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Posts Tagged ‘games’

Diary #561

Whenever a person expresses surprise upon discovering that I’m a colossal nerd, I have to wonder if they’ve actually been paying attention for the past decade.  I mean, it isn’t like I’ve made any effort to hide it; I made a Star Trek reference in my very first column, and I have frequently mentioned sci-fi stories and TV shows, comic books, horror movies, Dungeons and Dragons, and many other nerdy things here, on Twitter, and in real life (this column was inspired by my glancing up at the tiny Dalek atop my desk).  And really, it’s important that I and other “out” sex workers not hide our nerdiness (or academic brilliance, or any other trait not generally associated with hot chicks), because showing the world what we’re really like makes it harder for prohibitionists to depict us as two-dimensional victims, vixens, or villains.  Social media does a lot more for sex workers than act as a vehicle for marketing; it allows people who might never have thought much about sex worker rights to recognize us as real, complex human beings like themelves, worthy of rights and respect.  And if Maggie Fucking McNeill can admit to owning enough stuffed animals to fill a good-sized display case, I doubt it will hurt your business to ‘fess up to writing Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic.

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From what I can tease out of the moralistic, hyperbolic language in the statement quoted in this article, plus online comments by others, a computer programmer who helped develop a modification for a popular video game intended for adults posted some animated cartoons on his own personal website that might potentially upset extremely sheltered people who have neither heard of Fritz the Cat nor paid much attention to Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and his employer has as a result censored the modification.  Though it’s difficult to tell from what I’ve linked, the material that the company claims is “deeply disturbing to the entire team” of adults who not only play but program a post-apocalyptic game full of violence and gore, and which a company dedicated to profiting from such games feels it must “condemn…in the strongest sense” and “conduct…dialogue” about, was “furry cub porn”, ie cartoons depicting imaginary sexual behavior of wholly imaginary anthropomorphic animal characters who within the fictional universe depicted in the cartoons are “underage”.  In other words, though most people believe it’s OK for kids to watch cartoons depicting violence, mayhem and even murder of imaginary characters, it’s not OK for adults to watch cartoons depicting sexual behavior of such characters, presumably because doing so emits dangerous “sex rays” which can transcend time and space to contaminate a game intended for adults.  Said game must therefore be censored to “protect THE CHILDREN™!!!” (who aren’t supposed to be playing it anyway), despite the fact that the cartoons in question neither appear within the game, nor are attached to it in any way.  Of course we’re told the content was “pedophillic” [sic], a word intended to override the reader’s critical faculties so that he doesn’t stop to consider that despite being depicted as human babies, Maggie Simpson is 34 and Baby Herman at least 40.  And those are “human” cartoon characters; how would it work for imaginary anthropomorphic animals?  Since real dogs and cats are sexually mature at 1, full-grown at 2 and usually dead of old age before 18, what the hell would “underage” look like, assuming one were deranged enough to care?  People who actually think that the make-believe sexual activities of make-believe characters belonging to make-believe species in a make-believe society warrant serious real-life consequences are clearly detached from reality, so maybe what these folks need is to stop living in their make-believe game world for a while and reacquaint themselves with the one where each player only has one life and the make-believe “innocence” of creatures who do not actually exist is not generally viewed as a valid reason for moral condemnation.

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You don’t find out what it’s all about, but you have a lot of fun being extremely confused.  –  Douglas Adams

Here’s a really unusual cover of a familiar tune, played on a most unusual instrument.  The video was provided by Inspireland, and the links above it by Lenore Skenazy, Boatfloating, Gustavo Turner (“Cardin”), Lucy Steigerwald, Jesse Walker, and Scott Shackford, in that order.

From the Archives

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Why are you in my home?  –  Kawaski Trawick, last words

Though there are rarely any decent holiday videos on YouTube any more (and when there are, they appear only a few days in advance), Christmas has long been a time for celebrating via mind-altering substances.  I therefore present this video, provided by Jesse Walker, who also supplied “corpse” and both obits.  The other links above the video are from Mike Siegel, Walter Olson, Mistress Matisse, Phoenix Calida, and Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

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He’s mine now.  –  “Officer” Michael Fattaleh

It’s only been two months since animation great Joe Ruby died, and now he’s been followed by his partner Ken Spears.  The duo created many cartoons, but their most famous and enduring creation was Scooby Doo, Where Are You?, and since it hasn’t been long since Halloween I decided to pay tribute with this 1999 parody of The Blair Witch Project which Cartoon Network created as bumpers for a Scooby Doo marathon.  The links above it were provided by Jesse Walker, Cop Crisis (x2), Brooke Magnanti, Franklin HarrisWalter Olson, and Kendra Holliday, in that order.

From the Archives

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(There’s) little [government] interest in the importance of consent and choice.  –  Martin Drago

Dirty Whores (#44)

Here’s an interesting article about how the UK’s horrible Contagious Disease Acts – laws which infringed on human rights so severely they actually inspired English church ladies to fight on the side of whores for a while – affected the landscape of sex work in India, with special attention to Calcutta.  While the article does get some things wrong (as is nigh-universal among articles about sex work written by amateurs), most of the errors are minor and the author appears pretty solidly on the side of the whores, even to the point of describing how 19th-century whore stigma is still alive and harming Indian sex workers to this day via other vestiges of British colonial law.

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Another of those nonexistent false sexual assault accusations:

Shannon Maley [of Airdrie, Scotland] had a…vendetta against a 20-year-old man with learning disabilities who was dating her sister.  She barely knew him, yet claimed he sexually assaulted her and her friends.  Maley then created multiple social media accounts under the young man’s name and sent herself disturbing and threatening messages in order to frame him.  She has since pleaded guilty to “perverting the course of justice and also to harassing witnesses”…Maley’s messages to herself included threats “to set you on fire and watch you burn alive”…Maley had apparently intimidated her friends into making accusations against [the young man] as well.  One of those friends eventually admitted that…he…had not sexually assaulted her and that Maley had harassed her and tried to influence their testimony…Maley’s story unraveled after she accused [her victim] of sending a threatening message while he was in prison without access to the Internet…

A Modest Proposal (#527)

Women make pragmatic decisions to survive!  Other cultures have different sexual and marital traditions than white Europeans do!  The age of consent varies from country to country!  Clergymen often believe religious law trumps civil law!  Islamic laws are usually pretty shitty toward women!  Lots of men are exploitative fuckwads who take advantage of naive young women!  Laws don’t stop people from exploiting each other!  Opportunists will use unpopular laws as excuses to make money!  And the BBC is on it!

The Widening Gyre (#735)

Nigerian sex trafficking juju mafia terrorists.  I am not making this up:

Stockholm police [are trying to spread hysteria about]…the “Black Ax”, [which they claim is] a Nigerian criminal gang connected to drug trafficking and prostitution involving illegal migrants…The Nigerian mafia is…[fantasized by racist Europeans] to use juju, a Nigerian equivalent of voodoo, to force migrants to become drug traffickers or prostitutes. This [racist fantasy] has been [claimed]…in…Italy…where…earlier this year…police [fantasized]…that the influence of terrorist groups like Boko Haram was spreading among mafia members…

I especially love that the Swedish police are clearly right at home on Breitbart.

Check Your Premises (#809)

Yes, this really is as stupid and evil as it seems at first glance:

[Pigs oinked that] many of the women arrested…in a [prostitution sting] in [Houston] are likely victims.  Many are asking why they were arrested if they are victims themselves.  “They’ve been brainwashed, they’ve been threatened, they’ve been physically abused,” [oinked spokespig] John Wall [while making furtive movements in his pants pockets]…“Certainly we know there are women who choose a life of prostitution, but more often than not…women are prostituted,” s[lurped copsucker] Rania Mankarious…[who] said it’s up to a district attorney to decide if a prostitution suspect is actually a sex-trafficking victim [because women are much too stupid to know that for ourselves]…Trafficking [fetishists] said many times the victims are unwilling to cooperate with [disguised predators who hunt, rape and cage them]…“’It’s going to be better,’ ‘You won’t have to do this much longer,’” are things pi[g]s tell their victims…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#817) 

Another slap on the wrist for a sexually-entitled cop:

A [typical and representative] NYPD cop [who hired] a 15-year-old prostitute [on at least ten occasions] and record[ed] their [sessions, plea-bargained]…felony rape and sex abuse charges [down to]…official misconduct and witness tampering…Raul Olmeda…refused to admit that he knew his victim…in…photos…found on his computer and cellphone.  Nor would he identify his bedroom and living room furniture, which were in the photos [and because he’s a cop, his self-evidently false denials were enough]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#899)

You know how wannabe “civil liberties advocates” keep bleating that the main problem with facial recognition systems are that they’re less acurate on dark-skinned people?  Yeah, about that:

In July, Google admitted it has employees pounding the pavement in a variety of US cities, looking for people willing to sell their facial data for a $5 gift certificate…But…a Google contractor may be using some questionable methods to get those facial scans, including targeting groups of homeless people and tricking college students who didn’t know they were being recorded…a contracting agency named Randstad sent teams to Atlanta explicitly to target homeless people and those with dark skin, often without saying they were working for Google, and without letting on that they were actually recording people’s faces…

Subtle Pimping (#903)

Yet another “virtual reality” game based on lies about us, this one intended to teach pigs racist fantasies about Asian sex workers:

A team of Cal Poly students is using virtual reality to [lick cop boots and endanger sex workers]…”We’re building a…[racist fantasy of an Asian] massage parlor in virtual reality to [indoctrinate pigs into misinterpreting even the most innocuous]…things [as ‘evidence’ of ‘crime’]” said Marco Zuniga…he researched [prohibitionist propaganda]…as he developed the VR [game instead of talking to sex workers]…“What do massage parlors even look like?”…he asked himself [moronically, instead of actually going to find out]…The [game] has other object[s] for its [players to find, just like players of other video games can] find [magic potions, creatures to enlave, and other fantasy treatures]…

The Crumbling Dam (#917)

Those who gain power from opioid hysteria aren’t going to like this:

A judge has ruled that a Philadelphia nonprofit group’s plan to open the first [public] site in the U.S. where people can use…opioids under medical supervision does not violate federal drug laws, delivering a major setback to Justice Department lawyers who launched a legal challenge to block the [life-saving] facility.  U.S. District Judge Gerald McHugh ruled…that…”The ultimate goal of Safehouse’s proposed operation is to reduce drug use, not facilitate it,” McHugh wrote in…the first legal decision about whether supervised injection sites can be legally permissible under U.S. law…”The Department of Justice remains committed to preventing…drug [users] from [accessing basic harm reduction],” said Bill McSwain, U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Pennsylvania…

A Broker in Pillage (#935)

Burying government in lawsuits is the only way to slow its depredations:

The city of Chicago says retired grandmother Allie Nelson owes it $6,000 in fines and fees after [it stole] her car…in 2017, even though the criminal case that led to [the seizure]…was dismissed, and even though she wasn’t driving her car, or even in the state…Nelson was in fact…in Houston, recuperating from cancer treatment, when she got a call from a family member saying [cops had stolen] her car…[when they] found her granddaughter’s boyfriend driving [it], allegedly along with some marijuana…Nelson is also one of two named plaintiffs added this week to a class-action lawsuit challenging Chicago’s [extortion scam, which]…violates residents’ guarantee of due process, as well as protections against excessive fines and unreasonable seizures, under both the Illinois and U.S. constitutions…

Pyrrhic Victory (#946)

As I keep saying, it’s already far too late to stop this tyranny:

France is poised to become the first European country to use facial recognition technology to give citizens a [supposedly] secure digital identity — whether they want it or not.  Saying it wants to make the state more efficient [like Communist China, the]…government is pushing through plans to roll out an ID program, dubbed Alicem, in November…the program breaches the European rule of consent and a privacy group is challenging it in France’s highest administrative court…France [lies that] the ID system won’t be used to keep tabs on residents…[and pretends] the facial recognition data collected will be deleted when the enrollment process is over…the app [clearly] violates Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, which makes free choice mandatory…Authorities say the security of Alicem is at the “highest, state level”.  Yet in April, Robert Baptiste, a hacker who goes by Elliot Alderson on Twitter, was able to access one of the government’s “highly secure” apps within 75 minutes…

Pyrrhic Victory (#961)

Where “public safety” is used to mean “accessibility to government snooping”:

Attorney General Bill Barr, along with officials from the United Kingdom and Australia, is set to publish an open letter to…Mark Zuckerberg asking [Facebook] to delay plans for end-to-end encryption across its messaging services until it can guarantee the added privacy does not reduce [what the politicians absurdly label] public safety…the letter raises concerns that…encryption i[s a mathematical process which]…will prevent [government busybod]ies from [spying on people in the same way it prevents other malware]…The letter calls on Facebook to prioritize [government snooping even though that will also enable non-government snooping]…

Little Boxes (#975)

The puritans are already arguing a federal court ruling doesn’t apply to them:

Tilli Buchanan and her husband had been installing insulation in their garage, and had stripped off their clothes just inside their home to get the itchy materials off their skin.  She was topless when her stepchildren bounded down the stairs…but Buchanan told them they shouldn’t treat her differently because she was a woman…But [the children’s biological mother found out and reported her to pigs, who]…filed criminal charges…of lewdness involving a child…If convicted, Buchanan could…[be condemned to] the sex offender registry for the next 10 years…her attorney Randy Richards plans to ask a judge to find that Utah’s lewdness statute is unconstitutional because it discriminates against women…her husband was also in the same state of undress and is not charged…the…10th Circuit Court…which includes Utah [recently made the incredibly-obvious ruling that laws which single women out for]…condemn[ation]…as…child sex offender[s discriminate]…on the basis of sex…But…prosecutors argued…that…Utah’s lewdness statute [prohibiting only female toplessness somehow] does not discriminate on the basis of gender [and that even if it did that would be a good thing]…

Grown adults are trying to destroy a woman’s life for getting undressed to shower in her own home, and using public funds to argue that a clearly-discriminatory law isn’t discriminatory, but the US isn’t a police state, no sirree.

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I can’t breathe.  –  Derek Williams

I’ve shared a lot of Sesame Street shorts in this space over the years, but for some reason I had completely forgotten about this one, which was one of my favorites as a child.  The links above it were provided by Jesse Walker, Tim Cushing, Zuri Davis, Charles Hill, Eric Sprankle, and Wendy Lyon, in that order.

From the Archives

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Is this going to school or going to prison?  –  anonymous Chinese citizen

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake 

I’ve been waiting for this shoe to drop:

Lawsuits alleging improper classification of workers and a recent California Supreme Court labor law ruling are impacting…adult dancers in San Francisco, many of whom once relied on daily cash payouts to survive…dancers, previously considered independent contractors, now are walking out of club doors with biweekly employee paychecks and not with cash in hands after their shifts end.  The move to convert adult dancers to employee status is causing an exodus…[from] those establishments…BSC Management…operates the majority of adult clubs in San Francisco…According to Axel Sang, BSC’s marketing director…“The BSC-managed clubs now have matching payroll taxes, unemployment compensation, workman’s compensation, Healthy San Francisco costs, Affordable Care Insurance costs and San Francisco sick leave pay for several hundred new employee entertainers in addition to the hourly wage”…Sang estimated that 200 dancers have quit their jobs since the policy change to paychecks…

Blunt Instrument (#596)

Due to their visibility, massage parlors are taking the brunt of the “sex trafficking” hysteria in smaller cities:

…the New Port Richey [Florida] City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would ban bathhouses in the city…[in an attempt to strangle] massage parlors…The ordinance would ban any establishment that’s not a medical facility from [letting water touch] clients.  Anyone who violates the law would be fined up to $500 for each violation and possibly imprisoned for up to 60 days…

Subtle Pimping (#802) 

Yet another scumbag profits from the criminalization of sex work by basing a game on lies about us:

Billy Cain…started searching for a way to use virtual reality technology — or VR — to [profit from] people…[by promoting hysteria] about sex trafficking…Texas has been a hub for…human trafficking [hysteria] for [a] decade…[one typically disgusting masturbatory fantasy claims] 79,000 children are being sex trafficked in Texas at any given moment…[in] his sex trafficking [sex fantasy] simulation…people put on a special pair of goggles to [roleplay an imaginary] 13-year-old girl who fell victim to trafficking.  In “Trapped: VR Detective Story”, players see where the girl is being held and interact with objects to [flesh out the fantasy prior to masturbation]…players will learn…who is most vulnerable to being trafficked — anyone.  Anywhere.  From any background…

TRAFFICKERS ARE EVERYWHERE!  THEY’RE WAITING TO GET YOU!  EVERYBODY PANIC, THEN BUY MY GAME!

Overdue

Collapsing empires are obsessed with form over substance:

“We’ve made a conscious effort in TSA … to use floppy ear dogs,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske told the Washington Examiner…”We find the passenger acceptance of floppy ear dogs is just better…Doesn’t scare children”…in the last year, 80 percent of dogs purchased by TSA…were…breeds…[with] droopy ears…which are deemed less intimidating…

Yes, the people who literally grope children’s genitals claim they’re worried that dogs will frighten them.

Choke Point (#850) 

Useful idiots are unable to understand how precedent works:

…a death metal/black metal record label has shut down in the wake of PayPal pulling out support for processing purchases, along with the creditors at Visa and MasterCard because the company was labeled as “high risk”, “promoting hatred”, “promoting violence”, and “promoting hate speech”…Elegy Records, a label that hosted all sorts of death metal music since 1996…[has closed due to] the inability to sign with a normal credit processor due to being…classified as “high risk” by the banks and credit processors, which meant that he was effectively blacklisted from the banking industry…the only way to accept payments from customers was…via cash or money orders.  For online businesses it’s not possible to operate without some sort of banking institution, or credit card processing since all purchases are made electronically…

It always starts with a politically-unpopular group like sex workers or gun owners, but never stops there.

Pyrrhic Victory (#857) 

Where US schools are soon headed:

In China’s latest quest to build an all-seeing surveillance state, schools…in…one of China’s poorest provinces…are now required to wear…uniforms…embedded with electronic chips that track their movements…[they] keep track of the exact times that students leave or enter the school…an[d]…facial-recognition equipment stationed at the school entrance can match a student’s face with the chip embedded in the uniform…The chips…can activate an alarm when the sensor detects that a student has fallen asleep in class…

Pyrrhic Victory (#884) 

While activists and Amazon’s own shareholders & employees were asking for the company not to support fascism, Bezos was doing this:

The FBI is piloting…Amazon Rekognition…as a means to sift through mountains of video surveillance footage the agency routinely collects…While Amazon is now a significant supplier of technology to the government…[and] includes the CIA and Defense Department as customers—it is less clear how its facial recognition software is being used in the [police state]…the company pitched the software to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials last summer, a move that has…Amazon employees asking questions.  The company does not list any federal clients on its customer page, and currently only identifies as a customer one local law enforcement agency, the Washington County Sheriff Office…[yet]…the city of Orlando recently began a second pilot of…[the] software…

Imaginary Victims (#896) 

The Cyntoia Brown case has attracted attention to the cases of other underage sex workers who killed abusive clients:

…Chrystul Kizer, 18, is charged with first-degree homicide, arson and auto theft for the June 5 shooting death of Randall Volar III.  She was 17 when Volar was killed…he had been shot twice, and that the fire to the house appeared to have been set…Investigators said…Volar had paid for an Uber driver to bring Kizer from Milwaukee to his home…she initially denied knowing Volar, but later told police that “he (Volar) helped her with money and places to stay”…she reportedly confessed, saying “she got upset and was tired of Volar touching her” and that she had shot him…before his death Volar was under investigation by the Kenosha Police Department for sexual conduct with underage girls.  In a motion to compel discovery…[her lawyer stated] “The defense believes that the discovery in this case suggests that Ms. Kizer acted in self-defense”…

First They Came for the Hookers… (#900) 

It’s rare that judges side with sex workers against the government:

Imagine a symphony orchestra barred by the state from performing again because a musician was [accused of selling] marijuana to a colleague backstage…In Providence, Rhode Island…it happened to a strip club called the Foxy Lady.  On Dec. 19, the Providence Board of Licenses voted to permanently shut down the…[club] after police arrested three employees [and accused them of prostitution]…By doing so, the board threw more than 200 people out of work less than a week before Christmas.  Within days, the state Department of Business Regulation quickly restored the club’s liquor license, but the Foxy Lady’s owners were required by law to petition the state Supreme Court to regain its entertainment license…the state Supreme Court agreed to issue a stay, allowing the club to reopen for now, but the threat of future closure remains…

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I got a rock.  –  Charlie Brown

As usual, I don’t find any good Halloween videos until it’s too late to feature them before Halloween.  I’ve actually featured this one before, back in 2012, but at that time it was only available on the Funny or Die site and couldn’t be embedded; thanks to Franklin Harris for bringing this YouTube copy to my attention.  The links above it were provided by Tim CushingPopehatWalter OlsonNun Ya, Tim Cushing again and ACLU.

From the Archives

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Sex workers…are human beings who[se]…rights to health, safety, self-determination, and bodily autonomy should not be subject to debate or sacrifice to abstract principles.  –  Green Party proposal

If It Were Legal

I’m willing to bet this was either a findom arrangement or a blackmail fantasy:

The second in command of the Harris County [Texas] Treasurer’s Office is accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a county credit union to pay a dominatrix who was blackmailing him.  Gregory Lueb was arrested…and charged with felony theft of up to $30,000…Lueb told investigators…the woman eventually demanded money and threatened to tell his wife…

If he’s telling the truth, and if sex work weren’t illegal and stigmatized, he could’ve gone to an established professional instead of some sleazy amateur.

The Punitive Mindset

The need to censor is one of the most twisted of perversions:

A federal judge is considering whether South Dakota’s statewide ban on porn in prisons is constitutional.  The case arose from an inmate, Charles Sisney, who says all sorts of non-pornographic content got caught up in porn prohibition, including a yoga magazine, images of Michaelangelo’s work, and Japanese comics. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of South Dakota and the National Coalition have filed briefs in support of Sisney’s case…the parameters of the ban go way beyond adult films, nude images, or other things that most people would consider to be porn.  Prisoners are banned from writing sexually explicit letters or receiving them, and from receiving any visual or written material that’s deemed sexually explicit…

Three Steps Back

In December 2010, New Orleans decided to de facto decriminalize marijuana and prostitution, then it changed its collective mind and recriminalized them.  We’re all familiar with what happened afterward with sex work, but two years ago the city actually went ahead and truly decriminalized weed, with the following results:

…newly released city statistics show that New Orleans police have taken the city’s cannabis decriminalization efforts seriously, and now make arrests in only 1% of minor cannabis incidents.  The New Orleans City Council passed an ordinance two years ago  decriminalizing minor cannabis possession, giving [cops] the discretion to ticket rather than arrest suspects found with small amounts of pot…NOPD has all but eliminated marijuana charges from their protocol, reducing the rate of possession-related arrests from 72% of all police and pot interactions in 2011-2014, to the newly released number of only 1% in the last half of 2016 and first half of 2017…last year saw 5,000 fewer cannabis-related arrests in New Orleans than took place half a decade ago…

And yet they can’t seem to grasp that decriminalizing sex work would have similar benefits.

Stand-Up Guys 

Shift in the Wind

It looks like the Greens are poised to become the second US political party (the Libertarians have held the position for decades) to adopt decriminalization as an official position.  The new position has apparently been approved by Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Utah, and by the party’s Black Caucus, Lavender Greens and Young Greens.  The explanation of the reasons for the change starts like this:

It is the opinion of the authors of this document that the party’s current stance on sex work…is morally indefensible, ideologically incoherent, and politically damaging.  The submitted revisions represent an effort to eliminate derogatory language, move the Green Party’s stated policy prescriptions away from carceral state solutions and more in line with the current thought of human rights groups such as Amnesty International, and…condemn…violence against women without condemning or negating the existence of individual sex workers…

Worse Than I Thought

Anti-whore assholes just keep getting bolder:

California Senate Bill 1204…sponsored by…Patricia Bates…is aimed at broadening the definition of “pandering” within the State of California…to [include anyone] “who arranges, causes, encourages, induces, persuades, or procures another person to be a prostitute”…What does “encourages” mean? If I say to my friend “hey you would make a great prostitute!” – have I just encouraged that person to be a prostitute and therefore I am guilty of the crime of pandering?  What about my free speech rights?  What if my friend who is a prostitute says, “gee I wish I could see a client today because I really need to feed my child/pay my rent but I cannot afford condoms” and I give that person condoms, have I encouraged the act of prostitution?  What if I as a lawyer – give advice to a prostitute…have I just committed pandering?…I would encourage you to contact Senator Patricia Bates office and encourage her to kill her own bill…

The Punitive Mindset (#688) 

Long-time readers know that I’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons since 1981, and that it’s my all-time favorite game.  I’ve alluded to it many times and even written a few columns touching on it, and though I haven’t played in about 8 years now I’ve recently started thinking about starting up a new game for some friends.  So I quite enjoyed this long-form article about the game, its history and its long record of being attacked by authoritarians for promoting imagination and free thought.  I decided to list it under this category because the article includes a section on prison officials banning the game (because of course they would), which I reported on in the above-linked column.  But really, I just couldn’t pass up calling it to your attention at a time when most of the contents of this blog are darker than any imaginary dungeon, and the real world is dominated by far scarier monsters than any I ever made up for the heroes to defeat.

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#787) 

Yes, this is a supposedly sane adult arguing that toasters have “feelings” and can “suffer”, while classifying sex workers as subhuman:

Late in 2017 at a tech fair in Austria, a sex robot was “molested” repeatedly and left in a “filthy” state.  The robot, named Samantha, received a barrage of male attention, which resulted in her sustaining two broken fingers.  This incident confirms worries that the possibility of fully functioning sex robots raises both tantalising possibilities for human desire (by mirroring human/sex-worker relationships), as well as serious ethical questions …there are certain elements of relationships between humans and sex workers that we may not wish to repeat.  But to me, it is the ethical aspects of the way we think about human-robot desire that are particularly key…

Yes, moral retard Victoria Brooks there describes vandalism of a machine as “molestation” and waxes poetic about this object’s “suffering”, while twice in a short section referring to sex workers as things apart from humans.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#792) 

Possibly the most pathetic of all things: a gay male prude:

…how Grindr is affecting gay men….doesn’t look good.  The most common reason users gave for going on the app is that sex feels great and Grindr makes it accessible, right at your fingertips…Neuroscientists have shown that orgasm causes activation of pleasure areas of the brain like the ventral tegmental area while deactivating areas involved with self-control.  And these patterns of activation in men are strikingly similar to what researchers see in the brain of individuals using heroin or cocaine.  So when a neutral action (clicking on Grindr) is paired with a pleasurable response in the brain (orgasm), humans learn to do that action over and over again.  This can be…a setup for addiction…

Disaster

It usually starts with us, but it never, ever stops with us:

…Sex workers are the canaries in the digital coal mine, and SESTA, if it isn’t fought and reversed, is a disaster for all kinds of online speech…It’s no surprise that a bill like this has manifested alongside the #MeToo movement — it challenges what it means to for sex workers to consent, and takes aim at the online speech that acts as evidence that we have…The ambiguously written bill creates what is in effect a special loophole to target the speech of sex workers within the sweeping legal protections given to online speech.  And because marginalized groups often act as Patient Zero for regressive new laws, it will be no surprise when this new approach to censorship eventually spreads across the internet…The difference between what sex workers and their advocates say — that trafficking is a relatively minor issue in their industry — and what anti-sex trafficking legislators believe reflects the country’s long held reluctance to believe women when they tell the truth, especially when it involves sex.  One place where that truth is told daily is the internet communities where sex workers reside in safety and solidarity, and SESTA is designed to break up these communities…

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