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Some of you may have noticed that the address of this blog has changed; it’s now my own domain instead of a WordPress subdomain.  I’ve owned the domain for a while, but it used to point toward my escort site (whose address is subtly different), and now it points here.  It’s probably a move I should’ve made six or seven years ago, but some of you may have also noticed that I’m pathologically change-averse and rarely do anything like that unless I’m forced to.  Well, I was finally forced to.  Like most internet companies, WordPress employs a small army of programmers, and like most US employers it demands they stay busy; the result is a steady trickle of “improvements” that aren’t.  For several years now, the company has been trying to push its new “block editor”; I took one look and realized it was far less useful than the so-called “classic” editor (take a look at some sample one-star reviews, which outnumber all other reviews of the block editor by a factor of > 2 to 1).  But they kept pushing it, and sometime last year changed the site to default to it.  The “classic” editor was still available, but harder to get to, so I had to create several workarounds to keep going.  Then on the morning of March 17th, I awoke to discover that the company had removed the “classic” editor entirely; Google helped me discover that it was now only availble as a plugin, and plugins only work on upgraded sites, so here we are.  The change introduced some back-end problems (they only affected my view of the site, not readers’) which were solved with the help of WordPress tech support, and one gremlin seemed to have escaped into my android phone via Chrome and had to be exterminated separately.  But as of this writing, things seem fully functional again.

Other than the new, shorter address, another change is coming:  after all these years, I’m going to start taking advertising.  Since I’m now semi-retired and I don’t have nearly as much subscription income as I’d like, I definitely need to monetize the tremendous amount of work I’ve put into this site for over a decade and continue to put in on a daily basis. This doesn’t mean I’m throwing all of my standards out the window; I don’t like blinking, flashing, jumping, moving, distracting or otherwise annoying ads on other sites and I’m not going to allow them on mine if I can help it (that goes double for popups).  But since I’m not at all familiar with how the sytem works, it’s possible that such ads may get in without my permission via whatever delivery system I use, so it’s important y’all let me know if something like that appears (I may add a “report annoying ad” button or the like).  And if anyone wants to buy an ad from me, obviously we can talk.  The change will probably be slow as I feel things out and decide exactly what works for me, but I thought it only fair to let y’all know that it’s on the way.

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Back Issue #93

Either “I was only following orders” is a valid defense, or it isn’t; either we agree that hired enforcers are absolved from responsibility because “they’re just doing their jobs”, or we don’t.  –  “Godwin’s Law

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Tart and Tweet

More Twitter stuff!

 

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Fan Mail

This reader was inspired by last week’s column to send me a fan letter, and it made me feel so good I just had to share it with y’all:

I have never emailed to ask a question, but I wanted to let you know that you have helped me in multiple ways.  I found your website through Scott Greenfield a number of years ago, and have been a reader ever since.  My wife and I regularly discuss your blog posts and Twitter comments, and more than a few discussions have been started based on “what would Maggie say?”  Our daughter is now 14, and she states that she is clearly somewhere on the LGBT spectrum (she just isn’t sure where yet); the perspective you bring has helped us deal not with our own feelings (we love her to death for who she is), but with how we deal with how others treat her.  You and Scott are my first two clicks every morning, allowing me to ground my day with two anchors that help guide my thinking, and have greatly shaped the way I view the world around me.

Oh, and I LOVE the woodworking.

Thanks for everything!

After all the time and effort I’ve put into this blog for the past eleven years, letters like this really give me the inspiration that helps me to keep it up.

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Where Are They Now?

In my early essay “Marilyn“, I explained that “because of the use of stage names, the discretion inherent in our profession, the mania for privacy forced upon us by its suppression and the fact that we’re all independent contractors, it is essentially impossible to keep in touch with working girls once the business relationship has been severed.”  In the 15 years since I closed my escort service, that has been less noticeable to me for the simple reason that as an independent, I don’t have close, regular contact with as many girls as I did when I was a madam.  But it still happens from time to time; I become fond of some young woman I meet through work, and then she moves on to a new career or a new city and I never hear from her again.  It occasionally happens with clients, too; I’ll see a guy only once or twice and we talk about some difficulty he’s going through, then I never see him again and I’m left wondering whatever happened to him, and whether he managed to resolve his problem.  But lately, in the process of preparing and editing the two Ask Maggie volumes, I was struck by how many of the people I gave advice to never wrote back to let me know if things were better, or if my advice had helped at all.  Now, obviously, they don’t owe me that; in fact, one of the reasons people write me is that I’m not a part of their lives, so they needn’t be ashamed of sharing very intimate details.  If I were someone they had to interact with on a regular basis they might never have been able to confide in me in the first place, so it’s not surprising that they don’t reach out again after I’ve answered them.  But part of empathy, at least in my psychological makeup, requires caring enough about others, even strangers, to want to understand and help them; while some letters merely require information or the sharing of wisdom, others tug at my heartstrings, and I can’t help wondering what became of them afterward.  So please, do me a little favor:  if you’re one of the several hundred people whose letters I’ve answered over the past decade, and my advice was helpful to you, please take a moment to reach out to me when you get a few moments to tell me how it went.  You certainly don’t have to, and I won”t think any less of those who don’t.  But there is a soft spot under my battle-hardened exterior that would appreciate knowing I helped.

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A few days ago I got a new subscriber at the top level, and it made me realize that it’s been too long since I thanked all of you for your support.  As I explained several years ago, “There’s something very comforting and flattering about getting those regular emails month after month; they say to me in no uncertain terms, this person admires you and cares about your work…I really do value those small but very regular payments, [and] not just because they help pay my bills…”  Of course, now that I’m semi-retired (and a year into the pandemic) the “paying the bills” aspect is even more important than it once was.  Of course, I value all of my subscribers, even those who can’t spare much or who find they need to cancel after a year or two.  But there’s a special place in my heart for those who subscribe at that top level, especially considering that a couple of you have been on board for seven years now!  I don’t really have any kind of premium system set up (as I’ve said before, marketing isn’t my strong suit), but I’d like to give my dollar-a-day guys an extra gift: if any of you don’t already have all of my books, please let me know and I’ll send you Kindle copies of the missing ones.  I know it isn’t much, but it’s at least one small way I can let y’all know how much your generosity and loyalty mean to me.

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Back Issue #92

Those who foolishly insist on viewing the world through the filter of dogma are blind to everything that dogma will not admit, even when the truth lies right before them.  –  “Not the Same Tree

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Back Issue #91

Human beings are not perfectible and attempts to threaten and beat vice out of them do vastly more harm than good.  –  “Harm Reduction

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Back Issue #90

Diversity of opinion isn’t destructive to solidarity in the movement; attempts to impose an agenda of “correct” speech and thought are.  –  “Criticism and Response

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Back Issue #89

The public considers the opinions of pop-tarts with no personal experience in [an] issue to be more important than those of activists who actually know what they’re talking about.  –  “December Updates

From the Archives

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