Today’s Word of the Day is demivierge, which means: “a promiscuous woman who nevertheless maintains an intact virginity.” It’s a nuanced definition that gets the imagination rolling, no? It’s sort of related to yesterday’s Word of the Day, gunsel, and to another word used on Deonandia in the past, ingler, which means: “the passive participant in anal sex.”
Demivierge is particularly relevant to a news story I discovered today. It involves the satirical short film “Technical Virgin“, which can be viewed here. The star of the short is a woman named Melanie Martinez. I hope you’ll agree that the film is humourous, politically relevant and, most importantly, inoffensive.
Well, after doing two of these short satirical films, Melanie scored a pretty good job as the host of a PBS kids’ show aimed at 2-5 year olds. Of her own accord, Melanie alerted the network to her previous acting gig, and –like the clueless bureaucrats they are– her bosses sacked her. Their reason: “The dialogue in the [Technical Virgin] video is inappropriate for her role as a preschool program host and may undermine her character’s credibility with our audience.”
Methinks the PBS spokesperson failed to understand the meaning of the words she used. Character — Melanie was playing a character in both the short film and in the PBS show. So, according to this logic, Jake Gyllenhaal is no longer allowed to play a tough marine since he’s also played a gay cowboy. Or Tom Hanks shouldn’t have been allowed to play an erudite art historian in The Da Vinci Code since he’s already played a doofus in Forrest Gump.
And, for the sake of argument, what if Melanie hadn’t been playing a character in the first film? What if she had been espousing her own views and experiences? So what? How does that affect her ability to speak to toddlers? She’s the mother of one, you know. And, might I stress, nothing she did in those films was even approaching illegal, pornographic or, according to most definitions, immoral.
It gets worse. Melanie’s alma mater, the Tisch School of the Arts, has removed Melanie’s name from its list of notable alumni. No reasons are given, but we can form our own conclusions.
This sort of ultra-conservative reactionary behaviour really pisses me off. In a supposed “land of the free”, one should be able to pursue one’s legal career options without being punished for them years down the road. What does this mean for future short satirical films? Will actors now be afraid to appear in them for fear of being punished years later?
I like PBS and I worry for their funding. But I hope Melanie sues their asses off.