Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Our intrepid investigative reporter

Howard Goldowsky sent me an e-mail regarding the Slugfest Chess on TV project:
This Clint Ballard guy has got me intrigued. ... today I shot off a few questions to him as comments in his latest post, sort of challenging some of the more controversial elements of his project.
You can read the entire comment thread here; below I've excerpted a couple of Howard's questions (in italics) and Clint's answers:
Why are you so intent on including only Christian models (what's wrong with other religions, and isn't this discrimination)?

I do NOT require that the girls be Christian, it just turned out that they all were, at least initially. I do not ask them if they are, or are not before hiring them, and there has been quite a bit of turnover in the cast.
For the record, what Clint actually said in his January 14th post was "What are the odds of finding half a dozen beautiful, athletic, intelligent swimsuit models in one day who are all Christians? I have been sending out feelers for a week+, but today was the day I met most of them." Perhaps the Christian part was just a coincidence as he suggests, though why bother mentioning it?
I also want to know why you don't feel hypocritical about using scantily clad models for your show and posting their images to the Internet when you'’re so outspoken about the distasteful spread of pornography. What's the difference between a model with a thong and a model without a thong? I mean, yea, there's a dividing line, but why even go near it?

In 2006, you see girls in thong bikinis on prime time television. Clearly, girls in thong bikinis is not porn. Now, it is possible for a fully clothed person to be doing some very lewd things and at the same time for a barely clothed person to be doing very good things. For example, what if a person in a jumpsuit pushes another person off of a tall bridge to their death, but a naked person saves them from their fall by catching them? I claim that it is not the presence of absence of clothing that makes a person (image/video) good or evil, but rather what they are doing, or about to do, or in some cases thinking of doing.

By showing girls in bikinis doing good things, my goal is to counteract to whatever degree that it will, the current negative associations people have about girls in bikinis, eg. they must be dumb, they are probably going to commit some sort of sin, etc. By going near the line, I can make the strongest statement about the fact that there is inherently nothing evil with the image of the human body. The evil comes from what that body is doing.
Personally, I have few negative associations with pretty girls in bikinis ... other than the fact that they rarely talk to me.

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