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Archive for the ‘Perception’ Category

Venereal disease was primarily an excuse to police women and reduce sexual opportunities for soldiers.  –  Eric Rogers

Bad Girls

Did they really think they’d get away with this?

An ex-Playboy model…has reportedly reached a plea deal despite maintaining her innocence in the [bludgeoning death of her sugar daddy]…California psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Burchard…[was] paying numerous bills [for]…Kelsey Turner…[to the tune of] over…$300,000…[yet] Judy Earp – the [victim’s conventional] girlfriend…[is in deep denial about] that…In March 2019, Burchard drove to Turner’s Las Vegas apartment – for which he had been paying the rent…[with the] inten[t] to break off the relationship…[then] on March 7, 2019, Burchard’s bludgeoned body was found stuffed in the trunk of [Turner’s Mercedes] near Lake Mead…Turner and her…boyfriend Jon “Logan” Kennison…[lived in the apartment with] Diana Pena…who pleaded guilty to being an accessory to murder in 2019…[and] testified that she witnessed Kennison viciously beat Burchard to death with a baseball bat…In June, Kennison pleaded guilty to second-degree murder with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit murder.  He was sentenced to between 18 and 45 years in prison…

License to Rape

“Search” is the most common government euphemism for “molest”:

Two Georgia women…were exposed to strangers…[during sexual molestation under the pretext of “]strip searches[“]…Dee Dee Estes [molested one]…woman…on the night of July 23, 2020…in plain view of the public after deputies [decid]ed [it would be fun to belch out the word]…drugs during a traffic stop.  “And she’s putting her fingers like inside me in the front, and then like up the backside of me”[besides penetrating the victim]’s private areas [without her consent, the rapist cop also forced] her [to] expose her breasts in front of male [pig]s and onlookers at a truck stop…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Extra-amusing given that Northern Ireland lives under the Swedish model:

A [cop was] arrested on suspicion of paying for sexual services [after his fellow cops ratted him out for] using his PSNI computer to contact escorts…His…identity is [being hidden by his superiors, unlike the identities of non-cops arrested for the same “crime”]…

The Face of Trafficking

Note that cases of actual coercion don’t look much like the myths:

Three [Louisiana] children were forced to bake and sell brownies by their stepfather[,] who…[also] sexually abus[ed] them and us[ed] violence, including waterboarding, to keep them working seven days a week…instead of going to school…for three years…Darnell Fulton…also…sexually abus[ed] the children and [apparently pimped] them to other[s]…Fulton…agreed to a 35-year prison term and to pay more than $700,000 to his victims…the…younge[st of whom]…was [under]…12…at…the…[time]He…us[ed] “violence, sexual abuse, withholding of food, degradation and intimidation” to [forc]e the children…[to] keep up with his daily sales quotas…the [abuse]…included…[forcing] them “get on their hands and knees on rice and stay in a push up or plank position for hours”…and…[beating] them with a belt [when they could no longer hold the position]…

Red Lamp

Modern military leaders like to pretend soldiers can be ordered to be asexual; those of a century ago tried to exploit soldiers’ frustrated libido:

The United States Government sought to sexually stimulate then frustrate its soldiers to prepare them for an unpopular conflict in Europe [by]…recruiting attractive canteen staff; inviting female civilians to closely supervised dances; disseminating alluring propaganda; pressurising troops to write to women back home; and detaining allegedly promiscuous women to prevent soldiers [“]wasting[“] energy…At the heart of this experiment was the Commission on Training Camp Activities (CTCA), a War Department-directed umbrella agency…[which] sought to control soldiers’ and women’s sex lives to prevent venereal infection and protect social morality in the US.  The CTCA has been portrayed as one of the last stands of an older generation of moral reformers against the onrush of a liberalizing sexual culture.  But Cambridge historian Eric Wycoff Rogers shows that the agency was far more interested in sexuality as a weapon…

The Cop Myth (#1052)

Cop cultists continue to deny reality no matter how much police violence and corruption is revealed:

…in 2020, Ricky Jones, a [typical and representative cop], jumped to his death from the Prince of Wales Bridge spanning the River Severn…He spent 26 years as a [violent thug for hire, so it’s no surprise]…he subjected his family to decades of domestic abuse.  After his death, Jones’s eldest daughter looked through his iPhone, hoping to get some insight into her father’s cruelty…WhatsApp and Facebook messages show Gwent police officers openly discussing the sexual harassment of junior female colleagues; racist, homophobic and misogynistic abuse; the leaking of sensitive police material; and corruption…Jones shared regular messages with his friend Clarke Joslyn, who [has a]…26 year…[history] of domineering, controlling and physically abusive behaviour…

The End of the Beginning (#1139) 

Let’s hope many more challenges to these medieval laws succeed:

…the state of Idaho [has] settled Doe v. Wasden, an ACLU lawsuit challenging enforcement of the state’s “Crime Against Nature” law.  The state required three men to register as sex offenders in Idaho for engaging in consensual oral and anal sex…The settlement…requires the state to remove the three men from the Idaho Sex Offender Registry and to create a policy for removing other individuals who may have similar claims…

 

I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

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Holy Moly

Study, schmuddy.  As a writer who didn’t start using cannabis until she was almost 50, I contest this interpretation of the data.  What cannabis does is to still the random neuron-firing which distracts a creator from focusing on creation, and the head-voices which cause self-doubt about the quality and/or direction of the work.  This does not necessarily “increase creativity” in those lacking sufficient introspection to question the quality of their own work, but it does increase creativity in those whose distractability or self-doubt creates a mental/emotional bottleneck in the creative process.  In other words, for those whose neuroatypicality or lack of confidence impairs creative productivity, cannabis (used properly) can provide the equivalent of a creative retreat, a mental space where someone who might be more creative if freed from distractions can flourish.  It’s not a Magic Wonder Weed from the Muses which will mystically plant art in the barren soil of unimaginative brains; it’s more akin to a cabin in the woods or a studio soundproofed against traffic noise.  This is not a new idea, nor one limited to cannabis; it’s what Hemingway was getting at when he advised us to “write drunk, edit sober”.  Inhibitions can harm the initial process of creation, but can actually be helpful in the finishing/polishing process.

I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

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[Qatar’s] Preventive Security Department…[are a kind of] unhinged mafia that go arresting people…just on the suspicion of them being gay.  –  Dr. Nasser Mohamed

Rough Trade

What kind of garbage uses attacks on women as an opportunity to belch out slurs against the victims?

[Cops claim they want] to find a man…[who is a] seri[al rapist of]…sex workers in the east Hollywood area…[yet their press release also calls the victims’ work] “human trafficking’…the [rapist pretends to be a client to]…lure…[women] into his vehicle…the[n]…drives to [a secluded] area…and [violently rapes them at gunpoint]…the man…may use the name Mainer or Maynor and has tattoos on both arms. Also, he has sometimes had an “M” shaved on the side of his head…He was described as 25-35 years old, about 5-feet-8 inches tall, with black hair and brown eyes…and…drives a newer-model, four-door sedan, possible a Honda, which is dark in color.  The vehicle may have tinted windows and a…spoiler…

Above the Law

The predictable result of giving violent, aggressive men power over women:

A [typical and representative porcine creature] pleaded guilty…to…a…civil rights [charge for a violent rape]…Rogeric Hankins…was working as a [thug assigned to transport human beings like animals from one cage to another]…when he and a[nother member of his gang]…picked up a[n innocent woman, not convicted of any crime,] in Olympia, Washington, to take her to…St. Paul, Minnesota, where a federal warrant for [enjoying herself in ways the rulers disapprove of] had been issued…[after] picking up and dropping off several male [prisoners] along the way…they stopped at a gas station in Joplin, [Missouri on April 3, 2020]…the woman was the only [prisoner] left…[so] Hankins [used a bath]room…[stop as an opportunity to drag] her into [a filthy] men’s room and [rape her orally and vaginally]…in…[a] stall…

As often happens, the government has chosen to hide this dangerous predator’s picture so other women won’t know what he looks like.

The Punitive Mindset (#829) 

The minds of federal prison bureaucrats are just as narrow and mean as those of state prison bureaucrats, and just as pointlessly cruel as those of screws:

…the federal Bureau of Prisons…bans D&D and other roleplaying games…[just as they] are widely banned in state prison systems under the dubious rationale that they present a security threat or encourage gang behavior…it…illustrate[s] how counterproductive and dumb prison book bans can be.  Of all the things you could be doing in prison, D&D is one of the better and less offensive ways to pass the time.  It’s social, encourages teamwork and empathy, and as one former incarcerated man told me, gives “the vilified an opportunity to be the ‘Good Guy’ that the world in which we live rarely does”…

Presumption of Guilt (#843)

There’s very little point in actually quoting any of this revolting concoction of badge-licking, police-state cheerleading, demonization of privacy, and frantic wanking to “sex trafficking” fantasies and other infantilizing filth.  It is exactly what it appears to be: more propaganda for the Establishment’s wet dream of total financial surveillance.  For decades now, authoritarians have tried to devise a way to sell the hordes of useful idiots on their schemes to completely eliminate cash or other anonymous financial transactions, so governments can monitor, control, and bleed revue from even the smallest exchange of value and even completely cripple the ability of “undesirables” to engage in any financial activity at all.  The only thing of interest here, beside the remarkable depravity of Forbes’ editorial position, is that the magazine has such a low opinion of its readers’ critical faculties that it’s willing to specifically demonize a service whose name clearly reveals what its creators intended it to be an online analog for: Cash.  And in so doing, it “says the quiet part loud”, as the young people put it.

Monsters (#847) 

All around the world, monsters claim the “right” to persecute and torture sexual minorities:

 Qatar’s laws criminalise LGBTQ people…and homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment and lashings under sharia law…LGBT…Qatari[s tell]…of entrapment using dating-apps — cat-fishing gay men and luring them into a honeytrap to arrest them.  Of violence, including torture, and gang rape [by cops].  Of imprisonment, solitary confinement, and deportations.  And of far-reaching online surveillance…that renders LGBT people fearing every connection to someone they do not already know…There is only one publicly out gay Qatari in the world: Dr Nasser Mohamed who…[now lives in] San Francisco…[and works] with Human Rights Watch…“Their biggest targets are feminine gay men and transgender woman,” he says.  “Because it’s visible.”  Even subtle indications of gender identity or sexuality can lead to arrest…[often via] fake dates [like American cops set up with sex workers they wish to entrap]…

The Widening Gyre (#1266)

Even though neither word appears in the article, it’s obvious this woman’s panic attack was rooted in the “fentanyl” and “sex trafficking” hysterias:

A Houston [woman scared herself into a panic attack and]…spent a night in the hospital…because [she believed internet scary tales about] a napkin [she found on] her car door…[because she had read the stories] she grabbed it with the tips of her long fingernails, threw it away and went back inside to wash her hands.  [But she was already obsessed with the idea that the napkin might contain Magic Sex Trafficking Insta-fentanyl, so she imagined]…a tingly sensation in her fingers…She [had an anxiety attack, feeling] like she couldn’t breathe and quickly became light-headed…Hysterical, the couple couldn’t “think straight,” she said, and struggled to find the nearest hospital…where she spent just over six hours as doctors checked her vitals and blood pressure, gave her an IV, took a urine sample and ran a CAT scan to determine if she was having a stroke.  [In typical moral-panicker fashion, she] took to Instagram the next day to warn women to be safe.  Her video went viral…[giv]ing her [the attention she so desperately craved]…and…alarm[ing] many [other] women, who labeled it a kidnapping attempt…

You Were Warned (#1266)

It’s a relief when courts choose to rule that the obviously-true is true:

Reddit cannot be sued for sex trafficking if it didn’t knowingly permit sex trafficking.  That’s the gist of a recent ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.  The case…was brought by [ambulance-chasers who claim that]…Reddit was not quick enough in [removing photos when informed the subjects were underage, and that]…this [somehow] made Reddit complicit in a sex trafficking venture.  In an October 24 decision, 9th Circuit justices disagreed…[due to] Section 230…FOSTA—carved out an exception to Section 230 for claims involving sex trafficking.  But no one was quite sure how wide that exception was…

 

I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

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This is basically true, but those guys were mostly not “incels”; they had the sense to occasionally avail themselves of the services of the local widow who provided attention at rates they could afford (in my home town, she was known as “Rose Marie” and everyone including the cops left her in peace).  This was done on their “night out” or when “going to town”.  Modern “incels” foolishly reject such services because they’ve infected each other with stupid prohibitionist notions, as cult members are wont to do.  Modern people are deeply in denial about how common sexwork has been throughout human history.  In the 19th century, nearly all men paid at least occasionally; even in 1948 Kinsey reported 70% of men had paid at least once.  The idea of sex work being a “crime”, pathology or abberation dates to the early 20th century, but didn’t become common in the general public until the ’80s; projecting these reality-denying modern notions back into history generates absurdities like the idea that men just voluntarily went without sex when it was available for a price they could at least occasionally afford.

 

I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so very much!

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Institutions writers could once count on to defend them…now race to see who can kowtow most obsequiously to the censor-morons.
–  “Censorship Ascendant

Until a few years ago, traditional top-down censorship was largely a thing of the past, something I wrote about annually at the beginning of Banned Books Week to remind people that it could happen again.  As recently as 2016, I used the occasion to write,

…top-down state censorship…is very rare now in the United States, and has been for decades; the majority of “challenges” now (despite the celebration’s name, it’s pretty rare that books are actually removed from public collections) originate not with state officials or other “authorities”, but with individuals seeking to “protect the children” from thoughts their parents don’t want them to have

Of course, none of that is true any longer.  Top-down censorship has returned with a vengeance, mostly implemented by fascist corporations acting on behalf of governments.  But in the US, politicians in many states have implemented traditional censorship in school libraries, even to the point of threatening librarians with criminal charges.  The “Thought Control” tag, which formerly appeared only once in a while, has had several entries a month since this new book-burning fad took off last November.  Meanwhile, the “cancel culture” censorship which has been growing for years has grown so pervasive that even the somewhat pro-censorship New York Times can no longer endorse it.  I’m honestly unsure where this will end; we’re well into uncharted territory my librarian self would’ve found unbelievable.  So if you haven’t been paying attention, I suggest you peruse the aforementioned “Thought Control” tag, and revisit the columns I’ve quoted from below.  Because there’s only one thing about this situation which is certain: like all authoritarianism, it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

We are watching the advent of a new dark age, and in such times no light is entirely safe from being snuffed out by zealots, speech-cops and bureaucrats whose ideal model for human society is the anthill.  –  “The Convergence of Censors

Every two-bit dictatorship has recognized that all it needs to do to justify thought control is parrot Western “hate speech” idiocy.  –  “The Return of the Censor

Though lily-livered fools have been demanding they be “protected” from ideas they don’t like for several years now, it’s terrifying how quickly this terrible idea has moved from the lunatic fringe to the mainstream.  –  “Suppression

[Many young adults] not only display an ovine passivity in the face of censorship, but actively run to the nanny-state to hide in her skirts lest they see or hear some idea or word, or see some image, that will cause some ripple in the placid lakes of their privileged lives and perhaps actually require them to think rather than merely consuming and regurgitating the dogma they’ve been spoon-fed.  –  “Unwise Monkeys

The censor-morons are loose, and they’re coming after everyone who dares to disagree with them.  –  “The Censor-Moron

It doesn’t matter whether the excuse is “sin” or “feelings”, or the injured party is conceived of as an individual or collective, or the suppression comes from above or below, or the method is violence or economics; the suppression of thought and speech is evil, tyrannical and socially self-lobotomizing.  –  “Moral Climate

Thinking people must not let themselves be intimidated by…self-appointed guardians of the public morality; we must speak out against all forms of censorship and speech suppression, whether advanced by guns, threats, intimidation or appeals to nebulous “harm”.  –  “Censor Chic

The belief that the state or collective has the right to [censor] is an abomination; it is nothing less than the dogma that the state owns every individual, body and soul, and has the right to torture or maim those individuals as it pleases.  –  “Crippling Thought

The important thing to remember when listening to any demand for censorship is that no matter what excuse the censor presents to attain his goal, he is ultimately lying.  It’s not really about “public safety”, or the “children”, or “community standards”, or whatever else he may claim; it’s about the fact that his leaky mind is unable to keep unwelcome thoughts out, so he demands that society do it for him.  –  “Thought Control

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The Best Option

I recently received a letter from a new reader which, among other things, asked why I became a sex worker, and volunteered a number of suggested motives, none of which (other than “Was it the money?”) made much sense to me.  This was my reply.

Everyone has to have money to live, and unlike square jobs, escorting involves neither bosses, nor licenses, nor “permits”, nor piss tests, nor arbitrary rules, nor uniforms, nor “zoning”, nor “reporting” to anyone, nor having to ask permission to be sick (or to run errands during the day), nor creepy surveillance of my personal life, nor the government stealing a big chunk of my income before I even see it and then forcing me to ask for some of it back, nor any of the myriad other oppressions or indignities most people just accept as the cost of material existence.  Sex work is much more lucrative per unit time than any other honest work requiring no degree, certificate, or title of nobility, and its flexibility is almost unparalleled even in comparison with other modes of self-employment.  In short, I chose sex work because it allows me to live my life with the minimum amount of interruption and distraction from what I actually want to do, and you’ll find that’s a pretty common theme running through the lives of the great majority of us.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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The Nuclear Option

Why are people who chose 20th-century-style US nuclear families (which aren’t the same as traditional extended families by a long shot) so very certain that other lifestyles lose meaning after 40?  I am in my late 50s and still have so many things to do I will never get to them all before I cross the river.  Lest some of you claim I’m an anomaly: most of my friends are age-peers or thereabouts, many are childless by choice, and I don’t see any meaningful difference in life-satisfaction levels between those who have kids and those who don’t.  Honestly, these people remind me of the dudes who believe that 30 is a “wall” after which women instantly lose all sexual attractiveness.  And frankly, both types seem like they’re trying to convince themselves that their preferences are the only “correct” ones.  Furthermore, even if you’re a person who hates living alone, it’s possible to form partner bonds with people you’re not boinking, and if you really feel the need to care for some else who needs the help, you could choose to commit to caring for a dependent parent or other relative, or a friend who isn’t biologically related.  There’s nothing wrong with choosing to have kids, if you feel you want to.  But if you have them as a kind of insurance policy against boredom in later adulthood, you’re having them for the wrong (and very selfish) reasons.

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Every member of a sexual minority with half a brain already knows that people tend to lie about their beliefs and opinions in order to go along with the crowd; it’s why so many politicians publicly persecute sexual behavior (including paying sex workers, having sex with other men, and watching porn) that they themselves indulge in.  The behavior is so typical, in fact, that I’ve formulated what I call McNeill’s Law: “The more any man crusades against a particular sex act, the more likely he is to be a practitioner.”  This is why polls and surveys of sexual behavior and attitudes, including the much-vaunted General Social Survey, are so notoriously unreliable:

…as I’ve written on multiple occasions, the GSS is conducted face to face and is a terrible source for any sexual data (such as “have you ever paid for sex?“) because people simply lie about sexual questions.  These surveys don’t find anything about what people are actually doing sexually; what they measure is people’s relative comfort with the question, which is a horse of a different color…

So this recent article in Reason didn’t surprise me in the slightest:

…”Social pressure to have the ‘right’ opinion is pervasive in America today,” notes Populace, a social-research organization, in a report published this summer.  “In recent years, polls have consistently found that most Americans, across all demographics, feel they cannot share their honest opinions in public for fear of offending others or incurring retribution…One important, but underappreciated, consequence of a culture of censorship is that it can lead individuals not only to self-silence, but also publicly misrepresent their own private views (what scholars call preference falsification)”…

A few examples from the article:

…Whereas 59 percent of Americans publicly agree that wearing a mask was an effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19, only 47 percent privately hold that view…

…74 percent…privately think parents should have more influence over public school curriculums, but only 48 percent are willing to say so publicly…while in public a majority (60 percent) say discussing gender identity in public schools is inappropriate for young children (K-3), in private this is not the majority view (only 40 percent privately agree)…

…44 percent of Democrats publicly insist corporate CEOs should take stands on controversial issues, but only 11 percent believe that in private…

…In public, 39 percent of Asian-Americans say the U.S. should completely phase out use of fossil fuels, but only 13 percent privately agree…

…A 64 percent majority of Republicans publicly favored overturning Roe v. Wade, but only 51 percent agree in private…

…A 61 percent majority of political independents publicly say that whether someone is a man or woman is determined by their sex at birth, but 45 percent really believe that…

…42 percent of those 18-29 years old privately believe racism is built into the economy, government, and educational system, although 65 percent say that in public…

In sometimes contradictory ways, Americans are misrepresenting what they actually believe to endorse views they don’t really hold…

I don’t really have a concluding statement on this, because it simply provides supporting evidence for something I’ve always assumed.  Except maybe, “Most people are moral cowards; proceed accordingly.”

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I finally figured out why I haven’t started a Substack or otherwise paywalled my writing: it’s a conflict between my whore ethics and my librarian ethics, and the librarian ethics are winning.  It’s no secret that I find paywalls distateful; their existence is one of the reasons most of the links on my blog are now archived versions of the originals (because archive sites circumvent about 95% of paywalls).  I’m not saying I don’t think people should be paid for their writing; not only is that completely untrue, I’d be a hypocrite for claiming it because I do charge for my writing, in book form.  Maybe it’s just that I’m old-fashioned; a book feels like a thing to me, whereas my thoughts seem like…something else?  Look, I didn’t promise you this would make sense; I’m just telling you how I feel, and I only recently figured it out myself.  But at the same time, I obviously need to pull in more money from my writing, since my semi-retirement income has been eaten into by inflation (and other factors I’ve discussed before).  So other than getting a wealthy patron to underwrite me (and if you have a large amount of money you feel like bestowing upon me in order to enable me to keep doing what I’m doing, please let me know), I think the best bet is to start taking advertising.  Here again, there’s a conflict; due to my principles I find the idea of letting just anybody advertise on my blog without my approval (am I misunderstanding how “ad delivery” services work?) utterly revolting, and though my principles won’t pay the bills I refuse to be a hypocrite and allow my readers to be attacked by the same blinking, flashing, jumping, drifting, popping ads which I find necessary to eliminate via an adblocker lest they assault my vertigo and aggravate my anxiety.  So if you know about an ad service which displays static ads that don’t intentionally harass and irritate the viewer, and further can help me get connected with them, please email and let me know.  Please don’t contact me to say, “Oh, you just Google it” or “go to Cash4u.com and sign up” or anything like that, because if I were capable of doing it myself I’d have done it over a year ago.  I know it’s hard for some (many? most?) of y’all to grasp that there are some things I’m really just not good at, but it happens to be the truth; if I’m going to do this I’m going to need my hand held through the whole process.  So if you think you have the knowledge and inclination to help me through this; and you’re willing to take the time and spend the effort to walk me through it step by tiny step (despite the fact that the difficulty of the task will likely fall somewhere between “teaching a cat to swim” and “teaching a gibbon to drive”); and you really respect my work and want me to continue being able to do it, please let me know ASAP.  Or alternately, if you want to play Medici to my Leonardo, that would work too.

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Greeting to all the “criminals” the Council of Wizards created recently with a single magical proclamation.  Neither you nor the morality of your decisions changed one iota; politicians simply decided to send violent thugs to disrupt your life because sadfeelz.  Please remember that in the future when you’re tempted to demonize other people for having been made “criminals” by similar magic “laws”.  Of course, there are such things as actual crimes, though they’re neither as common as authoritarians want you to believe, nor as common as they used to be.  One of the stronger theories about why the crime rate dropped so dramatically after the early ’90s is that due to Roe v Wade, fewer babies were born into the dire poverty that engenders a lot of actual (as opposed to consensual) crime.  So when the crime rates in abortion-banning states starts to rise again in about 16 years, don’t pretend it’s because there aren’t enough cops or the prison-cages aren’t packed full enough.  Of course, the politicians will make that claim, and useful idiots will believe them.  But when that happens, do spare a footnote in your academic paper on the topic (or a citation in your “thinkpiece”) for that crazy whore who told you so way back in the ’20s.

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