A friend of mine owns a business where they rent furnished apartments to the well heeled traveling executive who needs a place to stay for extended periods. They have a crew that cleans the places out after a guest leaves, this group of male executives and high rollers leave behind a surprisingly large number of sex toys. If my friend rented apartments to porn stars or sex therapists, I guess finding sex toys would seem less surprising (at least to me).
Maybe the dildos and penis pumps are left behind by call girls? Maybe these middle aged dudes end up in a city and think to themselves, “I’ve always wanted to stick a dildo in my butt without my family judging me… here is my chance…”? I don’t know. Some of them are still in the package, meaning, I suppose, that they are still ‘perfectly good.’
What is a ‘penis pump’ for, anyway? As a species, have we grown so lazy that masturbating ‘by hand’ is too much work and we want a machine to do it for us? Or does the pump really permanently increase the size of the organ? Or does it just help the man who cannot rise to the occasion seal the deal with the call girl?
I don’t really know what ‘reddit’ is or why it is. I barely know what Gawker is. Every once in a while someone send me a link to some site like ‘Jezebel’ saying, “You might like this,” or “I think you would hate this” or whatever. But ‘reddit’ is apparently another one of dozens of ‘content aggregate sites’ on the web where people post shit and other people look at it and they post +1 and similar stupid stuff. And although I don’t really understand ‘reddit’ nor do I care about it, it has passed in front of my radar recently because other news sites I follow have been reporting on some dude named Michael Brutsch.
|Fat and creepy looking, plus he has a (surprise!) goatee. Looks pretty much like I expected he would.|
Brutsch is one of reddit’s “power users” who has, for years, specialized in trolling and what he affectionately calls ‘creepshots’ (and others have called ‘child pornography.’ I’m not sure they fit my definition of pornography, but they don’t make me like Brutsch). ‘Creepshots’ are where Brutsch or his followers scour the web looking for pictures of under-age girls who look sexually provocative for ‘wank material’ or they photograph under age girls they see in public. So, yeah, they follow 14 year olds and leer at them, then post the pictures they snap online and make comments about the girls. Illegal? I don’t know. Fucked up and creepy? Definitely.
Brutsch served as a moderator (or sorts) for ‘reddit’ and established his own moderation policies for ‘creepshots.’ Among other things, he would immediately delete any pictures that were of women/girls old enough to give legal consent. Anyone who crossed him would be hunted down and harassed on the Internet by Brutsch and his cronies. Among other things, they would flood their network of sites with the targets real name and contact information coupled with insults and accusations. And he and his cronies did all of this from behind anonymous user handles. Brutsch used ‘Violentacrez’ as his screen name, and, as Violentacrez he was infamous. Brutsch/Violentacrez is unpaid (he does (or did) this for fun), but ‘reddit’ is owned by Conde Nast, who disavow any role in the creepiness of 49 year old men posting pictures and comments that describe their sexual fantasies involving young girls and pictures they have appropriated from facebook and other sources.
Cutting to the chase: The residents of ‘Gawker’ and ‘reddit’ were caught up in some sort of flame war. Adrian Chen of Gawker somehow found out that Violentacrez = Brutsch and called up Brutsch to tell him that he was going public with the information. Brutsch begged him not to, citing the fact that this would embarrass his family and cost him his job, ignoring the obvious — as Violentacrez, he made his reputation by bringing grief to other people. But when the shit lands on his doorstep, he begs Chen to show some mercy and let him off the hook. He tells Chen that his wife is disabled and this will embarrass his son (never mind that as Violentacrez, there was nowhere Brutsch wouldn’t go in his attempts to humiliate those he though of as his online enemies and he had no qualms about invading the lives of others by posting pictures of teenagers in his online gallery). I’m glad to say that Chen didn’t listen. After the news got out, Brutsch was let go from his position at a financial firm’s IT department, presumably because he had been moderating a glorified porn site and championing free speech by fucking with people from an anonymous account while on the clock. Ooops.
Why are these Internet tough guys always such pathetic, fat worms in reality? When they finally reel out enough rope to hang themselves, they always seem to think that they don’t deserve to be on the receiving end of what they have been dishing out. What’s up with that?
|“My dick was HUGE till she wanted out of the kitchen!”|
I am not making this shit up. According to the internet, Rush was on his radio show, talking about penis size (?), and he brought up a study that was done in Italy that claimed to show that human penises had decreased in average size by about 10% over the last 50 years. The Italian penis measuring people said this was a result of exposure to pollution (Which remind me: I gotta stop dipping my dong into that Rouge River water!).
“I don’t buy this,” Limbaugh said. “I think it’s feminism. I think if it’s tied to the last fifty years, the average size of a member is ten percent smaller…it has to be the feminazis.”
Makes perfect sense to me. Those dick hating Feminazis have probably been sneaking penis shrinking pills into our food… or doping the water supply with anti-viagra… or sprinkling or underpants with magic genital shrinking powder or something. There really is no other logical explanation.
More is better: First things first — I no longer feel obligated to post on every Old School Renaissance event or outrage, but in my web wanderings I frequently come across people expressing the sentiment that when hobbyist gamers sit down to write their ‘own’ rule book, they should write something new and different from what has come before. “Don’t give us another cut-and-paste job!” the masses scream en masse from the internets with the same rage that others reserve for dolphin killers and child molesters.
I think that’s dumb advice. I think if someone sits down to write their own rule book, they should write it exactly the way they want to write it. If that means that the only difference between your new ‘Towers & Trolls‘ and the original game written by Gygax & Arneson is the name and just enough of the text to stave off a cease and desist letter from Wizards of the Coast, then so be it. In the scheme of things, who cares if ‘Towers & Trolls’ sells only 3 copies and never gets played? I’m under the impression most people in the OSR do this for fun and love rather than money… and, for most of us, if we make enough $$$ to buy a pizza and a sixer we can consider it a job well done. Like collecting stamps or building ships inside bottles, rewriting games is a niche hobby.
I realize that producing yet another clone is probably not the winning strategy if your goal is to support yourself by selling games, so the true entrepreneurs who are out to sell books and games in order to make big money might want to avoid tossing yet another undifferentiated clone onto the heap of available games… but the few OSR-ers I’ve met via the internet who are doing this for money already seem to have figured that out, anyway.
One of the reasons why I think this is so cool is I have been reading these posts on A-Plus’s “Outland” game and think it is just the shiznit. I wish I was in his group.
Who Cares?: Paul Jaquays is now a woman named Jannelle Allyn Jaquays (sp?). If you follow that link and read the responses, you will find out that the fact that he is now a she makes some people mad — which is really fucking weird. What are the angry people angry about? I imagine them saying things like, “I played ‘Dark Tower’ back in 1982 and loved it… and Paul Jaquays wrote ‘Dark Tower’ so now I feel like my world has been rocked… how could he betray us by becoming a woman!?!”
One poster wrote something like, “This cannot be true because I know he is a conservative.” I didn’t know there was a single specific conservative viewpoint on gender reassignment. Is there?
I’m reasonably certain Jannelle Allyn Jaquays will not read this, but, if you do, I hope all this works out for you.
If you are one of the people who is made mad by Paul Jaquays becoming Janelle Allyn Jaquays, please post why in comments. I want to know why someone else changing their gender harms you.
What is the proper response?: A few days ago I posted something stupid about new years resolutions and old fruit cakes selling for big money at auction and how I ought to invest in fruit cakes since I could either sell or eat them if worse came to worse. One person responded to tell me something along the lines of, “For your new year’s resolution you could try being less of a douche bag,” or something like that. I deleted the response. In your opinion, what is the proper etiquette in this case?
Never one to avoid attempting to ride on the coat tails of what appears to be a sure thing, I decided to try and throw my own bloggy hat into the ‘lets try to talk about sexism in RPG art’ discussion. Full disclosure: I’m a hertero male, married, white and probably lead a pretty boring life by most standards. I like to draw and paint and do other stuff and do some illustration work for OSR publishers. I’m not really good at drawing sexy women posing in chainmail bikinis and similar stuff. I sometimes think that I would have better luck getting work if I was better at drawing those ‘cheesecake’ type pictures (or even ‘beefcake’ pictures), but somehow, either because I can’t or don’t want to, I just don’t draw those kinds of things. I also suspect that there are a lot of other people already hoeing that particular row, so, instead of competeing with all of the aspiring Larry Elmores of the world, it might be best just to pursue that which I’m good at (or, at least “better at” than some).
I don’t think I’m a prude, but much of what the mainstream identifies as ‘good fantasy art’ really bores me. Of course, people like Larry Elmore have had long and successful careers and I’m just a work-a-day amateur, so what do I know? But I know what I like. Take the painting by Elmore at left. It’s certainly very competently painted. The anatomy and skin has a more realistic look than anything I could do. Every hair in her yak-skin boots and fur loincloth is lovingly rendered. So why don’t I like it?
If you had asked me to describe a good painting when I was 12, I might have described a painting like Elmore’s. All the detail and the almost photographic rendering of every blade of grass looks hard to do (much like a 15 minute guitar solo sounds hard to do) and I would have just admired Elmore’s illustrator chops and his obvious discipline. And the woman is sexy and she’s looking right at me — the prospect of having a sexy woman without a shirt on look at me would have been pretty appealing at age 12. I remember being in an art class and we were taking a tour of the museum and there was one sculpture that was a series of red metal sticks welded together on the floor and then a painting by some lesser known old Dutch painter on a wall and the teacher asked me which one I liked better… and of course I said the Dutch painting. When she asked me why, I pointed at the metal sticks and said, “I could have done that. This (me pointing at the painting) looks hard to do.”
At the age of 12, however, it might of been hard for me to understand why some women wouldn’t like the Elmore picture that much. These days I would understand that view a little better; although I don’t think it’s just the ‘tits and ass’ content that pushes a painting like this into a somewhat condescending view of a woman heroine (at least not for me). It is maybe not just the nudity or even the sexuality; maybe the general sense that the woman here is just someone for us men to look at and saw, “woah, what a hot ass,” and for women to look at and say, “I wish someone would look at my ass the way people are looking at her ass.” I guess it approaches what (someone else) might have been talking about in his blog when he said that he thought that women were attracted to men that seemed competent (OK, now I can’t find it… so maybe I imagined it, or maybe someone else said it, or maybe I just can’t find it). The thing that kind of annoys me about so many of Elmore’s pictures is that the women are just standing there to be gawked at. Smarter and better read people would talk about ‘the implied male gaze’ or ‘the female body as an object of delication.’ I’m not well versed in those arguments/ideas, so I won’t do more than mention that they exist, but even with my somewhat rudimentary understanding, the ‘stupid pictures’ in rpg/genre fantasy art are currently at a kind of a “I know it when I see it” standard. Others (especially those to whom this matters a good deal more than me) probably have better informed thoughts.
The probablem I have with Elmore’s picture is that it is so utterly unimaginative and unambitious. She doesn’t look like she has a thought in her head, and, looking at the picture, all I can think of is, “Well, I’d tap that.” For a lot of people, the discussion of sexuality in genre art seems to one of taste. Perhaps the Elmore might be found ‘tasteless’ by some because the subject is (mostly) naked. I don’t like it just because I feel like all the thinking has already been done for me when I look at the picture. Elmore is saying, “Here’s a picture of a girl’s ass!” Bang. We are done.
The picture from the cover of the ‘Rogues Gallery’ by Erol Otus evokes a different feeling in me. Although it is hardly as ‘photographic’ or polished as Elmore’s airbrushed lady, the characters and the linework are quirky (in a good way). The wizard-guy in the horned hat appears to be sticking his hand down the front of the lady warrior’s shirt, so this picture is not absent ‘sexual content,’ but I don’t feel like the picture is as cheesey or brainless or as trite as Elmore’s. Perhaps because the illustration itself does not seem to take itself as seriously just on the basis of “how it was done.” Everything from the half-orc’s grass skirt and orthopaedic-looking shoes to the wizard guy copping a feel is more cartoonish and wierd/fun. Although sword-lady is sexy, I don’t feel like Otus was trying to inspire me to take the picture to the bathroom and rub one off. The “hand down her shirt” seems more of an ‘easter egg’ than anything else since unless you were looking for it, you might not notice it.
I don’t really have clear ‘rules’ for what is or is not ‘exploitative’ genre or RPG illustration art; and I don’t know if such rules would be helpful. But I think there are qualities to some illustrations that interest me more than others, and that is the aesthetic I would like to pursue. If I may express some hopes for the OSR, I hope that is the aesthetic that more of us will pursue. I tend to like some pretty strong stuff, and I love older pulp magazines (including many with S&M scenes), classical art, underground comics and the like. I’ve drawn some stuff that other people have told me is disgusting and/or disturbing… like this and this and this. I amuse myself by drawing pictures of people getting castrated or violated or their eyes gouged out. I’m not setting myself up as a beacon of decency and good taste (and I would hope you wouldn’t trust me if I tried to do that). But I do think that if fantasy art wants to be something beyond just “cheesecake,” the artists have to get more interested in things other than just drawing nice asses and tits… and the viewers have to get more ambitious in their viewing habits. I suppose you can have those things and a lot of people will beat a path to your door, but, if that’s all there is, then I am probably going to get bored. To me, given that the OSR is supposed to be all about ‘creating our own’ and ‘going crazy with it,’ boring is unforgiveable.
Speaking of which, why hasn’t anyone hired this guy to do any OSR work?
OK, when I started this I thought I had a point. Now I’m no longer sure if I did.
(edited to remove references to another blogger who said he was getting tired of being misquoted on this issue on another blog)
Philip Greaves, the man who wrote a ‘how to’ book on pedophilia that was briefly for sale on Amazon, has been arrested in Florida even though he lives in Colorado. Greaves wrote and self-published the book, “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct,” in Pueblo, Colorado. It was briefly carried on Amazon.com, but, after considerable protest, removed from Amazon’s list of products for sale. Detectives in Polk County, Florida, apparently purchased the book from Greaves through the mail, had him arrested by the Pueblo police and are now seeking to have him extradited to Florida where he will be charged. Sheriff Grady Judd said, “The message is very clear: If you write a book, if you sell that book, if you transmit that book to anyone in our jurisdiction, then we will investigate you and arrest, because our goal is protect the children.“
I would never say that I like the idea of someone writing a book like Greave’s book. There is no doubt in my mind that pedophilia is wrong. But I’m extraordinarily disturbed that a Sheriff in Florida would first ask someone in another state to send him a book and then seek to arrest that person for having sent them the book. The arrest hinges on the fact that such a book is illegal in Florida (Mr. Greaves may have been ignorant of that fact), but Mr. Greaves did not violate the Florida law until detectives in Florida wrote to him and asked him to send them the book. The Sheriff is arresting Mr. Greaves for a crime that law enforcement officers encouraged Mr. Greaves to commit. Aren’t there any actual criminals in Florida in need or arrest?
The other part of the story that disturbs me is that Mr. Greaves isn’t being arrested for commiting acts of pedophila. He is being arrested for writing about pedophila. I think that’s an important distinction. I’m certain that rape is wrong and I think rape should be illegal, but I don’t recall anyone having suggested that it would be right to arrest Ayn Rand for the rape scene she wrote about in “The Fountainhead.” On a practical level, I am very uncomforable with laws that don’t limit themselves to what the criminal does, but instead extend into what the criminal might think or write about. Reading books about murder or fantasizing about murdering someone or even writing a book about killing someone is not murder. And yet, Sheriff Judd claims that he wants to protect the children by arresting someone in another state who wrote a book. Should the authors of ‘Lolita’ and ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’ also be arrested since those works of fiction contain references to pedophilia?
The entire story worries me because it makes me wonder what the next logical progression of this event might be. If Greaves can be arrested for writing a book in Colorado that is illegal in Florida, where does Florida’s juristdiction end? If writing the book is illegal, how about owning or reading it? (and, honestly, I don’t know how anyone could judge the legality of the contents of the book without reading it) If writing or reading about certain matters is illegal, then shouldn’t thinking about them be wrong as well? And, if so, how do you enforce that law?
In the end, the issue isn’t pedophilia because, as far as I know, the author is not going to be charged with physical sexual misconduct. The author wrote a book in which he apparently described how one might go about seducing children… which, no matter how distasteful we might find that, is much different than actually doing it. If anyone deserves to be arrested on the basis of the Florida law that makes it illegal to import ‘pedophilia instruction manuals’ across the state line, shouldn’t it be the detectives who caused the book to be shipped to Florida by ordering it?
I didn’t realize that today was “National Coming Out” day. I didn’t even know we had a National Coming Out day. But, in the spirit of that day, let me take this moment to slam the New York State Republican Gubernatorial Candidate, Carl Paladino, for being an ass.
If you haven’t been keeping track, Paladino first stated that he was against gay marriage and said that he once ended up at a gay pride parade “by accident” and was disgusted by the sight of grown men “grinding” against each other, and he criticized his opponent for having attended a Gay Pride parade with his daughters, saying that bringing your children to a Gay Pride parade was a way of teaching them that ‘gay was OK’ but he believed that Gay was not OK. Then, later, when his opponent criticized Paladino as ‘anti-gay,’ Paladino said that he wasn’t a homophobe and the whole story of his anti-gay remarks was really his opponents attempt to smear him.
I am not gay, but I think we, as a nation, don’t need the government telling us who can be in our family or not. I think marriage should be a legal contract between consenting adult humans. Since one cannot enter into a legally binding contract with a child, animal or object, I think arguments that say that gay marriage is the thin wedge that will inevitably lead to people marrying children or turtles or appliances are a crock. I also think that ministers who do not approve of gay marriage should feel free to refuse to marry any same sex couples who come to them.
Paladino is a complete turd because he wants to gain the support of that section of the populace that dislikes the idea of gays getting married, so he says that gays shouldn’t marry and that the gay pride parade is ‘disgusting,’ but, at the same time, when his opponents dare to state the obvious (i.e.: if you support marriage rights for all, Paladino is NOT the candidate you want), he cries foul.
Given the usual trajectory of these blowhards who spend a lot of time publicly worrying that gays are gonna get the right to marry, it’s probably just a matter of time before Paladino is caught with a “wide stance” in a public restroom, or hiring a rent boy to help him “lift his luggage”, or buying sex and drugs from a male “masseuse.” It seems that the louder folks bitch about something, the more likely they have some unresolved issues with whatever it is that they are bitching about. My own theory is that Fred Phelps, leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, is so outspoken in his hatred of gays because he is scared to death by the fact that he feels “same sex attraction.”
Anyway, enough about Paladino, Phelps and all the rest. Now that I know that today is “come out of the closet day,” is there anything that I am going to try to do differently? I realize that I still use words like “homo” and “gay” as insults and to get a cheap laugh… but, interestingly enough, I don’t use these words pejoratively around people I know who are gay — which makes me into a sort of a “closet bigot.” So, in the coming year, I am going to try to take more responsibility for my language… and that means dropping the cheap shots on gays that I do to get a laugh out of my straight friends. It’s going to be a challenge because I grew up in the 70s and 80s (when it was usually socially ‘safe’ to hate on gays in straight culture — much like it was ‘safe’ to hate on blacks in white culture during the 1940s), so the behavior is pretty ingrained… but I also realize that every time I make a cheap crack around my straight friends that I would avoid around my gay friends, it makes me into a hypocrite like Paladino.
If you are curious about the picture, above, I typed “Gay Unicorn” into google image search and this was the best image that popped up out of the first few results.