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"Then You Get the Haze Coat"

Image result for Peggy Orenstein

Funny Story. SLATE recently ran an interview with Peggy Orenstein, the author of GIRLS AND SEX, a meditation on the messages young women, especially educated young women from at least relatively affluent backgrounds, receive from popular culture today.

At one point in the interview, Orenstein is commenting on how mainstream Hollywood movies -- not porn, not even necessarily R rated movies -- treat sex. There's a standard scene in many romcoms where the male and female protagonists rip half of each other's clothes off, then they have (under covers) simulated sex for a few seconds, then the point has been made and the movie moves on.

Orenstein then says, "maybe 30, 40 years ago, that shorthand would have been seen less often. Probably, actually, you wouldn’t have seen it at all. You would have seen kissing, and then you get the Hays Code or whatever."

Or at least that's what she tried to say. Here's the funny bit. In the first transcription of this interview on SLATE, the final phrase there read, "Then you get the haze coat or whatever."

I love it. Whoever did the transcription job: good work. Yes, you probably hadn't heard of the "Hays Code," i.e. the Hollywood production code in place from 1934 well into the 1960s dictating, for example, that a man and woman couldn't be seen sharing a bed together. (They could be seen sitting on a bed together, but each had to have at least one foot on the floor.) No kisses could last for more than three seconds. And so on. You probably hadn't heard of the "Hays Code," transcriber friend. No harm.

What you did was turn what you heard on the tape into a neat and evocative phrase for the kind of unfocused fuzziness that Hollywood sometimes does use to cover two lovers, as the early stage of a fade-to-black.  The "haze coat." I like it.


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