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The Pervocracy
In retrospect, there were some unhealthy things that drove me to have sex, often violent and risky, with several dozen people and post all about it on the public Internet.

Also in retrospect, this turned out to be a really good plan that vastly improved my life.

I don't think that's how this story is supposed to go. I'm supposed to say something like "I now realize I did these things because as a person who struggled with self-esteem and body image, I wanted to feel desirable," but my feeling is more along the lines of "I wanted to feel desirable, and fuck, it worked." It worked great. Made me feel like the sexiest fat little weirdo on Earth. 100% recommended. Just use a condom.

I wanted to silence some inner pain by blotting it out with physical sensation, and... that was a fine decision. It was a Band-Aid on the problem, which is a great metaphor because Band-Aids make you feel better and help you heal. Kink helped me wean off self-harm and it put me in touch with people who were knowledgeable about gender, sexuality, and mental health.

It was also a really fuckin' fantastic physical sensation. That's not a minor detail. Sex and kink are emotionally validating, sure, but I wasn't moaning and quivering with emotional validation.

I put it all online because I wanted attention, and again, that worked out fantastically. It turns out that the attention of random Internet strangers is actually really powerful and good for your self-esteem, and can open so many doors and lead to long-term friendships. Everywhere I've traveled, I've met fascinating people who knew me because of my decision to describe all the ins and outs (and ins and outs) of my sex life on the Internet, and it's led to all kinds of great experiences.

I've got regrets, but only the regular kind. I trusted some creeps, and alienated some actually-okay people. I said and wrote some stuff I shouldn't have. I got overly passionate about some teapot tempests. I didn't always take the best care of my body, but in a "that'll be sore" way, not a "ruined forever" way. I turned in some really mediocre articles and presentations because I'm terrible at working on a deadline. You know, the wages of sin.
3 hours ago by ineptshieldmaid
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What exactly do we want from the author of ‘Cat Person’? | The Outline
Even as these stories provoke on the one hand, seeming to push the envelope on what can and can’t be said, they also rely on a certain kind of common-sense about gender. Men want and women want to be wanted; sex is a staged encounter that she does not enjoy but passively endures because she knows it shows her off to good effect. Or, to put it more crudely: sex is the price women are willing to pay for men’s attention.
essay  review  book  literature 
yesterday by jtth
Filthy Lucre - VICE
Molly Crabapple: "An artist, like an activist, is expected to financially hobble herself. Purity is as important as survival. There's a constant criticism for earning "too much." But as we slash the social safety net, once basic things—a home, college, a dignified old age—become mirages. It's near impossible to live the average American dream on the average American salary.

Not talking about money is a tool of class war. A culture that forbids employees from comparing salaries helps companies pay women and minorities less. Ignoring the mercenary grit behind success leads to quasi-religious abundance gurus claiming you can visualize your way to wealth."
art  essay  us  capitalism  2013 
yesterday by mechazoidal
Consolation Prizes | Alex Pareene
"By historical and international standards, there are much worse things to be than a member of the stagnant or declining middle class in America, or even post-Soviet Russia—nearly everyone we’re talking about probably has televisions and refrigerators among other cheaply produced pieces of gadgetry. But people seem to choose to obliterate themselves not when their current situation is dire, but when there is no apparent path to a better one."
politics  economics  capitalism  us  grim_meathook_future  essay 
yesterday by mechazoidal
Corporate Censorship Is a Serious, and Mostly Invisible, Threat to Publishing
It didn’t matter to Sarnoff that, not 20 years prior, co-author Noam Chomsky’s theory of Universal Grammar turned 2,000 years of scientific understanding about human language on its head. Or that Chomsky would go on to rank on the Arts & Humanities Citation Index as the highest-cited (living) source on earth next to Shakespeare, the Bible, Freud, Karl Marx, Cicero, and others. Such accomplishments are no match for a corporation’s public image perceived to be at stake.

As soon as McCaleb stepped into Sarnoff’s corporate office after being summoned from the convention hall, Sarnoff flew into a rage. McCaleb patiently reminded Sarnoff of the agreement they made when he and his staff were hired: Warner Modular enjoys discretion to publish the titles they choose, and their sales would reflect their success or failure. It’s unclear whether Sarnoff read the copy of Counter-Revolutionary Violence that McCaleb delivered when he berated the book as “a pack of lies, a scurrilous attack on respected Americans” and an “undocumented” book “unworthy of a serious publisher.” Despite the defamation charges Sarnoff levied, he agreed with McCaleb that the book was not libelous. Sarnoff veered to other complaints that Warner Modular published too many left-wing writers. McCaleb pointed out that his catalog included right-wing writers like Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek.
2 days ago by ineptshieldmaid
Opinion | The Malign Incompetence of the British Ruling Class - The New York Times
Such a pattern of egotistic and destructive behavior by the British elite flabbergasts many people today. But it was already manifest seven decades ago during Britain’s rash exit from India.
2 days ago by ineptshieldmaid
How have building materials changed over time? - Curbed
Construction has also always involved a mix of skilled and so-called unskilled labor. In the 19th century, the rise of unions for craftsmen and construction workers—a response to the harassment, injury, and danger that workers, many of them immigrants, faced on the job—created an environment for well-paid, skilled workers that still exists today. At the same time, many of the beloved houses of the 19th century and early 20th century, such as pattern book houses, kit houses, foursquares, and bungalows, were built by local carpenters, contractors, and builders who had small teams of employees or hired local day laborers. Often these houses were even built by the completely unskilled person who bought the house.

There’s not much difference between how we built popular speculative single-family housing back then and how we build it now. The “death of craft,” meaning the rarity or end of certain skills such as plastering, stuccoing, or custom architectural details, has more to do with the introduction of newer, more flexible building materials such as plywood and drywall, which were more affordable and easier to install than plaster. The “death of craft” is also often invoked to bemoan the loss of “original craftsmanship” at the hand of mass production. But almost all of the ornate stickwork and architectural detailing from the mid-19th century to today has been mass produced (lest we forget, the Gothic cathedrals of France, which, of course, were built without any kind of prefabrication, took centuries to build).
2 days ago by ineptshieldmaid
Gillette: The Best A Woman Can Expect
This is not an ad for men. This is an ad for women
political  essay 
2 days ago by ineptshieldmaid
Inside the Pricey War to Influence Your Instagram Feed | WIRED
WHEN SAHARA LOTTI started her lash extensions company, Lashify, in 2017, she didn’t know what she was getting herself into. It wasn’t making and selling fake lashes that stumped her—she was more than prepared for that—but rather the bizarre and shadowy industry that seemed to envelop her.

The suggestions started early. Months before Lashify had officially launched, one of her investors, who had ties to the cosmetics industry, pulled her aside. He told her to prepare to pay influencers to speak positively about her lashes on YouTube and Instagram. She thought he was being dramatic. He wasn’t.
Instagram  longreads  essay 
2 days ago by 1luke2
I’m Still Here - The Huffington Post
Alvarez’s The Savage God,” I said. “I read it and Styron’s Darkness Visible
suicide  story  life  psychiatry  essay  biographical 
3 days ago by LizFlyntz
Bicycling on Haunted Streets by Do Jun Lee — YES! Magazine
"Bikequity: Money, Class, & Bicycling"
Relating bicycling in NYC to Korean "han" of shared unspoken pain.
excerpt  essay  bicycles  culture  emotion  2018 
4 days ago by mechazoidal

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