Sunday, June 24, 2018

A POX ON PAGES

Every time Pages (other programs as well, but mostly Pages) wants me to do an upgrade, the results are worse and it takes me days to figure it out.  I do not use most of the features (equations) and do not care whether the corners of my charts are rounded.  Years ago I found this program and used it exclusively.  As soon as Apple bought it, the program went downhill.  More hair-triggers, more unwanted stuff, paler print and so on.   Kid stuff, as though it were a game.

So when I get one of those intrusive tags that insist I upgrade "just because", I ignore them.  But they have the last laugh -- the program operates through the internet and they simply shut me down.  It took an hour to figure out which of my emails they are using, invent new passwords, agree to terms, struggle to understand their vocabulary and calm down after being infantilized by their assumptions. 

So I'm going to stop posting daily.  Instead I'm going to dedicate the next weeks to consolidating, eliminating, searching for a program like Writenow was.  I may go to a different search engine since the "new" Google is almost useless, dominated by what sells.  I'll still monitor Twitter.  For now.



Saturday, June 23, 2018

WHY WE NEED RELIGION

This bright Saturday is Homesteader Days in Valier.  I don't know how many actual "homesteaders" are left.  People are quite different now, but they like to remember a historical practice when people and the nation were different.  It's kind religious.

In Kansas City the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association is proceeding, gathering those with the money or backing to talk about what concerns their sociology, mostly unconventional post-Christians with a good income and some high education.

In my back bedroom, which is my writing space and also lecture hall, I'm going to simply post the URL for a video touting a book by Stephen T. Asma, who is asking about religion.  I think he is searching through the roots and nature of the phenomenon in a helpful way.  

https://www.skeptic.com/science-salon/why-we-need-religion/?utm_source=eSkeptic&utm_campaign=2318e40af9-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_06_20_04_56&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8c0a740eb4-2318e40af9-73504469&mc_cid=2318e40af9&mc_eid=30f767fd15


Friday, June 22, 2018

THE DEVIL WAS AN ANGEL

The current crisis over immigrant children being separated from their parents follows a pattern.  First there is a long time of a trend being gradual, unremarked, and even underground --  esp. the aspects that can be monetized, both the illegal acts like smuggling and trafficking, the legal acts like a family member who sends money home to others.

Finally something brings the dynamic to the surface, like an idiot president trying for political advantage.  Then emotion is high, the response is too drastic, too sweeping, too uncontrollable.  Those who are most alert begin to respond.  Those who find the furor to their advantage work to perpetuate it.

I'm thinking about 9/11, how some of the first shock transitioned into the conviction that the country was webbed with terrorists, all of them Arab, waiting in little cells for their chance to fly an airplane into a building.  The facts of which building, which airplane, how did the "Arabs" learn to fly, what did they do the night before they died, and so on -- all these have grown into as big and scary a complex narrative as even the assassination of John F. Kennedy,

Certain kinds of people know how to take advantage of high emotions.  We end up with Homeland Security which sounds like a paranoid murder series, because that's what it is.  In fact, the dynamics are so much like a TV narrative, that people treat it as such, many of them finding it viscerally surreal but immediate, others seeing it as remote and impossible to address, inevitable.  They try to escape being held to account.  

It is HUGELY mistaken to try to address fear with authority, particularly when the use of force is approved, economic dynamics become force, and the consequences of force (shooting in the streets, forcing an end to privacy, feeling always hyper-alert, and using all the indices that we record socially: marriages, conceptions, incarcerations, deaths and particularly suicides.  Population dynamics become changeable and curiously nostalgic -- that is, not just memory but inflation into Eden.

This happens when we have major financial depressions, when there are terrible natural disasters, and so on.  But also, the next step of these atrocities reveal a whole network, a level of society that has supported all this forever.  Mafia.  Payoffs. Nepotism.  Look at the data scrapes about who lives in below-margin houses, who gets caught in house fires, who is likely to be broken and bankrupt, maybe repeatedly, who gets shot by big men in bullet-proof vests.  A small constant heartbeat of disaster is part of below- standard living.  A growing stratus of resentment, hatred, and outrage grows about people of color being targeted by police, then grows into responding violence, maybe in mobs.  Like the signs of stress in animals, the signs can persist in society for a long time without being particularly noticed, until they bloom into deeply rooted conditions.

So for a few centuries some people were never entirely male or entirely female, but with an assortment of variations in the middle.  When constraints were no longer imposed by coitus, the boundaries were broken and these "Other" people found each other, named each other, became a cultural force strong enough to be mercantilized. (Buy a rainbow.)

Enormous wealth, or the appearance of it, the markers of it (criminal impunity, cleverness without intelligence, women who are physically admired by the media, gaming, a host of "fix-it" guys and gals) has been a hallmark of the Americas from first contact.  Gold, mostly.  Timber, fur, oil, certain foods.  Some of these uber-wealth people will be fake, like Trump and his comb-over.  Some will be people of good taste and generosity to the nation -- let's say Carnegie, thinking of libraries.  We should think about what made the difference.

Then we find out that today's atrocities are every day's atrocities.  I'm on the internet with a lot of Western Canada tribes who are highly aware that their children are still removed without real justification and either thrown into warehouses or handed over to foster parents.  (They prefer to point to TB hospitals.)  This was also the practice in America and still is.  When the Victorian Industrial Revolution hit the British Isles, killing adults before they finished raising their children, killing everyone through plague famine (Irish potatoes), the children managing to live in the streets were rounded up and sent throughout the Commonwealth to be "servants" and -- with luck -- adopted.  My aunt's mother was one of them.  My mother-in-law's Quebec family took in one of them.  (We're all white, but it's telling that I have to say so.) Oddly, the descendants feel stigmatized, somehow shamed that over a century ago this happened.  It's still a secret.

Of course, you've seen the photos of the indigenous children in North America taken from their homes -- sometimes violently -- and lined up in rows to be dressed just alike and forced into being "white."  Maybe you saw a movie called "Sent Down Girl" about the Chinese children "deported" from school careers to herd animals in back country to keep them humble.  Something similar happened in Australia.  "The Rabbit-Proof Fence."

Rationalizations become ever more fantastic, farther from reality, more inclined to superstition (called religion).  I just heard what "Angel Families" are, the families of people whose relatives were purportedly murdered by illegal immigrants.  Turns out some were, some weren't.

I reckon that Trump got the idea that Central American Catholics are a superstitious bunch and aren't afraid of death.  So he's busy setting himself up to be a Saint by recognizing their grief.  I guess he hasn't read the stories about what happened to saints when they were finally "sainted."  Once again he's playing with fire while's flammable.  He forgets that Lucifer was also an Angel, though he didn't die of thirst in the desert while trying to get to the United States.  The way it works, you see, is that it's the SAINT who's supposed to suffer.  The Angels cut both ways.  That is, they are dangerous.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

THERE'S NO BLOOD IN BLOOD QUANTUM

Blood quantum is not about blood.  At no point does blood get involved in the system of sequestering indigenous people.  There is never a blood draw.  One can be told from analyzing cheek cells which groups one might belong to, but the people who are designated indigenous are reluctant to let a real data base be built, because genomic info might be used by pharma countries to create new meds which make a lot of money.  None will go to the donors.

Money is the key.  NOT blood.  The first lists of indigenous tribes were made before anyone even knew about the basic blood groups of A, B, and O, much less understood a genome.  But indigenous people have been kept from making money or even profiting from their land.  Therefore money will motivate them to rage to be "in" and fight like hell to keep as many as possible "out."

This whole "blood" thing comes from British domestic animal raising in which keeping one group of animals together and other groups out has caused genetic drift to define Hereford cows from Hereford, England, and Dorset sheep from Dorset, England.  No indigenous people are from Europe, by definition.  Their self-definition as a group was partly hereditary and partly by affinity, folks who just fit in kinda by accident.

When the scientists were pressed to define species, this is what they said.
"A group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding. The species is the principal natural taxonomic unit, ranking below a genus and denoted by a Latin binomial, e.g., Homo sapiens."

That is obsolete.  First, we discover there are many if not the majority of "similar individuals -- THERE's a punt! -- that can exchange genes the old-fashioned way, sex as meiosis.  ("Hey, you big strong Neanderthal!)  But vectors can move genes from one person into another, so why not into a dog?  A virus is a bit of nuclear code without a cell.  If it will fit into the nuclear code, it can become an inheritable part.  

An accusation has been made that when modern people have to send in their blood for analysis for sports competition, they sometimes send dog blood -- since all it is tested for is whether there are drugs in it.  I would not be surprised by dog genes in humans, nor would I be surprised by drugs in either.  I impounded a dog in Portland that had every symptom of barbituate poisoning.  There was a drug house with a golden retriever that was sometimes too mellow to do anything but wag its tail and other times offered to tear out my throat.

The "principal natural taxonomic unit" is what you call it.  If you call it a dog, it's a dog.  But now our prob is what is a Neanderthal?  Do we call it a human?  Even today there are some people who cannot bring themselves to call an autochthonous person a human.  They say "vermin," "animals".  They repeat "nits make lice," and are surprised by people remembering.

Back to blood.  Even after raping their slaves and producing children, whites believed they were the only human species and prevented with law any marriage between them and anyone not like them.  To get married, people must still get a blood test.  Chart at https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/chart-state-marriage-license-blood-29019.html  They test mostly for diseases and hurtful mutations.  Easy to defy the law: don't get married.  Slaveowners didn't.

There are two ways that there is a division about marriage -- not sex.  One is being two different species, so you're not allowed to marry your beloved dog or pony.  Never fear, you can go ahead to create a legal document like a marriage agreement about your relationship.  Best not mention sex.  This might or might not be accepted by one's religion.  

The other chasm is about culture.  People of different cultures are advised not to marry.  It happens anyway, esp. in wartime or if there is an overriding and inclusive culture like shared work or even intense experiences.  But it's highly romantic and the work can be worth it.  The line between who is on the tribal rolls versus who is not is complicated by the role of marriage.  Being married does not guarantee blood relationship via sex.  Culture is not  determined by blood.  It just teaches you what you think you know about blood.

Your genome cannot be determined by your blood because blood cells have no nuclei, which is where the genome dwells.  Cheek cells carry your genome, but no one says "cheek scrape quantum."  Your genome CAN determine whether one has an Asiatic basic genome structure, since it is confirmed that before Columbus the indigenous somehow got across the Pacific Ocean.  (It was NOT immigration.)  European, African, and Asian genomes are different enough to sort because they have been separate for so long, mostly.  But American difference goes back a long time.  

Determining tribe would not be practical.  Different eating patterns, different local mineral isotopes, individually mutated genes like the capacity to dive deep and stay down long, would need far more lab work than the pop commercial genome spit tests.  None of that could have been done at the time of identifying "tribes."  They simply set up a table and made a list of everyone there who said they belonged.  There were no objective criteria.  By the time they got to the prairies, even adaptable white people had become tribal members.  Since they were defined by culture, they WERE members.

Some were split -- white with their back-home families and tribal with their new native families, some of whom were biologically and literally blood quantum relatives. (Custer, like many, had two wives: one indigenous and the other white.)  Being on the list meant food -- this was a military operation by the Department of War, not a mission, though they also kept records.

The most insidious assumption had the culture cleavage down the middle of it.  Tribal people accepted being defined by the Other.   There was a bit of Stockholm Syndrome -- by golly, if being like these white people could be defined as success, they were up for it.  After all, the cavalry would shoot you if you were too out of line.  But if you were compliant, you ate.

But the whites were assuming that after the first few generations when the People would naturally try to get their children and grandchildren on the list -- they were probably still culturally indigenous or partly so -- and then they would settle down, by then diluted into sorta white anyway.  But they didn't.  The dilution was cultural and the white culture was changing as well.   Then the indigenous people to the south started coming north.  Egads!

"The U.S. will become “minority white” in 2045, Census projects".  Yikes!  What if they remember what we did to them?  What if they demand their land back?  I'm on Twitter with a lot of Western Canadian indigenous people.  "What if" is here.  So "What now?"  It has nothing to do with blood.  It's about culture.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WAR AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE

One weapon of war that has not changed and will not change is the control of food.  People can even withstand bandits, bombing, and being thrown out of their homes IF they can get enough to eat.  Famine wipes out all the children and the old people, but not the men because the men can just take whatever food there is from everyone else.  People die one by one on the street and whole nations die where there is drought.

Let's talk about space war first.  Many people have framed scientific progress as understanding how to use space as a race, a competition rather than a war.  Normally we do not shoot down each others' satellites nor rockets unless they are military missiles meant to destroy some point on the globe.  (Given the ease with which one could cut ocean floor cables, or mess with the electrical grid, it is no surprise that it happens already.)  The many movies about war in space are either recycled WWII fighter jet combat or war against alien life forms, all of which use rather conventional weapons, beams of somethingorother.  Swordplay. The Death Star is framed in terms of explosions.  Even the War of Worlds was won by microbes, more imaginative than relying on Nazi tropes.  We cannot give up our Nazi tropes, even as we replicate them in our conventional governance.

The exploration and understanding of space is so expensive and demands such developed skills that it cannot be "owned" by one nation.  Collaboration or its imitation by stealth as piggy back or international spy corporations are about the sum of how to proceed.  Physical war in terms of smashing everything can only destroy the assets that would result in reaching the goal.  But space missiles are rooted in military assault.

More problematic and more crashingly successful are the satellites.  They have two sides: the bright side is communication and observation and the dark side is debris and as a bomb base.  For the last ten years Russia has understood that controlling satellite communication through popular media is smashingly successful in wiping out the standing order, which is a form of war like a hydrogen bomb or a biological agent, which leave the buildings and equipment still intact, merely evaporating or demoralizing the humans of the other side.

Our president is doing this without owning satellites because the media feels obliged to report everything, even when it demonizes them, so they become his satellites.  The more they report, the better it works.  Trump has explained (he is always explaining) that if someone hits him, he hits them back harder.  But we don't hit him.  We stand gaping.  Fascinated.

If this escalation continues and the stakes get higher, the ultimate is his destruction, one way or another.  In fact, at this point he can never go back to his old life and his re-election is ridiculous.  Incarceration has already begun.  But he was never the real instigator of this cyber-war anyway, nor are the people who understand and maintain the Internet, even the Dark Internet.  The real heart of war is the desire to dominate and control.  He just uses his computer for a telephone.

Putin, first of all, must keep his own country dominated and controlled, but that has been an educational experience that he has learned from.  Its potency is much extended from what the USSR was able to do, because now it's a cyber war.  No tanks or fighter jets are necessary: human psychology is essential plus a covering-all blanket of information that is not particularly communicative except by spinning yarns, esp. stories that discredit leadership that is democratic.

The time is right because "democracy" has been called into question by predatory capitalism.  Trump has mendaciously done this for his whole life: work out strategy to evade rules of law, court oversight, and inclusion of any kind.  Every time I point out that the Trump Tower is basically a radio antenna relaying everything to whatever counts as mafia, I see peoples' eyes turn into pinwheels.  They "know" what Trump Tower is: wealth and power, which they can describe only in terms of TV crime shows.  Crime bosses come off rather well in those tales, but wealth and power are often the "war within" both as morality and gaming.

Old people in our culture are unlikely to even understand the language of the Internet.  I can't keep up.  In fact, just mechanically I can't see small print or find the place to click on the arrow.  Some days I can't touch type.  Irrelevant stuff jumps out at me on the screen.  Programs stall and I can't figure out how to continue except to begin again.  (I stop to "save" this, which I had forgotten to do.)  I have a whole notebook of passwords and downloaded advice.  I have only one wired phone, but the programs demand my pocket phone number.  Unless I constantly wipe out spam, my email is full of offers to make my penis awesome, even though I'm female.

Sex has always been an undercurrent of war.  One constantly reads about "courtesans" of famous and powerful men who offered advice and secrecy that made all the difference.  Outright assaultive rapes and their detailed descriptions are incendiary bombs but the most colorful porn is on the internet.  The first sensational data-scraping was "A Billion Wicked Thoughts", a survey of on-line porn providers, but no one wants to say so.  They'd rather stick to "Fifty Shades of Grey" because it's about the war between the sexes, not whether you can have sex with an octopus.  And there's violence -- best not to beat an octopus.

No one can imagine having sex with Putin.  Trump is easy: pop a Viagra, eat the most beautiful and expensive food, imitate relations with a professional imitator, and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep her quiet.  That's what happens in the US.  We don't know what happened in Russia.  Eventually we'll all have a chance to watch the pipi tapes, but they are much more powerful when they are only imagined.

This is about war -- adversaries.  Winning.  The competition that is sometimes progressive and sometimes wipes out everything that has been accomplished by people struggling to adapt to a changing world.  The terms of engagement are likely to be overwhelmed by natural change, which is augmented by unnatural change, which we do ourselves.  The terms of money are drastically changing.  The institutions that were protective watchdogs have been bought out by the Rule of Law reinterpreted as regulations and executive decisions.  The courts are overwhelmed.  Education is stuck.  The best observations of religion that I know of are suggesting that the far right has captured religion and become a cult.  Except for the present Pope, that symbol of ultimate power, that flaming heart.


Ideas are the most possible and dangerous force possible for humans.  It may destroy them.  At least a lot of them.  Maybe tomorrow.  But there are quiet forces gathering: a boomerang effect that changes the terms of everything. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

MY THEORY OF WHAT'S HAPPENIING

umair haque is the author of this blog post below.  It is eloquent and universal.  Umair, who styles himself a "vampire," has the disease that makes people allergic to sunlight.  Erythropoietic Protoporphyria.  He almost died because he was not diagnosed.


This world, or at least the humans on it are also undiagnosed and sucking each other's blood, because we are afraid and think the only way to be safe is to bloody up others.  Umair's is a good post.  This is mine.

Twenty years ago I had been told I would not live much longer and I realized I could return to the high prairie.  Focus.  Here I am.  I'm white but I've been around the rez for fifty years.  I sharply understand what the indigenous activists in Western Canada, people you do not really picture in your mind and nor ever read their words, are shouting about this Mexican border atrocity.  It has been done to them as soon as contact was made.  And there are plenty of other examples.

Homonids, Homo Sapiens in the present version, carry with them, AS them, the history and impulses of primates (apes).  The predominant near-identical basic genomes are shared among them, though they make a big fuss about a few percentage points of difference.  (I don't know how the percentage translates into actual numbers of individual variant genes which would be made even more various by the environment.)  That is, the potential for violence, cruelty and hatred is in every human being, always there to be activated and move us back into ape instincts.  Thus, we are always sowing dragon teeth among us, ready to leap in murderousness when conditions are right.  

At the level of chimps, we understand deception, bluffing, and creating bonds through intimacy.  Long before primates, mothers and sometimes fathers developed the gene-inscribed instinct to protect children.  Even ants risk their own lives to save the eggs.  This makes a very effective weapon.  Even Trump says his children are "off-limits" though he himself took them into criminal territory.

But I don't think Trump is the one with the vision.  He has no vision, only reflexes, and must stay in touch with those who have a plan, chiefly Putin.  Trump feels he is smarter, more important, because he finally has a "dad".  Putin is thinking in terms of world domination, not just America and not Manhattan.  Trump is a predatory capitalist.  Putin is far beyond that and can easily sacrifice Trump.  Some have suggested that for Trumpists prison is a safer place that the streets.  Maybe Trump thinks he can kill people on 5th Avenue and get away with it.  Putin has people who can make it happen without anyone realizing until it's too late.

This country -- actually plural since Canada is out of the same box and also Mexico since they are mostly -- and frankly -- still indigenous -- has a ghastly history supported by microbes (mostly smallpox) and propelled by the insupportable conditions in Europe.  The whites came in flight from danger and killed, kidnapped, and enslaved everyone they could.  My aunt's mother was scooped up on the streets in London, brought with shiploads of orphans to populate the prairies.  When the Ukrainians were starving to death, some moved to the high prairie, a tough place survivable with luck and lots of children to do the work.

Agriculture is only about ten thousand years old.  It supports autocratic patriarchs and slavery.  Blackfeet, Cree, et al, were not quite pastoral until the horse and sheep came along, but they were not simple hunter/gathers either.  Their culture was complex, governed by the seasons, lived in small groups with a family base, highly moral which means they survived by cooperation.  Everyone closely guided -- I said guided, not guarded -- children.  There are stories about arrogant, better-than-everyone kids who didn't think of anyone but themselves.  They were simply left behind when the camp moved.

The advent of the industrial revolution and now the technological revolution have dislocated the rules for how to be human.  People are confused and it is ironically painful that they prefer to be numb.  Governing is done by choosing an adversary and throwing him or her into prison.  Poor, dark people who don't speak English (PROPER English) are blamed and scapegoated.  Shot in the streets.

The criterion of wealth is more powerful that skin color.  An ebony person is respected and loved if they have enough money.  Dark people know this.  Skin color is a lazy criterion.  There is no such thing as "race" which is the supposed justification for grouping people.  The dominant heritage in the US is German, not English, and Elizabeth II is German.  She had to change her name in WWII.  Think about that.  (She's very rich.  Her grandson just married a woman who would have been defined as black, though the prejudiced person appears to be her white father.)

Where we are now has a long history and I've been part of it.  In childhood my family was Republican with streaks of cooperative prairie socialism.  I was a patriot because what else was there?  Then in high school black people began to be part of my scene and eventually engulfed my neighborhood.  When I went to college, I deliberately reached out to every form of human portrayed by Malvina Hoffman, whose Hall of Man was dispersed because some called it racist.  On the rez I felt the power of being white, but also worked alongside "Indians."  As an animal control officer, I discovered what was worse than the rez -- cruelty and torture that grew out of small offences like too much barking or dogs running free.

Seminary is where I met the real evil, though theoretically not in UU circles where they were arrogant enough to believe that being loved and patronized by them was salvific.  The Jonestown Trump-type who served Koolaid talked that way, too.  The idea that the 9.9% ARE the self-defined and protected American aristocracy is convincing.  It explains the evils of protectionism, superiority, and child-napping and how they have taken over this country, intimidated our citizens, and concentrated our media on crime, which it celebrates as bravely defiant, if lethal.  Sad.

I am not saved by living in a small town on the High Line along the border with Canada.  I don't know whether people are trying to come through the Port of Entry an hour's drive north of me.  Black people stand out.  Indigenous people do not -- many of us on both sides are brown.  I am not -- I'm pink with speckles.  But I look for eyes, I listen for voices, and I react to crying children.  It's only a matter of time until the revolt begins.  I can only hope it is elected rather than violent, though the violence is always there and the 9.9% know they can snuff much of it with predatory capitalism -- take away the life-sustaining drugs, take the savings, take the Social Security, take home ownership, take away health care . . .  and so on.


Love ain't gonna do nothin', Sweetie.

Monday, June 18, 2018

BOYS AND SEX

I always thought sex was pretty much what the movies showed or else what the medical lit said it was.  When I got to Montana, I became aware of A.B. Guthrie Jr.'s opinion that a cold and reluctant woman could destroy a generation but that a whore grateful for marriage could redeem it all.  He was against violence against women, even slaps that made the woman say, "Thanks -- I needed that."  All this is in the novels, implied more than argued.  Sometimes he would say it plain.

At the end of my decade of life that included skillful and welcome monogamous sex, it was thoroughly mixed in my own mind with romance, growing up, gender-roles, and a lot of other stuff that was hard to figure out, like obedience, authority, and the freedom to think.  I knew way too much about the old-white-man paradigm and what it let pass by as acceptable because it was -- for them.

Not until the mid-2000's did I begin to rethink the whole subject and how it pervades every aspect of our lives, but particularly the subset of paid physical stimulation, which could also be a version of intimacy, healing, and emotional stability. But many times it isn't.

A moment I like to remember was when I said in conversation with the Paris loft boys via email, meaning it as a joke: "I'm too old to visit a prostitute."  One young man was offended and indignant.  He said, "I can give anyone pleasure.  No one is too old."  He had entirely left the ideas of only glamour being a turn-on, only a climax being a goal, and only violence making sex "real."  He didn't believe any of that bunkum.

Later, hearing the stories of the American boys doing survival sex, I heard for the first time that boys who were really needy and tough would allow themselves to be beaten up for money.  Nothing about what we would normally call "sex" was involved, but the violent men -- clearly angry in some aspect of their lives (maybe their sons) -- would assault the boys and become so aroused that they "came." without close contact.  They paid to keep from being arrested.

Sex, like food, is one of the most plastic and shaped-by-culture needs of human beings, except that if you never have any sex at all in your whole life in any form, you might not be happy but you won't die.  It can be the focus of a lifetime; it can be such a wickedness that suicide is attractive; it can be the most beautiful aspect of being alive.

Until Tim explained what he did in his day, a much more literary and ground-breaking time, I never thought of sex as a story, one cleverly suited to fit a client by finding his secret spot, his second self, his never admitted fantasies.  It was simple:  T. talked to them a bit until he had figured them out, then he took their minds there, emotional bodies trailing after, until the climax but not the denouement, so that like Scheherazade's caliph, they would want more.

He was also pretty sophisticated about the sexuality of "gaze" which is not just men looking at naked women, but also includes beauty, costume, dance, light, attitude and literary references.  He must tell his own story, but there's a lot to it.  What I had learned in Div School was relevant but a baby view, except I knew that high-end theory from those avant garde Algerian French philosophers was meaningful.

This sort of thing is TOTALLY different from using sex as an assault weapon.  Nor is it about using access to sexual victims as a reward, a perq.  I'm only talking about skin-to-skin one-on-one.  Compensated.  Not used for extortion.

Stigma is so useful when people are trying to cover up behavior.  People are afraid to ask, afraid to even think about it because their own interior life will come to the surface.  Secrecy, denial, displacement.

In our times sex has come to be much intensified and unbalanced by the mercantile forces that are corroding everything.  And yet, the strategy of treating sex as hilarious -- which helped to cope with hidden events -- has persisted and now veils and confuses a search for truth.

Now and these these boys-to-men at risk will say they are shit, they are nothing, they have done every bad thing.  Instead of saying God loves them, I say,  "Wait.  What skills have you learned from this survival sex thing?"  

Endurance.  How to take preventive measures like making sure people knew where he was, using a pocket camera to record the car license and send it.  How to create distractions.  How to read the mind of a transgressor before they act.  How to choose an effective flattery.  How to recover.  There was advice:  stick together, stay informed. never go into a basement, don't allow being tied up, stay off the street.  STAY OFF THE STREET.  Those who had been abused as little kids knew it in their bones.

I discovered that these boys have a strong sense of justice, a morality based on the fellow at their shoulder.  But their punishments of others and themselves can be harsh.

This is not useful info for me unless I write a story or an essay about these matters.  The business of a writer is life itself.  In a time when it's tough to distinguish hook-up culture from commerce, in a time when there are cultures among us that impose a death sentence for what others of us consider innocent, there's a lot to write about.  The lines between disreputable and criminal are being redrawn.  Gender roles and the genders themselves change by the day.  Rule by law means a lot of rewriting to keep up.

Prose reasoning, fictional accounts of people's lives, and poetry about the bodies of desire, all must interact to build a new understanding of where lines should be drawn, where old boundaries should be demolished.  The wrenching part of this blithe opinion is that people die, people live restricted and mutilated.  But not all of them.  And more survive if they stick together.

But get braced.  They say the pipi tapes are worse than wetting the bed.