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The Boring Part

March 16, 2011

In terms of this blog, I guess that’s what we’ve come to. This is the part where:

  • I’m writing but won’t tell you what I’m working on.
  • I’m more private and secretly holed up in the country.

First Post of 2011, Part 2

January 7, 2011

Here’s the rest of the list I was working on yesterday.

  1. One of my dearest friends, Dan Kinney, played his first solo show in December. He recorded the performance, but I haven’t received a copy yet. If you follow the link provided above,  you can check out a couple of sample songs from his performance at the Nighlight in Chapel Hill, as well as a few demo tunes. I am excited for, and proud of, him.
  2. Speaking of Dan, this past week he informed me that he’s working with The Future Kings of Nowhere (FKoN) again. Both Shayne Miel and Dan were the driving forces behind the first FKoN album. I am somewhat obsessed FKoN; they are amazing friends and my favorite band of the 21st century so far. Shayne has been battling cancer for the past year, and I was very happy to hear that he’s working on music again. The demo ep released last year was wonderful, in all its pared down glory, and I’m hoping those tunes are laid down in the studio.
  3. New experiences, and the literary inspiration they provide, are my driving force for the next year. Last month, I took a trip to Aspen to visit a new friend. The town was lovely and I enjoyed being there. I had some unbelievably awesome food during the trip. But I learned something about myself that I would not have known without visiting: high altitudes do not agree with me. I was fine the first two days, but the constant driving up and down mountains started to make me queasy by the third day; not fun. If I hadn’t taken the trip, I wouldn’t have known. That, in and of itself, has spurred some interesting new short stories that I wouldn’t be able to write with authority otherwise.
  4. Yes, I am writing more. However, not being in my new house, and staying with others, has made it difficult to get too deep into anything. I’m writing my short stories and a bit of porn. I finally started working on my idea for a novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but it, unfortunately, coincided with my big move. So I haven’t gotten too far into that idea. On the short story front, I trying my best to garner new experiences to breathe life into new characters and ideas. As a result, I have a new-found appreciation for my repeated heartaches and related false starts.
  5. Another dear friend of mine, Dr. Melissa Ditmore, released two books in 2010: Prostitution and Sex Work and Sex Work Matters,  a collection of “pioneering essays on the economics and sociology of sex work.” I bought Sex Work Matters last year, but I haven’t gotten Prostitution and Sex Work yet. I was lucky to see an early copy of Prostitution and Sex Work,”a historic overview of this controversial topic” and I think it’s one of the best books on the subject that I have ever read. Anyone with even the slightest interest in the issue should read, and own, Prostitution and Sex Work.

Thus concludes another list edition. (I have yet to proofread both Part 1 and Part 2; we all know I’m lazy on the blog proofreading front.)

First Post of 2011, Part 1

January 5, 2011

And, of course, it’s a list! (I know this isn’t my first post, but the previous one was really intended for the named individual. This is the first substantive post of 2011.)

I’ve been away for so long it’s hard not to start the year off with a list. Okay, I haven’t actually been “away”, I just haven’t been posting.

I’m still waiting to hear from Ant. I know he was bummed that there wasn’t a 12/17 post, but even more so that I haven’t been posting at all. (For the record, I did my International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers posting on 12/17 via Twitter. Why? Because I’ve been internet lazy while I’m real life busy. Okay, okay. So I haven’t really been “internet lazy”, I’ve just been using my internet energy for financially rewarding pursuits.)

The order is somewhat arbitrary, which means I switched the order a dozen times.

  1. Since I’ m no longer working a standard job confined to an office or a specific building, I’ve realized that I no longer any need to waste time on Facebook. It doesn’t really serve any purpose for me now that all of my time is mine to do with as I wish. But I do spend more time on Twitter now than I ever did before. It’s almost as if the Twitter just replaced the Facebook.  There are all kinds of book people to network with on Twitter, and I can justify that as time well-spent.  You can follow me @jessicaland.
  2. On the Twitter topic: My grandmother is now on Twitter. Over Christmas, a couple of her friends, all her age, mentioned that they had tried to find her on Twitter, and as a joke I sat with her and created an account. She does not actually use the account. But I use it to post funny stuff that comes out of her mouth. You can follow her @bettyswisdom.
  3. This holiday season was the first since my grandfather passed away this past Spring. For that reason, it hasn’t been the easiest Christmas. I’ve been staying with my grandmother and helping out while my house renovations drag on. To deal with this, I have been steadily drinking up all the liquor in the house. I cleared out most of what was already here before Christmas, and then quickly went through what we purchased for Christmas. My current tolerance is almost embarrassing. I’m usually a straight whiskey, bourbon, wine, champagne or beer kind of gal, but anything with an alcohol content has been fair game, including rum, vodka, and gin; none of which are high on my list of preferred alcoholic beverage. In fact, I can’t stand gin, but that hasn’t really mattered.
  4. By far one of the best gifts I got for the holidays this year was a book from, and by, my friend Zack called Thoughts. Written especially for me, it contains many of my favorite jokes from his stand-up routine. It was also printed on a recycled book, and by recycled I mean he took a book of poetry, marked out the cover, then wrote over some of the pages and marked out others. It’s priceless. I keep it in my purse.
  5. I did not make it to the Phish New Year’s shows at MSG. Many of my lovely friends did, and, of course, I heard nothing but positive reviews. Even though I couldn’t be there, I spent some time reflecting on my Phish journey on NYE. My first show was the New Year’s show at MSG in 2002/2003. I had resisted even listening to Phish for many years, starting in high school around 1995. By that time, I was deep into punk rock and Phish was everything I wasn’t. But my amazing college sweetheart formally introduced me to the band over many nights spent in his dorm room. I wasn’t very moved by the music then, until I heard “Wading in the Velvet Sea”, and I was hooked. Because the band was on dreaded hiatus, I didn’t get a chance to see them until that NYE show at MSG, which was also the official return from hiatus. (I had, by that time, seen Trey Anastasio Band nearly a dozen times.) Like magic, they performed “Wading in the Velvet Sea” that first night at MSG.  I felt like it was just for me. I haven’t seen Phish since Summer 2009 at Bonnaroo, where they also performed “Wading in the Velvet Sex” during their late night performance. When they played it, as I stood alone, by choice, in the middle of my big empty dance space, I cried. I cried for all the things I hadn’t let myself cry for in the preceding years, and I said goodbye to those things and the associated feelings. It was one of the most cathartic experiences of my life. I also decided then that if that was my last Phish show, then I was totally ok with it. For that reason, I’m not terribly disappointed that I missed this last four night run at MSG.

I have another five things on my list to write about, but I think I am going to end this post on that last note. I’ll give you Part 2 tomorrow. (I did not proofread this post. I’ll do that tomorrow and edit accordingly.)

Vacillating

October 2, 2010

First off, I love the word vacillate.

After much consideration and debate with myself over the past week, I have reached the conclusion that I am not going to be able to effectively separate all of my projects. Ultimately, I just need to keep the one separate and just say, “fuck it” when it comes to the other. I have to learn to be ok with that. Truth is, I am a little anxious about this aspect of the business. I need to learn to not care what other people think; it doesn’t get me anywhere. But it isn’t an easy thing to do. I am also still pursuing available options to keep things compartmentalized, even though it seems a bit unrealistic.

I’ve been so on-point with some things the past two weeks and such a mess with others. If I wanted to hash it out here, which I don’t, I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

I’m slowly molding into the long-retired writer I once was. It’s rather amusing to me. I keep odd hours. I mumble to myself and stare blankly into space at times, while in public. I am perpetually attached to a notebook. This behavior was much easier to get away with in nyc. It’s not really that unusual in that environment.The only real negative about this is that I’ve picked up smoking again. I started back briefly, after two months of success, when I had the steroid treatment. However, it is now in full swing again, as if it is the natural partner of late nights, long hours, and the creative process. The good thing is that I bought three months worth of smoking cessation products when I was trying to spend down my health care reimbursement account. My goal is to be off the cigarettes by the time I move at the end of the month. I am not proud of this relapse, but I’m not giving up.

I should start the packing process soon. I stopped putting things away a month ago. So, there are piles of stuff all over the place; at least it’s somewhat organized by pile. In my current house, I have a huge attic, and thankfully I saved all of the boxes from my chapel hill to durham move. I’ve actually already packed five or six boxes. Because all of the boxes are in the attic, and it’s somewhat treacherous to try to carry them down the ladder, I have taken to carelessly hurling them down the steps. So far, that’s the best part of the packing process.

I submitted my Phish ticket request this morning. Seeing as the deadline was 11:59am today, I waited until the last-minute, obviously. In my experience, it doesn’t really make a difference how soon or late you submit your lottery request. I only requested tickets for the NYE show and the 1/1/11 show, and I have no intention of paying to see more shows than just those two. Phishy pholk, however, know the firm decision to see a limited number of shows usually falls away when the chance to easily buy a ticket for face presents its self.

Many of my Phunky Bitches avoid the PT “penis party” completely, but when I am trying for tickets or they announce the upcoming tour, I always venture over to Phantasy Tour. Looking at My Phantasy just brings all those old memories and experiences flooding back. After all, I’ve been using PT for years and “going to PT” was the way to track your stats. (Yes, I am well aware that Phish has incorporated some of the set-list functionality into the Phish 2.0 site, but I still thirst for those old memories from time to time.) The Phunkies took over the community aspect for me a long time ago. For that reason, I never visit the PT forums, and that’s the only part of PT that I find distasteful.

Yay for Phish!

Boo for my, seemingly never-ending, fuck-ups!

Another List Edition

September 27, 2010

It has been awhile since I posted a list. So today I present to you a list of random things that have been on my mind recently, in no particular order.

  • Ever since I posted a comment about my friend Larry’s upcoming show in Brooklyn and added that all the cool kids would be there, I haven’t been able to get Screeching Weasel’s “Cool Kids” out of my head:

  • There’s now less than one month before Saw VII, aka Saw 3D, opens. Lion’s Gate has confirmed that Cary Elwes will be back to reprise the role of Dr. Gordon. I marked the one month milestone by indulging in a marathon of I through III, which is always a clear-cut sign that a new Saw is approaching. You can watch the trailer here. (Cary Fucking Elwes! I can’t help but wonder though, is it just going to be a flashback, à la Amanda returning in new scenes in all the Saw films following her death in Saw III? )
  • Last week I picked up my new glasses. I pretty much always wear contacts, so I only get new glasses every five to ten years. I ended up having to spend a large sum of money to max out my health care reimbursement account contributions when I left my job, and I planned to use it, in part, for new glasses. For once, price could not hold me back. I took D. with me to help pick them out, as he’s a good adviser on these matters. Unfortunately, the pair of glasses we both liked the best weren’t even close to the most expensive, which was upsetting because it still left me with a bunch of money in the account. I worked through some of that by having them do every awesome thing possible to the lenses themselves. Anyhow, I have my new glasses. They are totally cute, and very geek chic. I love them, and have considered wearing glasses in public more often.

  • Phish finally announced plans for this year’s new year’s run, beginning with the fact that there will be a new year’s run and confirming the venue to be Madison Square Garden, as largely speculated among Phish fans. MSG was the site of my first Phish show. I am seriously considering making the trip, but I’m hoping that I can score a 12/31 ticket and forgo the other dates. However, for the first time in Phish history, they are playing a show on 1/1, and I’m questioning whether I should just hit that one too, since it’s a first, and it’s on the ones: 1/1/11. I’m praying for lottery, as always but especially this time around. I really can’t take another heart-racing Phish challenge against the masses during public on-sale.
  • I finally figured out why I picked up the old writing project I talked about a few days ago. I watched The Hours last week, which loosely inspired the story. It’s a fantastic film that I highly recommend; a must-see for any Virginia Woolf fan. (The Hours was the original title of Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.)

Edit:

Good Old War performing “Coney Island” on If You Make It‘s Pink Couch Sessions:



Love This

September 25, 2010

“Sex does not thrive on monotony. Without feelings, inventions, moods, [there are] no surprises in bed. Sex must be mixed with tears, laughter, words, promises, scenes, jealousy, envy, all the spices of fear, foreign travel, new faces, novels, stories, dreams, fantasies, music, dancing, opium, wine.” — Anais Nin, from a letter, reprinted in her diary, to the man paying her one dollar a page to write erotic stories

A Daily Dose of Awesome

September 23, 2010

I’ve been rather productive the past couple of days. I’ve done some writing, but much more conceptualizing. Unfortunately, it was for a project I didn’t intend to work on at all. Its something I started last summer/fall that sort of just fell aside with the new year, which was most likely a good thing; I needed to put it away for a bit. For whatever reason, it re-entered my mind and demanded effort. The story is a long one, and fairly advanced. It needs a lot of attention though, and I’m not sure how I feel about using my time and effort on this older project. It has real potential though, I think.

Other than that, I read a book, did some planning on the packing ordeal, and researched a number of things. One of those things, being the reason for this post: Cell Stories. (I linked it, but have no idea what you see when accessing it from a computer. I know I’ve done it, just ages ago. I’m also posting this using the WP Blackberry app, which is not great at many things, including properly formatted quoting, as evidenced by the italicized text below, which is an excerpt from Cell Stories’ About page.)

Why CellStories?
Because we still think the best place for something wonderful to read is in the palm of your hand and, when you combine the amazing technology of modern web-enabled phones and mobile devices with some of the best short-form writing around, something incredible can happen. Like this!

Why can’t I read these stories from my computer?
Because why would you want to read something amazing while sitting at a desk? Instead, grab a beer and sprawl out on the couch, or take your lunchbreak under a shady tree, and then read. Much better, right? We think so too.

Who’s behind this idea?
CellStories was conceived and built by Daniel Sinker, who was the founding editor of Punk Planet magazine in another life. Thankfully, the death of print meant discovering something much more valuable: mobile publishing. But that previous life also meant that he met a great number of authors, publishers, and other Really Interesting People, many of whom were kind enough to supply some of the great pieces you’ve read.

Having all this free time, I leisurely sat down with my phone today, and immersed myself in Dan Sinker’s mobile short-story project. I call it research and it was truly delightful. It only takes 10-15 minutes to read a single story. So you’ve got no excuse not to give it a try, if you have any interest in the project.

Aside: I also spent most of the day fairly hungover. The drinking and the conceptualizing, at least for the story discussed here, go together nicely. My desire to remain horizontal for most of the day certainly aided the book and short-story reading, as well as some less-than productive twittering.

Letter to Change.org's Judith Meskill

September 22, 2010

Below is the full text of a letter to Change.org’s Executive Editor, Judith Meskill, from sex workers, sex worker allies, and harm reduction service providers. You can find this letter posted an ever-growing number of places online.
——————————————————

Dear Ms. Meskill,

We were disheartened to hear about your recent campaign which has targeted Craigslist, and about your contribution to removing one of the safest avenues for consensual sex workers to advertise legitimate, and often legal, services. I am writing you today to stand with sex workers, sex worker allies, and harm reduction advocates who all recognize that the closing of Craigslist’s Adult Services section will only cause additional harm, and will not decrease the rate of child sex trafficking. While we applaud much of the work being done by Change.org, this campaign based on misinformation and inappropriate responses was a sincere disappointment. For the following reasons, we hope you will consider some of your tactics for the future.

All sex workers are not victims of trafficking. The misconception that all sex workers are exploited is one of the greatest fights facing sex workers and sex worker allies, and it is a misconception which has been perpetuated by your campaign. Trafficking is a crime of force, fraud, or coercion for work which is exploitative. Defining all sex workers as survivors of trafficking assumes both that they are working for an exploitive employer, and that they are not making a mindful decision to engage in this work. This assumption is not only factually erroneous, but also demeaning to many of the individuals who engage in sex work.

Efforts such as these will only do further harm to consensual, adult sex workers. Studies around the world have shown that the more sex workers are criminalized and pushed underground, the higher the prevalence of violence and transmission of sexually transmitted infections. Closing Craigslist and Backpages will not decrease the prevalence of prostitution, but will merely push it further underground. This means less time for negotiation of safe sex and physical limitations. The result is not a smaller industry, but an industry of people facing greater physical risk and displacement.

Closing Craigslist, or any other advertising websites for adult services, will not hinder child sextrafficking. Child sex trafficking is not a crime which is dissuaded by a lack of advertising mechanisms. Craigslist was in full compliance with law enforcement, employing numerous techniques to assist in stopping underage trafficking on their site. Further, Craigslist employed attorneys to read each ad posted on Adult Services, minimizing the likelihood that an advertisement exploiting children would be posted. Now, because there is no set section for these ads and no credit card information being collected, law enforcement will have a harder time tracking down perpetrators who are dispersed throughout Craigslist and other internet sites. This decision by Craigslist will ultimately make it that much more difficult to end underage trafficking on the internet.

The models which have internationally been accepted as best practice models for addressing child trafficking center around working with sex workers, not further criminalizing the work. We hope that you will seek out more representative, balanced information as you pursue your work on human trafficking. We have enclosed below several resources which may be able to better inform your work on the subject, and present a more holistic picture of the sex industry. While we applaud much of your work, this recent development has only promoted misinformation which could lead to serious harm for many sex workers.

Thank you for your time,

The Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP-USA)
http://www.swopusa.org/
http://www.swopusa.org/en/contact

Best Practices Policy Project
http://www.bestpracticespolicy.org/
info2005@bestpracticespolicy.org

Different Avenues
1419 V Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202)829-2103
http://www.differentavenues.org/
DA@differentavenues.org

“Even Tho”

September 16, 2010

Joseph Arthur performing “Even Tho” at the Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, 11/27/09

Pretty much sums up how I’ve felt lately: “Even tho I’m here, you know I’m already gone”

Fastest Internet In The Nation

September 14, 2010

It’s hard to believe: Chattanooga claims the fastest internet in the US.

At one-gigabit per second, Chattanooga’s new high-speed internet is 250 times the average internet speed in the nation.

Note that Mayor Ron Littlefield won’t be switching to the service in his home. With a $350 per month price tag, when he’s currently paying $60 per month, who can blame him?

Precious Memories

September 14, 2010

Today, I am taking all the pictures in my office down. I know it seems early, but it is a part of embracing change.

You may be asking yourself, what pictures does she have in her office?

Pictures include: a Lissa Lush print, photos of Gaudi Park, scenic photos from atop Lookout mountain in Chattanooga, photos of Nice (France), and a photo of Zack Kahn, taken on South Beach minutes before sunrise 1/1/04, holding a cigarette while playing his harmonica. The Zack photo is priceless, and, of course, there is a Kahn Artist sticker pinned to it.

So, I’ve taken them all down, which is a little sad. Some of these photos have been in each of my offices over the past 5 years. On the downside, it makes the reality that I’m not going to have an office anytime in the near future more concrete. I will have my office at home, where I always have alternate versions of the same photos, but its not quite the same, since no one is going to walk in, ask me about the photos, and give me a chance to relay the high points of the associated memories.

Embracing change is the theme of the week.

Feeling Normal

September 10, 2010

I’ve been hesitant to talk about this here, but since the other site isn’t fully up and running, I suppose here will have to do.

Around the middle of August, I had to have IV steroids, for 5 days. I lost half of the vision in my right eye due to the optic nerve not recognizing light. It was sort of like someone pulled a curtain down over the top half of my right eye. It was not as bad as it may sound because the good eye compensates for the bad eye.  I couldn’t even tell that anything was off  unless I covered the good eye, relying only on the bad one. For example, I had no problems driving or reading.  I could not, however, pass an eye exam. I saw two ophthalmologists, and one neuro-ophthalmologist, and I had to read eye charts for each one. You know how when you normally get your eyes checked and read the chart, they tell you not to move your head around? Well, my right eye was so bad, all the doctors made me move my head around when I covered the left eye and tried to read the charts, and I still couldn’t see shit. (Since I was in the office at UNC, to see the last two docs, for so long, I got to play with all that stuff you see when you have an eye exam, i.e. the big model of the eye, the different eye charts. I wish I’d taken notes to memorize later, like Cotton on King of the Hill, then I’d never fail an eye exam.)

It was the first time in over five years that I’ve required such treatment. So, I had forgotten exactly how it affects me. In short order, I turn into a big ball of crazy. (Five days of treatment is the magic number at which your body will need to withdraw from steroids. Although this recent episode was far better than times past, partly because they know to give me an ample supply of Klonopin,  that only helps if I take enough to knock me out. Since I know my body will become dependent on the steroids, there is a part of me that just doesn’t want to deal with going through withdrawal from two separate medications. Been there, done that. Even if you taper the benzo, it’s still hell to withdraw.) The crazy can last for two to three weeks, and you think you’re better after a week or so without the steroids, but you’re wrong. You forget less and less but you still don’t act “right” and there are still moments you won’t be able to recall. What I do recall is the intense depression that comes with steroid treatment and steroid withdrawal; it drives the crazy train.

The good news is that by the end of the five-day treatment, my vision problems were gone, but by then the crazy had also kicked in.

I struggle with how to describe what happens. There is an element of depersonalization involved, but it seems more complex than that. Essentially, once the fog clears, I only remember bits and pieces. I can remember sitting at my computer writing emails but have no recollection of what I said or why I said it. It is a very uncomfortable feeling. Fortunately, people who know me well know when the crazy kicks in, and either they let me be and ignore it, or they listen and consistently remind me that it will pass and just write-off anything that I say.

This weekend I actually read through some of the stuff I sent people and it was torture. To be honest, I couldn’t even read it all because it takes me back to a place I don’t need to fully remember. I can’t believe I did those things, and have NO memory of doing them. So I spent the first part of this week writing apology texts and emails, feeling thankful that most people were not bothered by it. It’s not like I can help it, and I’m lucky that they recognize the difference and understand the cause. But you will inevitably lose some people after each attack; it happens every time.

Today, I think I can honestly say I feel normal again. I’m not losing pieces of memory, and I’m not unbearably depressed. Instead, I just feel embarrassed by, and ashamed of, my own actions. You can tell yourself it isn’t your fault every minute of the day, but it doesn’t help in the slightest. Therapy helps, and the right medication helps. It doesn’t make the realizations or the confusion any less painful though.

The one thing that makes the experience better is that I wrote a lot, even if I think it will be a few more months before I can ingest what I wrote and the emotions involved. Since I’m starting this new venture, I have to say that the ability to create, and revisit “that place”, was probably much-needed.

I can only hope that I won’t have to go through this again for at least another five years.

Wasted Research

September 7, 2010

Last week, a dear friend, who I hope I get to work with next year, sent me this excerpt:

Sharing health data: good intentions are not enough

Elizabeth Pisani a & Carla AbouZahr b

a. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC1E 7HT, London, England.
b. Department of Health Statistics and Informatics, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

Research data are desperately underused too, in part because of a critical shortage of competent data managers.5 In other fields – genetics, banking and retailing – data management is a valuable skill. People are trained and develop careers in the field. In public health research, data management is the poor cousin of analysis. Undervalued and underfunded, inadequate data management undermines the rest of the scientific enterprise. One review in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland found that many of the variables collected in epidemiological studies were never cleaned and coded, so they could not be used even by the primary researchers, let alone shared.6 In complex population-based surveys in developing countries, data management and analysis skills are in even shorter supply, so a higher proportion of data probably goes to waste.7

I added the points of emphasis, but I think this is really telling, especially when you think about HIV/AIDS research in “developing countries”.

Wasted data = wasted time = wasted effort = wasted opportunities for more effective policy.

Edit: Here is a link to the full article quoted above.

More awesome excerpts:

“When we’re dealing with public health research, wasted data can translate into shorter, less healthy lives. Improving data management so that data can be shared is a first step to reducing that waste. But it will not be enough. We need to change the incentives that pit the interests of individual researchers against the interests of public health, that pit institutional interests against the more rapid advancement of knowledge and understanding. Governments may hold micro-data back from international organizations, but there’s no excuse for international organizations to limit access to the aggregate data that governments do provide.

It’s easier to understand why individual researchers are reluctant to share data they have collected. That reluctance will certainly remain entrenched as long as their employers – research councils, foundations and universities – regard publication of research papers in peer-reviewed biomedical journals as the main yardstick of success.8 If, however, “publish [papers] or perish” were to be replaced by “publish [data] or perish”, the picture might change rapidly, as it did in genomics.”

Researchers sometimes argue that interpretation of their data is so dependent on understanding local conditions that the data would be worthless to other scientists. This is often a reflection of inadequate documentation, but also a necessary failure of imagination. Sailors keeping log books on whaling boats in the 1600s could not have predicted that, centuries later, the data would be an important source of information for climate change scientists.25 Most funders have stringent peer-review procedures; few invest in research that they believe is of only very localized importance, and few wish to support research that produces data of such poor quality that it has no further value. Publicly-funded data can also be invaluable to students learning data management and analysis skills. It thus seems fair to expect that almost all public health research funded by taxpayers or charities might be useful to secondary analysts. If a piece of research is considered worthy of publication in a peer-reviewed journal, the underlying data should also be worth publishing.”

“Goals for funders and researchers

Here we propose several goals to which funders and researchers can jointly aspire and towards which progress can be measured: (i) all data of potential public health importance funded by taxpayers or foundations will be appropriately documented and archived in formats accessible to the wider scientific community; (ii) all data provided by governments to databases developed by publicly-funded organizations will be freely available to any user, at the level of detail at which it was provided; (iii) the publication of a research article in a biomedical journal will be accompanied by the publication of the data set upon which the analysis is based; (iv) funders and employers of researchers will consider publication of well managed data sets as an important indicator of success in research, and will reward researchers professionally for sharing data; and (v) all planned research will budget and be funded to manage data professionally to a quality adequate for archiving and sharing.”

Obviously, I don’t trust you to follow the link and actually read the paper. 😉

Sex Workers and The World Cup, An Update

September 3, 2010

Sex workers: the biggest losers at the World Cup

While many are still coming down from the excitement of the World Cup, Zodwa Sangweni* is one South African who was disappointed by how the much-hyped event turned out. A sex worker in Johannesburg, Sangweni said despite predictions that sex business would be booming, the World Cup season was actually a bust.

“We didn’t work well, there was no money,” she said. “Maybe for those who work in hotels but for us on the streets, we didn’t get any business.”

Ahead of the global sporting spectacle – which has a reputation for off-the-pitch debauchery – many were speculating that the real winners of the event would be sex workers. An influx of as many as 40,000 sex workers was anticipated, mostly from Zimbabwe, but also from as far away as Russia.

However, just as there were fewer spectators than planned, so too were sex workers.

Laura Agustin on Important Enemies

September 3, 2010

From Laura Agustin’s Border Thinking blog:

Important Enemies: Hating sex-work academics or hating research?

I once thought of adding a section to my cv called Important Enemies, in which two kinds of people could be included. The first make conventional academic critiques based on ideology; here, Sheila Jeffreys would be a good example, peppering as she did The Industrial Vagina with references to my work as a sterling example of what’s wrong with views that don’t jibe with her vision of prostitution. The second would be non-academic attacks that seem to question the right of other people to do research at all. One example here would be Melissa Farley’s characterisation of my work as the postmodern nadir in an essay called ‘Theory versus reality: Commentary on four articles about trafficking for prostitution’, in a journal called Women’s Studies International Forum. The occasion was an edition with several articles critical to violence-against-women rhetoric about trafficking. I hadn’t written any of them and couldn’t help feeling chuffed. The Postmodern Nadir has a certain ring.

Then, a post in response to comments on the one linked and quoted above: From Postmodern Nadir to Feminist Maverick: Sex at the Margins rides again

“Everything I Love, Everything I Hold Dear”

August 26, 2010

One thing that has always been a Jessica Land blog staple is that I talk about music. So, even though I’m trying to focus more on sex work, sexuality, HIV, etc. again, as a return to the older style of this blog, I’ll still be talking randomly about music too.

All that just to say, The Dismemberment Plan are fucking amazing.

Thanks Dan!

RIP $pread

August 24, 2010
tags:

I heard this last night, but I was kind of hoping it wasn’t real. So, I forged ahead with the short story of the moment and drank one too many beers. Or I drank all the beer in the house and then just wished for more to magically appear.

RIP $pread

I am still processing, or mourning, or in disbelief. I just can’t muster much else to say right now. This reaction is rather abnormal; I’m speechless.

Not Just A "Guy Thing"

August 23, 2010

From Harlot’s Parlour:

Women Do Buy Sex

Small Detour

August 19, 2010

I couldn’t resist sharing this!

More Desiree Keynote Speeches

August 13, 2010

From the 2010 Las Vegas conference, embedded on site, links included for those reading elsewhere:

Tim Barnett,  Former New Zealand parliament member Tim Barnett speaks about the process of getting prostitution decriminalized in New Zealand:

Kirk Read, sex worker, author, and performer: