But then, why play the tired old Hollywood-marketing game of hanging a prescribed gender tag on art? Not trusting her own view of the works at hand, James has to blame the fact that she doesn’t like them on her sex. It’s an approach that renders serious thought about movies, and the ways we respond to them, meaningless. Why think critically, when you can just consult the imaginary focus group in your mind?
But there’s a danger to positing that certain types of movies are “for” audiences of either gender. That’s how you get a world of “inclusionary” and “exclusionary” art, instead of art that cuts across gender lines (or, for that matter, racial lines) to speak to everyone. I have a male friend whose tastes typically run to horror movies, but he adores the television adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” — it’s one of those things he says he could watch anytime. And there are exactly two women in Peter Weir’s “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” and one of them is a miniature painting in a locket. What’s more, there’s lots of battles and gunfire — two more elements that you might characterize as appealing to men specifically. Yet I don’t see “Master and Commander” as a “men’s” movie at all. Are women somehow less well-equipped to enjoy a picture that’s beautifully shot, and whose story is well told, intuitively acted and marvelously paced, just because it has a masculine aura around it? Do you need to be a man to respond to “typically masculine” notions of nobility and heroism?
Another idea which it seems like someone must have come up with already: ransoming art/content/whatever.
The idea is simple: a content provider sets up a donation box and publishes material enough money has been made. It seems this may only work for someone with an established reputation as a good content provider, but as long as the goals set are reasonable it could work.
This solves a couple problems: it prevents there from being a toll box on the information superhighway as some people have put it (a real problem considering that what’s a micropayment in the US could be considerably larger in a third world country, where even getting internet access is very expensive). But it also encourages people who have the money to donate it.
I see this working particularly well for big name musicians… what if Trent Reznor says he won’t record another album until he gets a $6 million advance from fans? He’d probably get a lot of the money from just a couple of rich nin fans. Then he could release the album on p2p networks and completely bypass the entire label system.
But it could work for someone like E-Sheep Patrick Farley too. I would donate towards a ransom for a new E-Sheep comic.
Update: from the comments: Abe points to Street Performer Protocol.