Fight for your right to get paid to sex

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Pouting is the key to all success

 

If you live in Canada and you care about sexy things or legal things, you probably know that awhile ago the Supreme Court struck down the three prostitution-but-not-prostitution laws and basically said “Yo guv, hurry up and make some new laws already because sex for money makes us feel weird (we don’t even want to mention sex if we can help it)”.  Then Justice Minister/Elected dingus Peter MacKay was like “All over it brosephs, I’ll legislate the fuck out of those sex doers.”  Everyone anticipates the Nordic model and folks across the board have been lobbying in all kinds of different directions – abolish! decriminalize! this model! that model! no model! think of the children!

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I have no idea what this was.

The proposed legislation is coming down the pipe soon (reportedly).  I am on the board of decriminalization because, you know, I’m a ca-ray-zee feminist (but not the kind that thinks sex work is the worst thing for women).  So at this moment I am plugging this indiegogogogo campaign from Maggie’s Toronto, which is an incredible Toronto organization run by sex workers in support of sex workers that ain’t all loaded with shame them or save them.  I gave them some money and they will give me a t-shirt.  WAY MORE EXCITING IS THAT Belle Knox, the kick-ass take-no-shit feminist who was outed as the “Duke University Freshman Porn Star” has donated some lovely things to the campaign.  BK has been getting mad flak and vitriolic rants and threats of violence from all over the GD place and has remained staunch and strong as all hell in the face of it.  SHE RULES, Y’ALL.  (Here also is an article on Rabble with an argument on why the Nordic model would be a giant shitfest in Canada).

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Draft cover for my next pornograph, “Sex Doers”

 Expect fervor in the next couple of weeks.  Regardless of what the government proposes, some people will decry it, some people will champion it, and probably sex workers will be marginalized yet again and the ostensible gains of the SCC decision will be buried until the next constitutional challenge.

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Two boobs smooching?

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Two boobs smooching.

I’ll leave you with this drawing that I made two years ago at the first Feminist Porn Conference.  A lovely friend and a former Prof were presenting and I only got snippets of their words.  She Lovers subverts FOREVER!

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Johnny Spaghetti ruins the classics

I have an alter ego named Johnny Spaghetti who croons like Frank Sinatra except that he’s a talentless hack.  He ruins everything he touches.  He’s the opposite of King Midas.  He’s Shit Midas.  This is his tribute to great works of art.

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Lasagna Lasagna

He also has serious and deep criticisms of popular culture which reveal the deep philosophical underpinnings of the universe of puppets and muppets and other -uppets

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Same face

Marmaduke gets into trouble.  Family Circus warms the heart.  While I don’t actually know anyone who likes Family Circus, it is probably the comic strip that is most similar to my own high art practices.  That circular frame slays me.

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This is begging for one of those autotune internet remix things that happen

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All that it contained was mystery

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Charlie Brown is my patronus charm, and he drinks Patrón

Now featuring: Smut!

It ain’t no secret that I like the smut, filth, smoodge, splutchy, and general gross things of life.  That’s why there is the famous saying: “One man’s butt is another man’s pleasure.”  When I first started drawing, I pretty much exclusively attempted to conquer the face.  AND THEY ARE TOUGH LET ME TELL YOU — I am an expert on failing to draw them…

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“Run! It’s the Boner Police! and we’ve got erections!”

 

So now I have graduated to the buttock, or the plural, buttocks.  So today’s post is brought to you in part by butts.  A few of these gems were drawn on a visit to Chicago on SWOONEY VALENTINE’S DAY WEEKEND.  In Ontario, they decided to invent a holiday called “Family Day” and then smooshed it up right next to Valentine’s Day.  As my friend said, “pretty much the most heteronormative weekend ever”.  “Family Day” was an erection  election platform win, which pretty much means that the government is plotting to stuff babies into your uterus and transform them into secret tax break service cuts.

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Everyone likes a talking buttzone

Somewhere in my sketchbooks are even drawings of lady parts.  So eventually there will be proud representations of like, two kinds of genitals, which is pretty impressive for one blog.

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No one likes a talking penis

Finally, we’ve got another excellent super hero/villain (it all depends on your perspective).  Personally, I’m a fan of terrible heroes, heroes with limited or sucky powers, and characters who think they are heroes when they’re not.  But let me just say – BUTT GHOST IS A TOTAL HERO.  Hero of my heart.

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Butt ghost preys on the wicked

Unpacking dead air

When my favourite blogorhythm go silent for awhile I get really worried.  Did something happen, are they okay?  Did a computer explode or internet access get cut off?  Did normal life and business get in the way?  Did they stop writing, drawing, thinking, did they give up on their project?  (Much of the worry is selfish: what will I read now? UGH SERVICE ME)

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I give up on my projects all of the time.  If it is not something I’m working on for a friend, it probably won’t get done.

On this note, here are some projects I’ve worked on over the past many months.

Cover art for my brother’s project, Light Rail Coyote

Recording assistance for the delicious Jordaan Mason

Like, a year ago, I finished editing an academic journal of undergraduate student work

I’m in the midst of writing some music for the lovely What it Looks Like podcast

I’m also gearing up to record some music with the also-delicious Clara Bee Lavery

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Right now I’m about halfway through a hodge podge zine that started as nothing but is turning into an apology for my rotten shithead teenaged years.  None of this will be apparent when reading it, of course.

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The ultimate villain

The smashing new hit series from NBCSI

I didn’t read or like comics when I was young, much like I didn’t like art until, well, …actually I’m still working on that second one.  I didn’t have time for comics – you know why?  VIDEO GAMES, THAT’S WHY.  I played the shit outta those things.  I still do, periodically, although I’ve never really graduated beyond the 2nd dimension, as far as gameplay is concerned.  In my dark curmudgeon’s heart, it is still 1996, and games in CD format are still CA-RAY-ZEE.

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Stating the facts

My love of comics and video games have a tendency to alternate.  Both loves are intermittent.  This is partly because there are only so many games (especially with a cutoff year of 1996), and most of them are terrible.  I also have a love-hate relationship with how they devour time and will power, how usually only the first 25% of a game is fun or rewarding, and how limited the sense of exploration and discovery is. (I understand that this has probably changed, and lots of fancy new games are about exploration and whatever whatever).  After a bunch of days plugging away at some game, I’ll come up for air, dazed and confused, wondering what the hell just happened to me.  WHAT HAVE I ACCOMPLISHED?!?!? WAS THAT EVEN FUN?!?!  And there are never solid answers to those questions.

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The Condensed Little Mermaid

At some point, in an effort to be less of a baby boy and more of a tough-as-nails adult man, I sold all of my video game stuff; shortly afterwards I got into comics.  I started to understand them (at least, how to read them, and why they are entertaining and incisive) for the first time.  Comics started to fill in the void of worlds-to-be-explored, which had been vacated when games became too expensive to keep up with, and I cut my losses.  The first comics I read were very drab, navel-gazing quasi autobiographies by white dudes.  They really spoke to my nerdy, white dudeness.  “I’m sooooo awkward, why won’t the ladies looooove me?!?!” / “Being middle-class is so harrrrrrrrrrrrd” / that sort of thing.  After a few different books it all started to feel very trite, like most of those authors were treading the same water, together.

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Ladies Love Cool James

But eventually I found new worlds in comic space.  In things like Bone, or other fantasies and space cadet experiments.  Comic art is such a fabulous medium for fantasy, for the creation of impressive worlds, and magical geographies and ‘special effects’.  Floating castles just aren’t quite as impressive or convincing in other formats.  I read Mat Brinkman’s Teratoid Heights and Brian Chippendale’s If n’ Oof, and their oddball worlds have been in my brain lately.

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Let’s go home and do dirty things.

Why all the drawings of fish, and not of fantasy lands?  So far my fantasy tale is only three pages long and is about farts, so it isn’t very exciting (or it is EXTREMELY EXCITING if you like farting), nor is it anywhere near exhibition.  Also one of the pages is stuck in my sketchbook for some reason that escapes me.  

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Capitalism

The fish, I thought, would be good fodder for quick comics, which has been mostly true.  All of these sketches were done quickly, sloppily, and without much forethought (except for the one at the very end).  A lot of the ink bled through, and I never really bothered to tidy up the ink.  So they look hasty to say the least.  I may keep them up if more ideas come my way.  At the time I was really hung up on the aporism “There’s plenty of fish in the sea”, because it just seems like the worst silver-lining advice ever.   What if all the ‘fish’ are assholes?  Or what if environmental degradation and pollution means there aren’t any fish at all?  Okay, that second one isn’t a metaphor, but whatever.

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Transparency disparagey

Oh my fuck, how does ambition constantly spiral away from me?  These are the dilemmas of work and time and passion and capitalism.  We are sitting in this time of over-educated, under-employed young adults, all searching for a decent bit of pay, but its just not there.  Every day when I’m at work, I think its a fucking joke.  Partly because its not what I want to do, and I imagine its not what anyone wants to do, because we’ve segmented and bureaucratized and outsourced these industries/corporations/institutions so fully and ritualistically to suck any pleasure right out of them.  There is, somewhere deep down inside, some tiny gem of value at the heart of them (well, usually, but not always).  Lots of companies make halfway decent products.  That’s why people buy them.  But I always find myself wondering about the employees.  And sometimes its like the CEO and other times its like, the lowly receptionist, and other times it is the seriously exploited wage slave somewhere in the “developing world”, and I wonder “Do these people believe in the company they work for?”  And I mean believe in the sense of true devotion, like faith.  Because many of us do spend more time at work than at worship.

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No offence to people with curly hair. But seriously, this guy is a dick.

Cause I started at this new job awhile ago, and I think its the first time in my life where I’ve known someone who really loves their job.  That person is not me, in case you were wondering, but it is my boss.  And it is more than a little bit likely that he loves it because he gets paid an assload.  You know, work becomes far more tolerable when you are on the winning side of the exploitation spectrum.  But it still doesn’t become, like, fun, or worthwhile, or – most importantly – “good”.  And this is why work is a joke, and why its total horseshit.  There’s no correlation between labour and wage.  They don’t connect.  One of the main things that my boss does is have lunch with rich people, and asks them for money.  EATING LUNCH ISN’T WORK.  You shouldn’t get paid to do that, and you shouldn’t get paid like $70 an hour to do it, its just offensive.  At the very least, we should make wages equitable here and give panhandlers $70 an hour as well.  I mean, they are doing the same job.

My job is a joke.  I’m sure there is work out there that is not a joke, and that is serious and important.  It probably involves helping creatures in some way.  Or maybe it involves creating art, or culture.  But it probably doesn’t involve answering phones for a rich white dude who owns a publishing house that sells expensive books ABOUT art.  Even if those books are absolutely incredible, inspiring and life-altering bits of book design and editing and shiny awesome paper with the best art ever made inside of it, that doesn’t make the phone answering much better (although maybe you like answering phones, and then that job could be TOTALLY RAD).  The process of “growth” and or “progress” that is so central to capitalism also involves increasing the distance between work and its benefits, between a product and its creation (i.e. labour).  So it becomes increasingly difficult to see both the value and the damage of a product like, I dunno, an iPad or a banana or a painting or whatever.  Those two ends are (deliberately) separated; the production and the exhibition are kept as far apart as possible.

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I was playing with brush pens, which are really not my friend.
“Food first dates / everything is food / he thought only of pizza when he came into his fist”

This is usually most clear when you see an advertisement.  Lately there’s been this TV spot for some beer, I think its Keith’s IPA or something, and they show some hops growing magically and it turns into a bottle of beer RIGHT ON THE VINE.  It is very impressive, because beer is grown that quickly and naturally, didn’t you know?  Those ads are selling the convenience and experience of a guilt-free purchase.  The more those labour relations are obscured, the easier it is to blissfully stunt drive your car through a CGI desert – the calculated effort and aesthetic of ads themselves highlight this disconnect in their internal structure.  Ads are polished.  You notice it especially when you see a cheap local spot on TV for an accident lawyer or car dealership.  “Come down to Ron’s for a wild safari adventure! 3% discount super financing we buy your gold no money down no credit no sandwiches” or whatever.  They are full of work and effort that are meant to be invisible, that are meant to highlight the effortlessness of whatever experience & product they are selling.  A car = wild freedom, no traffic ever!  A beer = the best party, thrown just for you!  A car does not equal an assembly line, and if it does, in a commercial it is a future-tech assembly line where only robots work, and those robots never break down ever.

In some way DIY communities can short-circuit this because when you buy something, you are establishing a relationship with the producer, distributor, and exhibitor.  Often times the craftsmanship is part of the appeal as well.  But you are also not selling sketches and unfinished shit, you want to sell like a nice finished product to people.  Something that is complete!

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A combination of my favourite joke (random object telephone) and my favourite Twin Peaker

I drew this Log Lady sketch a number of months ago and sent it around to a few friends.  One of them suggested I make a print of it, and this has long been in the back of my mind.  If I make a print, I could sell it for a couple of bucks, and maybe I can make ten bones off of it!  But it has been months and I haven’t done anything with it.  I think partly the financial motivation isn’t strong enough (or large enough), but I also haven’t had the drive to do that.  Work is sapping my time and ability to manage something like making a print.  Sapping my ambition to proceed!

Ambition spirals away from me because work gets in the way, even when its work that is non-work.  As I said, my job is a joke.  I get paid a stupid amount of money to do not-very-much.  Nearly every day I think about how little work I do (today I am blogging because there’s not much to do), but also about how removed I am from the product I am supposed to be contributing to.  I am one among many dead ends in a bureaucratic labyrinth.  I answer emails and schedule appointments all day, and am lumped into a network of administrators who are somehow supposed to help 1) students get educated and 2) allow already-educated people to perform research. (I work for a university).  But what I do in my day to day has absolutely nothing to do with education.  My boss gets paid (over) four times as much as I do.  Today he’s not even here.  Earlier I was wandering around my building and walked up to one of the little research collections stuffed away in an inaccessible tower, and a bunch of students were packing up boxes and working away in this brutal humidity, and I thought that it seemed so much harder than what I was doing, but I am making twice what they are.  TWICE! My job is not twice as hard, or as skilled, or any of that.  One of the bizarre things about my job is that I get a better wage because I’m dealing with confidential material.  Does that make any sense?  It shouldn’t be confidential to begin with!  Confidential that’s absurd! This is a public institution!

Keep it together people.

Time

Okay folks, its 9pm here on a Sunday night here and it looks like here I am finding the week(end) through and I haven’t finished my little job here.  In twelve hours I will be back, sitting at an office desk, pretending to care about the things that go on in the strange electrical box and the liquid crystals screen in front of me.  Actually liquid crystals ARE TOTALLY FASCINATING, but I will actually be just checking and answering emails and all that junk. IT IS JUNK PEOPLE, ITS ALL JUNK.

 

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Pepperoni pizza / Don’t! You! Dare! / No Dinner for Mohawk Vegan

Time is very important for creativity.  Time may actually be the most important tool in your artistic toolbelt.  It takes time to digest your ideas, and it takes time to put them into a tangible form, and it takes time to edit them, and it takes time to record your professional draft.  (Granted these are all the roughest of rough drafts, but this still stands.)  You need time to work on these things.  And when you don’t have any time to work on creative projects, they all drown.  All of your skills get rusty, and the ideas flit away more quickly, and then when you finally scrape together the few minutes and inches to work on things, you find it mortifyingly difficult to do anything well.

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THIS GUY HAS A T-BONE CHEST

Space is also very important.  I live in a small apartment in a big city, and there are neighbour downstairs, and neighbours on the other side of the wall, and most days all I want to do is set up a gigantic drumkit and beat the bloody pulp out of them.  BUT I HAVE NEIGHBOURS YOU SEE, real people who have lives and kids and probably they just want some quiet to themselves.  I generally try to be a respectful person of THEIR HOME SPACE, YOU KNOW, you have a reasonable right to that sort of thing.  But I’ll fucking damned if I don’t feel stunted all the damn time.  I want a good desk to set up and draw at, and some pens that won’t die all the damn time, and some room that reasonably contains the loud noises inside of it.  All of those things are part of my ideal workspace.

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This drawing was turned into a wonderful tattoo design by Lizzie at Speakeasy Tattoo in Toronto, and now it lives on my shoulder (minus the text).

Unfortunately my ideal is far out of my reach.  These things cost money.  And it takes time to make that money, time stuck in front of a computer in an office somewhere that nobody really wants to be, doing things that nobody really wants to do.  My job involves setting up meetings and appointments for someone who doesn’t have the time to do those things for themself.  This person has a whole other person (me) to delegate all of the shit that they don’t want to do to.  I really wonder if they like the work that they have to do, because apparently it necessitates a whole additional person. I don’t care if my sentence structure sucks here, folks, it doesn’t matter.  Grammar doesn’t matter!  WORK DOESN’T MATTER!  Grow and eat some delicious food and stuff.  That’s good work!  I will indulge my whining frustration ONLY BECAUSE it is in the waning hours of my temporary, repetitious freedom from the office.  And I will henceforth end my complaining, because I can finally pay for new pens and nutritious food and bike repairs and that is a seriously lucky feeling.

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Pie guy.