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Back Issue #97

The greatest defect of any democracy lies in the tendency of a certain segment of the population to cooperate with the agents of oppression.  –  “Bootlickers

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Less than two years ago I broke up the “Pyrrhic Victory” tag by repurposing two existing tags and creating a new one, “Panopticon“.  But surveillance has become such an all-pervasive phenomenon in the 21st century, it even creeps into tags that originally had nothing to do with it.  One of these is “Between the Ears“, which originally grew from a column about how not to handle women’s sexual problems; once sex gadgets started connecting to the internet, though, it was inevitable they’d start spying on people, and that has expanded far beyond sex gadgets.  So I’m starting this new tag, under which items about internet-connected devices surreptitiously eavesdropping on people’s private conversations will be listed in the future; references back to “Between the Ears” #545, 674, 722, 791, 858, 959, 966, 984, 986, and 1152 will also be listed under this tag from now on, as will references back to I Spy (#1069) and #1144.  Items about other kinds of surveillance will continue to be filed under “Guinea Pigs“, “I Spy“, “Micromanagement“, “Panopticon“, “Pyrrhic Victory“, and “Welcome to the Future“, as before.

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You’re about to die, my friend.  –  Tyler Longman

Here’s another Doctor Who novelty song, recorded as a publicity tie-in for the 1965 Doctor Who and the Daleks movie starring Peter Cushing; the singer, Roberta Tovey, played Susan in the film.  The links above it were provided by Mike Siegel, Cop Crisis (x3), Walter Olson, and Mistress Matisse, in that order.

From the Archives

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Ten years is a long time for one human to do anything without a break, much less publish a blog post without missing a single day.
–  “Tenth Anniversary

I’ve always been an outsider, even among outsiders.  I’m an atypical intellectual, an atypical writer, an atypical sex worker, an atypical bisexual, an atypical nerd, and even an atypical blogger; I came to the internet later than most of the bright kids, started blogging sometime after the peak of the medium had passed, maintained an atypical level of consistency, formality and sheer volume, and have continued blogging long after most of the sort of people who would have blogged in the Oughts have now moved on to vlogs and/or podcasts.  And though I’ve aged and tired, I haven’t stopped posting content every single day for eleven whole years.  Oh, I’ve gone from a full-length essay every day to less time-intensive features, and in the coming year I’m going to try to limit myself to one high-effort feature per week.  There are four main reasons for the change:  First, because I’m doing a lot of other things (both personal and professional) which take up increasing amounts of my time; second, because in the time I’ve been publishing The Honest Courtesan I’ve aged from “still able to see 40 in the rear-view mirror” to “just able to make out 60 on the horizon”; third, because censorship keeps increasing with no end in sight, and I’d rather not be going full speed when the Establishment drops a wall in front of me; and finally, because I’ve already published over 4000 posts and I feel as though I’m starting to repeat myself a little too often.  Furthermore, I’m no longer one of a very few voices crying out in the wilderness; there are now lots of sex workers publishing a lot of powerful content in more mainstream venues than I ever had the patience and humility to approach, and our message finally appears to be penetrating the thick skulls of politicians, the soft ones of reporters, and even the empty ones of the American public.  In short, my work is no longer as vital as it once was, and since I was one of the loudmouthed harlots who helped create the social climate which made all this possible, I think I’ve earned at least a little rest.

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Back Issue #96

The turn of the century saw [Christian and feminist fundamentalists] in a night-shrouded graveyard together, quietly digging up the corpse of “white slavery” and reanimating it to serve their prohibitionist agenda.  –  “Rooted in Racism

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Back Issue #95

It’s more exciting to believe in a fantastic monster than a rather mundane reality.  –  “Chupacabra

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Tweetums

More tweets!

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As I pointed out yesterday, there are now a lot more sex workers writing articles debunking prohibitionist propaganda, sharing the truths of our lives with those outside the demimonde, and making powerful arguments in favor of decriminalization.  Eleven years ago, that wasn’t the case; while I certainly wasn’t the only one writing, there were few enough of us that I felt very driven, knowing that my words were helping a lot of people understand that which our enemies don’t want them to understand: that sex workers are as diverse as any other social group and have real lives rather than being the cartoon victims or villain of prohibitionists’ sick sexual fantasies.  Since Day One of this blog my primary intended audience has always been the general public; I’ve always been more interested in humanizing and destigmatizing sex workers in the minds of that public instead of preaching to the choir, which is why I’ve never felt any compulsion to restrict my topics to those of interest to activists.  And now that the heavy lifting is spread out among a far larger number of far younger shoulders than mine, I think it’s time to broaden my focus even more.  Some of you may have noticed it already: I’m ignoring news stories that feel too repetitive, and there are now too many good sex worker articles for me to call attention to them all.  And I’m using the time and energy I save to write about stuff that’s interesting to me, like philosophy, construction projects at Sunset, and science fiction shows.  But that doesn’t mean I’m abandoning my mission; I’m just going about it a different way.  Instead of merely telling outsiders that sex workers are regular folks, I’m showing them instead.  And I don’t plan to stop doing that anytime soon.

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Back Issue #94

Prohibitionists simply adore pimps. –  “Subtle Pimping

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