My name is Trixie (aka TastyTrixie). The Wandering WebWhore is my personal blog. I'm a 30-something indie pornographer whose journal covers a variety of topics: mundane daily life, work-related reflection, sex stuff, current events, and more.
My sister came over this weekend with our nephews to spend a couple of nights. I figured we'd still be able to get work done when they went out on Saturday for a community event, which of course I would NOT go to. Because work is SO much more important, sitting here in front of the computer, working while I can literally feel the muscles and skin and hold-it-together-stuff in my thighs and ass breaking down into gobs of useless jello while I workworkwork.
But when my three year old nephew looked at me and asked in that hopeful and slightly anxiety-riddled voice if I was coming WITH them to the fair, I COULD NOT SAY NO. Even though I got about four hours less sleep than I usually do, waking up at 6:30ish which is unheard of for me (yeah, I know, you're like, "cry me a river" but I also often stay up working until midnight, one, two am . . . anyway).
So I put some clothes on and we went and immediately I was glad I came with them when I heard the band warming up. A very filled-out community marching-type of band! We got there just in time and everything turned to magic for me, because it's all about the kids and the music and being able to walk around the people playing their instruments and look at them from all angles and point to all of it, naming the instruments and using my Excited Kindergarten Teacher Voice! I have one of those, believe it or not, that comes very naturally to me.
We got behind the band, next to the lady drummers, and I picked him up so he could see the conductor, and I marched and danced and swayed with him in my arms to Sousa marches and Blue Moon. They were old people and little kids and a bagpiper a block away and I remembered how much I love being around regular people making music, how vital it is to dance and make noise.
I love doing new or not-done-lately things that make my body make sense. There are lots of those things: running really fast when you're in decent shape and feeling yourself turn into an almost-flying machine, fucking, getting massages . . . and holding a baby or a child. Everything that's soft and loose and floppy about me makes perfect SENSE. I felt so grounded and connected, and so sad when Mr. Squishypants was too shy to try to hula hoop on the street in front of everyone, but because I was an auntie on an excursion with them I didn't exist the way I would have if we'd gone there alone, so *I* hooped and finally got to feel exactly how awesome those weighted hula hoops I've been coveting are.
Because I'm not used to picking up and holding anything heavier than the stupid ideas in my head, I went to bed last night with sore, cramping arms and a feeling in my torso like the rocking sensation when you get off a boat after a day of sailing; I could still feel baby Skywalker snuffling against and squirming and pawing at my chest, the embodiment of the word "dimples", like a round gelatinous ghost-bubble encasing the IDEA of grinning-baby-kicking-in-shallow-bath and cute-baby-kittens-at-play was against me.
On the same day as all the fun, we also had some crazy stuff happen. Our dog got all tangled up and stuck on her rope down the hill IN THE MIDDLE OF A YELLOW JACKET'S NEST. It was crazy-scary and I'm so glad it wasn't worse AND that my sister was here to help. Poor Mr. Squish was semi-traumatized by all the hubbub with us telling him to STAY INSIDE AND NOT MOVE while we ran around like crazy with the bees swarming in in clouds. It was horrifying seeing our dog trying to get away from them, not able to let her into the house while they stung and stung and stung her around the muzzle. I'm really surprised that Delia, who rescued the dog, didn't get it worse (amazingly, no stings on her face or neck, but her arm is swollen up and we won't be shooting pics of her ass until the stings she got there are gone).
Later, while we waited for a parade, a guy came down the street trying to get signatures for a petition (which I doubt will do any good) for the public insurance option. An asshole next to us got up in the guy's face about it, and my sister (who is a nurse) in turn got up in HIS face. So we spent about twenty minutes doing our civic duty, fighting with this stranger. While we ganged up on him, tears welled up in poor Mr. Squishypants' eyes just from watching the angry exchange.
It probably was all for nothing, but I hope we gave that guy something to think about.
For the record, even though I voted for him I never thought Obama would do anything to fix health care. I still don't, and suspect whatever half-assed efforts are made will only be counterproductive to eventually getting real universal health care in this country. And no, I don't want to have a big argument about it in the comments, thank you very much. But here's a news flash: EVERYONE NEEDS HEALTH CARE, and "insurance" isn't an effective way of taking care of people's basic health care needs. And personally? I believe EVERYBODY deserves quality health care and that it's inexcusable for a wealthy country like ours not to make sure EVERYBODY has it. A non-profit public insurance plan isn't my idea of the perfect solution, but I do think it's better than nothing. I don't think the way they're trying to go about it is equitable, but whatever.
As happy as I am to see my sister and the kids, I'm always relieved (though sad) to see them go.
We're now going back to normal, logging all our spycams back in (we pretty much only have our office cams up when they're here), turning the audio back on, and, as usual, wishing we all lived closer so I could get smaller doses of that on a more regular basis. I need to do some push-ups so I'm stronger next time, because our nephews are only going to get bigger and I want to be able to dance with them in my arms and pick them up and cuddle them as long as possible.
Today we went to a protest against civil rights abuses and I realized THAT'S THE FIRST ORGANIZED PROTEST I'VE EVER ATTENDED! Which seems nuts, that as a thirty-six year old woman who is opposed to SO many things and has lived near Seattle my whole life, I have never been out in the streets with my floppy tits wrapped loosely in a shredded flag, armpit hair fluttering in the breeze as I pump my fist shouting a determined message even as I'm hoisted over the bulky shoulder of an armed man in riot gear.
Sorry to disappoint, but today was nothing like that.
Still, it was important and I'm glad we went. I'd love to be more specific and share the details with most everyone but as my webwhoring years have added up I've realized that sometimes I need to withhold some information for the sake of privacy and safety. What I will say, though, is it isn't connected to porn or sex work which in a way is sad because I'd like to be a better activist when it comes to civil rights issues related to the sex industry. This, though, is more local and I feel like I can more safely make a difference by being involved in it which is not something I can do locally (meeting up with people face-to-face) as a webwhore.
Delia actually sat this one out in the car because she has a soul-patch-like burn on her chin from her first overzealous laser hair removal treatment (she's been going through the process for years now and this is the first time she's gotten burned like that) and she didn't want to be out in the sun. This left me open to being approached by a cute ewok-looking fellow with a jaunty chipped front tooth who appeared to be about seven to ten years my junior. I almost told him I have a girlfriend, but then decided if he really was "interested" maybe it would lure him into getting involved. See, deep freckled cleavage can really win support for a cause. And I like bearded little roly poly guys.
I was actually a little concerned about the location of this protest because it's right next to an ultra-conservative hangout but they didn't come streaming out to scare us away or even mount a counter-protest. Instead I only saw about three people give us the thumbs-down and everybody else who responded as they drove by seemed happy to see us and honked, waved, hollered, etc. in support. That's a good feeling, but scary knowing this shit is going on even with so much outspoken criticism.
The past few days have been pretty windy here (I could barely hang onto my sign today) so it wasn't a big surprise when we lost power for a few seconds tonight. Could throw a monkey wrench into our spycam transmissions and Delia's update which she's trying to get uploaded and posted tonight, though. After the protest we had to drive all the way back to suburban hell to have them remove the inky security tag on a pair of jeans Delia bought on Thursday that they forgot to remove. Sometimes living so far from a real city is inconvenient. And sometimes it's just kind of scary (see above: there is some bullshit that wouldn't be tolerated in Seattle but in rural and small-town areas it's commonplace). But of course so is living near or IN a city, just for different reasons.
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."
"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.
We woke up early to watch the Inauguration yesterday; I turned the television on as fast as I could and pretty much started crying immediately. I'm a sucker in general for ritualized ceremonies, but a lot of things made it extremely emotional for me. There's all the obvious stuff of watching a momentous, proud, hopeful, inspiring piece of history, but other stuff, too. Like remembering watching Reagan's Inauguration with my grandpa when I was a little girl. Like seeing two little girls who love their dad and thinking of my own dad and my sister and I when we were their ages. Seeing the former presidents and vice presidents and first ladies from my lifetime walking (or hobbling) in or not being there at all (like my dad and my grandpa) was like looking at a timeline with my own lifespan clearly marked on it. It's not a long line, even if I'm lucky and only a third of the way through it. I didn't think of it this way on a conscious level until hours later and realize that part of what I cried about was my own mortality.
Then I had a doctor appointment. That made me feel even more like a rusting machine getting ready to be dismissed from operation. It wasn't a good experience and by the end of last night with money stress, the emotions of the morning, sleep deprivation and all of the symptoms I went to the doctor for in the first place, I was really ready for a good night's sleep and too wound up to jump right into it.
Check out my Inauguration Day tweets if you want some more of my reactions to yesterday. Apparently I'm the only person who loved the poem. Other people thought it was robotic -- not a word I'd have chosen to describe it, but even if it was I totally love robots so maybe that's why I liked it. At first I thought her delivery was too contrived, but a few lines into it I just heard the words/saw the moments she captured and thought it was fucking brilliant and spot-on. I burst into tears when she said the last nine words of this chunk:
Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.
I complained yesterday about not hearing anyone comment on the poem (and felt totally annoyed seeing people walking away from the ceremony before she even started; these must be the same assholes who go to watch fireworks displays but leave before the finale because they want to "beat the traffic" but maybe I'm being unkind and they all just have small bladders and/or diarrhea) but now I'm glad I didn't hear any chatter about it on CNN or online (I know it's out there, I just haven't looked for it or read it). I don't know anything about poetry, but I do know I love Walt Whitman and I do know he loved Lincoln and I do recognize nods to Whitman in yesterday's poem and that all of that fits into the deliciously morbid Lincoln-channeling going on with Obama being the first to use the Lincoln bible and doing all of those other following-in-Lincoln's-footsteps black-cat-crossing things.
We spent most of today shopping since we had to make the journey to suburbia for Delia's laser hair removal appointment. It was so much fun hearing people, especially kids, talking about Obama (kid pointing at books & magazines: "look, Mom! It's Barack Obama!"). I hate that I can't shake the feeling of impending doom, though. I know other people have to be feeling it, too. Still, everything's shimmery and sparkly right now . . . very storybook-like (even with the oath do-over). Watching the ceremony yesterday I did halfway feel like I was watching a pre-pre-pre-prequel to Star Trek Next Gen. Like everything good could really come true someday and all of the buildings and monuments were bad backdrop paintings of futuristic architecture.
I don't regularly fantasize about the White House as a super-glamorous place and never have felt like the people living there were royalty the way people felt about the Kennedy years. It's kind of exciting to experience that now; I can't help it, thinking about those girls moving in there and having slumber parties. I'm totally sucked into it. The allure of a lot of chick things (weddings) escapes me but stories involving orphans, boarding school, or preteen girls spending the night in museums or moving into the White House are always going to capture my imagination. It's almost as good as eating buckets of mashed potatoes and gravy, imagining Sasha and Malia safe and happy, the most famous little girls in the world ensconced in THE WHITE HOUSE with closets full of pink clothes and barbies and books and halls to run in and a prissy nanny who tells them stories and feeds them cucumber sandwiches.
I've got some Obama-themed pictures to post from my latest members-only gallery but haven't had a chance to make promos so it'll have to wait. In the meantime you can check out Delia's samples if you're not a member.
Another sad thought I had yesterday was for our friend whose mom just died. I imagined him and AmberLily dealing with their loss and this Inauguration going on at the same time. How weird it would be to feel like everyone in the world is paying attention to this ceremony while they're distanced from it by having a huge personal transition and ceremonies of their own to attend to. When big events coincide with personal crises it can be so isolating and bizarre. I haven't wanted to call them, but I'm definitely thinking of them and hoping for the best for them.
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.
This is a long-ass entry. I already cut out a lot and saved it for future entries, but I was still left with all of this, so be forewarned; it's not a quick read:
When we started letting friends know that Delia identifies as a woman and decided to transition from presenting as a man to living as a woman, one of the first questions was from a friend who sent this to me:
So now the million $ question: Do you think of yourself as a lesbian?
The short answer? No. I do not think of myself as a lesbian. I never have and I never will.
Sorry to disappoint folks who were looking for a juicy DELIA: MY TRANSSEXUAL GIRLFRIEND AND HOW OUR LIVES ARE NOW A CRAZY LESBIAN FUCK-PARTY! entry, but her transition doesn't change my sexual orientation, nor does it change hers. I didn't grow up feeling "different" (not because of my sexual preferences, anyway; I felt different in other ways, but those are different subjects). I have always been hot for men, starting with Elvis, little boys in the neighborhood, and hot ethnic dudes from seventies television like Erik Estrada on Chips (wheeee tight black gloves!), Chico (see Chico and the Man), and Epstein on Welcome Back Kotter. Real LESBIANS do not grow up feeling "hot for dudes". Seriously, just looking at those images makes me hot in a special way reserved for triggers set early in girlhood. Of course, I'm rather partial to men's mouths when they look suspiciously like hot pussy: full, juicy, blood-infused lips decorated with hair (see also, Isaac on Love Boat: that kind of mustache always gives me a big fucking clit boner). And I can't deny that I had a very special, tingly interest in Jo/Nancy McKeon on Facts of Life. And Blair. And titties. And naked girls in magazines. Yes, the "Jo" archetype has been in many of my lesbo masturbation fantasies, only the setting is less boarding school and more prison.
So what IS my sexual preference? For most of my adult life I've been in the "it's all good" category; I identify myself as omnisexual (aka pansexual). I'm what most people call "bisexual", but have never liked that label: first, because I objected to wearing a special designation that seems to say I'm "different" from the majority of people (when I emphatically believe MOST people are just plain SEXUAL), and later because it assumes we only have two options to choose from. In a pinch, though, I will call myself bisexual because it's the most efficient, accurate way for me to identify my sexuality to lots of people who aren't familiar with all of these nuances and super-cool labels. Whenever time allows and it's possible (during conversations or chat sessions rather than check-marking boxes on forms that never have enough options) I do try to remind people there are alternatives to the limited, oversimplified notions of sexuality and gender most of us were raised to accept.
The first time my sexual preference was called into question was in elementary school in the seventies. My friend, Irene, and I had been playing our special game of "Elvis" with each other since we were four or five and continued through fifth or sixth grade. One night at her house after we got done humping each other, she was overcome with guilt and teared up, confronting me with the weirdest question I'd ever heard in my life:
"Trixie . . . you know we're gay, don't you?"
Ummmmm . . . actually, no. No I did not know that. And I told her so.
Let me clarify; I didn't tell her that I wasn't aware we were gay, as in "wow, Irene! So *that's* what we are! Because I've really been wondering; thanks for clearing that up!". I told her we WERE NOT gay. Even with my very limited idea of what "gay" meant, I knew I wasn't. I knew what we were doing was normal even though I knew it wasn't something we were supposed to tell everybody about. I looked forward to doing it, it was fun, and hey, we were playing Elvis, right? Elvis was a guy that all women wanted to do it with, so how could that be gay?
She reminded me that the big girls at school had called us gay when they saw us holding hands with each other in the hallway and I tried to reassure her that they were just mean. There's nothing WRONG with friends holding hands! I knew intuitively that we were basically just little girls (fourth grade, I think) who loved each other in a way that couldn't possibly be that weird. Again, I wouldn't have wanted the big girls with the feathered hair to SEE us humping each other, but that was none of their business. Their world wasn't my world -- those girls were people to be avoided or stared at because they were pretty but they were in no position to know who we were or call us grown-up names. Also, they were stupid -- the kinds of girls who would never win a spelling bee (they're actually dead now and the little know-it-all in me attributes their early deaths to their own stupidity, but it was really much sadder than being dumb and I didn't know them well enough to gauge that anyway; one of them actually wound up with her severed head stuck up high in a tree, but I digress).
In fact, Irene was pretty stupid too. I think I believed that if it had never occurred to me to worry about this "gay" thing myself, it couldn't possibly be something to concern ourselves with. I was the smart one who tried to spend all of her recesses in the library reading dirty books, so it felt natural to conclude that Irene was just wrong and had a stupid thought in her head. I'd already seen her make a million stupid tear-stained mistakes in our short lives, like the time she wanted to steal candy in the drugstore WHILE WE WERE WITH HER MOM after the guy at the dry goods store failed to bestow his customary free suckers on us. She tried to convince me to steal, then as soon as we were out the door she broke down crying and confessed to her mom. Whaaaaaaaaat a dumb ass! Seriously, I couldn't believe the way she operated sometimes.
I'm only now considering the possibility that maybe I was wrong. Not about my own regular brand of opportunistic sexuality, but about hers. After all, SHE always insisted on being Elvis while I was always in the Ann-Margret role ("woman" astride, though). I never really challenged her too much on that because the action itself along with the thought of Elvis was fulfilling enough for me. I guess I just thought she LOOKED a lot like Elvis (not in a butch way, she just has the same exact mouth as him) so it made sense at the time. As an adult I *have* wondered where she got some of her ideas; we were about five when she told me that "Elvis always pees on his girlfriends." which now does seem like an advanced concept for one so young; one secret (of perhaps many) Irene DID manage to keep from her mom was how the Bugs Bunny beach towel got completely soaked with piss.
I wonder if Irene knew she was gay all along and I totally dismissed what she might have realized from the beginning. She went on to do all the things straight girls did in rural high schools in the late eighties: drinking, fucking and frosting her hair. Now she's married with kids. I even went to her wedding chock full of those sick Bible verses about the husband submitting to God and the wife submitting to her husband, followed by a reception full of their wasted relatives raging about that dirty fucking Bill Clinton and how he should be impeached . . . or shot! I still love Irene and hope to Christ she's NOT gay and stuck in a straight marriage with me being the only pussy she ever got. That would be tragic. I'm pretty sure I called it right back in elementary school, though, and that she just let what those mean girls said bother her. Sex play with same-sex childhood friends, even if it continues into your teens, is not a good predictor of sexual preference just like GENDER is not a good predictor of sexual preference.
I know I didn't have enough information to really understand what Irene was worried about back then; we grew up with no internet, no same-sex kissing on tv, no real discussion of any of those things. I'd never been exposed to people being called names like "faggot", but of course I realized and accepted that grown-ups "did it" in male/female pairs even if I had no awareness of a group of grown-up people who did it (and were discriminated against for doing it) the same way Irene and I did. I don't know if I'd ever heard my parents talk about gay people and if we knew any, I wasn't aware of it. I totally thought Billy Crystal was cute/sexy on "Soap" and didn't understand ANYTHING about the show other than that I liked watching him. I didn't know he was playing one of the first openly gay characters on television - I had no conscious understanding of that.
In kindergarten there was one kid who was clearly DIFFERENT, but I just thought he was obnoxious and then he moved to another school so I didn't find out until many years later that he was gay; The memory of how he stood out is still so vivid to me, his shiny orange hair contrasted with his green turtleneck, his flair for the dramatic, his isolation . . . he was SO gay from the very beginning. As a teenager I remember when Donahue had some lesbians on his show and they explained that when most girls played with their Barbie dolls, Barbie and Ken wound up getting it on, but they were different because when THEY played Barbies, it was Skipper and Barbie who always wound up pressed against each other. Even with all the humping Irene and I did on each other, it never dawned on me to use Skipper like that when there was a KEN doll around.
It's things like that -- people being obviously queer and having to deal with identifying and coping with that difference their entire childhood -- that make me adamantly opposed to ever calling myself a lesbian. Spending the rest of my life with someone who identifies as a woman -- who I fell in love with because she was NOT exactly a man -- will not make me a lesbian, and it's not because she's trans; I would say the same thing if she were born with a pussy. I will not call myself a lesbian because, aside from not being one, "lesbian" is a political word representing a minority with a set of experiences that I never had -- never could have -- because I have always felt myself part of the majority when it comes to the genders of people I like to have sex with.
Having said that, when I was in college I *did* come out to my friends and family as bisexual. I know, it sounds like no big thing today but things have changed a lot in the past fifteen years, you know? It wasn't super hard or anything, but it was important enough that I thought the people closest to me should know that I might bring a chick home someday. I'd been aware since I was seventeen that women turned me on even when they weren't pretending to be Elvis (did I already tell you about this orgasmic epiphany I had when I went to Girls' State? I feel like I did, but if so, I can't find where I posted it), but it took me awhile longer to even imagine having a "girlfriend". Of course, everyone in college thought I was a lesbian anyway. Everyone EXCEPT for the handful of lesbians, so let's just say college was one big dry spell for me.
Even though I consider myself omnisexual or pansexual, I can't say that I'm AS sexually attracted to women as to men, and up until recently I had almost no concept of the spectrum of transgender beyond cross-dressers or a remote acknowledgment of "bizarre medical cases" totally far removed from my reality so my fantasy life hasn't included trans people (except crossdressers). Transgender is something I've been ignorant and unaware of most of my life, so I definitely can't say that I'm equally attracted to trans people as to bio men who present as men (most of the time, anyway). I did really love watching Bosom Buddies, of course, and found the guys way hotter when they were dressed up than when they were just boring dudes, but I think I always wanted them to ONLY be wearing the glossy lipstick and some girl clothes WITHOUT the wigs and the earrings. And for the both of them to be fucking Donna Dixon while they were in half-drag.
So yeah . . . my preference is more on the straight side of the continuum; I have a primal response to Elvis, Ponch, Chico, and Epstein that's more intensely sexual than the one I have to Jo, Ginger (Gilligan's Island) and Salma Hayak. Lately most of the time when I fantasize about fucking someone new, it's guys or FTM people. That's a shift from before Delia and I got together when I spent more time fantasizing about women than I do now. Why do I think more about hooking up with men or transmen these days? PROBABLY BECAUSE I'VE BEEN FUCKING A TRANSWOMAN FOR SIX YEARS. And back when I spent time longing for women, I was mostly fucking guys.
Even though I'm not a lesbian, I don't think of myself as straight, either. In fact, my feathers were ruffled recently at a GLBT meeting when someone referred to Delia and I as a straight couple. Yes, I have grown up enjoying and feeling entitled to the privileges straight people have in our society, but we are not a straight couple. I'm not straight, she's not straight, our relationship is not straight, and our jobs are not straight. We are not a straight couple. I don't want to be called a lesbian couple (I was totally confused when I heard a transwoman referring to her work with her female partner as "lesbian porn") but not being lesbian doesn't automatically make us straight.
Still, it was pretty wacky last year when we went to a GLBT event right after Delia decided to transition and I felt like an intruder, not because anyone treated me like one, but because I kind of AM an intruder. I know that the "B" in GLBT stands for me and I know that I just said I'm not straight, but the room was small and I felt like I was taking up space someone else might have NEEDED and DESERVED more than I did. As a woman, I feel really strongly that people in minority groups have protected spaces with good energy from people who GET what it's like to be where they're at and where they've been. Like I said before, I didn't grow up feeling "different" (I don't FEEL like bisexuality is a minor preference, even though I know that the political reality is that it's not accepted when it's anything more than two girls dabbling but running straight home to the cock after they "experiment" and "get it out of their systems") so it was weird to be in that room and for the first time automatically qualify on what felt like a technicality -- because my partner's trans. At the time I wasn't sure I had anything to offer or anything I could rightfully gain from throwing myself into the GLBT mix.
Or maybe it was just a wake-up call, that I don't have an excuse to avoid standing in the middle of a group of people that's openly hated, persecuted, and targeted for special kinds of violence reserved especially for special kinds of people. I know what that feels like as a woman, a pornographer, a nerd, and a sex worker, but I exempted myself from feeling it about my sexual preference, or, more accurately my LACK of a strong preference. I could advocate and empathize -- and stand safely out of harm's way. Not anymore.
It gets tiring, too, standing in another group where I feel like a liar because my profile is different and has a bunch of things in it that I know many people would reject if only they know. Like when I go to church and feel like a liar because I don't believe in their church God on an intellectual level the way almost everyone else does who likes going to church. Or when I identify myself as a feminist to women who I *know* plot ways to get rid of the scourge of pornography. When the GLBT group of people sees me out and about with someone who sometimes looks like a boy and uses a boy name, I worry that they'll think I'm a liar even though I never SAID I was a lesbian. I still cringe imagining those people and people at church and feminists all turning to look at me, aghast when they realize how I betrayed them just by walking in their midst, pretending to be one of them. A man-fucker, an atheist with a weakness for ritual and the mystical, an exploiter of women and a user of cunt, a democrat who wants to drown herself in money.
It seems like such a simple question, "are you a lesbian". But like everything else that's attached to someone or something I love, I feel like I need to explain how much more complex it is than yes or no. That if I don't explain, I'll be guilty of some deception.
Just for fun, I'm imagining being offered the chance to pick someone new to be intimate with every week for a year out of everyone in the world. When I think of it that way, men and women would probably come out pretty even with some transgender competition thrown into the mix. I don't know if that means I don't really lean as far towards the straight side as I thought, or if that's just a typical buffet mentality speaking where you pile a lot of different things on your plate that you might not have ordered if you could only pick three or four of them. I'm a sucker for a buffet, though. A good (or even a mediocre) buffet is my idea of heaven. Damn, I'm hungry.
Tonight's ending on a very positive note that could even be viewed as a metaphor for other things going on in our lives; we finally installed a second hard drive for storage on my main work machine so I'm moving big files off my weighted-down C drive. It feels like a fresh start! Right now I'm filling up some of that space by transferring non-work photos over to this machine so I can enjoy playing with shots we've taken for fun/to learn about our camera.
November 20th: a buck Delia spotted in our neighbor's backyard:
Our "new" camera (Nikon D300) has been therapeutic for me, making me stop and take time out to really LOOK and lose myself in details outside of myself. I'm not the kind of person who tries to capture EVERYTHING with a camera -- I definitely appreciate being in the moment with family, friends and on vacation -- but when we're at home (which is the same as being at work unless we make a really concerted effort for it not to be) doing the daily grind it's a big challenge for me to get out of my head. But now, when something mundane and beautiful captures my attention I feel justified in grabbing the camera, ostensibly to learn to take better photographs, and spending 5-20 minutes to really SEE and try to understand what I'm seeing: the light, the textures, the motion . . . challenging myself over what's real and not real because it can look so different viewed with my eyes compared to how it's captured by the camera. Immersing myself in all those different versions of truth and light and darkness and the stories we instantly create and details we insert after pulling them out of our asses when we think we're looking at our surroundings.
Looking out our window a few hours ago:
We actually bought three 500 GB hard drives months ago for three different machines and up until today, had only installed ONE of them because of little nuisances like not having Dell's annoying little drive "caddies", not having serial ATA cables with the 90 to 180 degree corner jobbies so the case will close properly, me despising crawling around on the floor fucking with all the cables and cords tangled around dust bunnies, etc. If you heard me screaming last night it was when I bashed my elbow into the corner of my desk during that process. Anyway, we finally took care of it and I ordered everything we need to install a couple more on other machines.
The past couple of days I had the alarm set for 8:30 in the morning to try to get us back into a groove of semi-normalcy; at least I *thought* I set the alarm for 8:30. Turns out I forgot to adjust the ipod when the time changed so we were actually being woken up at 7:30 which just didn't feel right. We'll try again tomorrow. Maybe I'll even start my day by going outside with the camera.
*Last night I enjoyed a conversation with my wanker in which I wasted lots of time raving about this Teddy Thompson fellow and a performance we saw on Later with Jools Holland. Here it is, and it slays me:
I've only downloaded one of his songs (a cover of "She Thinks I Still Care", one of my all-time faves) because there's no way I can narrow it down so I'm trying to hold out to be able to buy some of his albums, though I will probably download his cover of Leonard Cohen's "Tonight Will Be Fine":
I don't know why I assumed my dad would be buried with his Masonic ring since I knew it was a family heirloom that had been passed down to him from his dad, so it was both a blessing AND a surprise when my aunt, mom and sister all agreed I should have it. Normally I keep it on my "altar" with other trinkets and items of greater and lesser power. Here it is (upside down; sorry):
I have no idea what the monetary value is of this ring (nothing extraordinary), but it was the fanciest piece of jewelry anyone had in my family and the only diamond I ever felt familiar with. It was ALWAYS present on my dad's hand and seemed imbued with secret, mystical powers.
It's totally against the rules for me to wear it since I'm not a Mason and not a man, but sometimes I do it anyway to have my dad present. I wore it on a chain to my sister's wedding, and sometimes I wear it on my finger when I want to have him near me. I've put it on at times when I needed to be reminded of the depth of his values, patience, kindness and boundless love for others. His vehement opposition to hatred and distaste for petty anger, mean-spirited criticism and silly conflicts. When I need a reminder to be a better person and my dad isn't here to do it for me, I put on his ring. I should do it more often.
I wear it pointed at me so I can look at it the way I saw it on his finger, pointed out because he was a past Master. I'm wearing it today because I know how excited and happy he would have been to vote for Obama. I know how he would celebrate the progress being made and be proud to be part of these positive steps forward in history. One of the things that bothered my dad about Masonry was the segregation (white lodges and black lodges) and the really ugly, racist history and associations a lot of Masonic groups and individuals have.
During my dad's life they'd at least gotten to the point where they recognized each other's lodges and visited each other, but it was still really . . . ummmm . . . old-fashioned. When my dad was still mobile he took to visiting a black lodge in Seattle regularly and petitioned for membership there -- the first white guy to do that (how welcome that idea was to the Prince Hall Masons I don't know; if they were opposed to it my dad was totally oblivious to that). It was our state's white Masons, though, who made up some bullshit to block him having a dual membership (I can't remember the details and only happened upon them when I was going through his papers; if I remember correctly they lied and said he wasn't a member in good standing with the state; of course there may have been a lot more to it behind the scenes that I don't know about). My dad just contented himself with his honorary membership and waved off my protestations as stupid politics when I asked him "what the fuck??"
My dad is the one I went with the first time I voted for a president. We were SO excited about Clinton and I was SO young and optimistic I really felt hope in the marrow of my bones. I was positively WIGGY with optimism! Like a lot of people, I've naturally lost that feeling as I've gotten older and seen how even the good guys, when they're ALLOWED to do their jobs, aren't really all for progress and the last two presidential elections have been enough to seal me permanently in cynicism. I'm not even sure I will be able to feel anything more exciting than RELIEF if/when Obama wins. Not relief that everything or even most things will get better, but just a small assurance that I'm not living in a country dominated by the hopelessly brainwashed and criminally selfish. Relief that we can at least be proud of doing SOMETHING right.
I wish my dad could be here for this because his enthusiasm wouldn't be tempered by my black-spirited pessimism. I really wish my whole family were together for this and there would be hugs all around and crying and hysterical joy that we would always remember sharing together. Maybe we can get together on Inauguration Day. But today, tonight, and tomorrow I'm wearing my dad's ring and inviting him to be present when Delia and I celebrate here at home together. I hope.
While I let bigger (and possibly better) blog entries stew, here are a couple of images that might fall into the "bigger" and "better" categories:
In my last post I mentioned experiencing some bumpy emotions as I struggled to adjust my priorities and let go and cut back, at least temporarily, some stuff; in the days since that post I've emotionally adjusted, too. I now feel very content and optimistic about my new focus and happy to release myself of certain self-imposed obligations.
I'm being annoyingly vague, I know, but I just want to share that I feel happy and hopeful about my person(al life), relationships, business . . . where I'm/we're at and where I'm/we're going. It feels boringly repetitive to blog about them ("hasn't Trixie said this a million times in the past seven years?"), but periodic realignments are necessary in life; sometimes the adjustment process is stressfully turbulent (even when the changes are positive, like when the person you love stops drinking or when you're forced to recognize -- AGAIN -- that you aren't superhuman after forgetting since the LAST time you were faced with that conclusion) but once you get used to it a whole new field of possibilities emerges and there's . . . relief. And joy. And after some rest? New good things. More awesome. Progress made. Love shared. Delicious sappiness.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that things are good here!
Last month when Delia was on her way to her laser appointment she encountered a road block situation by the Hood Canal Bridge: border patrol. We were mystified by it since THAT IS NOT THE BORDER and we've never seen anything like that before and I've lived in Washington state my whole entire life. So maybe there was a terrorist threat to smuggle weapons from Canada and blow up a submarine or something as it passed under the bridge? Far-fetched, but it was the only legit reason I could think of for the border patrol to be fucking around in these parts.
I know I'll probably regret posting this because it's loaded with keywords that might bring people from our town and sparsely-populated region to this blog; that's why I haven't linked to our local papers' coverage of it, because I totally do NOT need a trail leading from my porn site to our local paper and back again. But here's a story on what they're doing and how totally fucked up it is. Because we live within 100 miles of the CANADIAN border, they're using 9/11 to justify slowing everyone down to pick out and harass anyone who looks Latino in a line of cars. We don't live by the Mexican border, and in my whole life here I've never heard of migrant farm workers committing acts of terrorism whether they were here legally or not. So WHAT THE FUCK?!?
I cannot believe this is fucking AMERICA in this new century. It's almost like traveling in time and space to some hideous place where all black people have a curfew and are detained by the strong arm of the law to show their paperwork, etc. "What are you doing on the highway without your papers?" And then the border patrol brags in the paper about how they "netted" however-many "illegals" they caught in their shitty little traps. And the white folk in the line of cars gawk as the men with guns chase the brown-skinned people who leap from moving vehicles to RUN into the woods to try to get away.
Where the fuck am I living? What the fuck is going on? I seriously cannot believe this shit and the people who have the pink balls to defend it. And they gleefully tell us to expect MORE of it. They're ramping up! Their funding has been increased!
It boggles my mind the way these fuckers act so proud of their horrid, invasive, pathetic jobs. The way they won't acknowledge for a second that what they're doing is a violation of civil liberties and pretty much defeats the purpose of living in what we like to call a "free" country. Nothing personal against those who are just following orders and need their crappy job with the border patrol, but it makes me mad when I as a whore am shamed and vilified for my job but these guys? Get to walk around with their chests puffed out for stopping people without cause and wreaking havoc on people's lives. For reminding all of us how weak this country really is and scaring us all into seeing the horrifyingly distinct possibility that freedom is something that too many Americans are happy to see flushed down the shitter if it means maintaining some semblance of white supremacy.
I can't even imagine how angry I would be if I were an American Indian stopped and harassed at one of these checkpoints. I think I would lose my fucking marbles at the sickness of it, the US border patrol trying to keep brown-skinned people OFF land they stole FROM brown-skinned people. Where do they fucking get off?
Yesterday I walked across a field with my eyes closed. After the heavy grounded feeling of walking in wet sand for almost an hour, walking blind on hard-packed dirt with sunburned grass felt like flying with the wind in my face, blowing my hair around. Or floating, at least. The only other people in the field were three black-robed figures sparring with each other using long sticks. With my eyes closed they sounded like three people playing football. The field was so big it was easy for me to avoid walking into them even without the benefit of sight.
We've been having some private stress around here (on top of the published stress of trying over and over again to get pregnant) so yesterday Delia canceled her show and we *finally* went to see The Dark Knight. I wasn't nearly as excited going into it as I was Batman Begins and didn't feel the same attachment to this one, maybe because I preferred the more solitary focus on Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins and the whole emphasis on creating and finding an alter ego for himself. The imagery in Batman Begins was also darker and more appealing to me in a sort of Robert Louis Stevenson way than Dark Knight, which everyone keeps describing as "darker" than BB but really was just more hideous, brutal and scary. Yeah, the humour was darker and everything felt more tragic because of Heath Ledger's potent brilliance, but that diverted so much attention from Christian Bale that it wasn't really about Batman or anybody except for Heath Ledger's Joker. Oh yeah, I do love the whole commentary on human nature being a dual thing of dark and light, I'm just saying that it didn't speak to me on a deeply personal level the way Batman Begins did.
As I get older, it's harder and harder for me to watch movies without being bored and annoyed by what seems like derivations from other movies I think are "better" or strike me as more original just because *I* happened to see them when I was younger and was first introduced to certain themes. There were a lot of familiar elements in The Dark Knight, but it really was awesome enough that it didn't annoy me, especially since I recognize that there are *no* original ideas (plus, having no familiarity with comics or specialized movie knowledge I KNOW I'm completely ignorant of where some of these things "originated"). I felt like I recognized stuff from In the Line of Fire and freaky cross-dressing a la Silence of the Lambs. Since I know nothing of the comics and never even saw Jack Nicholson's Joker, I couldn't help totally associating the smile/scar with the Black Dahlia, especially since I just picked up another book (with the ghastly pictures) about the case.
Anyway, I loved the magic trick with the pencil and lines like "whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger." Favorites aside from Heath's performance? Maggie Gyllenhaal's Rachel Dawes was SO much better than Katie's -- LOVED her, and the chase scene/shootout with the semis. We also loved the political commentary on whether or not the threat of terrorism justifies spying on people, etc. Still, I don't feel compelled to see this one more than that once in the theater (unless we could see it in IMAX). I really wasn't prepared for the violence, and of course it always annoys me when there's no swearing in a movie but there's plenty of freaky brutality (I could not hack the part at the end when the dogs and Batman were being beaten with the pipe) and it gets less than an R rating; just having the knowledge in my head that our government is prosecuting people for "obscenity" even for just writing taboo stories and that they refuse to let COPA die makes me resentful when I see how violence in movies is embraced in America as totally acceptable for young people to watch. I can't watch this stuff without thinking, "so THIS is okay for thirteen year olds to see but the sight of my clitoris will scar them for life?" Whatever. It's not that I want kids to see porn or that I don't appreciate a movie without swearing or that I think violent movies should be boycotted, it's the nonsensical double standards that drive me up a wall.
So does Christian Bale's alleged assault of his mom and sister ruin my appreciation of his acting? Ummm, no. Just like a president cheating on his wife has absolutely zero to do with whether or not he's a good president, whether or not Marky Mark is a homophobe or a racist has nothing to do with my enjoyment when I watch Boogie Nights or Entourage and I still think PYT is a fucking awesome song whether or not Michael Jackson is a pedo. Given the rant I just made, it probably surprises you to hear that I don't relate to people who can't enjoy a celebrity's work because of their crimes and supposed personal flaws (which may or may not be true, but we will never know). It's not that I don't enjoy juicy gossip about famous people, but it's just another form of entertainment to me that is separate from whether or not I enjoy their actual work. Like, is it really a surprise to Christian Bale's fans that he's a freak? The guy wanted to starve himself to 100 pounds only eating an apple and can of tuna a day for The Machinist; were you really not aware that he's fucking mental? Apparently, because I've been reading whining from women who think they can't adore him anymore. YOU ARE WATCHING HIS MOVIES, NOT DATING HIM!
So yeah . . . sometimes I can separate things. Other times? Not so much.
In addition to taking the night off for a movie, I also made emergency reservations for a three night stay at the beach next week, so our Sunday, August 10th and Monday, August 11th shows will be canceled. We will do some shooting while we're there, but mostly we just need to get away. Yes, we have a beach here, but Puget Sound and the Strait aren't the same as the actual ocean. I didn't know it until Delia told me, but the timing is perfect because we'll be out there for the meteor shower. She also just happened to order some things from REI before we made these plans so it all fell into place perfectly since the days I happened to find open rooms and camping spots weren't my first pick before I knew these things, but just happened to be after the REI stuff will arrive and during the meteor shower.
Honestly? I only hastily skimmed the post and avoided taking a close look at the comments. Not because I don't think it's a worthwhile discussion. Not because I don't want to help "represent" the feminist pornographers of the world. But because for me right now, the most feminist thing I can do is make money and be free of debt, because paying credit card companies tons of interest is totally not feminist. With that being my focus I view reading and participating in these oft-irrational discussions as a big waste of my time. I was much MUCH happier reading the Feministe post on The Golden Girls which I, of course, agree with.
WARNING: reading the following rambling may be a total waste of YOUR time, but it was highly therapeutic for me to write about it.
I've got a number of drafted blog posts and of course plenty of thoughts about sex, feminism, porn, and all that "good" stuff (or bad stuff, depending on your perspective). But I'll take this opportunity to just briefly touch on a few of my positions and answer the question, in short form, of whether or not I think the porn *I* make is feminist.
*Making money (and especially being self-employed, and especially making GOOD money, ESPECIALLY if it's better money than men are making and especially all of these things in THIS country and cultural context) is feminist. Even if you're making money on something that seems totally counterproductive to feminism.
*The interesting thing -- the KEY thing -- is acknowledging that behaviors and products (and I use that term very loosely -- could be a piece of merchandise or the end result of certain behaviors or a speech or whatever) can be feminist in some ways, and not in others. You can do something that makes feminist progress in one area, but is regressive in another. That duality is intrinsic to the movement(s) and anybody who thinks it's possible to be and live and think and affect 100% feminist is fucking delusional. Because you can't control other people's reactions. Because sometimes making progress in one direction means distancing yourself from another point on your (or the group's) carefully mapped travel plans. Because everybody has something unique to contribute, and while they might excel in one area, they won't in another. THAT'S WHY WE NEED DIFFERENT WOMEN REPRESENTING DIFFERENTLY. Because it's not feminist at all to think we all want the same things, or to demand that we pursue the same things. Because it's humanly impossible to consistently put FEMINISM before yourself all the time. Because for some of us feminism means putting OURSELVES (specifically MYSELF or YOURSELF, in your case if you are a woman) first. Because life is just way more complex than "feminist" or "not feminist".
Maybe it's like a big scavenger hunt. There are tons of things on our list, things we should have RIGHTS to. Maybe you go look for education. Maybe sister over there goes and looks for health care. Maybe another goes and looks for safety. I hope there's someone out there looking for reparations. MAYBE I WILL LOOK FOR THE MONEY. Maybe I will look for proof that my body is not YOUR body, and maybe you'll be fucking confused because you think that if I sell my body to a man that I'm violating YOURS. Maybe I will have time to hold your hand and we can find RATIONAL THOUGHT together, huh? Wouldn't that be nice. Maybe we'll all accept that we all have the right to anger, and that a lot of it is righteously directed at each other.
Maybe you have no clue how often I advocate for some of the most unpopular feminist causes and rights while I am in some of the most hostile environments for doing so in the first world. Maybe you have no idea how much thicker the leather is on my militant boots than yours and your buddies, with your unproductive running-off-at-the-mouth. Maybe you underestimate how much more effective being feminist is on this platform than on yours. Maybe I love getting ALL. FIRED. UP! Maybe that's why I suppress my work on it so often. Because that fire comes close to incapacitating me with screaming.
This is so not short or coherent the way I planned for it to be, but it's making ME feel better, and THAT is feminist.
*Do I, Trixie, make feminist porn (if such a thing exists)? I do think feminist porn exists/is possible. I totally disagree with anyone who thinks it's a contradiction in terms. At the root of that mistaken belief is a huge double standard regarding PLEASURE, but that's a topic for another time.
Many people would say, "yes, Trixie's porn is feminist". I personally would say that the the individual chunks of porn I/we make are only feminist sometimes. I will also say that I do not *want* all of the porn I make to be feminist. Because my sexuality and personality do not always cooperate with feminist ideals, nor do other people's. Because our fantasy worlds cannot and should not be bound by politics. Because sex as we experience it/feel it TRANSCENDS politics (even if it never transcends politics in reality). Because sometimes you specifically fantasize about un-feminist things because your ideals have created such intensely taboo triggers. Because it wouldn't be feminist to deny myself all of me. Because the most feminist thing I can do is MAKE MONEY and to represent myself as a feminist while I do it.
The major way my work is feminist (outside of or next to the money-making arena) is that I consistently remind people who I belong to (MYSELF) in contexts where it is unexpected. My body belongs to me. I consistently assert my will, my self-ownership, even when it is counterproductive to making sales. My work as a whole is feminist because I REFUSE TO BE A NON-PERSON or a partial person or a person only part of the time. Anybody who looks at my work as a whole (or even/often just in small parts) can see that I REPRESENT MYSELF AS A WHOLE PERSON. To an extent that I think very VERY few people, men OR women, in ANY industry or from any walk of life, are willing to do or are allowed to do or know how to do or are brave enough to do or have risked as much to do. I AM A WHOLE PERSON, and my work in porn is contained within that and presented from that place of wholeness. Being a whole person and INSISTING UPON wholeness everywhere is awesomely feminist. Paradoxically it means that I cannot BE wholly feminist or affect in feminist ways all of the time.
I could spend a lot of time describing what I mean by "a whole person", but I'll just clarify a little by saying I don't mean "perfect" or "finished" when I say "whole" On the contrary, I mean I am and deserve to be and insist upon staking my claim on IMperfection, meeting my primitive needs, fucking-up, growing sideways and in general pursuing happiness.
You *can* make feminist progress in your own life and in others' by making art that is gender conscious, class conscious, and power conscious EVEN WHEN your representations of it are stereotyped and politically incorrect (sometimes BECAUSE they are, especially if they're totally campy and over-the-top). Especially when it acts as therapy and finds meaning/truth. And MOST especially when it's presented in a broader context that is overtly or even covertly political and/or built on a feminist foundation or told by a feminist voice (even when some of those stories and characters played are distinctly NOT feminist).
I, presenting myself as a whole person, am the context. In everything I do. And I am feminist. That is the powerful truth in my life and work and someday I hope I'll be better at articulating it.
Attending our county convention yesterday as an Obama delegate counted as my social event for 2008; so what if I only struck up conversations with three people? That's more action than this hermit usually sees.
Because socializing both bores and overwhelms me, I love getting my social time doing things with an agenda where there are rules guiding behavior and people in charge of reinforcing those rules. Parliamentary procedure definitely fills that need, and the lady I complained about here did an awesome job of keeping people in line, pushing them closer to the microphones, speaking coherently and just being generally awesome. She only used one acronym demanding clarification from an audience member which she explained without apology; you've no idea how much I admire that in a woman. While the acronym thing bugs me, I love her unapologetic down-to-business attitude.
It was both a relief and a disappointment discovering that the next caucus happens at the same time we'll be attending the transgender conference where we're on a panel so I couldn't even try to get elected to move on; you wouldn't believe how many people couldn't grasp the concept of a thirty second speech, couldn't keep their name tags swiveled around so people could see their names, and didn't even understand why the timekeeper was waving her arms at them after they'd been droning on in a disorganized fashion for upwards of 90 seconds!
Anyway, it was fun being surrounded by liberal people getting a charge out of showing off their familiarity with Robert's Rules of Order. I loved every minute of it, including the annoying parts/people. The Kucinich fanatics even made wonderful hyper-idealistic points and invited us to join in their futile, counterproductive bid to send as many "undecided" delegates on as possible. It was inspiring, it really was; in addition to preferring structured social events, I also like people-time that has an inspirational and/or change-making purpose, so I loved being in a crowd of people who are all excited about the positive changes our next president can bring and empowered to be part of that.
I wound up bonding with a lady who of course asked me what I do for a living. As usual, I first responded with the deliberately vague "webmaster". With her lovely shining smile she probed deeper, asking, "so what does that mean exactly?"
I liked her and felt like she was a relaxed person, so I told her; "I make porn sites."
Her smile stayed on, bright white and wide and her eyebrows perked up naughtily while she asked me to repeat myself. I laughed and teased her, "you heard me: PORN!"
She loved it, responded with fascinating disclosures about herself, and thanked me for making her day.
Delia and I are trying not to eat out so often; we've actually done pretty well with that this year. It's not that I mind spending the money on it because we don't go totally crazy with it, it supports local business people and I need to get out of the house SOME time, but we aren't even enjoying it that much anymore and do it more for comfort than anything else.
Anyway, we're now motivating ourselves not to eat out by listing frivolous things we want that are in the eat-out price range and focusing on those when we feel tempted. $20-$25 is our average lately since we usually split something, so at the end of every week we manage not to eat out we're rewarding ourselves with $25 each. Is that dorky? Whatever.
Since we didn't eat out for a week, I used my money plus some other in my phone sex money stash to buy her:
I feel good about my purchase, partly because it's something beautiful (way prettier than leftover mexican food) and partly because I bought it from some awesome bus-dwelling people. It's always interesting to me when I compare what other people charge for their arts/crafts/work to what *I* charge for access to my porn, stories, shows and spycams. In many ways they're incomparable, but at first glance I have to gasp at how relatively inexpensive it was to buy something as gorgeous as this doll, something that must have taken hours to make -- something I myself can't fathom having the time, talent, skill or patience to to make. It's amazing to think about all of the life that goes into something like that from the sheep to the person collecting the wool to all of the steps in making the doll: shaping, dying and whatever else I'm clueless about.
It makes me wonder why I don't buy MORE beautiful, handmade things. I love them, but it always strikes me as a luxury/something I'll do LATER, when I don't have debt; that way of thinking is pure fucking nonsense, though. And it really seems RIGHT for me to cycle the money people spend on me as luxury/entertainment/personal support by doling some of it out to other small-business people and artists, right? On top of that I think I feel more inspired to do better work when I spend time looking at and touching other people's beautiful work. I spend most of my money on plastics and electronics and such, justifying it as being "for work", but forgetting that I need personal/spiritual juice for my work to be worth doing.
On Saturday I'm doing my civic duty at our county convention as an Obama delegate; I've canceled my shows that day rather than rescheduling them; there was no way I could get my other work (shoots, webmastering, etc.) done this week if I crammed show day into another slot. What I *have* done, though, is put a chat session at 9 pm Saturday night. I know that's probably going to make it unattendable for some people, but I'm not sure when I'll be home from the thing and want to have dinner and a break in between (my social juices being in always short supply).
I grumble whenever I read a blog post, a letter to the editor or anything intended for a general audience using an acronym or abbreviation that hasn't been spelled out; unless you are writing for a special audience of people you shouldn't assume everyone will know what you mean when you type out XYXY blah blah blah.
Today I found myself *especially* annoyed when I read this email about who qualifies for affirmative action when choosing delegates for State and National conventions:
*The WA State goals of their 97 delegates is: 6 African Americans, 3 Native Americans, 10 Hispanics, 3 Youth (between 18 and 24), 7 LGBT (if you have to ask- you are not one), 9 Asian Americans, 3 disabled
Sigh. And if you are too busy being cute or evasive that you can't spell it out, then your email isn't really helpful in answering people's FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). FYI: LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bi(sexual), Transgender.
I know I'm guilty of assuming my readers understand the terms I use. I know I don't always explain things as well as I could (and am sometimes just guilty of shitty writing, like the way I totally didn't explain up there that the reason I *got* that email was because I am an Obama delegate to one of the low-level meetings where they decide who becomes a delegate to the NEXT level and so on; if you're a minority, you have a better chance of being selected to move on). And I know that other people who drop acronyms without defining them are usually in a hurry or DO write for people who share their specialized knowledge (though I think they can really alienate people who DON'T but are seriously trying to understand the writer; it bugs me when unnecessary hurdles are placed between me and information). This case just REALLY chaps my hide because the person writing it 1) acknowledges that some people might not know what it stands for, 2) decides that the information isn't applicable to anyone who DOESN'T know, 3) decides to withhold the information when it would take just as many keystrokes to spell it out as it did to deny us the information, and 4) is just really insulting and patronizing to people who aren't "in the know".
I'm sure the person writing it didn't MEAN to be an asshole, but it's so TYPICAL of Democrats and "Liberals" who are so busy bullshitting themselves and each other with their social awareness and intellectual elitism that they don't even bother to notice that THEY AREN'T HELPING OR EDUCATING ANYBODY outside of their literati circle jerks. Oh, sure, most people these days probably have an idea of what LGBT stands for and I wouldn't have even batted an eye at the acronym if it weren't for the flip secret-password remark afterwards.
I imagine there are a lot of people, older people or even younger people just becoming self-aware, who don't go to fucking rallies and meetings and parades and stuff and maybe have not even given any thought to the possibility that they are part of a special group. I feel like too many people assume that the whole world is full of social butterflies and they don't GET that some people don't identify with the cliques and the crowds and the activists with their secret codes and handshakes. And WHY do you want your readers to have to interrupt the flow of reading whatever it is you supposedly want them to hear and understand just so they can consult a dictionary or encyclopedia or google to find out something you could have explained in four words or less?
I would be more sympathetic if the authors of these things were writing a fucking telegram or a tweet or something else short and sweet BUT THEY NEVER ARE!! These people invariably have the time and energy to write at least fifty-nine exhausting paragraphs telling you more information than you could possibly ever want or need, letting you know what they had for breakfast and how many hours they slept the night before and every single model of camera they've had since they were in Kindergarten, but they refuse to trouble themselves with two to ten words that are actually fucking relevant. You torture yourself reading these people's writing, you know they have something important to say, and while you're giving yourself a migraine staring intently at your monitor they HURL these sharp pointy rocks at you every so often just to break up the monotony: ASFW! MRPQ! WOS-VINA!!
Anyway, I shot myself in the foot (as I like to do) by writing back to the person who sent the email:
It *is* possible for someone to be "LGBT" without knowing the politically correct and cool acronym that goes along with it. I'm not sure what is accomplished by acknowledging some people might not know what it stands for and then denying them the explanation. Also, people who AREN'T queer or transgender might like to be in the know; it would help raise awareness where it's lacking. Just because people are interested in participating in this particular process doesn't mean they are politically savvy about every special interest group out there.
I'm sure whoever wrote this didn't mean to be insulting or maybe they were just in a hurry when writing it, but it would have taken about the same amount of keystrokes to spell it out as to dismiss the information as inapplicable to anybody who doesn't already know. I feel like a lot of communiques (not just this one) from the Dems assume readers have information that many do not; it alienates people by making them feel like they're not part of the in-group and undermines real communication and education when all it would take is a couple extra words typed out to introduce acronyms. If the goal is to make people aware and invite them to become involved then why not spell it out instead of withholding the information?
I know it seems like a small thing and I'm not trying to make anyone feel badly about it; but it did chap my hide a little. It's not a big deal, but it can be frustrating when I (and maybe other people) read these emails and feel like they're not really written for everyone who identifies as a Democrat in this county, but are intended for people who are already super-involved and up-to-speed on everything. I don't need a reply or anything, and I do know what LGBT stands for . . . just offering it as food for thought.
I know, I know -- you have to be living under a ROCK to not know what LGBT stands for, right? But there are lots of people living under rocks, many of them quite happily, and they are JUST the people who DO need to know what LGBT stands for so when you alienate them? It's really counterproductive.
And you know what else? If I hadn't read that email I wouldn't have known that I actually have an on-paper edge for going to the next level; yes, I *did* think about my sexuality and my partner's gender identity as things that make me special/representative of a minority group, but I totally hadn't thought about it being, like, OFFICIAL. And seriously, I actually have had and will continue to have qualms about counting myself as part of that minority group because I believe the *majority* of people are bisexual and I don't believe I've "suffered" enough personal persecution because of my pansexuality to "deserve" to check a special box; this might come as a shock, but I spend a lot more of my time thinking about porn and sex work and promiscuity and making money than I do about the intersection of my comparatively mundane sexual preferences with personal political privilege (I think about it with regards to OTHER people and I think about how scary it is to live next to violent misogynist rednecks while in an "alternative" relationship but I just didn't happen to wander across thinking about affirmative action having anything to do with me *personally* in an up-and-coming kind of way; I think about the ideas of things and sometimes the reality of them comes as a total shock). So guess what? If *I* have trouble knowing how to identify myself, I of the blogs and websites and open-mindedness and college-education and whatever, then it's not hard for me to imagine a whole lot of other people are unsure too. I mean, I'm pretty sure that at least half the individuals in the world know less than I know (individually, not combined!). Not to be an asshole, but seriously. FWIW.
WTF? LGBT FTW.
Oh, I know similar complaints could be made about using "big" words that the average reader doesn't use on a daily basis (if ever), but I honestly think big words are different from acronyms; you can usually suss out the meaning of a big word based on context clues and familiar-sounding PARTS of the word. If not, the reader has only missed out on ONE word, not a whole batch like those contained in an acronym which is often the subject of the sentence, not just some fancy-sounding adjective thrown in for its saucy sound.
If you're looking for good spontaneous conversation, ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE MAN WITH THE TOOTHPICK. He's a conversationalist. You will know his interest in your conversation was reciprocated if, at the end of the conversation, he tosses away the toothpick. If he THROWS the toothpick and says, "aw, to HELL with you" while he walks away then it means you've found a debate partner for life.
I say all this after we walked home from our precinct caucus yesterday and had the best roadside political conversation with a guy with a toothpick and silver braid, wearing a Carhartt jacket over a Harley t-shirt. He stopped us as he got out of his pickup to ask what the caucus was like.
It was interesting. It's only the second time we've attended one, but today's was MUCH more exciting since there seemed to be more Democrats with some fucking common sense (last time the hyper-idealistic simpletons all threw their shit away on Kucinich; those folks were still there yesterday, I kid you not, providing the dictionary illustration for the word "futility"). Judging from what we saw in our precinct and the one next to us, Obama had a huge lead over Clinton in our town (and of course the entire state of Washington).
Both Delia and I felt sad that now that we HAVE to vote by mail, the caucus is really our only opportunity to gather together with other voters en masse to publicly participate in the process. Oh, I know there are other opportunities to get together and be all civic-minded, but those are usually just a handful of people with very specific interests. It's just not the same and now they're trying to get rid of THIS, too, and simplify things with a regular primary. I know voting by mail is cool because it's so easy and convenient (and a way to avoid the nightmare of electronic voting machines), it's just sad that we lose the sense of doing it socially as a community, and in some cases as a nation. Voting seems like even more of a farce by mail. It leaves me feeling disenfranchised as a citizen. It's like using the free address labels The March of Dimes sends you without bothering to send them a donation. If I don't have to leave my house and mill around with strangers in a location I would never otherwise visit I might as well be voting for American Idol; devoid of the common ritual, the process feels trivialized. Actually, voting for American Idol probably feels LESS trivial because at least people have a limited window of time to cast their votes (so are voting TOGETHER) and enjoying the ritual of tuning in next time to see the results.
All we have left is going to see fireworks together or sports in a stadium, and that's just not the same because we attend games and fireworks displays and concerts as observers, not participants. I suppose we still have rallies and parades and protests to participate in, but that's almost TOO much participation. Besides, for all of the work people put into it, there's no official record of what you've done unless you get arrested or win a trophy and nobody in the general population cares about the outcome regardless. I would say at least we still have the pledge of allegiance and singing the national anthem together, but nobody except conservative automatons seem to appreciate the bliss of joining into rituals of mass brainwashing the way I do. Oh well. I suppose there's always traffic court.
Since socializing is not a high priority for me and I tend to enjoy it more in structured environments, losing the opportunity to vote the old-fashioned way is a pretty big blow to my human experience. I loved sitting in the bleachers yesterday with strangers chuckling and criticizing our disorganized party, laughing as they moved their lips unintelligibly with their predictable head-in-the-clouds lack of awareness that nobody could hear their brainy soft-spoken voices while the rest of us in our typical passive Democratic style failed to speak up and point out that WE COULDN'T HEAR THEM. If we'd been Republicans, someone would have immediately stood up and cupped her hand around her ear or made the "up! up!" motion or screamed, "LOUDER!" Those gentle hippies, our brethren. How I wished we could import some of the audible obnoxiousness of our enemies, the loud-mouthed Republicans who know how to ORGANIZE an event and properly strategize.
At some point I realized it might be easy to become a delegate to the county convention, so we stuck around for me to push through the small cluster of other hopefuls and sign up to go. I felt a little cheated that it was all left up to chance (whichever people grabbed a paper and signed up first are going, apparently) instead of competition. I imagined if I were a Republican I would have had to FIGHT with some fat-ass in a red sweatshirt to EARN my spot. That would have been more fun. Perhaps the competition will be stiffer to move from county to the district caucus, though.
I am picking out outfits now, plotting an escalation of attractiveness to try to get to the state convention. If my sordid porn career prevents moving that far along I can console myself with the knowledge that at least I won't have to go to Spokane in August June, which is a nasty hellhole.
Tonight, the CW network will air an episode of Veronica Mars that is based on misleading right-wing claims about contraception. The show is about a young woman named Veronica Mars, who is both a college student and a part-time private investigator. This week, Veronica is hired by Bonnie, ďa promiscuous classmate, to find out who secretly slipped her the morning after pill, causing her to have a miscarriageď
PLAN B IS DESIGNED TO *****PREVENT***** PREGNANCY, not to terminate it. It's simple, yet there is (and has been for years) widespread intentional ignorance perpetuated on what should be a very simple matter. VERY. SIMPLE.
Subtly lying to people about how emergency contraception works is yet another piece of seriously dangerous propaganda floating free on the boob tube that I think is WAY worse than internet porn in terms of our obligation as a society to regulate and "crack down" on irresponsible media. So let's crack down on them!
"Veronica Mars is extremely popular among young women, the very women who need accurate health information. E-mail Paul Hewitt, CWís Director of Publicity, and tell him that CW needs to correct its information on emergency contraception."
DIVERSIONS Tucker hooked up our television antenna today so we could watch the Superbowl (and so I could supply myself with new and disgusting bits of pop culture to mortify, shock and offend my own old-fashioned ideals). What the fuck is up with that disgusting Jessica Simpson Pizza Slut popper commercial where she suggestively "pops" the adolescent boy? What the fuck!?! Would they make a commercial like that featuring an adult male "popping" a twelve year old girl? It really got me in a lather.
The hypocrisy in our culture sickens me; it's totally okay when a mainstream corporation colludes with broadcasters to air sexually suggestive advertisements on a Sunday afternoon depicting pedo relationships between goody-two-shoes Republican whores and little boys, but the FBI and Department of Justice censor, destroy and criminalize businesses that clearly label the same fantasies (even presented only in text format) as pornography. Every time I turn on the television I am bombarded with whores of all types peddling their wares and exposed to all kinds of pornography, and yet it's only the honest whores and smut peddlers like myself who call a spade a spade who are considered criminals.
I felt a little guilty watching football today and couldn't stop thinking about what Noam Chomsky says about sports. That they are served up to us to fill our heads with irrelevant bullshit and divert our attention from absorbing and processing news and information that really MATTER in life-altering ways. I also can't help wondering how these whores on the field, these men who are destroying their bodies doing nothing of more (or even equal) genuine import than a janitor or a garbage man or a paralegal or a streetwalker does -- these athletes are presented to us as virtuous noblemen, celebrities (people to be "celebrated"), patriots, heroes, icons, and role models. Some of these men do not even choose (or know how) to put their baseball caps on straight!! But we've all helped create (or consented to the creation of) this $213 billion sports industry elevating these completely inane games to epic proportions.
Think about it: the sports industry is worth "far more than twice the size of the U.S. auto industry and seven times the size of the movie industry." Just the sports INJURY industry alone is worth over ten billion dollars!!! We pay to watch them get hurt, and then the doctors get paid to fix them. Go go gladiators!! Tell me again how prostitution is illegal for the protection of women. If we're so concerned about people's bodies, why are sports legal if they result in these kinds of injuries? If we can mass-consume sports injuries (and yes, I love watching a man writhing in pain on the field or punch-drunk in the boxing ring) and heroize the players for taking the battering ram like men, it seems like we could legalize prostitution (which would only make it SAFER for us). The obvious answer is that we really don't give a flying FUCK about women's bodies OR men's bodies; when it comes to good clean sportin' entertainment and fuel for our SUV's we're more than happy to let the body parts fall where they may. We keep prostitution illegal because we'd rather see scores of whores killed than actually allow that women should be able to safely charge access fees to their bodies and be protected in doing so the way any other low skill capitalist athlete is allowed to do. It's so funny the way sports programs are seen as brilliant opportunities for underprivileged youth and how the boys who make it out of the ghetto to go onto BIG SPORTS INJURIES (or exciting military careers and possible death!) are jolly success stories; I'm not suggesting after-school streetwalking programs, but there's definitely a weird double standard.
I don't like agreeing with theories that say we're a bunch of mind-numbed pawns in some enormous brainwashing conspiracy, but when I look at those statistics that say that even the STORIES we want to be told on film are of less importance than sports I have to agree that the powers that be are undoubtedly very VERY happy we are so busy consuming, both financially and intellectually, these ridiculously trivial GAMES.
Another thing that gets my goat is the culture theft. The way that the football people can buy off Dr. Seuss' money-grubbing traitorous widow into letting them turn one of his stories into a pro-Super Bowl poem read by fucking Harrison Ford, but they won't let bars advertise "Super Bowl" parties because the NFL doesn't want to tarnish their image (or let anyone capitalize off of their game who doesn't PAY for the privilege of uttering the sanctified game name). Seriously, the NFL has sent people cease and desist letters for violating their copyright (thanks Doc Holly for the tip on that).
It INFURIATES me when corporations infiltrate our lives and weave themselves into the thread of our culture and then try to govern and control and profit off of every single mention of their precious fucking names. Either you want to be embraced by society or you don't. Either you want free advertising or you don't. We shouldn't have to PAY you a licensing fee for barging into our lives and making us like you, even if we then make money off of the way you've foisted yourselves into our homes and businesses.
Speaking of culture theft, if you care about this issue at all or are simply curious, check out WillfulInfringement.com.
On a more personal level, I resent seeing athletes portrayed as noble heroes and role models when they are just well paid whores who get the best surgeries possible when their pimps push them to blow out their knees, rip their groins, and dislocate their limbs. It's not that I resent the athletes themselves or that I am "jealous" of them or that I don't think they deserve good treatment, I just think it's really "funny" that real whores aren't allowed even a trifling of that kind of respect and we're really doing extremely similar jobs, we whores and athletes. In truth, the athletes are the ones who are participating in a much more evil scheme that doesn't even bother to meet any basic needs the way prostitutes do (and if you listen to Noam Chomsky, sports actually suppresses our drive and ability to take care of ourselves and act human because it's not participatory; we're only passively WATCHING the competition rather than engaging in it).
I hate demonizing an entire industry and everyone in it -- I really am NOT trying to say that I want athletes to be paid less. I am NOT trying to say that I think Paul Allen is part of a plot to make all of us stupid sports-watching zombies via his ownership of the Seahawks. I'm not trying to say that. I'm just saying that if the sports industry can have all of that, why can't sex workers and pornographers have ANYTHING? And if mainstream media can shove violence and sex down everyone's throats on television to sell everything from pesticides to war to hormone-riddled milk to burgers made of cow eyeballs to gas-guzzling suburban tanks to alcohol, why can't I sell my own motherfucking body if I want to? I don't understand how all the sweet Mommies in our country think *I* am the enemy and thief of their children's innocence with my porn website, but twelve beer commercials (plus more subtle advertisements like their Daddy drinking and driving the family home from the stadium) during a football game are a matter of American pride. Again, it's not exactly that I think all alcohol commercials should be pulled (and it's certainly not that I think pornography should be advertised during a football game). I'm just sick of the scapegoating and the overall stupidity.
But hey, I'm part of it too. I drank beer, I ate chips, and I wasted about five hours waiting for "my" team to lose. And I felt angry at the referees and full of certainty that they were against "us". And I understand how that is so much easier for a country to swallow than thinking about the bad calls our "president" has made and how he and his cronies are buttfucking almost all of us as hard as they can.