Sunday, September 28, 2008

Awards


Nowadays, awards are thrown about with the value of confetti. Yesterday I passed along a well deserved award to a wonderful human being, Steph Waller. I met Steph when she was playing a role in the Alternative Reality Game (ARG) "The Ocular Effect". OE was the first ARG that I ever played... It was an incredible experience to interact with highly creative, inquisitive minds. In short, the experience was a lot of fun.

When playing an ARG, one never leaves any potential lead unchecked. That is how I discovered Steph Waller's Blog, Incurable insomniac. Her "Slice of Life" commentary is not to be missed.

Steph responded in kind with a reciprocal award... I am reluctant to accept. After all I am no-one. I deserve no such accolades

However, I do believe that there are some bloggers that do deserve some acknowledgments. So yes Steph, I will pass this award along to some other “real” bloggers, and thank you for the encouragement to do so.

Kim. For constantly growing and letting all know that it is ok to redefine ourselves.

Lia. For your tireless work helping marginalized people know that they are not alone.

Caroline. Because you are anything but Uncool.

Drakyn For helping me to learn about a subject I was woefully ignorant about.

I have another couple of awards to get ready, but those are going to have to wait. Right now I have to set up another blog (team) for Superstruct.

Outis











Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hey, Steph


For you. I really do love your blog. A lot of us do!
Steph's blog is Incurable Insomniac, one of my daily must reads.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Debi Crow


Debi Crow is a delightful blogger who is interested in many of the same social issues as I. She has been tracking the plight of the Roma people with a series of links and viewpoints.

I would like all to read this one in particular. The conditions that many of the Roma people live in, is appalling. So, what happens when you combine a sleeping 13 year old child, a lit candle, and bedding together? A dead 13 year old.

The Roma's plight is not singular. There are many people/ethnic/racial groups out there living in retched conditions. Several solutions need to be found all at once.

Social acceptance, which will require a total destruction of stereotypes
Use of low tech solutions to problems
Some plan to integrate the population into society.

An example of a low tech solution can be found in the picture posted above. By using a recycled can, a bit of pipe, a small metal cap, the guts of a mousetrap, and an old wine bottle you have an oil lamp that, if disturbed, will self extinguish.

Cost to me:

3 mins. Summoning up a muse

2 mins. Formulating a plan

30 mins. Drawing it up

Savings to an impoverished group of people?

Lives????

Please visit Deb's site, you will be glad you did.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Superstruct... not as bad as I thought

Gather round children! The year is 2019 and this is what we are facing:

A global pandemic of ReDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome). With PtP Avian flu still a threat, ReDS slipped under the radar and was fully entrenched before anyone noticed. ReDS is at this time incurable and debilitating.

The Global food system is collapsing. Too much emphasis on bio fuels, and global climate shifts have contributed to mass starvation.

Nations are now fighting for power (as in energy). To make matters worse, many of the alternative energy systems are incompatible with each other.

Hackers have decimated the net. Security has all but broken down. Voting machines, Geo warning systems, financial institutions have all been affected.

Due to the abovementioned global food collapse, new refugee groups are forming and moving into areas where the indigenous populations are already stressed. This population shift is causing all of the expected things to happen, (none of them pleasant).

Nope, 2019 is not as bad as I expected.

It is a lot, lot worse!

To quote a line from a movie “We’re gonna need a bigger boat!”

Superstruct

Please join in. We need all the help we can get.

Outis

Saturday, September 20, 2008

For Kim

For those of you that have not met Kim at Bastante Already... What the hell are you waiting for?

Here is her site

And Kim, per your last post,

For you









I think I get it.

Outis

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Amanda Brooks and Bella's

I have no idea how I can completely miss wonderful writers such as Amanda Brooks. I think it was Amber Rhea who mentioned Amanda’s recent experience at a legal Brothel in Nevada called Bella’s Hacienda. Before I give the link to her insightful (albeit upsetting) series, I need to do a full disclosure type of thing. Through the kind tutelage of Renegade Evolution, Kim, Belle, Drakyn, Debi Crow, and a lot of others, I now see that I view the world from privileges that I had never understood until now. Also, I have never been a sex worker, have never known a sex worker, and have never been in the business world at all except being a retail grunt. Short story? I have no credentials, making any of my observations/feelings easily dismissible. However, I have spent the last twenty or so years studying the human condition and think that I have at least something to contribute. It is with this acknowledgement, dear reader that I urge you to read on.

Ok, Go to Ms. Brook’s blog and read the series starting here.

(Supporting commentary can be found here)

I have read a lot of things on the internet that have upset me. I have seldom read ANYTHING that outraged me so much as the reported working conditions at Bella’s.

Just to recap, the following is a short list of some of the yucky stuff going on at Bella’s.

24/7 Lockdown. Some places still do it but why? There is a huge physical toll having people on call for days on end. I don’t know about you, but I am not at my best when rousted out of bed at 3 am. Constant disruption of REM sleep does horrible things to a person. Gitmo anyone?

Room rent. $175 a day? Didn’t the company store go out in the 1930’s?

Fines. Lao Tzu said it best, “When the government gets oppressive, the people become clever.” For example, if you can’t get a client out of your room fast enough, you are fined for it. Draconian measures like this only show up in a hopelessly flawed management model.

$100 house minimums? One gets what one expects.

Reforms.

Eliminate lockdown and implement the 12 hour shift. After the shift is over, the ladies are free to leave and go back to their homes and families. For those that live too far away, a simple solution to housing is already available. In the Architectural world there is a new genre called the tiny house movement. These houses are about 120 – 180 sq. /ft. and contain everything a person needs to live.

Eliminate room rent. By using the aforementioned tiny houses they could be rented for something like $100/ week and would quickly pay for themselves. Immediately the contractors would see a difference in their pay envelope.

Eliminate fines. A good management team and a sound business plan never has need of a fine system.

Eliminate low house minimums. If I read Amanda’s blog correctly, there are a lot of one hundred dollar agreements being made. If the one hundred dollar minimum were suddenly eliminated, a lot of revenue would be lost. However, if a policy change were to be put into effect that one hundred dollars would only get you limited access to the ladies and no lineup, the revenue would still be there and the one or two ladies that were able to make money at this rate would still continue to do so.

Make greater use of technology. Apparently, Bella’s is a pretty analog place. By using existing technology, Bella could streamline the time wasted on money handling, reduce job stress by letting the ladies know exactly how much time was left in each session, and market more efficiently. After a quick internet search, I have discovered that there is not one blogger on the web that is working at a brothel. Perhaps this would be a place to start.

Wouldn’t be wonderful to expand the horizons and seek out new markets? Bella’s is located “Out in the sticks” (as she has described it). What a unique opportunity to exploit the factor of anonymity? Could she not add a couple of bi-sexual women that could lead a bi-curious woman through her first experience? Could she not offer men that have a fetish who are terrified at being outed a safe refuge? What about a virgin converter?

I understand that, according to Nevada law, advertising of brothels is illegal. But what about marketing? Take for example the efforts of Dennis Hof. He is constantly out in the publics face. He is ever-present. The Moonlite Bunny Ranch (MBR) has got to be one of the most successful, and recognized bordellos in the world. Hof has realized this success with no “Advertising”! The internet is a powerful marketing tool. Within minutes, I found discussion forums covering any fetish imaginable. I am quite confident that viral marketing techniques would be very productive when used in a forum environment.

The sex industry is almost unique to the business world in one sense. A person entering into this field of endeavor needs an exit plan. What do you do after the brothel, the porn, the escorting? Do you as a sex worker have a strategy that will allow you to seamlessly reenter society? More importantly, is the employer of sex workers willing to offer incentives to his/her employees/contractors to work toward their future goals?

Bringing the business model of Bella’s into the 21st century by modern human resource techniques, use of existing technology and savvy marketing techniques, would go a long way towards improving the bottom line. Not to mention the quality of life of all working in this establishment.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

We interrupt this blog to...

To say that I am royally pissed off doesn’t begin to cover it. I have been working on a rather large post examining Amanda Brooks’ short stay at Bella’s Hacienda. The working conditions are appalling. That post will have to wait.

On Friday September 12th, an absolutely charming Brooke Taylor was interviewed on the Morning Show (Faux). Brooke is one of the top stars at the MBR. The interview was in two parts. During the second part a “Psychologist” came in and in the greatest of rad fem tradition, declared Brook “Damaged Goods”. God, this upsets me. How many times have we seen this attack used on Ren? Or Debs, or Caroline? Grrr.

Speaking of Ren, She has been doing yeomen’s work trying to weed through all of the crap at Heart’s blog and has been valiantly trying to keep a dialogue going. Great reading!

Any way, here are the links to the interview with Brooke Taylor.

First Part

Second Part