B12 Solipsism

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Archive for the ‘sex’ tag

Santorum’s bad porn science

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Peepshow
Peepshow

Unsurprisingly, Rick Santorum’s understanding of science is just as piss-poor as his understanding about living in the 21st century, C.E.

There were lots of things to poke fun at in Rick Santorum’s anti-porn pledge, but the element perhaps most deserving of mockery has been widely ignored: his claim that “a wealth of research is now available demonstrating that pornography causes profound brain changes in both children and adults, resulting in widespread negative consequences.”

You want to know what’s profound? How scientifically inaccurate that statement is.

Pornography surely changes the brain in some ways — but so does everything. “Watching the NCAA playoffs is going to change your brain, eating chocolate — any time you have any kind of experience, it’s going to change your brain,” says Rory C. Reid, a research psychologist at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA. “The real question is, ‘Are those changes substantial enough that there’s going to be some observable effect?’”

As to Santorum’s claim that such damning research exists, Reid says: “Well, if there is, I’d sure like to see it!” He continues, “There’s not a single study to my knowledge that has even demonstrated half of that [claim].” Allow me to put into perspective Reid’s expertise: He not only specializes in neuropsychology but he’s also one of the world’s top experts on hypersexual behavior. If any such evidence existed, let alone “a wealth of research,” he would have seen it.

Still, he humored me by logging onto PubMed, a database maintained by the National Institutes of Health, and doing a search for any studies involving neuroimaging and pornography. Plenty of related research showed up, but none reliably demonstrate “profound” brain changes. The problem with much of the research in this arena is that it’s limited to (in nerd-speak) cross-sectional and quantitative data — it doesn’t establish a cause and effect.

In order to reliably demonstrate such a brain-damaging impact, researchers would have to engage in the sort of study that no review board would approve — especially when it comes to the impact on children. “You would have to get a group of children that had never looked at porn and then divide them into two groups,” Reid explains. They would all undergo brain scans and then half would have to be repetitively exposed to pornography before another round of brain scans. In addition to then showing “that there had been changes in the brain that would be detrimental, you’d also have to correlate that with behavioral outcomes,” he says. (That’s not even mentioning the issue of how to define pornographic material. As David Ley, a psychologist and author of “The Myth of Sex Addiction,” says, “The Supreme Court couldn’t answer that, but Santorum can?”)

(click here to continue reading Santorum’s bad porn science – Salon.com.)

I've Missed You
I’ve Missed You

Written by Seth Anderson

March 20th, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

Joe Paterno and the inherent Corruption of College Sports

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The Twelfth Player in Every Football Game
The Twelfth Player in Every Football Game

Joe Paterno, social conservative and proud Republican, was allowed to remain coach of Penn State long enough to break the record of most victories because Penn State valued the contribution of the football program’s revenues more than raped children, and that is shameful. In the 2009-2010 school year alone, Penn State’s football program reported revenue of $70,208,584  ((as reported to the U.S. Department of Education)) and profits of $50,427,645!  ((Of course, student/athletes don’t get any of that cash – all they get is free tuition, another scandal if you ask me)) That’s the reason Paterno wasn’t fired in 2002. Or rather, $700,000 reasons, give or take.  (( roughly $70 million times ten years))

The university’s most senior officials were clearly seeking to halt the humiliating damage caused by the arrest last Saturday of the former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky. Mr. Sandusky had been a key part of the football program, but prosecutors have said he was a serial pedophile who was allowed to add victims over the years in part because the university he had served was either unable or unwilling to stop him.

Mr. Sandusky has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span, and two top university officials — Tim Curley, the athletic director, and Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for finance and business — have been charged with perjury and failing to report to authorities what they knew of the allegations. Neither Mr. Paterno nor Mr. Spanier was charged in the case, though questions have been raised about if they did as much as they could to stop Mr. Sandusky.

(click here to continue reading Penn State Coach Joe Paterno Is Fired – NYTimes.com.)

The NCAA is a corrupt money machine, more interested in television rights than student athletes.

On average, [the richest 68 college football programs] earned $15.8 million last year, or well over $1 million per game.

They posted that jump in combined profit even though revenue rose by only 6% to $2.2 billion. That means the schools had a combined profit margin of 49%, enough to make any pro team owner green with envy.

Increasingly lucrative broadcast deals and strong ticket sales have been driving revenue. And, of course, not having to pay your athletes gives big-time college football the ultimate business model.

(click here to continue reading College football’s profit tops $1 billion for first time – Dec. 29, 2010.)

In Motion -TRI-X 400
In Motion -TRI-X 400

Also shameful is:

After top Penn State officials announced that they had fired Joe Paterno on Wednesday night, thousands of students stormed the downtown area to display their anger and frustration, chanting the former coach’s name, tearing down light poles and overturning a television news van parked along College Avenue.

The demonstrators congregated outside Penn State’s administration building before stampeding into the tight grid of downtown streets. They turned their ire on a news van, a symbolic gesture that expressed a view held by many that the news media exaggerated Mr. Paterno’s role in the scandal surrounding accusations that a former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, sexually assaulted young boys.

“I think the point people are trying to make is the media is responsible for JoePa going down,” said a freshman, Mike Clark, 18, adding that he believed that Mr. Paterno had met his legal and moral responsibilities by telling university authorities about an accusation that Mr. Sandusky assaulted a boy in a university shower in 2002.

Demonstrators tore down two lamp posts, one falling into a crowd. They also threw rocks and fireworks at the police, who responded with pepper spray. The crowd undulated like an accordion, with the students crowding the police and the officers pushing them back.

“We got rowdy, and we got maced,” Jeff Heim, 19, said rubbing his red, teary eyes. “But make no mistake, the board started this riot by firing our coach. They tarnished a legend.”

(click here to continue reading Penn State Students Clash With Police After Paterno Announcement – NYTimes.com.)

Really, clueless college students? You are rioting because a child molester-enabler was eventually fired, years after he should have been? Disgusting. Are football victories really that important to your self-worth? More than protecting kids from being raped? I hope for your sake, you don’t post any photos of yourself rioting in support of this creep: future employers might not think your logic skills are sound.

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Tony Auth’s take on Penn State’s priorities

Update: Elizabeth Gettelman of Mother Jones concurs:

Penn State did the right thing tonight when it fired its storied football coach Joe Paterno (and its president, Graham Spanier). But it’s pretty little, and it’s way late. Joe Paterno remained Coach Paterno for nearly a decade after learning that his former defensive coordinator had allegedly raped a 10-year-old, and for nearly a year after a grand jury investigation confirmed as much. In fact, he stayed coach just long enough to become the winningest coach in Division I college football history, a record he achieved two weeks ago, 11 months after said grand jury investigation (see page 8 referencing December 2010 interviews). Had his complicit role come to light last December would Paterno have had a shot at his record-breaking victory? If present outrage would have held, and it should have, then no, he wouldn’t have coached at all this season.

The timing is probably not a coincidence, and it’s illustrative. This whole hellstorm was swept under the rug for so long because of the money machine that is college football, a successful program with a superstar coach and a sterling reputation is money in the bank, and when you’re Penn State that’s $50 million a year kind of money.

(click here to continue reading Penn State’s Joe Paterno Shouldn’t Have Coached a Game This Season | Mother Jones.)

The clouds in july are mostly in the plain
The clouds in july are mostly in the plain

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Signe Wilkinson’s take on Penn State, Inc.…

and Mike McQueary should be drummed out of the coaching business for his cowardice:

Penn State wide receivers coach Mike McQueary allegedly witnessed Jerry Sandusky performing a sexual act on a young child in a Lasch Football Building shower in 2002…and didn’t intervene.

This detail is in the grand jury report about the scandal surrounding Sandusky and Penn State University.

I’ll start this by saying my knowledge of the law is limited, but I understand the idea of an accessory. Usually, however, the person is a witness to murder. In this instance, McQueary was a witness to an alleged rape.

And he left.

These are all things that McQueary has admitted. He must feel terrible, being that he was 28 years old at the time and did nothing. However, the thought that he physically walked away from a rape is disgusting.

(click here to continue reading Penn State Scandal: Why Mike McQueary Deserves Jail Time | Bleacher Report.)

Written by Seth Anderson

November 10th, 2011 at 9:15 am

Posted in Sports

Tagged with , ,

Spoonful

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Electricity Comes from other Planets

An all time favorite blues. But what does the spoonful refer to? Heroin? or…

Howlin’ Wolf favored a sexual metaphor—or rather, he literalized one when he played the song in his shows. He’d grab a big cooking spoon that drummer Sam Lay bought him at a flea market and brandish it at crotch-level, engaging in blatantly phallic monkeyshines. Wolf would work this raunchy shtick no matter the crowd. On two occasions—a benefit for a black Little League team, the other the International Jazz Festival in Washington, D.C., before an audience of gowned and tuxedoed dignitaries—many were not amused. At the benefit, someone closed the stage curtains on Wolf to spare the kiddies the sight of him getting busy with a kitchen utensil.

Howlin’ Wolf recorded “Spoonful” in 1960, backed by a top-notch studio band comprising the guitarists Hubert Sumlin and Freddie Robinson, pianist Otis Spann, Fred Below on drums, and Dixon on the double-bass. But its origins, like those of several other Dixon compositions on Rocking Chair, go back several decades further. It’s adapted (loosely) from Charley Patton’s 1929 “A Spoonful Blues”, which derives from Papa Charlie Jackson’s 1925 recording, “All I Want Is a Spoonful”. The song’s tailor-made for Wolf; like his own “Smokestack Lightnin’” and “I Asked Her for Water”, it’s the kind of modal chant with which he crafted his incomparable brand of gripping drama.

(click here to continue reading Rocking Chair Blues: Howlin’ Wolf – “Spoonful” < PopMatters.)

 

Written by Seth Anderson

April 25th, 2011 at 10:33 am

Posted in Music

Tagged with , ,

Netflixed: Roman Polanski- Wanted and Desired

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Didn’t quite know what to expect from this documentary, though I was aware of the broad details of Polanski’s eventful life - Sharon Tate’s husband when she was brutalized by Charlie Manson, surviving concentration camps, and so on. Quite watchable, if a bit disquieting.

This penetrating documentary explores the tumultuous events of director Roman Polanski’s personal life, including the murder of his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, and the controversial sex scandal that prompted him to flee the United States for France. Highlights include an interview with Polanski’s victim, Samantha Geimer, as well as candid conversations with Chinatown screenwriter Robert Towne and actress Mia Farrow.

 

(click here to Netflix Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.)

Polanski’s sexual encounter with a 13 year old is distasteful, whether or not is was consensual; 13 year old girls might be sexually active, but adults should have enough sense to keep their pants on. However, the film makes a pretty strong case for judicial misconduct on the part of Judge Laurence J. Rittenband.

Worth a view.

Roger Ebert:

The tragic story of Roman Polanski, his life, his suffering and his crimes, has been told and retold until it assumes the status of legend. After the loss of his parents in the Holocaust, after raising himself on the streets of Nazi-controlled Poland, after moving to America to acclaim as the director of “Chinatown,” after the murder by the Manson family of his wife and unborn child … what then?

He was arrested and tried for unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13- year-old girl, one of several charges including supplying her with drink and drugs. Then he fled the country to avoid a prison sentence and still remains in European exile for that reason. That is what everybody remembers, and it is all here in Marina Zenovich’s surprising documentary, “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.”

But there is so much more, and the story she builds, brick by brick with eyewitness testimony, is about crimes against the justice system carried out by the judge of Polanski’s case, Laurence J. Rittenband. So corrupt was this man that the documentary finds agreement among the three people (aside from Polanski) most interested in the outcome: the defense attorney, Douglas Dalton; the assistant D.A. who prosecuted the case, Roger Gunson, and Samantha Gailey Geimer, who was the child involved.

Their testimony nails Rittenband as a shameless publicity seeker who was more concerned with his own image than arriving at justice. Who broke his word to attorneys on both sides. Who staged a fake courtroom session in which Gunson and Geimer were to go through the motions of making their arguments before the judge read an opinion he had already prepared. Who tried to stage such a “sham” (Gunson’s term) a second time. Who juggled possible sentences in discussions with outsiders, once calling a Santa Monica reporter, David L. Jonta, into his chambers to ask him, “What the hell should I do with Polanski?” Who discussed the case with the guy at the next urinal at his country club. Who held a press conference while the case was still alive. Who was removed from the case on a motion by both prosecution and defense.

(click here to continue reading Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews.)

Manohla Dargis:

The sharply argued documentary “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired” isn’t about the innocence or guilt of its title subject, who after pleading guilty in 1977 to having “unlawful sexual intercourse” with a minor flew from Los Angeles to London, never again to return to America. Neither is it about Mr. Polanski’s likability, his tragic past, morals, short stature, brilliant and bad films, the sleaze factor or your personal feelings on whether there’s anything wrong with a 43-year-old man’s having sex with a 13-year-old girl. All these elements come teasingly into view here, but really this is a movie about a very different kind of perversion.

“Wanted and Desired,” which opened on Friday without advance press screenings, was bought by HBO at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Its one-week theatrical run will make it eligible for Academy Award consideration, though given that organization’s often pitiful record when it comes to nonfiction film, it seems unlikely that a movie this subtly intelligent would make its short list. That’s especially true because the director, Marina Zenovich, refuses to wag her finger at Mr. Polanski, even when presenting the sordid and grimly pathetic details of his crime, like the Champagne and partial Quaalude he furnished the 13-year-old girl and her repeated nos.

Mr. Polanski’s guilt isn’t in doubt, arguments about the age of consent notwithstanding. In March 1977, he was arrested at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and charged with raping the girl at the home of his friend, Jack Nicholson, the star of his film “Chinatown.” (Mr. Nicholson was away.) He was released on $2,500 bail and eventually indicted on six felony charges, including child molestation and sodomy. In August, after agreeing to a plea bargain, he pleaded guilty to one felony count of illegal sex with a 13-year-old girl. Her family’s lawyer, Lawrence Silver, told the judge that his clients were not seeking a prison term for Mr. Polanski, only an admission of wrongdoing and rehabilitation. By Feb. 1, 1978, Mr. Polanski had fled.

As Ms. Zenovich forcefully explains — using talking-head interviews, a wealth of archival material and generous clips from Mr. Polanski’s films, including “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Chinatown” — he had every reason to run. The story of what happened between the initial charges and his flight has been sketchily told before, including by his victim, Samantha Geimer, who in 2003 wrote a commentary for The Los Angeles Times in which she stated that she believed that he and his most recent film at the time, “The Pianist,” should be honored on their own merits. She added, “Who wouldn’t think about running when facing a 50-year sentence from a judge who was clearly more interested in his own reputation than a fair judgment or even the well-being of the victim?”

“Wanted and Desired” answers Ms. Geimer’s bombshell question with shocks of its own, notably corroborating interviews from Douglas Dalton, Mr. Polanski’s lawyer, and Roger Gunson, the assistant district attorney who led the prosecution. Together these two former opponents pin the blame for Polanski’s flight directly on the presiding judge, Laurence J. Rittenband (who stepped down in 1989 and died in 1994). Aided and abetted by an avalanche of fluidly organized visual material, the lawyers fill in the appalling details of what was effectively a second crime, one largely perpetrated by a celebrity-dazzled judge and the equally gaga news media he courted. This crime left two victims, Mr. Polanski, who was denied a fair trial, and Ms. Geimer, who was denied justice. As she wrote, “Sometimes I feel like we both got a life sentence.”

 

(click here to continue reading Movie Review – Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired – The Judge, the Director and the Vagaries of Justice – NYTimes.com.)

 

Written by Seth Anderson

January 31st, 2011 at 10:10 am

Posted in Film

Tagged with , ,

No Matter How Strenuous the action

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(click to embiggen)

No Matter How Strenuous the action, Harris Dacron Slacks are Pressed for Life. And orgies!

Written by Seth Anderson

November 9th, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Posted in Advertising

Tagged with ,

Was The Eliot Spitzer case a Republican Dirty Trick?

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Te' Jay's Adult Books

Interesting, if true. Eliot Spitzer’s rise and fall was an interesting diversion at the end of the Bush years. More details at the film’s website, but Andrew O’Hehir writes:

“Client 9″ builds a forceful, if circumstantial, case around the disclosures that led to Spitzer’s downfall. Avowed Spitzer haters like investment banker Ken Langone, former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg and ex-New York Stock Exchange head Dick Grasso were clearly seeking any opportunity to take the governor down, and Langone has made murky comments to the effect that he knew about the prostitution scandal before the news broke. (See, a friend of his was in line behind Spitzer at the post office … No, really.)

Notorious right-wing political trickster Roger Stone has claimed to be the initial source who told the FBI about Spitzer’s dalliances with hookers (and he’s definitely the source of the scurrilous knee-socks allegation). Although Stone was an aide and confidante to state Sen. Joe Bruno, one of Spitzer’s biggest Albany foes, Stone says he heard about the whole thing on his own, at random, from a hooker in a Miami nightclub. (Given Stone’s background and reputation, that part of the story is strangely believable.) Add up all these billionaires, rogues and past and future indictees — along with a scandal-plagued Justice Department at the tail end of the George W. Bush era, eager to claim the scalp of a leading Democrat — and the whole thing looks overdetermined, as the Marxists say.

Nothing about this case is clear-cut, and we’ll probably never know for sure. (The official story, via the government and the mainstream media, is that the whole thing emerged from a routine money-trail investigation and Stone et al. had nothing to do with it. Not impossible, but not all that plausible either.)

(click to continue reading “Client 9″: The Eliot Spitzer case: How we were bamboozled – Andrew O’Hehir, Movie Critic – Salon.com.)

The truth is, the Rethuglicans have perpetuated so many dirty tricks over the years that when a prominent Democrat is accused on any kind of impropriety, our immediate instinct is to suspect there is more to the story.

Written by Seth Anderson

November 4th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Posted in Film,politics

Tagged with

links for 2010-10-14

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  • “We have probably 60 or so foreign multi-national companies in our membership that we have had for decades, many of which have been in the United States for half a century or a century,” said Josten.

    The Chamber is being deceptive. In addition to multinational members of the Chamber headquartered abroad (like BP, Shell Oil, and Siemens), a new ThinkProgress investigation has identified at least 84 other foreign companies that actively donate to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6). Below is a chart detailing the annual dues foreign corporations have indicated that they give directly to the Chamber

    Jean Cocteau Two screenplays.jpg
  • What the new genre of foreclosure photography reveals about the human side of the Great Recession.
  • But, if I were a teacher, I’d definitely bring in my humidifier and park it in the corner of a classroom. Leaving one humming in the background might just reduce the transmission of all those combined flu particles hanging, exhaled, in the air. Studies have shown that humidifying nursing homes reduces flu transmission – so it’s not just a theoretical benefit. So if you’re a parent, consider sharing this info, as well as the gift of a humidifier, with your kids’ teachers. You don’t need an expensive humidifier – in fact the types that simultaneously heat the air may lead to mold growth in the humidifier (something you definitely don’t want to be blowing into the air you breathe). A good old cheap type of humidifier that you dump out each day and refill is plenty good enough.
    (tags: science)
    nba_andersen_d1_576-791229.jpg
  • Two years ago today, Jonah Goldberg offered Juan Cole a bet: “Anyway, I do think my judgment is superior to his when it comes to the big picture. So, I have an idea: Since he doesn’t want to debate anything except his own brilliance, let’s make a bet. I predict that Iraq won’t have a civil war, that it will have a viable constitution, and that a majority of Iraqis and Americans will, in two years time, agree that the war was worth it. I’ll bet $1,000 (which I can hardly spare right now). This way neither of us can hide behind clever word play or CV reading. If there’s another reasonable wager Cole wants to offer which would measure our judgment, I’m all ears. Money where your mouth is, doc
    Condi-Greece.jpg
  • The notion that Tribune editor Gerry Kern would be offended is laughable and just goes to show you how lame the whole company has become – I mean, it was lame before, but at least in a less psychotic way. We get Corporate Lame. This is the jocks vs. the nerds and I can’t take sides in that crappy fight. I hated high school. I’m with the rockers, the burnouts, the misfits, the pranksters, and the smart and witty independent outsiders who don’t care about the prom, their SATs, or tattling about beer and sex. My god, when they came for the journalists there were none of us left!

    I didn’t go to my high school prom either, can I join your club…

    Flesh Cult 1963.jpg

Written by swanksalot

October 14th, 2010 at 7:02 am

Posted in Links

Tagged with , , ,

Still a Virgin

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Still a Virgin
Still a Virgin, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

I know it is an ad for a probably inane film, but I still laughed.

Shot with my Hipstamatic for iPhone
Lens: John S
Flash: Off
Film: Pistil

From IMDb:
Four guys, one camera, and their experience chronicling the exhilarating and terrifying rite of passage: losing your virginity. As these guys help their buddy get laid, they’ll have to survive friends with benefits, Internet hookups, even porn stars during an adventure that proves why you will always remember your first

Like I said, utterly and irredeemingly lame.

Written by swanksalot

September 9th, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Posted in Film,humor,Photography

Tagged with , , ,

Rick Santorum has an Anal Sex Problem

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Really, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy1

Starbucks Pollution

Rick Santorum would very much like to be president. For the past few years, he has been diligently appearing at the sorts of conservative events—the Values Voters Summit, the Conservative Political Action Conference—where aspiring Republican candidates are expected to show up. But before he starts printing “Santorum 2012″ bumper stickers, there’s one issue the former GOP senator and his strategists need to address. You see, Santorum has what you might call a Google problem. For voters who decide to look him up online, one of the top three search results is usually the site SpreadingSantorum.com, which explains that Santorum’s last name is a sexual neologism for “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

Santorum’s problem got its start back in 2003, when the then-senator from Pennsylvania compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia, saying the “definition of marriage” has never included “man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.” The ensuing controversy prompted syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, who’s gay, to start a contest, soliciting reader suggestions for slang terms to “memorialize the scandal.” The winner came up with the “frothy mixture” idea, Savage launched a website, and a meme was born. Even though mainstream news outlets would never link to it, Savage’s site rose in the Google rankings, thanks in part to bloggers who posted Santorum-related news on the site or linked to it from their blogs. Eventually it eclipsed Santorum’s own campaign site in search results; some observers even suggested it may have contributed to Santorum’s crushing 18-point defeat in his 2006 campaign against Bob Casey.

(click to continue reading and giggling at Rick Santorum’s Anal Sex Problem | Mother Jones.)

Footnotes:
  1. in other words, Rick Santorum is a horrible person, and deserves all the opprobrium he receives. []

Written by Seth Anderson

September 7th, 2010 at 11:13 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with , ,

No Prostitutes at this Address

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No Prostitutes at this Address
No Prostitutes at this Address, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

Dean Street, SoHo

maybe they congregate down the way? Actually didn’t see any obvious prostitutes while in London.

Written by swanksalot

August 17th, 2010 at 9:41 am

Posted in Photography

Tagged with , ,

Clinton Vs. Starr Et Al revisited in new book

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“The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr” (Ken Gormley)

I’ll admit to remembering, with somewhat guilty pleasure, that I read every word of the Starr Report and related texts when it was dominating the American news back in the late 1990s. Seems like so long ago, but it really wasn’t. The show trial was so obviously partisan even Republican rubes in the office I worked at during this time admitted as such. We still talked about it a lot during our “water cooler” moments.

At the end of “The Death of American Virtue,” Ken Gormley’s tough, labyrinthine account of the legal nightmare that beset Bill Clinton’s presidency and led to his impeachment trial, Paula Jones takes stock. Ms. Jones, the woman who accused Mr. Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, of sexual harassment and saw her lawsuit snowball its way to the Supreme Court and take on constitutional ramifications, complains about “the mud they’d drug me through” and about being called trailer-park trash. “I never lived in a trailer in my life,” she says.

In a book that will surely rivet those willing to revisit such byzantine material, the legal handling of Ms. Lewinsky emerges in a new light. Mr. Gormley provides a detailed account of her initial entrapment by investigators from Mr. Starr’s office and raises serious procedural questions about how she was treated. Lured to a mall for a lunch date by Linda Tripp, who in this book sounds even more troubled and delusional than she used to, Ms. Lewinsky was ambushed by agents and essentially held hostage in a hotel room while they tried to extract information from her. The book provides participants’ accounts of this showdown and describes the agents’ efforts to dissuade Ms. Lewinsky from calling a lawyer. The agents would later insist they had not tried to frighten or browbeat her.

“So if I was allowed to call a lawyer, why didn’t I?” the sharp-sounding Ms. Lewinsky now asks Mr. Gormley. “Period. End of story. I’m not that stupid.” This book startlingly claims that a report critical of the conduct of the agents, who were eager to discuss the minutiae of Ms. Lewinsky’s sexual behavior, has been withheld from the public for reasons of privacy — their privacy. It contains many a bombshell of that magnitude.

[Click to continue reading Books Of The Times - Ken Gormley’s ‘Death of American Virtue’ - Clinton on Trial - Review - NYTimes.com]

So will I read this book? Probably yes, eventually, though I’ll wait until it comes out in remainder bins first. The whole affair was so juvenile in retrospect, especially when contrasted to the lack of impeachment proceedings against George Bush for much worse crimes than lying about receiving a blow job or two.

This book’s readers will quickly think of water. Facts overwhelm you like Niagara. And when you’ve finished reading about President Clinton and special prosecutor Ken Starr, you may want to take a long shower. Gormley, a professor of law at Duquesne (Archibald Cox), reviews the entire sordid business of Clinton’s foolishness and his enemies’ efforts to bring down his presidency. It’s not an edifying tale. Very few of the book’s cast come off well, except for Secret Service officials and a judge or two. If there’s a sympathetic character, it’s Susan McDougal, who refused to rat on her friends. Starr makes error after error and confuses vindictiveness with duty. While not altering the basic story in any way, Gormley gains much from effective interviews 10 years after with participants and his use of newly available documents. While his book is too long, Gormley remains in control of the details, and this riveting first look at events that only future history will put into full relief shows how affairs of sex and enmity can become affairs of state. 24 pages of b&w photos.

Ten years after one of the most polarizing political scandals in American history, author Ken Gormley offers an insightful, balanced, and revealing analysis of the events leading up to the impeachment trial of President William Jefferson Clinton. From Ken Starr’s initial Whitewater investigation through the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit to the Monica Lewinsky affair, The Death of American Virtue is a gripping chronicle of an ever-escalating political feeding frenzy.

In exclusive interviews, Bill Clinton, Ken Starr, Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, Susan McDougal, and many more key players offer candid reflections on that period. Drawing on never-before-released records and documents—including the Justice Department’s internal investigation into Starr, new details concerning the death of Vince Foster, and evidence from lawyers on both sides—Gormley sheds new light on a dark and divisive chapter, the aftereffects of which are still being felt in today’s political climate.

Written by Seth Anderson

February 14th, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Posted in politics,Suggestions

Tagged with , , ,

Prude News from 1935

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Amused by this historic tidbit:

Because the same dances she gave nightly in Chicago without police restraint were “too shocking” for Parisian tea guests at the Bagdad Restaurant, Joan Warner, twenty-two-year-old Pennsylvanian and only American nude dancer in Paris, was forbidden by police Wednesday from further appearances in the nude. Miss Warner came to Paris to do a series of dances with a large feather fan, which, after seeing the Folies-Bergère and a few other shows, she considered superfluous. She has been dancing at various theaters and cabarets. “I never thought that, if the Chicago and Milwaukee police thought my act sufficiently modest to allow it on the boards when all the other fan dancers were prohibited, I should have any trouble in Paris,” she said yesterday [Jan. 10]. Officials at the Prefecture said yesterday that, while nudes are permitted in stage shows, they are not welcome in restaurants.

[Click to continue reading From the International Herald Tribune - 100, 75, 50 Years Ago - NYTimes.com]

All Hail

Her Wikipedia entry is sparse, and as far as I can tell in a brief Google search, there are no photos of Ms. Warner online. Pity.

Warner was raised in Washington, D.C., studying there and in New York. She was three years of age when she began dancing. She was slender, quite tall, very blonde, with blue eyes. She danced in Hollywood in 1933 before moving on to Chicago. where she entertained at the Royal Frolics. Warner made appearances in Miami, Florida, Palm Beach, and New Orleans. In the latter city she was persuaded to go abroad by an English producer.

She danced unimpeded in Paris music halls and cabarets beginning in the spring of 1934. She encountered legal difficulties when numerous imitators of her shows began to perform at different venues. Warner mostly appeared nude solely in dim lighted cabarets where she was not especially close to her audience.

She wore a fan and sometimes a pair of iron bracelets during her performances. She appeared at the Bagdad, a tea-dancing restaurant in the Champs Elysees. She was arrested there and the club was forced to close for a day before its license was restored. She soon obtained an engagement at the Alcazar and received top billing at Bal Tabarin

Warner appeared in a French court beginning in July 1935 on a charge of offending public modesty. The suit was brought by the Association for the Increase of the French Population. She was cited for a violation of Article 330 of the French code. It dealt with the extent to which a person could be legally undressed in public. It was also contended that during one dance she came came too close to the floor space designated for spectators.

Warner argued for the art in her dance routine. She said she was covered from head to foot with white makeup and an invisible lavender silk cloth covered me in my absolutely correct positions. Her defense was supported by noted aviators, novelists, a zoology professor, and a painter, Maurice Devlaminck. The latter read a text about artistic nudity and said that he was not shocked by nakedness.

On July 18 the Tenth Correctional Chamber fined Warner fifty francs. The judicial body ruled it is against the law of the French Republic to dance in the nude, however artistically one may dance. The small fine imposed implied that the court was lenient. It mostly took exception to the dances being advertised as nude when actually they gave an impression of complete nudity. Specifically, the court elaborated that it was hard to distinguish between what was art and what was lewdness.

[Click to continue reading Joan Warner - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

Wonder if there are any options on her biography? Sounds like a fun film treatment to write. I imagine Ms. Warner being played by whatever hipster tart is popular at the moment, an actress who wants to to spread her artistic wings a bit, but doesn’t mind exposing her body, in the name of art, of course. Someone with more talent than whats-her-face Megan Fox, in other words.

Written by Seth Anderson

January 11th, 2010 at 11:55 am

Posted in Arts

Tagged with , , , ,

JFK photo fake of course

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Anything sensational involving JFK and sex is grist for the mill of bottom-feeder websites like TMZ.

TMZ has obtained a never-before published photograph which appears to show John F. Kennedy on a boat filled with naked women — it’s a photo that could have altered world events.

We believe the photo was taken in the mid-1950s. It shows two naked women jumping off the boat and two more naked women sunning on the top deck. Just below the top deck — a man appearing to be John F. Kennedy is laying on a deck, sunning himself.

TMZ had multiple experts examine the photo — all say there is no evidence the picture was Photoshopped. The original print — which is creased — was scanned and examined for evidence of inconsistent lighting, photo composition and other forms of manipulation. The experts all concluded the photo appears authentic.

Professor Jeff Sedlik, a forensic photo expert, says the print appears to be authentic. Sedlik says the photo is printed on paper consistent with what was used in the 1950s. The emulsion on the surface of the print has numerous cracks — the result of aging and handling.

[Click to continue reading The JFK Photo That Could Have Changed History | TMZ.com]

except that within a few hours The Smoking Gun tracked down the original color photograph, published in a November 1967 issue of Playboy. Doh! These so-called forensic photo experts should be pretty embarrassed, and TMZ’s corporate parent1 better hope TMZ didn’t pay too much cash for the photo.

The Smoking Gun’s post, in part:

the photo appeared in story about Playboy’s “Charter Yacht Party: How to Have a Ball on the Briny with an Able-Bodied Complement of Ship’s Belles.” As seen in the below page from the November 1967 issue, the Playboy photo is in color. The “Exclusive” TMZ image is the same photo, just reproduced in black and white. [Click here for a side-by-side comparison of the original Playboy photo and the watermarked version published today by TMZ.] According to the web site, the photo was “eventually given to a man who owned a car dealership on the East coast. The man kept it in a drawer for years, and would brag to friends he had an image of JFK on a boat with naked women. The man died 10 years ago and one of his sons inherited the photo.” The gossip site offered no further details about the photo’s provenance or what they paid for the image. The site noted that “we believe the photo was taken in the mid-1950s,” likely while Kennedy was on a two-week “Mediterranean boating trip” with his brother Ted and Senator George Smathers. TMZ claimed to have consulted with “multiple experts,” including a forensic photo expert and two unnamed JFK biographers, as it sought to confirm that the late president was photographed surrounded by a quartet of naked women. According to the caption accompanying the Playboy photo spread, four couples were enjoying themselves on a trip to Petit Rameau, an island in the Grenadines. As “Andy” sunned himself on deck, “Elaine” dove naked into the water while “Roxanna” provocatively shimmied up a ladder. In an interview, Larry Dale Gordon, the Playboy photographer who took the yacht image, said that the man TMZ identified as Kennedy was a “paid model,” as were the naked women featured in the shot.

[Click to continue reading TMZ Falls For JFK Photo Hoax - December 28, 2009]

Too funny. And why would have been such a big deal anyway? JFK was a player, so what?

Footnotes:
  1. Time Warner, Inc., which coincidentally also owns The Smoking Gun []

Written by Seth Anderson

December 28th, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Posted in News-esque

Tagged with , ,

Reading Around on November 15th through November 18th

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A few interesting links collected November 15th through November 18th:

  • Apocalypse Now /Redux :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews – In a note released with the film, Coppola emphasizes that this new material was not simply shoehorned into the original version of the film, but that “Redux” is “a new rendition of the movie from scratch.” He and his longtime editor Walter Murch “re-edited the film from the original unedited raw footage — the dailies,” he says, and so possibly even some of the shots that look familiar to us are different takes than the ones we saw before.
  • Smithsonian: Making Sense of Sustainable Seafood | Food & Think – Chilean seabass from Whole Foods, courtesy Flickr user swanksalot
  • Patagonia Toothfish

  • I’m Belle de Jour – Times Online – Revealed: the woman behind the Belle de Jour blog

    She’s real, all right, and I’m sitting on the bed next to her. Her name is Dr Brooke Magnanti. Her specialist areas are developmental neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology. She has a PhD in informatics, epidemiology and forensic science and is now working at the Bristol Initiative for Research of Child Health. She is part of a team researching the effects of exposure to the pesticide chlorpyrifos on foetuses and infants.

    From 2003 to late 2004, Brooke worked as a prostitute via a London escort agency; she started blogging as Belle de Jour — after the Buñuel film starring Catherine Deneuve as a well-to-do housewife who has sex for money because she’s bored — shortly into her career as a call girl, after an incident she thought funny enough to write down.

Written by swanksalot

November 18th, 2009 at 7:00 am

Reading Around on September 21st through September 23rd

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A few interesting links collected September 21st through September 23rd:

  • ejshea.com » Blog Archive » Why You Should Protest That Tucker Max Movie – “Earlier today, I made a comment that we all should ignore Tucker Max and the movie adaption of his book, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell.

    The very spot-on Whet Moser corrected me over Twitter, as soon as I said it, and he backed his reasoning with this post:

    Tucker Max Hates Fun.

    You all should read it right now.

    And after I finished reading it, I realized what a horrible, stupid, unreasoned response I made, thinking that the right response to misogyny is to be quiet and hope it goes away. It doesn’t and it never has and it never will. I have known that since I was a teenager, and discovered feminism, and identified as such”

  • lust Monster 1965.jpg
    [Lust Monster, 1965]

  • Inside Google Books: LIFE magazine now available on Google Books – starting today, visitors to Google Books will be able to search and browse even more magazines on Google Books. We’ve partnered with Life Inc. to digitize LIFE Magazine’s entire run as a weekly: over 1,860 issues, covering the years from 1936 to 1972. Most of us are familiar with the term “American Century,” but chances are few of us have been able to read Henry Luce’s defining editorial in its original context, a 1941 issue of LIFE. You’ll be able to find and read Leonard McCombe’s iconic cover and photo essay on a Texas Cowboy and Richard Meryman’s famous last interview with Marilyn Monroe. You can find a 1968 cover story on Georgia O’Keeffe
  • First Draft: Party On, Boris – He [Clinton] also relayed how Boris Yeltsin’s late-night drinking during a visit to Washington in 1995 nearly created an international incident. The Russian president was staying at Blair House, the government guest quarters. Late at night, Clinton told Branch, Secret Service agents found Yeltsin clad only in his underwear, standing alone on Pennsylvania Avenue and trying to hail a cab. He wanted a pizza, he told them, his words slurring.
  • Pinup_WWII.jpg
    [WWII pinup]

Written by swanksalot

September 23rd, 2009 at 4:00 pm