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In the movie world, this deficiency of content didn't work. On the Web, it does. That's because most people still regard the Web as a diversion, a time-waster. They don't want compelling content, because they don't want to have to focus on anything that strongly. It's more fun to just look at something for a little while, and then move on to something else.

The Showgirls Web site suits such viewing habits perfectly. Not only is the story not compelling; in its Web incarnation, it's truncated too. That is to say, what the site presents is not the actual story, but rather, a press release about the actual story. There is a summary of the plot, some brief character descriptions, and some brief bios of the actors and the director. None of this takes too long to digest. You read a couple paragraphs, you check out a photo, and then you move on...

And because the Showgirls Web site is essentially a press release, it also benefits from hype. Hype substitutes the P.R. writer's copywriting abilities (or lack of them) for acting skill or narrative; in this case, the copy that the writer generates is so mindlessly ejaculatory it is more ludicrous than titillating:

She initially settles for a job "dancing" at the Cheetah Club, a second-rate strip joint whose clientele are rarely interested in looking beyond Nomi's physical attributes and her overtly sexual lap-dancing.

Ummm, is there really such a thing as prim--or even subtly erotic--lap-dancing? Lap-dancing is, by its very nature, overtly sexual, so there's really no need to describe it as such. Unless of course you're desperate to lure customers to a movie that boasts little in the way of appeal except for its overt sexuality...

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