Carnival of Curiosity: I Have More Than One Pseudonym

No, I don’t have one as famous as Chuck Tingle or anything, but I have used multiple ‘nyms in multiple ways for the past 25 years, including 2 that have published erotica and porn, as well as friendship stories that made humorous use of erotica’s and porn’s tropes without ever having the characters engage with each other sexually.

I did it for many different reasons, but one of the most important was that it raised funds for activist work I was doing at the time. In one of my more notable successes, I auctioned off a single, autographed story (on paper, like I was a common Gutenberg, can you believe it?) for over $900 to fund an important conference trip.

So when it became time to make a major push to retire the debt with which Richard Carrier’s lawsuit saddled FreethoughtBlogs, I thought to myself, “Self,” I thought, “what was the most successful thing you’ve ever done when you needed to raise money for a good cause?” And, obviously, I thought of porn.

So I have decided to once again auction off my skills of an artist. In this case, however, I’m offering you more control over my keyboard and less paper and autographs. For this fundraiser, there will be an auction and also a separate, flat-rate bonus round.

For the first, the winning bid will entirely and solely commission me, Crip Dyke, to write a story, humorous or serious, in which main characters the winner outlines engage in friendship, romance and/or hot steamy sex, as specified by the winner alone.

My custom stories have been used in the past as birthday, anniversary, or other gifts for friends, partners & spouses. They have been used to open up dialog about including new kinds of sex in a relationship when bringing up the possibility directly seemed scary, or to share a fantasy that someone felt as though they could not adequately describe. Other times a custom story can be used simply to tell a person how much you care about and appreciate them. One was even used to embed a confession and apology – a strategy that appeared to work in restoring that relationship’s balance. (Though please, don’t mistreat anyone just for the opportunity to get more from one of my stories!)

If you are the winner, you can expect the final story to fall between 2000 and 6000 words and to be actually edited, unlike the work I typically post to my blog. For best results, I will expect you to be actively involved in imagining what type of story would make you most happy and to e-mail back and forth several times to make sure the final product does not violate any important ideas you hold about who the characters should be and how they should experience their shared world. Because both communication and art take time, allow 30 days from first e-mail contact about the story to delivery of the final product. While I expect to take significantly less than this, total time required will depend in part on the prompt return of e-mails asking for your custom parameters.

You may use this story as you like, so long as you do not sell it for publication, include it in your own for-sale publication, put the text up on a paywalled website, or put any part of it on merchandise for sale. This is slightly broader than unlimited non-commercial use as you should feel free to include choice quotes on your business website or in other free but commercially related venues, perhaps even in your personal bio, so long as the quotes themselves are not behind a paywall. At your whim the story can be published on this blog or delivered privately to you for your exclusive use.

As a (former) erotic/pornograhic professional short story writer who has taught workshops on short story writing generally and sex story writing specifically, my excellent work does not come free, or even cheap. I expect to spend more than 8 hours on this project, and at the US$15 minimum living wage that I support, that would mean that the absolute minimum value of this project is US$120. If there is no bid matching or exceeding $120, there will, sadly, be no custom short story delivered to a single person this month – though if the monthly fundraisers continue, there will be future opportunities to win this rare and coveted Crip Dyke custom work.

The winner of this auction will be determined according to rules developed by my FtB friend and generous mailer of curiously light cardboard boxes, Marcus Ranum: You may bid in the comments below or via e-mail (sent to CripDyke on Gmail) for more privacy. All bids will be assumed to be denominated in US dollars. The highest bid will take the prize for the price of $1 more than the second highest bid, or $121 if there are no other qualifying bids. So feel free to bid what you’re willing to pay without worrying that you are overbidding.

But wait, that’s not all! 

If the second-highest bid is over US $200, I will write a custom story for that bidder as well, for exactly the amount of the bid.

But wait, that’s still not all!

Of course, as worthy of support as both the arts and FtB might happen to be, not everyone has $200 or even $121 to spend on the effort. This is why I am also offering a community story. For this effort, every single person who donates $10 and/or sends me a really good sob story about why their under $10 donation should be sufficient (“really good” judged by my whim, of course) will get to contribute one single detail of character, setting or plot to a community creative effort where all the details provided are woven into a single NSFW story, probably intended to be humorous, though I’m reserving artistic freedom here, to be published right here on this blog. Donations in excess of $10 to this effort entitle the donor to specify one detail per $10 given (rounding up or down at my whim, but larger donations are more likely to be rounded up).

Let me be clear here: I fully expect people to try to use this fundraiser to suggest details that appear hard to incorporate into any short story, or even details that appear to contradict other suggested details should they appear in the comments. There will be no detail, silly, nonsensical or contradictory enough to be omitted. My mind is up for this challenge you trolls, so bring it if you got it.

If this effort fails to raise $120, donations will be kept and suggested details will be held over to the next fundraiser, with a community story being written as soon as donations exceed the $120 minimum. If the community story raises $500 or more for the effort, I will also record a dramatic reading of our collective’s story and upload the audio here for unlimited non-commercial use.

All donations for the auction or the community-created story are expected to be verified by screenshot or other reasonably suitable method. There will be no FBI investigations here, but as this work is undertaken on behalf of FtB I have a duty to the network to make a minimal effort to verify that people are donating what they have pledged.

Good luck and good bidding!

Hand washing getting repetitive?

Now you have instant options! The website “Wash Your Lyrics” will generate a poster copied from the NHS but with the lyrics to the song of your choice – automatically, no typing of lyrics whatsoever. Input the song name and artist & away you go! My first creation was based on Bikini Kill’s Tony Randall, off the album Reject All American. This is how it came out:

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For Your Enjoyment: How do you solve a problem like The Donald?

Apropos of nothing, I happened to dash this off today:

He’s got a favorite word, it’s “Me!”
His list of values starts with Greed.
He grabs any woman’s ass
Thinks gold leaf equals class
And underneath his toupee
you’ll find half an idea per day
He loves the bible so much he made a golden calf!

He never shows up for briefings
His intellect is surreal
He’s always insulting or grifting
Save when you bring the child his Happy Meal™!

I hate to have to say it
But I very firmly feel
The Donald’s not an asset to the world…

Gorka and Miller still think he’s good,
and looks fine in a starched white hood!

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Feminist Perversions: Sea Shanty Edition

Right then. A little while back Cat Mara on WeHuntedTheMammoth came up with the idea of WHTM-themed sea shanties:

[W]hat would a blog’s comment section be but a mutual admiration society? Why else would people come here and leave comments if they didn’t like the other people doing so? One could just lurk, or read the articles posted on the main page passively through an RSS reader. It’s not the Army. We didn’t enlist; we weren’t pressganged…

At least I wasn’t. If David approached any of you in a seedy waterfront bar and said, “aaar, I be formin’ a blog and be in need of trusty hands to work the bilge in the comments, will ye take me shilling?” you’d tell me, right? Are there shanties? Tell me there are shanties!

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Okay, who watched the Doctor Who premiere?

I will not provide direct spoilers in this post, but I assume that anyone commenting will be people who have watched DWs11e01, so consider this your spoiler warning for every single comment in this thread and also considered yourself hint-warned, if not spoiler-warned, for the rest of the body of this post.

Right. Allons-y!

I’m not quite sure how I feel about Whittaker. There’s a bit of the crazy that Tennant brought to the role, but it’s toned down a bit, so it’s not as if I’m looking forward to a Doctor with quite the same manic energy. On the other hand, adding more detail to the tinkerer/ inventor aspects of the Doctor seemed to be something within reach of the character, but perhaps not as emphasized in the past. That could be something unique brought to Whittaker’s Doctor. In the meantime, the Dramatic Monologue™ in the Big Dramatic Moment™ seemed a transparent restatement of what the creators of the new series hope to bring to the show. I also can’t decide putting those words in the Doctor’s mouth was really, really cool, or just too meta.

Grace is a complete delight. The train scene was fantastic, and obviously she has many qualities that make her someone to admire, respect, or just fantasize about being when you grow up.

I like Grandpa/Graham – they had to work a white guy into the show, and I’m pleased with this iteration. Of course, like all the characters, he still needs some fleshing out, but that’s fine. We’ve got a whole season (series for your Brits) ahead of us.

Yaz is my favorite new character, at least so far, even though I think that the producers seem to be expecting Ryan to be our empathetic entree into the world of the Doctor (I say that based on narration that occurred at the beginning & end of the episode).

Anyway, who else saw the episode, and what did you think?

 

Appropos of Kavanaugh nothing: A few songs

Gods, I’ve written three e-mails to each of Oregon’s senators in the past week and given each one phone call. I’m resisting, but damn I’m exhausted. So without any more preamble, let’s do this:

 

That felt good.

And while you may feel like swearing, that’s blocked in your country, you USAmericans:

 

And maybe something that an unnamed SCOTUS nominee should probably have been told a time or two when growing up:

An explanation for divergent testimonies:

 

And, while we’re at it, why don’t we just

 

Try not to tear yourself apart, though. We are the

 

 

 

Horrible Jokes

So my best friend and I were having a conversation sparked by that most recent post of mine. We were discussing whether it was acceptable, even as a cathartic joke, to talk about burning (fictional and/or non-specific) people and scattering their ashes on the wind. We concluded that it could be acceptable in some contexts. But that brought up another joke, that was subtly different:

Q: How many men does it take to wallpaper a bedroom?

A: Only one if you slice him thin enough.

Now, my best friend is actually the same person who first told me this joke 20 years ago, so I was a bit surprised to hear her say that this joke was never acceptable. She went so far as to say she should never have told it. On the other hand, I think it’s completely unacceptable to tell such a joke for laughs in any public context you could find in Canada today – and likewise in any public context you could find in the US today – but that when she first heard it in the 1980s the context was sufficiently different that it could be (and was) acceptable in at least some contexts. Where she first heard it was during an ongoing anti-war protest. It was a women-only camp that was set up to protest and to monitor activity related to the Pershing II missiles (nuclear tipped missiles with a range that shifted during development and production, but was ultimately ~1000 miles or 1500-1800 km) designed to be deployed in Europe. Everyone at the camp being seriously committed to non-violence contributed, I believe, to the context that made the joke acceptable in the time and place originally told. It also matters (to me, anyway) that “humor” about violence against women was still not merely acceptable, but financially rewarded. this is, after all, long after “To the moon, Alice,” and still before Andrew Dice Clay would sell out venues to thousands of people eager to hear “jokes” like:

I give [women] what they want. Pull their hair, rap ’em in the head a few times, say all the little things they want to hear, like ‘Fuck, pig, howl, skank.

Emphasis added.

For me, although the discussion at the peace camp wasn’t this context, the joke would also have been acceptable when told in a way that was designed to provoke a reaction (“hey, that ain’t fair to men!”) and then to use that reaction to make society better (“But you accept that unfairness from men comedians … if you interrupt and question this joke, are you going to interrupt and question misogynist jokes?”).

Although there is certainly a wealth of sexist/misogynist humor out there, I think there’s enough of a new social context for us to leverage other arguments or employ other tactics to fight what still exists. There’s simply less need for a “slice ’em thin enough” joke to make the point. While the possibility of telling such jokes for catharsis still exists, I don’t believe that telling them publicly (including in almost any manner using the internet) is necessary for such catharsis. I think it’s good if people don’t tell such jokes for cathartic laughs in private with their best friends, but if people conduct themselves well publicly, I won’t condemn them for using humor privately for reasons such as catharsis that would not be acceptable publicly.*1

I make a distinction between this joke and the “people who make me angry” joke in the previous post because the previous post’s joke targeted “the people that inspire my rage” where “my” is a pronoun standing in for a particular, but fictional, person. Thus the targets are specific, but undefined. The targets of the wallpaper joke are non-specific, but well defined (all men). There’s much more reason and justification, then, for some individuals hearing the wallpaper joke to believe that they devalued, that they are socially or psychologically injured by the joke. Nor do I think it saves the wallpaper joke that men benefit from sexism. It’s arguable, but I think in the 1980s men’s privilege and the context of misogynist humor might very well have saved the joke. Today? No.

What do you think? If told in the comedy club nearest you (as a joke, not dissected for its social meaning and effects and morality), would the wallpaper joke be acceptable? Could it ever possibly be? Would it matter if it was a special event night (e.g. “feminist humor night” where the violence and sexual prejudice of the joke are more likely to be interpreted ironically)? What about the burning/scattering the ashes joke? Would it be acceptable at your local comedy club? Could it ever be?

Although I find the latter much more acceptable than the former, I’d love to hear any disagreement.


*1: The reason I don’t think it’s a good idea even privately is that I think it reinforces certain types of thinking, which then makes harmful actions more likely later when one reenters public space. In theory it’s possible to tell jokes that target people based on gender or race or dis/ability in private while behaving generously and without prejudice in public. In practice, I don’t think it’s possible. But since without telepathy it would be impossible to know about the private jokes and (more importantly) impossible to know exactly what role private jokes played in shaping public behavior, I’d rather focus my criticism on the unacceptable public behavior.