Tuesday, July 09, 2019


Below is a link to the posted article that kicked off this line of thought.  It begins with the world of High Fashion that was so spectacular when the pictorial magazines ran startling photography of clothes by the giants of haute couture who are dying of old age now.

"In the 1970’s the industry began to change. It began moving away from fashion as a utilitarian concept, and into a kind of pop culture theater of costumes and performance art, all the while promoting an increasingly unattainable ideal of feminine beauty, and blurring the boundaries between women and girls, exploitation and art. There were a number of reasons behind this transformation-but one of the driving forces was the sexual liberation movement, and the dark side of its gains. In the words of writer Rebecca Solnit, reflecting on her experiences as a young teen in the 70’s, “the sexual revolution had deteriorated into a sort of free-market free-trade ideology in which all should have access to sex and none should deny access”

"Pop culture was also influenced by the emergence of Playboy magazine-with its clever use of genuinely good editorial content from respected writers interspersed with pornographic images, was able to re brand what had previously been seen as smut into something almost classy. Cloaked with the veneer of sophistication, and by publicly aligning the brand with the causes of feminism, civil rights and free speech, Hugh Hefner was able to mainstream the objectification of female bodies in a way that had never been done before. He made porn fashionable-and it was only a matter of time before fashion embraced this approach as well. 

This is about Trump and another man, quite like him but more charming, named John Casablancas.  (translates to White House!)  This article, which is only part one, doesn't discuss Epstein, who is also in the same mold.  That there are three men playing this "game" suggests that there may be more.  Some of us will suspect other countries giving rise to them.  If you want more material about Epstein, try this:  https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2003/03/jeffrey-epstein-200303

Circumstances have allowed a "hand of cards" to form.  The cards themselves are Wealth, Secrets, Sex, Blackmail, Status, the ability of certain Plutocrats to rise above nations, a bored and burdened ordinary person's Hunger for scandal as long as it's someone else, and Gaming the Rule of Law.  The Ace in this deck of cards is Murder.

The sins are not necessarily different from what is local  A man where I worked in this village was not long ago caught in an FBI sting that offered a 12-year-old girl for $200, which caused locals to only say they never liked him anyhow.  (Three others were also caught, but they weren't from here.)  A previous mayor of Great Falls was running a bordello out of the back of his bar, but people said it was okay because it was outside the city limits.  Our society has shifted drastically.  Maybe too much, or using the wrong cards.   But what can we do?  

We have grown more tolerant and analytical about secrets, much diminishing the power of the sex trade to control famous people, it has made some wonder about the wisdom of stigmatizing and criminalizing something so common as sex among humans.  What is hidden and dangerous is always worth more money.  The enormous shift from marriage to cohabiting and the resulting confusion of marriage and family, has called into question government or religious control.  Alongside, giving ownership of women to themselves instead of making them the chattel of men along with their children, has outraged loser men challenged to be worthy.  Working women must split their allegiances between bosses and husbands, but they no longer work at ribbon counters.  They may be major players in federal government.  This card is a Joker.

Another dimension of the movement to make sexwork positive, is that being outside the law can make a person seem dangerous and powerful.  One who seems to have shady contacts may be protected.  Sometimes Trump seems to rely on his mafia family connections to make people back off.  When one gets to the point of needing assassins, they are a double-edged sword.  So many TV plots rely on someone in danger because they know too much.  Anyway, modern illegal business is finding it profitable to be respectable enough in some aspects to eschew relying so much on protection schemes based on violence.  It's bad presentation -- not a good "look."  

I'm not interested in the individuals who appear in these revelations.  But there is a fractal aspect to their stories:  big crimes come from circumstances that cause their echoes in little crimes, or maybe it's vice versa.  Anyway, the changing nature of, for instance, what sex means in our society is plate tectonics in terms of what else happens.  Not every rich man uses Sex as a card -- we're told that some are going to Art now, part of that shift from gallery to auction that is sensational and emotional enough to be worth the effort.  Partly due to a time distance from the WWII stolen art, enabling lawsuits, restorations to original owners, and daylighting of stolen works.  Anyway there's the problem of so many people reacting to powerful men raping little girls is . . . so?

It's not the notorious individuals who hold the keys to scams, but their surrounding and supporting characters who have the expertise and maintain the contacts.  They are invested in keeping the tentpole individuals prominent.  I'll repeat again my joust that when a person becomes a certain amount rich, they must be managed by a system, an organization, which then owns him.  (Very few "hers" out there, so far.)  Maybe he thinks he's making decisions, but all his evidence and considerations (the ones he knows about) come from supposed "underlings."  This is as true of school superintendents and county treasurers as bigshots.  They are no longer independent persons.

How do we design something that will take these perps by the back of the neck and bring them to social norms -- the ones we used to have?  At least ones that protect instead of destroying so many.

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