Monthly Archives: July 2002


I consider myself a feminist. I work for an organization working to end violence against women. Yet, this does not mean that i am opposed to prostitution, stripping, phone sex or pornography. I do not see them as one and the same. Certainly, some of this is violent and atrocious, but to say that the sex industry as a whole is is problematic. What is violent is the abuse that women who choose these professions receive, often because they are required to take on pimps for protection. Often, these pimps are police officers who are abuse these women terribly under the guise of “protection.” I have a problem with this. I have a problem with how the sex industry, by being underground, creates a systemic mechanism for putting women at risk.

Every person sells their body. They sell their hands, their minds, their smile, whatever. Often, in marriages, women trade their bodies in return for protection. Labor is involved and labor is about the sale of bodies, and labor brings money. If we must sell our bodies, women should have a right to choose what part of their bodies they sell. If a woman chooses to sell her vagina for hard-earned cash rather than protection, that is her right. She should be protected; her choice of profession should be honored and she should be given the rights and protections afforded all laborers under the law. Making sex work illegal does not eliminate it; it eliminates the protections that women have for safety and protection. Thus, i continue to be appalled by organizations, working under the notion of feminism, to end sex work; they are asking for increased abuse of women. End violence, yes. Control and ostracize women to do so, no thank you.

breast cancer

This is old, but always important. By going to the breast cancer site and seeing the ads for their sponsors, you help fund a free mamogram for underprivileged women. The more clicks that they get per day, the more that they can fund free mamograms. Consider paying a visit whenever you can.

There are four different site that you can support this way:
the breast cancer site
the rainforest site
the hunger site
the animal rescue site


Psychedelic culture constantly reflects on the meaning of reality, the questioning of other dimensions and the notion that we are not alone in this universe. It’s one of the reasons that i am fascinated by the culture and the conversations embedded in it; i think that they challenge normative values in a meaningful way.

Unfortunately, these interests are not purely philosophical and in altering the realities in which their brain operates, some people seem determined to project themselves into another reality and live in an alternate dimension, regardless of the impact on others. In constructing their own realities, they accept that their reality will not mesh with those around them and thus the idea of reality loses its truth-value. It is not surprising that two people leave a situation with entirely different impressions as to its impact, but when the order and structure of events is constantly altered, this eliminates any shared ground and all activities turn into a personal hallucination. More than anything, this creates separation between people, anger, frustration and other negative consequences, simply because people need to maintain their own reality. Rather than developing cohesiveness, this creates ultimate loneliness, separation and despair.

Thus, i see psychedelic culture as constantly in conflict with itself. Rather than mind-expanding, people seem content to mind-deviate, avoid and ignore. This frustrates me to no end because i cannot accept a value system that accepts intentional deception in order to promote alternate realities or dimensions. Nor can i accept people who embrace such values in the name of mind-expansion.

challenging the notion of community

Yay! The CBA and its definition of community standards is being challenged! What does it mean to define a community online? What is a community standard? For example, if something is A-OK in San Francisco, but not in Missouri, is it OK for the Internet community? Are we going to go with a least common denominator standard? Of course, adding the sexuality component into the mix should be quite interesting.

[Details: National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and Barbara Nitke vs. John Ashcroft over the Communications Decency Act]

managing sources

It’s not surprising that everyone loves Google, as it continues to be the topic of so much controversy. And personally, i love the controversy as it reflects so much on people. Yesterday, i brought up that people were starting to think about its impact on privacy. Tonite, i ran into an article questioning whether or not Google was ruining students abilities to think. Of course, i read this article as i was taking a food break from websurfing for sources for my thesis.

I’ve got into the most hysterical of habits. I’m sitting in my room, surrounded by the 92 books that i deemed “thesis related” and did not move to my mother’s in preparation of my upcoming move. Yet, academics and other writers are *terrible* indexers. Thus, as an example, i just picked up one of Lacan’s books and Googled for the concept/term that i knew he said at some point in the 296 page book. Much to my dismay, i learned a long time ago that magically waving my hands at a book and screaming “grep” will not result in figuring out what page a quote is on. Thus, i Google. Google gives me a page number from someone’s paper and i look it up in the text. Voila, i’ve got my source and can read the full context of what it was that i wanted.

Google has definitely made me lazy, although i’m not sure how much. I’m a terrible note taker. In fact, i can’t read my own handwriting so unless it made it to the computer, i can’t read it. Thus, my books are all underlined but i can’t read the notes along the side, so i’ve stopped writing more than one word there. Regardless, sticky notes do not ease my problems in finding an idea from a book that i’ve read. But writing notes onto the computer has many other problems. So, i’ve given up on note taking for the most part. I read, voraciously, and never remember the source for something i’ve read. Thus, when i invariably need the source for something, i rely on Google. Some student, somewhere has referenced the idea in one of their papers. Thus, i find out what they are quoting and go back to the original source to reconsider that section of the text. (Of course i am also fundamentally aware that you cannot ever trust someone else’s source. And given my aversion to the library and my love of, this recognition resulted in my need to move 16 boxes of books home last weekend. But still…)

Google may have made unmotivated schoolchildren unbelievably lazy, but it has also helped us lazy academics focus on the ideas and have our notetaking eased into oblivion.

tarot cards

I never quite know what to make of horoscopes and tarot cards and the like. I’ve never believed in astrology or its meanings, but i had a little realization today. What i like about them is that they provide feedback, stuff that i already know (partially because i read the horoscope/tarot cards in the light that i want to read it), but they provide the feedback in a way that i’m willing to digest it. I can see a reading and it’s like looking in the mirror, only because of the mysticism and the idea that someone else wrote it, i end up better able to hear what i am actually personally constructing. I never thought about putting astrology into the same vein as self-help, which is silly because it’s all new age, but alas, there are certain things that take a smack upside the head before you’re willing to see them.

I’m still not willing to pay for a tarot reading, as it seems utterly foolish to pay someone to be a mirror. Although that’s quite hypocritical since i think of psychologists in the same light. Only difference is that they are a human presence that lets me work out my shit without causing harm to my friends. Hmm.. and i support shrinks but i don’t support cults. I guess my problem there is that you spend a lot of money under the guise of getting help, but without realizing that their main objective is to make money. Of course, i get weary whenever money is involved..

I need to think about this some more, cause my opinions seem awefully arbitrary on the matter. When can external opinions be valuable or harmful?

ecstasy versus ecstasy

I cannot remember the last time that i read an article on a drug that i didn’t think was dreadfully biased. Usually, they’re either proselytizing the drug or condemning it for all it’s worth. This article about ecstasy has a very level-headed approach: there are pros, there are cons, some information is misinformation, a lot is unknown, safety is being ignored out of fear, fear tactics are not persuasive, the gov’t has lost its credibility in the war on drugs, etc. The arguments are laid out nicely and expressing who does ecstasy and why, while also conveying why the war on ecstasy is failing miserably and resulting in increased usage and deaths. And ultimately, it suggests that no matter what the authorities say, people will make their own decisions and that it is better to inform them and the public at large. I couldn’t agree more.

Plus, the article is clearly written with my favorite quote being: “And while Ecstasy is typically portrayed as the drug of choice among a fringe of bedeviled youngsters with a fondness for glow sticks and all-night dancing, in reality the drug cuts a wide swath across society.” I was quite psyched that the author noted why people did drugs at parties, but also noted that parties were not an excuse for drugs to be sold.

And, in response to an individual’s remarks, the author quoted one of the best quotes about why the gov’t is losing the war on drugs: “I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me” – Winson Churchill.