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Peter Sellers and the ‘Stark’ truth about his pervy sidekick
05.07.2014
06:25 am

Topics:
Crime
Movies
Sex

Tags:
Peter Sellers
Roger Lewis
Graham Stark

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You may not know the name Graham Stark, but you will certainly recognize this stony-faced comic actor from the dozens of British movies in which he appeared, such as the second Inspector Clouseau film A Shot in the Dark, Alfie, Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines, The Magic Christian, and Revenge of the Pink Panther. Stark also provided voices for The Goon Show, and regularly featured in TV comedies like The Benny Hill Show and Sykes. When he died last year, at the age of 91, Stark was described as an actor who was frequently cast in supporting roles, but never quite achieved stardom:

“Stark moved on the periphery, appearing in nearly 80 films, often as the fall-guy or put-upon sidekick.”

He was also described as “a close friend of Peter Sellers,” his confidante, who had been best man at all four of Sellers’ weddings.

Stark was regarded in the film world as Sellers’ sycophantic sidekick, who would do anything to brown nose his famous friend. The character actor John Le Mesurier once said of their relationship:

“Graham Stark is the only man in London with a flat up Peter Sellers’s arse.”

Some of the strange things Graham Stark did to appease his friend Sellers have been well documented in various biographies, most assiduously by Roger Lewis in his superb The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (the UK edition not the anemic US version). In this massive volume, Lewis detailed how Stark “had fetched and carried for his pal,” and:

had been so devoted to him, indeed, he’d even allowed Sellers to lock him in the boot of his car, on the pretext of getting him to locate the source of an annoying squeak.

An article Lewis wrote, ten years after Sellers’ death in The Daily Telegraph, he joked about their odd relationship, explaining how:

As a reward for his services, Stark used to be given Sellers’s discarded cameras or hi-fi equipment. He had parts in the Pink Panther films. He was best man at various Sellers weddings, and was taken on holiday to Paris and New York. Stark was the one constant element in Sellers’s zig-zag life, and he didn’t object when Sellers dressed him up as Hitler and had him parade along the Hong Kong waterfront, where he ran into a party of Jewish tourists.

 
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Instead of “laughing along with this,” Stark had his lawyers send a letter threatening legal action:

...three days after the article was published, I received a ferocious letter from Carter-Ruck. Well, not a letter exactly. A declaration of war. “It is untrue that Peter Sellers and/or Blake Edwards talked to our client excitedly of a new penis-enlarging ointment and went to enormous trouble organising a mail-order address in Copenhagen, whence a confederate sent our client a tub of rancid garlic butter.”

Carter-Ruck continued: “Due to the gravity of the allegations our client will require a Statement in Open Court and accordingly proceedings for libel will immediately be issued.” The name and address of my solicitors was demanded, who could accept service of a writ. As, only the previous year, Carter-Ruck had checked a manuscript of one of my own books for defamation, and had charged me £2,415 for the privilege, I suggested that they serve the writ on themselves. (Not my exact wording by any means.)

Lewis “couldn’t take any of it seriously – the paranoid overreaction; the disappearance of common sense and smug pomposity of the legal profession; the sanctimony; the Kafkaesque nincompoopery.” The legal process dragged on for several years, even going to the Court of Appeal. But these actions revealed a far more troubling, and horrific side to Graham Stark.

In August 1990, Lewis and the paper’s lawyers received a letter from a Mrs Shirley Cheevers:

Mrs Cheevers said that “Graham Stark had to creep away pretty smartish with his tail between his legs” when her friend’s niece, then a minor, had visited the actor in a television studio, where she’d gone in a group to watch a recording. Stark “picked her up and showed her a good time”. When she went back to boarding school, her widowed mother “was horrified to discover a pile of letters from Stark, giving in great and obscene and graphic detail descriptions of what he was going to do to her next holiday and what he had done to her already.”

Her family took the documents to a firm of solicitors, Tatton, Gaskell & Tatton, who were ready to take Stark fully to task, but “her mother felt she could not cope with it all and drag her daughter into it anymore”. Stark got away with just a warning and an injunction to keep clear of the schoolgirl. Mrs Cheevers concluded: “None of them has ever forgotten this incident. It has coloured their lives in one way and another ever since.” (It says a lot about the Sixties that no one thought to go to the police.)

Richard Sykes decided to investigate. “I do not have any great hopes,” he said, “but it is worth a try.” By October 1990, however, he had located the child’s surviving family in Hove, East Sussex. Her aunt wrote: “I confirm that my niece was made a Ward of Court in 1967 following our discovery of very explicit correspondence from Graham Stark, including one called The Lesson … The whole episode was a dreadful shock and affected all our lives for a very long time. My niece was corrupted both physically and mentally by this awful man.”

Lewis was incredulous that this was the same man who was attempting to punish both himself and the newspaper for presenting him as:

“contemptible, sycophantic and self-debasing parasite who had willingly allowed himself to be humiliated and treated as a stooge by Peter Sellers, in return for the latter’s patronage and largesse”

Which was surprising considering the number of defense witnesses, including Spike Milligan, film producer Roy Boulting, writer Wolf Mankowitz, presenter David Jacobs and scriptwriter Frank Muir, who all agreed that Stark was “a creepy, humourless sleazeball and hanger-on.”

As Lewis goes onto explain, the child’s aunt had discovered an incriminating stash of letters sent by Stark to her niece, which detailed the actor’s obscene desires for the child:

From the set of a film he was making at Shepperton called Salt and Pepper, starring Sammy Davis Jr and Peter Lawford, in which he portrayed a police sergeant, Stark wrote: “You will be taken to the bedroom where you will strip in front of me … You will put on the black nylon stockings and the very high-heeled shoes … Needless to say under no circumstances will panties ever be worn and I will be able to see your adorable——whenever I wish … I shall arrange to have a car bring you down to the studios for the day.”

Other (much more explicit) material pertains to sado-masochistic scenarios involving corsets, instructions for the child to “parade in front of Bobby “without your panties on” – who was Bobby? – and practical arrangements about dates and phone numbers. Then there’s the contract that Stark wished her to sign: “I hereby sincerely swear that from this day forward I intend to give my body willingly to my lover GRAHAM STARK to do with as he pleases … Should at any time he wish other people to be present to look at me I will not protest.” And so on and so forth.

As Lewis points out, it has taken until the recent exposure of the horrific child and sex abuse scandals involving BBC presenter Jimmy Savile, which was only investigated after his death, for the police to take an interest and action over the long list of allegations from the 1960s and 1970s against celebrity sex abusers. So far, these have included another BBC presenter, the convicted Stuart Hall and most recently the PR guru Max Clifford, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for his indecent assaults on women and girls.

As is becoming apparent celebrity abuse of women and children is far more common than ever supposed. It was only after his death that comic actor Arthur Mullard was revealed to have raped his daughter when she was thirteen, and groomed her as his “sex slave.” The past may be a “another country” but there still appears to have been a willfully perverse and utterly unacceptable attitude towards sexual abuse amongst generations of men during the sixties and seventies, and no doubt beyond.

Read Roger Lewis’s full article “The stark truth about Peter Sellers’ sidekick” here.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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‘Sex within 5 seconds of meeting you’: Asian adult film titles caption New Yorker cartoons
05.01.2014
07:27 am

Topics:
Amusing
Sex

Tags:
New Yorker


 
Canadian prankster Morgan El-Kabong and his partner in cultural sabotage Bonnie Brekelmans have created the Tumblr page “New Yorker High Class Soap,” a collection of New Yorker cartoons (plus one “Garfield”) détourned with literal translations of Asian adult film titles, to goddamn hilarious effect.

There is nothing I can add to this except my vigorous applause.
 

 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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The hilariously self-loathing personals ads of the ‘London Review of Books’
04.28.2014
07:43 am

Topics:
Literature
Sex

Tags:
personals ads
London Review of Books

foreveralone
“Forever Alone” by Shannon Elliott

When the London Review of Books’ advertising director David Rose started the personals section in the publication’s classifieds in 1998, the first ad he ran was “Disaffiliated flâneur, jacked-up on Viagra and on the look-out for a contortionist trumpeter.”

With that one sentence fragment, the gauntlet was officially thrown down.

Originally designed to match intelligent people based on their literary interests, readers immediately ganged up on the personals section like Amazon reviewers and twisted it for their own purposes. They were, as Rose told NPR, instead “instantly very, very silly.”

In a GQ interview Rose said:

I thought to myself, ‘This isn’t going to be good. There’s no way they’re going to let me run this. What an idiot I am.’ But I work on the Bowie principal—do something once and it’s a mistake; do it three times and it’s an arrangement.’ We had to let it go for a couple of issues. My attitude was ‘I’m going to print these ads because they’re the only ones I’ve got.’ They’re ridiculous and silly, but it was like, who blinks first? Are the readers going to say, ‘No I didn’t mean for you to print that ad?’ Or am I going to say ‘No, we can’t print this!’ They were consistently like that from there on in. They never altered. Never any change in the pitch or the camber. They were just ridiculous. It was like the advertisers seized on something.

Now people turn to the personals ads first, then read the book reviews. The ads are the exact inverse of the clichéd, bragging, bitter, disturbing (in the case of The Village Voice), or inarticulate American equivalent. Instead of lying about their physical attributes, sparkling personalities, improbable sexual skills, wealth, and accomplishments in an effort to elicit hopeful responses from gullible readers, these people exaggerate their flaws with cutting haiku-like precision. The cynical, dark-humored, quirky, but literate descriptions are tinged with existential despair and CV’s full of failed relationships. They highlight skin diseases, ugliness, mental illness, flatulence, obesity, poor hygiene, personality disorders, revenge fantasies, perverted fetishes, and disappointing sexual skills.

Here’s a good illustration of ingrained false modesty: a young English expat says he has “done rather well” with women from American dating websites, which may well mean that he has bedded every willing woman, from college freshmen to great-grannies, in his entire time zone. In his case the humble phrase “done rather well” is the equivalent of Gene Simmons’ creepy Polaroid collection of his sexual conquests. But if he were to describe himself for a LRB ad, he’d have to make himself sound like a circus freak or monstrous horror movie creature in order to get anyone’s attention.

David Rose has compiled LRB personals into two collections so far: They Call Me Naughty Lola and Sexually, I’m More of a Switzerland. When They Call Me Naughty Lola (named for the delightful ad “They call me Naughty Lola. Run of the mill beardy physicist — male, 46”) was featured on NPR, the self-depreciating seekers were called “the pathetic, the downtrodden and the ever hopeful.” Oh, no. If Douglas Adams, Terry Gilliam, and Nein Quarterly had ever hired themselves out to write personals for others, they would have sounded a lot like these:

If intense, post-fight sex scares you, I’m not the woman for you (amateur big-boned cage wrestler, 62)

I like my women the way I like my kebab. Found by surprise after a drunken night out, and covered in too much tahini. Before long I’ll have discarded you on the pavement of life, but until then you’re the perfect complement to a perfect evening. Man, 32. Rarely produces winning metaphors.

My last seven adverts in this column were influenced by the early catalogue of Krautrock band, Paternoster. This one, however, is based entirely around the work of Gil Scott-Heron. Man, 32. Possibly the last person you want to be stood next to at a house-party you’ve been dragged along to by a friend who wants to get off with the flatmate of the guy whose birthday it is. Hey! Have you ever heard Boards of Canada? They’re amazing; I’ll burn you a CD.

To some, I am a world of temptation. To others, I’m just another cross-dressing pharmacist. Male, 41.

Tall, handsome, well-built, articulate, intelligent, sensitive, yet often grossly inaccurate man, 21. Cynics (and some cheap Brentwood psychiatrists) may say ‘pathological liar’, but I like to use ‘creative with reality’. Join me in my 36-bedroomed mansion on my Gloucestershire estate, set in 400 acres of wild-stag populated woodland.

My therapist has given me such a good rate I can afford to indulge my bouts of infidelity and still deal elegantly with my guilt. Attached but unfaithful London male, 60, seeks female counterpart. I promise an intensity of sexual joy unexpected in the LRB.

This advert is about as close as I come to meaningful interaction with other adults. Woman, 51. Not good at parties but tremendous breasts.

The complete list of my sexual conquests: 1994-1995—Anna; 1996—Julia, Alison; 1997—Italian girl at Karl’s party, Claire (Clare?), Jessica (fingered); 1998—Anna again (big mistake), receptionist at my second temp job (possibly called Helena), Becky (I was in love but she went back to her boyfriend); 1999—Jeremy’s girlfriend; 2000-01—Karolina (deported); 2002—woman at nightclub, woman at nightclub, woman at nightclub, woman at Stewart’s barbecue, Stewart (accidental coming together of groins, the three of us were naked and very, very drunk), woman at nightclub; 2003-2006—Evil Satanic Bitch Whore; 2007—the Internet. [London Review of Books]-reading women to 35—don’t pretend your relationships have been any less incongruous and unsatisfying. Write to probably the most normal guy you’ll ever see in a lonely heart advert and maybe we’ll end up friends or lovers or despising each other and wincing every time we remember our awful one-night stand or maybe we’ll get married and have children. Writing’s a good start though. Man, 31.

Shy, ugly man, fond of extended periods of self-pity, middle aged, flatulent and overweight, seeks the impossible.

Save it. Anything you’ve got to say can be said to my lawyer. But if you’re not my ex-wife, why not write to box no. 5377? I enjoy vodka, canasta, evenings in, and cold, cold revenge.

I’m no Victoria’s Secret model. Man, 62.

Sinister-looking man with a face that only a mother would love: think of an ageing Portillo with a beard and you have my better-looking twin. Sweetie at heart, though. Nice conversation, great for dimly-lit romantic meals. Better in those Welsh villages where the electricity supply can’t be guaranteed. Charitable women to 50 appreciated.

Newly divorced man, 38, Would like to meet woman to 40 whose heroes don’t include Leslie Cole, Bill ‘Dink’ Hewit, Roger Martinez, Peter Jaconelli, Dave Man or William Corfield. Northumbria.

I vacillate wildly between a number of archetypes including, but not limited to, Muriel Spark witticism-trading doyenne, Mariella Frostrup charismatic socialite, brooding, intense Marianne Faithfull visionary, and kleptomaniac Germaine Greer amateur upholsterer and ladies’ league darts champion. Woman, 43. Everything I just said was a lie. Apart from the bit about darts. And kleptomania. Great tits though.

You’re a brunette, 6’, long legs, 25-30, intelligent, articulate and drop-dead gorgeous. I, on the other hand, am 4’10”, have the looks of Herve Villechaize and carry an odour of wheat. No returns and no refunds at box no. 3321.

If you think I’m going to love you—you’re right. Clingy, over-emotional and socially draining woman, 36. Once you’ve got me, you can never ever leave me. Not ever. Prone to maniacal bursts of crying, usually followed by excitable and uncontrollable laughter. Life is a roller coaster; you’ve just got to ride it, as Ronan Keating once said. Buxton.

Just as chugging on a bottle of White Lightning on a park bench will make you nauseous and diminish the respect of your peers, yet taking just a glass of cold cider on a barmy summer evening will quench your thirst and take you back to heady days frolicking in West Country apple orchards, so it is with this ad. Man, 37. Refreshing in small sips where the delicate nuances of Somerset burst through full and flavoursome, but anything bigger and you’ll end up puking over your own shoes and smelling of wee.

Your stars for today: A pretty Cancerian, 35, will cook you a lovely meal, caress your hair softly, then squeeze every damn penny from your adulterous bank account before slashing the tyres of your Beamer. Let that serve as a warning. Now then, risotto?

List your ten favourite albums…I just want to know if there’s anything worth keeping when we finally break up. Practical, forward thinking man, 35.

I’ve got a mouth on me that can peel paint off walls, but I can always apologize.

My favourite Ben & Jerry’s is Acid-Boiled Bones of Divorce Lawyer.

Woman, 38. WLTM man to 45 who doesn’t name his genitals after German chancellors. You know who you are and, no, I don’t want to meet either Bismarck, Bethmann Hollweg, or Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, however admirable the independence he gave to secretaries of state may have been.

Most partners cite the importance of having a loved one who will listen and understand them. I’m here to rubbish this theory. F, 38.

Salon‘s Kate Harding met her husband through this ad:

I smoke, I drink, I talk waaaay too much and think even more than that, I swear like a longshoreman, I’m usually covered in dog hair, I do not order salad as a full meal, I always want to Talk About It, I might be funnier than you, I want to be taken care of but hate feeling weak, I’m completely disorganized, I will keep cuddling until you pry me off you (and so will my dogs), I say “awesome” a lot, I don’t lie even if it’s easier, I tell my girlfriends everything, I expect to come, and I’ve been told repeatedly that I scare the crap out of men. If that sounds like your kind of girl, awesome.

When it was announced that the section would be discontinued in 2010, there was an immediate outcry.  Luckily it is still intact, although the self-esteem of some of their users may not always be.

Haikus of the Heart, an interview with David Rose, below:

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Discussion
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Dear Boy: Advice column for ‘Sassy’ teenagers from Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis
04.23.2014
07:06 am

Topics:
Amusing
Media
Music
Sex

Tags:
J Mascis
Sassy


 
The Gen-Xers among you will surely remember Sassy, that transcendent turn-of-the-‘90s magazine for teenaged girls. It was noteworthy for being uncommonly smart, accessible well outside its target audience, and in its music coverage, every bit as friendly to under-the-radar bands as Spin was at the time. Their regular “Cute Band Alert” feature once highlighted the ferociously uncute Poison Idea, and they infamously declared Nation of Ulysses’ singer Ian Svenonius the winner in their 1990 search for the “Sassiest Boy in America.” Males of any age were “boys” to Sassy, and there was certainly no exception for their “Dear Boy” column, in which established and emerging alternarock luminaries would impart to curious young women the life lessons only years in the van could teach.

The column featured such “boys” as Iggy Pop, Mike D, Beck, and the gentleman who concerns us today, Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis.
 

 
Via Girls of a Certain Age:

What’s with boys and commitment?
—Margie

This is the first answer J gave us: Boys — yes it’s true — are reluctant to commit. But what would happen if the guy let the girl know he was psyched for this heavy commitment? She would get bored and blow him off. If he had “let’s settle down” all over his face, he’d never get lucky. Face it girls, it’s guys who want the commitment, but they know you’d break their hearts if they gave you half a chance.

This is the revised answer J gave us two weeks later: Face it, guys are psycho. You can’t pin them down. They’ll change their minds from minute to minute. You may think that boys tend to avoid commitment like the plague, which is true, unless of course you girls aren’t into it. You gotta keep him guessing.

I hear celebrities hate when people spaz out over them. Is this true? What should you do when you see or meet them?
—A Speechless Fan

Try to talk to them about ordinary things as if they’re normal. Don’t ask them any questions about their profession.

Shopping for a guy — that’s worse than taking the pop quiz your calculus teacher throws you on Monday morning! Do you have any ideas on gifts for members of the male species?
—TP

Blank tapes are always good, because you’ll buy the wrong bands if you try store-bought tapes or CDs. Clothes are negative. Flashlights are always fun. Candles, fireworks — anything with a pyro angle. Stuffed animals are usually OK if they’re not too sappy.

I am 16 years old and I have a 19 year old boyfriend who’s in jail. I don’t know how to deal with him being there. Do you have any suggestions?
—Imprisoned by Love

It depends on what he’s in for, and if you feel like sticking by him. Just don’t get too obsessed and freaked out about it. If he stays cool, keep an open mind and don’t let prison ruin your life too.

Do boys like it when girls ask them out?
—Aggressive

In general, if you’re not a total spaz about it, guys are completely psyched if you ask them out. We’re a lazy breed, so the more you ladies do, the happier we are. The vaguer you are, the easier it is to get out of it if he completely blows you off. Just stand near him and smile a lot. Try to talk to him if you can, but don’t overdo it. Casual is key.

I am a 16 year old girl and I’ve had sex before. I’m not sure if I like it or ever want to have it again. I’m very interested in guys, but when sex is brought up, I feel sick and turned off. The problem is, my friends all say how great sex is and how much they love it. Am I totally weird?
—Scared and Confused

I don’t think girls start digging it for a while, but you’ll probably turn around. Just don’t worry about it; you’re definitely not weird. Don’t do anything you don’t wanna do. Don’t feel weird if your friends talk about it. You don’t have to compete.

Do boys like big butts?
—Kim France

I am baffled by this question. Butts are so awesome that obviously the bigger, the better. Any guy who’s not a weirdo will take as much butt as he can get. I don’t know if you’re worried that yours is too big or too small, but it can’t be too big. Whatever it is, just get into it.

I asked this guy to the Snow Ball about a month ago. We were just supposed to go as friends, and it was going to be really cool. Anyways, he calls me up about three weeks before and asks me if it’s all right to take his girlfriend with us. I have my dress and shoes already. What should I tell him?
—Dissed

I would be enraged. I think you gotta throw a total fit and make sure he and anyone who knows him hears about what a complete jerk he is. Try to go with someone else, if you can stomach it, just to torture him and make sure he has a miserable time. Guys will try any scam. It’s up to you not to let him get away with it. He’s testing the boundaries of sanity and good taste. Make him pay. You can’t blame the guy for trying but I think you gotta make him pay.

I like this boy. I hope he likes me, ’cause he teases me a lot. How do you know when a boy likes you? Also, how do you get a boy to like you?
—Confused

You can tell if a boy likes you if he looks terrified whenever you’re around. He points his head at the ground, shakes and stutters, if he can get the nerve up to talk to you at all. You’ll see him around a lot and wonder how he got there. You’ll see him stare at you and dart his head away when you catch him. Either that or he’ll do all he can to completely avoid you. Try to talk to him calmly whenever possible, and smile and flutter your eyes. Basically, guys like girls who like them. It’s pretty simple. So make him think you dig him and he’s yours.

 

 
In the years since he dropped all that wisdom on the youth, Mascis has dissolved and reconvened Dionsaur Jr, performed with the Fog and Witch, and most recently, released The Golden Age of Glitter with Sweet Apple, his band with his Witch bandmate Dave Sweetapple, and Tim Parnin and John Petkovic of Cobra Verde, with whom Mascis has served as touring guitarist. The album’s been getting favorable attention from some unlikely places, and the video for the lead-off single, “Wish You Could Stay (A Little Longer)” featuring guest vocals by Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan, was released last month. Another video, for “Boys in Her Fan Club,” shot at the Rose Bowl, made its debut shortly after.
 

 

 
Cute Librarian Alert—many thanks to Beth Piwkowski for this sassy find!

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Bunny in a g-string promotes ‘bestiality’ animal campaigners claim
04.22.2014
07:39 am

Topics:
Advertising
Animals
Sex

Tags:
rabbits

11gynnub.jpg
 
An advertisement for a Swiss shopping mall has been condemned by an animal rights’ group for promoting bestiality. The Easter poster campaign for the St. Jakob Park shopping mall has a red g-string superimposed on a rabbit. Critics claim the poster sexualizes the animal, which links to bestiality and animal abuse.

Daniel Bader from the Swiss animal protection group told Tages Anzeiger:

“From our point of view, the respect of the rabbit has been badly damaged.

“This is a clear sexualisation of an animal. As far as I’m concerned, it heads in the direction of bestiality and it stinks of promoting animal sex and the sexual abuse of animals.”

I wonder what Herr Bader would make of Brian Griffin, Disneyland, Jessica Rabbit, or those annoying dogs that always hump your leg? Clearly, Fritz the Cat would give him a heart attack,

The manager of the shopping mall told Central European News that the images of attractive women “in bunny ears and fluffy tails were clichéd,” and he wanted to create something more humorous with a real rabbit.

However, according to The Independent, Swiss PR guru Klaus J. Stoehlker said the image was far more damaging to the lingerie company.

“If I was the boss of that Italian lingerie company I would take action over this advertising,” he said.

“I mean, who wants to see their sexy underwear stuck on such a fat rabbit backside?”

No comment…
 
Via The Independent

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Spider-Man Planned Parenthood special issue, 1976
04.21.2014
07:31 am

Topics:
Sex

Tags:
Planned Parenthood
Spider-man

111spideyplan.jpg
 
In 1976, Stan Lee presented a special Planned Parenthood edition of The Amazing Spider-Man, in which our friendly neighborhood webslinger battled the Prodigy, an evil alien from the planet Intellectia. With the aid of his “destructive propaganda” the Prodigy planned to brainwash teens and twentysomethings into having babies “left and right,” so he can harvest their offspring as child slave labor for his distant home planet! ‘Nuff said?

This twenty-page special explained how to avoid the Prodigy’s “pernicious pap” and offered information on where to find good and useful advice on love, sex, sexuality, dating, pregnancy, contraception, abortion, VD and even masturbation.

Something new old for the reichwingers to get up in arms about…
 
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444spideyplan.jpg

Read the rest of The Amazing Spider-man vs. The Prodigy, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Iceland has a penis museum, no biggie


 
The gift of a bull pizzle to Sigurdur Hjartarson in 1974 was the seminal event of a multi-generational Icelandic wang dynasty. Hjartarson’s cock collection grew impressively in size, climaxing with the 1997 consummation of the Icelandic Phallological Museum. Curation was taken over by the fruit of his loins, his son Hjörtur Gísli Sigurðsson, in 2011, the same year the museum moved from the northern fishing town of Húsavík to the capital Reykjavík, and made news for the acquisition of its first human specimen. Coincidence?
 

 

The Icelandic Phallological Museum contains a collection of more than two hundred and fifteen penises and penile parts belonging to almost all the land and sea mammals that can be found in Iceland. Visitors to the museum will encounter fifty six specimens belonging to seventeen different kinds of whale, one specimen taken from a rogue polar bear, thirty-six specimens belonging to seven different kinds of seal and walrus, and one hundred and fifteen specimens originating from twenty different kinds of land mammal: all in all, a total of two hundred and nine specimens belonging to forty six different kinds of mammal, including specimens from Homo Sapiens. It should be noted that the museum has also been fortunate enough to receive legally-certified gift tokens for four specimens belonging to Homo Sapiens. Besides there are some twenty-three folklore specimens and forty foreign ones. Altogether the collection contains more than 280 specimens from 93 different species of animals.

280 specimens may seem on the smallish side, but size of course doesn’t count for everything, right? Most of the collection comes from outside donors, the museum’s Honorary Members. But just like many an actual pork sword, the Icelandic Phallological Museum is a source of some confusion and frustration. The museum’s own about page says that this upstanding pillar of its community was founded in Húsavík and moved to Reykjavík, but several news articles say the opposite. Other articles (and the museum’s own web site) herald the 2011 endowment of a human specimen, while a forthcoming documentary film follows the preposterous race to become the first human donor. But coaxing out a load of hard facts isn’t my job here today. I’m really just here to show you gratuitous pictures of penises.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it ironic or appropriate that I was turned on to this by someone named “Pickles?” Just the tip of the hat to you, Marlee, and if you go, I want something from the gift shop.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Camille Paglia’s advice to the lovelorn
04.02.2014
06:46 am

Topics:
Amusing
Feminism
Media
Sex

Tags:
Camille Paglia
Spy


 
In the late 1980s, Spy magazine pioneered a dark, snarky take on political and celebrity reporting that in many ways paved the way—for better and worse—for that strain of disdainful irony that grew deep roots into American culture in the early to mid ‘90s. Rather than lionize tycoons, socialites and celebrities, Spy mercilessly and unrelentingly assailed them for their smugness, stupidity, and venality—their writers often played audacious pranks on political officeholders, Hollywood moguls and powerful people in media for the sole purpose of embarrassing such figures with their own greed and arrogance. They regularly ran the amazing cartoon work of Drew Friedman, and the concept behind their famed “Separated At Birth” feature still lives today online as TotallyLooksLike.

At its best, Spy was absolutely GLORIOUS.

In 1993, the magazine gave an advice-for-the-lovelorn column to Camille Paglia (born April 2, 1947, so happy birthday, ma’am), the controversial, oft-dissenting, sometimes narcissitic feminist academic author of Sexual Personae and Sex, Art, and American Culture. Paglia espouses an unabashed love of trash culture, and is the well known feminist most likely to be rebuked as not-even-a-feminist by other well known feminists (like every time she says something jaw-droppingly rapey). So giving a love and sex advice column to a contrarian bigmouth like her at the height of the P.C. era was, pardon the expression, kind of a huge balls move.
 

 

Dear Camille:I’ve been severely disappointed by my lady friends, who come across as intelligent women with common sense but end up making bad choices when it comes to men. Jolted Joe from Brooklyn

Dear Joe: You are puzzled by the irrational perversity of sexual attraction. Dionysus is a maelstrom. Love will never be tidy or safe. Jump in the boat and row for your life.

Dear Camille:I’ve been with a woman for ten years. Should I propose marriage? My concerns are (1) her loathsome, self-pitying complaints and (2) my suspicion that I could not remain faithful. Despondent in Oregon

Dear Despondent: The crystal ball shows a tacky picture of a nag and a philanderer hurling crockery around the kitchen. Misery has enough company already. In fact, they’re parking on my lawn.

Dear Camille: I’m a 60-year-old man who has been married five times. I’m currently courting a 53-year-old Catholic missionary nun. How do I ask her to give up her vows and marry me? Amorous in Sarasota

Dear Amorous: Hot dang! Violate them taboos, baby! You’re Perseus rescuing Andromeda from the toils of that old devil Church. You may need a can opener, but it’s worth a tumble.

Dear Camille: I know that consumerism is the modern pagan religion and that the media is the altar upon which we offer up flesh sacrifices. I do enjoy watching the succession of heroes and heroines devoured by television. But I have lingering feelings of guilt, as if I am worshipping Satan. Yes, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night shouting “Consumerism is the Beast 666!” How can I loosen up, become more modern and enjoy life? Anguished in Oregon

Dear Anguished: I prescribe a daily dose of my favorite soap, The Young and the Restless. What metaphysical anxiety could survive the soothing presence of plucky Nikki, trampy Jill and teen queen Christine? Television is our Circe, and she’s a date rapist. Just lay back, relax, and spread your sense organs.

Dear Camille: I supplement my unemployment checks by selling phone-sex scripts. I’d rather sell short stories, but nobody’s buying. I seem to have a knack for cranking the stuff out. But I don’t know whether to think of myself as a cheap media whore or a valuable public servant. Nothing gobs up the creative flow more than the image of a fat, lonely, middle-aged insurance salesman lying on his bed and pulling on his weenie while he listens to my words coming over the line. He and millions of other schmucks may need the help of a prosthetic imagination. Perhaps I am helping to release potentially dangerous sexual energy in a quick, tidy gush at the end of the day. Pondering in Portland

Dear Pondering: Though it might seem like a drainage ditch, you too labor in the vineyards of art. Apollo and Aphrodite bless all makers of erotic images.

There’s a ton more like this. The column ran for much of 1993, and since ALL the issues of Spy are now archived on Google Books, you can peruse them at your leisure. Also, many of the letters and responses were published in Paglia’s book Vamps & Tramps. She also did an advice column in Salon for a short spell, but quickly transitioned to a standard essay/opinion format.

Here’s a great thing that’s nowhere near widely-enough known: in 1995, Paglia was the lone guest on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher for two consecutive episodes of rapid-fire repartee. It’s pretty amazing. There was, somewhat bafflingly, a VHS release of the episodes, but you can watch it right here.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Me So Thrifty: Econ lecture gets boffo play on adult video site
03.26.2014
06:45 am

Topics:
Sex
Unorthodox

Tags:
Economics

Timothy Taylor
 
You see, there’s this website, Xmovies, dedicated to adults-only videos, and its users have generally been baffled by the appearance of a video called “Division of Labor (Hardcore Economics),” which is the second part of a longer series called, simply, “Economics, 3rd Edition”; it’s part of “The Great Courses” series published by The Teaching Company. In the video, which lasts 31 minutes, Professor Timothy Taylor, managing editor of The Journal of Economic Perspectives, based at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, does an excellent job of breaking down the ideas of William Petty, Bernard de Mandeville, David Hume, Adam Smith, and others. Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Heilbroner are mentioned. It’s pretty dry, compared to the other videos on that site.

At no point does Taylor take off his pants, and the users of the site are, to say the least, bemused. The comments are pretty great. Here’s a (pretty hilarious) sample:
 

“The Teaching Company might not have the production values of Digital Playground or Vivid, and they might not have the chicks either, but whatever, I came twice watching this.”

“When does the porn start, I’m near the end and no action yet? :(”

“wut a nauty slut… i want to watch his marginal revenue product equilibriate, if u kno wut i mean”

“I will tell you I made a sincere effort to actually jack off to this. I stared longingly at his cute boar-ish smile, fantasized about him stuffing his big luscious gob with serving upon serving of poundcake. Do you think he tweaks his nipples after these lectures? I do. I want to. It took me 40 minutes and an extra rundown on the division of labor, but eventually I increased my firm’s production all over the place.”

 
The Kernel managed to get a comment from Prof. Taylor, which ran, “Didn’t know, and so no useful comments. But in some sense, I’m not much surprised. After all, the web is a big place, porn is a substantial chunk of it, and digital content is fairly easy to move.”

Typical economist, he kind of missed the forest for the trees, there.

My theory is that someone, possibly a bot, uploaded the video because it had that particular 8-letter “H-word” in the title, and that this is essentially a misunderstanding, not a prank.

We’re not going to link to the video, but you can find “Division of Labor (Hardcore Economics)”—if that’s what you’re into, freaky—on Xmovies. Don’t worry, it’s totally “safe for work.”

via The Kernel

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Will pole dancing robots put human strippers out of work?
03.20.2014
09:49 am

Topics:
Science/Tech
Sex

Tags:
robots

Poledancing robot
 
So many questions. The world’s largest computer expo took place in Hanover, Germany, last week. It’s called CeBIT (Centrum für Büroautomation, Informationstechnologie und Telekommunikation), and David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany were both in attendance. Tobit Software hauled out a few robots who proceeded to do a, er, “sexy” pole dance for a large audience including the two heads of state.
 
dancing stripper robot
 
We wring our hands and stroke our beards thoughtfully at the specter of widespread mechanization and robotization acting as a powerful drag on employment figures, as increasingly, blue-collar jobs are being taken over by robots, and corporations are only too eager to accelerate that process along. But I don’t think anyone had supposed that strippers were among the threatened population.

As always, it’s a little unfair to judge an incipient technology by its first exposure to the public. But it’s not easy to imagine what the target audience for this product is.

Each gyrating bucket of bolts runs $39,500, for those who can afford a really weird private fantasy come true.

It is not known whether Frau Merkel made any disappointed comments about the “Unheimliches Tal” (Uncanny Valley).
 

 
via So Bad So Good

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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