Money and Power

Dispatch from the California Stripper Strike

Dispatch from the California Stripper Strike

The rumblings of revolutions begin small

In all radical labor movements, history is made when ordinary workers disrupt the system that seeks to exploit and silence them. Because of social stigma, wage theft, and sexual assault, the strip club has always been a difficult and dangerous work environment. Today, the stakes have reached a desperate tipping point, even though, technically, thanks to a recent court ruling, we have more legal rights than ever: we have the right to discuss the job while on the job, the right to organize and gather, and the right to unionize, which will give us a voice in the workplace—instead of only a body to be gazed at.

A Family Affair

A Family Affair

Sometimes we don’t know our limits until they have been breached

Sex work has helped me define and enforce so many new boundaries I have set up for myself: physical, sexual, emotional, and mental. I did not have these facilities when I was younger, but as I began working as a Domme, I saw that such boundaries were vital to this industry. Even in the realm of fantasy, so much of what we do feels real to our clients. Oftentimes, it feels real to us too, even when we know that it is happening in a small compartment of fantasy—even if that small compartment is on display to a consenting audience witnessing a full-on shit storm inside of adult diapers.

We Live in a Society

We Live in a Society

Organization is the entire question

Political speech does not find individuals as points on an economic grid, directing them toward the party or politician whose platform matches their abstract preferences. It finds them, instead, embedded in particular lifeworlds. And if class processes form the basis of political action, they still must become manifest through the organization of social life, which in turn becomes meaningful as culture. This goes some way toward explaining how so many people could vote for Trump and his party, even as large majorities endorse progressive policy goals in surveys and ballot initiatives.

The Bioeconomics of Covid-19

The Bioeconomics of Covid-19

How, exactly, do we value a human life?

Both the left and the right perceive the need for data rapidly collected, centralized, analyzed, and deployed in preventing and arresting epidemics. But they diverge on how to do it. The left argues that public health, a fundamental public good, can only be accomplished by a well-funded, attentive state. The private sector cannot and does not—or should not—be interested. If health care were free and universally available, it would generate no profit.

Up-Island

Up-Island

Once upon a pastoral time, whenever that time might be, Martha’s Vineyard was paradise

Martha’s Vineyard has always been a place that gives people their privacy and allows separate, siloed communities to have their own social affairs. “Chilmark midnight” is nine o’clock, at which time things are still going strong down-Island. Only Edgartown and Oak Bluffs allow liquor stores. The summer and year-round crowds are separate, too, more so than in the old days, and so are the ethnic communities, less so than in the old days—there are more cross-cutting ties of old classmates and the like, now—but more than one might imagine.

Craven!

Bros on Instagram, elitism in book publishing

Only when we name our enemy can we confront it. Only when workers regard ourselves as a class can we access the great power that is available to us. The failures of an elitist, capitalist system have been amply demonstrated in these opening years of the 21st century. The time is now to organize ourselves toward something else.

Tips for the Depressed

Tips for the Depressed

The stupidest, most exasperating piece of advice commonly offered to suffering people is also the truest and most comforting

As we all know, unless you can afford a medical concierge and the most expensive insurance and facilities, the for-profit, private-insurance-based health care system in the United States is somewhere between a headache and a nightmare. Inpatient mental health care is no exception. The quality of life is ultimately defined by your insurance company’s concern to avoid liability.

Bring in the Boss

Bring in the Boss

You keep the boss in the back of your mind at all times, don’t you?

In an unwittingly communal effort to highlight the surging popularity of socialism, Warren and Biden and Pete and everyone except Bernie already declared they were not socialists. So how, then, can we be sure that this is a Mike 2020 hat? How does he stand out in a field crowded with centrists and center-leftists? Well, just like with a North Face down jacket—which, incidentally, would also go great with this cap—the branding is on the back. Weirdly, you would only get the message after the hat wearer had passed you by on the street. Is the hat meant to evoke l’esprit de l’escalier?

Cue Profanities

Cue Profanities

Transgressing the permissibility of speech amid Lebanon’s uprising

Embracing acts of profanity within a highly polarizing setup is a slippery task; one made all the more joyful—one might even say pedagogical—when navigating the puzzling terrain requires we dig through its components along the way. For a profanity to find its footing, for it to take on its contagious potential and produce necessary injury, it must be intoned in a space regarded as sacred.