Enough! or Too much! - William Blake
As I said in my column of December 9th, there always seems to be an explosion of interesting news articles at the end of the year, and here are seven more updates. After today, I’m officially done with this sort of thing until January!
Recognition (August 19th, 2010)
In this early post I discussed the awkwardness which results when an escort discovers that she knows a client in real life, but none of the examples I gave can compare with this UPI story from December 3rd:
…Titus Ncube of Bulawayo [Zimbabwe] said he called for a prostitute to come to the hotel room in which he was staying while having marital problems and was shocked when his 20-year-old daughter arrived…Ncube said he collapsed to [the] floor upon recognizing his daughter, who quickly fled, crying. “I am sorry for what I did,” Ncube said. ”I spoke to my wife and daughter. I apologized for my actions as I just wanted my family back. My daughter has stopped doing what she was doing and is going back to school next year. My marital problems are not over, but we have a counselor who is helping us to get over this most difficult period”…
R.I.P Bob Guccione (October 26th, 2010)
In this article I pointed out that men’s magazine publishers have “to be given credit for pushing the envelope and helping to advance the cause of sexual liberty in the US by bringing both porn and frank discussion of sexual topics (including prostitution) into the mainstream.” Now a new book by Mike Edison explores the history of American men’s magazines in depth so as to prove that assertion, and the author promotes it with “How Sex Magazines Made The World A Better Place” in the December 7th Huffington Post.
Good Fantasy, Bad Reality (October 27th, 2010)
From the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion-Ledger of December 12th:
A truck driver claims his prostitute fiancee suffocated as they celebrated their engagement with a meth and bondage sex party. Then he drove from California to Mississippi with the corpse in the cab…and set fire to the truck – with himself and the body inside. Mark Andrew Rice pleaded guilty to arson and desecrating a corpse and was sentenced Monday to six years in prison…[with] two years…suspended for time served.
Rice, 49…met [Natasha] Carpenter at a truck stop in Texas. He fell in love after several encounters…and [gave] her an engagement ring…[on] Sept. 15, 2009. As part of their celebration in Barstow, Calif., Carpenter agreed to let him bind…and…gag…her…When he found her dead, Rice panicked and bought “all the meth his dealer had” and drove to…[Mississippi, where he] planned to say goodbye to his family and kill himself…[but they] took a gun away from him so he climbed into the rig and set it ablaze. Deputies eventually pulled him from the burning truck…Hancock County authorities believe he would’ve been charged with manslaughter or worse had she died in Mississippi…Prosecutors in San Bernardino County, Calif..said there was “insufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
It’s really quite a sad story, since he seems to have genuinely loved her; I’m guessing the methamphetamine increased her metabolism so that she suffocated more quickly than he allowed for.
Barbie (December 5th, 2010)
In this column I pointed out that “People with a lot of free time and more math skills than sense have published complicated calculations showing that at 1/6 scale, Barbie would be 5’9” tall, with measurements of 36”-18”-33” and a weight of 110#” and that “The campaign to suppress or neuter Barbie derives from the same repressions and insecurities as the campaign to ban porn and abolish prostitution…” And just as neofeminists aren’t too scrupulous about getting their facts right with regard to porn or prostitution, so they aren’t in their Barbie-attacks either:
Galia Slayen…[told NBC's "Today" show that] she first created [a 6’ tall] Barbie-like figure — with a 39-inch bust, 18-inch waist and 33-inch hips…for the first National Eating Disorders Awareness week in 2007 while she was [an anorexic] high school student in Portland [Oregon]…”I’m not blaming Barbie [for my illness] — she’s one small factor, an environmental factor,” Slayen said. ”I’m blond and blue-eyed and I figured that was what I was supposed to look like. She was my idol. It impacted the way I looked at myself.”
The grotesquely distorted microcephalic figure in the picture (which, as you will note, bears little resemblance to a real Barbie doll) is a perfect symbolic representation of the grotesquely distorted “prostitute” caricatures described by people like Melissa Farley, except that Slayen’s distortion of the math isn’t nearly as severe as that practiced by Farley et al.
Welcome To Our World (January 20th, 2011)
It’s funny how efforts to suppress consensual activities always end up looking a lot alike, as in this December 5th story from the Associated Press:
…Lithuania’s capital [Vilnius] recently introduced a ban on panhandling that not only punishes those who beg but those who give, with fines of up to 2,000 litas ($770). Outraged rights groups say the ban spells misery for the needy in one of Europe’s poorest countries, as winter kicks in and economic turmoil spreads across the continent…”Begging is a human right,” said Linas Kukuraitis, director of the Lithuanian chapter of Catholic charity group Caritas. ”It was there long before cities emerged. There have always been those who begged and those who helped them.”
But Vilnius Mayor Arturas Zuokas says the ban will help beggars to find more sustainable ways to make a living. “Giving money to people on the street is wrong,” Zuokas said. ”By doing this we doom them to stay there forever”…police…are not issuing fines just yet. Instead they are handing out cards to beggars with addresses and phone numbers of charities and homeless shelters. Stricter enforcement is expected to begin in January. The mayor himself rode his bicycle…looking for violators of the ban. Zuokas made a splash on YouTube earlier this year by riding an armored personnel carrier over a luxury car as a publicity stunt for his crackdown on illegal parking…He said there are plenty of homeless shelters for the poor in Vilnius, “but they stay on the streets because it is a kind of business.”
…Some Asian countries have laws targeting both beggars and almsgivers but European…laws typically focus only on [beggars] and aren’t always strictly enforced. However, police in Ireland cracked down on panhandlers this year…[and] Austria’s Styria province…introduced a begging ban in February. None of them punish almsgivers. By contrast, Norway, one of the world’s richest countries, abolished a more than 100-year-old vagrancy law in 2005, making it legal to beg in the streets. It’s also legal in Sweden, Germany, Spain and Portugal…
Note that Sweden and Norway officially believe that beggars have more right to self-determination and making a living in a way that suits them than women do.
Elephant in the Parlor (October 23rd, 2011)
A politician being caught with a prostitute isn’t really news, but for the prostitute to expose the politician is. This one’s from the December 6th Huffington Post:
The…married mayor [of Medford, New Jersey], accused on a website two months ago of having sex with a prostitute at a California hotel, [has] resigned…The anonymous allegation against…Chris Myers…included a photo of…him in his underwear…[The accuser] claimed to be a prostitute…[whom] Myers contacted…through a male escort website…Myers paid him $500 but didn’t fulfill promises of a car and other gifts…[and that] the broken promise was the reason he was taking his story public. The website was [soon] taken down…[and though] Myers…refused to comment on the allegations [he] didn’t deny them…His resignation letter…did not mention the scandal…
Saint Death (November 1st, 2011)
The December 10th Miami Herald featured this article on persecution of Umbanda, another syncretism of Christianity with African and Indian beliefs. The crusade is largely driven by Pentecostal Christians who…wait for it…want to “save” believers from their choices:
…many Brazilians…view Umbanda…as…witchcraft…In many parts of the country, [it] was outlawed until the 1950s, and in the following three decades believers were supposed to register with the police…Brazil’s…1989 constitution enshrined [religious] freedom…but…followers say official disdain and intense prejudice still put their lives and shrines at risk…[they] report on average 100…physical or verbal attacks a year…in…Rio de Janeiro alone…Cases…have increased along with the…power of Pentecostal religions…”There is always a discourse of ‘taking them from the hands of the devil’”…[theologian Fernando] Altemeyer said…Such tensions have come into relief in Sao Goncalo, where Mayor Aparecida Panniset, an outspoken Pentecostal, has been accused of failing to protect Umbanda sites, or even destroying them. In October, she ignored pleas by religious tolerance activists to stop the demolition of the house where the first Umbanda rituals were held in 1908. She also turned down requests to meet the activists…then moved ahead with efforts to raze another traditional Umbanda house…
One Year Ago Today
“The Swedish Pimpocracy” shows how the government of Sweden exploits women to “implement a plain old-fashioned tyranny while hiding under the cloak of ‘enlightenment’.”