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Mendocino County Today: June 11, 2012

(AVA, SEPTEMBER 3, 1996, almost 17 years ago) — Blindly self-important reps of eight local enviro presences from Earth First! to the Sierra Club, maneuvered by the Clintonites among them and their own overweening vanity, last year turned over negotiations for Headwaters to Dianne Feinstein and John Garamendi, leaving the tree huggers hugging thin air and out of the negotiations completely. DiFi and Garamendi of course worked out a deal for a fraction of Headwaters at maximum public money — an agreement so disproportionately in Hurwitz’s favor that even his usual allies in Congress have balked at forking over for 9,000 acres of old growth redwoods. Realizing they’d been screwed, but never apologizing for or even explaining their huge tactical errors, Earth First! (maybe five people led around by the nose by the late Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney, PR by the Mendocino Environment Center and KZYX), EPIC et al segued on into last summer’s boogie and arrest-fest at Carlotta, a sedate affair complete with march and rally monitors with instructions not to do or say anything that would upset Pacific Lumber, disrupt traffic or discombobulate the police. A couple of famous singers showed up to get their PC tickets punched and nothing critical of the Clinton Administration or its toadies was said from the platform, not that many people could hear what was being said and sung because the idealist who rented his sound gear to the rally for $400 couldn’t get it to work. The rally itself had been shoved onto the margins of Highway 36 because PL wouldn’t allow the 8,000 people who showed up the use of a nearby field, as if 400 cops could have prevented 8,000 people from simply and peacefully occupying whatever rally site they chose, including highway 36 itself. Prior to all the capitulations, big and small, former Congressman Dan Hamburg was tossed off the enviro team for saying in public that Headwaters wouldn’t be preserved if negotiations for it were turned over to the Clintonoids. Hamburg was right but all the so-called radicals badmouthed him for a couple of weeks behind his back and out of public view, which is the way forest fascists han­dle all dissent aimed their way. So here we are for Boogie Three with no leadership anyone can respect or even trust (where the hell is Cecilia Lanman?) and people calling themselves things like Tofu standing between Hurwitz and the trees.

A DUDE who worked in a casino in Vegas told me about this hippie. The hippie came in out of the desert night, crept into the casino all scraggly in his huarache sandals and tie-dyed shirt and Hindu balloon pants, and went straight to the roulette table and reached into his little pouch tied to his belt and came up with one US quarter. He laid the quarter on black. The little ball came down on 22 black. He let it ride, doubled again, switched to red, doubled his dollar, took two dollars to the blackjack table and won ten in a row, doubling every time. Ten in a row. True story. $2048 in winnings. He pulled his chips and headed for the craps and started betting with the shooter, doubling whatever the shooter bet. Inside of two hours the house was clocking his action and he'd been comped with free meals. He was drunk on free booze, and still at the craps, with a crowd around him, betting a couple hundred a throw. By three a.m. he’ds stacked up over six grand off an initial investment of 25¢. Suddenly, in four or five big bets, all gone — he busted out. He stood there thinking a minute. Folks around were him watching. He stood there. Everybody was shouting, “One more quarter! One more quarter!” The old hippie shook his head and staggered back out into the desert after one hell of a night in a Vegas casino, a night they're still talking about. Total cost was 25¢. A night he'll never forget.

GREAT MOMENTS IN PUBLIC RADIO

KZYX, June 5, 2012. “Mind, Body, Health, Politics.”

Host: Dr. Richard Miller, PhD.

Guest: Tristan Taormino, author of “The Ultimate Guide To Kink,” (and several other sex books), and a pornography producer for Vivid Studios.

Miller: This brings us to another topic about kink and role playing, which is being spanked. Talk to us about spanking. What is exciting about spanking? What kind of people do spanking? And who does spanking?

Tristan Taormino's Show & Tell

Taormino: Spanking. It's funny because I think people associate spanking often with childhood or with punishment. But for a lot of people spanking can be quite intimate and sweet and gentle. The other thing that people have to realize and they often misunderstand about kinky sex is that they associate it with pain. Of course we associate pain with discomfort. So who wants to be uncomfortable? Or experience pain during sex? The truth is, once we are turned on, we are aroused, our pain tolerance first of all shifts because we have all these natural happy chemicals being released into our bloodstream and so what looks like pain from an outsider’s perspective actually feels quite good. It's actually just a very intense sensation that doesn't feel the same as if you ran into a wall accidentally, or if you were, like, walking into a building. That hurts because you weren't expecting it and because it was a totally different context. But when you are experiencing arousal actually some of these sensations that we normally think of as painful become quite pleasurable for people. Of course, everyone is wired differently and has a different level of pain tolerance and can experience these sensations differently. For some it's just about the physical sensation. They like being struck. They liked the feeling of a sudden strike against them. For others, spanking might be part of the role-play. The role-play might be that you are a naughty schoolgirl being spanked with a ruler by a nun who is punishing you for speaking up in class. So the spanking may be a way to explore a kind of dynamic or role-play where spanking symbolizes someone's power over you or your misbehavior that you are actually being punished for.

Miller: If I understand what you're saying, the exact same amount of static force with the exact same paddle and feel very different if the principle does to you it for being bad in school or if your love partner does it to you in bed because it's prearranged.

Taormino: Exactly. It's two very very different contexts. Presumably you are not super turned on and excited at school. (Laughs.) But in this context of being with your partner you are and again the endorphins are pumping into your bloodstream and you have all these natural opiates that are being released. So what was once painful in a different situation becomes quite pleasurable for people.

Miller: I suppose there is a certain amount of excitation that comes from the blood flow being sent to the particular area that is being spanked. There is a physiological difference?

Taormino: If you are spanking the butt and yes there is a lot more blood flow rushing to the genitals and again helping that sexual arousal process along.

Miller: So dominance and submission are one of the big role-play, one of the big aspects of kink? And then with it, with the, with there, is there spanking? What are some of the other kinky practices you can tell us about?

* * *

Taormino: You can use scarves, you can use the tie to your robe at home. You don't have to get, you know, a million dollars worth of equipment to tie someone up.

Miller: A rusty chain from your garage.

Taormino: No no. No rusty chains.

Miller: No rusty chains.

Taormino: They are uncomfortable.

* * *

Taormino: There is a very well-known story about when you find out that who goes to sleep with sexual dominatrixes are the leaders of the Fortune 500 companies. These businessmen who make, you know, $500-billion decisions by day and manage hundreds or thousands of workers underneath them want to go and experience what it feels like to be someone else's sex slave — to be at the mercy of someone else who is in charge calling the shots telling them what to do and they have no choice. That's a very typical scenario where all day you are making decisions and you want to spend these couple hours having someone else make the decisions for you.

Miller: Most of what you write is all about pornography and erotica and sex. What about your folks? Do you have a mommy or a daddy? Or you did? How do you talk to them about this material? And if so, tell me something about your conversations.

Taormino: My father passed away unfortunately. My mom is still alive. My mom has known what I do and about my career since the beginning. All of my relatives know. I use my real name. … I didn't grow up on a hippie commune or anything.

Miller: Were you abused or a drug addict as a child?

Taormino: I was not. No. ¥¥

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