Archive for October, 2010

October 14, 2010

Do I support Porn?

Since I’m basically a nice person like most of you lets talk about trolls. Well I generally don’t pay them much mind but most of them are vitriolic and steadfast in the irrationality of their extremism.

For example – I was on Huffington Post reading about how the Porn Industry in So Cal shut down recently due to an actor testing positive for HIV.   I was thinking of my friends who have HIV and have died from AIDS.  Of course I felt compassion for these actors who already work in unpleasant and demeaning professions. These are not great jobs that have a career ladder – these are jobs that you have a few good years and pay of your bills if you are smart. But for many others the trajectory is pretty low and the older you get the less you are admired.

So I’m not a fan of Porn – I don’t buy it and rarely look at it. I’m not against Porn per se but really would rather think of the Dalai Lama or Robert Lanza. I did decide to post a comment that there must be a way to digitize some of the images that are considered money shots for the industry. That would eliminate the need for actors to be engaging in unprotected acts that put them in danger of getting STDs and AIDS.  Seems fairly straightforward to me – I saw it as a working condition issue and also figured there was a way to protect these workers. With the capacity of digital images today it is likely that it could be done and no porn consumers would be any the wiser.Besides all of our fantasies are illusion – so what is the difference anyhow?

Here is my comment,

“They should spend the money to digitize certain images so that prophylactics can be used. Please demand they do better by these actors. No one should have to face HIV or AIDS because the boss doesn’t want to comply with safety regulations. It is the same all over for regular working people – they are forced to work in dangerous conditions because they are not considered worth protecting. We all deserve to work in a safe workplace.”

Am I dangerous, subversive and Porn addicted? No just concerned about all my fellow travelers on this planet.

Well here is the response from Futbol4fun ( a lovely lady poster on Huffington Post)

“Perhaps you should start at home. If your children want to become porn stars, don’t tell them that it is wrong to begin with, don’t tell them that they have the choice to decide whether they can engage in protected vs. unprotected sex. If they make the decision to become a porn star and then get AIDS, the disease they catch isn’t THEIR fault, it is someone elses.

Let’s make sure that we create a country in which NO ONE is responsible for their actions. I will say it right here, porn stars are nothing more than prostitutes, and like a person texting behind the wheel, if an accident happens, then they need to deal with the consequences of THEIR actions.

If you don’t agree with my statement, then tell me why we should continue to support an industry that is notorious for using underage, drug addicted children who engage in acts that have been PROVEN to guarantee the spread of disease? You support this kind of industry?”

Talk about going from zero to 60 in 10 seconds. Can you sense a shred of rationality in this reply to my comment? What does it have to do with basic human rights, safety and concern for others? It does not so of course I had to reply and I must say was getting a little irritated –

“I don’t agree with you and what makes you think I support Porn? Because I care about what happens to the actors? That is foolish talk lady. Everyone deserves to be protected regardless of what you think of them personally. But bosses and corporate leaders allow laborers everywhere to die – the farm workers are proof of that. Our culture is one of exploitation and I oppose that in all forms. I don’t hear many of us screaming about child labor in China or other countries, what about sweatshops where folks are chained to the machines or work 7 days a week. So you need to get your values in a horizontal position – picking and choosing who is valuable and who is not valuable is hypocrisy at its height.
My children? none of your business the comment did not extend to members of my family.”

But Futbol4fun was not finished with me yet – she followed up with some choice words,

“Of course it extends. You seem to think that because a person knowingly and voluntarily engages in an obviously dangerous act, they should be pitied because they suffered a harm, even though the harm was a very real possibility.

Why in the hell are you trying to compare farmers, people who put in hard work that helps others, in an effort to feed their families with sleazy people who feed their basest instincts all in the pursuit of self-centered interests. You are the very cancer that is eating away the Democratic party.

If someone hangs themselves, do you get upset with your politician because they did not act sooner on trying to enhance stricter rope regulation? If some drunk fool shoots themselves playing Russian Roulette, do you feel sorry for this one person on the planet who didn’t seem to get the memo that a bullet in the head means death?

Stupidity and weakness breed stupidity and weakness. This story has nothing to do with sweat shops in foreign countries anymore than it has anything to do with the miners in Chile.

IF YOU HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX WITH PROMISCUOUS STRANGERS, YOU WILL MOST LIKELY GET A DISEASE. It is a particular brand of stupid that doesn’t know this and quite frankly a healthy society doesn’t need those genes in circulation.”

So there you have it the troll theory on human behavior and why people deserve to die. Yes its a lovely combination of social Darwinism and genetic engineering. But I’m still amazed at the deep hatred of others that I find on the Internets. Why do we hate so freely and with such self righteous bravado?

I see a couple of things at play – being anonymous and chewing out some other anonymous person out is a catharsis. The other dynamic is the hate of self. You can only hate another as much as you hate yourself. My guess is that there is something left undone, something unattainable that Futbol4fun is holding in her heart. Some deep wound or feeling of inadequacy that leads her to think of others as defective, deplorable, disposable. This is the pathology of our current state. We expect too much of ourselves, and measure others by our standards. We are constantly bombarded with images of an unrealistic life, an unattainable image, and we are entranced.  Since the illusion will never be fulfilled it becomes a vicious cycle of disappointment. We are trying to grab a virtual brass ring that keeps disappearing just when we think its within our grasp.

So I don’t blame her for being an insolent troll – its what we are leaving folks to – and there they will stay, until things change. And boy are they ever changing now so I hope we are ready for the long slow road to the bottom. I wonder what we will find once we’re there?

October 7, 2010

In New Orleans my dear

You can’t make up the awesomeness that is New Orleans. There is life screaming  from the streets, and an understanding of the temporal nature of that life. Its a zen place, activity all the time but the days seem to last forever.

The most amazing thing happened to me there. I fell in love. How can one city be so beguiling?

It started off at the Daiquiri hut. A bank of life giving frozen daiquiri machines humming softly and electronic poker machines in the corner. I got my pina colada and a couple others and they gave me a cardboard drink tray. Of course I took them to the car and we drove around and drank them.  Yes it is real.

Then there was Mechanic st so full of indie artsy rabble and counterculture goodness. Food Food Food and blistering heat. Open doors with AC on – you betcha.

But I was not prepared for the grandeur the mystical heights of the French Quarter. Since it was Louis Armstrong festival weekend there were bands playing around on the street, lots of white older gentlemen pretengding to be Louis and a mile long line for begneits at Cafe Du Monde. Artists crowded every shady spot even in the morning it was hot enough to melt oil.

Then down Bourbon street to the galleries. Figurative, antiques, contemporary, traditional art and more and I’m an art junkie  – so of course well it was hard to leave.  One of the gallery owners gave me an invite to a New Orleans street party called Dirty Linen. One week they have White Linen and the next week you come back in the same outfit – and it’s Dirty Linen. Love that Southern self deprecating humor. On the way back to the car I found an open bar to use the restroom and walked out with a beer in a to go cup.

We drove around to see the post Katrina after getting snowballs. There was the Superdome and then we went to the upper ninth ward. It was sad – so many homes are just abandoned. Grass is five feet tall and blocks and blocks  of buildings are empty.  Some folks live on blocks where there house is the only one fit for occupancy. There are no stores or community gathering places in Desire – I’m just not sure that it  can ever recover.

In fact the place I stayed was near UNO right across from Lake Pontchartrain. It is a huge impressive expanse of water that seems to go into the horizon.  That must have been a scary place during and after the storm.  But its just peaceful and impressive now.

Everything about New Orleans is better than most places. The people are friendly the food is awesome the art is great the sun is bright and they have to go cups. I’m sold – you should go and see it for yourself.