Category Archives: Politics

Saddam’s Snuff Film

Okay, I’ve finally gathered my thoughts about this whole turn for the worst which has happened with Iraq. As soon as I found out they were going to execute Saddam, I just thought “Oh fuck, that is a REALLY bad idea.” My other friends concurred, it was really just like watching a car crash in slow motion. Don’t do it, don’t do it, aw fuck, you went and did it! Even my tattoo artist and I talked about what a bad idea it was. I forget where I read it, but someone even said George W. Bush was so incompetent he ended up making Saddam look sympathetic.

Now up here in Canada we’re just looking around at each other blinking and sighing and agreeing that the next year in Iraq is going to make the last four put together look like a cake walk. Not only that but now Bush is instigating a troop surge, which was what happened in Viet Nam to kick off the most massive American death toll and ended up with them losing the war anyway.

Because really, that war is so unwinnable. (Unwinnable isn’t a real word but I’ll use it anyway). Once the fighters change from soldiers to civilians it’s pretty much over.

And besides that, this whole thing smacks very much of the pot calling the kettle black. American and UN sanctions against Iraq killed more Iraqis than Saddam ever did, and adding the death toll from the current war seals the deal. Of course a number of Iraqi’s have turned Saddam into a martyr, a hero. He held their country together even when 5000 kids died a month from malnutrition and lack of medicine.

Ever since he came out of that hole and through all the indignities and violations of the Geneva code he was put through by the Americans, he was fuckin’ dignified. I wouldn’t believe it either, but woah, he handled himself really well, he was securing his role as a martyr even as his captors jeered at him. I think he knew he was going to die, any time a judge felt sympathies towards his case they got fired. It was a pretend trial and had nothing to do with an international court of justice.

As soon as I found out they were executing Saddam in a matter of hours, I looked up the Eid holiday. Eid is the celebration after Ramadan, a time for thankfulness, forgiveness, happiness, a lot like Christmas, but without the Christ. It’s a really important holiday to Muslim people and hanging him at the beginning of it was a clear Fuck You to Islam. Shiites were celebrating, but the rest of Iraq was appalled. And now Saddam’s not just a martyr to Iraqis, he’s a martyr to Arabs in a lot of other Middle Eastern countries.

Having his execution posted on YouTube and other assorted online sites was just, oh man, ANOTHER really bad idea. That pushed it over the edge for people. Political snuff films are still snuff films. Even the footage of the twin towers was a snuff film. And the way he died, the floor dropping while he was in mid prayer, that was really affecting stuff. It was like the end of Dancer in the Dark, only it wasn’t Bjork, and Catherine DeNeuve didn’t have a cell phone.

If we had a better, more human Prime Minister who actually reflected the feelings of his people, Canada would be vociferously condemning the execution. I haven’t talked to a single Canadian yet who thinks it was okay.

It’s sad, because 9/11 was the most amazing opportunity for America and the rest of the world to sort out why bad feelings are directed at the US. Internationally people were shocked and saddened as much as Americans, but also with this feeling of “Well, yeah, we do hate you, and we have a lot of reasons.” We sympathized. We understood. America could have completely changed it’s foreign policy, things could have been really amazing, and a lot of nation to nation hostilities could have ended.

But you know, America as we know it was founded on genocide and has stuck to those guiding principles for most of it’s existence.

Canada is also founded on genocide. A lot of countries are. Canada still blatantly practices genocide towards it’s First Nations people, and we still have armed skirmishes, although I’m not sure that comes out in the news often.

Either way, mostly I feel like I’m just watching this fucked up bloody gory horror film that may never end. I know the new spin is that the Iraqi government made the decision to hang him, but all of that process was controlled by the American government and everyone knew it.

Bleh, I feel like writing about something else now. The tattoos are getting all flaky and scaly now, I don’t much like this short phase. I feel itchy and sore and I can’t do anything about it.

Cedar Waxwings Make No Mistakes

The best opening sentence was in the Star Phoenix today. “On a dead of winter day with every major Canadian city basking in freaky grass-growing temperatures, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stood outside 24 Sussex Drive Thursday clad only in a business suit to declare climate change his government’s new and pressing priority.”

Stephen Harper is the fuck ass Conservative Prime Minister the majority of Canadians hate, but ended up in office in one of those freaky things that happen as a result of having multiple political parties. He’s going to be booted out soon, I’m sure, since we’re pissed about being in Afghanistan and we’re pissed about his budget cuts and since he can do barely anything since he’s running a minority government. Not only that, but he shamelessly sashayed away from the Kyoto Accord and proposed to devise a “Made In Canada” approach to environmental issues. And why not, since our Made In Canada superstacks are successfully exporting pollution to Mexico.

It is a freaky winter. And I don’t want to have a crap winter because I have a new Cross Country Ski set!!! I hear a cherry tree is blooming in New York. New York. In JANUARY!! My mom’s noticed the Cedar Waxwings are back already, three months early. And you know nature knows more about what’s up with the weather than us. Cedar Waxwings make no mistakes.

Okay, I don’t know if that last sentence is true, but it’s awfully cute. Infalliable Cedar Waxwings.

I could make a really good argument for why capitalism is holding us back from making real headway into grappling with environmental issues, but I think you probably understand. Our current gas reduction plan here in Canada spans the next 45 years, completely ridiculous since we’ve already reached peak oil, and the majority of oil now is in oil sands, which are notoriously difficult to extract and process, and thus will ramp up prices and create more pollution just getting it out of the ground. It’s stupid. I don’t even care about ever owning a car because I don’t want to add to the problem.

The weather IS weird. I’ve been kind of following the shit that’s gone down in Vancouver last year, snow, hurricane winds, brown water, bleh. One of the reasons I left Van is that I felt “Oh shit, it’s all going down man!” I’m more predisposed to following my hunches than other people, considering in my family we have eerily accurate intuitive sense. Our reserve even managed to petition for day schools to avoid residential schools because some of my ancestors knew what was going to happen. And just a few nights ago I compelled my cousin to go half a foot over to the side of the road while going over a hill, and saved us from a head on collision with a dangerous driver. Anyway, yes, things are pretty messed up. My Saulteaux friend Laurel says her tribe believes people have to go back to their home regions for seven years while all the shit hits the fan. It’s making a lot of sense to me.

Saskatoon is actually a really good place to live in the event of a catastrophe or crisis. There is a lot of wild game, we have really good soil for farming, a smaller population means provisions and aid is required on a smaller scale compared to large urban centres. And I’m pretty skilled in survival, I know how to shoot, fish, build a fire, camp, determine north without a compass, cross long stretches of bald prairie, and walk out into minus 60 degree weather without dying. I remember one time in high school we all arrived and were appalled to find out it was minus 60 with the wind chill and yet school hadn’t been cancelled. But really, that’s Saskatchewan for you.

More “Fuck You” to Mel Gibson’s rampant racism

I got this in my email from the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, and I thought I would post it here. I read another really good article on Apocalypto from a Mayan Scholar, but I don’t remember where it is. If I find it I’ll link it.


(This first commentary is written by Prof. Gerardo Aldana of UCSB. He is a Maya specialist and a good Mexica brother. The second, below, is from Indian Country Today.)

Having viewed a screening of *Apocalypto *at UCSB on December 3rd, I walked away recognizing three main points within Mel Gibson’s movie. This first colors the entire story, seemingly as a kind of guiding moral: “the good Indian is the savage one in the forest.” There is absolutely nothing appealing about Maya city-life in this movie—no indication that Maya urban centers flourished in the region for hundreds of years. Instead, religious figures are depicted as fraudulent or heavily drugged; political figures are fat and passive (both of these characterizations having been lifted straight from *The Road to El Dorado*); and everyone else seems to be living a nightmare of hard labor, servitude, famine, and/or disease. The “Maya” living in the forest village, on the other hand, are fantasized animations of National Geographic
photos of Amazonian tribes. These “hidden” Indians provide the audience the only possibility for sympathy—and this perhaps restricted to puerile humor or one family’s role as (surprise!) the underdog. For Gibson, it appears, the “noble savage” remains a valid ideal.

Second, for having a completely clean slate upon which to write, the story is pathetically unoriginal. From his decidedly Western constructions of masculinity, gender, and sexuality, to the use of a baseball move in a critical hand-to-hand combat scene, to lifting an escape scene from Harrison Ford’s character in *The Fugitive*, one gets the sense that all of his creative energy was invested in discovering ways to depict (previously) unimaginable gore. In fact, I would be ready to write off the entire movie as nothing more than a continuation of Gibson’s hyper-violent mental masturbation, except for the real-world implications.

This leads me to the third point, and the real crime, which is Gibson’s interpretive shift in his representation of horrific behaviors. Specifically, four of five
viscerally repugnant cultural practices that are here attributed to Maya culture are actually “borrowed” from the West. The raid on the protagonist’s village constitutes the first interpretive shift viewed by the audience.

The brutality and method of this raid directly replicate the documented activities of
representatives of the British Rubber Company in the Amazon Basin during the
late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the Amazon case, those perpetuating
the human rights violations were European or European-descendents against indigenous
communities; the raiding of villages for human sacrifice is undocumented for Maya cultures.

Next, the slave market depicted in the city constitutes a mirror image of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in the pre-Civil War United States. In that case, the “sellers” of African slaves were Europeans or European-Americans, dehumanizing Other peoples by treating them as commodities. While slavery is documented for Maya cultures (and Greek, and Roman, etc.), there is nothing that attests to their having been bought and/or sold in public market contexts.

A third objectionable attribution is that of decapitated human heads placed on stakes within the city center. Documented examples of this practice come from Cortes’s entrada into Central Mexico committed by Spanish conquistadors against their
indigenous “enemies.”

Depictions of “skull racks” do exist, but there is no evidence that these
resulted from mass murder or even that they still had flesh on them when they were hung. Finally, the escape portal for the protagonist—the releasing of captives to run toward freedom while being shot at—is straight from ancient Rome (or at least Hollywood’s depictions of Roman coliseum “sports”) and finds no corroboration in records concerning Maya peoples.

Heart sacrifice is the only practice that scholars have “read” from ancient Maya cultural remains—although the scale and performance is Gibson’s fantasy alone.
The attribution of heart sacrifice to the Maya is largely anchored to Spanish accounts of Aztec practices, which raises two additional issues: *i) *Mathew Restall’s recent *Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest *gives a good overview of how unreliable Spanish accounts may be; and *ii) *Mel Gibson clearly could not have substituted the Aztec capital for his “Maya” city given the same Spanish accounts of it (e.g. Bernal Diaz del Castillo on approaching Tenochtitlan: “With such wonderful
sights to gaze on we did not know what to say, or if this was real that we saw before our eyes. On the land side there were great cities, and on the lake many more…”)

In any event, these perversions of the historical record appear to be Gibson’s alone and cause me to wonder if they reflect an agenda. Whether he meant to claim that
all cultures have been as grotesquely violent or inhumane as the West (and so in some
twisted way, making such behavior “ok”), or if there is a more nefarious attempt at disparaging Mesoamerican cultures in some sort of justification of their “conquest” (implied by the pristine representation of the Spaniards)—this is a question Gibson alone can answer.

Whatever his response, my assessment is that—apart from its “artistic” license—because it takes the worst of the West and “reads” it into one or two days of
“Maya” civilization, this movie comprises an extreme disservice to Maya (and Mesoamerican)cultures past and present, and to indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere. The case is so extreme, I wonder if it might constitute a legally actionable hate crime against Maya people. At the very least, though,with this movie, Gibson has performed a tremendous disservice to scholars who aim at accurate
representations of the past, and to the audiences who will have their perspectives of Maya culture tainted by the agenda of one man with too much money.

Prof. Gerardo Aldana y V

University of California, Santa Barbara


*Dowell: ‘Apocalypto’ is upon us*
Indian Country Today December 08, 2006. *All Rights Reserved* Mel
”Apocalypto,” a movie about human sacrifice among the ancient Maya, premiered Dec. 1 at Chickasaw Nation’s Riverwind Casino amidst Hollywood-style hoopla. Oklahoma Indian actors have been wooed by director Mel Gibson and are about to make a big splash on the big screen with the potential for even bigger and better roles for Natives in film. I understand Gibson’s claim that the movie is about a society’s
excesses and the costs of war (the movie has been billed as an anti-war film). I can
stand with him on those aspects. But what message is ”Apocalypto” really sending about the Native peoples of Mexico and Central America? This is but one thing we Indian people in the North must consider and question before we jump on Gibson’s bandwagon.

I have been to Central America. I have visited the Maya in their homes where
I saw mountains of beautiful fruits and vegetables being grown, not for Mayan consumption, but for export, most likely to the United States. The Maya could not eat those fruits of their labor. They cannot afford to. In the village I visited, the Maya shared a communal kitchen where most days the women cooked meals of beans and tortillas because that is what the family’s hard labor in the fields afford them.

I heard the cries of women whose husbands had been ”disappeared” and murdered by government troops or by paramilitaries. In Guatemala they are struggling to recover after almost 40 years of civil war incited by the 1954 CIA overthrow of a democratic government, subsequently wiping from the face of the earth 140 Mayan villages. The Maya fled to bordering countries and some were held in death camps for removal, much like our own ancestors’ Trails of Tears. This is contemporary history.

The extreme, impoverished lives most Mayans live are not due to the ”excesses of their ancestors,” as stated in a recent ”20/20” special on ABC. It is due rather to the institutionalized racism of the church, military and government, which could not recognize our own Indian ancestors as human, justifying their wholesale slaughter, Christian conversion via boarding schools and the taking of our lands.

Before we rush to pat Gibson on the back we should understand that the same religious, government, military and corporate institutions that systematically conspired to take our lands and destroy our culture here in the North also had a hand in the demise of the ancient and contemporary Maya people. When the Spaniards invaded Central America in the 16th century, ancient Maya texts were burned so that the people would forget their history and a new history, more palatable to Europeans, could replace it.

Because my community work gives me the opportunity to occasionally network with indigenous peoples from below the U.S.-imposed border with Mexico, I am aware that some Maya people are not happy with this film. This pretty much answers the question why Gibson chose to hire North American Indians, making it necessary to teach them a Mayan language. If the film was welcomed by the Maya, he could have hired Maya people, since the film was made in their territories.

How will a film, which depicts the Maya as bloodthirsty primitives, impact their work, their lives, their image and our perception of them? What impacts will that portrayal have on the people in power who have an obligation to make policy for the Maya in Mexico or Guatemala, or elsewhere in Central America, where most policy is implemented at the business end of a gun?

Because we have a genetic, cultural and historical relationship with all the peoples of Turtle Island, we have an obligation to view this film with discerning eyes and a critical mind. The movie opened nationally on Dec. 8. We can use this as an opportunity for raising consciousness and educating about our commonalities with the indigenous peoples from below the border.

For instance, do you know that in some of those countries indigenous peoples
comprise 40 percent to 80 percent of the population? In the case of the Maya, a lot, if not most, speak Maya as their first language. The women still dress in the traditional huipil. In Chiapas, where the Maya communities are occupied by the Mexican government (with aid from the United States), a large part of the region’s resources are sucked out from under the Mayas’ feet to generate electrical power for the rest of the country while the Chiapas Maya live without running water or electricity.

We should remember that some of the brown people coming across the lower border as ”illegals” are probably Maya, or descendants of other Native nations. To justify atrocities against Native peoples (and to manipulate the citizenry into looking the other way), the elite have historically sought ways to portray us as less than human.

Let’s make this an opportunity to learn more about contemporary Mayan struggles as well as the current struggles of Indian communities throughout the Americas. They are among the thousands of indigenous peoples who are going to the international community to seek redress for their grievances.

As we watch this new movie, we are obligated to do so with an informed mind. Our history is the Mayan history.

*J.K. Dowell, Quapaw/Cherokee, is founder and director of the Eagle and
Condor Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance and lives in Tahlequah, Okla.*

Please visit the Indian Country Today
website for more articles related to
this topic.

I’m always baffled when people are still surprised that Maya people still exist. I have a friend who’s Mayan and he saw his family murdered by a US sponsored totalitarian government. People like to think of Indigenous people as living way back in the past, out of sight, out of mind. Maybe Gibson was hoping he could be racist again by singling out a group he thought was extinct. By the way, there are also still Beothuks out there.

I’m also embarrassed that the lead role was played by a Cree actor. I know it’s really amazing to get a major role if you’re aboriginal, but still, it’s important to be ethical in your choices. I would say it’s amazing to be well paid for a film role and be aboriginal, but Mel was very proud of the fact that he could pay First Nations actors less than the going wage. Either way, ethics people. I’m reminded of when Gordon Tootoosis turned down that Jackie Chan movie because it was racist, another Aboriginal actor took it on and has been getting flak from the community ever since, and rightly so. Aboriginal actors should unite somehow in boycotting roles or films which promote racist attitudes towards our people, or anyone really. Let Mel Gibson direct a bunch of white folks in red face. Why should we be puppets to valorize colonization?

Aboriginals in the film industry get fucked over all the time. I know because I’m in there!! I could go off on the Industry’s treatment of brown people, but I won’t in this post. All I’ll say is it’s sad to hear an Aboriginal actor get excited because he finally has a role where he doesn’t have to ride a horse.

A Message From AIM Just In Time For Christmas

I’m sleepy, but I wanted to throw this statement from AIM on my blog for something to consider when you go to movies over the holidays. I don’t normally support NOT seeing a movie just because it’s problematic, but in this case I would advise people to wait until it’s on video or tv, just because paying to see it makes the capitalist system justify racism. Yeah, so no Apocalypto.


Holocaust Denial In America
December 19th 2007
David Duke, in a Holocaust conference in Tehran, was big news in America as he accepted an invitation by the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In Duke’s speech, he said the purpose of the conference was“ to offer free speech for the world’s most repressed idea, Holocaust revisionism…and the condemnation of the shameful imprisonment of European scholars and academics who simply dare to state their opinions of historical events that occurred over 60 years ago.”
Duke went on to say “ I as a former American elected official will be condemned by the Zionist influenced press in America for coming here in peace and friendship to a nation that they hate: the nation of Iran.” Overwhelmingly, the media in America condemned the Tehran gathering and labeled it the “Holocaust Denial Conference” but on the question of the many other Holocausts, the American media remain stunningly silent.
For indigenous people, Holocaust Denial in America is nothing new. Revisionist history is nothing new, but rather it is big business supported and financed by multi-nationals like Walt Disney and Hollywood A-list actors like Mel Gibson. They will not go to jail for distorting history or justifying the slaughter of Mayans. They will make millions of dollars in their revisionist movie, Apocalypto. Mel Gibson’s version of Mayan history is based on the lies of Spanish conquistadors and men like Bishop Diego de Landa, the Franciscan monk who, on July 12, 1562, burned hundreds of Mayan codices and over 5000 Mayan “cult” images. He later tried to justify his crimes, his Inquisition and torture of Mayan people by stating he had found evidence of human sacrifice.
The real savages, the Spanish Conquistadors, hacked off the limbs of Mayans for not bringing in enough gold and silver ransoms. They justified their savage crimes by deliberate lies depicting the Mayans, Incas and Aztecs as sub humans who sacrificed humans to the sun god. In this movie Mel Gibson does the same thing. He depicts the Mayans as sub-human, grotesquely violent, and incapable of compassion. The American Indian Movement condemns Apocalypto as revisionist history, in the same vein as Rambo, John Wayne westerns, and hate inciting movies such as G.I. Jane.

The historical evidence of the slaughter of Jewish people in the Nazi death camps of World War II is irrefutable. Any movie or documentary that denies that evidence should be roundly condemned and censored. No movie should profit from justifying the killing of Jewish people in the Nazi death camps. The American Indian Movement supports the Jewish people in seeking justice for their Holocaust and the recovery of gold and other valuables stolen from the Jewish people during that Holocaust.
The American Indian Movement condemns Walt Disney Inc and Mel Gibson for profiting from the distortion and revisionist history in the Holocaust of the Mayan people. The American Indian Movement urges world governments to initiate recovery of all stolen gold and silver taken from the Mayan, Inca and Aztec people. AIM condemns the piracy of so called “Spanish” doubloons recovered from sunken ships and calls for all recovered gold and silver to be returned to the rightful indigenous owners. AIM further condemns the Catholic Church and its institutions for unrepentant theft of Mayan, Inca and Aztec gold and silver, which is hoarded in Christian idols in Europe.
AIM urges nations worldwide not to stop there, but to demand that the United States restore to the rightful owners the more than $14 billion of gold stolen from the Black Hills in South Dakota, to the Dakota people.
The American Indian Movement acknowledges and thanks the small groups of activists and supporters who have protested the movie Apocalypto and condemns this movie as an act of greedy profiteering, of revisionist history and justification of the slaughter of indigenous peoples.
To our indigenous brothers and sisters in Central and South America who continue to struggle with intense poverty deriving from entrenched colonist policies, we offer our support and apologize for this outrage of a movie which is being pushed, financed and supported by Holocaust Denial in America.

Written by Chief Terrance Nelson, Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation, American Indian Movement Board Member Telephone # 204-782-4827, email
Approved by American Indian Movement for general distribution

A sense of responsibility

I have insider information on what really happened to the missing women which is now being entirely pinned on Pickton. Pickton was involved, I’m not at all implying he is innocent, far from it. I found out what really happened about four years ago, just as I was going crazy. It was so shocking that I actually wouldn’t be surprised if it was one of the triggers which lead to my manic episode. I didn’t know what to do with this information, and I have a source who knows where files of documents outlining the events are held. A group of people were closely working with the one good cop on the force who was leaking information. I think they stopped because there was a serious threat of being murdered.

It’s a tricky story to break and I don’t know how to do it. If I tell you what I know I have no proof to back it up because I’m not the person holding those documents (and I don’t know where or who that person is either for safety reasons, though if I had to find them I could). I don’t live in Vancouver anymore, so I feel slightly safer from the possibility of being murdered to cover up the truth.

I think I figured out how to explain this without getting in to shit. I’m just going to tell you a story from when I lived in the Downtown Eastside.

I was walking along Hastings one day with a friend when we came across a poster carefully being preserved behind the glass of a business. I don’t remember the exact wording but the gist of it went like this.

“I am a survivor of the events going on at the Pickton Farm. I was abducted and taken to a club whose members contained Vancouver police and several high level government officals including Ujahl Dosangh. They told me they were going to do what they did to my friends and rape and kill me while filming it. This is a snuff film ring being aided and covered up by the government. I have no one I can go to to report what is going on and I am still in danger.”

Obviously she escaped, whoever she was. And obviously there are a number of people living in the Downtown Eastside who know what is going on. There are people who want to classify these atrocities as the work of one demented serial killer, when in fact from the rumours I hear it is the work of a cult committing genocide directed at Aboriginal women and children. For twenty years this has been going on before anything finally happened. Maybe they decided they had to dump Pickton as a fall guy and find another way to continue murdering aboriginal people for entertainment (and this is entertaining to these people).

For my own safety I will now do my disclaimer: I have not seen these documents but I heard this exact story three years before I came across this poster. I have nothing to do with any undercover group of people working to somehow bring this information to light, I could not tell you where or who they are because I simply don’t know. If you need me to prove it I can’t but I might be able to connect you with people who could. I am not invested in destroying the reputations of government officials or the Vancouver police force. I do not want this post to be referred to as irrefutable proof, if you must link to this post refer to it as a plausible conspiracy theory.

Child Sexuality (or: Thirza’s Vagina Shot)

This is something I’ve thought about for a long time, especially when I was making teenage lesbian videos and the fucking Alberta government outed me in high school because I was supposedly making a child porn recruiting video. Whatever. Then I was still thinking about it when I was nineteen only with the additional issue of chasing older lesbians who were running away for fear of the pedophile label attaching itself to them. But mostly I wanted to talk about teenagers wanting to fuck and why the hell is that wrong? Thus came “Untouchable.”

So I went as far as I could for someone with no sexual partner at the time and flashed my pierced vulva for the camera in what has become the one defining image people remember when they think of my work.

Why? It’s just a vag. Honestly, I think compositionally I’ve come up with more lush lyrical imagery. It’s practically at the point where it’s Thirza’s Vagina Shot, like you could write a queer videos of the 90’s essay on it. In fact someone did.

Then I tried to stick the final nail in the “queer youth” coffin with “Helpless Maiden Makes An ‘I’ Statement” where I juxtaposed a break up monologue with Disney Witch footage. On one angle it was a commentary on BDSM relationships, on another it was about sexualized images in children’s entertainment.

I got into shit for my early work, mostly because I was young and talking about the homosex. I was considered an anomaly in the queer community for coming out at fourteen. Shit, now we have queers coming out when they’re nine. The queer community has to do outreach to these folks, even at risk of being called pedophiles. I don’t mean slippery dick outreach, I mean having safehouses for youth who are running away from homophobic homes, and alternative schools for queers (there are some but not enough).

But child sexuality of all types is criminalized in our society, ironically under the guise of protecting children. I will get to why I think that is a fallacy in a moment.

Currently an issue of Blackflash is coming out where yours truly did a small artwork for (it’s a postcard, send it to your friends!) and it was the Sex/Love issue. One of the articles was about Child Sexuality and featured artwork from luminary folks such as Robert Mapplethorpe. Work which could be found in various galleries around the world. I was going to post a link to it here but probably because of child porn laws on the internet no one can publish it online anymore. It was of a little girl where you could see up her skirt. Nothing ultra provocative, nothing more scandalous than any pics most people have of themselves as children (yes, remember all your bathtub pictures you hide from your friends!). In fact, Diva magazine caught up with the little girl now all grown up (and a lesbian btw) who says it’s her favorite photo of herself as a child.

ANYWAY, Blackflash was set to publish when all the publishers got snippy and refused to reprint the images. Everyone was upset, including myself when I heard. I have in fact had the vice squad run off with my videos to inspect them for child porn (yes, police have seen the vag shot image which has defined my career). There was some rabble rousing, but I think in the end everyone felt pretty powerless to put up a fight. I mean, how long did the Eli Langer case drag on?

Child Porn laws always sound like a good idea on paper, but when new parents are being dragged away from the local one hour photo store for taking pictures of the twins having a bath, you start to notice how the lines are blurry.

I knew it was going to happen, but it didn’t make me less sad. A thirteen year old girl had sex with a twelve year old boy, and currently they are trying to decide how to try her since by law she is both a perpetrator and a victim. Her boyfriend is also considered guilty of being a sex crime perpetrator. People would say “Dear lord, she was thirteen! That’s too young these kids nowadays blah blah blah.” Actually, if you get people drunk/stoned and ask them when they lost their virginity, you’d be surprised how many will say a number between seven and thirteen. And not just people in my age group either, I know people much older than me who lost it at a really young age.

I’m not going to debate when the “proper” age to lose one’s virginity is, truth be told I felt a bit long in the tooth when I lost mine. But the fact is kids are doing sexual things and then turning pink and saying “nothing” when you ask them what they’re doing. I mean, under the law this girl’s being prosecuted, a kid can be charged for MASTURBATING! I’m serious. That means I was a criminal for 11 years of my life!!!

“Protecting” children, doesn’t. It criminalizes natural child behaviour. It criminalizes art work. It criminalizes child sexuality at a time when children are just naturally going about their sexual development. It keeps kids from being able to learn about safe and healthy sexuality, or even engaging with communities they belong to, namely the Queer community. Sexual predators hunting children still get around it. They don’t have to go ogle the local exhibition of Mapplethorpe or Langer, they can just hop on Myspace and write up a bogus profile. They can just wander back and forth along a playground. They can just offer to babysit to help out a frazzled single mother.

People always support laws “protecting” children, until they get caught in a loophole.

Now I really must go and have a shower and wash this famous vulva of mine.

(This is me at nineteen in Untouchable, my vulva is lower down, as is the fashion.)