Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Client List

"Capitalist globalization today involves an unprecedented "commodification" of human beings. In the last 30 years, the rapidly growing sex trade has been massively "industrialized" worldwide. This process of industrialization, in both its legal and illegal forms, generate profits amounting to billions of dollars. It has created a market of sexual exchanges in which millions of women and children have been converted into sexual commodities. This sex market has been generated through the massive deployment of prostitution (one of the effects of the presence of military forces engaged in wars and/or territorial occupation in particular in the emerging economies, the unprecedented expansion of the tourist industry, the growth and normalization of pornography, and the internationalization of arranged marriages.

The sex industry, previously considered marginal, has come to occupy a strategic and central position in the development of international capitalism. For this reason it is increasingly taking on the guise of an ordinary sector of the economy. This particular aspect of globalization involves an entire range of issues crucial to understanding the world we live in. These include such processes as economic exploitation, sexual oppression, capital accumulation, international migration, and unequal development and such related conditions as racism and poverty."
- Globalization and the Sex Trade: Trafficking and the Commodification of Women and Children, by Richard Poulin

I love Love, love her!
I've always been a fan of Jennifer Love Hewitt, or at least for the last 32 years or so, which come to think of it is very odd as she's only 31 years old.
Oh yes, she's pretty and all, but who cares about that. Lots of girls are pretty. As a matter of fact I think they secretly strive to be pretty! (a little known fact: the more a woman's face does not look like a man's, the more beautiful she tends to be).
No I've always liked Jennifer because she seems to be such a nice person and all, she's very talented, and I think she was very cute when confronted with a snake on the Tonight Show. Oh yeah, she put up with Jackie Chan in "The Tuxedo" (she would be the one and only reason to watch that particular film). And she has come down to visit us here on Skid Row at times, notably on Thanksgiving, but other times as well (see the short story "Love").
From the beginning of her career on the Disney Channel, throughout all of the films and television shows, she's turned into a very accomplished and talented actress (and she can cry on cue... very difficult) in both comedy and drama.
And she's very cute too (yes, yes, I know, but I can't help it)... for a girl.
It wasn't too long ago as I recall, that she longed to be called something other than "cute," as many child actresses do.
Well I think we can safely say she moved on from the "cute" stage, and on to full fledged femme fatal.
As is demonstrated in the new Lifetime Channel movie, "The Client List," which I had the pleasure of watching Sunday (the 25th). The pleasure was watching her performance. The actual story, which was based on a true 2004 incident, was exceptionally sad really, a cautionary tale dealing with the realities of maintaining an economic certitude in the reality of the Bush era.
Remember when some lady complained to Bush during one of his fake Town Hall Meetings in Omaha, that she had to work three jobs just to make ends meet, and he looked at he and smiled that asshole smile of his, and said, "Uniquely American, isn't it?" What a dick.
"For a quarter of a century, from 1980 to 2004, while U.S. gross domestic product per person rose by almost two-thirds, the wages of the average worker fell after adjusting for inflation. Over the three decades from 1972 to 2001, the wages and salaries of even those Americans at the 90th percentile (those doing better than 90 percent of their fellow citizens) experienced income gains of only 1 percent a year on average. Those at the 99.9th percentile saw their income rise by 181 percent over these years (to an income averaging almost $1.7 million). Those at the 99.99th percentile had income growth of 497 percent." - Monthly Review.
Yes there seems to be a sharp disparity in the in the ability of the average Middle Class wage earner being able to make a living, and the ability of the top earners to hold on to and maintain their wealth. It is not a big surprise that during the period mentioned above (1972 to 2004), the Republicans held the presidency 22 years to the Democrats 12.
Anyway, in "The Client List," Jennifer goes back to her Texas roots (she was born in Waco) to play Samantha Horton, a former beauty pageant winner (Miss Texas), and mother of 3, who comes to some pretty hard times. Her Husband becomes disabled and is unable to find work. She is an unemployed physical therapist, and faced with no income and the mortgage on their home about to foreclose, she seeks employment, is offered a job at a message parlor and discovers it is a front for prostitution. At first she refuses to work there, but when faced with the economic realities she and her family faced, she takes the job, becomes very good at it, gets involved with drugs, and eventually gets busted by the police who are following the bidding of a local prosecutor up for re-election. She and her husband split up after he finds out what was going on. She is offered a reduced sentence if she provides the names of her prominent clients, which she does. She spends a little time in jail, and after awhile the possibility of getting back with her family is presented.
Love, as always, was wonderful in the role. She's got that Texas accent down... I don't know why, and she is a very attractive lady, not so much cute anymore (although she still is cute too... for a girl)
She's gone on television to discuss the role, talked about what her mother thought about her portraying a prostitute, and she spoke of the hard times this country faced in 2004, and faces today, economically, that did not force, but provided the impetus for her character doing what she did.
And today, more and more women are turning to this kind of lifestyle, or are human trafficked and through virtual slavery forced into prostitution. Children too. As this is not just an American problem, it is a global one.
I at one time used to be very familiar with pornography and that business (I no longer use or consume its products, as it seems to be a great big waste of time, among other considerations... besides, Erin wouldn't approve). I've gone to A.A. meetings with female porn stars, and have heard them speak of the industry. I sometimes celebrate the birthdays of some of my favorite ladies who worked in that field during the 1980s, because, well, they actually acted back then, some of them being very talented, and they meant a lot to me at the time.
But that was a different era. True, some of those ladies got into the business due to drugs, some were coerced, many entered to find a few moments of fame, excitement, and fortune.
Today, and one can't help notice this if one owns a computer, the pornography business takes in thousands of new girls annually, and chews them up, uses them mercilessly, and then spits them out as fast as possible to make way for the next pretty face. I think a significant reason why so many of these ladies enter this dubious industry is simply due to the bad economy that free trade, de-regulation, and Wall Street greed has placed upon the country as a whole.
Not only the porn business, but prostitution in general, child porn, sexual slavery, and human trafficking for sexual purposes.
Both Republicans and Democrats are responsible (Clinton signed NAFTA into law), but the majority of causes of the current economic downturn, the stagnation of wages, the destruction of labor, the disparity between the richest of us and the poorest and the amount of resources the wealthiest control, have all came about behind Republican policies (or lack thereof), their world view, and their sociopathology.
Take the former House Majority Leader, Tom Delay for instance. This guy proclaimed he was a Born Again Christian, giving his life over to Christ to help end his alcoholism, and wicked amorous ways. And then this guy championed and advocated in the House of Representatives, sweatshops in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. Territory.
Conservative Senator Frank Murkowski (at the time) "Moved by the sworn testimony of U.S. officials and human-rights advocates that the 91 percent of the workforce who were immigrants -- from China, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh -- were being paid barely half the U.S. minimum hourly wage and were forced to live behind barbed wire in squalid shacks minus plumbing, work 12 hours a day, often seven days a week, without any of the legal protections U.S. workers are guaranteed, Murkowski wrote a bill to extend the protection of U.S. labor and minimum-wage laws to the workers in the U.S. territory of the Northern Marianas.
But one man primarily stopped the U.S. House from even considering that worker-reform bill: then-House Republican Whip Tom DeLay.
DeLay fully approved of the working and living conditions. The Texan's salute to the owners and (Jack) Abramoff's government clients was recorded by ABC-TV News: 'You are a shining light for what is happening to the Republican Party, and you represent everything that is good about what we are trying to do in America and leading the world in the free-market system'" - Mark Shields.
"When asked about reports of forced prostitution and labor abuses, DeLay told the Galveston County Daily News in May 2005: “Sure, when you get this number of people, there are stories of sexual exploitation. But in interviewing these employees one-on-one, there was no evidence of any of that going on. No evidence of sweatshops as portrayed by the national media. It’s a beautiful island with beautiful people who are happy about what’s happening.”
No evidence? DeLay’s support persisted even when a Department of Interior report documented that workers in Saipan’s garment factories were coerced into having unwanted abortions. The damage continues to this day, even though both men have been stripped of their power." - Rebecca Clarren
Tom Delay, the Republican Christian warrior for good, and traditional family ideals.
This is just one flagrant example of the hypocrisy of the Republicans. The pretend to care so much for the word of God and Christian traditions, anti-abortion and anti-pornography, abstinence sex education. However their actions, and the policies they promote facilitate just the opposite in the real world. More abortions and unwanted pregnancies due to abstinence only sex education, economic stagnation due to their lack of regulatory control over the runaway greed obsessed business community, mass poverty and homelessness, an explosion of the sex trade, an economic downturn that has turned global causing the same, or probably more aggravated circumstances just listed above around the world. This is the Republican legacy.
I'm not kidding. This is serious business. The Republicans would have us return to the same old Bush era policies of 2001 -2009, that promulgate global misery. We can not allow that to happen.
I do my part. I vote for Democrats in every election. I attend my case manager's Support Group, Cooking Club, Garden Club, and Yoga Class, so she won't lose her job and become a crack whore. And I try to keep myself well informed, so I am aware of what is going on in the country and the world.
Because I don't want you to take my word for any of the above, dear readers. You need to find out for yourselves and make up your own minds.
Just stay away from the Fox Propaganda Network and Rush, and you'll be okay.

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