Arts & Culture
If I have any single fetish, it's gotta be nerd girls. Tits and ass are nice, but if a woman has a complete set of AD&D manuals (version 2), can parse php scripts in her head, or can talk dirty in binary, I'm pretty much hers.
Which is just a way of saying that this service was pretty much dreamed up just for me:
When we were approached by Robert Jensen, by email, some months ago about reviewing his new book Getting off: Pornography and the end of masculinity, (South End Press, 2007), we were, admittedly, a bit puzzled. Surely he could tell from a cursory glance at this site that we were not likely to agree with his analysis of porn. Still, it seemed worthwhile to review the book, and worthwhile it has been. Here is an excerpt from Chris's review:
It’s not immediately obvious, but Robert Jensen and I have a lot in common. We both grew up as scrawny, physically inept boys with no aptitude for athletics. We were the kind of boys who were by default identified as “faggots” by our peers and, at least in my case, sometimes by teachers. On the playground and the streets, our status as “sensitive” boys made us easy targets for insults and physical abuse.
Most importantly, we both grew into men with deep dissatisfactions with what our society told us we were supposed to be, do, and think as men, and with an appreciation for feminism as a vital tool for both men and women to break free of old, potentially lethal gender scripts. And both of us can go on at length about what sucks about porn.
It’s this last point where the differences between Jensen and I become too obvious to ignore; yes, I can go on for hours and hours about what irredeemable psychic flotsam the great mass of porn is, and could probably fill several volumes thicker than Jensen’s on the mediocrity, body fascism, poor production values, labor abuses and sexism that dominate mainstream porn. These are all things that people of good conscience should find troubling about porn as it exists today. And yet, even as I calculate all the sins of pornography to the nth degree, and catalog the ways that I find it disappointing and trivial in taxonomies so detailed that the Library of Congress would have to invent a whole new indexing system, there’s something else: I think that in porn lies our salvation.
Yes, we know that your parents sucked. They didn't let you stay out past nine, were always on your ass about your grades, the people you dated, the awful music that you were listening to, how their generation had more respect for their elders, yadda yadda yadda. And even now that you're grown up, they're still nudzhing at you, right?
Here's some consolation: You don't have Amy Contrada for your mom. Amy Contrada belongs to a Massachusetts anti-gay group called MassResistance which describes itself "the pro-family action center for Massachusetts -- and beyond!" After MassResistance organized a protest of a high-school production of the play The Laramie Project starring Amy's daughter Claudia, Claudia came out as a lesbian.
I have it on good authority that most of my female friends who grew up with Barbie dolls eventually let Barbie have adventures that weren't really envisioned by Mattel. Sooner or later, Barbie wound up losing those fancy clothes and bumping uglies with Ken. In other words, while I was helping my friends to dig through their garages for two-dimensional porn, the girls were making the 3-D variety themselves. This isn't totally inappropriate, given Barbie's origins. A lot of grown-ups have kept playing adult games with their Barbies, as the music video below shows:
An Action Alert from NCSF
If you want to do something good for your fellow human beings and stock up on porn, Playtime, an adult store in Edison, NJ has a program to let you do just that. Between now and November, Playtime is running their annual "Food For Porn" program: bring in an undented, unexpired can of food 13 ounces or larger, and the store will give you a free DVD. You don't get to choose the title, but you can choose between gay, straight, and lesbian porn:
I wrote to Jeffrey Nelson at Verizon and got this response:
Thank you for contacting us on this important issue. We issued the following statement this morning. Please share with interested folks.
VERIZON WIRELESS STATEMENT ON TEXT MESSAGING
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – On Wednesday, September 26, Verizon Wireless received a letter from NARAL regarding the company’s policy on text messaging. The following statement may be attributed to Jeffrey Nelson, spokesperson for Verizon Wireless.
CINEKINK NYC - CALL FOR ENTRIES
"The really alternative film festival"
February 26 - March 2, 2008
Presented by CineKink, an organization dedicated to the recognition and encouragement of sex-positive and kink-friendly depictions in film and television, CineKink NYC is seeking films and videos, of any length and genre, that explore and celebrate the wide diversity of sexuality. We're looking to blur some boundaries and will be considering offerings drawn from both Hollywood and beyond, explicit or not, with works ranging from documentary to drama, camp comedy to hot porn - and everything in between.
As most of you know, Elizabeth has proposed a panel for SXSW Interactive 2008 called Pink Ghetto Blasters: Destigmatizing Sex via Online Community Building which she'll moderate with me, Lux Nightmare, Violet Blue, and Rachel Kramer Bussel as panel members. The online voting process is now drawing to a close; it ends Friday, September 21 at 11:59 PM, Central Time, so as of this writing, that gives us a little less than 36 hours to get all our friends to vote for us. Voting is easy; just go to the link for the panel above, go through a quick registration process, and give us five stars. That's all.
One of the first things you learn when growing up is that you don't have to be gay to be fag-bashed. Convincing everyone that you're hetero, whether you are or not, isn't just a matter of getting to hang with the cool kids or becoming class president; it's the difference between eating your lunch in peace or getting your teeth kicked in on a daily basis.
That's a grim, but universal truth, and the number of us that can testify to it makes the following story from Nova Scotia that much more cheering. When a new student dared to wear a pink shirt to Central Kings Rural High School, he was harassed by a group of about ten students who threatened to beat him up. Two of his classmates, however, decided to take action: