going to have to go back in and redo it. So we just put the film aside until some of the bigger storylines played themselves out like the federal investigation.

NP: As an interviewer, one of my jobs is always to try and sense when someone’s telling a lie and challenge them on it. When you were chatting to Lance the first time around, how much did you think that he was bullshitting you? Or was he looking at you so straight in the eye that you were sold on his lie?

AG: I would say it was a combo platter. There were times when he did fool me and there were times when I knew that he was bullshitting me. One of them I put into the film. My style often is not to challenge somebody directly when they’re telling me a lie, but maybe to redirect or ask again. Because I want them to tell it to me the way they want it to be, and then when I get into the cutting room, let’s just say I can add perspective. So the lie that I put into the film that was the easiest and simplest example was one where I was in the car when he hatched his wacky plan to have [his former teammate and rival] Frankie Andreu be the one who had to come interview in the tour. He was howling with laughter as he hatched that plan. Then, of course, I asked him on camera, “Was there any mischief involved in this decision?” He said, “Oh absolutely not.” Like a politician. Like Bill Clinton might have said, “I did not have sex with that woman.” It was evidently a lie. At the time, I didn’t stamp my feet and say, this is outrageous, you’re lying to me. I just moved on.

NP: How much do you think this was about Lance being a pathological liar and how much do you think he was lying for his job like James Clapper?

AG: I think it’s a little bit of both. Lance would say, look, I had no choice but to lie. But, what that leaves out is — first of all, that’s not true. Lance could’ve said every step along the way, I’ve never tested positive, which actually would’ve had the virtue of being true. But instead he said, how dare you say that I as a cancer survivor would ever use performance enhancing drugs. He made his lie enormous, which is something he didn’t have to do, but I think, over time, he felt he had the license to do. So that was more than keeping his job. That was a way of him burnishing his myth in a way that ultimately became very profitable for him. Then, when people challenged that enormous lie, he went after them, and went after them rather viciously for actually trying to tell the truth, which is the thing I think that most people don’t forgive. The job part is almost understandable. That is to say, he lived in a world in which almost everybody was doping. What is not so easy to forgive in fact is this idea that he made the lie so enormous and made so many people complicit in that lie, and then the way he attacked people that tried to tell the truth.

NP: I know that you investigated the sport’s governing body. How complicit and corrupt do you feel they were?

AG: I think they were complicit and corrupt…Sometimes in ways that may have been organic almost. They were never able, at least in my reporting, to go in and order people to destroy positive samples. That’s never how it worked. It was always much more of a wink and a nod. As Lance says in the film, they would say, geez, you’re getting a little close to the sun here. You’re pretty close to testing positive. Which is a way of saying, we know you’re cheating, but just don’t cheat too much. Of course the whole aspect of the Vrijman Report is really an interesting example of how they were so deeply invested in the cover up. Lance was so important to cycling from a financial perspective that it was greatly in cycling’s interest to try to make sure that any report done on possible doping would be positive to Lance. So, yeah, I think the UCI [Union Cycliste Internationale] was deeply complicit. I think sponsors were complicit. Nobody really wanted to know the truth about what was going on, even though there were a lot of allegations early on about Lance doping. But did anybody ask the tough questions? No, because the beautiful lie was much more profitable than the ugly truth.

NP: In this age, do you think it’s even practical to try and get drugs out of sports? Do you think that’s an attainable goal? Should there be more pragmatic rules governing sport?

AG: Well, let me put it to you a different way, do we think that investment banks are ever going to stop cheating? No. Do we think that we should abandon any attempt to regulate those banks? I would argue, no. You have to try even though you know the cheating is going to continue. Even though you know that, because they’re smart and being paid a lot of money, they’re liable to be one step ahead of the regulators. I think we have an investment in sport to see that it’s not all pro-wrestling. You don’t want the winner or the loser of every sport to be determined by the size of your pocketbook and the quality of the drugs that you can provide. You want to believe that a lot of it is talent and hard work.

NP: Do you think that’s the beautiful lie though? That all you need is talent and hard work.

AG: No, clearly we know that we have to be smarter than that. Our eyes have to be open. We can’t pretend that doping doesn’t go on in sports. But I also don’t think that that means we should just say, well, since we’re going to have doping anyway, bring it on. Do whatever you need to do and that will be the contest. I just don’t think that’s what we want. Because ultimately that takes us down a slope that’s too slippery and too possibly dangerous…I mean, you’re right, it’s a beautiful lie. I agree with you. I think it is a beautiful lie to think that you can eradicate doping from sports. But I think that you can do a better job of keeping that doping in check and also changing the culture to some extent so that winning at any cost isn’t the paramount ethic.

NP: Sports should be about sportsmanship.

AG: Yeah…It’s not a level playing field. After all, some people are taller than others, people are faster than others, there are natural advantages. That’s always going to be present in sport. But it’s about reckoning on the rules of the road so you can agree. Even war has rules, right? And you think in some ways, well, why should war have rules? The idea is to win. But…I thought about it in the context of a film I was doing about torture. I thought, you hire solders to kill other people, that’s what you hire them to do. So why should there be rules about interrogations once a soldier has been captured? What sense does that make? Just beat the shit out of them and leave it at that. But two things happen: First of all, you don’t get very good information. And second of all, there’s something very powerful and appealing about the idea that when you get a solider under your control, and you have ultimate power over that person, it’s very important that you institute what is the military equivalent of the golden rule. To say, you and I are both human beings, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Because there is a peculiar kind of moral persuasion that takes place in that kind of context. So much so with doping. If Lance Armstrong can feel, look, I’m delivering a feel-good myth to people and – not only that – I’m raising lots of money for cancer, I should be able to dope as much as I want. Fuck them. I don’t find it a compelling rationale. I guess I don’t believe in laissez-faire in either capitalism or sports. I think rules are good.

NP: So you eventually circled back around to the film and got the last big interview from Lance. How did that come about? And how much persuasion did it take for him to sit down again with you?

AG: It took a lot of persuasion to get his lawyers onside. That took more persuasion than Lance. Lance said he would do it and he ultimately made good on his word. I think he realized that he had screwed us up big time and he owed us an explanation. And ultimately, he delivered on that, but it was a bitter pill to swallow. Both when he came out and finally told the truth, even though he had been lying to us forthrightly for a long time, but then also, at one time, he promised us the opportunity to have the interview where he would come clean. He didn’t make good on that promise either. So he owed us and I think he also he wanted to be able to influence his story.

NP: In his “come clean” interview, was there anything that you didn’t buy?

AG: Well, I think you see it in the film. I find the idea that he was clean in 2009 extremely hard to believe. I gave Lance the opportunity to give his rationale, but I find it hard to believe.

NP: Was there anything that we don’t see on camera, any questions that you asked that he evaded?

AG: The one question that I never could get him to answer straight was: what and when was the first time you doped? He was always vague on that issue and that always disappointed me. I wanted to know the very first time he took a performance enhancing drug. The truth is, there may be some mystery there and I still want to know the answer. But it’s also possible that the moment I was looking for, which was a kind of Rubicon that was crossed, the idea that, oh, gosh, I’m going to have to take drugs now. But I think Lance is actually being pretty honest when, in response to a question I asked him about why he took drugs, he said, I didn’t lose much sleep over it. In other words, for him, it was very practical.

NP: When you put it in the context of someone who’s been through chemotherapy and taken lots of drugs that are extremely harmful to the body, that line has to be a lot softer because he’s already someone that wouldn’t be on the planet but for drugs.

AG: Correct. I think also in the sport of cycling, particularly in Europe, there’s a very macho culture and Lance was a very macho guy. There was a very macho culture which embraced the use, and sometimes overuse, of drugs. It was just part of the manning up that you needed to do in order to be able to get across the finish line.

NP: Watching the film, that’s the one question that’s in the back of your mind the whole time that you never get answered. I wonder if that’s because he’s protecting someone?

AG: That’s the question. I don’t know. Is he protecting somebody? That’s why it was galling to me that he would never come clean on the hospital room. Is it because he’s protecting somebody or he just can’t stand to lose to Betsy Andreu…I don’t know which one it is.

NP: The hospital room thing, I’m conflicted on. Because you have a right to privacy with regards to what happens between you and your doctors. I’m actually appalled that his former friends would make public what was said under such circumstances. If that had been something that had come out outside of that room in the corridor, all well and good, but not in a consulting room with a doctor.

AG: You’re right. I take your point. On the other hand, that information first came out under subpoena, not by somebody going to the press and saying, hey do I have a scoop for you. It was in a legal context under subpoena that that information first came out. But, what I’m more interested in, is that, as a practical matter, Lance admitted on Oprah and also in the interview with me, that he was using drugs as early as ’94 – that is to say, well before the hospital room, right? So, if we already know he’s using drugs as early as ’94, what difference does the hospital room make? And that’s what leads you to wonder, what is that about? Is it about protecting somebody else? Did doctors lie for him? Or can he just not stand after all these years to lose.

NP: I guess that goes back to the question of how much is pathological lying, how much is lying for pride’s sake, and how much is lying to protect other people.

AG: Correct. And I think all these things got jumbled together in Lance’s mind. I think there’s a moral force sometimes that he’s able to exhibit when he’s lying, which is scary, but I think a lot of good liars do that. They exhibit what the police call “noble cause corruption.”

NP: It reminds me of Jimmy Savile and the child molesting case in the UK. No one wanted to poke around too much because Jimmy raised lots of money for Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

AG: I just did a film on childhood sex abuse in the Catholic Church and it reminded me of exactly the same thing. The church always used to come out and say, why do you keep attacking us on this? We do so much good. And people would back off. How dare you say it’s a priest? A priest! Impossible.

NP: What do you think is in Armstrong’s future? This is something that’s hard to move past. Can you see him coming back to public life in an Eliot Spitzer kind of way?

AG: It’s hard to know. In the short term, no. In the long term, it will depend. The problem is, he’s caught between a kind of Scylla and Charybdis of the legal courts and the courts of public opinion. If he ever comes completely clean, he’ll finally satisfy the court of public opinion, but he’ll put himself at huge legal jeopardy. And if he plays the legal game, he’ll never make anybody satisfied because they all want to hear the whole truth and nothing but the truth at this point. So until the legal cases are over…Also Lance’s own psychology, now that he’s in fighting mode he’s in no mood or he’s incapable of reckoning with what it is that he did off the bike. So in the short term, I don’t see a future. In the long term, we’ll have to see.

NP: What’s in your future? I know you’re probably already on to your next documentary, if not your next three. What have you got in the works?

AG: A couple of investigative things, which I probably won’t talk about, and I’m just finishing up a music documentary about the African musician Fela Kuti.

NP: That’s a change of pace for you.

AG: Yeah, it will be good. It will be fun.

NP: Well, thank you so much. It’s an absolute pleasure to chat with you. I loved the movie. Like you say, it played like a feature film. Even though I knew he was a liar, I wanted him to win. I guess that’s again part of the beautiful lie; Even watching this movie, I knew he was a liar and a cheat, but I sat on the edge of my seat wanting him to win.

AG: Hoping he would win. I agree. That’s ultimately why I decided to be complicit in the story and to put myself at the heart of it, as if to say, this is how it works.

The Armstrong Lie opens in Los Angeles and New York on Friday, November 8.

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Nov 2013 05

Masterminds & Wingmen Author Rosalind Wiseman Talks Hooking Up, Raising Better Boys and How To Deal With Cyber Bullies

by Darrah de jour

Masterminds & Wingmen from James M. Edwards on Vimeo.

Author Rosalind Wiseman’s bestselling book Queen Bees & Wannabes was the inspiration for the film Mean Girls,Tina Fey’s hilarious and dead-on satire of high school hierarchies. Back when Lindsay Lohan could sincerely portray a wide-eyed new girl on campus, we all related as she struggled to fit in, be herself, and decode the oft confusing and conniving girl world. In Wiseman’s latest work, she turns her attention to boys; breaking the guy code for parents, educators and young men themselves. With suicide and incarceration rates of boys averaging five to eight times those of girls, this boy bible is needed more than ever. Revealing their capacity for deep emotional life, Wiseman, a foremost anti-bullying activist, offers an important foundation to better understand and communicate with today’s boys.

Darrah de jour: How did you get started as an educator and social justice advocate?

Rosalind Wiseman: Strangely enough, I started by teaching self defense to girls, shortly after I graduated from college. I fell into it, and started a non-profit. I very quickly got to a place of wanting to address the root causes of violence. I went into where girls and boys were and I ran a non-profit for about ten years. I wrote a curricula for social competence, bullying prevention, media literacy and ethical leadership that’s used in many schools and organizations to this day.

DDJ: I remember taking self defense and it had such a powerful effect on me. It even changed my dreams.

RW: Yes, makes sense to me. It’s so fundamental [to] our sense of power and self agency over our bodies. So, if we change that, and feel better about it, it really changes the way we walk through the world.

DDJ: Something particularly unique about your method of relating to teens is that you provide a safe space for them to share their stories and feelings. I remember after the Columbine shooting, when asked what he’d say to the shooters, Marilyn Manson famously replied, “I wouldn’t say anything. I’d listen to them. Which nobody else did.” What drew you to working with tweens and teens –– especially with relation to hot topics like bullying, self-esteem and cliques?

RW: This has been the only job I’ve ever had. I graduated from college and started working on these issues. Very quickly, as a young person in her early 20s, I was struck by how many adults were giving advice but weren’t listening to the kids. So the advice was not helpful. It was not reflective of what the kids were going through. It could be very patronizing. It’s an amazing thing to have to listen to advice from somebody who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. And if you try and argue or present a different point of view it’s perceived by some adults as being disrespectful. I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t stand that we were teaching children but we were not doing our due diligence to present them with the best information possible. That included listening to them.

The other thing was that I was very concerned… I mean, we can tell people that they have the right to do something, but they have to be able to back up that right and navigate and advocate for themselves with really concrete skills. I was very focused on [the fact] that there were some kids that were above the law. Both boys and girls. They felt like they could do what they wanted with kids that didn’t have that kind of power. I wanted to be able to address those kinds of problems. If we had a chance of wanting school to be a safe place then we needed to address those problems.

DDJ: Absolutely. I grew up with a very dominant father who had an affinity for giving advice to me that was from left field. If I argued –– even if I was trying to connect — it was seen as disrespectful.

RW: When you have a parent who sees that kind of stuff as talking back, the kid develops two responses. One is that they learn to dominate like their parent did and that their opinion matters more than other people’s, or they learn to not advocate for themselves. Becoming an adult [for them] is learning to advocate for themselves, which is really tough stuff. If you talk about boys, you have so much cultural conditioning to take it, suck it up and deal. And then you feel incredibly lonely and you feel incredibly angry. And boys have such scripted rules on how they can express their anger. They sit on it, or they drink themselves into oblivion, or they punch a wall, or they go after somebody. It’s not fair. This is so fixable.

DDJ: You’ve written about the differences in “hooking up” and “hook up culture” between boys and girls. Can you outline some of the ways that hooking up affects girls and boys differently?

RW: First of all, hooking up means different things to different kids, and that’s totally fine. One of the things that really struck me when I was working with adult people, older people, was when we were talking about hooking up and I was talking about how a boy will feel really betrayed when he’s hooking up with a girlfriend or a girl he’s been hooking up with for a while, and then she hooks up with a couple of other boys and he finds out about it… the answer back was, ‘Did they have sex or did they not have sex? Did they have intercourse?’ I was like, ‘You don’t get it. That’s not the point.’ The point is that the boy felt betrayed. However he defines hooking up, it doesn’t matter. This whole thing that if you have sexual intercourse then it means more, or maybe a better way of saying it is, everything else doesn’t matter is totally ridiculous. It absolutely dismisses that person’s opinion or emotional reaction to the betrayal. So, here you have this 16-year-old boy who has a girl who messed around with him and three different guys and he has the right to be upset about this. Regardless of whether or not this girl had sex with these three other boys. That is a generational shift that is huge. So, you’ve got statistics that say teen pregnancy is down, rates of sexual intercourse are later, but I think –– and I think this is positive for the majority of kids –– that they talk about sex more easily with each other. As a boy, you know that a girl you’re hooking up with could hook up with someone else. And based on her social status, frankly –– and this is where the problem is –– she’s either gonna be able to hook up with whoever she wants and have no social consequences whatsoever or her social status will increase. Or, if she has low social status, then she will be really vulnerable to being attacked and dismissed, ridiculed and degraded as being a whore or a slut.

The majority of boys want to have sex, they want to hook up with people, but at the same time, just like girls –– you know girls want to hook up, have sex, mess around and not have responsibility, but those same people, the next day, might want something that’s really emotionally engaged.

DDJ: Is hooking up ever a good thing?

RW: I want teenagers to be able to come into their own sexuality in a sex positive way. The only way to do that is for young people to understand why that’s so hard and how that’s so hard in a gendered way. The legacy and the baggage that girls have about [that is] what stops them from being sex positive. I want girls to understand how to go up against somebody that attacks them for being a slut or a whore. I want a 13-year-old girl to clearly understand that a 17-year-old boy who’s asking her to go hang out with him for the night is somebody who wants the power dynamic to be in his court. That he’s going after her not because she’s cute but because she won’t be able to say no. I want the boys to understand that they also have the right to say no. That they don’t have to say yes to every single sexual advance that comes their way. I want boys to understand why girls are so unclear about what they do and do not want in their sexual interactions with them.

For girls and for boys, after girls have been sexually assaulted, these [are] things that we see when people pile on the victim and say, ‘you’re a whore, you’re a slut, how dare you come forward.’ I want them to understand that they are literally being co-opted into this system and participating in the degradation of someone. In the absence of that context, they fall prey to this really regressive kind of conversation –– or lack of conversation –– that adults rarely have with young people.

DDJ: I’m nodding emphatically over here. Let’s get back to that topic. You claim that boys have a deep emotional life. I’ve always felt that the traditional socialization of boys hampers their future evolution, which contributes to unhappy marriages, workaholism, and feelings of depression and alienation as men. How can we free boys’ ability to express emotions, without emasculating them?

RW: The women in their lives need to be strong authority figures with a good sense of humor, who have no problem saying, ‘Yeah, that — whatever that thing it is you just did — that is over the line. No, I don’t give a shit if you think I’m being uptight. Fuck off.’ And then laugh about it. To be able to handle when boys are pushing boundaries. As a mother I think it’s really important to deal with the legacy that we have around being in the presence of a man who is angry. There are women who are abusive to men, certainly. But being in the face of a man’s anger and capitulating or –– and we get this from any of our relationships –– the idea that it’s more important to maintain the relationship you have with somebody than how you’re treated in that relationship. Both boys and girls can have that in their friendship groups.

When mothers capitulate to their sons and don’t hold boundaries with their sons, their sons stop respecting them as an authority figure for everything and they lose the relationship and the intimacy that they wanted in the first place.

[Boys] don’t want to be emotionally stunted. At some point boys forget that they have the right to have a rich emotional life.

For dads, I think they’ve bought into the stereotype of boys being stupid and only caring about eating nachos and having sex. I do know that there are a lot of boys who want stronger, richer relationships with the men in their lives.

DDJ: As you know, I covered the Steubenville rape case for SuicideGirls. That case, and the gang rape and murder of a medical student in India, pushed the subject of sexual assault into the limelight and served as a trigger for a lot of people. These ghastly events proved to be pivotal ones. The accused Steubenville teens were convicted and new conversations around teen drinking and non-consensual sex were started. Furthermore, laws changed in India because of fervent activism there. How can young men form healthier attitudes about young women when so many societal signals – including those in the media –– cultivate violent and objectifying ones?

RW: The sound bites we give boys like “make healthy decisions…” If I could stop an adult from ever saying “make healthy decisions” again I would feel my job is done. I’m serious! (Laughs.) It’s like, do you hear how inane you are? Do you understand the complexities of life, and you think “make healthy decisions” is an appropriate and effective response? Yeah, sure.

My answer is, get away from sound bites –– which includes “You know, no means no, right?” It’s an important sound bite. Adults need to say that to boys, but they have to say it in a context, which is: if you are somebody who likes to party –– and I’m not going to judge you on this right now that’s a whole different conversation –– but if on chance, you like to socialize and that socializing includes alcohol or drugs and people taking pictures of each other doing things that are embarrassing or stupid, sober or drunk or high, if you do that and you’re a part of that situation and you see something that’s going off the rails, or you’re with somebody that is drunk, maybe not crazy, falling over drunk, but you’ve seen them at five other parties but they’ve managed themselves… We need to provide that kind of context. ‘No means no,’ I get it, but you need to understand there’s a reason people can communicate unclearly in those moments and they can say “maybe.” Maybe is not yes. Maybe, I don’t know, my friends are downstairs. When a woman says ‘my friends are downstairs’ that doesn’t mean she wants to have sex with you if her friends weren’t downstairs. That actually means she wants to leave. But how do you say that to a boy? Nobody talks about rape. But if we say “no means no” as a soundbite, a boy is going to think, ok, a boy is sober, a girl is sober and he’s forcing her down and she is saying stop, stop. That is not the way that most of these rapes are going down. So we need to give them a context for it.

Second thing is, we have to stop giving boys crappy advice about relationships, like girls put holes in condoms. Hook up Saturday, abort on Sunday. We have to recognize that boys are getting awful, awful advice from people in their own lives, not just the media.

We need men turning to the boy in their life during a commercial break and saying, ‘You’re in tenth grade now. You went to that party Saturday night and I’m not asking you what happened, but I just want you to know that stuff is complicated. I remember a friend of mine hooking up with a girl that I really liked and I didn’t know what to do about it. If you ever want to talk to me about it, I’m here.’ And a couple hours later, that boy’s probably going to say, ‘Hey, tell me that story again.’

DDJ: I was talking openly with a guy friend of mine… He said sometimes it’s confusing because a girl will say no, but she’s laughing and he doesn’t know if he should keep going or what. The messages guys are getting from their peers and maybe even their father is just to continue and the girl will eventually give in.

RW: Girls laugh because they are uncomfortable or they don’t want to be perceived as… you know that whole slut crap baggage is in your brain. Or you pretend that you’re clueless that this is happening, like ‘What? You want to have sex with me? Are you kidding?’ But that’s that slut language that’s in our head that makes it much harder for us to communicate clearly. Or you’re laughing because you’re nervous and you really don’t want to be doing this. And that’s what parents need to talk about or else they’re setting their children up for misinterpretation and assault.

DDJ: Do you do any work with gay, bi and transgender youth? How do their needs differ from those of their straight counterparts?

RW: Everybody wants to feel loved and acknowledged. It really varies by community. Some schools and communities are like, ‘Great.’ It’s not going to really do anything. Those boys would be able to talk to their straight friends about their relationships and be fine. There are schools in this country where that’s possible. Then, of course, there are places where you can’t do that and you’re ashamed and run out of town. It really depends on where you’re coming into your own and how stable your home life is. Because I’m straight and a female and married, it was always really important to me to be as adamantly outspoken as I could to support these kids and their rights.

DDJ: In Masterminds & Wingmen you cover topics like porn and video games. How much do you think male teens’ access to video games and free online porn, with little conversation about the reality of lovemaking, femininity, and the female experience, affects their interactions with girls?

RW: They’re gonna say it doesn’t. I get into very big debates with the boys about this. You could show me studies that say killing a prostitute in Grand Theft Auto 5 and then taking back the money that you gave her for her services does not impact your respect for women. I don’t really care. Boys that I really like and respect will say to me, ‘This has not affected my relationship with women and girls.’ They are modeling in my relationships with them their point. I respect what the boys are saying. But that and the torture part of it is where my line is. I don’t have a problem with first person shooter games. The thing I’m much more worried about is that online you’re calling girls fat, whore, slut, pig, whenever you hear a girl’s voice come online when you’re playing a multi-player game. You want to take the argument with me that this doesn’t disrespect girls, well then, the next time you’re in the middle of a game, and some guy starts flaming and trolling a girl you get up and you say, ‘No, this gamer girl has a right to be here, shut up!’ And, they’re not. They’re not coming to the girl’s defense, they’re not reporting the troll. You make those toxic environments in those games. It could be any game. If you stand up for a civil dialogue in those communities, then I will stop getting on your case about GTA 5. But, until then, come up with a different argument.

GTA 5 only has lower power women and degradation. There’s no sex-positive prostitute in GTA 5. That’s the only role they’re allowing women to play in this game. What does that say about the game designers? I’m just in the starting place of working with game designers about the culture in which their games are supporting.

DDJ: Do you think that reading Masterminds & Wingmen will help young men prepare for and navigate the beer-infused, highly competitive social landscape of college life?

RW: They can read Masterminds if they want, but I want them to read this free e-book I wrote for the boys called The Guide: Managing Douchebags, Recruiting Wingmen, and Attracting Who You Want. That’s for them. I put together The Guide with 200 guys about the most likely, annoying, frustrating, excruciatingly miserable experiences you might have in high school. The boys and I have worked in collaboration on what is the best way to get through these situations. It’s free and boys can download it. Men in their 20s have told me that it’s been really helpful.

Pick up Rosalind Wiseman’s new book Masterminds & Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World and stay in touch with her at: www.rosalindwiseman.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Darrah is a freelance journalist and consultant, with a focus on sensuality, environmentalism, and fearless women in the media. She appears as a “Woman on the Street” on The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet and has contributed to The Conversation website. Her lifestyle writing and celebrity interviews have appeared in Marie Claire, Esquire and W, among others. She contributes author and filmmaker interviews to The Rumpus and Hollywood Today. Her dating confessions have appeared in GirlieGirl Army and xoJane. Darrah’s “Red, White and Femme” columns for SuicideGirls take a fresh look at females in America – investigating issues like gender, bisexuality, sex work, motherhood and more. Subscribe to her blog at Darrahdejour.com/, and friend her on Facebook.

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Oct 2013 30

by Nicole Powers

On October 8th, Stone Temple Pilots released the five-song High Rise EP, which featured the band’s first post-Scott Weiland recordings. With Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington now fronting STP, the remaining original members, Eric Kretz and brothers Dean and Robert DeLeo, hope to breathe new life into the band.

We caught up with Bennington (whose other band Linkin Park have just released their Recharged album) to talk about the epic collaboration, and the music that’s more than worthy of STP’s legacy that it’s already spawned.

Read our exclusive interview with Chester Bennington on SuicideGIrls.com

Stone Temple Pilots’ High Rise EP and Linkin Park’s new album, Recharged (featuring the single “A Light That Never Comes” with Steve Aoki), are available now. Stone Temple Pilots have a string of new tour dates starting November 1st, visit their website for more details.

Photo: Chapman Baehler.

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Oct 2013 25

by Nicole Powers

It’s impossible to pin down Clive Barker, the man who created the iconic Pinhead character. The multi-faceted and irrepressible filmmaker, video game designer, artist, and author travels through different mediums and genres with the kind of ease that a shapeshifter might exchange forms. Take, for example, his current diverse slate of creative output. He’s recently released anniversary editions of two of his most popular novels: Weaveworld and Cabal, which respectively reside towards opposite ends of the fantasy/horror spectrum (something that Barker envisions as a boundaryless continuum). Meanwhile he’s writing his next adult novel and applying paint to canvas for two more installments of his popular Abarat all ages adventure, which is told in words and pictures. A new comic series, New Testament, came out earlier this year, which Barker produced with Mark Miller, who also serves as his editor and the Vice President of his production company, Seraphim. And Barker is currently presenting an art exhibition at Culver City’s Century Guild in association with the gallery’s founder and owner Thomas Negovan. Entitled Grand-Guignol, the group show will feature Barker’s paintings alongside other works he’s curated with Negovan. In addition, on Saturday the Beyond Fest will present a special screening at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theater of the Cabal Cut of Night Breed, which sees Barker’s cult classic film restored to a form that more closely resembles his original vision and the book upon which it was based.

On a recent edition of SuicideGirls Radio, the British born and internationally acclaimed master of multiple light and dark arts joined us by phone from his Beverly Hills home to talk about the varied proverbial irons he’s keeping warm with his creative fire.

Read the transcript of our 30 minute conversation with Clive Barker on SuicideGirls.com.

[Miller and Negovan also joined us in-studio – you can view the full two-hour show here.]

The director’s Cabal Cut of Night Breed, which features over 45 minutes of long lost additional footage, will be screened at the closing night gala of the Beyond Fest at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, CA on October 26.

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Oct 2013 22

by Blogbot

This Thursday, October 24th on SuicideGirls Radio, hosts Nicole Powers and Juturna Suicide will be joined in studio by artist/producer/musician Amir Derakh and former music industry insider turned investigative reporter Jason Leopold. The pair are both friends of SG – and are longtime besties IRL. Our panel will be completed by David Seaman, SG’s political correspondent.

You can listen – and watch – the world’s leading naked radio show live on Thursday nights from 6 til 8 PM at our new state-of-the-art all digital home: TradioV.com.

You’ll also be able to listen to our podcasts via Stitcherdownload the app now!

If you have questions for the SG Radio crew or our guests, you can call in during the live broadcast at: 1-855-TRV-inLA (1-855-878-4652)

For updates on all things SG Radio-related, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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About Amir Derakh | @amirderakh

For over 20 years guitarist, songwriter, engineer, and producer Amir Derakh has been known as one of the musical pioneers of the Los Angeles area. He was awarded the prestigious “Most Promising Guitarist” by Gibson Guitars as a member, writer, and producer of the multi-platinum selling band Orgy. In addition, Amir is a fully qualified producer and engineer having earned his degree in Recording Engineering from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He is responsible for the successes of many artists and has worked with several well-known bands such as The Eels (where he received an engineering Grammy nomination), Danzig, Coal Chamber, and most recently Mumiy Troll. He has also scored and created original music for movies, video games, and television including: Transformers, Underworld, Freaky Friday and the HBO series True Blood. Other projects include Julien-K (which he formed with fellow Orgy member Ryan Shuck), Dead By Sunrise (which features Chester Bennington of Linkin Park on vocals), and Circuit Freq an electro/techno duo with Anthony “Fu” Valcic. Amir also runs a very successful music label Circuit Freq Records.

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About Jason Leopold | @JasonLeopold

Jason Leopold is an investigative reporter covering Guantanamo, counterterrorism, national security, human rights, open government and civil liberties issues. He’s been called a “FOIA Terrorist” by federal employees for his aggressive use of the Freedom of Information Act, which included suing the FBI and forcing the agency to changes its policies. He is currently a contributing editor for Al Jazeera and is the recipient of a Freedom of Press Foundation grant. He’s the author of the national bestseller, News Junkie, and an investigative report, From Hopeful to Immigrant to FBI Informant: The Inside Story of the Other Abu Zubaidah, which was published in the form of an ebook. Leopold’s investigative reporting highlights includes “Revised Guantanamo Force-Feed Policy Exposed,” a story based on a military document he exclusively obtained, and “Sold Into ‘A Piece of Hell’: A Death of Innocence at Gitmo,” about the suspicious death in September 2012 of prisoner Adnan Latif. A radio documentary about Leopold’s life, based on his book News Junkie, was broadcast by the award-winning podcast, Love + Radio and featured on NPR.

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About David Seaman | @d_seaman

David Seaman is an independent journalist. He has been a lively guest on CNN Headline News, FOX News, ABC News Digital, among others, and on his humble YouTube channel, DavidSeamanOnline. Some say he was recently censored by a certain large media corporation for posting a little too much truth… Catch Seaman on his brand new crowd-funded Rise Morning Show (@RiseMorningShow). For more, find him on G+ and Twitter.

**UPDATE**

ICYMI: Last night’s show featuring in-studio guests Amir Derakh, Jason Leopold and David Seaman + Skype-in guests Justin Wedes and Rodney Deas of @OccupyWallStNYC and #DetroitSolidarity.



Video streaming by Ustream

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Oct 2013 20

by Nicole Powers

Like National Public Radio, Back to the Future 2, Daniel Day Lewis, Sunsets, and Farrah Fawcett Hair, Capital Cities’ debut album In A Tidal Wave of Mystery, which was released in June of this year, is good shit. The funky and fun band was formed after founding members Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian were united via a Craigslist ad back in 2008. The duo had a successful career composing jingles before releasing their first tunes under the Capital Cities moniker in 2011.

The self-titled five-song EP came out via indie label Lazy Hooks. It featured the quirky yet highly infectious track “Safe and Sound” which did the rounds on the interwebs before being picked up by the likes of Vodafone, Smart Car, Microsoft, and HBO. Following the viral success of the song, Capital Cities acquired additional members (bassist Manny Quintero, trumpeter Spencer Ludwig, guitarist Nick Merwin, and drummer Channing Holmes) and hit the road, building an avid following of fans, who, to complete the feedback loop, were invited to contribute voicemailed vocals about their favorite things for the song “Farrah Fawcett Hair.”

We caught up with Sebu Simonian to talk about the album and the band’s upcoming tour.

Read our exclusive interview with Sebu Simonian of Capital Cities on SuicideGirls.com.

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