Sunday, April 29, 2007 "A Disciplined Business"

There was a good article about in today's New York Times Magazine called "A Disciplined Business". In case you haven't been following the issue for the past several months, is a San Francisco-based internet porn company and one of the major players in the BDSM porn world. They've gotten a lot of attention recently, since about six months back, they purchased the historic San Francisco Armory, leading to minor political kafuffle here in SF. (Full disclosure: the Wikipedia article on that I've just linked to is largely written by me.) The issues involved are more complex than I have time to go into here (hopefully, I'll have time to post on it in more depth soon), but basically it has to do with the fact that the San Francisco Armory has been a political football in the larger issue of gentrification and development of San Francisco's Mission District. Combine that with a lot of misunderstanding about both BDSM and porn production, add some utterly inflammatory and stupid rhetoric from Melissa Farley, and you've got the latest manifestation of politics-as-theater San Francisco-style.

Today's NYT Magazine article has some really good in-depth coverage of the issue, and the article has some interesting things to say about the mainstreaming of both SM and porn. The Times covered the issue a few months back during the height of the controversy, and as Violet Blue so well points out, their coverage was a hell of a lot better than our hometown paper, the San Francisco Chronicle. Exhibit #1000 of the Chronicle's inadequacy for its role as newspaper-of-record for a major metropolitan area, I guess.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy

One more thing before stepping away from my blog. I haven't seen anything about this on the porn or feminist blogosphere, but apparantly, Girls Gone Wild boss and certified asshole Joe Francis has just been arrested. Can't say he didn't have it coming:

Stories here:

Francis awaits Thursday hearing, Panama City Herald, April 10, 2007.
'Girls Gone Wild' founder surrenders to Feds, LA Times, April 10, 2007.
'Girls Gone Wild' founder Francis ordered to jail, LA Times, April 6, 2007.

Background here:

Joe Francis: 'Baby, give me a kiss' by Claire Hoffman, LA Times, August 6, 2006
Wikipedia: Joe Francis

Hopefully, he'll stay out of circulation for awhile.

Update, July 2010: Looks like GGW is up to the same old shit, and actually won a court case against a woman who said she did not consent to have her bared breasts in one of their videos. And, ironically, the very same week, Joe Francis' lawyers were in court slapping a lawsuit against a former employee who wrote a tell-all book about him. (We wouldn't want to violate Francis' privacy, now would we?) The whole thing, like the manufactured outrage about "sexting", cries out for better laws concerning intellectual property rights around one's body and one's image. But that will be the subject of a longer post.

Hello again

I haven't posted in a while. I haven't been actively blogging as of late, because I've been busy attempting to do what I'm supposed to be doing with my time, namely, actively trying to complete my Master's Thesis this semester. Which means by this summer, hopefully leaving my eternal grad student status behind and actually getting on with my life. I hope to actively start blogging again this summer, though I may bring my blog back on Wordpress. I'll announce the move here, in any event.

I'm still on the post-punk kick I was on as of my last blog entry. I found a totally excellent book on the subject Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984 by Simon Reynolds. Its the definitive source for this often-overlooked and profoundly innovative period of pop music history. And with that, I'll leave you with some videos of PIL, doing some of my favorite pieces of early-80s art damage: