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Posts Tagged ‘hysteria’

Crises lead to a permanently bigger state with many more powers and responsibilities and the taxes to pay for them.

The Maze of Consent

Consent is neither as simple nor as static as puritans pretend:

The AVN Adult Entertainment Expo represents one key node in a global network of adult-oriented entertainment expos that attract fans and industry personnel…Every January the…largely LA-based adult entertainment industry relocates to Las Vegas for about a week, bringing with it performers, producers, directors and videographers.  The porn community is in town for business-to-business events, to shoot porn, celebrate industry achievements at the AVN Awards…A “mix of physical, social and institutional boundaries and formal and informal rules of engagement” prevails within…Attendees…must sign a “code of conduct”.  Signage…reminds patrons of the AVN’s policy of zero tolerance of anyone found and/or reported to have engaged in assault, non-consensual physical contact, violations of privacy, and verbal or physical harassment.  While this code isn’t perfect, our research found it…help[s] keep non-consensual contact to a minimum and empower the performers to negotiate their own boundaries…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw your neighbors outdoors”?

A [cop shop] has had a surge in calls from people reporting their neighbours for “going out for a second run”.  Government lockdown rules allow [subjects] to leave their [cells] to take one form of exercise a day…In the coming days, police will be given the powers to fine anyone [accused of controlling their own lives.  One pig oinked]…”We are getting calls from [bootlicking snitches] who say ‘I think my neighbour is going out on a second run – I want you to come and arrest them’…We have had dozens and dozens of these calls”…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#865) 

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are absolutely losing their shit because people aren’t listening to their wanking fantasies during the pandemic:

…the 79,000 victims in Texas born and raised in America are not protected against COVID-19, nor are their clients…spread of the virus will be curbed by prosecution of sex traffickers…[who] snag some 200,000 young people born and raised in the U.S…Traffickers lure vulnerable youth at bus stops, outside schoolyards…and even within foster homes…

The Dallas Morning News is so filled with scribbling from these compulsive masturbators, it’s an embarrassment to the entire state of Texas.

O, Canada! (#943)

Prohibitionists want Ontario to be more like the US:

On March 6, the Ontario government announced an investment of $307 million over five years in an alleged strategy to “combat human trafficking and end sexual exploitation”…The unprecedented scale of the financial investment…coincides with some of the most comprehensive budget cuts and privatization of services in Ontario…To receive funding, approved agencies must maintain practice and policy that aligns with the Ford government’s blatant anti-sex work position, which is based on biased and false information about sex workers and their trade…such as the rampant and false claims that 13 is the average age of entry into sex work, or that the majority of sex workers do not “choose” to participate in sex work.  These myths not only promote disempowering stereotypes…but [also] embolden police and other institutions to criminalize sex workers and…contribute to moral panic…

Panopticon (#1010)

Fascists scheme to make the horrifying UK surveillance network even worse:

Police are creating the UK’s first database of homes with doorbell cameras and CCTVs to help [increase the surveillance network]…Wiltshire Police are asking residents with the devices to register them with police so that they can be [accessed even if owners deny permission]…The scheme is backed by [politicians] in Swindon where it is being initially launched.  “This isn’t about surveillance”…[lied politician] Rahul Tarar…

Watershed (#1011)

We’re likely to start seeing more articles like this as “sex trafficking” hysteria dies:

When consensual sex work is considered a form of violence, it’s hard to look ahead at the possibilities of decriminalization…when most of the space is used wrangling an ideological debate about whether sex work is inherently demeaning, any discussion of how decrim would take shape gets lost in the crossfire.  But as Vermont recently followed New York and became the second state…to introduce legislation to remove criminal penalties, the reality of a decriminalized future is inching closer…more than half of the population supports decrim…[but] what would [that]…look like in the United States?…

Like Houses (#1025)

Once the state takes a power for itself, it never surrenders that power voluntarily:

In just a few weeks a virus a ten-thousandth of a millimetre in diameter has transformed Western democracies.  States have [forcibly] shut down businesses and sealed people indoors.  They have promised trillions of dollars to keep the economy on life support.  If South Korea and Singapore are a guide, medical and electronic privacy are about to be cast aside.  It is the most dramatic extension of state power since the second world war.  One taboo after another has been broken.  Not just in the threat of fines or prison for ordinary people doing ordinary things, but also in the size and scope of the government’s role in the economy…history suggests that after crises the state does not give up all the ground it has taken.  Today that has implications not just for the economy, but also for the surveillance of individuals…

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As you may have noticed (and I mentioned in “Silver Lining“), it’s become difficult to fill my news columns due to the pandemic; nobody’s talking about anything else (even though there are definitely other things to talk about), so there just aren’t enough stories to feature (because I have even less interest in writing a column about stupid epidemic memes than you have in reading one).  So for the time being, I’m rationing news items to seven per news column (instead of the usual nine to thirteen) until I start noticing the number of fresh items has increased again.  This also means I have fewer things to write full columns about, so you’ve probably noticed that most of them touch on the pandemic as well.  Since I’m not going to let some stupid collection of RNA that isn’t even actually alive (and its attendant hysteria) break a decade-long perfect record, you can be sure I’ll keep posting something every day (and look for The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume II on Monday).  But until things get back to relatively normal, a lot of them may be meager pickings like this one.

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I’ve received some criticism from people who seem incensed by the fact that I’m not freaking out about the pandemic, and even criticizing the actions of politicians who are far more motivated by winning votes and casting themselves in contrast to the “Disease? What disease?” Orange-utan than by any sincere concern for human life.  Some of that is simply because I’m battle-hardened enough not to freak out even when I’m being violently assaulted, and part of it is due to decades of study of mass psychology.  See, specimens of homo sapiens are always afraid of things they can’t see (“sex trafficking is hidden in plain sight!” “Fifth column!” “They look just like us!” “Zombies!”) and it doesn’t get much more invisible than viruses.  It triggers a very deep and irrational response in the amygdala, which manifests in panic buying, overreaction, innumeracy, etc.  So while I don’t judge anyone for being scared (because it’s natural and understandable), I also discount things that are clearly panic in preparing my own mental model of what’s going on.  And I’m very frustrated with those who fly up in my face for responding calmly & pragmatically to a situation instead of blindly panicking.  It reminds me very much of my 20s, when I used to get called “cold” or even “inhuman” for not being a fucking drama queen about everything.  So please do not approach me in that manner; I didn’t tolerate it three decades ago, and I’m a lot more ornery now than I was then.

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People who haven’t had an online presence aren’t gonna make money right away.  –  Arabelle Raphael

Welcome To Our World

I hope you amateurs enjoy being hunted like animals by armed thugs:

[Cops are gleefully using violence to force peaceful] people [to] comply with the shelter in place orders across North Texas…[Pigs] have [been granted imaginary] authority to [harass] people to make sure they are…workers [the state has declared “essential”] and not [free citizens] out and about…“We did hear some complaints…of people being stopped going to work.  Let me be clear, [fuck you and we’ll keep doing it]” [oinked a pig] of the DeSoto [cop shop.  In addition, cops]…across the region are trying to…fill up the jails with people committing nonviolent or misdemeanor crimes [just as usual.  In fact, prosecutors]…will enhance crimes co[ps accuse people of] during this period [which means]…more jail time and higher fines…

But hey, I’m sure y’all won’t mind because politicians have declared that giving violent thugs permission to harass you just for existing, and robbing you of money you can’t afford to lose, is “for your own good”.

Maggie in the Media

I appeared last week on the All In A Day’s (Sex) Work podcast, speaking on (among other topics) how sex workers have often been blamed for epidemics.  Despite the grim topic, I think you’ll enjoy listening.

Property of the State 

The power to declare something “non-essential” is the power to ban it:

The Texas Attorney General’s office…ordered all clinics that provide abortion to immediately stop providing the procedure in order to comply with the state’s temporary suspension of surgeries that are not deemed “medically necessary” [by politicians]…Those in violation will face “penalties of up to $1,000 or 180 days of jail time”…

The Cult of Coupling

Too much “togetherness”, y’all?

Divorce filings are skyrocketing from quarantine-weary and financially stressed couples…matrimonial attorneys…are experiencing a 50 percent rise in inquiries from potential clients…[some] Manhattan family-law experts…[say] couples forced to spend time together while quarantined…haven’t fared well…[and] dramatic sways in the financial markets will further spur a wave of wealthy divorces, because richer spouses may decide they want out while their net worth dips…

Top Cop (#995)

This psychopath is still far too close to power for comfort:

Joe Biden is in the process of narrowing down his list of potential running mates, and his allies in the business community are weighing in with their favorite choices.  Since Biden announced earlier this month that he plans to pick a woman as his nominee for vice president, leaders of…industries have been reaching out to him and his presidential campaign about whom they think should join him on the ticket…The names being floated and pushed to Biden by this group include Sens. Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar…

Social Distancing

As always, sex workers take care of our own:

…workers…and…professionals whose livelihoods are tied to in-person meetings…are currently suffering from coronavirus-related job cuts….37 million jobs are vulnerable to layoffs due to social distancing measures…one group facing particularly acute challenges are sex workers, whose work is often illegal…or not covered by unemployment laws…many come from marginalized communities and have trouble accessing other forms of employment…the advocacy organization Bay Area Workers Support (BAWS)…launched a microgrant program that gives out payments of $50–$200 to sex workers in need…Similar efforts are taking place across the country: the Sex Worker Outreach Project…is organizing mutual aid fundraisers for sex workers in places like Los AngelesAustin and New York, and sex workers in Las Vegas have been fundraising via crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe …Taking their work online through photos, videos, phone sex and videoconferencing is one way sex workers have [adapted]…But changing how one does business is not as easy as starting an account…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1023)

“Sponsored content” means content a paper was paid to publish; it’s an ad, not journalism:

Over the past few months, several articles and editorials with a distinct War On Porn propaganda slant have been appearing under the banner of The Guardian, the influential transatlantic news organization…These articles look almost exactly like the rest of The Guardian online content, with the same font, design, artwork, layout and out-links to other stories…Recent articles…[gave] a platform to…Exodus Cry founder Laila Mickelwait…the “Exploitation in Focus” series is “supported, in part, through a grant…[from] Humanity United, a U.S.-based [prohibitionist] foundation…with [a] very vague name…and mission…[which] respond[s] to a billionaire p[rohibition]ist couple…who were embroiled in a labor human trafficking scandal of their own around the time they founded Humanity United…

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Somewhere in the darkness, the gambler he broke even.  –  Kenny Rogers

Country music legend Kenny Rogers died late last week after a long, successful career which started as a doo-wop singer in the late ’50s; this was his most famous song, but he was known for many which told the stories of hard-luck characters (such as “Lucille” and “The Coward of the County”), plus his duets with Dolly Parton.  The links above were provided by Dave Krueger, Brooke Magnanti, Zuri Davis, Mistress Matisse, Phoenix Calida, and Furrygirl, in that order.

From the Archives

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On Wednesday of last week, an authoritarian psychopath from Australia tweeted that to prevent what violent collectivists call “food hoarding” during the pandemic, “All houses should be inspected. Anyone that has more than two weeks food should be fined, heavily.”  This is the kind of violent, coercive idiocy which has become fashionable among “wing” fetishists who think of themselves as “the Left”, and demonstrates their complete detachment from reality.  There has been no time in my life since I moved out on my own in 1983 that I did not have at least two weeks of food on hand; usually it’s more like one or two months’ worth.  That isn’t “hoarding”; it’s being an adult.  Let’s see what “two weeks of food” looks like, shall we?  I eat only two meals a day, a small breakfast and a moderate dinner.  A bag of cereal and a gallon of milk = breakfast for me for about ten days.  Add a second bag & we hit two weeks’ breakfast.  For dinner, an 18-carton of eggs + 1 loaf of bread + cheese = six omelettes or egg sandwiches.  A can of corned beef + bread + cheese = four meals.  I have two cans of corned beef in my cupboard, 4 packs of cheese in the fridge & 3 loaves of bread in the freezer; there’s your “two weeks of food”.   And as you can see, it’s maybe 20% of what I have just in my incall (fridge & freezer look similar, and at Sunset it’s at least triple that).  And yet this wannabe Wizard of Oz says my house should be torn apart by armed thugs and my personal economy wrecked because he’s too stupid to buy corned beef, cheese and bread before he absolutely needs it.  This is “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” behavior:  “Anyone who does things differently from me should be targeted by mob violence.”  And anyone with a functional moral compass who encounters this kind of thinking should not be afraid to condemn it, in no uncertain terms.

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Curfew and quarantine enforcement inevitably mean new opportunities for police overreach, profiling, and violence.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Above the Law 

Even rent-a-cops feel entitled to rape sex workers:

A hospital security guard has been jailed for 14 years for the rape and violent assault of two sex workers…one of the victims was forced to jump naked from a window to get away from Noel McKeon…as he tried to stab her. The attacks, on June 18, 2016 and on February 2, 2018, both took place after McKeon contacted the two women [for outcall]…

Monsters

What a sick, sorry waste:

Timothy Blancher, 20, Alunte Davis, 21, and Paris Cameron, 20, all attended a party with a 19-year-old man they met at a gas station in Detroit.  Hours after he left the group, Devon Robinson, 19, burst into the house wearing a masked and…gunn[ed] the three…down…Jurors found Robinson guilty Tuesday of the May 25, 2019, murders…committed…to cover up…that he had engaged in sex…with the three victims…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#802) 

Predictable in the current Neo-Victorian climate:

Playboy has announced that it’s closing down its flagship magazine for the rest of 2020.  It seems unlikely, given the wording of the announcement and the state of print magazine-making, that it will ever return.  It’s not a surprise, exactly — its circulation and advertising drooped long ago, accelerating as the nudie pictures for which it was celebrated became available everywhere for free…

The Widening Gyre (#866)

This won’t end until it starts inconveniencing the wealthy & well-connected:

…Oprah Winfrey’s name…trend[ed on Twitter after]…a series of tweets…alleged that the celebrity’s Florida home had been raided by police, who were “digging up the tunnels” there in connection with an alleged sex trafficking ring.  (…Oprah has no home in Florida)…the tweets put forth theories:  some noting the friendship Oprah enjoyed with Harvey Weinstein, others suggesting the novel coronavirus epidemic was somehow engineered to shift the spotlight away from the arrest of celebrities involved in the alleged ring…includ[ing] Tom Hanks and Justin Trudeau…

Wise Investment (#920)

Sex workers, clients & everyone else harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing over them:

From January through March [of last year], at least four men responded to online ads f[rom a pervert cop fantasy role-playing as] a [sex worker] named “Brittany” who…asked each of the four men to meet [him] at a hotel, but first to stop at a gas station before to buy [him] a treat such as a candy bar or a can of pop…Cases against them were dismissed, first by a district court, and then by a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals…[because] the [prosecutor] charged the[m]…with…soliciting prostitution….[which] has to come in a “public place”…cops and…prosectors…didn’t prove any of these men was in [public] when they texted [the masturbating cop.  Though]…the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office [vomited a lot of disgusting nonsense about]…human-trafficking…[all over the court, it still]…rul[ed that]…there’s no evidence indicating [the cop was fantasizing he] was underage, or a victim of trafficking, [while msturbating, and] the…language on gross misdemeanor solicitation is plain, and applies only to “public” acts…

You Were Warned

A reminder of what the government is trying to take away from you:

It’s almost hard to believe now, but there was time when Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of “participatory media” were widely heralded as great gifts to public perception and global democracy.  For going on nearly half a decade now, the tone on tech companies and social media has shifted to one of suspicion, hostility, grievance, and moral panic.  But as COVID-19 continues to spread around the world and as many governments continue to mishandle things, people are starting to remember why the platforms we love to hate are important after all…Social media have also been providing news from early outbreak zones across the globe, as users widely disseminate stories from foreign news outlets, statements from foreign leaders, and first-hand accounts from residents of affected areas abroad.  These snapshots helped give Americans a better sense of the scope of the threat posed by COVID-19 at a time when the messages coming from official channels were conflicting and confusing…

Social Distancing

As always, sex workers demonstrate our adaptability:

Portland will not go without its strippers, even during a…pandemic.  Lucky Devil Lounge is bringing its dancers to your door with a new food delivery service it’s calling—wait for it—”Boober Eats”.  “I originally did it at first as a joke,” says club owner Shon Boulden, “and it got 150 shares on Facebook—like nothing we’ve ever had before.  So I was like, ‘Well shit, why don’t we just try to do this?'”  Lucky Devil has a full food menu and non-alcoholic drinks, like ginger beer and Red Bull, available for delivery.  The process is similar to many the home drop-off systems that have sprung up overnight as a way for restaurants and breweries to continue operating…Simply peruse the menu online, give the business a call and place your order….[but] instead of being greeted a harried driver in jeans and a hoodie, your meal is hand-delivered by two dancers.  “They’ll wear pasties and booty shorts, drop off the food, dance for a second and then we’ll move along,” Boulden says.  “We’ll still stay a reasonable distance back.  They have Lysol as well”…the strippers will also pose for photos…

Meanwhile, in porn:

Free Speech Coalition…called for a voluntary shutdown of all adult entertainment productions in the United States and Canada through Tuesday, March 31…”we ask that producers cancel all shoots through March 31, and recommend that performers immediately stop filming with partners who are not a part of their household”…

The Public Eye (#1022)

Prohibitionist whining is becoming increasingly desperate:

The MTA [was paid to] display…a series of advertisements promoting a “Sex Workers Pop-up” exhibit…[prohibitionists moronically labeled the text-only ads]…“sexually oriented” [even though they merely advertised an art exhibit]…and [bloviated a lot of their usual puritanical idiocy about how consensual sex is]…inherently harmful.  The pastel pink promotions, up since early March on subway lines across the five boroughs, was bankrolled by George Soros’ Open Society Foundation and invites commuters to a West Village “exhibit dedicated to the global sex worker movement”…

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