PVV/Review – Zero Tolerance’s Measure X (2013)

By now, you’ve certainly heard of Measure B – the “safer sex” initiative that mandated barrier protection in all* adult content shot in incorporated areas of Los Angeles County…

[all* as in “traditional” pre-recorded content and live, camming-type content, regardless of budget]

…except that the county can’t even begin to enforce the law because they’re still working on articulating the ins-and-outs of the poorly-worded, problematic, and extremely short-sighted ordinance. Until that codebook’s worth of articulations manifests, it’s my understanding that Measure B is operating in some sort of inert holding pattern. So, not at all.

Measure B was passed by LA County voters on November 6, 2012. As of today, it’s April, 2013.

Some movement and rumblings associated with dimensions of Measure B have occurred, yes. But again – the ins-and-outs of the law have yet to be presented to the public, thus Measure B is just waiting.

And then there’s also that whole “mandatory condoms in all porn shot in the entire state of California” thing – Assembly Bill 332 (AB332). AB332 was recently removed from a California state legislative committee’s agenda, which means that whomever wrote/sponsored the bill – California State Assemblymember Isadore Hall III – felt that either 1) it wasn’t well-written enough to fly and/or 2) it simply didn’t have enough support to pass.

le sigh…

More on Measure B here. More on AB332 here.

In an attempt to support the continued fight against Measure B, adult content producers Zero Tolerance recently released Measure X (2013). ZT is donating the proceeds from Measure X to the Free Speech Coalition’s legal efforts to challenge the law, and all persons appearing in the film did so pro bono.

Measure X – “fighting for the right to fuck” – starts out with the statement: “This is a satire of a real event: The Passage of ‘Measure B’ in Los Angeles county. An enormous waste of tax dollars and a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.” (sic)

The film tells the story of Mike (“Michael Winestain”), a corrupt politician responsible for the passage of a mandatory condom law that puts the adult industry under siege from bumbling condom police. Mike, played hilariously by Tommy Pistol, is semi-joined by Sheila, an ex-porn performer and current evangelist leader of the Pink Pinwheel Foundation. Mike goes around enforcing the condom-mandate… all while struggling to find condomless porn he can jerk off to.

The film is pretty funny at points, includes four decent sex scenes, and presents some great, often overlooked arguments about Measure B and barrier protection – that it impacts everyone engaging in sex performance (including cam performers and “real life” couples), that it is extremely ambiguous and unclear, and that there’s a lot of hypocrisy shaping the entire thing. These points are just the beginning. The film also highlights industry testing practices, juxtaposing them with (the lack of) sexual health protocols found in the general population.

In all, it was a pretty decent tongue-in-cheek effort on ZT’s part – nice!! Here’s a clip from the film (it’s funny, but I would’ve definitely picked a more informative sequence):

 

Two more things…

One

Included with the Measure X DVD is a fairly decent 30-minute documentary about the making of the film… except that it’s more about industry insiders’ regard of the ordinance than a “making of…” Everyone on set – from director Mike Quasar to former performer Melissa Hill; from Tommy Pistol to two pairs of performer couples (Derrick Pierce & Adrianna Luna and Lola Foxx & Chris Cock) – weighs in. This works to varying degrees.

Tommy Pistol is passionate and articulate, expressing his concern over a very real possibility – the loss of his career and livelihood as a result of Measure B. Jayden James, who plays Sheila in Measure X, is comparably compelling. Unfortunately though, director Mike Quasar rambles a bit through what can only be described as a very loose articulation of the new law. Granted, Measure B is not at all clear… but his discussion was both confused and confusing.

Then we get into discussions from some of the other performers – rumor, error, and poor presentation really detract from what could’ve been an extremely useful tool for reaching out to the general public. At points, it was painful.

I struggled with this. If performers working on a project to fight Measure B don’t understand Measure B, how can we expect the public to? This then gives rise to the notion of regulating workers who don’t seem to fully “get” what they’re doing – is there something to mandatory barrier protection and Measure B?

The answer answer is no.

If one were to take any performer from the Measure X set and make them Measure B compliant, this would not help. It would not help civil rights in this country, nor would it help the state of the adult industry. It would also not clarify anything in terms of health and safety and occupation for said performer. Forcing individuals to comply with anything in the absence of information, as Measure B mandates, does not help. Education does.

You can’t make choices for people – I can’t, Measure B can’t, and neither can you. All anyone can hope for is that individuals have the power to make informed decisions, ones that they deem right for themselves. Measure B does not contribute to this. In a small way though, Measure X does. For that reason alone, I love it.

IMG_0108

(pictured: my phantom hand attempting to hold the Measure X DVD liner flat… because I can’t find images from this project anywhere)

Two

This article in the LA Weekly –> “Porn Film Measure X Flouts L.A.’s Adult Video Condom Law” (March 22, 2013) – which says:

We took a look at the back of the “box,” which features teaser photos of some of the action: We can assure you, no condoms were harmed in the making of this film — at least when it came to the actual sex scenes. [thanks for the sassy air quotes!!]

The trailer makes the movie out to be a little silly. But then again, adult features where the actors are actually reading lines always seem a little silly to us. [nice – I think bloggers pretending to be reporters are a little silly myself]

Zero Tolerance might have made a bigger point if they had used condoms during the sex scenes: The industry argues that consumers won’t buy condom porn. Here was a chance to prove how bad it allegedly is. [how? by making a film  that doesn’t sell or that no one sees? isn’t the idea to entertain alongside a sliver of information? or, is the LA Weekly suggesting ZT tear open a few vaginas for the sake of making a point? great idea, assholes]

There’s more. You can read it here.

 

So yeah, Measure X… The effort is there – let’s refine that effort and keep it going!!

Recommended for: anyone looking to get a little return on their donation.

 

Measure X

With performances from Jayden James, Adrianna Luna, Bonnie Rotten, Lola Foxx, Capri Cavanni, Anthony Rosano, Tommy Pistol, and Derrick Pierce.

Additional non-sex performances from Melissa Lee, Jessie Lee, Pat Myne, Chris Cock, and others.

Written and directed by by Mike Quasar for Zero Tolerance. Released on March 26, 2013. As of today though – Monday April 1, 2013 – I cannot find any place to purchase Measure X… no joke :-/

 

BTS and Extras: standard fare and the previously discussed documentary piece.

 

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