Sunday, February 22, 2009
Poor People, Hookers & the Less-Than-Rich
I wish I had more time and brain power to consume other people's blogs because when I do, I come across provocative and revealing entries like these two about class:Keeping San Francisco Safe From Prostitutes?
Melissa wrote this back when SF voters had the chance to decriminalize prostitution. They didn't, of course, and her post explains a lot of reasons why even a supposedly-progressive, liberal, educated population is ignorant and afraid of sex workers running amok:
"The biggest opposition to Prop K isnít anti-prostitution feminist groups. Itís 'neighborhood associations.' Unlike even the most socially conservative feminists, they never say, I donít want sex workers to be raped. They say, I donít want to see sex workers. Donít want to see them on their front steps. Donít want to see their clients or 'pimps'. Donít want to see condoms, or syringes. In short: donít want to see poverty, donít want to see poor people. . . . What K opponents will never say in public, is that itís not prostitutes that are hard to live next to ó itís poverty."
On a more personal note, Amber Rhea posted an extremely intimate entry yesterday sharing her memories of class-consciousness developing
in childhood and young adulthood and reflections on all of that jazz (like how attending private school probably saved her life).
"My mom was a bartender until I was 7 or 8 years old. When Iíd go spend the night at friendsí houses, Iíd take my toiletries in a purple Crown Royal bag (we always had tons of them around the house). We also had a lot of extra beer/liquor T-shirts that I used as nightshirts . . . . it wasnít until I was in my teens that it dawned on me why [my friends'] parents might think itís weird for a 7-year-old to carry a Crown Royal bag and sleep in a Finlandia T-shirt."
Without going into a lot of detail (just because I don't have time to write that book right now), I can't overemphasize how much my socioeconomic background shaped my identity and values. More than being female. More than being white. Even though both of those things are a big huge intrinsic part of it, the money stuff and place my family occupied (pretty low down) in the hierarchy colors the way I see and respond to pretty much everything, I think, and in such insidious ways that I'm constantly chipping away at my lack of awareness at how deep it goes and how far back and how much it continues to effect my options and choices today.
Sometimes I feel like discussions about race and gender are just big polarizing distractions to keep us from addressing the BIGGER, all-encompassing issue of class. They're not, but sometimes I feel that way (and I know some other people do, too).
A related note: right now I resent the way blame is laid for the recession. Instead of saying that banks ass-raped tons of people who probably COULD have made their mortgage payments if not for the usury/deception/inflated interest rates and doubled/trebled payments, every comment seems designed to tell us that banks simply LENT MONEY TO POOR PEOPLE. Like, THAT was the big mistake. As though those borrowers could never have made FAIR payments on mortgages with FAIR terms. As though people wouldn't have felt the need to take out second and third mortgages to be able to pay credit cards with ludicrous, unjustifiably-high, ass-raping interest rates.
The mainstream discussion about it and language referring to sub-prime mortgages, etc. is all backwards; it *pretends* to call the lending institutions and big mucky-mucks greedy while using language that continues to make it sound like the banks' problems were making bad bets on bad people, when really they fucked vulnerable people dry, butt-ramming them straight into the ground. Let's just bleed these people dry.
When you make financially troubled people pay exorbitantly high interest rates and double their minimum payments, etc. what the fuck do you THINK will happen? Unless they win the lottery, they'll never be able to keep up or dig themselves out of the deep grave the lenders dug for them.I'm not making these comments as someone who thinks she has all the answers or understands the complexity of all of it or is well-read on the subject. I'm making them as an average joe butt plumber based on her own experiences with banks and mainstream exposure to superficial news with a little bit of deeper reading here and there. My intention isn't to spark a big-ass discussion about it, just web-log some stuff. The above paragraphs are only a small chunk of reflection, not a complete or coherent argument. I won't publish comments from people assuming I'm claiming to be an expert or assuming that because I haven't written this or that or included another bit or piece, that I must not agree with this or that bit or piece, nor will I publish comments demonstrating a lack of comprehension regarding what I already wrote. HATE that.
For the record, my interest isn't really in "punishing" rich people (even when they DO *deserve* to be hung from the highest tree) or placing limits on how much money people can make, it's on making fair regulations and restrictions on how deeply people can be abused. It's on little things that would change a lot. LIKE NOT LETTING CREDIT CARD COMPANIES MAKE YOUR PAYMENT DUE ON A WEEKEND OR HOLIDAY, THEN CHARGING YOU A LATE FEE AND RAISING YOUR INTEREST RATE BECAUSE YOU FAILED TO PAY ON TIME WHEN YOUR PAYMENT ARRIVES ON THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY FOLLOWING THE DAY THEY DEMANDED YOUR PAYMENT, BUT CAN'T EVEN RECEIVE IT/WON'T EVEN PROCESS IT. It's a pretty fucking simple matter -- we have the technology at this point to automatically reject a date that is a holiday or weekend and chose either an earlier or a later date, or to have a FAIR regulation that doesn't even ALLOW lending institutions to punish you for not delivering a payment on a day when delivery of said payment IS IMPOSSIBLE.
Seriously. I don't understand why everyone isn't talking about things like this. Everyone. All day. Until something happens.
Just one example. I know *some* people are talking about it some of the time, but it's not on headline news, etc. every five seconds the way Chris Brown is. Instead everyone just ignores and skirts around these tangible, obvious bits of fuckery. It just keeps adding up, but I don't hear anything except "bail out". If anyone has links to proposed regulations tightening this shit up, I'd love to read it because as it is right now I'm too busy bitching about it to look the shit up (I know! I'm an ass!). I know awhile back congress was talking about putting an end to the credit card companies burying high interest rate balances under the lower interest rate balances, but I don't know whatever became of that/if they are in fact now forced to automatically apply payments to the balances with the highest interest rates first.
Why am I still sitting here blogging about this? Seriously, all I was going to do was post two links. Gaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh . . . hate myself for not keeping up with the news on this stuff better.
Labels: class, links, money, politics, rants, sex work, sociopolitical commentary
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Did you see the chick who kept mispronouncing "larynx" and "trachea" on American Idol
Yeah, well I *loved* her. Because I could relate to her so much. Her seriousness and convictions and reaching for the right words (but getting them all wrong) and insisting upon precision with her responses to questions and bewilderment over the rules of the interview at the end. I loved her voice and she was the kind of smarT I recognize as my own.
I hate myself for watching that show, but almost feel like it's my duty to know how we're being taught about our own and other people's value. If you have bad teeth, if you're mentally ill, if you're overweight, if you're an aspie
(see above), if you're overweight AND wear tight or revealing clothing, if you're borderline retarded, you're fair game for the Idol freak show. All of America joins together not just to laugh at you, but to FEEL GOOD about laughing at you without compunction. It's a family show! Everybody's watching! It's okay to laugh in someone's face, punctuate every gaffe with sound effects, play songs like "Weird Science" when you walk into your audition if you're a nerd (two scores I'd personally be pleased with -- that song is googlyicious GOODNESS and that one nerd with bad teeth could have played Patrick Bateman's long lost hillbilly cousin!). You can laugh right in someone's face and still be considered kind as long as you chuckle "good lookin' out!" and say, "awwww, you should never sing again but I can tell you're a real sweetie!
" as they exit.
They pretend American Idol is a competition only one person wins at the end, but the real reason it's popular is because we ALL get to be winners at home each and every time they show us another fucking loser. The same people who've been targets of cruelty and ostracism for centuries -- sissy boys with lisps, fat girls whose pants split, ugly people who dare to smile wide, and village idiots whose ears stick out and eyes are too close-set -- willingly subject themselves to torment. Compared to them, the rest of us come out so far ahead! We are smarter, prettier, stronger and more likely to fit in than THOSE Americans. We wouldn't make their stupid mistakes!
We just watched an episode (Yokel Chords
) of The Simpsons that made fun of this phenomenon with Homer demonstrating exactly the behavior I'm talking about, pointing at the inbred hicks on tv, calling them stupid and feeling so good about himself in the process. I totally understand the appeal; in the internet porn industry I'm surrounded by people I subconsciously think of as easy targets (mostly my male "colleagues"); I feel like it's my duty to be mean and ream them out, but maybe I actually waste time around them on webmaster boards because I'm a small person who wants to pretend she's an advanced and sophisticated thinker. How petty and embarrassing is that?
It's taking me a long time to put it into practice, but I really want to stop doing that. Awhile back we heard a comedian on the radio asking why it's not okay to make fun of retarded people but people who are just plain STUPID are totally fair game. It kind of blew my mind because I like to think I'm one of those defenders of political correctness and sensitivity, but I totally have that double standard that I should be empathetic towards people who are developmentally delayed or have other identifiable REASONS for not being great intellectual thinkers, but it's not only acceptable to mock and hate on stupid people -- it's like I sometimes feel it's my fucking DUTY to be mean, angry and impatient with stupid and/or ignorant people. Like they have no excuse for being so dumb or lacking information. Granted, most of the time when I feel that way it's because they're acting like judgmental know-it-alls themselves or because they're idiots writing to me with offensive demands, but it doesn't really accomplish anything or make me a better person to behave the same way. I feel especially gross about it considering that under other circumstances -- if I were in a different role doing a different kind of job (teaching, for example) -- I would never allow myself to act that way and would be horrified by other people doing it. There are a bunch of ways I defend my behavior and even as I write this think it's the RIGHT thing to do in certain circumstances. What I want is to understand what *I* get emotionally out of being an asshole to stupid people and decide whether or not it can accomplish anything positive next time I feel like calling someone a moron. It's gotten so reflexive that nary a day goes by that I'm not screaming at someone for being a dumb-ass. Dumb fuck, dumb ass, crazy bitch, stupid shit, crazy SON-of-a-bitch, cocksucking moron . . . apparently they're everywhere I look and it doesn't really make me feel good to label people that way everywhere I look, even if I only do it in my head or muttering under my breath at the grocery store, "MOVE, you stupid shit-for-brains, MOVE!!"
I wonder why I've gotten worse about this as I've gotten older. Is it because I'm more socially isolated and feel less connected to other people? Is it because I'm more and more aware of my own limitations and am just projecting my own feelings of inferiority? Is it because I have some hormonal stuff going on that's making me more of an asshole than I really am? Is it because I know that I'm actually one of those stupid hillbilly nerds they make fun of on television? Whatever it is, I'm going to try to be less of a shithead and recognize that the only person I am in competition with is myself.
Labels: class, health, human nature, identity, pop culture, spiritual issues, television, the porn industry, values
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Sex Workers, Rights and the Tanking Economy
Before I post a bunch of frivolous softcore-in-the-Seattle-snow pics today, I want to at least mention that today's an important one: The International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
When the economy is in the shitter (the direction it's headed right now) people are MORE judgmental and resentful about how much other people are paid and for what kind of work; that's a recipe for even more violence against sex workers. Lots of perpetrators of violence against sex workers explain that their crimes are justified because they shouldn't have to pay for sex -- the woman (or sometimes man) and the work s/he's charging him for are not worthy of payment and/or should be punished for thinking she is. Check out this guy who said a prostitute put her head in his plastic bag by mistake when he wanted his $100 back
. For trying to kill her he'll only get a few months in the slammer.
It's not going too far to say that beating, raping, exploiting, infecting, killing, stealing from sex workers and/or refusing to abide by their boundaries is covertly state-sanctioned -- the government says sex workers don't have the right to charge money for their services in most places. Not only do they not have the right to charge money, they are CRIMINALS if they do so. In some places in the United States you can be arrested simply for carrying too many condoms -- it's intent to sell access to your body (which you have no right to do, and if you intend to flout the law in this way you deserve to expose yourself to disease and pregnancy)! You can be charged with a crime in many places just for advising other sex workers ABOUT sex work. The government might not have a bounty on sex workers and we all might SAY that killing them is going too far, but it's a pretty fucking mixed message.
While most of my own work as a webwhore is legal (I say "most" because some of it could easily fall under the nebulous definition of "obscenity" - that and a couple of other things I can think of could land me in prison if the Department of Justice or other unsavory elements chose to target me) and I feel fairly safe doing this work (not just safe for a whore, but even safer relative to women with straight jobs), there are still more than enough people who resent me and women like me for making our livings this way. People who spew hatred and threaten violence that all falls under the category of, "BITCH! YOU DO NOT DESERVE MONEY FOR WHAT YOU DO & YOU DESERVE TO BE PUNISHED FOR EVEN SUGGESTING ANYONE PAY YOU FOR THIS!! I will *take* by force what you deny me for free." I'm willing to bet these messages will only increase and intensify in the months and years to come as people get poorer, hungrier, and angrier.
There's a march in DC going on right now. FurryGirl
is there and taking pictures like this one:
The demand on the banner to "STOP SHAMING US TO DEATH" is powerful, especially in conjunction with the message that "ONLY RIGHTS CAN STOP THE WRONGS". Violence against sex workers is made too easy because of wrongheaded laws that make some people's versions of "immorality" criminal. It's broader than the moral or religious issues, though: it's about class and gender -- specifically denying women (1) ownership of their bodies and (2) the right to charge people to access it (3) within boundaries each woman defines for herself.
Connect the dots in the bigger picture to shaky/compromised abortion rights, our continued unwillingness to recognize parenthood as real work worthy of payment, and our refusal to protect natural resources like WATER (where ownership by one entity should be really fucking hard to claim) from unsustainable corporate exploitation compared to our insistence upon denying individual women opportunities to profit from their own individual bodies (where self-ownership should be pretty fucking OBVIOUS/undeniable, especially when you consider how much money male pro-athletes make abusing their bodies for our entertainment and no laws deny them the RIGHT to exploit their bodies in those damaging ways***) -- it seems pretty obvious that denying rights to sex workers is part of a bigger agenda to deny women opportunities to profit from work that is mostly performed by women because we are at a natural biological ADVANTAGE to perform it. Basically? It's about making sure women are only punished for their gender rather than economically rewarded for it.
It will be a cold day in hell when someone goes violently vigilante on the asses of Wall Street executives and all the corporate fat cats and bankers getting bailed out for fucking us over financially; there are always loopholes to guarantee their "right" to be multi-fucking millionaires at our expense
, but there are sure to be plenty of whores killed by men who get the message loud and clear from our government(s) (and all of us who tell them we LIKE our laws just like this) that there IS no loophole for a woman who thinks she's entitled to earning a few bucks for a blowjob. God forbid we put a cap on the exorbitant amount of ill-gotten money men "make"; instead let's keep making sure the whores don't get out of pocket thinking their dirty pussies are worth a thin fucking dime.
Discriminatory laws against sex work and women's work in general don't just encourage and facilitate physical violence, some people would say those laws and their applications are themselves acts of violence -- when you make it next-to-impossible for someone to work, when you take away her income, when you stigmatize someone by slapping a criminal record or a special stripper/whore license on her that will limit her job opportunities in the future, when you eat up her time in court and behind bars, when you make her pay fines, when you make her vulnerable to blackmail by thieves and rapists both in and out of uniform, that can at LEAST be called a hostile and dangerous violence-breeding atmosphere. Whether or not you believe Deborah Jeane Palfrey's death was a suicide
, you have to recognize that she (and possibly other women connected to her case) would not be dead now if women had the right to do sex work. Who needs the Green River Killer to cleanse the country of garbage as long as we have the government to ruin and destroy the lives of sex workers? And when I say "government", I don't mean that the rest of us have clean hands. Voters are the ones who had an opportunity in San Francisco last month to decriminalize prostitution and guess what? THEY DIDN'T. We're not talking about old laws no one enforces anymore, we're talking about active BULLSHIT that just keeps on trucking.
Yes, it's impossible for me to calmly deliver a moderate, easy-to-understand argument about sex worker rights and reducing violence perpetrated against sex workers. I'm sorry for that. I feel guilty for not doing more for sex workers as a group -- for not being more of an activist, for not staying better informed, for not being a more coherent educator. As with any minority suffering discrimination and persecution, it's a challenge to have time to earn a living in that discriminatory atmosphere AND be an agent of change. That's why discrimination and marginalization WORK SO WELL; when people are underprivileged and denied rights granted to others, they 1) lack the resources to effectively fight for change, and 2) can't be completely honest or open about their own stories without fear of reprisals and punishment.
It's true that I feel relatively safe as a webwhore, but I said RELATIVELY safe, not just-plain-SAFE. I realize I am VERY lucky, but still vulnerable.
I hate that my blog entries on this subject wind up preaching to the choir and are probably ignored or misunderstood by everyone else, but seriously -- this whore needs to spend the rest of the day trying to make money rather than blowing off steam just to hear her head rattle. With the poor economy and my own situation of having gone deeply into credit card debt to finance our business, I do have a heightened awareness of how my own safety and standing in society is threatened even more by the fact that I'm a sex worker and therefore considered disposable and fair game for scapegoating, at the very least. I know from my OWN feelings of jealousy towards people who are economically privileged and resentment towards those protected enough by their gender and class to get away with huge scams that are considered legit ways to fuck people for money that we all can become very, ummmm, mean-spirited when the chips are down.
I wish I could wrap this up with a big Christmas bow that would change the world for sex workers or at least make people WANT to see that happen, but I'm at a loss for how to do that so I will simply say THANK YOU to the people who are out their lobbying for change on behalf of me and other sex workers today.***there are definitely class (and race) issues at work that allow mostly poor men of color to beat each other senseless in boxing rings and suffer tons of injuries in other pro sports with regulations that do very little to protect them; by bringing this up I'm not saying boxing or other sports should be illegal or even necessarily more heavily regulated -- I only mention it as an interesting comparison to sex work. It illustrates the irrationally contradictory double standards when it comes to women's bodies versus men's bodies and what kind of work they can put them to for how much money.
Labels: class, fears, gender issues, money, politics, race, rants, sex work, true crime
Thursday, August 07, 2008
POLL: What do you want to see more of here?
I've had this poll buried in my sidebar for a few weeks where those of you using feedreaders probably haven't seen it, so I'm giving it a post of its own for fun and greater visibility:
CLICK HERE if you can't see the poll.
I can't say for sure whether it will really make a difference in what I post here, but I'm always curious about people's . . . desires. Feel free to leave comments to elaborate if you want.
*****THE FOLLOWING IS BORING & BITCHY: READ AT YOUR OWN PERIL:
Today's been one of those where every little annoying task has been much more difficult than it should have. Even posting this poll, for example, took five failed attempts, edits, logging into other sites for help, etc. before it worked. This whole post-poll part of the entry? Didn't exist until that happened and I lost it and now just need to vent.
We received our three new 500 GB hard drives because we're totally MAXED OUT on storage space, especially with our new camera and the huge pictures in two different sizes we're posting for members. Tried to install one in just one of our Dells only to discover that their funny little proprietary blue mounting bracket/bay rails aren't in two of our machines. And are apparently impossible to order. Very cute. This discovered after much googling and a long annoying chat with a very slow customer service person.
I tell you these things not because I imagine you want to hear me bitching, but just to shed light on some of the less glamorous aspects of webwhoring and to explain why sometimes I don't have time to do nice things like reply to emails or, you know, create new content or get exercise so I won't be a fucking lard ass.
I also tried to do a couple of the bootstraps method of site promotion via webmaster boards where you make posts to try to get some attention to your "program" so you can get people to sign up and promote your sites, and submitting to lists and directories. Because somehow we need to be able to pay for the new camera and hard drives and computers that I speak of and the realistic way to do that is to get more traffic to our sites so we can get more sales. I have to say that really put me in a bad mood today because it is such a joyless, inefficient, uncreative use of my time, especially when I know how much easier and more effective it would be to have money to pay for advertising. That whole "it takes money to make money" adage is so so so true, and the American Dream / pull yourself up by your bootstraps mirage is such a tired old joke. You run up against forums that require you to make 10, 25 or even 100 inane worthless posts on "would you hit it" threads and other more brutally misogynistic topics (or worse, the ones where the people actually are TRYING to be thoughtful professionals but can't bare to restrain themselves from telling me my girlfriend
and I shouldn't be allowed to have children or that I'm a legal threat to them because I dare to masturbate when I menstruate) or just really BORING stuff before you can make a post with a link to your site or even a fucking picture. TIME SUCK.
Or you submit one of your sites to a directory and only AFTER adding a reciprocal link to them and studying their directory to determine what wording & subdirectory, etc. would fit in and also garner attention do you hit "submit" and get a totally nonsensical error. These are the parts of my job that I would love to have the money to never ever have to do again, either by being able to pay other people to do it for me or to avoid it completely by paying for advertising the normal and efficient way: WITH MONEY.
And these are the reasons why no matter what anybody says in the poll? My options are limited simply because my time is (simply because my MONEY is). This is not a feel sorry for me post, it's just part of a record that includes contrast against the ways people who already HAVE money can run a business and/or produce lovely things like porn, art, or other pleasures. When you don't have a rich daddy or collateral you have small, tiny, torturous steps to make that really do seem like schemes by rich people to insure you never. Do. Get ahead. At least not ahead of THEM, and certainly not without damaging yourself in the process or being a completely manic workaholic on stimulants (and even then you'd shoot holes in your computer out of frustration at having to work so slowly through all the obstacles that a moneyed person could soar over without a hitch).
I think I feel extra sensitive about this today in part because lately I've been working pretty hard (not twenty-two year old hard, but harder than I have been over the past couple of years) and been just about as focused as an ADD person can. It's hard to see where it gets me except that I'm harder to be around ("don't INTERRUPT me! Can't you see I'm concentrating?") and my eyes are crossing from looking at the computer for so many hours at a stretch.
I actually have some really nice, pleasant, heart-warming things to blog about, but this bile rose to the surface tonight instead. My apologies, but I feel better now. Again, I would put this over on my bitchy blog instead of here, but I do think it's interesting not as leisure-reading, but as documentation of how porn entrepreneurs without startup money have to operate. It's especially frustrating to me when I have something GOOD to do (example: finishing a private diary entry that I started IN APRIL for members about one of my students, began re-researching/refreshing my memory to finish last night, and have had no time to properly immerse myself in today). And instead I'm spinning my wheels doing drudge work.
Labels: blogging, class, customer relations, money, polls, rants, webwhore insights, work
Monday, May 05, 2008
I detest most social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook, etc.) so it's rare that I'll excitedly ask for friends to join one of them, but I *love* GoodReads
. It's focused, list-oriented, and all about books. I want to see what my friends and fans are reading, so definitely friend me there and/or post a link in comments to your Good Reads profile.
Annoying ad I just saw in sidebar: BELLY FAT IS NASTY.
Do you know how often we buy a groceries at the store to put in the food bank donation bin and forget to do so
? Too often (and yet not often enough). That's why we have twice as many cans of Hunt's Spaghetti Sauce with sausage (flavoring) at home than we actually need. And no, we don't just try to buy the poor people crap, THAT IS JUST REALLY GOOD SPAGHETTI SAUCE! If you don't think so, you're just a snob living too high on the hog. It's both cheap AND delicious! You're missing out if you don't know what I'm talking about. I cannot walk by sale cans of that shit without snatching up a basketload.
Labels: body image, books, class, food, links, money, web culture
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Almost did something crazy . . .
I almost did something crazy just now . . . I started filling out an application to work in a grocery store.Oh my god! Is money REALLY that tight for Trixie? Or is she quitting webwhoring? Errr . . . what the fuck?
It's nothing like that. It's actually more embarrassing than that; I don't NEED another job, I just really like cashiering
. Sometimes when I go to the store I am jealous, and I just think it would be fun to pick up a Saturday or holiday shift or a busy dinner rush now and again. Sometimes I just want to get out of the house and do something regular, normal . . . something with a rhythm and set of rules. Something with clearly defined boundaries. Something where I pick things up, move them only a couple feet, then set them down in a bag. Something that doesn't require a lot of complex thought. Something that doesn't involve planning for the future. Someplace where I'm never asked to make big decisions.
Sometimes I'm just tired of being in our house, and I don't want to socialize exactly, but I want to interact (in very predictable, regimented ways) with people. I guess normal people would go out and have a drink with friends in my situation, but that is SO INTENSELY BORING AND COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TO ME. The thought of sitting in a bar drinking to relax just bores me STIFF. But the thought of having a mundane, repetitive job sounds relaxing and wonderful to me. I like counting money and typing on little keypads and scanning things. I would be standing up and lifting things! I would feel so efficient and pleasantly robotic.
I know I have a college education and I don't *have* to get a job like "that", but how can I explain how much I want one sometimes? Sometimes I just want things to be simple, rote. Cashiering is like a video game job.
I can't really afford to take time off from our sites to have a smiling robot job, though. Part of me seductively whispers that maybe it would REFRESH me for my real job here in internet porn.
If I knew I wouldn't be pressured to work when I couldn't and I knew I wouldn't have to wash toilets or face product or, god forbid, MOP anything, and I could just work at a checkstand, like, once a week or something . . . I would totally do it.
I feel like I shouldn't be admitting this.
I feel embarrassed about this desire, but today isn't the first time I've felt this way. Lately I have been fantasizing about getting a temporary job doing data entry (there's nothing like that available in our town so it really is just a fantasy). I enjoy the world of what-other-people-consider to-be menial labor. I enjoy the structure of it. And I really like typing. Do you know that? I REALLY LIKE TYPING. I like the sound of it, the feeling of it. I like the cadence of data entry. I like escaping into work that only requires lower-level thinking. I have told myself that I could pretend in my head that I'm only getting a job like that as research for a book, but that would be a lie. I just like learning the little subcultures of wage-earners.
People who've never had normal jobs like this, I'll bet they don't know how fascinating they can be and how interesting the people you work with are. There are the people who are surprisingly interesting, and there are the people who are predictably dull. And I usually like them all. I would never want to feel stuck in a job like that, but those kinds of jobs can be extremely SATISFYING. They're mechanical, manageable, and fun to master.
My job(s) right now? I will never "master" any of them. Sometimes that's really cool and exciting and sometimes it just makes me feel tired and want to cry.
Sometimes I just want to have a stack of work and see it visibly reduced as I complete each piece, one at a time. Sometimes I just want to know when my shift is over. Sometimes I just want to be faster than someone else. Sometimes I just want things to be simple, and to go home and spend the whole night reading a book or watching tv without feeling guilty about it because I should be doing something creative and productive and special. Sometimes I don't feel like I can be productively creative and sometimes I don't want to be special. Sometimes I just want to be a worker bee and enjoy being a well-oiled piece in a bigger machine. Sometimes I want to be able to blame corporate or upper management or just some dickwad above me for my problems and limited range of motion. Sometimes I am just so tired of not having anyone to blame but myself.
Sometimes I just want to know exactly what the people in charge of my paycheck want from me, and to be able to ask them that point blank if I don't. What do you want from me?
Sometimes I just want to know who those people are, and have there only be one or two of them. With my job(s) right now, it really is cool and almost divine to be able to make so many people happy in so many different ways, but it makes repeated success complicated and unpredictable. Everyone wants something different and everyone is so many people in so many different time zones. Who are they? What do they want from me NOW? This is not easy, and the only way to make it easy is to only care about yourself in a way that requires turning inward too far.
Sometimes I want to know that I can quit, but the problem is that I can't. I can never and will never quit this job I have now. This is my work and it's what I'm supposed to do with most of my life. Sometimes it's boring to have found your life's work and know that you're never actually going to be GREAT at it. It (in all of the different forms it does and will take) will be special, but it won't be GREAT. The best I can hope for and work towards is that someday it will be more profitable, but money is not as great a motivator as greatness, so these days I move forward very slowly.
Sometimes I'm depressed, and that sometime is now (especially without the wonderful, magical, mood-stabilizing happiness that is hormonal birth control). Sometimes I feel like a failure for being a regular person, and sometimes I feel like I'm about to really EMBRACE being average and become crazily happy with that. Sometimes I am.
Labels: class, confessions, escapism, fantasies, goals, hormones, money, spiritual issues, webwhore insights, work
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Cruel and Unusual
CRUEL AND UNUSUAL
Last night we watched Cruel and Unusual
, a documentary profiling transgender women in American prisons.
If you want to see a movie about real people performing heroic acts, see it.
I usually feel like we're lucky enough to live in a time and place where a single person cannot lead a major rebellion or do something even remotely revolutionary. In my lifetime and country the only things described as "revolutionary" have been new tech products like the personal computer; that type of revolution is meaningless to the lower class in terms of positive change since it mostly serves to widen the gap between the haves and the majority of have-nots.
What a couple of these women did while they were incarcerated was to shed actual BLOOD to effect personal change and governmental/institutional/legal change benefiting other trans women, and, I think, genetic women too. When the prisons refused to CONTINUE hormone therapy when they jailed these people who'd already been on hormones and refused to even acknowledge there were adverse *medical* implications to their obstinance, what did these prisoners do? THEY CUT OFF THEIR DICKS AND/OR BALLS.
And laws changed.
AMEN.I'd love to wax appreciative and thoughtful on these issues longer, but I'm going to leave it at that for now.
Labels: class, feminism, gender issues, inspiration, money, movies
Saturday, May 06, 2006
I think I burned through a ton of personal energy yesterday because today I feel like I could sleep for twenty-four hours. This morning I had some crazy hot sex dreams, but couldn't really sleep soundly for worrying about finances and repeatedly waking up to immediately begin thinking of ways to ease the current situation.
I know I should probably make it sound like spending ten thousand dollars is no big deal for us, but . . . it is. Tucker
took a giant jar of change to the coinstar machine so we'll have money for food and so I could try to avoid incurring an overlimit charge on one of my credit cards. He did it early this morning since we woke up at six accidentally and of course the first thing out of my mouth was, "we need to take that change in TODAY and get it to my bank before it closes at noon".
I'm thinking of pawning my old wedding/engagement ring; the only thing delaying this act is that there's no pawn shop in town. I like my ring a lot, but I never wear it and it's really not that important to me. I've never pawned anything before, either, so I'm kind of curious about the process and like the idea of being part of an old white trash tradition. I like the idea of sacrificing something tangible and precious, of doing something ritualistic to commemorate this event and burn it even deeper into my brain. I don't think I've ever even been INSIDE a pawn shop, to tell you the truth.
I should confess that the only reason I'm in this current precarious situation is a lack of planning; I could have cammed my ass off for a month prior and paid for Trixie.com with no problem. But I didn't. I honestly didn't even consider making a goal of raising or saving a certain amount, partly because there was no way of guessing how much it would sell for and partly out of sheer optimism and faith that everything would turn out for the best. And it did. It does. It will. I trust "it". I trust myself.
Labels: accomplishments, class, dreams, money, things I treasure