Just because there are presents under your tree does NOT mean they were left there by Santa Claus. – “Half-Armed”
It’s strange how much more recent these essays seem to me than those from 2010 did when I first started this feature, even though they were separated by exactly the same interval. I think this is because my outlook on much of my subject matter grew at the same speed as my writing ability, so that these essays seem more recognizable to me than those written before I had grown in both ability and understanding. Indeed, many of these strike me as “Wow, that was three years ago?” when I encounter them, and after July even the weekly format of the blog looked remarkably similar to the way it looked in its steadiest period, 2013 to 2014. This is due in large part to my guest appearance on Radley Balko‘s old blog, The Agitator; every Sunday of that month I summarized my work and that of the other guest bloggers, including the links I and others collected in continuation of Radley’s tradition. And when the guest-blogging gig was over, the Sunday links continued on. A few months later I began my two-year guest blogging run on Cliterati and began reprinting my essays from there on Fridays; the only other change from July 2012 to the following January was changing Q & A from a monthly feature to a weekly one, and I was already doing supplemental columns such as “Sexual Healing” and “More Mentoring“.
Of course, some traditions had persisted since the beginning; this month’s harlotography was “Polly Adler” and its fictional interlude “Empathy“; I published a sequel to the latter just two weeks ago. Other traditions include my annual Fourth of July polemic, my observance of this blog’s anniversary and my Friday the Thirteenth essay, not to mention a post in a short-lived genre, “My Favorite Musicals“. And though the “One Year Ago Today” feature was incorporated into the weekly TW3 column after the 9th of this month, “Bogeymen” was definitely a sequel to the column of two years before that day.
I think history will show 2012 as the peak year of “sex trafficking” hysteria; “The Widening Gyre“, “South of the Border“, “I Swear To God” and “Gingerbread House” are all on the subject, and the ever-increasing boldness of prohibitionist shills (as chronicled in “Half-Armed” and “Heart of Ice“) attests to it. But this month also saw the exposure of one of those shills, Stella Marr, as described in “Tangled Web” and is follow-up, “A Different View“. But even then, we had time for other subjects; “Under Duress” is about the practice called “testilying”; “The Tyranny of the Subjunctive” criticizes the fear-dominated modern outlook; “The Golden Afternoon” describes the birth of the world’s greatest children’s book; “Pull the String!” describes the birth of some of the world’s worst movies; and “Zimbabwe” describes some of the world’s silliest beliefs and stories about sex workers.