In the 1990s, with the proliferation of video-rental shops, I noticed changes in the format of horror movies, mostly caused by the emergence of lady-cop types--young, attractive women who do not tolerate sexism from their male cohorts.

In fact, the number of lady-cops, FBI agents, monster-hunters, and warrior-princesses just staggered me. Each new movie-character tried to outdo the last one in toughness and intolerance of sexism.

The Silence of the Lambs movie from 1991, starring Jodie Foster, may have started the trend; followed by The X-Files in 1993, starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny; then the TV series Xena, Warrior Princess, followed by the movie Copycat, starring Holly Hunter and Sigourney Weaver, both of which appeared in 1995.

Female empowerment also played a role in TV viewership when I was growing up in the 1960s and 70s. The female characters gained power through possession of magic, such as the TV series Bewitched, from 1964 and I Dream of Genie, from 1965. In each of these roles, the women exercised unlimited power with self-effacing humor. Now women want power from legitimate government authority, complete with firearms.

Modern horror-films certainly deliver the goods! They scare the shit out of anyone foolish enough to watch them. The plots routinely involve terrifying monsters--hideous creatures that kill people in brutal ways. The girls may enjoy seeing the tough, lady-cops in action, tolerating no sexism from their male cohorts, but the mostly male film-directors make the girls pay through the nose for their enjoyment.


September 30, 2022

Rolexes and Wealth

I remember the day my eighth-grade teacher arrived at school wearing his new wrist-watch. We saw this guy for the 180 days of the school-year and knew him pretty well--as well as anyone did. We noticed that, among his other mannerisms, he tended to look often at the watch during class. We thought he was keen to know the time on a regular basis. Now, I believe he was just admiring his new watch.

September 28, 2022

Family-life is not a Democracy

I ran into a problem yesterday when I returned to Germany. On my first evening, I wanted to slake my thirst for German beer, big-time! So I ordered a liter-serving right off the bat; but I knew I also wanted some wine and ordered a carafe of it, as well. Shamefully, I have to admit to not finishing either. I slaked my thirst, but had to leave some of it undrunk. I hate wasting anything, but I had work to do and wanted to operate on all my cylinders.

September 24, 2022

Violence in the Real

This article appeared last July in the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, by the newspaper's expert on hip-hop music, Florentin Schuhmacher. He regards gangsta-rap, and its sub-genre Drill, as a legitimate art-form. He can understand the reservations that law enforcement, parents, and teachers have toward music that glorifies gang-life, describes the rush of killing one's enemies, the pleasure of drugs—as a source of wealth—and demeaning women; but Schumacher also says the police cannot simply censor it. They must distinguish between art and criminal acts, shooings, and robberies.

Lloyd Bowers


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