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Friday, July 29, 2016

Freedom

"Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose...."

-----Janis Joplin "Me & Bobby McGee"

Well Pearl is about as free as you can get and has been for a long time, but I don’t think it’s doing her any good. While there is definitely a certain freedom is not having many consequences left, there will always be consequences….until there truly are none left, and then it’s too late.

Recently I have been having a great exchange with one of my favorite people about “freedom”. It started out pervertedly enough in discussing whether dominance and submission affect one’s freedom in a contradictory way but then it descended into a wholesome discussion of determinism vs. dualism. As bad an influence as I try to be, sometimes even I just can’t help having a regular conversation. The following quote is what started it all:

“A submissive gives up control for freedom. A Dominant gives up freedom for control.”

Now I know I have to be one of the most cantankerous bastards around, but to me this is what you’d find inside of an “inspirational” Hallmark card if the company was run by Goreans. I hate platitudes to begin with. “Inspirational quotes” normally just inspire me to vomit. So when kinky people start writing this way I feel like a vanilla person would feel if the Pope began celebrating Black Masses. However, the quote as used in Dan’s blog was completely valid and prompted a worthy discussion, so that’s cool. It’s the quote itself that bugs me.

I get the second part to a degree. As Ben Parker advised Peter, “with great power, comes great responsibility,” and responsibility has a nasty way of making one feel less free. Therefore it makes sense that if a Dominant is taking on the responsibilities of leadership and authority while looking to do so in a way that benefits their sub, they might feel less ‘free’ to just do whatever the hell they want. But that first part? Really? How is having to obey someone else’s rules or else be punished a road to freedom? Contentment perhaps, if submission is your thing…….but not freedom.

I have rules to live by and consequences if I don’t adhere to them, and the arrangement keeps me balanced and focused…… and certainly scratches my submissive itch, but I certainly don’t feel freer because of it. I felt free before the restrictions, but that freedom led to irresponsibility at times. Now I have responsibility benevolently imposed………………or I get my ass roasted. I’m better off because…………I am LESS FREE.

But enough of that. What about ‘freedom’? Specifically “free will”? Do we actually have free will at all, or is it the neurological illusion Paul Bloom postulated? I am pretty much a determinist………………mainly because I have a penchant for eschewing anything metaphysical or supernatural. However, I do understand Dan’s point that the inability to test determinism (at least through measurements currently available) renders it a theory open to criticism. But if determinism is wrong…….what then?

Well, you get dualism. And as I said to Dan…..”if you don’t like determinism, try proving dualism.” Dualism necessitates all sorts of things that get pretty sticky pretty quickly………….mainly that there is some other aspect to us besides what we can measure. And even if one is willing to give this aspect credence, you have to ask, “what is it?” A soul?  What’s that?  Is there a purpose to it? If so, what gives it that purpose? Is there design to it all? Then who is the designer? Where did the designer come from? What does it want? Yadda……yadda …..ad infinitum.

And as much as Dan might bristle right now, I have to whip out my ‘Occam’s Razor’ faster than an Italian barber. Determinism may have a multitude of variables, but dualism? Holy Guacamole! Isn’t it more reasonable to believe that a combination of biological and sociological factors lead us directly to the decisions we make? Or is it better to assume that some metaphysical entity with no known motive has implanted some intangible imperative in us that somehow exists separately from our brain?

Whenever anyone has told me that what we are physically is not who we really are, but rather our identities are defined by a metaphysical soul, I have countered by asking, “then why is it that when the brain is altered by damage, disease, or chemicals, personalities change?”


But you can believe whatever comforts you. You are as free to do that as Janis was when she bought that bad batch of heroin. Too bad she just didn’t stick with the booze.





Thursday, July 28, 2016

Impractical nudity

Really? Did you ever TRY it? 

(Just let me know when and where so I can inform the authorities just exactly where to look for your mosquito-bitten, bloody-soled, thorn-encrusted corpse...........provided the animals leave anything behind.)

I've done a lot of camping and hiking AND I don't mind being naked outdoors. I've been in the woods naked..............I've fooled around out in the open air, and I've done kinky stuff out there too (fresh-cut switches anyone?) ......but it's only fun if you stay in one relatively open place drenched in OFF. As for hiking that way? Definitely not! Even with good boots and clothing you end up scratched and poked and bitten.

I just hate when people use captions to promote a view that is based on a fantasy as if it was reality. It doesn't matter if it's how everyone should live a particular kink....(as if everyone shared the same ones).....or even basic 'how to live the BEST way'-type crap.

So to whoever is responsible for this: PLEASE, go for it! Lead by example! Show us the 'better way' ........but if you do, why not go all the way on this? Go totally naked and ditch the backpack as well. You can store your gear up your ass. Oh wait, you probably won't be able to fit it all with your head occupying so much space!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Occupational dignity

If I had to guess I'd say, "they become telemarketers."

Mocking telemarketers has a fine history. Just check out Catherine Keener's rant in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin". But just like disparaging politicians and insulting Asian drivers, it's a form of ridicule that never gets old. I am on every "do not call" list I can register for and diligently uncheck the "contact me with information" boxes on every application. Unless it's necessary, I will not give out my phone number when routinely asked.......and if it IS necessary, I make sure to say that it better not make its way into anyone's telemarketing roster. And despite all that, I STILL get solicited. 

Unlike many people who feel compelled to answer their phones merely because they ring, I do not. And despite not being the most tech-appreciative person in the world, I have learned to update my cell-phone's directory so that most important callers will be identified. I've even given the key people in my life different ring tones so that long before I even look at my phone, I know who is calling. However, I also have some things going on that mean that there may be an important incoming call coming in that I will not have coded. And these I pick up. And invariably these calls turn out to be telemarketers.

I think most people hate telemarketers, (hell I think even telemarketers hate themselves).....and with good reason.  They are intrusive and dishonest. I once picked up a call while busy, thinking this could be one of those important calls I was expecting only to have it turn out to be a telemarketer. As soon as I discerned the nature of the call, I tried to be polite and said, "sorry, I don't take solicitations over the phone." Rather than say, "OK, sorry for bothering you," the fucker told me this was not a solicitation and in the next breath began to solicit me! If I had a button on my phone that would have made the caller explode, I would have pressed it with a grin.

(If you are a telemarketer reading this and you feel compelled to point out that you are only doing a job............ don't. To me you will just sound like a Dachau guard saying "I vaz only followink awe-duz." So rather than waste your time and mine in trying to defend your indefensible vocation.........be useful for once and volunteer yourself for medical experimentation.)

I've never been one to criticize the choices people make for their careers, as long as those choices don't adversely affect me. (Which is why I routinely rip apart politicians.) But telemarketing is a vile thing. Very recently I had one call where I was feeling less patient than usual and said in a dismissive tone that I was busy and not interested.......and the woman got nasty with me. Or at least she started to as I hung up. Think about that. SHE got nasty with ME when she was the one interrupting me. I did not ask her to call, and I did not want her to call. She was the intrusion and yet she seemed to think her job gave her the right to intrude. What nerve!

I know some people are desperate for a job and telemarketing is out there with welcoming arms, but it's still just one possibility. If a person needs money there are other things they can do that are far nobler:

prostitution
circus side-show
selling drugs to school children

......and if nothing else, just good old honest solicitation. Find your corner. Get a cup. And beg honestly. At least you won't be interrupting me in the middle of something important.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Proclivity and occupations

.......there will be far fewer social workers on the job.

For real. Less help at the Home Depot as well. There might be an inclination to think that just as Lesbian women are sprinkled through the population, and one's social circle, they would be evenly distributed through the workforce. But it seems that just isn't so. (read more) In my own experience, the 'social worker'-thing has proven true......but I had always assumed it was mere coincidence. Apparently not.

(I wonder if 'when Lesbians strike', they wear comfortable shoes on the picket line?)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Dumbfounded


It has been over three days and only brave Merry has attempted a caption. All I can say is.......... "what the fuck?" It's like looking at a bowl of perfectly ripe fruit spoil when no one eats any. How about?

"Why did you kill him? He was a regular client who just liked me to get naked and walk all over him!"

"When I said I don't like men who engage in unprotected sex, I was thinking more of a condom."

"Wow, I've never done it on a dead giant lizard before."

HIM: "Wait, let me get my sword first."
HER: "No, leave it there a minute and I'll show you a trick I learned after spending a lot of time alone in the castle."

"Now that he's dead, I have to say.....he may not have been handsome, but he was a good provider."

HER: "My hero! You've saved me! I'm finally free!""
HIM: "Um actually........your next stop is MY dungeon."
HER: "Oooooooh.....Is it well-equipped?!"

You think these are lame? You think you've got a better one? Well come on! Let's hear it! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Caption the artwork


I found this on the Erotic Art site and could not help but see enormous potential for captioning. So, if you would like to try your hand at it, please submit your entry.  The caption could be dialog between the subjects or even just a wry description of what is going on. Be creative. There is just one ground rule: 1: the caption should be humorous. 

If the image somehow triggers some deep, elaborate and unrealized personal fantasy........keep it to yourself. While you ponder your entry, you should be stroking only your chin in thought, nothing else. Any long, drawn out description of what one party wishes to do to the other because it's what you are drooling over in your own head will be deleted.........unless of course it's funny.

Let's see what almost 600 visitors per day can come up with in a week.



Monday, July 18, 2016

I could be wrong, but.....

...........aren't they all? I mean are there beds out there that somehow only allow one gender to sleep on them and eject an occupant of the opposite gender? I used to work in a retail company that sold beds and mattresses, and I can't say I've seen any categorized by proclivity before. Mostly they go by size and degree of firmness versus softness.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Edward Gorey?

With a foot fetish? Would this not have made an excellent Gashlycrumb Tiny? "T is for Tom, buried in soot. S is for Sam, smothered by foot."

But no, it's the work of Jacques Floret. Still it sort of makes you look twice. Here's another:


I love when fetish themes make their way into the mainstream art world.



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Vintage smut

I saw this old pulp cover on a Tumblr site that I have linked.
The art is typical (maybe even a little less than typical).....but what a title! As a writer, I love when words combine in an unexpectedly effective and amusing way. I can't help but think, however, that the prose inside did not live up to the promise of that title.


It got me to thinking of titles for other kinky stories. How about?

The Bewitching Bitch
Cuck Amok
or
The Cooze of the Bamboozled Floozy



Saturday, July 9, 2016

Steadicam

LOIS: Peter, there’s a hooker on the bed!
PETER: Stay perfectly still, Lois. Their vision is based on movement.
(silent pause)
HOOKER: Where’d ya go?

Recently I was over at Red’s blog and watched a video he had posted from Audrey Knight. While the content of the video felt more ‘real’ than most contrived spanking scenes, the editing of the piece made me nuts. It made me think of how often lately I have turned off a movie in the first five minutes based solely on how shaky the filming was, or how frenetic the cuts were. In an effort to be ‘real’ (or slick) these film-makers have created a nauseating world where nothing resembles the way I see the world around me.

If you are jogging to catch a bus, jostling your body with each stride, why doesn’t the world appear like a bad cell-phone video? It’s a bit complicated, but basically our brains are ‘wired’ in such a way so that the cerebral cortex enables sight neurons to anticipate eye movement and smooth out the transition from one image to the next. It’s a cerebral ‘steady-cam’ we own from birth.

In 1975, a cameraman named Garrett Brown invented the cinematic steadicam. Prior to Brown’s invention, movie-makers used camera dollies to allow for cameras to be rolled about fluidly, creating an even transition from location to location. Before that studios strove to hire individuals particularly talented in holding cameras steady. However, even armed with dollies and steadicams, certain directors began to experiment with the hand-held ‘shaky-cam’ technique to achieve intended results as early as the 1960s. Some very fine movies have incorporated jittery imagery to useful effect. But……………………….fast-forward to 2016 and it has gotten ridiculous.

Certain movies and shows have become unwatchable due to unrealistic camera shaking and even stranger and more disjointed cuts. The ‘cut’ is a somewhat unnatural experience to begin with. The closest thing to a natural cut would be when we happen to blink as we look from person to person in a conversation. But that’s very different from a complete change of perspective or even an entire scene change. Those cuts are cinematic devices, and as quick-learning, movie-loving creatures, we have learned to accept and appreciate all sorts of cuts through hours of watching things on a screen. Still, there are good cuts and bad cuts. ( remember that awkward “this is what happens” scene in Jaws?)


Most people can spot a bad cut as expertly as any movie critic. The perspectives just change in a way that don’t work or feel right. Do it too often and some folks even feel nauseous.

The idea of using film to represent the world we know in the way we experience it is as old as the camera itself. Breaking those visual rules for special effects, however, is just as old. There are always those who strive to duplicate life as exactly as possible and those who want to see how far they can use a particular medium to explore all of its surreal possibilities. Art does things like that. But I’ve always been a big believer in the old “just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you should” school of thinking. Using a technique with purpose can be genius. People who just use slick techniques willy-nilly are like those neighbors who keep adding more gnomes and pinwheels to their gardens even after every open spot has been filled.

With the advent of widely-available computer editing programs, most anyone can employ special cuts, changing perspectives, bouncy images, studio-slick fades, and much more……and it is like putting sophisticated Special Forces-grade weaponry in the hands of any teenager with a laptop. They may not be killing people, but they are recklessly murdering art.

The problem I have is not so much with the use of shaky filming or weird cuts for specific reasons. I’m not a purist. But watch a show now and see how a simple scene of two people calmly talking is filmed. The camera moves about side-to-side and back and forth even when focused on the one actor. Why? When I am listening to a conversation, that’s not how I see the speakers. My eye may shift from one to the other, but unless I develop Parkinson’s, my perception of the speaker I am looking at is pretty steady. (Thank you, cerebral cortex.) If you want to use shaky-cam for an action scene, I may still not like it, but I can at least understand the rationale. What is the possible reason for all that wandering during calm discussion? Is the director trying to visually compensate for mediocre dialog?

Given the popularity of this offensive style, I have come up with a theory for why this trend…..which makes people of my generation seasick, is so popular. I’ve already mentioned that in the past, the majority of film-makers employed techniques to render a cinematic experience as close to real life as possible. When ‘surreal’ effects were used, they were an intentional departure to illustrate a dream, a hallucination, an altered experience, or the world of the supernatural. Within these contexts, it all made sense. But since the camera was also used very early on to record news, raw footage of war, disaster, and the human condition as it unfolded necessitated forgoing the niceties of studio-smooth filming to tell a story. The information imparted in a documentary outweighed the need for a steady image. People forgave the shakiness in light of the conditions being filmed. 

Over time the shaky camera in the midst of action became synonymous with the news story or documentary. If, as a film-maker, you wished to convey this same feeling you had a new option for filming. But later shaky-cam techniques were used to show scenes from another perspective humans were rapidly becoming more familiar with: the home video. (Blair Witch anyone?)

Now the personal video and screen media are so rampant that many people spend more time watching a screen than seeing the world as it is, sometimes even while driving. (I remember having to record every recital and graduation for a posterity no one really wants to see and in the process ‘missed’ experiencing these things first-hand. Given the chance to do it all again, I would not. If someone else wants to experience everything through a lens, let them. I would rather have real memories than a video sitting on a shelf.)

‘Screen imagery’  is the new normal way to experience the world. (selfies, YouTube, Instagram, etc.) I went with some family to see the circus a few years ago. From my seat I could look down and easily see all of the lit-up cell screens in the laps of kids for whom three simultaneous presentations of acrobatic entertainment simply wasn’t enough. These weren’t kids trapped in some boring lecture or family function. This was a fucking circus! A THREE-RING CIRCUS! I see this often. Kids just don’t see the world around them anymore….only the screen in front of them. Drive them 1000 times to a local store or school and many would still not be able to find their way home. The colors and textures of nature or even of the man-made world can’t compete with a three inch screen. That’s beyond sad.

In the “Matrix” Neo risked everything to overthrow a world of illusion in favor of reality and yet, from what I see, entire new generations seem eager for the opposite. Given the chance to sit back and experience life from a chair, I believe the cellphone&video-dependent kids of today would gladly volunteer to be plugged-in. They would probably tar and feather Neo as some heretical troglodyte (virtually. Not one of them is going to actually get up and locate the tar or feathers for real).


So, what we have now are a whole lot of people whose visual life experience is more media-driven than natural. And to hold their interest, directors need to dangle things and shake them. Like the T-rex in “Jurassic Park”……their vision…….and attention spans, are dependent upon motion. And yet, they think of people my age as the dinosaurs of the world.



Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wanton

wan·ton
ˈwänt(ə)n/
adjective
1.
(of a cruel or violent action) deliberate and unprovoked.
"sheer wanton vandalism"
synonyms: deliberate, willful, malicious, spiteful, wicked, cruel; More
2.
(especially of a woman) sexually immodest or promiscuous.
synonyms: promiscuous, immoral, immodest, indecent, shameless, unchaste, fast, loose, impure, abandoned, lustful, lecherous, lascivious, libidinous, licentious, dissolute, debauched, degenerate, corrupt, whorish, disreputable
"a wanton seductress"

I have always thought of 'wanton' not solely as definition 1 or definition 2, but rather as a combination of both. And it is that blended concept that is prompted by the following image by spanking artist H-Bum.


Spanking art that depicts kids being punished is a sticky wicket. Those who view spanking as a purely sexual kink naturally have more of an issue with it than those who can relate to spanking as something more asexually punitive. And of course, there is a gray area where aspects intermingle. 

Of the 60-plus stories I've written, 7 are about kids between puberty and adolescence, 1 has a brief mention of a childhood punishment, and 1 more is about an adult who is regressed into his boyhood self during a series of dreams. When I wrote these stories I was not advocating the spanking of children but rather dealing with my own memories of my own thoughts about spanking when I was young. As such, many if not all of these stories revolve around kids who are in some way interested in being spanked and who intentionally invite the experience. The theme of 'complicit victim' resonates with me.

While we would like to cleanly extricate sexuality from childhood, the fact is the two are unavoidably linked. Many spankos have admitted to having spanking fantasies and desires well before they had any knowledge of how sex itself worked. I was certainly one of these. But I also realize the abuse of children is an evil thing, whether that abuse is sexual or comes in the disguise of legitimate punishment. Still, much of the world still does acknowledge spanking as one form of discipline and no one can deny that historically it was quite common. And even an anti-spanking advocate would have to acknowledge a significant difference between a measured, OTK bun-warming for good cause versus a black-eyed, bone-cracking beating by a drunken parent.

But spanking politics aside, the fact that there is a lot of spanking art out there with kids in it, speaks volumes. My personal belief is that the appeal lies in the ability of the viewer to imagine themselves in the place of the youthful victim. At least that's what happens with me, be it a boy or girl.

So......back to H-Bum's picture: I love this image for several reasons, but there is a particular aspect to H-Bum's work that intrigues me. ( at a later date I will write more about H-Bum's other work) He manages to depict a duality of regret and complicity in his victims.....and it's that complicity that gets me. The expressions of the people involved in this one are very straightforward. The mother is obviously angry, though not out of control. Her expression is one familiar to any kid in trouble. She means business. She may not be out to kill her daughter, but she has no guilt in ensuring that the girl will have a hard time sitting once she's done. She is getting no sexual pleasure from spanking the girl. Her attire is plain, almost dowdy, her hairstyle matronly.

But let's look at the girl. One look at her face tells you that she is not having a fun and easy time over her mom's lap. Her outstretched arms and flailing legs indicate the spanking is definitely painful. And if you need more, just check out the color in those spanked buns. That's not just a pinkened hinder......that rump's being roasted. 

Now........take a closer look at that bottom. Overall she's a pretty thin kid by the looks of her, and as such you'd expect her skinny bottom to be cringing and shrinking away from the hairbrush, striving for escape just like the rest of her...........but there it is instead, arched up like a bubble-booty on a Brazilian dancer. It doesn't seem as repentant as the rest of her, rather it is sort of provoking the mother with an "is that all you got?" gestural taunt. It's subtle and it's not. You could argue it away as the result of her position, or as an anatomical anomaly of her otherwise lean physique..........but always remember: an artist starts with a blank page. If something is there, it's because he intentionally put it there.....and that high, round butt is definitely inviting more punishment. Something about the image just suggests that part of that kid, and maybe it's only a small part....wants this spanking.

As someone who has been over a few laps in my day for different reasons, I can tell you that getting a good roasting beyond just the usual spanking can occur for three reasons: 1: whatever you did was so bad that you just flat-out deserve a long ordeal, 2: your Top is in one of those merciless moods they sometimes get into, or 3: you've invited a worse fate through gesture or word. ( a smart-ass remark in mid-spanking will provoke most tops into doling out a lot more than one bargained for....but so will that arched-up bottom. Just move it up instead of away and you've sent an irresistible challenge. It may not even be consciously intentional. Sometimes something will just make you arch your spine just enough to say 'here it is!'. What Top can resist that.....and what disciplinarian is going to stop if they think you are nowhere near sorry?)

The girl in the picture might be struggling, but there's something about her that is not properly 'defeated' and given that position, I cannot picture that angry mom stopping anytime soon. And, as a viewer? Alter that position into one of cringing surrender and I might feel sorry for her. But as she is? Oh, I want that mom to keep going as well. 

H-Bum uses this overly-rounded or arched-up technique a lot......on his boy victims as well as his female ones. Everything else about them shouts, 'get me outta here!' while that one feature.....the one getting all of the attention...........is behaving as if it had a separate agenda. And that agenda is a bit................wanton.