In case you find yourself bored or just needing to read some interesting pseudo-blogs, I have a couple to recommend this afternoon. And it just so happens they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum, so to speak.
The first one is one whose writing I’ve linked to before – Jim Hill Media. While it initially appears to be either a personal blog or perhaps even a promotion site for some personal business, it’s really an actual content site (albeit a cosmetically modest one) with articles, book reviews, and weekly reader mail answered. The part that makes it interesting is that, while it’s not obvious at first, everything on the site is about Disney. And everything Disney – the theme parks, the way the company does business, and especially the animated features. Articles on things like Disney’s tense relationship with Robin Williams, why Treasure Planet tanked, how Disney actually passed on Ice Age, and why the theme parks are understaffed nowadays. And it’s all really well written. I don’t know how exactly this guy gets all his information and sources, but this is fascinating stuff for hardcore Disney people, and it’s even good for people who are just befuddled by things like why Disney would release Lilo & Stitch as a 1-disc DVD.
The second one is simply titled True Porn Clerk Stories. A woman named Ali Davis in her early thirties took a job at an independent video rental store in Chicago until her acting/improv/freelance jobs took off, and wound up working there much longer than she ever intended. In order to be able to compete with the chains like Blockbuster this store has a basement level that has pornography for rent. On an Improv web site’s forum she frequented she started a running journal of her experiences, which went unnoticed by the Internet masses until it was featured on National Public Radio as part of their This American Life program. I’ll cut to the chase – in November this woman was able to quit the job to take a job at Jellyvision (they did You Don’t Know Jack, and I think she actually had a part in one of those games as she had worked for them before), so this journal is no longer updated, but it’s still a fascinating read.
Of course, as is implied by both the title and the subject matter, this is not for the kids. There’s no actual pornography at the above mentioned link (or any images whatsoever) but her descriptions of what she sees is pretty explicit, and some of the people she runs into during the course of working there are pretty unbelievable (like the ones there waiting before the store opens). But the most fascinating part of this journal is the conclusions she comes to about what porn is, why it exists, and the misconceptions people have about it (as well as the ways in which people are pretty much correct about it). She could probably have worked this into a pretty good academic study or paper (which is ironic given that one of her pseudo-regulars was a prof who hated renting porn but he had to do a project on it).
Not for the faint of heart and of course if you want nothing to do with pornography or its “peddlers” then by all means stay away from this second one and stick with the Disney journal, but if nothing else TPCS will make you feel a lot better about yourself – unless you’re one of her regulars.