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Lexi Alexander is a heroic figure in Hollywood: She's an incredible director, a fierce activist, and known for her generosity to marginalized creators. Lexi and I talk about themes that are considered dangerous in Hollywood, especially violence, sex, and Arabness. We also talk about violence and melodrama, men breaking down in movies, masculinity, why monogamy is perverse, age of consent laws, sex education and sexual imagery, slimy DMs, Arab representation in media and US culture, the construction of Arab identity, how Islamophobes exploit feminism and LGBT rights to attack Muslims, the benefits and problems of unions in Hollywood, and more!
* Note: Sorry about the sound on this episode, if you noticed. There was a huge hiss running through, which I remedied with help from the excellent folks at Nostalgia Trap. But the thing sounds a little, um, opaque and bass heavy. It gets a but better around 19:00. I suggest you turn the treble up on your settings for this, and then it sounds much better! And if you didn't notice, well, then, thank you!
• Rainer Werner Fassbinder is my favorite auteur, and Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? is one of his least-known-best. I couldn't find a decent trailer for it. Come on, Criterion! Anyway, Criterion HAS released a bunch of his other moves.
• I talk about how porn works on AEWCH 10 with Dr. Chris Donaghue. Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir by Norman Malcolm and Georg Henrik von Wright contains some of the “proposition” stuff I was talking about when it comes to porn.
• Lexi's movie, Crossface, about the murderous wrestler, Chris Benoit, is still listed as "in development" and will likely not be released. But here's a great interview with her discussing it.
• I talk waaaaay too much about Mandy with Kelly Link and Jordy Rosenberg on AEWCH 44. (Kelly pretty much sums it up in a sentence, after I hem and haw over it.)
• A great investigation of age of consent laws is in Judith Herman's book Harmful To Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex. It's a challenging book, but worth reading and absorbing.
• Tristan Taromino is a sex educator and feminist, who makes educational and sex positive imagery. I've been on Tristan's podcast a few times, and she's great. Here's her twitter.
• The non-profit I was Vice President of for two years was The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC) They're still going strong (and are a much better organization now, I think). Check them out and support them!
• I wrote a series of essays about growing up gay in small town Pennsylvania called "Guys I Wanted To Fuck In High School." In the second essay, I wrote about the racial tensions there, and how they played into Arabness.
• Lexi brings up the excellent Dr. Jack Shaheen, who wrote Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Villifies A People, about Arab representation, and lack thereof, in Hollywood. The book was made into a documentary, but I can't ignore the fact that it was produced and distributed by the Media Education Foundation, which is, overall, a garbage anti-sex worker org. So I won't be linking to it here. But I will put this picture of the handsome devil below.
• I would love to have Game of Thrones actor Sibil Kekilli on AEWCH. If you know her, tell her I said hi!
• Lexi and I are both huge Mona Eltahawy fans. If you haven't yet listened to AEWCH 50, featuring my conversation with Mona, do it!
Thank you so much for listening, friends!