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Archive for November, 2012

We think we know what we’re doin’
We don’t pull the strings
It’s all in the past now
Money changes everything.
  –  Tom Gray, “Money Changes Everything

One year ago today I published “If I Can’t Sell It…”, another in my series of hooker song columns, so I decided to follow it up today before taking a break from the subject for a few months; there are still lots of them I haven’t featured yet, but most of the ones I’m digging up lately are really negative (like Iron Maiden’s four-part “Charlotte the Harlot” series), and since these columns are meant to be light I really don’t like doing any of the “whores’ lives are nothing but degradation and despair” type unless I absolutely have to.  In fact, let’s start with one that’s essentially a parody of that genre:

I’m Tired (Mel Brooks)

Here I stand, the goddess of Desire
Set men on fire
I have this power
Morning, noon and night it’s drink and dancing
Some quick romancing
And then a shower
Stage door johnnies constantly surround me
They always hound me
With one request
Who can satisfy their lustful habits?
I’m not a rabbit!
I need some rest!

I’m tired
Sick and tired of love
I’ve had my fill of love
From below and above
Tired, tired of being admired
Tired of love uninspired
Let’s face it, I’m tired!

I’ve been with thousands of men,
Again and again
They promise the moon
They’re always coming and going
And going and coming
And always too soon
Right girls?

I’m tired,
Tired of playing the game
Ain’t it a crying shame?
I’m so tired
God dammit I’m exhausted!

Tired, tired of playing the game
Ain’t it a crying shame?
I’m so tired!

[Male chorus:]
She’s tired (She’s tired!)
Sick and tired of love (Give her a break!)
She’s had her fill of love (She’s not a snake!)
From bellow and above (Can’t you see she’s sick?)
Tired (She’s bushed!)
Tired of being admired (Let her alone!)
Tired of love uninspired (Get off the phone!)
She’s tired (Don’t you know she’s pooped?)

I’ve been with thousands of men,
Again and again,
They sing the same tune!
They start with Byron and Shelly
Then jump on your belly
And burst your balloon!
Aye!

Tired, tired of playing the game,
Ain’t it a friggin’ shame?
I’m so…
Let’s face it, everything below the waist is kaput!

While we’re out west, let’s hear one from Texas favorites ZZ Top, whose song “La Grange” I featured last year in “Inappropriate Women”.  Obviously the boys have a soft spot for working girls because this one is positive as well; while I was previewing the video Grace mentioned that Billy Gibbons’ first band, Moving Sidewalks, also had a couple, so I’ll try to dig one of those up for next time.  Incidentally, the reason I chose this particular still image “video” rather than the one with their own album cover is that the movie From Dusk Till Dawn is about vampire whores.

Mexican Blackbird (Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill & Frank Beard)

If you’re down in Acuña and you ain’t up to being alone
Don’t spend all your money on just any honey that’s grown.
Go find the Mexican blackbird and send all your troubles back home.

They all call her “puta” ’cause no one really knows her name.
She works the cantina, dancin’ and a-lovin’s her trade.
Her mama was Mexican and her daddy was the ace of spades.

(spoken) Oh, let’s drive that old Chrysler down to Mexico, boy.
Said, keep your hands on the wheel there.
Oh, it sure is fine, ain’t it?
Now, ya got it! Hand me another one of them brews from back there.
Oh, this is gonna be so good.

Mm, she’s hot as a pepper but smooth as a Mexican brew.
So head for the border and put in an order or two.
The wings of the blackbird will spread like an eagle for you.

(spoken) Oh, one more time,
Can you roll me another Bull Durham, please?
Can’t you do it with one hand, boy?

I’ve maintained a list of possible song candidates ever since I did my very first one over two years ago, and though our next selection has been on it since the very beginning I’ve resisted featuring it because, to be honest, I cannot stand Hall and Oates, and the song has rubbed me the wrong way since the very first time I heard it.  Still, I can’t deny it fits the theme, and at least my research revealed it was written by Mr. Tubular Bells, Mike Oldfield (a fact of which I was previously unaware).

Family Man (Mike Oldfield & Tim Cross)

She had a sulky smile, she took her standard pose as she presented herself.
She had sultry eyes, she made it perfectly plain that she was his for a price.

(refrain) But he said, “Leave me alone, I’m a family man,
And my bark is much worse than my bite.”
He said, “Leave me alone, I’m a family man,
But if you push me too far I just might.”

She wore hurt surprise as she rechecked her make-up to protect herself,
Dropped her price and pride, she made it totally clear that she was his for a night.

(refrain)

She gave him her look, it would have worked on any other man around.
He looked her up and down, she knew he couldn’t decide if he should hold his ground.

(refrain)

She turned, tossed her head, unlike her opening move, her final exit line.
He waited much too long, but by the time he got his courage up she was gone.

Then he screamed “Leave me alone, I’m a family man,
And my bark is much worse than my bite!”
He said, “Leave me alone, I’m a family man,
But if you push me too far, I just might.”

Now, in order to exorcise that ear worm, I’d like to close with another one that’s been on the list for a while; actually it’s one of my all-time favorite songs from one of my all-time favorite bands, and the only reason I haven’t previously featured it is that it’s technically about that fabulous creature, the wealthy heterosexual male prostitute.  But dammit, this is my blog and the lyrics (except for those in the bridge) are vague enough that they could just as easily be about an expensive call girl, and I know I’m not the only call girl who thinks so.  This is Blondie’s second appearance in a song column as well; I featured “X Offender” in “Sweet Painted Ladies”.

Call Me (Deborah Harry)

Call on me, oh call up, baby.
Call on me, oh call.
Call on me, oh call up, darling.
I know who you are.
Come up off your calling chart.
I know where you’re coming from.

Call me (call me) on the line.
Call me, call me any anytime.
Call me (call me), I’ll arrive.
You can call me any day or night.
Call me!

Cover me with kisses, baby,
Cover me with love.
Roll me in designer sheets,
I’ll never get enough.
Emotions come, I don’t know why,
Cover of love’s alibi.

Call me (call me) on the line.
Call me, call me any anytime.
Call me (call me), I’ll arrive.
When you’re ready we can share the wine.
Call me.

Ooh, he speaks the languages of love.
Ooh, amore, chiamami, chiamami.
Ooh, appelle-moi, mon cheri, appelle-moi.
Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, anyway!
Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, any day!

Call me (call me) my love.
Call me, call me any anytime.
Call me (call me) for a ride.
Call me, call me for some overtime.
Call me (call me) my love.
Call me, call me in a sweet design.
Call me, call me for your lover’s lover’s alibi.
Call me (call me) I don’t mind.
Call me, call me any anytime…
Call me.
Oh, call me, ooh ooh ah.
Call me my love.
Call me, call me any anytime

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I lifted him onto my horse in front of me and succeeded in getting him safely to the Fort.  Capt. Egan on recovering, laughingly said:  “I name you Calamity Jane, the heroine of the plains.”  I have borne that name up to the present time.  –  “Life and Adventures of Calamity Jane”

The legend of the American “Wild West” era is such a powerful and enduring one that it’s sometimes difficult to remember that it lasted only one generation, from the end of the Civil War to the turn of the 20th century; many of those who either played important roles in the story of westward expansion, or who were notable for other reasons, found themselves literally legends in their own time by the early ‘90s.  One of these was Martha Jane Canary, a woman who would probably have lived and died in obscurity had she been born in a different place and time; like so many other women she made the best choices she could among the opportunities available to her, and found to her considerable surprise that they had resulted in fame (but not, alas, fortune).  She was born on May 1, 1852 to Robert and Charlotte Canary of Princeton, Missouri, the eldest of six children (two boys and four girls).  In 1865 the family headed west to Virginia City, Montana, but after Charlotte died of pneumonia en route Canary decided to push on to Salt Lake City.  They arrived in 1866 but he died only a year later, so 15-year-old Martha Jane became head of the family; she packed up the wagon and moved them to Piedmont, Wyoming, where she took whatever jobs she could find.  She is known to have worked as a dishwasher, a cook, a nurse, a driver, a dancer and a whore.

Jane does not seem to have cared that much for sex work; though it would have been the most lucrative of her jobs, her heart belonged to the Great Outdoors.  She had been an avid rider since childhood, and as related in her 1896 autobiography,  “Life and Adventures of Calamity Jane”:  “While on the way the greater portion of my time was spent in hunting along with the men and hunters of the party, in fact I was at all times with the men when there was excitement and adventures to be had.  By the time we reached Virginia City I was considered a remarkable good shot and a fearless rider for a girl of my age.”  Since she is believed to have been functionally illiterate this short document was almost certainly ghostwritten, and many of the claims it makes are at odds with known facts.  For example, it states she worked as a scout under several generals (including the infamous Custer) from 1871-1873 and took part in the Indian wars; in truth, she did not secure her first scouting job until 1874.  It also attributes her nickname to an incident which supposedly occurred in 1873; my own theory is that it was actually her stage name, perhaps derived from a drunken attempt by either a client or Jane herself to say her last name.

The pamphlet did not lie about her skills, however, which were sufficient to win her a man’s job; some historians believe that she actually disguised herself as a man, and was dismissed after the truth was discovered in 1875.  In the spring of that year she accompanied General Crook to the Big Horn River, and was sent to Fort Fetterman with important dispatches; after fording the ice-cold Platte River she rode 145 km straight, and as might be expected she became seriously ill and was hospitalized for two weeks (during which time her sex was naturally discovered).  However, it is also possible that her superiors knew full well that she was a woman (see picture at right) and that she was fired for the same reason she lost so many jobs in later years:  she had a tendency to get rip-roaring drunk and start shooting at people (though she is not known to have ever hit one).  In any case, she soon ended up in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, where she met Wild Bill Hickok; she became good friends with him and accompanied him to Deadwood, South Dakota, and it is clear that she already had a reputation by this time because their arrival was announced in the July 15, 1876 Black Hills Pioneer with the headline, “Calamity Jane has arrived!”  Though Jane only knew Hickok for a few months, she fell deeply in love with him and was therefore understandably upset when he was shot in the back by Jack McCall during a poker game on August 2, 1876, even if she didn’t really go after McCall with a meat cleaver as she later recounted.  After Hickok’s death she began to claim that they had been married several years before and that she had borne him a daughter named Jean on September 25, 1873, but gave the child up for adoption when they separated.  Though this is not generally considered a credible claim, a woman named Jean Hickok (who claimed to be that very child and had an impromptu birth certificate written by a minister in a Bible) was entered into the Social Security rolls on September 6, 1941.

Jane stayed in Deadwood after Hickok’s death, supporting herself by prospecting and occasionally working for Dora DuFran, owner of Deadwood’s largest brothel.  It was during this period that she won her reputation for courage and golden-heartedness, thanks especially to two incidents in particular:  in the spring of 1877 she rescued the passengers of a stagecoach by catching up to it and taking over the reins after the driver was shot by hostile Indians, and in the autumn of 1878 she spent weeks nursing the victims of a smallpox epidemic; three men died, but the rest all survived thanks to her faithful ministrations.  She left Deadwood sometime in 1879, apparently working as an ox-team driver to earn enough to buy a ranch and inn near Miles City, Montana in 1881.  The settled life of an innkeeper did not long appeal to Jane; she sold the place only two years later and wandered across the West for a while, eventually ending up in El Paso, Texas, where she supposedly married one Clinton Burke and bore him a daughter, Jessie, on October 28th, 1887.  As usual, other records conflict with her autobiography, including court records from November 1888 stating that she did “unlawfully bed, cohabit and live together” with a man named Charles Townley; she has also been linked with a Robert Dorsett and a William Steers, all during the time she was supposedly married to Burke and running another hotel in Boulder, Colorado.  The only detail we can be sure about is that her daughter did indeed exist, because the girl accompanied her when she joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1893; Jane gave her up for adoption in October of 1895 by placing her with St. Mary’s Convent in Sturgis, South Dakota.

Calamity Jane had always been a heavy drinker, and by the time she turned 40 it was out of control; though all she had to do for Buffalo Bill was sit on a stage and tell tall tales about her supposed adventures, her drinking eventually led to his firing her for undependability and excessive use of profanity in her shows.  He had a soft spot for her, though, and always rehired her whenever she came looking for a job again.  In 1896 she worked for a circus named the Kohl & Middleton Dime Museum, which produced “Life and Adventures” as a 7-page souvenir booklet; even after she was fired by the circus for the usual reasons, she had the booklet reprinted and supported herself between gigs by selling autographed copies of it.  This went on until 1901, when she was fired from the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York after being arrested for public drunkenness.  Buffalo Bill gave her the money to go home to South Dakota, where she returned to Dora DuFran’s brothel and was given a job as cook and housekeeper.  While on a visit to Terry, South Dakota, she died of “inflammation of the bowels” on August 1, 1903, and was buried at Mount Moriah Cemetery next to Wild Bill Hickok.

As we’ve seen, the lives of whores are often full of conflicting details, and this is more true of Jane than of most.  Even other people’s perceptions of her varied wildly; one citizen of Deadwood later described her as “nothing more than a common prostitute, drunken, disorderly and wholly devoid of any conception of morality,” while another said she was “generous, forgiving, kind-hearted [and] sociable,” and one of her biographers stated that “her story is mostly an account of uneventful daily life interrupted by drinking binges.”  But whatever the objective truth might be, the legend of Calamity Jane – adventurer, wanderer, entertainer and golden-hearted whore – will be told and retold for as long as people write stories against the mythic backdrop of the Wild West.

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Any man who knows all the answers most likely misunderstood the questions.  –  Nancy Willard

Please email maggiemcneill@earthlink.net if you have a question you’d like answered; I’ve been rather behind on my correspondence lately, but I should still be able to answer you within a few days.

As a female I’m tired of having to go out and find someone who knows how to make me cum multiple times and has ability to keep going; I’m sick of looking on all these dating sites and I just want a professional who wants my money and has an awesome service to provide.  How does one find a male prostitute for a straight female?

The problem is that there simply aren’t enough women who want to hire male escorts to support a male escort service just for women, nor are there any websites (that I know of) that review male escorts for women.  I have two suggestions that might potentially help:

1)  You could just call a regular service that has male escorts for men; some male escorts are either bisexual or “gay for pay” and would be more than happy to see a female client for a change; or

2)  If you’re just looking for oral, you could hire a female escort.  Lots of them are bi, and their message board postings could help you to determine which.

Good luck; I hope you find someone who can give you what you’re looking for!  You might also watch the comment thread below; my readers very often add helpful suggestions of their own.

I’m close to retirement and have been thinking about opening a brothel in Central America, but I’m trying to figure out how to attract the right girls; do you think they might be interested in alternative business models such as co-ops or other stakeholder arrangements, or do they typically stick (or get stuck with) a straight percentage and room fees?

I’ve never run a brothel, but I did own an escort service, and I got my girls the same way I got my clients:  my phone book ad.  However, since you’re unable to work there yourself and a brothel really needs at least two or three girls to start, that’s not going to work for you.  For anyone who’s never done sex work to succeed at any such venture, he’s going to need a partner who has.  I don’t know what connections you have in the place that you plan to open shop, but you’re going to need to use them to get a partner (or at least a manager) who knows the trade while you put up the money.  She will know how to interview girls, and to tell which ones will be good and which bad (not foolproof, but much better than you could do).  She’ll also tell you what the normal percentages and fees are, so of course if you improve on that a little you’ll be able to attract and keep the best talent.

I’m a man in my late 30’s considering seeing a professional for the first time.  However, I’m very risk-averse and I’ve hesitated up to now due to concerns over STDs and law enforcement.  I know that escorts make up 0.285% of women and 0.4% of std cases, once you back out streetwalkers, but is there anything beyond wearing a condom that will reduce risk?  Since warts, herpes, and other conditions can be spread even with a condom, did you ever happen to contract something in your working years?  I know this is a very direct question, so understand if you’d prefer not to answer.  Also, how do I find a reputable agency and avoid cops?

Actually, your statistic is just a little off; I said that 0.4% of US STDs are related to escorts or brothel workers, but that’s counting BOTH sides of the transaction.  Roughly 6% of men see prostitutes frequently, and though it’s impossible to tell which fraction of them only frequent streetwalkers, let’s presume for the sake of estimation that it’s very similar to the fraction of all whores who are themselves streetwalkers (which seems a reasonable assumption).  Since 1/6 is 16.67%, we’ll shave off 1/6 of those clients and just assume 5% of all men visit escorts or brothels but not streetwalkers.  That means 2.64% of the population (the combined total of indoor prostitutes and their clients) gets only 0.4% of the STDs, which in turn means that members of the general public are more than six times as likely to get an STD as either an escort or her client.  The main reason for this is escorts’ scrupulous use of condoms, coupled with their awareness of the symptoms and avoiding contact with men who even look like they might be infected.  In all the years I worked, I never once contracted any kind of STI, nor knew of a girl who did; I do remember one who got mononucleosis, but of course she may have contracted it from a boyfriend outside of work.

My advice for reducing both kinds of risk (disease and police) is the same:  hire only established, well-reviewed escorts.  Though I did own an agency, it is my considered opinion that it’s better nowadays for clients to hire independents whose reputation and track record they can check online.  Even if a lady does not allow reviews (and there are good reasons she might not), if she’s been in the business for a couple of years you can be pretty sure that she’s dependable and knows what she’s doing because even in the absence of published reviews, word gets around among the “hobbyists” if she isn’t and doesn’t.

I’m thinking about hiring a call girl, but I like to kiss and to perform oral sex; is it safe to perform unprotected oral sex on a call girl?  Also, I have heard that many have a no-kissing policy; how do I find one who doesn’t?

What you need to do is visit an escort review board like ECCIE or Big Doggie, where you will find both ads for escorts and reviews written by men who have seen them before.  Most reviews have an “activities” section where the guys state what they did with the escorts; what you’re looking for is either a narrative stating that a lady you find attractive kisses, or else the acronym “DFK” (deep French kissing).  That way you will know before attempting to date any given lady that she is willing to provide what you want most.

The chance of a man getting an STI from performing oral sex on any woman is vanishingly small; though health officials love to overstate risks “to be on the safe side”, the fact of the matter is that unless the woman is menstruating or has some kind of open sores that her lover would surely notice, or he has open sores or cuts in his mouth, there just isn’t an easy route by which disease can pass from a woman’s vulva into someone’s mouth (except for diseases which can be transmitted via mere skin-to-skin contact).  The risk is lower still if the woman is a call girl because, as I’ve explained before, professionals in developed countries have a much lower rate of every STI than promiscuous amateurs do; in fact, the only people who have lower STI rates than professional escorts in Western nations are those who are totally celibate.

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When drinking water, think of its source.  –  Chinese proverb

For the past two years on this day, I’ve published examinations of the myth that the average age at which a prostitute starts working is about 13.  As I pointed out last year, the idea is farcical on its face:

If the “average age” of a given group of people is 13, that means that (roughly speaking) for every 14-year-old in the group there is a 12-year-old, for every 17-year-old a 9-year-old, etc.  In other words, if the “average age at which a girl enters prostitution” were really 13, for every woman who started at 25 there would be someone who started at 1.  Obviously, this isn’t exact; one 40-year-old could also be balanced by nine 10-year-olds, but I honestly don’t think even the trafficking fanatics believe that kind of age imbalance could possibly exist.

In that column, I calculated the average age of entry as actually about 25, and that was a very conservative figure; it might actually be higher.  Even among underage prostitutes, the average age of entry is really about 16, so how in the world did anyone arrive at the ludicrous figure of 13 (which is sometimes even more idiotically claimed as the average age of prostitutes rather than the age at which we start)?  I had thought the Estes & Weiner study was the original source, but as it turns out that is not the case; several readers told me it is attributed by Melissa Farley to three sources: a 1982 study of 200 San Francisco streetwalkers, “Victimization of Street Prostitutes” by M.H. Silbert and A.M. Pines; a 1985 study with an even more melodramatic name, “Children of the Night” by D. Kelly Weisberg; and something called “Oppression Disguised as Liberation” by Denise Gamache and Evelina Giobbe.  The latter was not a research paper but rather an obscure, unpublished “discussion paper” for a domestic violence conference in 1990 (which specifically attributes the figure to “Children of the Night”).  Furthermore, all of Weisberg’s data (such as it is) was obtained by averaging figures from two studies with different methodologies and methods of calculation (in other words, she compares apples to oranges); one of them is Silbert and Pines.  This means Farley has engaged in duplicity right from the start by pretending her figures derive from three sources, when in fact there is only one.  Some prohibitionists do appear to recognize this, because Silbert and Pines is the paper most often cited as the source of the “average age is 13” figure; interestingly, it also produced another popular bit of misinformation, the myth that 80% of prostitutes are coerced.

Since the article wasn’t readily available online I asked my correspondent Mary Setterholm (one of those who pointed out the Farley attributions) if she could locate it for me.  Mary is a Divinity student at Harvard who has done considerable research for anti-trafficking groups (including Swanee Hunt’s “Demand Abolition”) and has consistently worked to convince them of the necessity for eschewing sensationalized figures, agency denial, anti-sex worker rhetoric and “end demand” nonsense; she is one of the most thorough, honest and tireless researchers I know.  After Herculean effort she was able to track down the Gamache/Giobbe paper, but what she found in investigating Silbert and Pines was even more interesting:   it contained no statement at all of a particular starting age!  The closest was the phrase, “Almost all the juvenile prostitutes in the study (96%) were runaways before they began prostitution,” which says nothing about an “average age”.  Mary was intrigued, so she kept digging; in the backend data she found several quotes from another Silbert and Pines article (published the same year) named “Entrance into Prostitution”:

…Average age at which subjects had (first) sexual intercourse with a boyfriend was a mean x = 13.5.  Of these 34% felt coerced or forced, either emotionally (29%) or else physically (5%).  Although 66% reported no coercion involved, many of their open-ended comments suggested pressure…The average age of starting prostitution was 16.1…On the average, subjects were working regularly as prostitutes when they were 16.9…The eight months difference between the average age of starting prostitution (16.1) and the average age of working regularly (16.9) indicates a somewhat reluctant entrance into street life…

What this means is that the ultimate source of the “13” myth actually lists the same average age at entry as most other studies of underage streetwalkers, about 16; the only mention of the number 13 was the figure for first intercourse with a boyfriend.  Now, it’s possible that in their haste to find damning “evidence” some prohibitionists blurred the numbers together in their minds, but given Melissa Farley’s skill at massaging figures to suit her purposes that did not ring true to me.  I also remembered this passage from Dr. Calum Bennachie’s complaint to the APA about Farley:

…Colleen Winn, who was briefly employed by Dr Melissa Farley while she was in New Zealand [wrote]…“I believe Melissa did state that Māori women were entering prostitution as young as 9 years old.  Part of my position as researcher on this study was to help to collate data as I viewed all the questionnaires.  I did not see these figures in the study at all.  However, there were two women who stated that their first sexual experience was at age 9.”  Question 13 of the questionnaire reads:  “How old were you when you had your first sexual experience of any kind?”…page 3 of [Farley’s] research…states:  “An adolescent…had been in prostitution since age of 9…”  Clearly, the answer to question 13 was put across as though it were the answer to question 1…[which asked] “What age were you when you first started prostitution?”

In other words, Melissa Farley has been known to intentionally conflate first age of intercourse with age of entry into prostitution in other cases, so it is very likely she did exactly that when quoting from Silbert and Pines’ backdata.  The “average age of 13” myth, repeated nigh-constantly by prohibitionists, “sex trafficking” fetishists and yellow journalists alike, is thus revealed as nothing more than a lie created through intentional (and tripled) misquotation of a methodologically-unsound 30-year-old study, perpetrated by a neofeminist working to advance her anti-sex agenda by any means necessary.

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As a result of a general defect of nature, we are either more confident or more fearful of unusual and unknown things.  –  Julius Caesar

Some of you may have noticed that my tastes often run to the unusual and obscure; as you’ve read my previous “favorites” columns I’m sure I’ve mentioned a few things you’ve never even heard of before.  So today I thought it would be fun to do a column sharing some of those obscure things, and perhaps introducing you to some stuff you might not otherwise have ever discovered.  It’s a big internet, so I expect each of these things will be known to some of you, and each of you will probably be familiar with some of them; if, however, any of you are familiar with all of these, please speak up because I’d like to recognize a fellow explorer of the roads less travelled.  I also wouldn’t be surprised if some of these things are much better known in some areas than others, so if you know of such a situation please speak up.

My Favorite Movies You May Never Have Heard Of

This list has to start with Witch’s Sister (1979), which some of you may remember from the list of my favorite movies (but probably nowhere else); however, it’s obvious that somebody besides me remembers it because I discovered it’s available on YouTube, though broken into 8 parts:

I doubt very many of you were familiar with The Night Walker (1964) before I mentioned it as one of my favorite horror movies, despite the number of big names involved with it; likewise, a mention of the darkly satirical Lord Love a Duck (1966) rarely elicits any recognition even though it starred Roddy McDowell, Tuesday Weld and Ruth Gordon.  And how many of you had heard of The Monolith Monsters (1957) before I mentioned it last month?

My Favorite Actor You May Never Have Heard Of

I’m willing to bet you don’t recognize this face, and you probably don’t know his name, either.  But you certainly know Paul Frees’ voice, or more accurately voices; he was probably the second most talented voice actor in history after the demigod Mel Blanc, yet his name is much less well-known to the general public than that of the far less talented Daws Butler.  He was the narrator for many 1950s science fiction movies (including the aforementioned Night Walker and Monolith Monsters), played a radio announcer in countless other movies and TV shows, and was the never-seen John Beresford Tipton in the long-running TV show The Millionaire, but you probably know him best as the voice of Boris Badenov, Captain Peter Peachfuzz, Inspector Fenwick, Wally Walrus, Professor Ludwig von Drake,  Frosty the Snowman, the Burgermeister Meisterburger, innumerable extras and villains for Hanna-Barbera, and the original Pillsbury Dough Boy.

My Favorite TV Shows You May Never Have Heard Of

My American readers are probably less familiar with the oeuvre of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson than my British readers, so a quick introduction is in order:  the Andersons produced a number of adventure shows in the 1960s whose actors were all marionettes, the most famous being Thunderbirds.  With each successive show, their technology improved; the puppets became more lifelike and the directorial techniques increasingly better at hiding their deficiencies (most notably their inability to walk in a realistic manner).  Their very last puppet show before moving on to the live-action UFO was the little-remembered The Secret Service  from 1969, in which comedian Stanley Unwin not only provides the voice of a character named after him, but doubles for the puppet in long shots!  The show only ran for 13 episodes, which is a pity because it achieved the same mixture of science fiction, spy action and whimsical humor as the Mrs. Peel episodes of The Avengers.

Another favorite with which you’re probably unfamiliar is Thriller, an anthology series hosted by Boris Karloff which started out with stories of crime and mystery but eventually moved wholly into gothic horror.  Though not as good as The Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock Presents, it still deserves to be better-known than it is.

My Favorite Musicians You May Never Have Heard Of

In last month’s Halloween favorites column I mentioned a song by a band named Renaissance; though my British readers may well remember them, most of my American readers were probably wondering who the hell they were.  Renaissance was a progressive rock band of the late 1970s which, despite its popularity in Britain, never had a single hit on this side of the pond (probably because Americans were too busy rotting their brains with disco at the time).  The song I mentioned last month, “Jekyll and Hyde”, is fairly typical for them in its length, complexity and willingness to tackle subject matter more interesting and challenging than love, sex, drugs, partying or teen angst; my very favorite song of theirs, “Mother Russia”, is a tribute to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn with lyrics based on his novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

My Favorite Candy You May Never Have Heard Of

Though I discussed my favorite Halloween candy last month, those were obviously the conventional sorts of things with which any child would be familiar.  But there is one sort of candy I like very much, yet don’t see very often; they’re called Violets and most people who know them at all tend to fall into two camps:  they either love them or hate them.  Obviously I’m in the former group, but my old friend Charlie declares that they “taste like soap”; I presume that’s because he thinks of flowers as something to smell rather than eat, but he’s not alone in the opinion.  I was very glad to discover they’re available online, because that means I’ll always be able to get them without having to find one of the rare stores that still carries them.

My Favorite Food You May Never Have Heard Of

Obviously, this is a much larger category than candy, and it’s likely that I cook a number of things with which many of you might be unfamiliar.  But there’s one dish I make often, yet have never heard anyone outside my family mention nor seen it on a restaurant menu; it’s the Hungarian version of a broad class of dishes in which chicken is cooked in some liquid in a skillet, and is thus related to coq au vin and chicken cacciatore.  This one is called chicken paprikash, and it’s very easy but delicious:

1)  Cook about 1 kilogram (2 to 2.5#) of chicken parts (leg quarters work best) in about 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of oil in a large skillet for 15 minutes, turning pieces to brown evenly.  Sprinkle pieces with salt and pepper, then remove them from the skillet and set them aside.

2)  Add 1 large onion, chopped up to the hot oil along with 1 heaping tablespoon (about 20 ml) paprika, and cook until the onion is tender.  Return the chicken to the skillet, turn the pieces to coat them with the paprika mixture, then add ¾ cup (180 ml) of chicken broth and ¼ cup (60 ml) of dry white wine (or just 240 ml of broth) and bring to boiling.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes, turning the pieces over every 15 minutes, until the chicken is done.  Remove it from the skillet again and keep it warm.

3)  Stir together 1 cup (240 ml) sour cream and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) flour, and add the mixture to the skillet; cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, then 1 minute more.  Serve sauce and chicken over hot cooked noodles, Hungarian dumplings or even rice.

Hungarian paprika is much hotter than the typical Spanish variety, so if you like your food spicy you may want to go out of your way to get some (though it’s still a treat either way).  Obviously, the best time to cook the noodles is while the chicken is simmering.

My Favorite Game You May Never Have Heard Of

I love board games, and have since I was old enough to play them; one of these days I’m going to do a column on my favorite games in general, and Switchboard  is one of them.  I’ll be very surprised if any of you who isn’t a die-hard game geek has ever played or even seen it, but it’s been one of my favorites ever since I bought it at a TG&Y store with birthday money when I was about 10.  Like all the best board games it is simple to learn, yet allows for strategic thinking; it starts out as a straightforward two-dice race game, but because the board is composed of moveable tiles the players can work to shorten their own paths to the finish while also trying to cut one another off.

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Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.  –  P.J. O’Rourke

As I predicted last week, this one was rather quiet.  That probably won’t last long; December actually seems to be a busy time of year for hooker news and other topics in which I’m interested.  Well, we’ll see.  As so often happens, this week’s top link source was Radley Balko, who provided all of them down to the first video.  That one was called to my attention by Korhomme, and the second by Antonio Lorusso; the links between the two arrived via EconJeffJesse Walker, Nun YaDeep GeekMike SiegelAmy AlkonGrace and Furry Girl.

The best lawyer ad of all time.

A perfect metaphor for American politics.

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The industry is so much more about providing care and human nurturing than anything else.  –  Lance Gilman

Spotlight

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher…announce[d] their decision to continue the…DNA Foundation, [which] will [now] be called “THORN: Digital Defenders of Children”…the foundation will focus on battling digital crimes, especially…[child] sexual exploitation.  “For the past three years we have focused our work broadly on combating child sex trafficking…technology plays an increasingly large role in this crime and in the sexual exploitation of children overall…We believe that the technology-driven aspect of these crimes demands its own attention and investment”…

In other words, one of their advisors realizes that “sex trafficking” hysteria is on the way out, and suggested they shift the foundation’s efforts toward a crusade with a longer shelf life.

Tyranny By Consensus

As in the case of Proposition 35, Californians who voted for Measure B really had no idea what they were supporting:

In an article published today…CalOSHA made it clear that when Measure B’s text refers to “condoms,” it is actually referring to the full roster of “barrier protections” set forth in California Code of Regulations…the section labeled “Personal Protective Equipment”…reads, “Where occupational exposure remains after institution of engineering and work practice controls, the employer shall provide, at no cost to the employee, appropriate personal protective equipment such as, but not limited to, gloves, gowns, laboratory coats, face shields or masks and eye protection“…CalOSHA admits that now that…enforcement will not be just about condoms, but will require that no person’s bodily fluids or “possibly contaminated” areas of skin will be allowed to touch the “skin, eyes, mouth or other mucous membranes” of another person—and what that quite obviously boils down to is, there’ll be no sex in sex movies after Measure B is put into force…

Presents, Presents, Presents!

Krulac meant to send me a copy of The Night Walker soundtrack for my birthday, but a mixup in the order meant it didn’t arrive until Monday.  That doesn’t matter to me one bit; I’ve wanted this disc for a very long time, and for me horror isn’t limited to Halloween.  Thank you so very much, Krulac!

Welcome To Our World Again

Uganda will pass a new law against homosexuality by the end of 2012 as a “Christmas gift” to its advocates…Rebecca Kadaga [claimed] that Ugandans were “demanding” the law.  Homosexual acts are already illegal…but the bill…proposes jail terms…including a life sentence in certain circumstances.  It prohibits the “promotion” of gay rights and calls for the punishment of anyone who “funds or sponsors homosexuality” or “abets homosexuality”.  But a clause which calls for the death penalty against people found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” – defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a “serial offender” – is to be dropped…The bill was strongly condemned last year by Western leaders…[and] international donors have threatened to cut off aid to Uganda if the country does not do more to protect the rights of gay people…

Though Kadega claims the law was “demanded” by Ugandans, in reality it has been pushed since 2009 by Christian fundamentalists from the US who have bought Ugandan politicians to advance their agenda of hate.

One Year Later

It’s good to see yet another evil “controlling prostitution” charge defeated:  “Marie McKinlay, 40, was said to have employed dozens of high-class escort girls…that made her more than £350,000 between 2008 and 2011…But…was cleared of controlling prostitution for gain over two and a half years after insisting she had been no more than an agent…”  Remember, in the UK escort prostitution is legal; only working together for safety or working from a specific place are illegal.  However, police often accuse women of “controlling prostitution” so as to have an excuse to rob them under the “Proceeds of Crime Act”.

Above the Law

The British cops who created fake identities, seduced women into thinking they were having real relationships, got them pregnant and then vanished without any concern about child support are now being sued by their victims, and Scotland Yard is trying to force the trials into a star chamber:  “the Metropolitan Police…[argue] that some cases should be hard by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal…in secret…

Broken Record

It takes a kind of perverse talent to fit so many myths into such a small space:

The Florida Classic weekend draws football fans from across the state…but…is also known for attracting another type of tourist: prostitutes…Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation…Director Larry Zwieg [said] his agency launched an undercover operation…to catch the women who are in town to find illegal work — and the men seeking their services.  “We’ve noticed a pattern” among the prostitutes, Zwieg said.  “They go from city to city, where ever there is a particular event going on”…Authorities say it’s a familiar story whenever there’s a large event…Sometimes, the prostitutes…are…victims of child-sex trafficking…Child-welfare experts say many teens who are trafficked don’t see themselves as victims and won’t cooperate with authorities.  The girls are often fearful of their pimp or his associates.  The FBI estimates 293,000 children are at risk of becoming victims of sexual exploitation in America…

Let’s see:  we’ve got the “gypsy whores” and the cop insistence that they’ve “noticed” something which doesn’t exist; then agency denial, the pretense that all underage hookers are “trafficked”, and the dogma that the reason whores won’t confirm police masturbatory fantasies is due to fear of nonexistent pimps.  Then top it all off with a misattribution of Estes & Weiner’s magic number to the FBI instead.  Remarkable.

Too Young To Know

Cambridge historian Mary Beard on the arbitrariness of law, the Shazam! fallacy, and what the age of consent in Great Britain has to do with “white slavery”, “child” prostitution and William Stead, the Victorian version of Nicholas Kristof.  Stead arranged to “buy” a girl from her destitute alcoholic mother by telling her that he wanted the girl as a servant for a wealthy family, but then claimed in his series of articles, The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon, that the mother had knowingly sold the girl into “white slavery”.  Beard points out that the articles were “probably as inaccurate and exaggerated as some more recent newspaper campaigns have been in the area of child sex.  But the articles kick-started pressure…so the age of consent was raised, while, with a certain illogicality, the minimum age of marriage for girls remained 12 until 1929.”

Obfuscation Via Dysphemisms

The truth of this is buried under such a heap of dysphemisms it’s very tough to sort out what’s really going on here.  As I’ve explained before, “money laundering” is a bogus charge used to persecute and loot suppressed businesses; you’ll notice all the other “crimes” they’re charged with are either consensual activities or else vague administrative infractions.  Note the anti-Village Voice propaganda and the way these “officials” reduce women to infantilized, passive objects:

Taking action to break up a tri-state, prostitution-based money laundering operation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced the unsealing of a 180-count indictment charging 19 individuals and one corporation with enterprise corruption and a variety of underlying crimes, including money laundering, falsifying business records, narcotics sales and prostitution…investigators found two women who were the victims of human trafficking…and…brought them to a safe haven…Somad Enterprises…created, monitored, facilitated and employed online (on Backpage.com, for example) and print (in the Village Voice, for example) advertisements and cable television commercials to knowingly and systematically promote prostitution for its clients’ large- and small-scale prostitution businesses – or pimps for which Somad and its employees, as well as the prostitution business clients, profited handsomely…Commissioner Kelly said, “All anyone has to do is open a copy of the Village Voice to get a good sense of how classified advertising and prostitution go hand in hand, particularly in the prostituting of Asian women.  Our focus remains the profiteers and johns engaged in promoting prostitution – not the women exploited by them”…

The Public Eye

No matter how this turns out, it’s part of the picture which will eventually force people to realize that sex workers are no different from anyone else:

…Mark Suben, the DA in Cortland County [New York]…since 2008…[said] he had lied about his past…”[Reports]…have…[alleged] that I was involved in the adult film industry about 40 years ago…Those allegations are true…I was an actor in adult films for a short period in the early 70s.  I was also an actor in…soap operas and commercial advertisements.”  He apologized for his actions and said he used “bad judgment” by acting in porn and by lying about it.  He…will not resign…IMDB…says Suben…[under the name] Gus Thomas appears in films such as Lecher and The Love Witch

And though Suben hid his sex-industry past from the voters, Mustang Ranch brothel owner Lance Gilman did not; last week he was “elected…Storey County commissioner by a wide margin…[he] is the first such owner to win election to public office in Nevada since prostitution was legalized…in 1971”.  And though he obviously supports legalization over decriminalization because the former benefits him (no surprise), he did make the positive statement which forms today’s epigram.

Pathologization

Not content with the pathologization of maleness and adolescence, quacks have now proposed that throwing tantrums be considered a mental disorder:

…”Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)” [is] a controversial new child psychiatric disorder proposed for inclusion in…DSM-5…kids will be deemed DMDD if they show “severe recurrent temper outbursts that are grossly out of proportion in intensity or duration to the situation”…Pittsburg psychiatrists David Axelson and colleagues have just shown that the…concept is deeply flawed…[the committee introduced DMDD as a replacement for the recent fad diagnosis] “child bipolar disorder”  – a disease considered extremely rare everywhere else…

Metaupdates

Think of the Children! (April Updates)

Anyone who really believes that teenage boys are “children” who can somehow be harmed by seeing naked women should seek professional help immediately:

…Parents of a child who was turning 16 apparently hired two strippers…and invited the boy’s friends…the mother of a 15-year-old…[said] she was shocked when her son told her about the lap dances given to teens…Jim Murphy, Saratoga County District Attorney…[said] “a parent…could be charged with endangering the welfare of a child”…the party was in a private room at the bowling alley…[which] could be in trouble with the State Liquor Authority…[and] the D.A. says the strippers could face charges for having sexual contact with minors…

In other words, Murphy sees nothing wrong with trying to destroy the lives of at least five people (possibly more) over something he would’ve given his eyeteeth to experience when he was 16.

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #35)

The government of Denmark has rejected the Swedish model, rightfully recognizing that the scheme harms prostitutes, is largely unenforceable and wastes resources.  Though prohibitionists were “disappointed”, human rights advocates and the two-thirds of the Danish population who are opposed to the Swedish evil will no doubt be pleased.

Blackball (TW3 #46)

Emi Koyama’s slide presentation at a recent harm reduction conference described how Portland, Oregon’s bad date line, which was started by a sex worker peer organization, changed when it was taken over by social service agencies.  Hint:  not only didn’t it improve…

This Week in 2010 and 2011

Beside my two previous Thanksgiving columns, two looks at halfway whores, and two indictments of neofeminist “choice” hypocrisy, this week saw essays on wife swapping and French colonial concubines, my very first column on the “gypsy whores” myth and its sequel, and the tale of an angry love goddess.  I also compared US treatment of sex workers with that in the UK and a number of repressive regimes, and featured short articles on a TV show’s involvement in “child sex trafficking”, good advice from a newsreader, tips for dealing with cops, Sasha Grey, Escorts.com, the growth of a rumor and a mobile sex worker rights billboard.

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