Fight Over Job Training for Porn Company Heats Up In San Francisco
April 25, 2009 5:13 PM   Subscribe

Matt Smith wrote an SF Weekly cover story this week revealing that the state had given almost $50,000 to Kink.com, the world's largest fetish porn company, for job training. The article resulted in the funding being revoked. Violet Blue responded in detail, interviewing many of the performers. The Bay Guardian tried to interview Smith but he declined to be interviewed. Smith responded to Violet on his blog, citing freedom of speech. Violet says she's not done with yet (NSFW). Now all the San Francisco outlets are writing about it including SFist, Bay Guardian, and The Sword.
posted by Stephen Elliott (84 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
My palm is alternating between my face and my netherparts. Help!
posted by mrt at 5:14 PM on April 25, 2009


That's right: California's government has been subsidizing torture-based pornography.

Whatever, you should see what Federal government has been doing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:22 PM on April 25, 2009 [90 favorites]


Not to derail... but the Violet Blue angle reminded me of this tasty bit of schadenfreude about Boing Boing.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:23 PM on April 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


The text of this FPP is somewhat confusing. It makes it sounds like Smith needed to cite freedom of speech because someone "responded in detail" to his own article. But in fact he was responding to some kind of boycott that people are trying to organize against his paper. Still, he comes off as more then a little petulant.

SF Weekly's current lead news column has apparently incited a mass protest movement among pornographers opposed to freedom of the press. Ironically, in light of recent national headlines, this anti-free-speech sensibility seems to coincide with a taste for depictions of CIA-style sexualized torture.

That's pretty over the top, but not as over the top as referring to something being inserted into a vagina as "impalement", which he also does.
posted by delmoi at 5:24 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sorry, but all my pretend internet outrage is currently being saved for things of national importance.
posted by GavinR at 5:28 PM on April 25, 2009 [15 favorites]


look xeni, she does exist. she has a blog and everything!
posted by sexyrobot at 5:29 PM on April 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


One thing that I pointed out on my site, but not in this post because I just wanted to give the information and not comment too much on it, is that Matt Smith only talks about sites where the woman is the bottom. He makes it seem like all BDSM sites are about women being tied up. But Kink.com also runs Men In Pain, where women dominate men, and TS Seduction, where transexuals dominate men.
posted by Stephen Elliott at 5:29 PM on April 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


but not as over the top as referring to something being inserted into a vagina as "impalement", which he also does.

damn your virginal eyes
posted by mrt at 5:29 PM on April 25, 2009


Matt Smith is an asshole and it's unfortunate that the real loser in the situation is the BAVC which received the money for training Kinks' employees.

I am friends with Kink's owner and have known many people who've worked for him/the company over the years, including...actors. He's a great guy, it's a well-run company, and all employees and talent are treated and paid very well. I only hope to live to see the day when this sort of petty moralizing no longer rules the day and as Brandon Blatcher points out, atrocities deserving of our attention are are addressed instead of being ignored, abetted, swept under the rug and condoned. but don't worry kids, the gubmint won't subsidize those naughty perverts!
posted by supermedusa at 5:30 PM on April 25, 2009 [11 favorites]


torture-based pornography

Oh, come on. Torture-based?

So what's 24? Torture-based television? Heck, what's the CBS Evening News?
posted by rokusan at 5:30 PM on April 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


It was hardly a hit piece--it just wasn't a big wet kiss for kink.com so of course their fans are up in arms. (He literally spent almost the entire second half of the piece questioning whether the anti-adult industry policy of the state was legitimate.)
posted by Wood at 5:30 PM on April 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Torture-based?

damn your virginal eyes
posted by mrt at 5:38 PM on April 25, 2009


Matt Smith's motive is to sell newspapers. No outrage there.

What I find completely egregious, is, in a country where the Rule of Law is supposed to be held supreme, a state agency will revoke previously approved funding because of publicity? If the BAVC is eligible for funding, it's eligible for funding. Pornographers pay taxes too, and deserve equal protection under the law. A smart attorney would be all over this in a big way.
posted by Xoebe at 5:42 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seriously, the over-arching issue here is government money going to subsidize arguably* harmful end product. This is a textbook case of something pissing off the religious right, the teabagger** right, easily breaching through into the discomfort zone of the muddled middle, and extending through to the socially-conservative parts of the great coalition of the left.

It is my understanding that kink.com brings in a shedload of profit. That they have been getting government money on top of this is objectionable, the money should be going towards more, shall we say, sustainable job training initiatives.

* not making the argument here
** thank you teabaggers for giving me a better zinger for "minarchist/libertarian"
posted by mrt at 5:45 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Admittedly a minor point but it's odd that the SF Weekly Snitch blog has a post with Matt Smith listed as the writer which then goes on to speak of "the Matt Smith opinion column" in the third person.
posted by blucevalo at 5:46 PM on April 25, 2009


This can't possibly be as complicated as it looks. Someone care to tell me what to think?
posted by grobstein at 5:58 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Depends. Do you have virginal eyes?
posted by gman at 6:01 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Worst Doctor Who ever.
posted by Artw at 6:06 PM on April 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


I kinda like the SF Weekly, but the editorial voice is "asshole". For more lulz read this latest shitty editorial about his ongoing war with the other local SF free crap paper, the Guardian. The Weekly lost a significant lawsuit about price gouging on advertising.
posted by Nelson at 6:20 PM on April 25, 2009


Now *that* is stimulus funding.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:21 PM on April 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


well, i'm sure they'll never sell another copy of their paper again with that boycott going
posted by pyramid termite at 6:22 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not to ruin the much-deserved bashing of this Matt Smith character, but didn't the California Employment Training Panel representative say they don't support any kind adult entertainment? Why, yes she did:

"By long-standing policy, ETP does not fund training in the adult entertainment industry," [Maureen Reilly] wrote, suggesting that the Bay Area Video Coalition might have done more to make the government aware that Cybernet was in the porn business.

Boycotting SF Weekly in regards to their really shoddy depiction of BSDM makes sense. But being up at arms because Matt Smith clarified the fact that Cybernet is in the adult entertainment industry would be rather silly.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:26 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


What I find completely egregious, is, in a country where the Rule of Law is supposed to be held supreme, a state agency will revoke previously approved funding because of publicity?

But I don't think that's what happened. Officials at a state agency revoked funding after receiving inquiries from journalist Matt Smith, which apparently brought this unknown use of state dollars to their attention; the state claims it had been policy since 2006 not to offer its taxpayer-funded job training resources to pornographers, whether they're making vids for people who get off on torture or shooting softcore Furry action.

So unless I am misunderstanding something, shouldn't Violet Blue and her indignant sex-positive army be taking this up with the State of California, instead of Matt Smith?

(Like Violet Blue, I believe that sex shouldn't be stigmatized; I also believe in not having to read Violet Blue's humorless sex-positive column.

Sorry, readers from the rest of the country, the media controversies here in the Bay Area are usually kind of lame compared to yours--except that thing where the Chronicle's Phil Bronstein was bitten by a Komodo dragon, I guess that was kinda interesting.)
posted by Kirklander at 6:29 PM on April 25, 2009 [12 favorites]


You know it's awesome when someone tells you to shut up because they want to exercise their right to free speech.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:43 PM on April 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


And how does Matt Smith even know about the free training at BAVC? He's taken it, even though he works in print media:

Smith has helped himself to 184 hours of classes at BAVC through the very same ETP program, despite the fact that his day job does not seem to involve multimedia production.
posted by gingerbeer at 6:49 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


gingerbeer: "And how does Matt Smith even know about the free training at BAVC? He's taken it, even though he works in print media:

Smith has helped himself to 184 hours of classes at BAVC through the very same ETP program, despite the fact that his day job does not seem to involve multimedia production.
"

Maybe he took the training so he could move to a new, better job but due to any number of variables the career change never happened. Maybe anything.
posted by Science! at 6:57 PM on April 25, 2009


meh.
posted by boo_radley at 6:57 PM on April 25, 2009


rokusan: Oh, come on. Torture-based?

So what's 24? Torture-based television? Heck, what's the CBS Evening News?


mrt: damn your virginal eyes

No, I... well, I don't know if you're saying that rokusan is being a prude, but if you are, it seems like he's really saying that 'Tortured-based' seems like a relatively overdramatic and tendentious way to say 's & m.' Ah, so now it's not just a sexual predilection, it's torture-based. Whatever you think of porn, even the porn described, calling it torture-based seems akin to calling homosexuality 'sodomy-based' or calling an election 'nationalism-based.'

Of course, like all political issues in California, this thing is to ridiculous large-scale and jumbled that all sides are ridiculous and silly. I mean, as I say, Matt Smith's article is, yeah, full of gloating, mild though that gloating may be, and doesn't really even pretend to be 'journalism.'

And on the other hand, well, pornographers in Southern California complaining that this is just another example of "the unremarkable lot of mainstream media's lie of unbiased reporting when it comes to porn, and sex for that matter" is like standing in the middle of the Napa Valley and moaning that the whole world is anti-wine because of the pro-beer bias in so much of the country. Good god, you're a 400-billion-dollar industry in California alone; any really obtrusive or even inconvenient hardships pornographers had to bear in the sixties or seventies or eighties are all but gone. Is it not possible for these people to be in the sex industry, to be open to sex and its depiction, without having their precious 'I'm advancing socio-sexual progress!' cross to bear?

I would rather live in California than New York, I think, but this is one thing that annoys me perpetually about Cali: the whining that happens. East coasters complain, but they usually know when to shut the fuck up and stop acting so self-righteous. Maybe I'm totally wrong, but it seems to me that if this sort of thing happened to a porn company in New York or Boston, and if all parties agreed (as they seem to) that taking the money away was probably fair anyhow (it's just the tone of Mr. Smith's article that people don't like), people at the porn company would probably smirk and say, "whatever. Fuck off." Whereas, in California, for some obnoxious reason you can rally support among vast numbers of misled people if you just start whining something about how you're carrying on the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Harvey Milk just because you're filming people having sex with monstrous vibrators and getting tax money to do it.
posted by koeselitz at 7:10 PM on April 25, 2009 [12 favorites]


What a fucking douche.
posted by serazin at 7:15 PM on April 25, 2009


Xoebe: What I find completely egregious, is, in a country where the Rule of Law is supposed to be held supreme, a state agency will revoke previously approved funding because of publicity? If the BAVC is eligible for funding, it's eligible for funding. Pornographers pay taxes too, and deserve equal protection under the law. A smart attorney would be all over this in a big way.

Violet Blue seems to disagree with you. From the link above to her blog:

As tempting as it is to immediately scapegoat Smith for this, you can't -- after all, all he did is submit a public records request... It's Smith's actions following his request that are deserving of scrutiny. The resulting article, "Whipped and Gagged," is infused with (unrepentant) and sensational anti-porn bias, with accusations that Kink is soaking up taxpayer dollars to create "torture based pornography" and "depicting sexualized torture".

The disgrace! Someone wrote a stupid article! We should march on city hall. I'm all for 'equal protection,' but porn is arguably the most profitable industry in California - I don't think they're really being 'persecuted' just because some lawyer at their main office figured out how to pull the right strings to drag down a bunch of 'job training' cash.
posted by koeselitz at 7:17 PM on April 25, 2009


Whereas, in California, for some obnoxious reason you can rally support among vast numbers of misled people if you just start whining something about how you're carrying on the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Harvey Milk just because you're filming people having sex with monstrous vibrators and getting tax money to do it.

Almost perfect.
posted by Flex1970 at 7:20 PM on April 25, 2009


you're a 400-billion-dollar industry

more like $15B perhaps?

That works out to 150M customers shelling out an average of $100/yr, which sounds about right.
posted by mrt at 7:29 PM on April 25, 2009


and yes, I'd call a substantial part of what kink.com does "torture-based". IIRC when they bought their building (for $xx million in cash) they were all happy how now they had the space to not have to strike all their cool S&M sets. kink.com specializes and profits from the production of highly . . . original . . . sadist productions, stuff that includes (not-so) simulated water torture, dungeons, and shit (figuratively not literally I IIRC).

so . . . damn your virgin eyes
posted by mrt at 7:36 PM on April 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Small correction: 4 billion dollar industry. What a difference two little zeros make. That's according to various sites that aren't solid enough to quote, but I'm sure it's around there. Moreover, I'd still argue that it's probably at least among the top three or four industries in the state.
posted by koeselitz at 7:37 PM on April 25, 2009


posted by koeselitz Maybe I'm totally wrong, but it seems to me that if this sort of thing happened to a porn company in New York or Boston, and if all parties agreed (as they seem to) that taking the money away was probably fair anyhow (it's just the tone of Mr. Smith's article that people don't like), people at the porn company would probably smirk and say, "whatever. Fuck off." Whereas, in California, for some obnoxious reason you can rally support among vast numbers of misled people if you just start whining something about how you're carrying on the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Harvey Milk just because you're filming people having sex with monstrous vibrators and getting tax money to do it.

In other words, if a legitimate, taxpaying business owner is denied access to employee training programs for which his business is eligible and for which his taxes have paid, he should just shut up and keep his place because his business is porn. Got it.
posted by mattdidthat at 7:38 PM on April 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


he should just shut up and keep his place because his business is porn. Got it.

he should be thankful we don't tax the shit out his profits, like we do to tobacco manufacturers.

pornographers are treading on some very unstable political ground in this country, and applying for tax subsidies in the present environment is something that an educated child should see to be (vocabulary failing me here . . . wait a sec . . .) boomerangy.

Most people would say we don't need more porn or porn production. This is a very losing political battle; the economic angle is intellectually interesting but has all the power of a 120V dildo 5 feet too far from the nearest outlet.
posted by mrt at 7:46 PM on April 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


mattdidthat: n other words, if a legitimate, taxpaying business owner is denied access to employee training programs for which his business is eligible and for which his taxes have paid, he should just shut up and keep his place because his business is porn. Got it.

No. Get this part right: not even Violet Blue is claiming that they were unfairly denied access. There doesn't seem to be any push whatsoever to challenge this in court - not that there would need to be a push, given that the majority of highest-paid lawyers at least a hundred miles in every direction surrounding the San Fernando valley are active on behalf of porn companies, and that I'm sure Kink.com could easily push for this. The outrage is over the text in Mr. Smith's article.

Besides, the training money is earmarked for keeping California businesses competitive with national and international industries. The California porn industry has generally succeeded on this front; they're not likely to go under any time soon. It's discretionary spending on the part of the state of California, and if California could use one thing it's a cutback on discretionary spending.

This is not a conspiracy against porn.
posted by koeselitz at 7:53 PM on April 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


koeselitz, get this part right: I responded to the third paragraph in your comment here.
posted by mattdidthat at 7:57 PM on April 25, 2009


third fourth
posted by mattdidthat at 7:58 PM on April 25, 2009


That works out to 150M customers shelling out an average of $100/yr, which sounds about right.

Small correction: 4 billion dollar industry. What a difference two little zeros make. That's according to various sites that aren't solid enough to quote, but I'm sure it's around there.

"It's a $400 million [DVD] industry, maybe $500 million. The industry went out and promoted these figures that included strip club revenues, hotel revenues, etc and came up with this [$12 billion] figure, hoping it would lead to the legitimization of the industry. What it has really led to is a bunch of idiots who watch this stuff and think that porn is the new gold rush. They jump in and produce a few movies and think they're going to get rich. Everyone I've seen who's done that has walked away with no money."

"If Americans are spending “90 cents on porn for every dollar they spend on Hollywood movies” where are the $12M/picture stars with homes in Malibu and East Hampton? Where are the the $10K/day cinematographers or the $2000/day steadicam operators? Where’s the craft-services table piled high with an endless supply of Heineken and Perrier? They’re nowhere to be found because there’s not enough money in porn to pay for them."

from an article in (ahem) boing boing.
posted by Hat Maui at 8:24 PM on April 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Stand back revered journalist Violet Blue is on the case!
posted by gnash at 8:28 PM on April 25, 2009


Coupla random things:

Porn still does have onerous requirements foisted by the state—in the guise of record keeping bullshit that actually does little to keep people safe, but whatever.

Porn is hemorrhaging money like it has a slit throat—magazines are failing, websites are undercutting each other, and movies are being bootlegged like crazy.

About the only thing that does still make money is niche stuff like Kink.com.

In the LA porn world, there're a lot of rumors about folks getting hurt by Kink.com due to bad rigging and roping (dislocated shoulders, etc.) but I couldn't verify how much of that is true and how much is just weird territorial pissings.

The economic virtue of porn is that it's dirt fucking cheap to produce, no pun intended. The problem with a lot of porn businesses is a magnified version of music business—folks on top think they need caviar bidets and will rip off anyone below them.
posted by klangklangston at 8:44 PM on April 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


But... what else would I do with this bidet if I weren't keeping my caviar there?

And where else would I put my caviar? I'm so confused.
posted by koeselitz at 9:22 PM on April 25, 2009


That's a very interesting article, Hat Maui. I don't mind that it is from, as the link Joe Beese put up above calls it, 'edgy digerati blog Boing Boing.'

Okay, I wanted an excuse to point out that awesome phrase, which I will probably be repeatiing in tones of wonder and excitement for several days now. Edgy digerati blog Boing Boing! Edgy digerati blog Boing Boing!

... but I really did like the article you linked. It explodes a few myths that I'd held up to now - myths that were already starting to fall apart when I started googling around trying to find a credible figure for porn-industry earnings.

posted by koeselitz at 9:27 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


mattdidthat: koeselitz, get this part right: I responded to the third fourth paragraph in your comment here.

Ah. I'm sorry - I misunderstood.

In that case, allow me to clarify - nothing against porn here. Porn is just like any other segment of society in this way. I'm really more complaining about the tendency I perceive in California politics to cast any and every issue in terms of a struggle for social progress against the forces of evil and to assume the rôle of the valiant activist. I'm sorry—I like the movements toward freedom and equality that we've made in the last century as much as the next guy, but it takes some chutzpah to put yourself in those shoes; the public in Cali seems ready to lap this up at every turn, or at least the politically powerful public, which is disappointing to me.

In other words, California's the nexus of everything that's wrong with liberal guilt. I guess that's better than the alternative, and I really like California a lot of the time; but the California I like is the part where people are all ridiculously different from each other and yet accustomed enough to that difference that they don't even seem to notice it, where New Yorkers often find themselves shocked by the things they see and the people they meet, and where there are some very good avocados. Not the suburbs of wealthy cashed-in ex-hippies desperate to prove themselves worthy of multiculturalism.

I also should say that it's clear that I was completely wrong about porn in Cali being big business; it may have some presence, and I don't think it's really that beleaguered, but it's now clear (after that interesting article that Hat Maui posted) that it's not doing as fantastic as everyone seems to want to believe. This actually makes a lot of sense.

Given that pornography has become increasingly private (that is to say, anonymous) thing over the past twenty years, maybe this was natural; maybe having an industry devoted to erotica that in the past has been and very well could be self-produced by members of society for fun rather than profit makes less sense now.
posted by koeselitz at 9:43 PM on April 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


posted by koeselitz I'm really more complaining about the tendency I perceive in California politics to cast any and every issue in terms of a struggle for social progress against the forces of evil and to assume the rôle of the valiant activist. I'm sorry—I like the movements toward freedom and equality that we've made in the last century as much as the next guy, but it takes some chutzpah to put yourself in those shoes; the public in Cali seems ready to lap this up at every turn, or at least the politically powerful public, which is disappointing to me.

In other words, California's the nexus of everything that's wrong with liberal guilt. I guess that's better than the alternative, and I really like California a lot of the time; but the California I like is the part where people are all ridiculously different from each other and yet accustomed enough to that difference that they don't even seem to notice it, where New Yorkers often find themselves shocked by the things they see and the people they meet, and where there are some very good avocados. Not the suburbs of wealthy cashed-in ex-hippies desperate to prove themselves worthy of multiculturalism.


First off, you're making several sweeping, inaccurate, (and, frankly, obnoxious) generalizations about the citizens of the great state of California, similar to the sorts of sweeping, inaccurate, and obnoxious generalizations one often reads here about the South or Texas or New Jersey or wherever. And as far as California being, "the nexus of everything that's wrong with liberal guilt", well, you've obviously seen only a few choice spots. Speaking of which, where are these "suburbs of wealthy cashed-in ex-hippies desperate to prove themselves worthy of multiculturalism" you mentioned? (Are these suburbs where one might also find Marin county hot tubbers?) I've lived here my entire life, and the suburbs with which I'm familiar look like every other suburb across the country, albeit with more "Vote No/Yes on Prop. 8" signs than most.

The Golden State has a long history of (mostly) being at the forefront and on the right side of social progress (Proposition 8 and Ronald Reagan notwithstanding), so I fail to understand why you object to, are embarrassed by, or are disappointed in the Californians who work towards making the progress of which you claim to approve. Indeed, the reason for "casting issues in terms of a struggle for social progress" is because that's exactly what these issues are, so I'm not quite sure how else you'd have us define them. I do understand people have different opinions on the manner in which change should be enacted and varying rates at which they embrace it, but I'm proud to be from a state and live in an area with a high percentage of people who place a high priority on social progress and change that supports it.

I too know Peter and several people who work for his company. He's a great guy, his company is well-run, and he treats his employees and contractors well. Hi supermedusa!
posted by mattdidthat at 11:13 PM on April 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


(Proposition 8 and Ronald Reagan notwithstanding)

And affirmative action (prop 209) and bilingual education (prop 227) and driver licenses for illegal immigrants (Schwarzenegger veto) and bdsm. Oh wait.
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:30 PM on April 25, 2009


and yes, I'd call a substantial part of what kink.com does "torture-based".

Calling something that is not only consensual but enjoyable "torture" seems to devalue the word. (Although I admit that, as the CIA stuff has indicated, the definition of "torture" is certainly not universally agreed on).
posted by wildcrdj at 12:55 AM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Look, mattdidthat: I love California. The summer I lived in Oakland was one of the best of my life; Oakland is a vibrant and interesting city, and just one part of the whole big rambling wonderful mess that is glorious San Francisco. People don't give San Fran enough credit - I don't think they realize that half of Dashiell Hammet's and Raymond Chandler's novels were set there; that it's probably the most filmic city anywhere (yeah, I think it's more photogenic than NY). I was just watching Bullitt the other day and thinking about how great the city looks no matter what angle you see it from. And that's just San Francisco: you go south, as you get closer and closer to the Baja, and there are so many interesting things. I had a friend who worked at a mechanic's shop in Simi Valley when he was in high school where the guy who owned the place admitted openly that he really was guilty of the murder charge against him that'd been dismissed. See, it's not that California's full of murderers (it's not) or that it's particularly dangerous (it's not, despite the fact that my grandmother from Brooklyn expressed worry when I said I was going there for a while - I laughed and said, 'grandma, do you realize how much crime there is in NY?')—it's that everybody has a crazy story in California, a nutty tale of how they got where they are, to the extent that it's not really remarkable that the person sitting in front of you is a murderer that went unpunished, or the woman next to you in line at the DMV is a porn star, or that the guy at the table next to you at the food court is KRS-1; they're just another person with their own interesting story of how they got there. I lived in Santa Fe for seven years, and, being what it is, New Mexico is more insulated and landlocked than Cali, but it's similar in that everybody has a wanderer in them, if only in their past, and a story about how they got there. I love hispanic culture; I love the Asian enclaves; I love the awesome breadth of food. Probably the only place that a person can hate through and through in California is Bakersfield, and even that's probably stretching it.

But every place has something you can complain about. I also lived in Boston for a few years. People there are different; they wear their pain like a badge. This might sound odd, but people on the east coast are more provincial than westerners; I knew people in NY and in Boston to whom it would never occur to 'leave the city.' (Hell, I knew people from NY who referred to their move at the age of 18 from Queens to Manhattan as 'when I moved to the city.')

Funny story: when I was in San Francisco last visiting some good friends, I was riding the bus with a woman who was probably in her late sixties. I struck up a conversation and she complained to me for about twenty straight minutes: the food prices were up, the employment was down, her landlord was a grasping jerk, her food coop had split up, the buses cost more every year... there was no end to it. My wife was with me, and I turned to her and smirked a little, knowing what was up even though she had no discernible accent. "Where are you from?" I asked. "Oh, Boston. I moved here ten years ago." Ten years still hadn't bred it out of her. That made me smile a bit.

Look, every place has its weird stuff. California politics makes absolutely no sense to me despite years of training and a political science master's degree; it's beyond comprehension to me. But that doesn't paint the whole state in a bad light.
posted by koeselitz at 1:01 AM on April 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have such a love hate relationship with porn it's insane. They should get money from the state to train directors for waterbondage.com alone(jk)! And I know this is off point, but some of the actresses who work at that site(kink.com/waterbondage.com) are doing illegal stuff over seas at the same time. Kink is going to have to change a lot of things if they want to stay afloat, they're way too extreme. Just ask Max Hardcore, he's doing 4 years for some bs, but his material was very disturbing, which is why he was a person of interest in the first place. The same will happen for kink, as long as they're distributing their material over state lines. The pornography business will never be legit, so they should never get federal dollars.
posted by Flex1970 at 1:32 AM on April 26, 2009


Flex1970: I have such a love hate relationship with porn it's insane.

Gee, what an odd thing to say. I can't imagine what that must be like. I would ask the other males of our generation, but I don't believe they know what it's like to have a love-hate relationship with porn, either.
posted by koeselitz at 1:39 AM on April 26, 2009


I'd better look up some Kink material to make sure I'm correctly in touch with my feelings.
posted by Flex1970 at 1:41 AM on April 26, 2009


Take it from me: you'll discover you aren't. But it'll be too late by then, and besides, it being five in the morning, you may as well pick your pants up off the floor, wipe yourself off, switch off the monitor and go to bed.
posted by koeselitz at 1:49 AM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


NO AUTHOR FOUND NO BACKLINK FOUND " this tasty bit of schadenfreude about Boing Boing."

A Boing Boing moderator Orwelianly explains:
As is obvious, this sponsorship hasn't changed your ability or BB's willingness to criticize Comcast. The subject is closed.
Boing Boing's Joel Johnson responds:
We're a business and we're trying to figure out how to negotiate this really shitty time for being a media company...
Times is too tuff for principles, when you have to fund a steampunk airship, apparently. Boing Boing really is a self parody.
posted by orthogonality at 2:29 AM on April 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


it's that everybody has a crazy story in California, a nutty tale of how they got where they are

I'd like to think that being a second-stage immigration state for a nation already descended from emigrants has something to do with it.

The bulk of the (European) emigrant experience of the 19th century was you were either F.O.B. in NYC or you parachuted into a pre-existing immigrant support community up in Minnesota, Texas or whereever. Few if any people made the move to California in one go; to get to the Golden State you had to repeat what your forebears accomplished and move your ass over a long, difficult distance.

I can't think of any other place in the world with a similar two-stage dynamic, (though all the west coast states share this immigration pattern to a some extent; my forebears bugged out of WV and moved to WA ~100 years ago).
posted by mrt at 2:55 AM on April 26, 2009


WTF "vaginal eyes" gah!

Sometimes, I really hate my brain.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:09 AM on April 26, 2009


Fiscal restraint.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:01 AM on April 26, 2009


Anybody else not read BB since last year's This Person fun?
posted by waraw at 5:40 AM on April 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


*raises hand*
posted by graventy at 6:12 AM on April 26, 2009


Anybody else not read BB since last year's This Person fun?

That'll be me... thought to be honest I'd already pretty much given up on it due to the fear that yet another STEAMPUNK! post would send me postal
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:49 AM on April 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Breaking news! Writers for local gossip rags can be self-serving assholes, governments aren't going to be comfortable funding something that explicitly involves sex and the spectre of violence, and VB likes to throw internetantrums.
posted by Redgrendel2001 at 7:15 AM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fiscal restraint.

Most like Fistal restraint

rimshot.
posted by fuq at 7:28 AM on April 26, 2009


It's amazing that people actually defend kink.com. This is sick and depraved stuff and customers of this outfit are almost certainly abused and mentally ill. I guess the owners of this business are happy to take anyone's money. They are no different from tele-evangelists really and should rightly not be accorded any favours.
posted by carfilhiot at 7:41 AM on April 26, 2009


Wht d y mn th sbjct s clsd?
posted by Artw at 7:47 AM on April 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Anybody else not read BB since last year's This Person fun?

I stopped reading it after Mark Frauenfelder made fun of the Virginia Tech shootings.
posted by Ratio at 8:02 AM on April 26, 2009


Much though we like to rag on Cory or Jenny Garden, Mark Frauenfelder appears to be the one in charge of maximum dickishness.
posted by Artw at 9:12 AM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


BoingBoing? Is that thing still on?

Also, like many other people, I am confused about why VB is upset with Smith. Shirley it cannot be just because he's a spectacularly shitty writer, because if we boycotted all of them, WHERE WOULD IT END?!?!1!

That said, I think the "Billions for employee training, but not a cent for adult-industry employee training" policy of the state of California is silly. But let's get mad at the $27K/year crap writer for the crap free paper instead--that'll help!
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:19 AM on April 26, 2009


BoingBoing? Is that thing still on?

Yes, and it's been on since Summer's Eve, 1998.
posted by Ratio at 10:08 AM on April 26, 2009


Shirley it cannot be just because he's a spectacularly shitty writer

Don't call me, surely.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:14 AM on April 26, 2009


Much though we like to rag on Cory or Jenny Garden, Mark Frauenfelder appears to be the one in charge of maximum dickishness.

Yeah. I think the issue is that Cory and Xeni are annoying in more interesting ways. Mark is more consistently annoying but usually in boring ways.
posted by grobstein at 10:17 AM on April 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


This story makes the Online Porn Monster sad.
posted by homunculus at 1:45 PM on April 26, 2009



Yes, and it's been on since Summer's Eve

You mean it's always been as douche-y?

Love how this thread went from San Francisco entitlement to hating on Boing Boing. Someone should invent a clue and give it to Cory, Jenny and the rest. The city would surely benefit.
posted by Catblack at 2:08 PM on April 26, 2009


Well, TBH we never really need that much of an excuse to start hating on Boing Boing.
posted by Artw at 4:23 PM on April 26, 2009


MetaFilter: Because if you don't have anything to say about the actual subject of the thread, there's always last year's blog wars to rehash.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:28 PM on April 26, 2009


It is my understanding that kink.com brings in a shedload of profit. That they have been getting government money on top of this is objectionable, the money should be going towards more, shall we say, sustainable job training initiatives.

The amusing irony there is that a lot of the teabaggy bunch would, in any other context, say that hey, they pay their taxes, they should get the same opportunities and options that any taxpayer gets. Things like need-based determination are unfair soak-the-rich punishment for success!
posted by phearlez at 9:42 AM on April 27, 2009


Hey, I'm a female dominant*, where's MY stimulus package?

*not professionally
posted by desjardins at 11:40 AM on April 27, 2009


Anybody else not read BB since last year's This Person fun?

I still check it out. Today they linked to this, this and this, so kudos to them for the links. I never read the comments anymore, though.
posted by homunculus at 1:33 PM on April 27, 2009


All I know is, these Kink.com cats make the charming and hilarious (and trashy) UltimateSurrender.com, and if the videos are a tenth as genial and overwrought as the ads, bless 'em and keep the checks coming! Er, going.
posted by waxbanks at 3:21 PM on April 27, 2009


http://twitter.com/violetblue/status/1642919366

:D
posted by jfrancis at 2:49 PM on April 28, 2009


She's totally stalking us.
posted by Artw at 3:43 PM on April 28, 2009


Logo. Shirt.
posted by mattdidthat at 6:41 PM on April 28, 2009


That's better than any of the real SF Weekly shirts I've seen.
posted by klangklangston at 7:08 PM on April 28, 2009


In today's SF Chronicle, Violet Blue links to MetaFilter (along with the Huffington Post, KTVU, the SF Bay Guardian and Carnal Nation) as part of a followup to this FPP.
posted by mattdidthat at 11:35 PM on April 29, 2009


See? TOTALLY stalking us.
posted by Artw at 9:37 AM on April 30, 2009


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