From Woke Vets to the Putin Paradox: news of note from me

From Woke Vets to the Putin Paradox: news of note from me

I recently made my Coda Story debut writing about the controversy surrounding a new movie made by an ostensibly pro-Kremlin filmmaker. This is what happens when you let religious extremism run unchecked – and by that I mean Christian extremism (a pertinent topic for all of us in the U.S. as well, even though Trump would have us believe that only Islamic extremism is a problem).

Speaking of the arts in Russia, here’s my take on the surreal world of Russia’s not-quite-censorship, and how it benefits the Kremlin perfectly – this was my contribution to the Guardian’s series on the so-called Putin paradox (as in, why is he reviled abroad and popular at home? Lots of great articles in this series).

All of this brings me to renewed protests in Russia. “Nothing is Good and Everything is Horrible” would’ve been my alternative headline for the depressing column I wrote on the subject for bne IntelliNews.

Meanwhile, over at the Anti-Nihhilist Institute, Anna Lind-Guzik and I have launched a cool new series we’re calling Woke Vets. We’re speaking to U.S. veterans about the new administration and all of the crap that lies ahead for us as a country now – because who’s better to talk to about that than the people who execute our (often quite flawed) policy decisions on the ground?  Continue reading “From Woke Vets to the Putin Paradox: news of note from me”

I am disturbed by the attempt to silence Renegade Evolution

You should be disturbed with what’s happening too – doesn’t matter if you agree with what Ren Ev does, doesn’t matter if you like her or hate her guts. She is the only practicing s(e)x-worker able to attend the debate forum on p(o)rn that’s due to take place at William & Mary next week, and now, apparently, her invitation is in jeopardy because anti-p(or)n speaker Sam Berg is uncomfortable with her presence.

Sam Berg has referred to a post that Ren Ev put up in anger, while forgetting the dozens (if not hundreds) of disparaging and abusive comments that have been spewed at Ren – comments that utilized sexist language, hell, comments that directly implied that Ren Ev somehow “deserves” s(ex)ual assault for doing what she does.

Was it wrong of Ren Ev to make those comments? Of course. But guess what? She has repeatedly owned up to them – owned up to her own anger, while I have yet to see a single apology come her way. Furthermore, trying to construe her words as a “threat” is a bit of willful misrepresentation – it’s like trying to say that Conor Oberst wanted to harm the President because he wrote that angry song about him or whatever.

Let’s get to the bottom of this, shall we? This isn’t some conscientious objection. This is censorship dressed up to look as something else. It’s happened before, and it does feminists and feminism no favours.

Since when must we actually point out to folks that it is not only useful, but important, to include an actual p(or)n performer in a forum on p(or)n?

Are some feminists more equal than others? Is this the real issue here? I sincerely hope that this is not the case.

***I will update this post as the situation develops***

{UPD} The organizer of the event is trying to speak to Sam Berg to work something out.

Also, Rebecca at Burning Words is as disturbed by these developments as I am. Belledame is pointing out that this scenario is all too familiar. Lady S is comparing the situation to “the unwilllingness of creationists to debate evolution on terms other than their own.”

If you are reading this, and you’re ticked off, please blog about it. People should know what’s going on.

{UPD 2} Octogalore has weighed in as well, and here is an excellent quote on the matter from her:

An incoherent, scary porn rep would be the best thing ever for Sam’s side. Her wanting to prevent Ren’s appearance suggests that her concern is actually the opposite.

I think so too.

{UPD 3} The organizer of this event was gracious enough to stop by and point out an error I had made: I had originally assumed that Ren Ev was the only practicing s(e)x-worker invited. This is not so. She is the only practicing s(e)x-worker who will actually be able to make it to the event. I updated the first paragraph of this post, since I do not wish to misrepresent anything.

Here are more links to people’s dismayed reactions to the entire thing:

Daisy’s Dead Air

Letters from Gehenna






Lisa Harney

All worth your time, believe me.

{UPD 4} Ren reports that she will be on the panel at William & Mary. Awesome. Sam Berg will not be on the panel. It’s her loss.