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Posts Tagged ‘video’

The war on guns, like the war on drugs, is primarily waged on poor people.  –  Baynard Woods and Brandon Soderberg

Doris Day, who passed away this week at the ripe old age of 97, was probably my mother’s favorite singer; I remember her singing “Que Sera, Sera” so often when I was a child that I knew the lyrics by heart before I started school (and it’s one of the few popular songs entirely within my rather-limited vocal range).  So it only seems appropriate to feature a recording of that song as this week’s video; the link above it were provided by SWOP Behind Bars, Tim Cushing, C.J. Ciaramella, Elizabeth N. Brown, Radley Balko, and Tim Cushing again (in that order).

From the Archives

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I think most of my readers know that I think the idea that there is only One True Path to Decriminalization is as wrongheaded and destructive as the notion that there is only One True Path to Salvation.  Those who claim that a labor rights approach, or a privacy rights approach, or a social justice approach, or a civil liberties approach, or a medical approach, or a harm reduction approach, or whatever, represent the only way to achieve sex worker rights, have been drinking their own Kool-Aid and need to move on to more potent and adult beverages.  But there is one popular approach that I’m going to ask y’all to reconsider, because I believe it’s doing more harm than good:  Please stop telling authoritarians that their terrible laws are harming sex workers and even getting us killed.  Look, I fully understand why y’all think this will work; it’s because you’re decent human beings who care about others, so naturally you think other decent human beings will also care.  And you’re mostly right, except for one small factor:  politicians, cops and other authoritarians are not decent human beings.  They are sociopaths who think that “law and order” trumps every other concern, and at a minimum accept harm to sex workers as acceptable collateral damage in their war to establish a jackboot Utopia with them at the top; in the worst cases (which means most of them), they are happy when their laws harm sex workers, because that is their specific intent.  In other words, when you tell these moral imbeciles, “Please stop because you’re killing us,” you are not dissuading them from their course of action; you are encouraging it.  Don’t believe me?  Consider that the Skarhed Report, the Swedish government’s own report on their eponymous “model”, stated quite clearly that “negative effects of the [sex purchase] ban…must be viewed as positive from the perspective that the purpose of the law is…to combat prostitution“…in other words, “it’s a good thing that those dirty whores are dying, because omelettes and eggs and all.”  And then there’s this video, which I’ve shared often, that states the prohibitionist attitude so clearly and distinctly you may even be able to see it through rose-colored glasses:

And here’s a selection from a recent article on Florida’s creation of an adjunct “sex offender” registry strictly for clients and sex workers accused of any of the “offenses” that are now fashionable to call “sex trafficking”:

…Savannah Parvu, an anti-sex-[work activist] and [prohibitionist] who advised Rep. Fitzenhagen on the bill…[believes] that that sex workers are…acceptable collateral…“Sex workers…claim they’re doing it willingly, so if a bill that is designed to [empower the police state]…puts sex workers in danger or is bad for…business…then maybe it’s time for a career change”…The bill’s authors are well aware of the criticism—but they don’t…see the issues that activists raise as problems.  “In case it was lost on you, a consensual sex worker, AKA a prostitute, is committing a crime,” Rep. Fitzenhagen said in…March…“It is not my intent to work with them moving forward”…

By all means, keep making this argument to the public, and pointing out the dangers of prohibition to reporters, academics and other potential allies.  But when you tell die-hard prohibitionists their schemes are hurting us, that’s just free intel for them from the front lines of a war against humanity they will do anything to win.

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Meagan works for Prostasia, the organization which sponsored the Bay Area screening of The War on Whores, and I met her in person the day of the screening.  She interviewed me for Prostasia’s podcast (see below), and when Jeremy Malcolm sent me the link to the video he also included this essay Meagan wrote, which I found so sweet and touching I asked for permission to share it.

Why Maggie McNeill is My Hero

There are a lot of good reasons why Maggie McNeill should totally be your hero.  I mean, she’s brilliant, well spoken, sexy as all get out, an outspoken advocate for civil liberties, sex worker rights, sex positivity, child protection, the list goes on.  Basically, Maggie is the feminist we need if not the feminist we deserve.  But that’s not why she’s my hero.

Allow me to tell you a story.  Just to set the scene, it’s a Tuesday in the Bay Area.  My boss and I have had the pleasure of hosting Maggie all afternoon and evening.  She was kind enough to do an interview for Prostasia’s Podcast Sex, Human Rights, and CSA Prevention, then we all shared a lovely dinner and cocktails.  That was followed with the Bay Area premiere of The War on Whores, and we all capped the night off with lovely conversation and pie in a little diner near her hotel where we were dropping her off.  But on the way from screening to pie, there was a spot of bother on the freeway; a large plastic garbage can had wedged itself under the car and for a moment we feared we’d popped a tire.  So we pulled over and got out to investigate.

Now, it’s worth noting that I don’t drive and have a deep mistrust of cars, despite accepting them as a necessary means of transportation.  So I’m standing on the side of the road with my boss and Maggie, and she comes to the conclusion that if she and I stand on the garbage can while he backs the car up slowly, our combined weight will keep the can in place so we can free it from under the car.  I dunno what you always thought a day with a (in)famous sex worker would be like, but friends, this isn’t what I had in mind…Anywho, Maggie, who is super brave, btw, and I stand with a foot each and most of our weight on the can and the car is backed up slowly.  The closer the wheel got to our feet, the more I started to panic; directly to our backs were cars rushing by at freeway speed and directly in front of our toes was a car tire.  So, some part of my brain is aware that in my professional capacity, I should have probably had Maggie stand at the side of the road, away from the scary cars, and done this myself, because good hosting and whatnot.  But I’m apparently a giant baby, so instead of honorably protecting our guest, she casually coached me through this ordeal as I whimpered and had trouble forcing my body to keep my foot in place.  Her plan worked perfectly, but during the last stages she kept her foot on the can and it started dragging her a bit (she’s been in heels and a slinky evening type gown this whole time, btw).  So before I know what I’m doing, I think I wrapped my arms around her to make absolutely sure she didn’t go down as the center of balance changed.  I’m pretty sure she was in no danger of that, and it was a dorky overreaction on my part.  Hi, my name is Meagan and I was a huge dork in front of Maggie McNeill several times in a day and she was nice to me anyway.

The thing is, anyone can cultivate a reputation, and social media makes it easier than ever to build and perpetuate propaganda.  But these silly, random, slightly dangerous moments in life where people have to just be people to get through it, reveal a lot more about a person than their press does.  Like I said, there are a lot of good reasons to be a huge fan of Maggie.  Her social work, her “social” work, her writing, her documentary, her body, her mind, her fantastic makeup and fashion tips, how incredibly down to earth she is when she really doesn’t have to be…but I will always be a big fan of Maggie because of one very random, very silly, very human moment on the side of the road, headed towards San Francisco.

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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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As they tried to approach the suspect, there was an incident that happened. An officer involved shooting took place.  – Jenny Virden

Regular readers may recall that Vangelis is one of my favorite musicians; this is one of my favorites of his albums (the others being China, Opera Sauvage and Soil Festivities, with Albedo 0.39 and Heaven and Hell not far behind).  It makes me wonder if people in the teens & twenties today feel about this music as many people my age might feel about, say, Count Basie.  The links above the video were provided by Whores of Yore, Scott Shackford, Scott Greenfield, Franklin Harris, Tushy Galore, and Tim Cushing, in that order.

From the Archives

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I would…suggest you not promote pictures of juveniles in this situation.  –  Muriel Bowser

Remember Harry Nilsson?  Besides writing songs for The Monkees (“Cuddly Toy“), Three Dog Night (“One“), and others, he had a successful solo career and counted The Beatles among his fans (he later briefly lived with John & Ringo in 1973 during John’s “Lost Weekend”). I first encountered him via this TV movie (narrated by Ringo), which I watched when it premiered in 1971 and never forgot.  I bought it when it became available on DVD and have watched it several times since, most recently while stoned with Grace & Chekhov at Sunset on Easter weekend.  The links above the video were provided by Furrygirl, Peter Roman, Mike Siegel, Peter Roman again, Tim Cushing, and Tushy Galore, in that order.

From the Archives

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I would have done the same if I had found a kilo of crack cocaine.

Last week Scott Greenfield made a reference to this song, which reminded me of how much I like it, so I decided to share it with you.  The links above it were provided by Mike Siegel, Amy Alkon, Furrygirl, Mistress Matisse, Emma Evans, and Jillian Keenan, in that order.

From the Archives

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