Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cult of Gracie Radio with Randall Radic Post-Show Notes

Randall Radic was my second guest on Cult of Gracie Radio and he was as interesting as I thought he would be ~ perhaps even more so as he touched upon an area I'm very passionate about, namely the fact that sex and love, while not mutually exclusive, are not the same thing and ought not be confused for one another.

This is something explored in his recently published memoir, The Sound Of Meat (published by Ephemera Bound*), and while Radic is self-effacing, claiming his self-knowledge was gained via lessons as painful and obvious as being hit in the head with a board, this a valuable life-lesson most could use. It's a topic which I hope to explore more with Radic in another interview ~ after I've read his book.

Radic also mentioned upcoming books of his (Dining With Cannibals: A Priest's Memoir of His Six Months in Jail, and a non-fiction book on priests who have embezzled) to be published by ECW Press. Both are presumed to be out in a year or so; keep an eye on ECW for news.

I don't know if it's appropriate to call a convicted felon "charming & intelligent", but I'm going to. Randall Radic was a charming and intelligent guest.

If you missed the show, you can listen to the archived show (and download as a podcast) here.

As mentioned, there will be no Cult of Gracie Radio on May 7th, as I will be on vacation; I recommend giving a listen to SWOP East's XBN.

*Disclosure Note: Gracie Passette is an editor with Ephemera Bound.

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You Know You're A Woman When...

Via Amber Rhea, two excellent reads:

Rape Is Trivial, And Other Ways Women Are Non-News: "It’s very easy to trivialize discriminatory attitudes against women’s sexuality, because who cares about your right to screw around while people are dying!"

Mint Jelly on the Pöpemöbile ~ which is a fun to say/read, but rather misleading... Here's an excerpt: "Unless you’re a female you just don’t get the experience of catcalls and “playful” followers and hard-held stares."

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Corporate Johnson, You're In The Middle Of An Unjust War... What Are You Going To Do Now?

According to ThinkProgress, Baghdad is to get a ‘Disneyland’ style amusement park:
At the cost of nearly $500 million, a Los Angeles-based company is “developing the Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience, a massive American-style amusement park that will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum.” The park “is being designed by the firm that developed Disneyland.”
In short, the plans include nearly everything hated about the west.

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The Trouble With Comparative Religion Studies

You get some of the details wrong.

You know the Bible 65%!

Congratulations! You know a lot about the Bible - the books, the characters, the events. You are able to remember a lot of what you have heard and read!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

If God is in the details... I could be screwed.

Divinity may be in some details; but I believe name & date details are less important than lesson, purpose, cultural setting & motivation... But that's just me.

Now it's up to my death and The Big Reveal to show what sort of god, if anything, awaits me.

Quiz via Bunny.

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Father Felony Joins The Cult of Gracie

Radio, that is. *wink*

Tonight on Cult of Gracie Radio:

Randall Radic, also known as 'Father Felony' or 'Daddy Radic,' is the Ripon, CA pastor who pleaded guilty to embezzlement after he sold the First Congregational Church without the knowledge of his congregation.
About Randall: His recently released memoir, The Sound Of Meat (published by Ephemera Bound*) covers his earlier life as a professional swim coach and priest, including his eight fiancees & two wives. "I used to try and save souls without ever examining my own," says Radic. Now, with this memoir, he puts pen to his mission, voice to his sin, sadism to his redemption.
Just click here & press the orange button to listen live!

Call in at (347) 838-8467

Can't be there live? Watch the blog for post-show info and downloads!

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Quote For Today

Wisdom from Gloria Brame:
Consider this irony: as a sex-worker, you don't just hear about vigilant anti-sex prosecutors and family-values-touting pastors -- you suck their cocks.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Abolition And "Saving" Of Sex Workers

The well-intentioned, misinformed, and even the righteous haters all proclaim to save us ~ sex workers and society itself ~ from the sin and abuses of sex work.

On one hand, there are the myths which blame the sex worker for taking ~ nay, making society run this path to ruin. Like the cliched woman who seduces a man away from his family & home, sex workers force uninterested citizens to fornicate. It would be silly if they weren't so loud & insistent in their claims to condemn the lives and livelihoods of those involved. The mere notion that "a sex worker is out there, somewhere" does not induce partaking of her services, nor even having sex in general.

It's the continual misrepresentation of the facts of sex work and the sex industry which perpetuate gross myths.

Just one of which is the matter of rape.

And as Jill and I discussed during my last XBN interview, the claims that sex workers cause & teach men to rape is ridiculous. It's frightening that such out-right lies (and they are out-right lies, not supported by any facts, studies or findings because rape has nothing to do with sex) are still touted as truth.

On the other hand, there's the myth that all sex workers are to be saved from their situations. Some sex workers are victims of trafficking; but that's not all of them. As discussed, some sex workers have drug issues; this can be found in any industry or occupation. And some sex workers have abuse in their pasts. As Jill and I also discussed in my last interview, abuse knows no limits ~ no economic limits, no professional limits. Like drugs, abuse cuts along all layers of society.

The stereotype that "all sex workers are," or have been abused, physically or otherwise, only further stigmatizes and victimizes survivors of abuse. It forces them to remain quiet on the issue; or, for those who admit such things (and by virtue of standing up, become the tallest nail to receive the hardest pounding), it adds to their past pain of reliving via telling the tale (again & again) as well as (and this is what kills me) acts as if the abuse victim had ability to make the choice to become a sex worker.

Now, you may think this sort of well-intentioned absolution is kind, but it's not. This thinking wipes away any notion that the survivor has any ability to think for herself, to evaluate and make choices. It's as if the abuse has now retarded, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, the victim, reducing her to nothing more than an unthinking, unresponsive statistic. How insulting. It would be insulting enough for anyone, but for a person who has survived and overcome? It's horrific.

This proves the need for more sex worker media. And the need for mainstream media to actually interview actual sex workers, in many areas of the industry, in order to begin to glimpse the magnificent differences and the honest realities in our profession. Free speech is supposed to protect all speech, even if it's on taboo topics; and one presumes that those viewing media want the real story.

Since the US is a nation of gluttons, who, feel both entitled to excess as well as duty bound to create laws which will protect them from themselves, the debates on "society" and "culture" should continue.

Even if I believe that we must first become a better parent to our children, monitoring, modeling, and then mentoring them on their way to becoming both educated consumers and tolerant of others, even to the inclusion of the rights of others to participate in things feared to result in damned souls. (Isn't that what god is for, to decide in the end?)

So, leave the judgements of things which do not harm another to your individual deity, please. Laws are to protect us in this world; the afterworld, should you believe there is one, may be what you live your life for, but souls are not what we legislate for or against.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

High-Five Fridays #15

#1 I could just make this week's high-fives all about me and the lovely ladies (that I know of) who helped promote the first Cult of Gracie Radio show, but then I'd be out of fives for the week, and after skipping last week's, I'm behind enough in passing along the positive links... So, I'll cheat a bit here and thank them all in #1 here: Ms. Angela (who also sent me a wonderful card celebrating the event ~ how utterlly charming is she?!), A Slip of a Girl (who also posted a too kind review), Secondhand Rose, Silent Porn Star, and Trailer Trash Angel. (I think that's everyone; if I missed anyone, please let me know!)

#2 I haven't officially met Ren, of Renegade Evolution, yet; but now that I'm officially part of SWOP East I hope to soon. Meanwhile, a high-five to Ren for just being Ren.

#3 Speaking of Ren, at first glance you might think "It's. Not. About. You." is all about Ren. But then you'd be missing the real point.

#4 Of Happy Madmen & Radio gives me pause... On one hand, it's actually amusing to read ~ who doesn't like to mock the idiocracy of yesteryear? On the other hand, have we come a long way in furthering our understanding and treatment of the mentally ill?

#5 Lina's classic post, Why Christianity hates sex (possibly), deserves a high-five ~ even if it's a bit belated.

Find out how to give your High-Five Fridays here!

The purpose of this meme is to give high-fives to 5 people, posts, blogs and/or websites you've admired during the week. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 5 high-fives on Friday. Trackbacks, pings, linky widgets, comment links accepted!

Visiting fellow High-Fivers is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your High-Fives in others comments (please note if NWS).

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pink & Blue Gender Study Via Children's Consumption

Only two more days to see the The Pink & Blue Project in New York:

One would be mistaken to assume The Pink and Blue Project is frothy or light. Analysis of the images provokes conversation sensitive to issues in modern society that resonate on consumerism as well as how we define femininity and masculinity. Yoon scrutinizes the adage “pink for a girl, blue for a boy” as an examination of gender specific colors and how a modicum can cross-culturally imbed itself in buying patterns and identities.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cult of Gracie Radio with Dr. Jane Vargas Post-Show Notes

The very first Cult of Gracie Radio show aired tonight ~ and erred tonight. There were a few mishaps, including my botching the name of the show, but what the heck, I'm human & this was new. However, I had a blast. And that was due in no small part to my guest, Dr. Jane Vargas, who did a fabulous job of talking fetish, tease, & sexuality, with a special focus on cross dressing.

As promised, here are links to the sites/persons mentioned in tonight's show, Cult of Gracie Radio with Dr. Jane Vargas:

Jane Vargas can be found at, X-traordinary Talk, and

The painting she mentioned, The Swing, is by Jean-Honore Fragonard and you can find out more about it here.

Caller Ross is the owner of

Secondhand Rose, the PSO who had emailed me a question regarding the connection between tease and cross dressing, can be found here.

A super big "Thank you!" to Jane Vargas for being the very first guest on Cult of Gracie Radio. Jane and I had met several years ago in her Yahoo group, while she was still working on her doctorate, and that's when I became an admirer. And we have a few friends in common, so I knew I'd like her. But after tonight, I must say I adore her.

I'd also like to thank the callers, the boys in chat, and my man, CR/LF, who assisted in chat. (Sorry I could only read chat; we'll see if we can get that issue fixed next time.)

If you missed the show, you can still listen to and download it here.

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The Right To Control Our Own Image

A Slip of a Girl discusses Body Image 2.0 as more than our parts; a response to an article in the May issue of Fitness magazine:
And it's difficult to decide which is more liberating: Controlling the media, the message, or our very own bodies.

Now more than ever we have the ability to exercise something which should be our right -- the right to control our bodies in voice and deed, to decide what should be said about ourselves, to say what it is that we are really thinking and feeling, and to show what we wish.

Blogging and self-publishing allows us to take those previously intimate conversations, such as kitchen table coffee clutches and those rants shared over a bottle (or two) of wine, and share them with so many more people.

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BlogTalkRadio Show Tip

A reminder about my first Cult of Gracie Radio show at 9 p.m. (central) today, with Dr. Jane Vargas.

Along with listening and calling, there is also a chat. To participate in chat you'll need to register (free and relatively painless, I assure you).

As a registered user, you'll want to opt to see & search for listings in the mature & adult only shows. To do so, simply set permission in your profile by checking "Disabled" in the safe search setting, which is located in the "My Options" section of your "Settings" page (shown below).

I hope to "hear" you there!

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Monday, April 21, 2008

"The Reign of Error"

Classic, vintage misogyny via Silent Porn Star:

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Cult of Gracie Radio

Cult of Gracie Radio launches Wednesday, April 23, and (other than the first week in May, for my much deserved vacation) will air Wednesday evenings at 9 p.m. (central time). All shows are live and you can call in ~ so who knows what will happen?

Here's the show calendar:

April 23 Dr. Jane Vargas, a PhD in human sexuality & expert in tease and fetish, talks cross dressing.
About Jane: After dating a fetishist, she started X-traordinary Talk as a hobby. It grew very quickly and she quit her job as a magazine editor to grow the business which is now nearly 15 years old. She earned her PhD in 2002, with a dissertation on the sexual expression of tease (as distinct from flirtation and seduction) and how tease has manifested in artwork thru the ages. All while raising two strong, feminist daughters.
Update: Dr. Jane Vargas Post-Show Notes here.

April 30 Randall Radic, also known as 'Father Felony' or 'Daddy Radic,' is the Ripon, CA pastor who pleaded guilty to embezzlement after he sold the First Congregational Church without the knowledge of his congregation.
About Randall: His recently released memoir, The Sound Of Meat (published by Ephemera Bound*) covers his earlier life as a professional swim coach and priest, including his eight fiancees & two wives. "I used to try and save souls without ever examining my own," says Radic. Now, with this memoir, he puts pen to his mission, voice to his sin, sadism to his redemption.
Update: Randall Radic Post-Show Notes here.

Update: Note shows after my vacation will run on XBN.

May 14 Dr. Susan Block, sex educator, cable TV host and author, discusses what we can learn from bonobos.
About Suzy: A familiar face on HBO's late-night programming through her #1 Nielsen-rated specials, Radio Sex TV with Dr. Susan Block as well as her episodes on Real Sex, she's not only an educated sexologist, but a hot chick with a grand sense of humor to boot.
Listen to the show live here.

May 21st Call In With Gracie Passette

Ask me anything, or hear me ramble about issues that matter to me. *wink*
About Gracie: If you don't know me, check out my bio & keep reading the blog.
Listen to the show live here.

UPDATE: There's been a change in the line-up. Tonight at 9 p.m. (central) Cult of Gracie on XXBN will have as guests DJ Ashba and James Michael from the band SIXX:A.M. See more info here.

May 28th Amanda Brooks, a retired escort (and former stripper) and author of The Internet Escort's Handbook series.
About Amanda: Amanda is also an activist, serving as a board member of SWOP-East and, as a board member of Desiree Alliance, writer at Bound, Not Gagged.
Listen to the show live here.

June 4th Searah Deysach, owner of Early to Bed & maker of lesbian porn films.
About Searah: Frustrated with the lame sex toy scene in her hometown, Searah Deysach, with help from her friends and family, opened Chicago’s first woman-owned sex shop Early to Bed in 2001. Now Searah spends her days spreading the good word about sex positively and the joys of masturbation through her store, writings and a busy schedule of talks at colleges and community groups. She is also the sex columnist for (the now defunct) Punk Planet Magazine and the online community She lives in Chicago with her girlfriend and their bunny.
Listen live here.

June 18 Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc, award winning author of Horror Sinisteria, with titles published at Ephemera Bound*.
About Andrea: Called “One of the most unique and twisted authors of our generation,” Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc is a best selling, three-time award winning author of Horror Sinisteria. From ghosts to the paranormal, from the Occult to pirates, Andrea can write it, write it well and keep her fans and critics begging for more. A force of nature, Andrea has blazed a path through a genre most often dominated by men. She is routinely sought out for appearances at everything from private functions to public venues to conventions, where she appears as a celebrity guest.
June 25 Jack Hafferkamp, of Libido magazine and Libido films.
About Jack: From 1988 to 2000 Jack Hafferkamp published/edited Libido: The Journal of Sex and Sensibility with Marianna Beck. Since then he has operated Libido Films, which specializes in gender-equal explicit erotica. Libido films have been honored at the annual Erotic Awards in London and featured at New York's Cinekink festival. Jack holds a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, specializing in Erotology, which is the material culture of sex.
Confirmed guests, with dates not yet scheduled:

J. Eric Miller, author of Decomposition & Animal Rights & Pornography.

Jennifer Epstein, author of The Painter from Shanghai, a novel based on the life of Chinese prostitute-turned-post-Impressionist Pan Yuliang, who stunned China and much of the West in the 20's and 30's by defiantly painting herself in the nude, even though it went against pretty much every Confucian ethic of the time.

Dr. Gloria Brame, a licensed clinical sexologist and leading international authority on BDSM and fetish sex.

*Disclosure Note: Gracie Passette is an editor with Ephemera Bound.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Domestic Violence History Lessons

In Wife-beating in Ancient Rome, Joy Connolly, professor in the Department of Classics at New York University and author of The State of Speech: Rhetoric and Political Thought in Ancient Rome, explores the issue of domestic violence and more.
Uncountable by any statistic was the abuse that might be dealt out by a violent husband. As in modern times until very recently, wife-beating was not much talked of by classical writers beyond the odd aside, as when Augustine in his Confessions recollects the bruises he saw as a child marking the faces of his mother’s friends, or when Herodotus and Suetonius report that the Corinthian tyrant Periander and the Emperor Nero beat their pregnant wives to death. Plutarch hints at the frequency of abuse in his Roman Questions, a quirky study of Roman religion and customs, when he wonders why Romans avoid marrying close relatives. He suggests three reasons: Roman men may seek to expand their influence by marrying into different families; they may fear that domestic over-familiarity breeds contempt; or they might prefer an exogamic system where sisters and daughters, should they suffer abuse, could seek help from male kin unrelated (thus under no obligation) to the abuser. The Greek preference for endogamy, Plutarch implies, caught women in a familial trap from which there was no easy escape.
One, or at least this one, cannot help but wonder if these are the very same reasons for the "moral" dictate given for marriage laws. Science has proven that marriage and its breeding practices are not harmed by offspring between cousins, for example, so there's no reason for those without knowledge of genetics to even think of such problems. (See also.) In fact, there is quite a bunch of historical documentation of such marriages, and there seems to be evidence that favors such family ties:
One of the basic laws of modern evolutionary science, quantified by the great Oxford biologist William D. Hamilton in 1964 under the name "kin selection," is that the more close the genetic relationship between two people, the more likely they are to feel loyalty and altruism toward each other. Natural selection has molded us not just to try to propagate our own genes, but to help our relatives, who possess copies of some of our specific genes, to propagate their own.
So, it stands to reason that the notion of forbidden familial marriages has more to do with something else... Perhaps it is even more horrible than the notion, expressed in Forbidden Relatives: The American Myth of Cousin Marriage, that "the U.S. prohibition against such unions originated largely because of the belief that it would promote more rapid assimilation of immigrants".

Maybe, it has more to do with the ability to control ~ and even abuse ~ women.

It certainly is a common step for abusers today to isolate their victim from friends and even their own families.

But let's get back to Connolly's article.

Using Sarah B. Pomeroy's The Murder of Regilla: A case of domestic violence in antiquity, and Caroline Vout's Power and Eroticism in Imperial Rome, Connolly brings up one historical case study, if you will, and the practical matter of interpretation from our current cultural vantage point.

The case study, of sorts, in our historical lesson on the acceptance of domestic violence is the story of Appia Annia Regilla Atilia Caucidia Tertulla.

A Roman woman born into a powerful family closely linked to the Antonine dynasty, Regilla married "far outside her family, to the celebrated Greek politician and orator Herodes Atticus". Regilla died in her mid-thirties, eight months pregnant with her sixth child ~ punched or kicked in the belly by a freedman acting on orders from her husband. Regilla's brother, Braduas, brought Herodes, Regilla's husband, up on a murder charge, "but the absence of witnesses, Herodes’s insistence that he had not intended his freedman to administer such a violent beating, and his extraordinary public expressions of grief (including the dedication of the Acropolis Odeon to his dead wife) got him off."

Connolly takes issue with Pomeroy's work, saying, "Pomeroy’s reconstruction of Regilla's life, especially her education and her relationship with her husband, seizes most of many opportunities to cast the Roman matron as a victim."

I cannot fully agree. How else would you paint a woman (and her unborn child) who were murdered? "Victim" seems apt here.

However, there is, if not a twist, then at least a point to consider...

Enter Vout, whose work poses the question of our ability to "ever be able to understand the degree to which sexuality is a 'locally constructed' or a transcendent, 'trans-historical experience of Eros'". This begs the question: Is the story of Regilla's murder even true?

I must read the books in order to be close to the answer; and thanks to Connolly, I'm too intrigued not to. The wish list & reading pile grows...

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Collective Adoration of Earl Kemp

SPS, Silent Porn Star, sent me an excited email when she began her interview with Earl Kemp, saying, "He's rapidly making the short list for who I'd like to be stuck on the deserted island with." After reading the first few parts, I'm inclined to wrestle her for that honor.

Kemp, you should know, is the hetero "Godfather of gay publishing" who served just over 3 months in prison for distributing obscenity. You can find out more, of course, by reading the interview series:

Here's the Introduction, Kemp on science fiction, and, perhaps my favorite (so far), Kemp on censorship and politics.

As SPS said, here, there are many reasons for The Collective Adoration Of Earl Kemp:
As for the other reasons to form an Earl Kemp Mutual Admiration Society, I think they all lead back to passion. Certainly there was a passion behind standing up for Big Beliefs -- 10 years of government stalking gave you plenty of time to reconsider the personal cost. But there also is a passion for writing, the sf genre and the community. No one can describe Earl Kemp as apathetic. Even while you mock & paint yourself as the tired man of so many years, here you are.

In an age of apathy, what's not to admire about Earl Kemp.

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On XBN Again

Friday, April 11, 2008

High-Five Fridays #13

1) Free books at Ephemera Bound ~ buy one for you, get one for your mom for Mothers Day. Applicable to any book purchased on the site by April 18, 2008. (Note: I this is my publisher, so I am biased; but free books are always a good deal.)

2) Cogitamus is new to me, but so far, I'm interested in what I read... Perhaps a sidebar link lurks in the future.

3) Motherhood Metamorphosis: Where else can you read about the magic of nature, the pragmatics of life with special needs kids, and spend an evening at Auspie Improv?

4) My girl Slippity-Do-Da (of A Slip of a Girl fame) tells us of the The Pink & Blue Project at her "secret" blog, A Tad Too Much Tan For Taupe.

5) A rare personal post from SPS (Silent Porn Star). In Of Art Nouveau & Sublime Curves she writes about one of the every day joys of being female:
In all honesty, I've put off posting this for quite some time as I'm beginning to think (fear) that all roads lead back to Girlie Town. That somehow, in my mind, there's nothing really to point to other than a romanticism of the classic female variety, for which I feel on the defensive -- as if admitting my gender, created in no small part by (and also in spite of) our pervasive & insidious culture, is some how a fault, a flaw which will haunt me... rendering any past and all future posts to simply the opinions of a girl.

While I cannot be other than what I am (even if in my entitled position of "being in process"), there's something about being stamped A Girl which undermines credibility.

The purpose of this meme is to give high-fives to 5 people, posts, blogs and/or websites you've admired during the week. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 5 high-fives on Friday. Trackbacks, pings, linky widgets, comment links accepted!

Visiting fellow High-Fivers is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your High-Fives in others comments (please note if NWS).

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Let Us Eat Cake

From the March (2008) issue of Esquire, What I've Learned: Roseanne:

Men are very fragile.

Everything is a government conspiracy.

If you think you're getting bad love, that means you're giving it, too.

Self-esteem is the goddamn root of all evil.

Those who can't do, teach. And, as Woody Allen says, those who can't teach, teach gym. And, as I say, those who can't teach gym become experts. That's who we look to for answers these days -- the biggest friggin' idiots in the world. People who have never had kids telling you how to raise yours. Gay people telling you how to make your marriage work. Men telling women how to raise their self-esteem. The only thing that cures everything is talking to people who have the same problem you do. The rest is just a moneymaking bullshit scheme that some asshole is getting rich on.

One of my missions on earth is to tell people how full of shit they are.

I'm from the streets, but I'm also very gracious. They always leave that part out.

I used to think that people liked you if you told the truth.

Women love to lose themselves in effect. Men love to lose themselves in cause.

When you grow up Jewish, your parents are always telling you, Nobody's better than you. Then, usually when you're about sixteen, they start telling you that you're no better than anybody else. That's the whole thing about being Jewish: It's too hot, but it's too cold. You don't want your kids to be certain of anything. If you're certain of anything, that's when you get into trouble. That's the lesson of the Jews.

You have to participate in a marriage. That was news to me.

Husbands are like children: You gotta be very consistent with setting limits.

The hardest thing I ever learned about being a wife was that I'm not the husband.

The wife is the one who serves. But she is also the one who rules. It's weird, because you have to stay humble and be strong all at the same time. The husband? He serves, too, only in a different way. And he protects. Just like the LAPD.

The object of business is to keep your buddies working, even if they're fuckin' idiots.

Nobody ever gets back to you. Nobody ever completes anything. Everything always costs ten times more than estimated.

I realized very early in my life that the rest of the world marched to the beat of a different drummer than I did. But I felt sorry for them. I thought I was the only one who was right. And I think that's what probably saved my life -- being that deluded.

Fame makes you a target, but it also allows you to put your ethics into play.

You can't refute comedy. It's a physical response in the body and in the mind. It comes and it snatches you up and it makes you dance.

I'm way funnier in the morning.

Our world today is all about things rather than ideas. It's vanquishment by enticement.

The good life is free.

Nobody repays any debts in Hollywood. Until you're dead. Then they give you the Thalberg Award.

You're as sick as your secrets.

Del Taco has the best fast food. Wendy's has the best fries. I don't like McDonald's anymore; it's just cardboard. Burger King at least has mayonnaise. Taco Bell is great, 'cause you can't eat Del Taco every time.

Diets are the root of all evil. They are the reason everyone is fat.

If you ask me, I'm gonna tell you.

I hate sex. I'm done with it. I tell my husband he should go have sex with other people, but he never does. I don't know why. Probably because I told him to. Whatever you tell men, they always do the opposite. The trick is to tell them they should cheat on you, and then don't have sex with them, either. Then you have a happy marriage. You stop having sex and just hang out and eat and watch TV.

Women's problem with sex is simple: We don't like having sex with someone we know too well.

Inner peace means inner silence.

I'm tired of asking anymore. I'm just doing.

Is there anyone more wonderful than Roseanne? I've always had a girlie crush on her; but when she had Mary Daly on her talk show, I fell in love. But hard.

I don't agree with every damn thing they "say", but then I don't think they'd want me to. Neither wants zombie followers.

If they did, I'd be less of an admirer.

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Masks To Unmask

Evan Bryner, a 22-year-old Anonymous member who has become a grassroots leader in the group, is apparently shown here in a photo taken at a March 5th Project Chanology demonstration. According to ASU Web Devil's Christina Caldwell:
Bryner insists his personal problem with Scientology is not with the Scientologists themselves, but with the thought that a follower of Scientology has to pay to learn more about the church doctrine and its stories, he says.

"If someone wants to be a Scientologist, I have no problem with that," Bryner says. "Freedom of religion is a guarantee in this country — as long as Scientology is seen as a religion. If there's one day that it's not, then they lose that freedom."

Losing the status of "religion" in the eyes of the IRS is Anonymous' ultimate goal in taking on Scientology. Currently, Scientology is recognized as a religion and a nonprofit organization, therefore the church does not have to pay taxes.

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Blind To Misogyny

I love my partner, CR/LF. But he's a man.

For the past five years, we've agreed on most things political, including elections, and enjoyed debating ~ both others and one another the few times we've disagreed. But this year it's a struggle.

He's decidedly Barack; I'm decidedly Hillary. While I'm really, really certain neither of us is so invested in "our candidate" that should the other win the Dem's nod we'd not be so stupid as to shoot ourselves & our country in the foot by voting anything but the Democratic ticket, just talking about the election this year is difficult.

Primarily, my belief in Hillary is because she's put more concrete information out-there about her ideas, her platform, her direction, than Barack has. Sure, "Hope" and "Our Moment Is Now" are magnificent concepts. But being president requires action, our country needs a framework, and I as a voter need more than a simple philosophy, however grand, to convince me that he can do what needs to be done.

Pragmatic issues aside (which is such an odd expression to use when discussion a presidential election, that I'm tempted to backspace it all...), the past few months have really set the bit between this horse's teeth. And the fundamental reason for that is the gender judging ~ and let's face it, bashing ~ that Hillary is enduring.

And that's something CR/LF is reluctant to discuss.

As smart, sensitive and educated as this good man is, he still has difficulty really understanding the female experience. That's how insidious misogyny is in our culture; men just can't see it. And when it's pointed out, it makes them uncomfortable & defensive. "Hey, not all men say/think/do that... I don't!"

As if that's what I am saying when I point out the crap; as if I am blaming him personally.

Then there's the, "If it's not everyone, then don't worry about it," and the looks that say, "Oh, gawd, there she goes again..." as if I'm "one of those foaming at the mouth feminists" because I won't just sit there silently and take it.

Sure, lots of this can (& does) apply to the issue of race. But there's one big difference with this argument in this election year...

While folks are freely dishing about Hillary's clothes, faulting her for her "female traits" & "feminine wiles" (such as her tears), and equally mocking her for being a "robot" or "monster" when she doesn't display enough of what they perceive to be "feminine traits"; no one is applying such stupid stereotypes, on such a scale, regarding Barack's race.

Has film footage of Barack eating watermelon & fried chicken been discussed (ad nauseam) as "real" or a "campaign ploy"? No one at the news networks would find it acceptable to discuss his demeanor in terms of a "song and dance man" or some other stupid, racist historical role which blacks have been forced to play. No one is allowed to couch Barack's set-backs in terms of "being lynched" by his opponent.

No one would stand for such horrid stereotypes when it comes to race ~ and the few times idiots have gone too close, they've been slapped down. Thankfully we won't tolerate such ignorance and malice when it comes to race.

But it's apparently fine to talk about Hillary in terms of her gender.

As the video shows, it's just dandy to paint Hillary as just another uppity breeder who needs to be put in her place.

It still is just fine to denigrate, belittle & mock based on gender. And as the gender so disparaged and limited, I'm enraged.

Enraged enough to vote my gender ~ even more than before.

And if CR/LF doesn't agree, doesn't want to vote for Hillary for other reasons, that's fine; but he's darn well better start to see what's going on.

Because this misogyny-blindness is making me want to poke people's eyes out.

(Link to video found via Amber Rhea, who found it at Random Babble, etc. etc.)

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Of Humor and Spirituality, Historically Speaking

From Ancient Humor: Raunch, Riddles and Religion, by Jennifer Viegas at Discovery News:
Lost in Translation

The link between spirituality and humor may extend to the Bible, but much of the book's sarcasm, irony and wordplay was lost when it was translated into Latin and other languages, according to Brooklyn College's Hershey Friedman, who published related findings in the journal Humor.

"Translating Hebrew into English results in the loss of the imagery and wordplays of the Hebrew," he told Discovery News.

One of Friedman's favorite passages is the "Book of Jonah," which, in the Jewish faith, is read each year on Yom Kippur. Jonah becomes such a successful prophet that people repent, fast and dress according to his guidance. "Even the animals fast," Friedman said.

He explained that Jonah was meant to be a parody for readers.

"In effect, God is saying, 'I sent the worst prophet I could find (Jonah) to the Assyrians, and he did not have to say very much, and they all repented. I sent numerous articulate prophets to the Israelites and they did not wish to change their idolatrous ways."

"There is humor here, but the humor is used to deliver a very potent message," he added. "The humor in the Bible has a purpose. It is used to mock the idolater and the wicked."
Now, if only they could tell me that all the "begatting" was at one time sexy smut too.

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Sex Worker Rights Broadcast Network Interview

I'm going to be on XBN: Sex Worker Rights Broadcast Network, on Saturday, April 5th at 9 p.m. (central). XBN is a SWOP East Media Project, and I'm really proud to be asked by Jill.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Today's Pop Culture Misogyny Report

Before I show you today's shout-out against misogyny, I must direct you back to last December where I had posted a complaint about the horrible BK ads in my Misogyny King post, where a very brave (not!) Anonymous said:
The king in Burger King is no more the symbol for masculinity than Dairy Queen is the symbol of femininity.

Your post only perpetuates misogyny, especially on the web, where it seems most rampant. IMO.
Pointing out misogyny doesn't perpetuate it ~ on the web or otherwise ~ unless you confuse "discussion" with "participation". They are two very different things, discussion and participation. Unlike areas of celebrity, where the problem of continuing to talk about them as if they matter while posting names and links to the latest sordid non-news, discussion of an issue isn't perpetuating it.

It's kind of like making a spouse put a quarter in the swear jar, or grounding a teen, or arresting a thief; you have to catch them in the act & point out what they are doing wrong. Maybe they know they are wrong, maybe they don't; but you just can't sit there because your silence is complacency.

In my mind, complacency perpetuates, not discussion; and it upsets me dearly. I'm not the only one. At Feministe, Zuzu speaks too:
Like I said in my earlier post, it's important to call out misogyny because misogyny hurts all women. Here's an example of misogyny hurting men -- because the ultimate put-down of a man is to equate him to a woman. If we fight the idea that being a woman is not something to be sneered at, we not only raise women, but we deprive bullies of one of the most powerful weapons in their arsenal against men.
Now that you're up to speed...

Today I point to another example of insidious misogyny. Found in Patton Oswalt's No Reason To Complain, a depiction of the apocalypse, where "volcanoes spew menstrual blood" ~ because there's nothing more terrifying than that woman's thing...

You know, even though science (and even several sex ed classes!) explains "the curse", the fact that we can "bleed for seven days and not die" is still most amazing. And "gross" too. And so, naturally, the apocalypse must be filled with it.

Before you send me the hate mail/comments, filled with the usual "feminists have no sense of humor", let me tell you that normally I enjoy Oswalt; but that line is just proof that misogyny still winds and worms its way about everywhere ~ it even lurks in my evening comedy.

And no, I'm not calling out for Oswalt's head on a stick; I just think folks need to sit and wonder why women, and in this case, menstruation is so frightening.

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