January 27, 2004



I didn't post this right away, because I couldn't figure out a way to break the blog syntax and signal an event of the heart. I may not endorse the "funny boner boner funny ha ha" bloganschauung, but I'm plenty chatty and irresponsible. I put people down. I gossip. I hardly feel like I should be rocking the pulpit, or that I'd be convincing if I decided to do so. I don't want to fuck up this topic with false identification or bogus transference. Expressing moral positions is sticky, as it both implies and demands a good deal of accusation. It has to, but figuring who and what to exclude in this instance is proving impossible. What follows isn't quite the hammer on the nail, but I'm never gonna get it right.

I can't slow the bunny-hopping, window-clicking process of reading in the blogopshere. So be it. I'm uncomfortable writing in the first person, because foregrounding thoughts like "Ooh, your pain gave me a headache" is so not where I want to go. So be that, too. I'll pull the lever and leave it at that.

[What are you on about? you ask.]

I flail because of Peter Landesman's article on sex slaves in The New York Times Magazine. If you haven't taken sleepy pills and can read what's been written, you'll see the indictments stack up to the ceiling. Not just of coyotes and traffickers. Everybody. You. Me.

The piece describes the structural, institutional destruction of lives. Not just the children who are torn apart and dehumanized, but everyone who clicks on the porn banners, everyone who allows capitalism to supercede the law, everyone who says "you gotta do what you gotta do," everyone who nods and smiles at the sexualization of every part of every person all day, every day. Everyone who lets childhood bleed into adulthood, day by day, trench by trench.

You say "We knew this stuff, yeah, it's bad. We saw Lilja 4-ever." or "We've read about comfort women." Maybe I'm daft. I don't know why it took so long for this stuff to acually metabolize and spread through my limbs. Riding on the train Sunday morning, reading the piece while looking out the window and playing Alphabet with my son, my stomach began to flip over. I started seeing lines in front of me, shiny white lines connecting all the players and sins: the states, the websites, the police, the johns, the dogwalkers, the lawyers, the bartenders, the innocent. Do people need to see tanks rolling down Broadway before loading Morals 3.0? Do we have a Get-Out-Of-Hell-Free pass until that moment? Have there been a thousand moments where we could have acknowledged our agency, and each time we ignore these moments makes it exponentially less likely that the next moment will be the one we confront? I spent the day with a mild numbness in my limbs, unsure if I should just start killing people. Maybe myself first. Maybe you.

I decided to volunteer as a mentor for a child. There's no guarantee I'll be accepted, nor is there any guarantee I'll do any kid any good by taking them to the park and talking about old Pete Rock 12-inches. It also seems a very after-the-fact move. Damage is being done, and if I could do something preventative, I'd unplug the entire internet right now. I have not found the plug.

I understand a bit of what terrorists must feel. Obviously not the exigency--nobody is threatening me or starving me or depriving me of my ability to speak and earn and live. But I understand wanting to change something immediately and furiously, the need to sign your name in blood. Not sending a nasty email or spitting in the sandwich you just made for some pig, but taking a hit as you dole one out because you know you're as guilty as anyone. You sacrifice yourself for not having sacrificed yourself earlier.

You have by now clicked on "Custard Ass and The Bandit, Part Five."

Afterr I shook the nausea, the gorgons kept poking their heads into my head. Sitemeter revealed that the most popular Google path to this site is "Nelly+Tip+Drill+video." Yep. Wash your hands all you want. And then, for the stench of hell that not even Swiffer can eliminate, I got an email about Howwasshe.com. I predict a Vice-style "we're just kidding" wuss-out when the criticism gets too thick. Just like that Hunting Bambi thing. But maybe no-one will bother and maybe the gesture is foul enough that any follow-up is already sort of funereal.

Have a great day!

Posted by Sasha at January 27, 2004 11:38 AM | TrackBack