Craigslist “Erotic Services” vs Henry McMaster

Craigslist Threatened by Attorney General for Erotic Services

  • Craigslist vs McMasterAre you aware that Craigslist were making headlines among the internet sphere for their battle against South Carolina’s Attorney General for the controversial “erotic services” column.
  • Were you aware Craigslist even had such a category?

Craigslist has become an household name as the place to go to find jobs, to buy and sell items anything from a used DVD to cars to houses. The service boasts 40 million classified ads posted every month. Amidst all the different categories and millions of posting, what often goes unnoticed is the “erotic services” section that is unfortunately accessible to anyone. Adults, Children- anyone can access these classified section.

The Attorney Generals of several states demanded that Craigslist shut down this service as it promotes prostitution. Craigslist chose to implement changes in response to their concerns. It adopted screening measures that were recommended and removed the “erotic service” category… kinda.

Craigslist is Protected under Federal Law Section 230

To Craigslist credit, they did this despite technically being protected under federal law for content posted by users. Section 230 CDA protects free speech online and it is often used to protect sites like Youtube from being completely shut down to do user videos that violate copyright law. If a prostitute advertises illegal services and carries it out, the prostitute is guilty but Craigslist is free of any crime.

However the Attorney General of South Carolina, Henry McMaster, believed this wasn’t enough and threatened criminal charges if Craigslist did not comply. Craigslist had recently entered into South Carolina and was quickly adapted by it’s residence. McMaster sent Craigslist an ultimatum demanding ALL sexual postings be removed from Craigslist South Carolina. He first threatened legal action if Craigslist did not comply in 10 days.

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Star Trek 2009: Movie Review – Themes Galore

Star Trek Movie 2009
Star Trek Movie 2009

Star Trek (2009)

Primary Audience: Teens, Adults
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action
Length: 2 Hour 6 Minutes
Rated: PG-13

Starring: Chris Pine (James T. Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Leonard Nimoy (Spock Prime), Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Ben Cross, Winona Ryder, Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Morrison
Director: J.J. Abrams (Felicity, Alias, Lost, Mission Impossible III, Cloverfield)
Producer: Bad Robot, Paramount Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment

Is Star Trek Action Packed as the Trailer?

Have you seen the Star Trek trailer? The Star Trek trailer makes the movie seem like an edge-of-your-seat action packed movie. There are a lot of movies where the movie itself doesn’t do the trailer justice, however this is not one of them. Star Trek was a visual treat and an extremely well made movie. With the latest in CGI technology, space travel has never been so fun and visually pleasing. The trailer showed a lot of action and the movie made good on it’s promise.

Do I need to be a Trekkie to Enjoy the Movie?

Absolutely not, though I imagine this movie is going to create a lot of new fans and a huge boost in sales of older Star Trek DVDs. Though this movie is a prequel to the original star trek series, the movie has enough content and story in itself to be very enjoyable. I myself am not a trekkie. I’ve only seen clips of a few episodes and saw one star trek movie. Of course Star Trek fans of old would enjoy this movie all the more knowing the future histories of many of the characters such as Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy, Scottie, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov.

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Unnaturally Beautiful Children: Image & Beauty

In 2004, a survey by NPD Group showed that on average, girls started to use beauty products at the age of 17. Today that average is 13.

Influence of Media on Children & Beauty

There’s a scene in “Toddlers & Tiaras,” the TLC reality series, where 2-year-old Marleigh is perched in front of a mirror, smothering her face with blush and lipstick. She giggles as her mother attempts to hold the squealing toddler still, lathering her legs with self-tanner. “Marleigh loves to get tan,” her mom says, as the girl presses her face against the mirror.

Children's Perception of Beauty
Children’s Perception of Beauty (Newsweek)

The quote above is about Marleigh, one of the pageant girls on the show. Does anyone find something disturbing about this picture? She is two years old. Unfortunately the ridiculousness of this scene doesn’t end on screen, it is a depiction of our current generation.

What do these shows have in common? “Extreme makeover”, “I Want a Famous Face” “Little Miss Perfect” “Toddlers & Tiaras”. These are shows centered around raising the bar of what is considered the norm when it comes to beautifying our children.

With reality TV shows, thousands of beauty product commercials, air-brushed magazine ads, and beautiful celebrities adorning every movies we watch, the norm of the importance of beauty has changed dramatically. In 2004, a survey by NPD Group showed that on average, girls started to use beauty products at the age of 17. Today that average is 13.
 See some more Children Beauty Statistics
But even that figure could be an overstatement. According to a market research firm Experian,

  • 43 percent of 6 to 9 year olds are already using lipstick or lip gloss
  • 38 percent are using hairstyling products
  • 12 percent use other other cosmetic products

By the time they are 50 years old, an average women would have spent nearly $300,000 on just their hair and face according to Newsweek’s research on beauty trends (noted below). But is this surprising considering girls ages 11 to 14 are exposed to 500+ advertisements per day? 8 to 12 years old already spend $40+ million a month on beauty products according to NPD Group. Teenagers? $100 Million.

More Statistics on Beauty

  • Cosmetic Surgery Procedures for Under 18 – Doubled last 10 years
  • 14% of Botox injections given to 19-34 age group, seeking “preventative treatments”
  • [American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery]
  • 42% of 1st to 3rd Graders want to be thinner
  • 81% of 10 years olds fear getting fat

“When you have tweens putting on firming cream… it’s clear they’re looking for imaginary flaws,” – Harvard psychologist Nancy Etcoff

Full Article on Beauty

True Cost of Lifetime Beauty

Economy got you down? Trying to pinch a few pennies here and there? How about cutting out on some beauty products and enhancements! See the chart below.

Tweens Teen/20s 30-40s 50s Lifetime
Hair $1,260 $15,761 $23,640 $169,274 $209,935
Face $3,900 $32,684 $108,660 $21,840 $167,084
Body $0 $10,586 $17,820 $16,366 $44,772
Hands/Feet $2,010 $6,834 $8,040 $10,452 $27,336
Totals $7,170 $65,865 $158,160 $217,932 $449,127

See Beauty Spend Breakdown Here

  • What are your thoughts about young children and teens spending so much time and money on beautifying themselves?
  • How about Adults?
  • What can be done to help push up against our image driven culture?
  • Can anything be done?
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Mac vs PC Elimination Apple Commercials: Product Not Lifestyle

Here at Clean Cut Media, we show a critical eye to TV Commercials, TV Shows and Movies in regards to the level of unnecessary mature themes such as sexual innuendos and crass jokes , even in children movies. We also touch upon how media tends to paint a particular way of life or a particular image that can give the wrong kind of picture of reality and what is considered the norm.

Product Centric vs Lifestyle Centric TV Commercials

Mac vs PC Elimination TV Commercial Spot
Mac vs PC Elimination TV Commercial Spot

However we aren’t all just about the end of media and desire to live in a log cabin somewhere in the middle of forest where we can be free from the evil that is the world. I personally work in the marketing world and also produce videos, art among other media centric work in my free time. So here at Clean Cut Media we regularly post videos, advertising, commercials, art and anything else we can get a hand on as examples of media creatively done with class.  Below are two examples of a well made commercial that does an excellent job highlighting the features or advantageous of a product. This is in comparison with the habit of companies that produce commercials with the sole intent, not to sell the product, but a lifestyle or associate their product to some good feeling or experience. Is the latter ethical? That is a judgment call depending on the message of the commercial itself, but we have to appreciate the commercials that does sell the product for the value it itself.

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Teenager Pregnancy Statistics – Good News?

Did You Know: 3 in 10 girls in the United States gets pregnant before age 20.

Finally Some Good News – Teen Pregnancy

Could it be? Good news about teen pregnancy rates? According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, teen pregnancy rates in the United States declined 38 percent between 1990 and 2004. Teen birth rate also declined 32 percent between 1991 and 2006. This was the case across all ethnic groups. More teenagers are waiting longer before having sex and those who were sexually active were using contraception. Great news right?

Well, it is good news that teenage pregnancies are were falling because it is noted that some teenagers are waiting longer. That is commendable. Shows better self-control. Shows perhaps some teenagers are putting a greater value on themselves, their body, as well as their actions.

However the fact that most of the decrease was due to the wider use of contraceptives doesn’t say anything about the continual growth of promiscuous living. Promiscuous living is live and well, all the more as media continues to feed such lifestyles as normal and something to be emulated. Sex is glamorized, one night stands common, making “love” and giving yourself to someone painted as something special. TV Shows, Movies, Music videos among other forms of media also often portrays that happiness can only be found in that one and only, thus fueling girls to make it their goal to find that perfect guy and giving up themselves along the process. As recent as 2007, 50% of teens have already had sex, 33% already by 9th grade.

That Wasn’t the Only Catch

Unfortunately this good news has recently taken a back step. Between 2005 and 2007, teen birth rates turned positive increasing 5 percent. The decline in sexual activity and the increase in contraceptive use both have come to halt.

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Monsters vs Aliens: Movie Review for Parents & Children

Monsters vs Aliens Movie Logo
Monsters vs Aliens Movie Logo

Monsters vs Aliens (2009)

Primary Audience: Kids, Family, Teens, Adults
Genre: Animation, Sci-Fi, Family, Kids, Comedy
Length: 1 Hour 34 Minutes
Rated: PG

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, Kiefer Sutherland, Stephen Colbert, Hugh Laurie, Rainn Wilson, Paul Rudd, Renee Zellweger
Director: Rob Letterman (Shark Tale), Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2)
Producer: DreamWorks Animation

Dreamworks vs Pixar

Finding Nemo. Toy Story. Cars. What do these films have in common? They were considered excellent, well made films great for the family and safe for children. Each were produced by Pixar who now holds both the benefit as well as the burden of increasingly high expectations. Every year, we expect a clean and great blockbuster to come out of Pixar Studios.

Then there is Dreamworks Animation, film studio of “Monsters vs Aliens”. Dreamwork films have always been a mixed bag. They’ve had great, safe animated films such as Shrek, Antz, Prince of Egypt and Kungfu Panda. But they’ve also had shockers such as Shrek 2, full of really inappropriate adult themed content which unfortunately went on to be their biggest grosser to date. Money talks and the success they’ve found catering to the adult audience will only further more such films. Unfortunately many people were caught off guard as many of these films are presented as family friendly movies.

How about Monsters vs Aliens? It continues Dreamwork’s long tradition of movies. Good fun movie but with occasional potty humor and inappropriate scenes.

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Influence of Media & Advertising in Our View of Life

Growth of the Information Age

The proliferation of the Internet and the ease of sharing information online has greatly enhanced the power of media and advertising. It shapes are attitudes, behaviors and our values in regards to how we view everything and everyone. Everyone speaks about how media affects our society but the power of advertising also comes from the ideas and messages that get portrayed as an underlying reality in media.

Advertising Providing Solutions to our Deepest Longings

Luxury Acura Advertisement Lifestyle
Luxury Acura Advertisement Lifestyle

Everyday we are exposed to a particular lifestyle portrayed in movies, tv shows, billboards and commercials. We see people dressed a certain way, living life “to the fullest” – in a particular way. Unfortunately, these characters are created to sell products or raise ratings. Often what is portrayed may not be aligned with reality and yet we may feel that…

  • We long to have the kind of life they live.
  • We wish our lives were just as exciting.
  • We wish we had such close relationships and friends.
  • We wish we would run into that kind of luck we see on TV.
  • We wish we can live just as recklessly, perhaps promiscuously without consequences.
  • We wish we could be as happy as the people we see.
  • We wish to look the way they look, have the body shape as they do.
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Is there any Ethics in Economics Anymore?

Ethics in Economics
Ethics in Economics

Tough times call for new, creative solutions. It calls for fresh faces and fresh ideas. Obama was elected president behind his rally cry of change. He has appointed many policy leaders for all facets of our nation. From Health to Technology, the best and the brightest are brought on to bring our nation out of our poor economic state.

Great. Now what?

How about appointing an Ethics Czar? We hear all the time in the media that things need to change. We hear about excessive pensions and bonuses while thousands are laid off, and we get angry. We hear all about how some executive cheated on this, some accountant played with the numbers like that, and something in us burns. Yet would we have been any different if we lived in the world they did? If we were given the opportunities they had? We live in a me-first culture and accumulating wealth, living the “American Dream”, whatever that is, has become such a great focus in all that we do. Media praises success and we all grow up with that inward desire to make it big.

Below is a great little article about Ethics in Economics. Some excerpts:

Code of Ethics in Business has Changed

…I recall another conversation with a successful investment banker. He told me that the first thing he had to establish was his character, his reputation for trustworthiness and honesty. Without that, he would have been unable to trade. Nowadays, he said, deals no longer depend on character but on lawyers.

Common to these stories is the gradual disappearance of the cluster of principles that went by the name of morality. Whatever its source – religion, conscience, custom or code – it meant that there are certain things you don’t do because they are not done. You don’t reward yourself when customers, clients or shareholders or employees are suffering losses. You don’t pay yourself out of all proportion to what you pay others. You don’t take advantage of your position just because you can. You are guided, even if no one is watching, by a sense of what is responsible and right. Without that internalised code of honour and trust, no institution can be sustained in the long run.

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Teens: Imitating 87 Hours of Watching Porn

Pornography Influence on Teens
Pornography Influence on Teens

A recent research study, conducted by Cyber Sentinel, of 1,000 teenagers showed that the average teenager spends 87 hours a year looking at porn. That is equivalent of 1 hour and 40 minutes a week browsing for pornography.

What other topics did the teenagers search for online?

  • 31 hours a week looking at soft pornography, plastic surgery, family planning, emotional support and dieting.
  • 1 Hour 8 Minutes on cosmetic surgery sites on procedures like breast augmentation and collagen implants.
  • Teens also go online to find information on pregnancy, contraceptives, sex and weight loss.

“The alarming thing about this research is that it shows that teenagers are obviously exploring all sorts of topics as a result of modern-day pressures. For instance, pressure to emulate celebrity standards of beauty is resulting in teens spending a significant amount of time researching cosmetic surgery.” – Ellie Puddle, Marketing Director of Cyber Sentinel

A piece of statistic that is alarming about this study is that teenagers were left alone to surf the internet for an average of 2 hours a day. Without adult supervision and with the freedom to do as one please, it is no wonder teenagers are easily able to access pornography.

The effects of pornography on teenagers are well documented through numerous studies and cases. A recent study from the journal CyberPsychology and Behavior showed that exposure to pornography leads teenagers to lose their virginity at a much younger age. They were also more likely to initiate oral sex as they imitate what they see on screen.

What other effects have been found to be linked with viewing pornography?

  • Rise in STD levels
  • Higher Teenager Pregnancies Rates
  • Sexually active earlier

“The internet is having some kind of accelerant effect, influencing and changing behavior. Males are having oral sex and losing their virginity much younger when they are exposed to pornography, sometimes by a good three or four years for oral sex or two years for their virignity.” – Shane Krauss, Psychologist

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University of Maryland presents Pornography

The University, a place of Higher Education. A source for the development of the mind, a place to practice discipline, and a training ground to build the type of skills and networks needed for the best of futures.

The University of Maryland, College Park announced that the student union would show a porno movie as a way to… wait show what?!

Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge will be shown at midnight Saturday in a campus theater usually home to tamer fare such as independent and foreign films. The distributor of the film, Digital Playground, offered it to the student union for free, so student activities fees are not being used to finance it. A student programming committee voted to screen the film, billed as a “XXX blockbuster.”

Thank goodness. Disaster averted. No student activities fees are being used for this. That would be wrong. Anything else that should be addressed though? Anything?

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Children as Commodities, Influence of Media on Children


Media Influence on Children - Marketing Power
Media Influence on Children - Marketing Power

“The advertising and marketing industry spends over $17 billion a year on shaping our children’s identities and desires.”

Below is an excellent article discussing the influence of media and money in “commodifying” of children in our modern culture. The article itself is very long so I’ve excerpted pieces of it below with a link at the bottom to the original source. Enjoy!

As we face difficult economic times, everyone is wondering how are we going to bounce back? What can be done? In all the pain and sufferings we are facing, perhaps we should stop and ask ourselves, is there something we can learn from all this? Is there something we could change? The article asks “What kind of society and future do we want for our children given how obviously unsustainable and exploitative the now failed market-driven system has proven to be?”

In a society that measures its success and failure solely through the economic lens of the Gross National Product (GNP), it becomes difficult to define youth outside of market principles determined largely by criteria such as the rate of market growth and the accumulation of capital. The value and worth of young people in this discourse are largely determined through the bottom-line cost-benefit categories of income, expenses, assets and liabilities. The GNP does not measure justice, integrity, courage, compassion, wisdom and learning, among other values vital to the interests and health of a democratic society.

“Subject to an advertising and marketing industry that spends over $17 billion a year on shaping children’s identities and desires, American youth are commercially carpet-bombed through a never-ending proliferation of market strategies that colonize their consciousness and daily lives.”

Children once was perceived as important social investments, innocent children we needed to protect as they would one day be the moral foundations of our society. Our culture protected them. Businesses wouldn’t dare objectify them or treat them like any other commodity. Yet time has changed dramatically in the last couple decades. It has moved from a culture of social protection to a culture of commodification. Now children from a young tender age, grow up in a culture that objectifies their value taking away any sense of moral agency.

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No Freedom of Religion, Anti-Christian Britain?

How aware are you in regards to the media’s impact on our view of religious freedom?

Freedom of Religion Curbed
If I asked you to think of a country that has no freedom of religion, what countries come to mind? Perhaps an Islamic country like Afghanistan where converting from Islam to Christianity is punishable by death? Perhaps a country like China where churches are persecuted and people are only allowed to meet in a handful of government sanctioned churches? How about the United Kingdom?

Story of a Dedicated Foster Mother
There was once a foster mother who dedicated her life to taking in fosters kids and providing them love and care. As a practicing Anglican Christian, she had devoted her life to a life of love. In 10 years she had brought in over 80 foster kids. She rented out a farmhouse so she could provide them a home and experience having a family.

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