Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Questions

A blog is great for a resource. Here is a question:

Do you know a good and user-friendly alternative to Paypal?

It's because Paypal cancelled my account for having been used for selling "adult content". Here is an early story illustrating well what pisses me off about the way these things tend to happen with big companies: Burned by Beauty.
(This one is eight years old! I am pleased that not only does it still fit with the design template, it is also pretty well written, if I do say so myself. :)
The host was tabnet, but it has since been swallowed up many times by bigger sharks.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, August 29, 2006   53 comments links to this post

53 Comments:

At 29 Aug 2006, 13:59:00, Blogger danzlake said...

Eolake,

I read of you Paypal experience, and I must confess that I think it is a case of not applying the rules equalling across all their clients. Paypal is not a right, it is a service, and as such they have the right to apply service by whatever rules they see fit. They should apply those rules consistently. I have the same argument about banks. As my father always said, "Everyone is equal, but some people are more equal than others."

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 14:25:00, Anonymous Alex said...

In defense of PayPal, this is far more a business and financial decision than a ethical or values one. Most of their business is through credit cards, and the credit card companies have a wonderfully tricky rule governing their fees. If ANY of your sales are of 'adult material' ALL of your fees are charged on a different (and much more expensive) schedule. So if, for instance, you were a paypal merchant, and Visa determined that DOMAI met the criteria as providing 'Adult Content' then ALL PayPal transactions would have to pay Visa a 2.5% fee instead of a 0.5% fee (numbers are made up, but that kind of scary swing in the numbers is standard I think). PayPal operates on a pretty slim profit margin, going for volume, and this would completely sink them.

Source of my knowledge - a friend went through this 'account cancellation' and was upset about it, and a mutual friend who works at PayPal explained it to her.

You might check out Google Wallet, or whatever they're calling it. Unfortunately, they probably going to be in the same boat, but maybe not.

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 14:33:00, Blogger eolake said...

Alex, thanks, that makes sense. (Of course it does not help that it is more the credit card companies who are evil.)

A friend had his account closed because he was never buying with it, only taking payments, so they suspected money laundry!

Google, ya, better check that. If it is to Paypal what Gmail is to hotmail, it'll be worth it!

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 14:41:00, Blogger Adam Czarnowski said...

Eolake,

You can also try StormPay, though I found paying by them a bit time-consuming.

A

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 17:02:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't use Stormpay. I still have over $3000 frozen in their accounts that I probably will never get back and there are many others in a similar situation due to the US investigation of them that started back in february.

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 17:16:00, Anonymous Roma said...

I would normally feel really dumb posting a comment about something like this, like I have nothing better to do with my time, however I frequent your site Domai.com. I think that if we were all honest with eachother we would admit that there is something very sexual about young, nude females.
Offensive? No, sexually appealing yes. That's not the image that Paypal wants, and I understand that. At any rate, keep up the good work Eolake, I am a fan!

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 17:31:00, Anonymous Shelby Smith said...

I just cancelled my PayPal account. I had much rather look at Domai than fool with them anyhow. In light of the fact that eBay has an adult section I feel they are wrong in their decision. Just wanted to let you know that I am standing behind you on this one.

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 17:54:00, Blogger MM said...

Eolake,

If the Paypal folks would take a moment to a look at the fine art photography offerings on e-Bay they would discover a number of nude female photographs taken by fine art photographers that are for sale via Paypal from the site. I can't see the difference between those photos I have viewed for sale on e-bay and the excellent quality fine art nudes displayed on the Domai website. It's truly amazing how we Americans like to hide behind the facade of our Purtitan foundation while secretly admiring the natural appreciation of looking at the nude human form!

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 18:13:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont feel bad we are as much a victim of the law here as you are. The US Government has been taken over by the religious right but just remember there are three groups here. The US government, the religious wackos and Americans. And we Americans are trying to put the other two back in there place. It just may take a while. We have been victimized by the corrupted element of our country as much and more than you have. We are doing our best. The states are slowly starting to take a stand against the non-sense of the government. But it will take time.

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 18:20:00, Anonymous Victor Erimita said...

I have no need to defend Paypal, and I enjoy your site. And I understand you are stung by the practice of this private company. But your sweeping statement of how "puritanism" is still the bedrock of America is laughably naive Euromyth. The fact is that American culture is absolutely saturated with sexual content and imagery, little of it as tasteful and aesthetically appealing as the images on your site. It isn't difficult to find expression of sexual themes and nudity in the U.S. But it is nearly impossible to avoid it.

If your definition of "puritanism" is that some in a society might have different degrees of comfort with the overt expression of sexuality, or may feel that they are constantly barraged by sexual (even lewd) imagery in advertising, entertainment, movies, art, TV, etc., whether they want to be or not, then we Yanks are probably guilty as charged. But that is a silly definition, I think.

Paypal is caught in a bind where their business is used by various porn sites, prostitution and other businesses, some illegal, much of it thrust at unwilling customers in the form of spam, and so on, all of which is hardly evidence of the dark night of puritanism having fallen over our land. I don't think the majority of Americans would find your site offensive at all, and if you need someone to blame for the Paypal thing, you would be more on the mark to blame the legions in the porn world who have so proliferated on the Internet and caused offense to so many than some simplistic stereotype of American "puritanism." Honestly, you Europeans can be so parochial!

But keep up the good work on the site. I find it lovely and tasteful, not offensive at all.

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 18:23:00, Anonymous SGT G said...

Mr.Stobblehouse
I totally agree with you on this paypal fiasco. Reading your blog made me remember of a possible puchase i was going to make with paypal but they denied it to me.

I dont think that theres anyhting wrong with your web site; I consider it a work of art and NOT pornography.Im not a member yet but huge fan of your site & a photography aficionado and a admirer of the beautiful body of a woman. THANK GOD FOR THEM.

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 18:43:00, Anonymous ttl said...

Do you know a good and user-friendly alternative to Paypal?

I researched this subject about a year ago. It turned out that while there are dozens of wannabe PayPals none really are (were) convenient and convincing enough. The problem seems to be that payment processing is such a sensitive service that it is very difficult for a small startup to gain enough momentum. Several of the ones I looked into are already gone by now. PayPal can only be challenged by the likes of Google Wallet (and even that service seems to be long in the coming).

I ended up going with SWIFT/IBAN transfers, which is the most reliable method of electronic payment available today, but only really practical for euro zone payments.

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 18:47:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As there is a lurch in America and elsewhere toward theocracy, we can expect the 'morality police' to make things conform to their way of thinking, but no longer through old-fashioned elected governments, only through new-fashioned global government, er, multinational companies.

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 18:52:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a 57 year old, very red blooded American. I live in the heart of the bible belt. People who enjoy your site and other beautiful things in this world, don't try to dictate how others think. The religious "wrong" try to control free thought. There is a God, and he knew what he was doing when he created Women.

ML

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 18:58:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

American business is prudish and it's a shame, because most Americans are anything but prudes. I hate PayPal. If they freeze your money again get a lawyer.

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 19:11:00, Blogger eolake said...

Victor, there is evidence that puritanism does not suppress porn, but on the contrary pushes it into more extreme manifestations.

And just the fact that in no large company in American could you display a nude, no matter how tasteful, is evidence of deep puritanical underpinnings.

Sure, many countries are much, much worse in this area. But none dominates planteray culture like the US. (Of course they do this in good ways too.)

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 19:36:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My father introduced me to Domai.com, and I'm glad he did. There is nothing wrong with this site nor it's content. I start each day looking at the site and it brings me great joy and comfort in the photography and letters they recieve. I was even more imressed with women that visit and have a open and positive attitude. My father is 75 years old, an artist who appreciates beauty. I am 45 years old who share in the same quality as he does. Please don't let these "people"make you loose focus on what you have achieved.

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 19:42:00, Anonymous Steve said...

I have to admit that I haven't paid for any access to DOMAI for a good while (you're BoD and gallery is enough at the moment).

However, I have to say that PayPal's attitude smacks of the obscene. DOMAI is the (only) site that I will advise people to take a look at. My reason, quite simply, is that I see what you do as art, not porn. Too many sites out there are quite willing to show pictures that a gynaecologist would blush at. DOMAI makes a refreshing change by offering beauty and art in the most non-offensive way imaginible.

Oh - and for the record, I'm one of the prudish British audience that you have - I guess PayPal prove us Brits are more liberal than they.

Steve

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 19:47:00, Anonymous Carl Michaud (USA) said...

Roma has a point.
Though your pictures are of the highest quality and standards, us "old guys" do get a bit of a stir looking at them. Face it, men are voyeurs at heart. To look with pleasure is not wicked. To touch without permission is.
God made women beautiful for an attraction reason. What a sense of humor:) Carl

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 19:58:00, Blogger Bram said...

Even the financial explanation makes no sense in the least bit. Domai isn't adult content, full stop.

I've been visiting the site since long before I turned 18; and I think it's safe to say it didn't corrupt me in any way. Apparently, that's what nudity does to people though .. it corrupts them; makes them want to shoot people; or so they say..

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 20:20:00, Blogger The Pearl said...

I've had no problem using ccbill at Domai, so I'd guess the only reason to look into an alternative would be to accommodate folks who already have money in a PayPal account.

But, darn it, Eolake, there you go again with the US-bashing. Characterizing the United States as having "basic puritan forces which clearly still are such a dominant part of the bedrock of that country" is the equivalent of characterizing everyone who visits your site as some sort of demented sexual pervert.

Your complaint about PayPal is seriously weakened by that paragraph. It sends exactly the wrong message: "Obviously this guy is a narrow-minded bigot who promotes class hatred." That seems to be the opposite of every other philosophy you've expressed on your site, so I'm guessing that those words were written in anger, wanting to lash out at somebody because you were frustrated with PayPal.

As I've said before, Domai should be about beauty, not hatred.

Greg

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 21:12:00, Blogger eolake said...

Fucking yeah I was angry.

But I can't see how you can deny that puritanism is still a powerful part of American culture, hundreds of years after the puritans fled Europe. Just try to look on TV, trying to see a nipple.

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 21:17:00, Blogger eolake said...

Oh, and by the way, puritans are not bad people: they have a strong family, and a fantastic work ethic. And if they don't want nudity, cool with me. Except when they try to enforce it on everybody else.

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 21:28:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Group,

Please don't offend people of faith here on this blog.

Eolake:

Fairly hypocritical of PayPal.
Little comfort, but I'm with you.

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 21:41:00, Anonymous jochanaan said...

What we have here on this side of the pond are deeply contradictory beliefs. On one side are the quasi-Puritans who would push nudity and sex under the rug; on another are the mass media that love the profits from images of sex and violence; on a third are companies that secretly make a lot of money from pornography. Effectively, that makes for lots of kinkiness under a facade of prudery.

Your site mocks both the kinkiness and the prudery. No wonder American companies don't want your business! Keep it up!! :D

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 22:23:00, Anonymous emmit said...

Paypal and ebay are trying to push their views on everyone. They don't allow paypal to be used for ammunition - something that can be bought hundreds of places on the internet.

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 23:38:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The PayPal 'Adult material policy' is so vague and broad, PayPal could use it as a weapon to do whatever they desire. I even doubt the staff of PayPal know what the fine art is. Your story of PayPal is not bad enough. If you want to know more horrible stories about PayPal, please go to http://paypalsucks.com/

The bottom line ...... PayPal sucks! Period.

 
At 29 Aug 2006, 23:49:00, Anonymous Pascal R said...

"Everyone is equal, but some people are more equal than others."
Danzlake, it would seem your father knew his classics. Like Orwell's pigs in Animal Farm. I had the great fortune of reading this book for pleasure, not for a school assignment.

"A friend had his account closed because he was never buying with it, only taking payments, so they suspected money laundry."
They sanctioned without even enquiring? How admirable, just, ethical, noble, honest... Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? ):-P
I'm really getting fed up with the big companies having every right and none of the duties. Of course, living under the "enlightened" authority of the Lebanese "government" doesn't help much change my mind. If we are "enlightened" more than 12 hours a day here, it means the power is about to dramatically fail very soon! But, the less we are able to consume, the more the electrical bills increase. To compensate for the 60% who don't pay theirs (since 1975), for political reasons. I guess this country really IS a miniature model of the world after all... :-(

"I wouldn't use Stormpay. I still have over $3000 frozen [...] due to the US investigation of them that started back in february."
I think everybody has heard about the Al-Madina bank scandal, and its [suspected] links to the financing of Rafik Hariri's assassination. "Remember, you've seen it first -and better- in Lebanon!" Is this a great country, or what?

Roma,
Have you noticed Eolake acknowledges that very same fact at the bottom of the Beauty of the Day page?
But yet, Paypal doesn't mind receiving payment for some official porn, as Eolake's links show.
You know, Eolake, I'm currently playing 16+-rated videogame "The Godfather" (I currently have 91% of all execution styles and near-control over Little Italy businesses and rackets), and I'm wondering... maybe your current problems are related to the fact that "somebody isn't happy about their share". I mean, really, it's too easy to consider these double standards might actually be the sign of a dishonest attitude from the people in high places. Perhaps somebody just wants a payoff? ;-P
Official statement : "It is I, blogger Pascal R, who am freely expressing my own opinion here. Mr Stobblehouse is in no way responsible for my statements and shouldn't have his behind sued because of these alleged allegations." ;-)

I just love the hypocrisy of that statement : they fail to see Domai as art. I bet Picasso heard this more than once, too! Domai is about beauty, and by definition beauty can be considered as art. Unless the eye of the beholder is misaligned with its counterpart. Or the mind is lacking cerebral symmetry...
This just in : 64.000 Teheran women have been in trouble with the police over the last month, for being "improperly veiled". I guess not many Domai models are photographed in Iran then, hunh? They're not veiled at all, properly or otherwise. Vile infidel temptresses! "A lurch toward theocracy"? Well, if the babouche fits...

Anonymous,
I sure wish you the best of success. In Lebanon it is customary, even recommended, to despise "America" (that's the USA). But being such an oddball troublemaker, I consider this great country just needs to sort out its current retrograde problems. As for "your" foreign policy, sure, it sucks and stinks. Is there any country where it isn't based on shameful, selfish principles? You tell me when you find one... :-)
The US have a duty to better themselves, toward their people, and also toward the rest of the world where their influence cannot be avoided. You go, citizen!

Victor,
It is funny how you seem to sabotage your own defense of Paypal not being puritan. If somebody with your attitude can honestly see the true nature of Domai, how come there's nobody in a big company like Paypal who also has that basic common sense? Probably because, contrarily to you, they are hypocrits. I think Domai's "crime" is PRECISELY to show tasteful nudity, unlike the majority of porn sites. And nudity being un-vilified is just unacceptable to the bigots who only allow it around as a motive to sling guilt at those who aren't ashamed of it. I have a feeling that, just maybe, Domai is being sneakily sanctioned for not fitting into the very convenient mould of "nudity equals vulgarity equals sin". That's just a hypothesis of mine, of course...

"People who enjoy your site and other beautiful things in this world, don't try to dictate how others think."
And this is precisely why the meek like you shall not inherit the Earth. You are like sheep sent amongst the wolves. (How's THAT for Bible use?) Leaving others with the freedom to think, how dare you? Who do you take yourself for, God? Men don't give freedom, they can only take it away! Understanding is an exclusive divine privilege, so there! (Just ask His self-proclaimed most zealous servants.)

"There is a God, and he knew what he was doing when he created Women."
Yes, Al Pacino in The Devil's Advocate summed it well : how sick and twisted would it be, to create Woman, and the sexual instinct as a vital part of our species' survival, only to mark it all with the seal of infamy and sin? Is God such a sadist? Or is it rather His "spokesmen", and only them? You decide...

"DOMAI is the (only) site that I will advise people to take a look at."
I'll have to back Steve on that one. I've already recommended Domai to a few open-minded friends. I wouldn't do that with a lewd site, but Domai is the opposite. (And this, of course, is "a crime against bad taste"!)
"Pictures that a gynaecologist would blush at"... That one was actually quite funny! I might add that some of what I saw would give nausea to a proctologist. And I've seen it all in Med School. Or so I thought! :-P

Bram,
I have a 2 year old nephew in this house. He loves Uncle Pascal and barges in my room at any time without notice. I also have Domai pictures as my wallpaper 95% of the time. He never even commented about the ladies being naked! Ain't no better certificate of innocence, both for him and for Domai. :-)
Of course, this site would dramatically corrupt a bigot education by proving its principles to be false...

You know, about that videogame (a Grand Theft Auto clone)... I rather enjoy it when people in the street thank my character "for taking care of that thug" (taking down a murdering mugger), and find it funny how the more bad-ass he becomes, the more semi-frightened respect he gets. For instance, "The Corleones' protection makes this neighborhood safer." But still, for some reason, I always try not to run over civilian bystanders when driving around like a maniac after a hit or a bank heist. Which goes to prove that violence in videogames is far less harmful than (gasp!) nudity. If I could do more than flirt with the half-dressed hookers and eventually slap their behind (it earns you 75 more respect points), I'm sure I'd be a murderous drug-addict by now, for real. 'Cause, you know, adults are unable to cease their suspension of disbelief when they turn off the PlayStation...

"Just try to look on TV, trying to see a nipple."
You know, I actually saw one once. Sort of, very briefly. It was with singer Janet Jackson, during the Superbowl. At least, I THINK it was a nipple. It looked more like a metal sun/star thingy with a dark pink(?) center, on a shiny black leather costume... Anything BUT a big deal.
On French TV, a movie with full-frontal non-sexual nudity will be marked as "10+". Bare breasts are common on nearly every beach. And you may find a priest that'd marry you in a nudist resort, he himself being in the buff and celebrating mass every Sunday in catholic nudist establishments. But, the law prohibits giving access to pornography to citizens below age 18. Simulated love scenes are labeled "12+" if they're tame, "16+" if more explicit. Oddly, there are very few discussions in France about the status quo, except for reinforcing the control on minors' access to "pornographic and/or extreme violence material". Food for thought...

I agree with Eolake about puritans : if they didn't spend so much time and very hyped effort enforcing their beliefs onto others, these same others would actually see the positive side of these beliefs. I'm convinced most, if not all people, have some qualities. The Nazis stole fine art because they appreciated it, not for its monetary value. In this, they were the opposite of barbarians. (I'm talking about art, not the stealing part.) Hospitality is very important for religious Muslims, and follows a very strict code of ethics. Normally. If you've been a hostage in Iraq, the code probably wasn't applied to you. But the point is, with an open mind there's always room for learning from others.


This "unfortunate incident" has happened to you before, Eolake. I think when PP realize the harm done to their image and the consequence on their business, specially since your fan base is the cultivated discerning type (contrarily to mainstream porn), they'll once again come up with a lame excuse to pretend they're not apologizing too servilely. Get a lawyer, write them letters, Q the pressure, B direct, ask them Y, make them C they R making A mistake, sue their S, M-peach H and every 1 of M, ask for W'r money back, and finally receive their X-cuses over a cup of T.

 
At 30 Aug 2006, 00:18:00, Anonymous Pascal R said...

"Paypal is not a right, it is a service, and as such they have the right to apply service by whatever rules they see fit."

This cannot be entirely true, Danzlake. There are laws regulating every activity, especially when there's limited market choice. Consumers have intangible legal rights. Would Pain-Pals be free to take your money hostage if they found out you were a Democrat, an environmentalist, a homosexual or a Jew? Or, let's push it in a more daring direction : does a bank (we are talking about one here, or something very close) have the right to freeze your account and business because you use condoms, or asked your wife to have an abortion, or if you eat pork/cow meat, or worship the Devil, or sacrify chickens to a statue? Or because, in the Sixties, you bought that "satanic" music, Rock 'N' Roll? Or because you never go to Church? This is, basically, anticonstitutional discrimination over beliefs or lifestyles. Do you know that, in the Ottoman Empire, a school teacher's testimony was worthless in court? Because, teaching children, it was believed he was bound to have a similar immature personnality.

Outside protecting the innocents from harm, the law, AND the companies of whatever size, have no "cursed" [previous word softeneded] business into what people do. Otherwise, we might as well do like Valachian prince Vlad Dracul, who suppressed poverty in his kingdom very quickly and efficiently. (Historical fact!) How? Well, he invited all the beggars to a great feast in a huge barn, with food and wine aplenty. After the feast had gone long enough for everybody to be drunk, the barn was locked, and fire set to it. No more beggars in Valachia! The Prince's word was law...

Somehow, I DON'T think this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind when the USA gained their independence from King George... And this is precisely why, I believe, today's US regime is gravely threatening the precious values of their own country.

Whoever we are, should we, and do we have the right to, eradicate prostitution, libertines, hoboes, drunks, or simply smoking? I hate that legalized poisonous drug tobacco, but I feel no right to keep anybody stupid enough from smoking... provided they do it far from where I breathe clean air. If nobody else is being submitted to their second-hand smoking, then let the health insurances overcharge them when they get cancer or heart disease, and that's that.

I rest my case. And I rest myself : time to go to bed!

 
At 30 Aug 2006, 07:57:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm, about that Puritanical viewpoint thing, I'm kinda surprised to see fellow americans disagreeing with Eolake's valid point. Sure, these posters are visitors of DOMAI so they probably don't think that way, but how do you not see it within the general american population?

He's right, having any sort of nude or semi nude art displayed out in the open (painting or sculpture) is frowned on at the least.

Many seem to believe that just a glimpse of a nipple is inately sexual and downright offensive. You don't need to look any further than the relatively recent Janet Jackson thing that was blown way out of proportion over here, meanwhile uncensored photos were placed on the front pages of newspapers in other countries.

I've been personally ridiculed for speaking against this puritannical viewpoint long before I knew of DOMAI and it continues to this day. For those that still disagree with Eolake, I would like you to just try explaining the message behind DOMAI to a typical american and not have them claim you're just a pervert looking at pornographic sites. Many of them just won't get it.

 
At 30 Aug 2006, 11:04:00, Blogger eolake said...

Thank you, A.
There are indeed many more similarities between Europe and the states. But there are some subtle differences. The Janet Jackson case illustrates it well. I suspect most Europeans are either incredulous or peeing their pants with laughter at the furor the sight of a nipple caused.

To think that not only a few freaks, but a great portion of a big population can actually believe that the sight of an uncovered breast can "corrupt" their children... I can't even get it into my head.

 
At 30 Aug 2006, 11:22:00, Blogger eolake said...

If it is true that Paypal is pressured into this stance by the higher credit card rates for adult/gambling business, then we just need to focus on credit card companies. I have a friend inside a billing company (not a credit card company), and he thinks the "higher risk" associated with those areas are pretty much a thing of the past.

But of course, since they are high-profit businesses, people can afford to pay those fees, and so long as the credit card companies are not forced by law to put the fees in line, why would they do so? If "a few porn lords" are forced to pay more than their share, who will protest?

 
At 30 Aug 2006, 11:38:00, Blogger eolake said...

Yes, it happened before, even long ago:
http://domai.com/text/burned.html

 
At 30 Aug 2006, 13:33:00, Anonymous ttl said...

Well written you say? While your essay is constructed using understandable and clear prose, and it seems to be free of grammatical errors, it is useless because you do not mention the name of the ISP that mistreated you.

 
At 30 Aug 2006, 13:40:00, Blogger eolake said...

Go ahead, look for TABnet.com
Originally I did not put it in for some reason, disgr... (what the word for the quality of being discreet?) I guess.

But they have been bought up and merged so many times, that it is useless information.
And in any case this behavior is so typical of large companies that they are pretty much interchangeable.
I suspect it has to do with the lack of accountability of each individual in a large organization.
And also the fact that a corporation is a "person" in the eyes of the law.

In any case it is one of the big flaws of society. Something humanity has to deal with.

 
At 30 Aug 2006, 18:29:00, Blogger Bram said...

Eolake, the word you're looking for is "discretion".

Every time something like this, a quote by Oscar Wilde comes to mind .. "If man was meant to be nude, he would have been born that way." I think it's even, very aptly, on the domai site!

I simply cannot understand people's absurd reaction to something as simple as nudity. Even in a changing room I get the occasional strange look when I have the nerve (oh my) of having a shower in the nude .. Seriously, who in their right mind showers with clothes on?

 
At 30 Aug 2006, 18:44:00, Blogger eolake said...

Are you telling me that in the US, people in public changing rooms shower in their bathing suit?? Get out!

 
At 30 Aug 2006, 20:02:00, Blogger danzlake said...

Pascal r's point may, in part, be true. My comment about Paypal being able to apply their service as they see fit had the inherent comment in it, that that business has to operate within the confines of the laws goerning it's operation. However, if, at the outset, they say they have the right to freeze your funds if you do x,y, or z, and you agree to these rules, I think there is little you can do. My argument here is more one that they seem to apply their rules inconsistently. I do, however, understand your view on this.

 
At 30 Aug 2006, 21:38:00, Anonymous Victor Erimita said...

The Puritan thing. The U.S. is a large and diverse country. Are there people here who feel that sex and nudity should be suppressed, especially in any kind of public forum? Of course. Do they dominate or even have much influence on contemporary culture here? To support that point, you have to explain the overwhelming proliferation of sexual imagery in all popular media. These repressors don't seem to be succeeding very well, if they are such a powerful force in this country.

Yes, we do have people who, for religious or other reasons, feel the pendulum has swung too far toward the direction of 24/7 in-your-face sexuality. And perhaps, compared to Europe that may make us seem to your eyes puritannical by comparison.

But, remember, huge swaths of the world's populations feel the opposite. They feel that the U.S. is not exporting puritanism, as you imply in your response to my earlier comment, but rather moral laxity. They think we are far too liberal and free with our expression of these things.

But then, I guess if you are the Great Satan, you will appear as the incarnation of all that is bad in the world according to each person's visions of evil of, no?

In any case, if I lived in Europe, I wouldn't be worried too much about puritanism coming from this side of the pond. I would look to the kinds of people who murdered Theo Van Gogh and who live amongst you. Now there are some puritans for you.

 
At 30 Aug 2006, 23:15:00, Anonymous Pascal R said...

" I suspect most Europeans are either incredulous or peeing their pants with laughter at the furor the sight of a nipple caused. "
Awww, maaan! Come on, Eolake, you had promised not to tell anybody about this embarrassing incident. Cripes, I'm SO ashamed! Then again, it WAS pretty hilarious. (Tee-hee! Still is today.) Even for a european-minded middle-eastern...

"To think that not only a few freaks, but a great portion of a big population can actually believe that the sight of an uncovered breast can "corrupt" their children..."
Yeah, not to mention those many utter perverts who corrupt a newborn baby by having it suck on its own mother's breast, oh, the humanity! Is there anything more ugly, more threatening than the round softness of a woman's bosom? :-P
The things I had to endure in Med School, you people have no idea. My fingers are emotionally traumatized for life from the contact. If only women were all angles, like a nice, decent 1960 Cadillac. You know, these models that had this huge rectangular behind.

If "a few porn lords" are forced to pay more than their share, who will protest?
Absolutely. Except, I think it was precisely on Domai that I saw this interesting point raised : if you allow the law to suppress the 1% most perverted and unpleasant people of the country, who will protest? Still, after these 1%, other people will become the extreme 1%, and so on... Thank you for expressing it so well, Maurice Ogden. (Go ahead, do click the link, it's worth it.)

"Are you telling me that in the US, people in public changing rooms shower in their bathing suit??"
Well, I for one take my showers in my birthday suit. It's way more wholesome than plain doing it nude, don't you agree? ;-)
I love that suit. So comfy. Still fits like a charm after more than 35 years of regular use. :-D
If only it was more in fashion...

 
At 30 Aug 2006, 23:30:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eolake, yes, if you go to a public shower at the beach or other such places here, many people keep their swimsuits on.

 
At 31 Aug 2006, 00:13:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Victor, I think you're stretching your case a little far here. You can't be compare puritans to a fanatical murderer. Puritans were prudish to the extreme and wanted to force that view onto others, but not thru violence. Mostly thru shunning and ridicule, which still work today.

Yes, we're a large and diverse country with people of practically every background and viewpoint. But we're talking about the prevailing view that nudity of any kind is unacceptable. Isn't the whole point of DOMAI that nudity can be beautiful and artistic without having to be intrinsically sexual in nature? That enjoying the nude body, or nude artwork, doesn't make you a degenerate?

The sexuality you speak of in our media has been more successful in recent years at skirting those boundaries. But pointing that out shows our american culture in itself, the view that nudity and sex can never be seperate. Even so, our media is still afraid to show a simple nipple. That fear is apparantly justified after the shunning, ridicule, and $550,000 FCC fine against CBS for "nipplegate". (And that's with the old laws. The incident brought about a vote to Increase the maximum payment!) Nudity isn't just frowned on here, it's penalized.

Sure you can always argue that not all Americans share that view considering how diverse we are as a country, and since we don't share that view as visitors of DOMAI. However I think Eolake is right that the majority of americans are a might prudish about nudity.

 
At 31 Aug 2006, 01:03:00, Anonymous Pascal R said...

Victor,

It's nice to hear you confess it so cooperatively. Yup, your country is the Great Satan, as stated by his holiness Ali Akbar Khamenei, inspirator of the Hezbollah "Resistance", and spiritual guide of the Iranian Islamic Revolution. (And we all know what a saint and understanding guy this man of Allah is...) Proof is, your permissive country even allows heathens to worship Allah's sworn enemy Satan in the open and bear skull tattoos!
[Note to the excessively quick to react : this is just sarcasm, okay? Don't inform on me to the FBI just yet!]

It is only my own personal vision, but I think bigotry and extremism are the same everywhere, they are just different-flavored sodas (=carbonated water + sugar + flavor). Morality police in Iran, "faith-based politics" in the US, "infidel" Theo Van Gogh's executioners/assassins, the rioters against the (in-)famous Prophet caricatures... all different models of the same ugly brand of merchandise.
Over here, nobody can help having a strong opinion regarding the israeli-palestinian conflict. Here's mine : the true enemy is not the Jew, or the Arab, it is the Extremist, and it has sneakily infiltrated both sides. The real target of this war is not the Other, it is Peace, and it has mortal enemies on both sides, those who can only think and live in violence. Whether they are aware of being objective allies remains debatable, just as for Bush and Bin Laden, but the fact remains : to me, every open mind is a friend, every religious (or political, or moral, etc.) obtuse fanatic is the unwitting agent of a common enemy that threatens everyone : Hate. Ignorance. Rigidism. Rejection. Racism. The Beast has many faces, many names, it is everywhere, and it cometh not from the faraway volcanic depths of Hell, but from Man's hearts. I try to fight the evil without hating the men that Evil has overcome, but sometimes it's not easy nor simple.

Guess the USA isn't the Great Satan after all, just the greatest (largest) of the many, many countries where Satan lurks. After Russia and Canada.

I am strongly against sexual debauchery, especially when imposed on those who don't consent to it. Be they underage children, force-married women, or simply shy people. But can you imagine a kid forbidding his parents from doing you-know-what in lonely privacy because HE objects to the thing itself? Well, some US states have laws prohibiting "fornication" or "sodomy" with jail sanctions. Not to even mention what they do to gays in the Arab world. Is masturbation even legal everywhere? I'll bet not!
For way too long, absurd narrow laws took the "liberty" of telling even married couples what they were allowed to do together, where, how, how often, and when. Not on Friday, the meat-less day of Jesus' death, not on Sunday, not during religious celebrations, not at prayer times, etc... The form has changed today, but the vivid spirit remains. I know this for a fact, that in Sudan Christians are just as forbidden from consuming any alcohol as Muslims. "But, considering it is not their faith's commandment, they very understandingly receive only 20 lashes instead of 40"! Tolerance is swell, hunh?
"They" will always try to control what we know, think and do, because to "them" nothing uncontrolled is harmless. There's one press censorship worse in Lebanon than that on sexual matters, and that is on politics. "Not in the USA", you'll say? Well, how about the decree banning medias from showing any image of coffins from the marines killed in Iraq? Today's "civilization", in the most advanced countries, often remains skin deep (pun intended).

Taking somebody's belonging with their consent is not theft. Why should private, consented sexuality be treated differently? Will we end up one day outlawing, say... kissing on the cheek? Lovers holding hands in public? Like in Teheran? Or women driving, like in Saudi Arabia, because "then they could go places and meet men"? Or the "obscene" sight of female hair and eyes, like Afghanistan? It is just a matter of degree, really. Less than 200 years ago, the sight of a bare female ankle was universally considered as forcibly arousing (in Western society). At the same period, bare female breasts around the French revolution was considered totally harmless. Women would publicly tear up their shirts as a sign of their weakness if the city's men seemed about to give up defending it and let them fall in the hands of the enemy (who would then legitimately have their way with them, the rules of war).

Now, you make a very valid point : there is a near-schizophrenic contrast in the US between the two opposing extremes of "morality". The real thing missing from this picture is, in fact, moderation. But remember which extreme camp is currently, and very openly, holding the power at the head (or the many heads?) of the country. Many Republicans don't see themselves in the current administration, starting with unquestionable John McCain, and I applause to them. Because the Democrats have just as many faults. There again, the common enemy is the tendancy of Politics to stray, on both sides, and go against the country's well-being for selfish reasons. Be it gray, brown, or purple with yellow spots, a rat is always a prolific un-hygienic rodent pest. What's wrong with the seemingly very sensible attitude I described in France, hunh? Prudes will always know that a 10+ program might shock their sensitivity at some point, and safely stick to Disney Channel. That is their right. As for imposing their preferences on everybody else in the country, this is getting too far. Most specially in "the Land of the Free"!
(BTW, I noticed that the arabic version of Disney Channel cut off the river-bathing scene in Mulan, and the moment of the kiss in Sleeping Beauty...)

As my mother says, "the most rabid ones may be a small minority, but they are the only ones that really get noticed on TV". This applies in Teheran as well as in Washington, DC. If the majority has no right forcing a certain way of life on the minority (in the limits of sense, of course, I'm not advocating human sacrifices), certainly it is no more a right of the minority. Even less so!!! The zealots simply use this "over-representativity of the energetic" because they are convinced they have the right, and the duty, to make others follow their opinions "for their own good, their souls will thank us in the Afterlife". Well, they don't, and we won't. Who gave us Freedom of choice in the first place, hunh? Am I not free to smoke, travel to an islamist country, or go tickle a grizzly bear with a finger up its rectum? Am I not free if I like getting off by being whipped, insulted and slapped by a leather-clad woman who makes me bleed? Is my private, personnal well-being not my own to decide? And let God-Allah-Zeus-Brahma HIMSELF appear to tell me wrong in a chariot of fire, because the fiery conviction of the self-promoted spokesmen fails to convince me of its authentic godliness. I've seen too much self-contradicting religion in my family and school during my whole childhood, and too much fire in lunatics during my Psychiatry internship.

My apologies to those who may find I post and yap a lot, I try to remain relevant but have a lot of things on my heart to share with those willing to listen. The others are free to scroll right through my posts, of course. :-)

 
At 31 Aug 2006, 05:23:00, Blogger eolake said...

Pascal, you're only mid-thirties? I'd imagined you rather older.
People actually often think the same of me. I wonder what it is?

 
At 31 Aug 2006, 08:32:00, Anonymous ttl said...

Eolake, there's an easy way to tell: A person's age is inversely proportional to the length hir posts.

 
At 31 Aug 2006, 14:52:00, Blogger signalroom said...

A great book on the subject of Nudity, sexual mores (especially in the U.S.) and politics is the intelligent and very humorously written "The Century of Sex", written by James Petersen, edited by Hugh Hefner. It makes great bathroom reading. I was reading this instead of my required theology texts at school. The fear of nudity (and sexuality) was "uncovered" in me once and for all. I set myself on a new course of study. Awakening in truth (i.e. seeking God) MUST pass through nudity and humor, among other things, nudity called "open mindedness" as well, no two ways about it. Speaking for my country and its shameful nipple fearing "sinners in the hand of an angry God" history, if only one individual person wakes up here, we're all waking up. America also gave birth to Walt Whitman, and he LOVED nipples, men's, women's, animals, all of it. Just read "I Sing the Body Electric." Great post Eolake.

 
At 31 Aug 2006, 22:03:00, Blogger Adam Czarnowski said...

Surprise, surprise the USA supresses innocent and artistic nudity and, as a concommitant, has some of the worst sex crimes and most obscene pornography.

The Victorians covered piano legs because they were "suggestive" but had wiudespread child prositution and, again, terrible sexually-related crimes of violence.

Doesn't anyone understand that if you repress natural instincts (love, aggression, physical affection, sex, intimacy, social interaction) you get mental illness, violence and perversion?

Hypocrisy is nothing new anywhere where those that govern preach moral and law-abiding behaviour and, meanwhile, are breaking all those rules personally. Just look at our current Labour goverment, if you need a contemporary example.

A

 
At 1 Sep 2006, 00:49:00, Anonymous Pascal R said...

Eolake,

So sue me for having a grown-up body with a young heart and a mature mind! ;-)
Just like you, old timer. (Serves you right for calling your site "Dirty OLD Men"!)

TTL,
Looks like you've met my 2 year old nephew. Problem with him is, he always improvises his posts when bedtime arrives. Ow, my poor ears! And my aching laughing ribs! (I'm really getting too old for these juvenile shenanigans...)

SignalRoom,
I've heard that name before, "Hugh Hefner". I think he's the millionaire hero of a PlayStation2 videogame called The Playboy's Mansion, or something.
But the rumors about him being secretly masked vigilante Buttman at night are totally unfounded!

"Awakening in truth (i.e. seeking God) MUST pass through nudity and humor"
Are you SURE about that? I thought our savior Lord Jesus wore a wholesome tuxedo with matching tie and shoes on the Holy Cross. If memory serves me right...
And, I'm pretty sure when he was baptised in that river, he was wearing a Speedo. With a fig leaf imprinted on the front.

nudity called "open mindedness" as well
Is that what they call "baring one's heart/soul"? Quite likely.

"The Victorians covered piano legs"
Hah! Adam should talk. Thanks to the Holy Bible, we all know what HE covered! Pervert apple-eater...

"Doesn't anyone understand that if you repress natural instincts [...]you get mental illness, violence and perversion?"
Eolake, I've forgotten your post about porn legalization in Europe in regard to sex crimes rate. Could we have it again here?

"Just look at our current Labour goverment"
I'm totally taken by surprise! Adam, you live in Israel???
(Wait... I think their current majority might be Sharon's Kadima party now. Ah, who cares? It's just politics.)

 
At 1 Sep 2006, 07:40:00, Blogger Laurie Jeffery said...

Role play.
In this little game, Paypay will be playing the part of the flight attendant and you play the Princess.
Now read on...

My flight was being served by an obviously gay flight attendant, who seemed to put everyone in a good mood as he served us food and drinks.
As the plane prepared to descend, he came swishing down the aisle and told us that "Captain Marvey has asked me to announce that he'll be landing the big scary plane shortly, so lovely people, if you could just put your trays up, that would be super."
On his trip back up the aisle, he noticed this well-dressed and rather Arabic looking woman hadn't moved a muscle. "Perhaps you didn't hear me over those big brute engines but I asked you to raise your trazy-poo, so the main man can pitty-pat us on the ground."
She calmly turned her head and said, "In my country, I am called a Princess and I take orders from no one." To which (I swear) the flight attendant replied, without missing a beat, "Well, sweet-cheeks, in my country I'm called a Queen, so I outrank you. Tray-up, Bitch."

 
At 2 Sep 2006, 01:17:00, Anonymous Pascal R said...

L. Jeffery,

I can see why you would be good friends with Eolake! :-D

"Oh, honey, I can SO picture the scene!" (wild hand gesture)

 
At 3 Sep 2006, 02:02:00, Blogger signalroom said...

I've been practicing that line all day, assertiveness training:
"Tray up, bitch! Tray up bitch!"

Story made my day. I recounted it to several people and added the oxygen of their laughter to the world.

but come on did he really say "Bitch"? Guy had balls.

 
At 3 Sep 2006, 23:56:00, Anonymous Pascal R said...

I did think Chris Tucker needed a summer job...
Now I know which one he picked. :-D

 
At 5 Sep 2006, 00:25:00, Anonymous Pascal R said...

P.S.: You can have b@||$, and still prefer guys, clearly. ;-p

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Website Counter