Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, August 14, 2021

Ah, hell. I hate it when the New York Times scoops me.

I mean, technically, David Carr didn’t directly steal from me when he observed a disturbing trend of characterization for female reporter characters in three recently-released movies:

In “Scoop,” a Woody Allen movie that opened last month, Scarlett Johansson, playing the ingénue/reporter, reprises the cliché of journalism as a wordier version of the world’s oldest profession. Within the first five minutes of the film, she dons a pair of eyeglasses (to signify serious intent or, possibly, Diane Keaton) and then promptly sleeps with a source. “If I had used my feminine wiles to get the story,” she muses to a friend, that would have been O.K., but she comes away empty-handed.

Later in the film, when she gets a tip about a series of salacious murders that may have been committed by a young aristocrat, she quickly realizes the error of her ways: this time she not only seduces the intended target, but becomes his girlfriend, as well. In the end, she gets her man and the story to boot…

…and “Thank You for Smoking,” in which the female reporter not only hooks up with her source on approach, but then kicks him to the curb in print. This summer, even Lois Lane, the archetypal female journalist, not only beds her source but has his child. She is rewarded not with professional ridicule, but with a Pulitzer.

And he expands his thesis by pointing out other less-than-admirable reporter stereotypes, female and male. He even brings in “Tabloid Wars” as a contrast example (the pilot episode of which is available for free on iTunes, and waiting for my viewing on my iPod).

So why am I steamed? Because for the past week, I’ve had a mind to jot something here about those very three movie portrayals, all of which I caught in the movie theaters. It struck me as something of a misogynist streak in Hollywood: That a woman reporter can’t bag an interview without bagging the subject in bed. And furthermore, that this plot device was repeated across three very different movies, by three very different directors.

Instead, I procrastinated. And Carr, who gets paid for his jottings, goes and crafts his article, and looks like an insightful critic.

I mean, if I’d been more on the ball, I could have wondered if Carr had lifted my premise and expanded upon it. Or at the very least, figured he was on the same wavelength as me. Now, I got nothing to grouse about — despite appearances to the contrary…

Let this be a lesson. Don’t put off that brilliant blogging idea, lest you get scooped by a real reporter.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/14/2006 11:17:43 PM
Category: Creative, Movies, Publishing
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Just now, I stepped outside to grab something to drink. While crossing Broadway, I got a whiff of what smelled like reefer.

Marijuana smoke? On Broadway? In the middle of the day? It didn’t seem compatible. Looking around, I didn’t see any likely stench-carrying suspect (although, really, these days the lawyer in the three-piece suit is just as likely to be a lunchtime toker as is the dreadlocked guy wearing the Phish t-shirt).

I stepped back into my office building, stepped into the elevator, and turned my eyes upward to the in-car Captivate Network videoscreen. And what should I see flash across my eyes, but a promo ad for the imminent season of “Weeds” on Showtime.

Hmmm. First I get an olfactory hit, then a visual one. Coincidence?

The new season has been heavily promoted; the loads of print and outdoor display ads have been hard to miss in New York, and the occasional TV/Web spots are out there too. I wouldn’t put it past Showtime’s marketing squad to utilize (synthetic?) pot smoke in public places in this saturation campaign. It probably would be most effective; isn’t smell the most persistent of sensory cues?

As for how they managed to sync my smelling encounter with what I saw in the elevator… Either they’re overloading the elevator monitors with promos, or else that weed-like smell had a brief hallucinatory effect. All’s fair in television advertising!

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/14/2006 03:44:51 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., New Yorkin', TV
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According to “Real Fact” #143, inside my lunchtime Snapple bottlecap:

“Q” is the only letter in the alphabet not appearing in the name of any U.S. state.

If only that consideration had been factored in, I’m sure the aborted State of Sequoyah would have been allowed into the Union in 1905, rather than being lumped in with Oklahoma for admission in 1907. Maybe if the South had won

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/14/2006 02:30:09 PM
Category: History
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It’s been an odd day for me, physiologically. I’ve been walking around in a slightly lightheaded state since this morning. I thought my usual caffeine infusion would clear this fog, but two doses of tea (one hot, one iced) later, and I haven’t shaken it.

I don’t know where it’s coming from. If anything, I got more rest this weekend than usual, it being a fairly sedate couple of days. But this certainly doesn’t feel like a residual excess-sleep phase (yes, I do feel a short-term drag from getting too much sleep).

On the plus side, it seems to be making the day go by a bit faster. And from what I can tell, I seem to be kicking ass work-wise — hopefully that assessment withstands tomorrow’s scrutiny…

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/14/2006 01:32:32 PM
Category: General
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