A wild and thrillingly creepy performance of “The Sultan’s Elephant” by French street performers, Royal de Luxe.
“‘…the most enchanting, spectacular, beautiful piece of fairytale that I think I’ll ever see. I have the strangest feeling today, something in between grief and joy, sad that I will never see that beautiful Little Giant or that gargantuan Elephant and happy that I had the privilege to meet them. Thank you for reminding me how to be a child and for realising that cynicism is not a way of life!”
Londoner, 8 May 2006
A machine with a doll face mimics images on television screen in search of a satisfactory visage. Doll Face presents a visual account of desires misplaced and identities fractured by our technological extension into the future.
Gilding is so doing christmas shopping online this year. And look what else she has found to go along with the Wooden Sushi Bento set and Dumpling baubles. Gilding is soooo going to be the favorite Aunt this year .^_^.
The Japanese Barbeque Play Food set, complete with a pair of chopsticks, 2
skewers, 6 pairs of assorted wooden shapes to put on the skewers
(“chunks of meat, fish, meatballs and vegetables”), 5 felt circles
(“vegetables”), 2 strings (“noodles”), 2 dishes, a grill made up of
8 pieces, and a cloth storage bag. Price $17.95.
And how cute is this little guy! The Wee Sticker, a.k.a. Jiaozi (Chinese), gyōza (Japanese), or mandu (Korean), and is a kind of Chinese dumpling. Handmade, soft, and fuzzy, this palm sized buddy currently sold out but no matter, Gilding has a way with bribery–and breaking bones–to get what she wants.
What do you get when you combine:
1 degree in Fine Arts
1 degree in Fashion Design
1 Masters Degree in Jewelry for Fashion
And you wrap it up in one sophisticatingly brilliant artist classically trained at a higher education institution famed for its outrageous, innovative, and avant-garde reputation?
You get Shiri Zinn, exhibitor at the controversial Museum of Sex, winner of the 2002 International Erotic Award, and conceptual designer of erotic toys. Zinn centers her collection of works on “modern day perceptions of eroticism and empowerment. Her work represent a dynamic fusion of art, jewelry, fashion accessory and product design. It challenges the boundaries between what is deemed acceptable and unacceptable for public consumption, and questions value judgments made by key influencers including media, fashion and product industries.”
These functional art pieces destined for intimate and pleasurable use incorporate quality, artistic design, and the sensual philosophy of ‘by women for women’ luxury.
Through quality and beauty, Zinn challenges the prejudices and preconceived notions about sexuality, and uncovers unexpected glamour in the marketplace of erotic toys.
Zinn’s erotic creations are made of solid organic glass, the latest material to be used in sex toy manufacture. Allowing for a more weighty feeling, solid organic glass is a wonderfully receptive material to warm & cold sensations. Fur and feathers are profoundly sensual materials, while diamonds have seduced us for centuries. A decadent self-indulgent art worthy of a little artistic naughty display.
Visit Shiri Zinn for details on her erotic collection.
The Minx and other fine Erotica can be found at Coco de Mer.
Above image from The Domestic Minx–flickr
Speaking of Coco de Mer…
The coco de mer is a rare, precious and protected palm seed, and a perfect representation of the beautiful sculpture that is the female form. As Coco de Mer’s source of inspiration and symbol, this gorgeous boutique revels in nature’s celebration of all that is erotic, sensual, and beautiful.
The coco de mer germinates from both a male and female plant. Whereas the seed so closely resembles the female form, the male plant has a stamen, which looks strangely like a penis. A huge penis at that, and one that smells of sticky sweet honey. Which is why Coco de Mer celebrates both genders.
The coco de mer is nature’s warm witty take on human prudishness, designed for the sole purpose of making us blush.
Coco de Mer is a place where sex is celebrated, where intimacy is the focus and where pleasure is the goal, and an inspiration of sexual energy translates into the infinite enjoyment of one of life’s great gifts.
Via: Expelled–a photoblog
Times have abounded with kismet for Gilding of recent. Or perhaps the world is just as small as the saying says it is.
It was a year ago, perhaps………….
that Gilding found this image while searching the Googlesphere for a graphic to incorporate in a photomontage project that was to be used as a prop for her dreaded Public Speaking class. Aimless searching with mere keywords in the Googleverse proved to be more tedious than Gilding had the patience for, but searching the endless websites dedicated to MySpace layouts and graphics was a perfect source for gathering the smaller images needed for the photomontage. That is where Gilding came across this beautiful image shown. The image never actually made it into the montage. Gilding simply couldn’t find it in her to change the image even in the slightest, which is exactly what would have happened in order to incorporate it. And so the image has remained in her cache of images.
The girl in the picture, and plastered across the cover of the pornographic DVD, “Body Magic,” is Lara Jade. The picture is one of Lara Jade’s oeuvre of self-portraits; this particular one taken when she was just fourteen years old. The news is a bit old, so this is just a brief recap:
TVX Films jacked Lara Jade’s photograph from her page on deviantART and placed it on the cover of their DVD porno. When asked by Lara Jade to remove her photograph–her image–from their cover and compensate her for their theft, the President of TVX Films sent her back a string of emails: 1st) deny deny deny! TVX Films doesn’t steal images from the internet. They have a company that does that for them!; 2nd) Blame the victim because her of her name–”ITS NOT LIKE IT’S A HOUSE WHOLE NAME.”(<–that’s not Gilding’s incorrect spelling; that’s how it appears on both of Lara Jade’s pages, which I’m sure is exactly how the President of TVX Film’s spelled it given his propensity for being sleezy and rather un-educated.); 3rd) Boast that her victimization is going to help YOU even more; 4th) Warn her that her 10 seconds of fame is almost over. And by putting it in “ALL CAPS” she’ll be sure to know that such a privilege was both given and taken away by your mighty, paternalistic (we’ll ignore pedophilic) hands; and 5th) do as any self respecting and benevolent chauvinist (don’t forget pedohile…er, wait…we were shoving that one under the rug, right? Uh, yes…) would do and point out the error of her ways in demanding her rightfully owed compensation for harm done and property stolen by denying her out-right and patronizingly calling her silly.
And that, my Gilded Lilies, is how a proper Porn corporation is run.
Whence Gilding went to bed last night, she had not found out what had become of the young Lara Jade’s plight. But today’s search brought her to Lara Jade Photography, and Lo’-n-behold what should she find? That Lara Jade is none other than Gilding’s beloved image above. Not only are Lara Jade’s photographs gorgeous, but so is she.
Gilding rues that this Darling and her art had to suffer this ordeal. And while Gilding is a believer that fate is your own, even she cannot deny that Kismet’s ulterior designs will still have their way; and leave it to Her to know Gilding would be compelled to find out how this beauty who soooo does not have a “face-for-porn” would be lumped into a keyword search for “pornography.” .^_^. Cheers to Kismet!
Link: Lara Jade Photography
‘Twas the night before Christmas,
he lived all alone,
in a one bedroom house
made of plaster and stone.
I had to come down the chimney
with presents to give,
and to see just who in this home did live.
I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
no tinsel, no present, not even a tree.
No stocking by mantle,
just boots filled with sand,
on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
a sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different,
it was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier,
once I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw that night,
owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
because of the soldiers, like this one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
“Santa don’t cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more,
my life is my God, my Country, my Corps.”
The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
and we both shivered from the cold night’s chill.
I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark, night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, “Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas day, all is secure.”
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right.
“Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night.”
Remember the Veterans this Holiday Season.
Follow this Link Here if you would like the insert version of the poem and picture above that Gilding created to include in your holiday greetings this year. Or post it on your own little slice of the webisphere using the Shared Links.
K. W. Andrus
Colonel, USMC (Ret)
I asked a friend whom I knew to be a veteran what
Veterans Day meant to him-and I listened
carefully to what he had to say:
“I don’t know quite where to begin,” he said slowly,
“For me, the meaning is in my heart.”
“I am proud to be an American who responded to my country’s call
and when called upon, I did my part.
Did I fight for freedom? Yes! our politicians will tell you,
as they strut and pontificate this Veteran’s Day.
Flags and red, white and blue bunting will adorn their platforms
as they glamorize sending young Americans into harm’s way.”
“Did I fight for your freedom? Its very difficult to say.
I have to remind you of a sign that adorns a place nearby,
Placed prominently on the green of the Boise Veterans Hospital.
In bold letters that have made some cry,
It says in patriotic language so noble and so American,
THE PRICE OF FREEDOM IS VISIBLE HERE
But many of the veterans who visit there
will be reluctant to tell you-
Only if you have been in combat, is that message really clear.”
“Did I fight for your freedom? Hell no! is my first response.
I fought for the lives of friends and comrades caught in dark places.
Under fire, and besieged with stress unknown to most,
Killing other men and never quite able to forget they had faces.
Unable to have the luxury of grief for good friends suddenly dead,
your particular freedom nor anyone else’s ever crossed my mind.
At least not then, and would not even now as I ponder these thoughts,
except, somehow, reason has to be found for those left behind.”
“Did I fight for your freedom? I guess I did, and mine too.
Some understanding person, maybe who had even been there,
Realized Veterans needed their day, a day of parades, remembrances
small American flags on Veterans graves, help for the cross we bear.
Freedom, the word is over used,
but maybe appropriate for Veterans Day,
gives a tangible reason why wars must be fought.
Do not forget, as sweet as the word freedom sounds and is over used,
Freedom as you know it was very dearly bought.”
Last night they came to see me in my deep sleep,
still young while I am old.
Sweede, Mel, Roger, others, whispering approval of what I just told.
USMC Colonel K. W. Andrus (Ret)
Veterans Day, 1996
1. What is Pornography?
“The term “pornography” is used in all…different ways” of defining that material which is sexually explicit “in everyday discourse and debate” Since what is viewed as sexually explicit can vary from culture to culture and over time, “sexually explicit” functions as a kind of indexical term. “For the fact that “pornography” has different senses can have two very unfortunate consequences if these differences are not clearly noted and kept in mind: it can make it seem that there is disagreement when there is not; and it can obscure the real nature of the disagreement when there is.” (sec. 1, par. 15)
2. The shape of the traditional pornography debate
2.1 Conservative arguments for censorship
“According to conservatives, the state is justified in using its coercive power to uphold and enforce a community’s moral convictions and to prevent citizens from engaging in activities that offend prevailing community standards of morality and decency.This position is sometimes called ‘legal moralism’. [Furthermore] Governments also have a responsibility to prevent citizens from harming themselves…entitl[ing] [the state] to interfere with the freedom of mentally competent adults against their will for their own good…often called ‘legal paternalism’.” (sec. 2:2.1, par. 3)
“Conservatives therefore think that it is entirely legitimate for the state to prohibit consenting adults from publishing and viewing pornography, even in private, in order to protect the moral health of would-be consumers and of society as a whole.” (sec. 2:2.1, par. 4)
2.2 The traditional liberal defence of a right to pornography
“Traditional liberal defenders of pornography famously disagree, rejecting both the principle of legal moralism and the principle of legal paternalism, at least where consenting adults are concerned. This is not to say that liberal defenders of pornography necessarily approve of it…But this does not mean that it should not be protected-quite the opposite. A vital principle is at stake for liberals in the debate over pornography and censorship. The principle is that mentally competent adults must not be prevented from expressing their own convictions, or from indulging their own private tastes, simply on the grounds that, in the opinion of others, those convictions or tastes are mistaken, offensive or unworthy. The underlying liberal sentiment here is nicely captured in the famous adage (often attributed to the French philosopher, Voltaire):”I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”" (sec. 2:2.2, par.1)
“The only grounds that liberals typically regard as providing a legitimate reason for state restrictions on individual freedom is in order to prevent harm to others…the burden of proof is always firmly on those who argue for censorship to demonstrate that the speech or conduct in question causes significant harm to others. It must either be shown to directly cause actual physical violence to others (e.g., murder, rape, assault, battery), on a narrower understanding of “harm”; or to deliberately or negligently violate sufficiently important interests or rights of others, on a broader, interest-based conception of “harm”.” (sec. 2:2.2, par. 2)
Liberals have traditionally defended a right to pornography on three main grounds…Firstly, on the grounds of freedom of speech or expression, which protects the freedom of individuals (in this case, pornographers) to express their opinions and to communicate those opinions to others, however mistaken, disagreeable or offensive others may find them…[Secondly] on the grounds of a right to privacy (or “moral independence”, as one prominent liberal defender of pornography calls it), which protects a sphere of private activity in which individuals can explore and indulge their own personal tastes and convictions, free from the threat of coercive pressure or interference by the state and other individuals…[third] pornography is comparatively harmless. Neither the expression of pornographic opinions, nor the indulging of a private taste for pornography, causes significant harm to others, in the relevant sense of ‘harm’ (i.e., crimes of physical violence or other significant wrongful rights-violations). Hence, the publication and voluntary private consumption of pornography is none of the state’s business.” (sec. 2:2.2, par. 3,6,8)
“[Ronald] Dworkin [and] [Joel] Feinberg thinks that the voluntary private consumption of pornography does not cause harm to others. Hence, wholesale criminal prohibitions on the publication and private voluntary consumption of pornography cannot be justified. But the public display of pornography may nonetheless constitute an “offensive nuisance” to non-consenting adults who are involuntarily exposed to it…Since the harm-or rather, pseudo-harm-of pornography is the offense it may cause unwitting viewers involuntarily exposed to it, the solution is to restrict its exhibition to domains where such involuntary exposure will not occur…Such restrictions on the public display of pornography would not amount to censorship, for pornographers are still free to publish and distribute their opinions. Nor would they violate consumers’ right to privacy, for pornography would be freely available for willing consumers to view in private.” (sec. 2:2.2.2, par. 2)
“Liberal defenders of the right to pornography may thus allow that restrictions on its public display may be justified. But only if pornography can reliably be shown to cause significant harm to people other than those who voluntarily consume it will there be a legitimate case for prohibiting its voluntary private consumption. When an individual’s private activities cause harm to others then they become no longer merely a private matter, but of legitimate public interest; and the state may be justified in regulating them.” (sec. 2:2.2.2, par. 3)
“Liberals also have technical concerns about how censorship laws might work in practice…arguing that even if pornography does cause some harm to others, the risks involved in censoring it are too great. They point to the difficulties involved in formulating a legal definition of ‘pornography’ that will be sufficiently precise to minimize the danger that censorship laws targeting pornography will be used (intentionally or unintentionally) to censor other unpopular material, including valuable literary, artistic and political works. Censoring pornography may thus place us on a dangerous “slippery slope” to further censorship of other material.” (sec. 2:2.2.3, par.1)
4. Feminist approaches
4.1 Feminist arguments against pornography
“Unlike moral conservatives…object[ion] to pornography on the grounds of…obscenity…and its corrosive effect on the conservative way of life, the primary focus of the feminist objection to pornography is on the central role that pornography is thought to play in the exploitation and oppression of women.” (sec. 4:4.1, par. 1)
“This concern is reflected in the distinctive way anti-pornography feminists tend to define “pornography”…draw a more fine-grained distinction within the class of sexually explicit materials, between “pornography”…and “erotica”…”Erotica” is generally defined as sexually explicit material premised on equality, which depicts women as genuinely equal and consenting participants in sexual encounters. “Pornography”, in contrast, is typically defined as that subset of sexually explicit material that depicts women being coerced, abused, dominated or degraded in such a way as to endorse their subordination.” (sec. 4:4.1, par. 2)
“In 1983…feminists…Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, drafted an anti-pornography ordinance at the behest of the Minneapolis Council…[which] sought civil remedies that would enable women who are harmed in the making of pornography, or as a result of its consumption, to sue for a future ban on sexually explicit material demonstrated to be harmful and to collect damages from pornographers for provable harm done by that material…[T]he ordinance was significant…for reconceptualizing the question of pornography…not as an issue about obscenity…as it had…tended to be viewed in legal…contexts…but as an issue about the civil rights of women…[and] defined “pornography” as a civil rights violation, as a systematic practice of sexual discrimination that violates women’s right to equality.” (sec. 4:4.1, par. 3,4)
“Dworkin and MacKinnon allow that sexually explicit material that treats men, children or transsexuals in sexually dehumanising or subordinating ways also counts as pornography.” (sec. 4:4.1, par. 5)
“The Dworkin-MacKinnon definition has two parts or stages. The first part of the definition defines “pornography” broadly in terms of a certain functional role or, as MacKinnon puts it, in terms of “what it does”…The second part of the definition, the content list (i)-(viii), goes on to list of the sorts of sexually explicit material that MacKinnon and Dworkin think in fact functions to subordinate women, as revealed by the testimonial, experimental, social and clinical evidence. The content list aims to be sufficiently precise so as to minimize the likelihood of legislation against pornography…”(sec. 4:4.1, par. 6)
“The harms that most concern anti-pornography feminists fall into two broad categories: 1) coercion and exploitation of women actors in the production of pornography; and 2) harms to women, both as individuals and as a group, resulting from the consumption of pornography.” (sec. 4:4.1, par. 8 )
“One particularly graphic example of the first sort of harm is documented in the book Ordeal, written by Linda Marchiano who starred as ‘Linda Lovelace’ in the famous pornographic film ‘Deep Throat’. In Ordeal, Marchiano tells of how she was abducted, hypnotized, drugged, beaten and tortured in order to perform her starring role. Marchiano was one of a number of women who testified about their experience of the harm caused by pornography at the Minneapolis hearings into pornography in 1983…much of what was done to Marchiano (the abduction, the beatings and the torture) are criminal offences in their own right. Many, both liberals and feminists, think that since these physical assaults should not be allowed, enduring pornographic representations of these crimes that cause further harm to the victim’s interests should not be permitted to be distributed or consumed either.” (sec. 4:4.1, par. 9)
“[M]any anti-pornography feminists are concerned that there is an important sense in which the ‘choice’ to participate in the making of pornography may not be a genuinely free one for many of the women who perform in it, who often come from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds and who have few alternative options for making a living. Under these circumstances, there may be an important sense in which the choice to perform in pornography is ‘coerced’, insofar as the women would not have chosen to perform in pornography had other reasonable options been available to them…MacKinnon puts the point graphically: pornography is a public institution of sexual slavery, trafficking in vulnerable women and children, and profiting from their suffering and subjugation.” (sec. 4:4.1, par. 10)
“Some of the women who perform in pornography vigorously reject the claim that they are exploited…they argue, the decision to become a porn star was a genuinely autonomous one…[and] regard the claim that they are victims of exploitation as offensively patronizing and paternalistic…and portraying the women who act in pornography as hapless dupes of patriarchy…[rather than] fully autonomous and intelligent citizens pursuing a perfectly valid and rewarding career of their own choosing. Banning pornography, they argue, would constitute unjustified paternalistic interference with their right to pursue their career of choice.”
(sec. 4:4.1, par. 11)
“Second [category of harm]…point to a range of harms to women that result from the consumption of pornography…These may include, but are not limited to, pornography’s role as a cause of violent sexual crime…[argiung] pornography is speech that incites sexual violence, and prohibition of such speech as incites sexual violence is justified…to protect the physical security and bodily integrity of individuals.” (sec. 4:4.1, par.13)
“Other…arguments focus…on the broader role pornographic representations may play in harming other of women’s significant interests…suggest[ing] that pornography can be viewed as a sort of false advertising about women and sexuality, or as…speech that defames women as a group, causing corresponding harm to their reputation, credibility, opportunities and income expectations.” (sec. 4:4.1, par. 14)
“Other feminist arguments focus on the related role pornography may play in restricting women’s autonomy, by reproducing and reinforcing a dominant public perception of the nature of women and sexuality that prevents women from articulating and exploring their own conceptions of sexuality…[This argument] draws on the work of the prominent liberal philosopher, John Rawls, to suggest that regulation of pornography is justified…[as] self-interested individuals in the original position would not agree to basic social institutions that “asymmetrically either forced or gave strong incentives to members of one sex to become sex objects for the other.” (sec. 4:4.1, par. 14,15)
“According to MacKinnon, pornography harms women in a very special and serious way:…subordinates women by sexualising their inequality. Pornography both expresses the view that women exist primarily as objects for men’s sexual gratification…and it propagates this view, by conditioning consumers to regard women’s subordination as a sexy, natural and legitimate feature of normal heterosexual relations. Pornography “sexualises rape, battery, sexual harassment, prostitution and child sexual abuse, it thereby celebrates, promotes, authorizes and legitimises them”…rape, harassment and other forms of oppression come to be seen simply as sex…pornography helps to form, perpetuate, and manifests itself not simply in crimes of sexual violence against women, but in discrimination against women more generally…Pornography “institutionalizes the sexuality of male supremacy…” (sec. 4:4.1, par. 16,17)
For MacKinnon, pornography is not a “symptom or side-effect of other material and social conditions that lie at the root of women’s subordinate position in society…Rather, it is a central cause…”(sec. 4:4.1, par. 22)
“When Lara placed a self-portrait taken at age fourteen on deviantART, she never expected it to be stolen by TVX Films and placed on the cover of the DVD porno “Body Magic.” Lara asked the President of TVX Films to remove her photo and compensate her for the theft. He responded with the following email: “…We have checked out your name and its not like its a house whole name…They are remaking the cover as we speak so your ten seconds of fame will soon come to an end. As for compensation; Your silly!”–CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
“One novel and strategically ingenious feature of MacKinnon’s argument against pornography…is her conceptualisation of the harm of pornography as the violation of women’s civil rights…a harm that most liberals have special reason for taking very seriously…On this broader, interest- or rights-based interpretation of the harm principle, any speech or conduct that wilfully or negligently interferes with important interests or rights of others is harmful conduct…[in which] the state is [then] entitled to pass laws against conduct that deliberately or negligently interferes with the rights of others, just so long as the rights-violation is sufficiently serious and the harm cannot effectively be prevented by other…means (for example, through public education or debate).” (sec. 4:4.1 par. 23)
Though his version of the harm principle is relative given what right the individual does have; this subject is still a source of much ongoing debate.
4.2 Feminist arguments against legal regulation
“Some feminists [however] argue that pornography is an important form of sexual expression that does not harm women, and may even benefit them by liberating women and women’s sexuality from the oppressive shackles of tradition and sexual conservatism…pornography may have a vital role to play in challenging traditional views about femininity and female sexuality and in empowering women, both homosexual and heterosexual, to shape their own identities as sexual beings. (Note that material that benefits women ought to count as erotica, rather than pornography, on MacKinnon’s definition…if there is substantive disagreement between [the two feminist arguments] it will be about whether there really is any sexually explicit material that is beneficial).” (sec 4:4.2, par. 1)
“There are also a significant number of feminists who object to pornography, or to certain forms of it, on the grounds that it harms women, but who do not think that regulating or banning it is the most desirable or effective way to remedy the harms that pornography causes…[N]onetheless, [they] share some liberal concerns about using the…instrument of the law in the quest to redress harms, especially in light of the way in which the law has frequently been used to oppress women, or where laws enacted with the best of intentions have nonetheless had this unintended effect. Censorship, they think, may well cause more harm to women than it removes. They recommend more speech-education, protest, picketing, satire and public debate-rather than censorship or other forms of legal regulation, as less dangerous and more effective tools for raising public consciousness and effecting the desired attitudinal and cultural change.” (sec. 4:4.2, par. 2)
Indeed, these anti-pornography (in the sense that they think material that degrades women is objectionable), but also anti-censorship feminists posed concerns about anti-pornograpy legislation (especially in regards to the one proposed by MacKinnon and Dworkin) including: “the political dangers of feminists aligning themselves with the conservative, evangelical right; the possibility of the legislation discriminating against minority forms of sexuality (e.g., lesbianism); interference with women’s freedom to choose to produce and perform in pornography; perpetuating traditional ideas that sex is bad for women; and diverting attention and resources away from more important immediate efforts to bring an end to violence against women.” (sec. 4:4.2, par. 3)
5.1 Does pornography cause harm to others?
“Liberal defenders of pornography…remain unconvinced that there is reliable evidence to show that pornography is a cause of rape or other sexual crime.” If there were reliable evidence, there would be “a very strong liberal case for prohibiting it.” Ronald Dworkin writes, “…no reputable study has concluded that pornography is a significant cause of sexual crime: many of them conclude, on the contrary, that the causes of violent personality lie mainly in childhood, before exposure to pornography can have had any effect, and that desire for pornography is a symptom rather than a cause of deviance.” (sec. 5:5.1, par. 1)
“The question of whether pornography causes harm raises tricky conceptual issues…The causal connection between consumption of pornography and violent sexual crime, if there is one, is unlikely to be a simple one…However, we might agree with Feinberg, and yet think that pornography might still be a cause of rape. Consumption of pornography might cause rape by making it more likely that those who are already inclined to rape will actually rape, thereby increasing the overall incidence of rape. Of course, pornography may not be the only cause of rape or other violent sexual crime. The contributing causes of violence against women are likely to be numerous and connected in complex ways…Consumption of pornography may, on its own, be neither necessary nor sufficient for violent sexual crime; yet it might still be a cause of violent sexual crime…if it increases the incidence of them.” (sec. 5:5.1, par. 2)
“According to [Ronald] Dworkin, the argument for anti-pornography legislation on the grounds that pornography subordinates women [MacKinnon's version of the rights-based arguments for anti-pornography legislation] rests on the “frightening principle that considerations of equality require that some people not be free to express their tastes or convictions or preferences anywhere.”" (sec. 5:5.2, par. 4)
“Note that [Ronald]Dworkin…misconstrues…MacKinnon’s argument as a version of the old moralistic argument that objects to pornography on grounds of its offensiveness.” However, MacKinnon’s argument “is not that pornography should be regulated because it expresses opinions that are offensive to feminists. Rather, it should be regulated because, offensive or not, it contributes significantly to a regime of sexual inequality.” (sec. 5:5.2, par. 5)
[Ronald] Dworkin thinks there is a confusion of positive and negative liberty with regards to freedom of speech. Dworkin’s thought rests on the “unacceptable proposition: that the right to free speech includes a right to circumstances that encourage one to speak, and a right that others grasp and respect what one means to say…These are obviously not rights that any society can recognise or enforce. Creationists, flat-earthers, and bigots, for example, are ridiculed in many parts of America now…But, Dworkin suggests, that we should not think that this violates their right to freedom of speech: e.g., that creationists have a legitimate claim on the state to ban the publication of books or videos recommending the theory of evolution on the grounds that these may cause the speech of creationists to receive an unsympathetic or dismissive reception. Dworkin concedes that the right to freedom of speech, if it is to be meaningful, requires that everyone has some opportunity to have their ideas heard.” (sec. 5:5.2, par. 10,11)
“[C]laims in the face of Dworkin’s response, argu[e] that freedom of speech (even negative freedom of speech) requires more than simply being free to produce and distribute word-like sounds and symbols. It also requires at least that would-be hearers are not prevented from comprehending the intended meaning of those sounds and scrawls-otherwise there is not free speech, merely the freedom to produce and distribute word-like sounds and scrawls.” Conversely, the makers of the claims argue “that the traditional liberal conception of free speech, and of the right to free speech, fails to pay sufficient attention to the way language works; and, in particular, to the way in which what words mean-and so what it is possible for speakers to say or communicate-depends on social context, a context that pornography may help to shape and perpetuate.” (sec. 5:5.2, par. 12)
What role should the state play in protecting and promoting values such as autonomy and equality, given the undertaking of reconciling the ideals and values of liberals, conservatives, and feminists and their respective sub-divisioning within their own camps, accounts for much of the ongoing debate of whether or not government can legally prohibit citizens from publishing or viewing pornography.
West, Caroline. “Pornography and Censorship.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Ed. Edward N. Zalta. 13 July 2005. Stanford University. 09 Nov. 2007
Gilding is becoming quite decided that she really should remain as far away from meeting “the author” if she is truly interested in meeting them. Gilding is far too…well, herself…not to hold it against them when their actual personality ruins any illusion she had of them. Couple that with Gilding’s penchant for being irritated by an individual because of quirks they may or may not have control over–whichever it be doesn’t matter, it exists therefore it irks–such as the way their mouth moves when they talk in relation to the proportions of their face and the pronunciation (often incorrectly) of their words. Is your face crunching with disdain that Gilding could be this way? Sympathize for those who have to live with her. Oddly, they find it humorous. Gilding thinks they’re all masochists in denial.
So what author has managed to disillsion Gilding? Well…that’s not a total truth. Gilding didn’t really have an illusion of him prior to attending his lecture today, rather, he managed to destroy any illusion that given enough time in her day–and for lack of having anything else to ponder so imaginitively (like that would happen)–Gilding could have possibly formed. Given that, it could be argued that he managed a feat worth more than simply irritating Gilding.
Anyhoo, the poor author is Charles Pero, author of the newly and upcoming released Twisted Killer Series. And while Gilding could go on a tangent of all the “points” she found just positively wrong in this lecture, she is instead going to share with all her Gilded Lilies the one thing she just couldn’t get past, and in fact, was such a source of writing inspiration, she was putting pen to paper before she had even found her seat. Oh, the poor man. Gilding would actually feel bad about posting this if she wasn’t herself. So here it is in all its fervor to get it down before the source of her inspiration was gone. In truth this is all quite complimentary. It has been a long while since Gilding has seen such an interesting figure let alone been so inspired to write with such a compulsory fervor.
So funny that he authors but is horrible at public speaking–on his own topic, no less. Stumbling confusion when talking about yourself? Either a study of humility or he confuses himself.
Appearance is awkward in its bravado wrapped package that isn’t faked but is stereotypically cultural. Must be Italian.
Yep…::is it still a stereotype if it’s correct?::…from the black slacks and charcoal grey 3 button down jacket with black tap collar dress shirt (too bad he didn’t wear the Italian High Classic Spread collar–a missed opportunity in irony). Meant for a sophisticated Windsor knot necktie, but instead left unbuttoned 3 buttons too many.
The small tuft of salt and pepper grey chest hair would be more visible if it weren’t for the almost large enough to be too gaudy…::(doesn’t Uncle Dwayne have the same one?)::…gold cross charm on a surprisingly elegant gold chain–a bit out of place in the scheme–or would that be theme–of things.
Shoulders broad; top off a stocky frame, adding to the absurdity that his arms be so tiny in length–almost an exact proportion to mine. Finished by large hands; cleanly masculine, but portray a hilariously misfortunate irony as they smack of compensatory over exaggeration. As if pre-encoded in his biology by some higher being with a sardonic sense of humor but an appreciation for unique art.
It must be kismet that this artist’s sculpture, Maman, has held a permeative captivation that has ebbed in and out of Gilding’s life of recent in a series of coincidences that hold an edge of being meaningful, though thus far has been overshadowed by the pungent odor of mere causality–a sort of parallel paradox to the Jungian theory of ‘synchronicity’.
However, today’s coincidental run-in has finally urged Gilding’s attention to seek the meaningfulness that must be lurking behind the cloak of opaquing stench.
What Gilding has found is a most remarkable woman.
“The fear of being born into the world an unwanted girl; the fear of becoming a pawn in the lives of her parents; the fear of failing as a wife, mother and artist”: Over the course of her 70 years as an artist, Louise Bourgeois’ works are deeply involved in the investigation of her own psyche, the psychology of family, and relations to objects through strong intuition. Constantly evaluating her past, Bourgeois creates works that are based out of an often painful nostalgia.
Born in Paris in 1911, She studied art at various schools there, including the Ecole du Louvre, Académie des Beaux-Arts, Académie Julian, and Atelier Fernand Léger. In 1938, she emigrated to the United States with her husband, Robert Goldwater, a curator at The Museum of Modern Art, and continued her studies at the Art Students League in New York. In 1940, the couple adopted their first son, and in 1941 Bourgeois gave birth to two more boys.
“Her artistic oeuvre deals almost exclusively with the fear of not being able to live up to the roles she was born into and took on.”
Most of her early works consisted of paintings on the theme of family, many of which have rarely, if ever, been reproduced.
Her later work grew more sexualized. “Deeply symbolic, these works use her relationship with her parents and the role sexuality played in her early family life as a vocabulary in which to understand and remake that history…the female and male bodies are…charged with sexuality and innocence and the interplay between the two.”
These erotic and sexual images often appear warped in figure, and have garnered the title “Cumulus” because of their resemblance to Cumulus Nimbus clouds. These pieces are a striking contrast to her more angular, geometric sculptures made of durable metals and woods, and are a series that comes almost symbolically full circle in their construction of fabric medium, joining the girl-child restoring tapestries with her parents to the woman exploring her own charged sexuality.
After the deaths of her husband and father, Bourgeois’ works pursued an intensely intimate paternal element; her sometimes abstract works speak of these “relationships” in symbolic terms. The inspiration for these pieces come from her childhood and take the form of physical entities, blaringly private and openly, unabashedly cathartic:
“…her adulterous father, who had an affair with her governess (who resided in the home), and her mother, who refused to acknowledge it…[being] the “striking-image” of her father since birth. Bourgeois conveys feelings of anger, betrayal and jealousy, but with playfulness.”
Possibly her most famous sculpture, titled Maman, is the piece that has 8-leggedly loomed in its opaque cloaked meaningfulness in Gilding’s coincidences.
“Like a creature escaped from a dream, or a larger-than-life embodiment of a secret childhood fear, the giant spider Maman (1999) casts a powerful physical and psychological shadow…[with] explicit reference to painful childhood memories of…a loving but complicit mother…Maman, in fact, is associated with the artist’s own mother. The spider, who protects her precious eggs in a steel cage-like body, provokes awe and fear, but her massive height, improbably balanced on slender legs, conveys an almost poignant vulnerability.”
Here lies so much meaningfullness in everything that Gilding has learned that to attempt to explain so in disection, she fears, would dissipate its opaque cloak of fog; concoluting the meaning and making paltry this kismet beauty. Ironically, any further explanation would simply be gilding the lily.
 Essay by Thomas Kellein. Text by Louise Bourgeois. Louise Bourgeois: La Famille, 2006
 art:21–Louise Bourgeois; a PBS Broadcast; Producers: Wesley Miller, Associate Curator, Art21 & Ana Otero, Web Producer, Art21 2003
 Wikipedia–Louise Bourgeois (Biography, par.3)
 Harvey, Isla. Major Louise Bourgeois Retrospective Opens at Tate Modern. 24 Hour Museum. 10 Aug. 2007.
 Dailey, Meghan. The Collection: Louise Bourgeois. Guggenheim Museum
Gilding the Lily, an emporium steeped in the essence of another time. In the line of a crown, the tilt of a brim, and the sweep of a plume, here you’ll find the antique and the vintage, hats of an era of great beauty when women truly aspired to “gild the lily.”
For the creative, shop the new hat bodies you can decorate yourself with the array of millinery feathers, flowers, and veiling available at this bazaar of gilding. Browse stacks of vintage textiles and trims; vintage ribbon; books; appliques, beaded trims, and antique lace.
From exquisite hand painted victorian flowers panels on silk organza to the sublime vintage french motifsof flowers and birds embroidered with tender sentiments, each corner of this galleria holds something more precious than the last. And boredom is never an option as the gilded inventory changes from day to day.
Gilding the Lily
122 North Harbor Blvd, Ste.110, Fullerton, CA 92832
Gilding is positively enamored with this artist, Beth Cavener Stichter. First introduced to this artist via this monolothic 22″ h , 37″ w, 34″ d piece, Cornered Rabbit, Gilding cannot for the life of her remember where it was she saw it or how she stumbled upon it. Gilding distinctly remembers looking upon the image of the gargantuan bunny and thinking how ironically “crammed” it looked given the demand for open space that would be required to house the piece. Lo’-n-behold, that was the intent; as Stichter describes:
“One of the first challenges I found here at the Archie Bray Foundation was the kiln situation. Even the largest gas kiln has a small door, and this presents a problem for larger work. I started thinking about these large animals crammed into the available spaces. I liked the idea of forming the animal bodies around constrictions.
This piece *just* fits into the Archie Bray’s car kiln.”
Animal Body, Human Space
The works are a study into the artists interpretations of the “primitive animal instincts lurking in our own depths, waiting for the chance to slide past a conscious moment.” Stichter’s sculptures “focus on human psychology, stripped of context and rationalization, and articulated through animal and human forms. On the surface, these figures are simply feral and domestic individuals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface they embody the impacts of aggression, territorial desires, isolation, and pack mentality.”
The human and animal interactions “show patterns of intricate, subliminal gestures that betray intent and motivation.” Stichter relies on the animal’s body language “as a metaphor for these underlying patterns, transforming the animal subjects into human psychological portraits.”
Stichter’s sculptures are encapsulatingly haunting as she prys “at those uncomfortable, awkwards edges between animal and human,” their feral and uneasy postures “expressing frustration for the human tendency towards cruelty and lack of understanding.”
Entangled in their own internal and external struggles, the figures are engaged with the subjects of fear, apathy, violence and powerlessness.
Something conscious and knowing is captured in their gestures and expressions. An invitation and a rebuke.
Stichter’s current works, A Modest Proposal, articulate this focus on a deeper, more personal level as the bodies of work developed in an effort of the artist’s to “understand how my own desires, fears, and insecurities have shaped my sexuality.”
“The portraits created for this exhibition found their genesis in…shared personal accounts…confid[ing] their most intimate experiences relating to gender identity, fantasies, fetishes, and abuses…and merged them with [her] own.”
The works are an exploration into Stichter’s desire to “understand how these complex private experiences haunt our public personas.”
The figures which have emerged “use their animal body language in an effort to communicate their human natures: coy, desperate, lonely, and full of both fear and an unspoken longing.”
Works Featured Here:
- 2006, Empire of Dust
- 2003, Cornered Rabbit
- 2006, Olympia
- 2006, Milk & Honey
- 2006, i am no one
- 2006, Pleasure
- 2006. Remember me
Link: Beth Cavener Stichter