We want what we hear, smell, and feel, to be a part of our journey. At Bliss, there are signs that read, “No Erotic Massage. The walls of the entryway are lined with wooden boxes for your shoes.
Don’t even ask.” I often wonder what nice person at the International Rescue Committee helped them write these signs and edited their pamphlets. You lock your shoes away and enter the dressing area.
(Harold Ramis’s Egon Spengler is more of a junk food guy.) Three-and-a-bit decades on, it’s jarring to see the heroes of a family blockbuster contentedly dragging on a cigarette. The prevalence of “tobacco imagery” in “youth-related films”, it states, is “one of the major causes of children becoming addicted to nicotine.” Instalments in the James Bond, Transformers, X-Men, Avengers and Hobbit franchises are among the accused.
A recent example from the World Health Organisation, quoted extensively in the lawsuit, notes that “films can provide [the tobacco industry] an opportunity to convert a deadly consumer product into a cool, glamorous and desirable lifestyle necessity.” In reality, it’s a little hazier.
Statistics tend to show that teenagers who watch films that feature smoking are more likely to have tried cigarettes themselves, but the causal relationship between the two isn’t proven.
To this day, women face lots of barriers in the film business: while being frequently objectified in front the camera, they are hardly in charge behind the scenes.
It comes as no surprise that so far, there has only been one female filmmaker to win the Oscar for “Best Director”: Kathryn Bigelow.
Unframed prints ship in a sturdy reinforced cardboard "crush-proof" tube that is twice as thick as anyone else in the industry to avoid damage to the art while in shipment.
Framed prints ship in a custom box we designed ourselves.
You will notice a handful of women of all ages and sizes clad in black lace bra and panties. There are TVs on every wall, stairs that lead to a workout room and a Smoking Room for Men.
(I am torn between my feminist outrage and my health snob outrage.) The large room has saunas around the edge and large mats in the middle of the floor with wooden pillows. Each of the 6 or so saunas has a theme and a digital thermometer above the door. My favorite saunas were the Jewel Palace and the Red Clay. The directions say that it “must be mixed” before eating. I have many times been ordered to stir my bowl by the owner of the little Korean kitchen, Seoul Food, in Cambridge.
In the West, we want to connect “body and mind” with a gentle and nurturing movement out of our daily lives and into the spa treatment. There is a small Chinese massage parlor here in Charlottesville, Bliss Massage, where not one person speaks English, loud phone calls are taken while you are on the table and the only oil is CVS Baby Oil.
We enter an atmosphere with soothing music, dim lights, calming aromatic herbal scents and expect an holistic and congruous sensual experience. They dig right in the moment you have disrobed, sit on top of you and use their elbows to squash any tension that might be lurking. When you enter, you pay for the day (34.00 at the time of writing) and are given a key and a outfit with thick cotton Korean styled shorts and shirt.
Dan Aykroyd’s Ray Stantz sparks up first, while he scours the Sedgwick Hotel for paranormal activity during the gang’s first professional call-out.