A freind in America is unfortunately very ill at the moment and what with the American health system and being unable to work with such a serious condition he's not in the best shape to cope with this financially. The following is what he and his closest friends have written about his condition. I'm reproducing it here for my subscribers to see and linking to a gofundme where you can make a contribution if you are so moved. D On Sunday, May 29th, Aeo was admitted into the hospital for cellulitis - one of the fastest spreading cases of cellulitis the hospital staff had ever seen. The infection spread strongly enough that he almost lost his leg. He was given several doses of the strongest antibiotic in the hospital to combat the infection. It worked enough to remove the current need for surgery, but that came with negative effects elsewhere. The strength of the antibiotics began to affect his kidneys. Aeo is finally out of the ICU, but will be remaining in the hospital until his kidneys become stable and the infection in his leg is no longer a threat. We still aren't sure when he'll be able to return home. Unfortunately, we didn't budget for such an expensive emergency to occur in our lives. Due to issues with the Marketplace, he also currently has no medical insurance. We've been working with the hospital social workers to decrease these costs as much as possible, but with a week in the hospital and no definite end in sight, the expenses will still be very high. So many of our friends have already shown incredible support by reaching out to us online or in person. Today, we [...]
There are many well intentioned discussions at the moment about professional associations for riggers and / or models. Many terrible people love to join professional associations because it lends them the seeming of legitimacy without much actual effort in contrast to those that build their own reputation by actually achieving something. Professional associations have their uses for concrete definable professions with real qualifications that can be subjectively determined. i.e. there's a reason why these exist commonly for trades. Also many associations exist to represent their members in some way. If so who runs it and how is it going to be paid for? Or do you want or the kind that only exist to provide information and a nexus of communication for members? Do people mean something like the General Medical Council that can strike of Doctors so they can't practice. If so how do you enforce this? Eventually associations with bad members are devalued and become worthless regardless of any good works due to bad members. People stop trusting it. So you just have to stop bad people joining right? Well how? This has sprung up in the wake of revelations about some well known presenters. So you wouldn't let them in your association right? Why not? Until recently they had as far as many were concerned good reputations. Their turning out to not be the kind of people you'd have wanted associated with your professional association wasn't necessarily predictable. So now you're going to expel them right? How? You're going to have a tribunal with witnesses and a trusted panel of adjudicators who are senior professionals. How do you determine who they should be? Even if you do this and it all works [...]
Filed firmly under the category of really? Again? Had to send some takedown notices again on one site because someone had copped our images, modified them to remove the mark and posted it up on their profile. I issued the usual DMCA takedown and that image was removed. That's pretty much the unfortunate business as usual. What was odd was the message I received from the guy after. What a sad man. Nothing better to do than grassing people up for something that doesn't affect you at all. I liked the pic, never said it was mine. No life. Derp right? What a sad man I must be not letting him just rip off stuff without consequences, nothing better to do than report an idiot that doesn't understand copyright and thinks they're entitled to rip off anything they fancy just because they 'liked the pic'. And how could I possibly think that him ripping off my work, removing even the mark that could have led people back to my work and posting it horribly degraded could possibly affect me? Just ridiculous of me. It was nice of him to admit that he had no rights to the image though. I don't imagine that was his intent but possibly not the sharpest tool in the box. So lastly, 'no life'. Well here's my problem with that. I do very much have a life. A very large part of that life this person so amusingly assumes that I don't have very obviously involves tying up lots of beautiful women. Part of it even included creating these images that the guy liked so much that he flatteringly posted them with the creators identification edited off. I have so many [...]
There are a few places around the world that feel like coming home for us. They say that home is where the heart is. I think this is true. Our memories of places and events are inextricably entwined with the people we met and the experience we had. It's quite something to recognise that 'going home' feeling as we make our way to an event thousands of miles from our actual home. It's very much a sensation of going home and seeing old friends. Though it's always a bit of a downer to have to go back to everyday life after having a great time there's always that thought of next time. The year will soon be drawing to a close. Next year we get to go home again, and again...
There isn't one! The problem is in people being dickheads. I'll elaborate on that a bit... When people take pictures at events where pictures are not allowed; that's a problem. When people make calls in quiet spaces; that's a problem. When people do anything that they agreed not to do at an event, even without a cellphone; that's a problem. None of these are cellphone problems, but all of them are dickhead problems! Dickhead problems are behavioural problems. Some behavioural problems are due to personality and intellectual problems. To put that last comment into somewhat more prosaic terms. Some people are entitled, self regarding and stupid enough to think "Yeh, but that doesn't apply to me right?". Yes to you! Especially and particularly to you because you are an entitled, self regarding idiot with no regard for the restrictions that you yourself voluntarily agreed to but also with no regard to the rights and perfectly justified expectations of others in the space. Those people have every reasonable expectation that everyone else will give equal regard to those rules and restrictions. People bang on about banning cellphones, confiscating them, deleting media etc. Ban dickheads instead.
The title of this post is concerned with something that people often do not do. And that is actually see people! By that I mean see the actual person, not what they do, what they look like or how they dress. The actual person themselves! As human beings we have many mental short-cuts that enable us to function as human beings quickly and often without too much thinking. Therein lies the problem. For very good but ultimately socially unhelpful reasons we think in stereotypes. In them and us. In this and that. People are more complicated than that. People exist beyond a surface impression, have deeper lives than their appearance and are more than stereotypes. People are highly advanced social primitives. We're thinking animals. We have the ability to intellectually override our instincts if we so choose. The trouble is that sometimes we don't and we make the mistake of thinking that people are actually those superficial impressions. We are all more than what is on show. Sometimes people only want to see the surface, the simple the easily categorised. It makes life simple and saves them from thinking, from difficult moral decisions, from challenging the easy assumption. It's easy for a lot of people for instance to associate some modes of dress with simple definitions. For instance 'slut' with certain manners of dress and the assumption that goes with that as to someone's character, behaviour and ultimately worth as a human being. You don't have to think very hard to realise that there is more to someone than what they're wearing. Sometimes though it seems that many people can't think very hard at all. What about what you do for a living? People make [...]
In 2012 we had the great pleasure of staying with Hammer, Roxy and Lochai in Baltimore after that year's Shibaricon. One cool thing there was visiting the Baltimore Play House and giving an impromptu show there. This video is thanks to our good friend Murphy (BlueRisk). We'd like to say thanks to everyone that made us feel so welcome in Baltimore for their tremendous hospitality. We had a wonderful time and hope we'll make it back some day soon. Our stay was, as always, all too brief.
Hi whoever you are. What would I say to you if you were new to the scene and I was speaking to you directly? The main thing I'd say to you is that the scene is really full of great people, but it's also full of not so great people. So what you should do is subject everything that everyone says to you to a reality and sense check and even if it passes that, also subject it to a 'Does insert your name here agree with this, and is this for(him/her delete as appropriate)' test. You could answer yes one day and no another in 12 months subject to more experience. Your experience will build and you will discover things about yourself and what you like over time. I always say the same thing. Subject everyone's advice to critical analysis... Including mine. Don't let anyone overpower your good sense. Regardless of your D/S sub dom, top bottom inclinations or desires. Some people will attempt to impose their will or guide you in underhand ways. Some will attempt to 'help' you or 'mentor' you by showing you 'how it's done' or some such. That isn't mentoring. Real mentors are your friends who are concerned with you and not with having their names on other profiles like a status symbol. They give you good advice even if it's hard advice and don't use it as a pretext for another agenda. I don't wish to say things that are discouraging of frightening. But I don't want you to have an avoidable disaster. Please take care of yourself and for sanity's sake keep the bullshit detector on. I don't know what's going to be right for you I really don't. [...]
You need experience to be a good teacher. I'm not saying that it takes decades to get that experience but it does take some time and application. People often argue this need... actually people without experience often argue this need. They usually stop arguing it after acquiring experience. Especially when that experience is acquired the hard way. The real problem is that only experience really teaches you how valuable your experience is. Before you have it it's hard to imagine what it gives you. Unfortunately it is often only when people have the experience of coming undone and learning the hard way that they realise that actually experience does inform our actions at all levels, especially when passing on knowledge to others. It teaches us what was crucial and what was not. It allows us to recognise and head off developing problems that are otherwise noticed too late. Experience allows us to make judgements that are based not just on book learned facts. It develops our ability to balance many factors though practice. Inexperience and overconfidence can lead to the attitude that all this crap that experienced people are coming out with is just unreasonable. They're only saying that because... (insert today's justification here). It's unfair to try to stop them, who are manifestly an exception to the normal process of learning and maturity! It's a problem I have with some kinds of peer workshop teaching. The guy who learned something yesterday is teaching it today. Weirdly people don't seem to think that this could lead to problems. I think that peer learning can be great when people already have very good basics and are therefore able to recognise problems for themselves. When beginners are [...]
One of the worst blights on any community is those individuals with agendas to push. Generally these are about the person themselves, how they want the world to see things, i.e. their way. And of course about how they would like people to perceive them. But all of that is ultimately about people wanting power in one way or another. To be seen as a 'leader' or some kind of font of wisdom. An 'authority' on some subject. Someone that others look up to. You see the worst examples of this again and again. Generally in subjects where they would like to be seen as experts. Sometimes you see people who are really into a subject, when people disagree with those genuinely interested in the subject for itself rather than as a means to their own end they will debate when challenged. They may realise a mistake or have found a better knowledge. They may take new input with enthusiasm because... they are genuinely interested in the subject and learning more and better information about it is what they're about. The person using any subject as part of their agenda to promote themselves is likely to react in a very different way. I have seen those with agendas try all kind of things when challenged on what they see as their area of expertise. Trying to belittle or ignore the source of conflicting information is the mildest. Trying to discredit the source as a person is probably the worst. Why this behaviour? Because to the person with an agenda to push the subject is not something they actually care about in and of itself, it's just a tool. Something they can use to make themselves [...]