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Posts Tagged ‘games’

I can’t breathe.  –  Derek Williams

I’ve shared a lot of Sesame Street shorts in this space over the years, but for some reason I had completely forgotten about this one, which was one of my favorites as a child.  The links above it were provided by Jesse Walker, Tim Cushing, Zuri Davis, Charles Hill, Eric Sprankle, and Wendy Lyon, in that order.

From the Archives

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Is this going to school or going to prison?  –  anonymous Chinese citizen

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake 

I’ve been waiting for this shoe to drop:

Lawsuits alleging improper classification of workers and a recent California Supreme Court labor law ruling are impacting…adult dancers in San Francisco, many of whom once relied on daily cash payouts to survive…dancers, previously considered independent contractors, now are walking out of club doors with biweekly employee paychecks and not with cash in hands after their shifts end.  The move to convert adult dancers to employee status is causing an exodus…[from] those establishments…BSC Management…operates the majority of adult clubs in San Francisco…According to Axel Sang, BSC’s marketing director…“The BSC-managed clubs now have matching payroll taxes, unemployment compensation, workman’s compensation, Healthy San Francisco costs, Affordable Care Insurance costs and San Francisco sick leave pay for several hundred new employee entertainers in addition to the hourly wage”…Sang estimated that 200 dancers have quit their jobs since the policy change to paychecks…

Blunt Instrument (#596)

Due to their visibility, massage parlors are taking the brunt of the “sex trafficking” hysteria in smaller cities:

…the New Port Richey [Florida] City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would ban bathhouses in the city…[in an attempt to strangle] massage parlors…The ordinance would ban any establishment that’s not a medical facility from [letting water touch] clients.  Anyone who violates the law would be fined up to $500 for each violation and possibly imprisoned for up to 60 days…

Subtle Pimping (#802) 

Yet another scumbag profits from the criminalization of sex work by basing a game on lies about us:

Billy Cain…started searching for a way to use virtual reality technology — or VR — to [profit from] people…[by promoting hysteria] about sex trafficking…Texas has been a hub for…human trafficking [hysteria] for [a] decade…[one typically disgusting masturbatory fantasy claims] 79,000 children are being sex trafficked in Texas at any given moment…[in] his sex trafficking [sex fantasy] simulation…people put on a special pair of goggles to [roleplay an imaginary] 13-year-old girl who fell victim to trafficking.  In “Trapped: VR Detective Story”, players see where the girl is being held and interact with objects to [flesh out the fantasy prior to masturbation]…players will learn…who is most vulnerable to being trafficked — anyone.  Anywhere.  From any background…

TRAFFICKERS ARE EVERYWHERE!  THEY’RE WAITING TO GET YOU!  EVERYBODY PANIC, THEN BUY MY GAME!

Overdue

Collapsing empires are obsessed with form over substance:

“We’ve made a conscious effort in TSA … to use floppy ear dogs,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske told the Washington Examiner…”We find the passenger acceptance of floppy ear dogs is just better…Doesn’t scare children”…in the last year, 80 percent of dogs purchased by TSA…were…breeds…[with] droopy ears…which are deemed less intimidating…

Yes, the people who literally grope children’s genitals claim they’re worried that dogs will frighten them.

Choke Point (#850) 

Useful idiots are unable to understand how precedent works:

…a death metal/black metal record label has shut down in the wake of PayPal pulling out support for processing purchases, along with the creditors at Visa and MasterCard because the company was labeled as “high risk”, “promoting hatred”, “promoting violence”, and “promoting hate speech”…Elegy Records, a label that hosted all sorts of death metal music since 1996…[has closed due to] the inability to sign with a normal credit processor due to being…classified as “high risk” by the banks and credit processors, which meant that he was effectively blacklisted from the banking industry…the only way to accept payments from customers was…via cash or money orders.  For online businesses it’s not possible to operate without some sort of banking institution, or credit card processing since all purchases are made electronically…

It always starts with a politically-unpopular group like sex workers or gun owners, but never stops there.

Pyrrhic Victory (#857) 

Where US schools are soon headed:

In China’s latest quest to build an all-seeing surveillance state, schools…in…one of China’s poorest provinces…are now required to wear…uniforms…embedded with electronic chips that track their movements…[they] keep track of the exact times that students leave or enter the school…an[d]…facial-recognition equipment stationed at the school entrance can match a student’s face with the chip embedded in the uniform…The chips…can activate an alarm when the sensor detects that a student has fallen asleep in class…

Pyrrhic Victory (#884) 

While activists and Amazon’s own shareholders & employees were asking for the company not to support fascism, Bezos was doing this:

The FBI is piloting…Amazon Rekognition…as a means to sift through mountains of video surveillance footage the agency routinely collects…While Amazon is now a significant supplier of technology to the government…[and] includes the CIA and Defense Department as customers—it is less clear how its facial recognition software is being used in the [police state]…the company pitched the software to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials last summer, a move that has…Amazon employees asking questions.  The company does not list any federal clients on its customer page, and currently only identifies as a customer one local law enforcement agency, the Washington County Sheriff Office…[yet]…the city of Orlando recently began a second pilot of…[the] software…

Imaginary Victims (#896) 

The Cyntoia Brown case has attracted attention to the cases of other underage sex workers who killed abusive clients:

…Chrystul Kizer, 18, is charged with first-degree homicide, arson and auto theft for the June 5 shooting death of Randall Volar III.  She was 17 when Volar was killed…he had been shot twice, and that the fire to the house appeared to have been set…Investigators said…Volar had paid for an Uber driver to bring Kizer from Milwaukee to his home…she initially denied knowing Volar, but later told police that “he (Volar) helped her with money and places to stay”…she reportedly confessed, saying “she got upset and was tired of Volar touching her” and that she had shot him…before his death Volar was under investigation by the Kenosha Police Department for sexual conduct with underage girls.  In a motion to compel discovery…[her lawyer stated] “The defense believes that the discovery in this case suggests that Ms. Kizer acted in self-defense”…

First They Came for the Hookers… (#900) 

It’s rare that judges side with sex workers against the government:

Imagine a symphony orchestra barred by the state from performing again because a musician was [accused of selling] marijuana to a colleague backstage…In Providence, Rhode Island…it happened to a strip club called the Foxy Lady.  On Dec. 19, the Providence Board of Licenses voted to permanently shut down the…[club] after police arrested three employees [and accused them of prostitution]…By doing so, the board threw more than 200 people out of work less than a week before Christmas.  Within days, the state Department of Business Regulation quickly restored the club’s liquor license, but the Foxy Lady’s owners were required by law to petition the state Supreme Court to regain its entertainment license…the state Supreme Court agreed to issue a stay, allowing the club to reopen for now, but the threat of future closure remains…

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I got a rock.  –  Charlie Brown

As usual, I don’t find any good Halloween videos until it’s too late to feature them before Halloween.  I’ve actually featured this one before, back in 2012, but at that time it was only available on the Funny or Die site and couldn’t be embedded; thanks to Franklin Harris for bringing this YouTube copy to my attention.  The links above it were provided by Tim CushingPopehatWalter OlsonNun Ya, Tim Cushing again and ACLU.

From the Archives

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Sex workers…are human beings who[se]…rights to health, safety, self-determination, and bodily autonomy should not be subject to debate or sacrifice to abstract principles.  –  Green Party proposal

If It Were Legal

I’m willing to bet this was either a findom arrangement or a blackmail fantasy:

The second in command of the Harris County [Texas] Treasurer’s Office is accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a county credit union to pay a dominatrix who was blackmailing him.  Gregory Lueb was arrested…and charged with felony theft of up to $30,000…Lueb told investigators…the woman eventually demanded money and threatened to tell his wife…

If he’s telling the truth, and if sex work weren’t illegal and stigmatized, he could’ve gone to an established professional instead of some sleazy amateur.

The Punitive Mindset

The need to censor is one of the most twisted of perversions:

A federal judge is considering whether South Dakota’s statewide ban on porn in prisons is constitutional.  The case arose from an inmate, Charles Sisney, who says all sorts of non-pornographic content got caught up in porn prohibition, including a yoga magazine, images of Michaelangelo’s work, and Japanese comics. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of South Dakota and the National Coalition have filed briefs in support of Sisney’s case…the parameters of the ban go way beyond adult films, nude images, or other things that most people would consider to be porn.  Prisoners are banned from writing sexually explicit letters or receiving them, and from receiving any visual or written material that’s deemed sexually explicit…

Three Steps Back

In December 2010, New Orleans decided to de facto decriminalize marijuana and prostitution, then it changed its collective mind and recriminalized them.  We’re all familiar with what happened afterward with sex work, but two years ago the city actually went ahead and truly decriminalized weed, with the following results:

…newly released city statistics show that New Orleans police have taken the city’s cannabis decriminalization efforts seriously, and now make arrests in only 1% of minor cannabis incidents.  The New Orleans City Council passed an ordinance two years ago  decriminalizing minor cannabis possession, giving [cops] the discretion to ticket rather than arrest suspects found with small amounts of pot…NOPD has all but eliminated marijuana charges from their protocol, reducing the rate of possession-related arrests from 72% of all police and pot interactions in 2011-2014, to the newly released number of only 1% in the last half of 2016 and first half of 2017…last year saw 5,000 fewer cannabis-related arrests in New Orleans than took place half a decade ago…

And yet they can’t seem to grasp that decriminalizing sex work would have similar benefits.

Stand-Up Guys 

Shift in the Wind

It looks like the Greens are poised to become the second US political party (the Libertarians have held the position for decades) to adopt decriminalization as an official position.  The new position has apparently been approved by Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Utah, and by the party’s Black Caucus, Lavender Greens and Young Greens.  The explanation of the reasons for the change starts like this:

It is the opinion of the authors of this document that the party’s current stance on sex work…is morally indefensible, ideologically incoherent, and politically damaging.  The submitted revisions represent an effort to eliminate derogatory language, move the Green Party’s stated policy prescriptions away from carceral state solutions and more in line with the current thought of human rights groups such as Amnesty International, and…condemn…violence against women without condemning or negating the existence of individual sex workers…

Worse Than I Thought

Anti-whore assholes just keep getting bolder:

California Senate Bill 1204…sponsored by…Patricia Bates…is aimed at broadening the definition of “pandering” within the State of California…to [include anyone] “who arranges, causes, encourages, induces, persuades, or procures another person to be a prostitute”…What does “encourages” mean? If I say to my friend “hey you would make a great prostitute!” – have I just encouraged that person to be a prostitute and therefore I am guilty of the crime of pandering?  What about my free speech rights?  What if my friend who is a prostitute says, “gee I wish I could see a client today because I really need to feed my child/pay my rent but I cannot afford condoms” and I give that person condoms, have I encouraged the act of prostitution?  What if I as a lawyer – give advice to a prostitute…have I just committed pandering?…I would encourage you to contact Senator Patricia Bates office and encourage her to kill her own bill…

The Punitive Mindset (#688) 

Long-time readers know that I’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons since 1981, and that it’s my all-time favorite game.  I’ve alluded to it many times and even written a few columns touching on it, and though I haven’t played in about 8 years now I’ve recently started thinking about starting up a new game for some friends.  So I quite enjoyed this long-form article about the game, its history and its long record of being attacked by authoritarians for promoting imagination and free thought.  I decided to list it under this category because the article includes a section on prison officials banning the game (because of course they would), which I reported on in the above-linked column.  But really, I just couldn’t pass up calling it to your attention at a time when most of the contents of this blog are darker than any imaginary dungeon, and the real world is dominated by far scarier monsters than any I ever made up for the heroes to defeat.

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#787) 

Yes, this is a supposedly sane adult arguing that toasters have “feelings” and can “suffer”, while classifying sex workers as subhuman:

Late in 2017 at a tech fair in Austria, a sex robot was “molested” repeatedly and left in a “filthy” state.  The robot, named Samantha, received a barrage of male attention, which resulted in her sustaining two broken fingers.  This incident confirms worries that the possibility of fully functioning sex robots raises both tantalising possibilities for human desire (by mirroring human/sex-worker relationships), as well as serious ethical questions …there are certain elements of relationships between humans and sex workers that we may not wish to repeat.  But to me, it is the ethical aspects of the way we think about human-robot desire that are particularly key…

Yes, moral retard Victoria Brooks there describes vandalism of a machine as “molestation” and waxes poetic about this object’s “suffering”, while twice in a short section referring to sex workers as things apart from humans.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#792) 

Possibly the most pathetic of all things: a gay male prude:

…how Grindr is affecting gay men….doesn’t look good.  The most common reason users gave for going on the app is that sex feels great and Grindr makes it accessible, right at your fingertips…Neuroscientists have shown that orgasm causes activation of pleasure areas of the brain like the ventral tegmental area while deactivating areas involved with self-control.  And these patterns of activation in men are strikingly similar to what researchers see in the brain of individuals using heroin or cocaine.  So when a neutral action (clicking on Grindr) is paired with a pleasurable response in the brain (orgasm), humans learn to do that action over and over again.  This can be…a setup for addiction…

Disaster

It usually starts with us, but it never, ever stops with us:

…Sex workers are the canaries in the digital coal mine, and SESTA, if it isn’t fought and reversed, is a disaster for all kinds of online speech…It’s no surprise that a bill like this has manifested alongside the #MeToo movement — it challenges what it means to for sex workers to consent, and takes aim at the online speech that acts as evidence that we have…The ambiguously written bill creates what is in effect a special loophole to target the speech of sex workers within the sweeping legal protections given to online speech.  And because marginalized groups often act as Patient Zero for regressive new laws, it will be no surprise when this new approach to censorship eventually spreads across the internet…The difference between what sex workers and their advocates say — that trafficking is a relatively minor issue in their industry — and what anti-sex trafficking legislators believe reflects the country’s long held reluctance to believe women when they tell the truth, especially when it involves sex.  One place where that truth is told daily is the internet communities where sex workers reside in safety and solidarity, and SESTA is designed to break up these communities…

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If Jesus was coming up the escalator three or four steps lower than you are, would He consider what you were wearing was acceptable?  –  Christian modesty guide (2016)

When this song came on my “Bohemian Rhapsody” Pandora station last week (yes, I have a station based on “Bohemian Rhapsody”; why don’t you?) I hadn’t heard it in decades.  But it’s one I have thought about often, and upon re-listening I realized that it’s one of the inspirations for my story “Millennium“.  The links above it were provided by Tim CushingElizabeth N. BrownMike SiegelRick Horowitz,  Lenore Skenazy, and Tim Cushing again, in that order.

From the Archives

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There is no “Truckers Against Trafficking Truckers” to help me safely return to the freedom and independence of sex work.  –  Kelly Michaels

Backfire

Pathetic “sex trafficking” fetishists are recycling an old failed propaganda campaign to convince men that it’s “cool” to let anti-sex lunatics control their sex lives, to infantilize women, and to empower the pigs to spy on people even more than they already do and to persecute them for seeking consensual sex.  It would be hilarious if it weren’t a direct threat to the sexual freedom and civil liberties of every adult in the world.

See No Evil 

It’s both fascinating and horrifying to watch a culture lobotomize itself:

An elementary school in…Utah fired an art teacher [for showing his students art]…One parent even called the police, accusing the teacher of showing the students pornography.  The saga began when Mateo Rueda had fifth and sixth grade students do a color study exercise…Rueda had students go to the library and look through art books and boxes of postcards so they could select which paintings best exemplified the color relationships they had been studying.  That’s when Rueda realized that some of the postcards, which…had been in the library long before he started teaching there, included some nude paintings, including Iris Tree by Amedeo Modigliani, François Boucher’s Brown Odalisque, and The Valpincon Bather by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres…He…then went through the pack to remove paintings he thought were inappropriate.  Still, he explained to the students that nudity in art is normal…Some students…expressed discomfort with the paintings and Rueda allegedly encouraged them to discuss things with their parents.  But some of the parents then proceeded to complain to the school, which fired Rueda on Dec. 8…

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Two similar cases in just a few weeks:

Danny Kay…will greet the New Year as a free man after being convicted of a rape that was based on altered evidence submitted by the alleged victim.  His freedom is due not to police work but the work of his sister in law Sarah Maddison…[who] found…that the police used [Facebook] messages that were misleadingly edited by the woman and that the real messages directly contradicted her claims.  The police revealed an utter incompetence in the investigation and the prosecutors have expressed no intent in looking at possible charges against the woman who is accused of changing the meaning of the messages from exculpatory to incriminating…Archived versions of the original messages found by Maddison showed not only a consensual relationship but a desire to continue the relationship…

Banishment

Do these idiots think everyone in a crowded shelter will be contaminated by sex rays?

Our eastern and northern states, preparing for snow, ice, and plummeting temperatures, also prepare their ready-made speeches: “Sex offenders will not be allowed”…A Christian ministry in Alabama, not often a state that must prepare for sub-freezing weather, says that it “wants to make sure no one is without shelter Sunday” when the temperatures are expected to drop drastically…“The ministry will be taking in anyone who wants to escape the cold”…It is not until the last paragraph that we are told, “…sex offenders will not be allowed to stay because of children”…What about “sex offenders” who have children?  What about “sex offenders” who ARE children?…

Case Study

A sow seeks her 15 minutes by spinning tragedy-porn for her audience’s masturbatory pleasure:

…PCSO Jacqui Fairbanks…has been [harassing] the women in Hessle Road, Hull for a decade…“Some of these women have come from backgrounds of child abuse, both physical and sexual…Quite a number suffer from mental health problems and there are issues of trafficking and coercion by pimps and boyfriends…But the biggest issue is drugs and many of these women are on the streets to pay for theirs and their partner’s next fix.  One woman had a baby and, within half an hour, was back out on the streets. That’s how desperate some of these women are…Our problem is that these women will not come and deal with us.  Their self-esteem is so low that they [would rather do productive work than let us force them into menial labor for a fraction of the income]”…

All-Purpose Excuse

As if this weren’t already bad enough, take a look at the government’s excuse for flushing what little is left of the Fourth Amendment:

In the summer of 2014, Terrence Byrd was driving a rental car on an interstate highway in Pennsylvania.  His fiancée had rented it, and he was using it with her permission.  But he was not listed on the rental agreement as an authorized driver.  A state trooper, David Long, [tailed] Mr. Byrd and…[later] testified that Mr. Byrd had aroused his suspicion by holding the steering wheel as driving instructors recommend…and by sitting far back in his seat…Because Mr. Byrd was not listed as an authorized driver, Trooper Long said he was free to search the car without Mr. Byrd’s consent.  He found body armor and 49 bricks of heroin in the trunk.  After a judge refused to suppress the evidence, Mr. Byrd was convicted of federal drug charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison.  Next week, the Supreme Court will consider whether privacy rights turn on the fine-print contracts signed by the more than 115 million people who rent cars every year…In a brief supporting the federal government, 15 states said criminals often used cars rented by others to transport drugs, victims of human trafficking and unauthorized immigrants…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#580) 

Predictable in the current Neo-Victorian climate:

…Playboy Enterprises Inc.’s controlling shareholder—private-equity firm Rizvi Traverse—is in talks to acquire the 35% stake Mr. Hefner left in trust to his heirs…the company says it is doubling down on efforts to make money from brand partnerships and licensing deals built around the Playboy name, ethos and bunny logo, with increasingly less focus on its editorial roots.  “We want to focus on what we call the ‘World of Playboy’ which is so much larger than a small, legacy print publication,” said Ben Kohn, a managing partner at Rizvi who took over as Playboy Enterprises’ chief executive in May 2016.  “We plan to spend 2018 transitioning it from a media business to a brand-management company”…

Naked Truth (#601)

Elizabeth Nolan Brown presents her picks for the best sex work writing of the year:

…Traditional media is not known for its nuanced and accurate portrayals of erotic industries, but more than a few fair accounts managed to slip through the mainstream cracks this year, in the form of both commentary and original reporting.  Meanwhile, sex-worker blogs, platforms like Medium, and indie press outlets have continued to allow current and former sex workers to tell their own stories.  I hope [this] list…provides some idea of the awesome breadth of sex worker experiences in 2017, the outlets and writers capturing them, and the devastating toll that current cultural panic and government policy responses are taking on people in a range of “adult” occupations and circumstances…

To Molest and Rape 

Rapist cops don’t limit themselves to any particular group of victims:

A former auxiliary cop [reports] her two NYPD bosses teamed up to pressure her for sex in the back of a police van.  The complaint…comes just a few months after two other city cops [violent]ly raped a [handcuffed] teen in their NYPD van…Huma Ayyaz…was targeted by…Andrew Thaler and…Rohnit Singh…because she comes from a conservative Pakistani Muslim family and they assumed she wouldn’t risk her reputation by speaking out…

Subtle Pimping (#767)

India has more that its share of scumbags profiting from sex workers by promoting harmful lies:

The Missing Public Art Project and Awareness Campaign exists [to profit by exploiting sex workers…Missing: The Complete saga is a role-playing game for PC where you play as a trafficking victim…It’s meant to capture the hopelessness of sex trafficking victims.  In order to do so, it’s being intentionally designed to feel unfair…

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This call was little peculiar for us.  –  murder apologist Troy Livingston

Though there are plenty of falling domino videos on the internet, I’m enchanted by the whimsy and cleverness of the presentations designed by Hevesh, the lady who created last week’s Christmas video.  The links above the video were provided by ManCrackAdjective GirlTim CushingMike SiegelScott Greenfield, and  Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

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