Monthly Archives: September 2005

Image update posted


I've just posted another thousand images to BME's public galleries today (tomorrow is going to be the members' update). Thank you to all the contributors, and to Urea and his girlfriend (in Brasil) for the cover shot of them play pierced together.

A number of people have sent me warnings about the UK mulling a ban on “violent porn“, after a woman was killed by a man obsessed by sadistic pornography. Some quotes from the BBC article:

The aim is for a new offence of possessing violent and abusive pornography, which could be punishable by up to three years in prison, Home Officer Minister Paul Goggins told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. Mr Goggins said such images were "extremely offensive to the vast majority" and had no place in society. "These forms of violent and abusive pornography go far beyond what we allow to be shown in films or even sold in licensed sex shops in the UK, so they should not be available online either."

"There is a recognition, even in the proposals, that 60 years of research into media effects shows no conclusive evidence that violent images cause violent acts, so I think that the very idea that we need to ban it doesn't hold water," [Dr Chris Evans, founder of a group called Internet Freedom] said. "But I think the serious problem with it is the assumption that ordinary people cannot be trusted to make up their own minds about what they read, watch or see."

The worry that I have, as is mirrored by many others, is that BME would somehow get lumped in as “violent or abusive pornography” as well, which is ridiculous and totally incorrect. Everything on BME is consensual and makes the people in the photos happy. There's no paid models on BME being beaten or put in pain simply because they're being paid, and the acts in the photos would have happened whether or not a camera was there documenting it.

Maybe it's too fine a point for outsiders to understand, but I'm much more concerned with consent than whether something is “violent” or not. The type of pornography that one might be able to link with real world violence (and I think the link is dubious) is that which involves the subjugation of others — rape porn, degradation of women, and so on…

Even in mainstream porn you'll see violent throat-rape, women being spit on and slapped, jokes about abusing and taking advantage of women, and so on — while I don't think either should ever be banned, I'd be a lot more concerned with the effects of mainstream porn on hundreds of thousands highschool football jocks raping and beating their girlfriends than I would be with the effects of fringe porn on the one psycho in twenty years that acts out on it.

In America, someone is raped every two minutes.

If you think that's because of BME-type porn, you're kidding yourself.

And if you really want to know where rapists come from, you need to look a lot farther than porn. Porn is fundamentally healthy and an outlet for people to safely explore sexual fantasies. Porn is rarely where rapists come from. Rapists — and I suspect the desires for abusive porn — are bred from religion, from repression, from poor parenting, and from banning pornography and sexual expression.

If you want to ban anything that turns people into rapists, ban the Bible.

"And men forgot their passions in the dread"

Well, the military has been sent in to New Orleans with orders to shoot to kill, since the city currently is controlled by lycanthropes firing on rescue helicopters and murdering and looting in the streets, while rape gangs roam the less flooded areas searching for teenage girls and children. Amid explosions and fires, dead bodies are floating in the toxic sewage that has filled the streets, and, according to the security policy analyst at FEMA, “There is not enough money in the gross national product of the United States to dispose of the amount of hazardous material in the area.”

Rebuilding of the city, if it happens, will take years, which is sad because this was entirely preventable and the decision was willfully made to cancel funding of levee upgrades and remove equipment in favor of the Iraq war. Those of you who voted for Bush have a lot more blood on your hands, and this time it's American blood. And while the US federal government has made no offer of real aid yet (and at first even refused offers of international aid from Canada, Venezuela, Jamaica, and others), they are paying Israeli settlers well over $200,000 per family to move out of the Gaza strip. Oh, and they're paying crazy Pat Robertson to pray for Katrina victims. I'm so sure Christianity is the answer.

So… Israel, Iraq, and Evangelical Megachurches are more important to the US taxpayer and US government than people inside the nation in real need? Ah, priorities…

I've gotten a fair amount of mail and messages asking how people can help the IAM members (more on Needled) who ignored repeated warnings to evacuate the city, as well as those who did and still lost everything. Right now it's too early to give a solid answer but when I have one I'll post it here. Until then my advice would be to simply donate to the Red Cross, but honestly, I'd wait. Once there is a clearer view of the problem I'm sure that help with housing, jobs, basic supplies of life, anything, would be greatly appreciated and we can set up a network to help with that here.

If you were affected by this, please do drop me a line if you have advice for me as to what you feel you need from this community.

It's pretty scary, because on the scale of things this was a tiny disaster in terms of what's possible… It really makes you worry about what America would come to if a really serious disaster struck that affected a larger region and more people. That things could devolve this quickly into anarchy and pure thuggish animalism is highly disturbing and degrading. Can't people just help each other?

All earth was but one thought - and that was death,
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails - men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devoured,
Even dogs assailed their masters

Oh, and with a hundred thousand people in the city, many of them corralled with no water or food, one has to remember that humans need at least two quarts of water per day to survive, and you can only go a couple days without water before you die. If the National Guard (and their gear) wasn't in Iraq right now, the evacuations could have been completed already, but without the staff to do them, the toll of the disaster could climb exponentially with every day that passes.

Not that Bush cares.

UPDATE: To people writing me saying “stop looking for someone to blame”, well, that's essential. The way this has been handled and the fact that there was no preparation (or that defenses were even lowered) is a crime, and since these colossal fuckups keep happening over and over and over, people need to be held accountable simply so it stops happening. Is all this death really worth cutting taxes for the rich and funnelling money into megacorps? And with an administration that doesn't care unless the media really comes after them, blame is essential simply to get help out there. After all, Bush and Condi didn't even cancel their vacation for this until the press came after them.

UPDATE: To people writing me saying “cutting the funding so the Iraq war could go on makes no difference because the Class-5 levees would not have been complete by now anyway”, while there is some truth to that, they would have been in better shape, and shelters would have been stocked and plans would have been in place. Since the National Guard and the gear are off in Iraq, that's not an option. So the funding issue is very relevant, even if the problems could not have been totally averted.

Because I got high…

In response to pressure from the United States, even though it has hundreds of years of cultural history here, long ago and still today, Mexico degraded itself by making possession of marijuana a serious crime. It's gone even further by agreeing to destroy the runways of small airports up and down the coast (the Baja used to be a paradise for private pilots because every hotel had an airstrip). When I was in Canada I smoked pot every day for the last five years, and during that period I was in great shape mentally and physically, and generally felt good about myself and the world. Now that I don't smoke pot because of being in Mexico (because of the risk mostly), I've gained fifty pounds (because I drink instead, which is an atrocious substitute) and feel pretty terrible most of the time.

Now, you can say that I shouldn't do either if you want to, but you have to understand as well that it's not as if I smoke pot only because I like getting high (and I do really like it). I have degenerative neurological disorders that I've mentioned here before and are, well, pretty damn unpleasant, and smoking pot makes them a lot easier to deal with (to say nothing of helping with stress — I pound through incredible amounts of data on a daily basis and I don't want to drop dead like some Korean), I have chronic pain from bad joints, and so on… But I don't want to make this a oh, sad me, complain-a-rama entry, that's not my point. What I'm saying though is that marijuana helps me and improves my life, I enjoy it, and I think my productivity and ability to work over the last five years speaks for itself.

I'd wager to say that if you look at people who've changed the world for the better that you'll find a high percentage of them have smoked marijuana regularly, to say nothing about the famous scientists that were tokers. Now that they've shown there is no lung cancer risk even from heavy smoking, the “gateway drug” effect has been thoroughly debunked, and given that with marijuana being an easy drug for anyone to grow there's not even a need for anything but local distribution if it's decriminalized (etc, etc), one has to ask oneself why it stays illegal (especially when far, far more documentably dangerous drugs like alcohol and tobacco are legal and readily available).

Let's look at why marijuana is was made illegal and how it escalated from there.

At the turn of the 20th century, marijuana was legal in America, and especially among the Mexican immigrant population it was smoked regularly. Put simply, a few racists in the government hated the Mexicans — and hated it even more that their kids might hang out with Mexicans, smoke pot, be friendly with them, and pick up some of their culture — and pushed through legislation banning it. Its political value in getting easy arrests among dissidents, racial minorities, and lower classes became immediately apparent to the ruling class, and it snowballed. The economic benefits to the prison lobby — well over a billion dollars per year — helped it snowball further. Other industries like plastics and logging profited as well and had equally powerful lobbies. In addition, marijuana prohibition pushed people into alcohol, tobacco, and heavier drugs, pushing upwards of two hundred billion dollars per year into the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Marijuana prohibition, while no good for the people has been incredibly lucrative for big business and has even helped the ruling class maintain power. Legalizing it would be profitable as well, but for different people — small farmers have no power in comparison to megacorporations (except maybe at the height of a megawar when they're desperately needed).

Let's rewind a moment though and wonder — what if the American ruling class of the twenties hadn't hated Mexicans quite so much? How different a place would the world be if marijuana had never been criminalized in the United States? Is it a pipe dream to imagine that maybe people wouldn't be so uptight, that maybe we'd not be drowning in war after war after war? That maybe we wouldn't have a destructive class system that's currently playing out in the most miserable of ways in Louisiana? That maybe the world would be a more loving, egalitarian, and less short-sighted money-obsessed place?

Before you tell me that it is a pipe dream, understand that marijuana prohibition has been a key cog in the megacorporations of today getting its grips into the government. So not only has the prohibition of marijuana cost the People a total of at least $5 trillion over the last century, but it has helped reshape society in ways that amplify our current problems. I'm lowballing by the way with the figure of $5 trillion — I suspect that when you include the damage that the plastics industries, the logging industries, and all the other industries that fought to keep industrial hemp off the market in the equation (on top of potentially saved healthcare costs, prison costs, and so on), that the number is dramatically higher. Ah, the damage that a few bigots can do once big business figures out how to manipulate them…

Well, I'm off to Amsterdam, where I plan on doing what's right.

I'll be online periodically over the next two days but won't be resettled there until some time on Saturday.

Like Fleshbot says…

Time for some Morning Wood. I've mentioned this here in passing before, but I really think my best nudist public nudity photos(they're not really the same thing) come from Japan. Here's some teaser photos from the Choye bonus gallery which will be added next Tuesday or Wedndesday (although there are lots of photos of her already on the site as she's been a contributor for 5+ years now).