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Dec 11 2006

Another bubble bursted

The vigilant reader will recall that, childlike naïf that I am, I recently opined that Norwegians are never wrong. Sadly, this assumption, the product of a tragic, wide-eyed innocence, has turned out to be shockingly untrue. I allude, of course, to a recent court decision wherein insane pornbag Norwegian judges ruled that stripping is an art form and is therefore exempt from VAT.

Stripping is an art form! What’s next, lap dancing is free speech?

[Gracias, Andrea]

47 comments

  1. Kaethe

    Of course lap dancing is free speech. The most common speech is “for a specified amount of money, I will pretend that you are attractive to me, and that I am not repulsed by you.” The second most common speech is “taking advantage of the patriarchy, even as it takes advantage of me.”

  2. norbizness

    The next thing you’re going to tell me is that Striptease and Showgirls aren’t terrific movies.

    And come on, it’s nowhere near as demeaning as prop comedy.

  3. Twisty

    Ha!

  4. finnsmotel

    “it’s nowhere near as demeaning as prop comedy.”

    Carrot Top should be taxed at double the normal rate.

  5. Spinning Liz

    Stripping to pay the cancer bills: less demeaning than dying bankrupt?

  6. mearl

    I have a sneaking suspicion that the lawmakers upholding the bar for high art are a buncha men who partake in said hoorific art. Someone please tell me different.

    And when “unskilled labourer” dudes can make 20 bucks an hour sitting in a plow and working pedals while women who kill themselves waitressing or in retail or child care get 7 bucks and no benefits, is it any fricking wonder that women take on stripping to pay the mortgage? This is old news, old news. I am sour. Did I hallucinate? Was there a feminist revolution somewhere through the 1970s?

  7. Diane

    Norway was wrong with a big “w” before that. For years, the country has snubbed the IWC moratorium and killed hundreds and hudnreds of minke whales. They have also failed to utilize proper inspection of their deadly expplosive-tipped harpoons.

  8. jc.

    And of course “The Life of Brian” was at first banned from being shown in Norway so as to protect it´s citizens from it´s evil influence.
    The patriarchal reasoning is of course clear; mortal females can take care of themselves but the all mighty, all powerful God needs protection.
    Could you imagine what would happen to the frail national economy of Norway if they didn´t have a whale “research”
    industry?
    Perhaps the biggest Norwegian shame is the decades of national and social abuse of the women who were “romantically” involved with the soldiers of the german occupation and, in particular, their children.

  9. Audun

    This is rather embarrassing for us norwegians, so I won’t comment further on the whaling and Life of Brian comments.

    Just so that Twisty doesn’t lose all faith in norwegians: The minister of education (socialist left party) commented the verdict with “then we have to change the law”.

  10. Mar Iguana

    “Was there a feminist revolution somewhere through the 1970s?” mearl

    The explosion of the sex industry began in the ’70s was the boys’ most eloquent and direct response TO the feminist revolution. I was in my early 20s in those years (and hallucinating every chance I got, but I digress) and remember the shock of figuring out the boys’ only interest in “free” sex was that they no longer had to buy the cow to get the milk and, now that Hefner told them that not just “bad” girls but even the girl next door was fair game, there were plenty of cows to milk with no annoying strings attached. Bonanza.

    And, here us stupid “uppity” women thought it was the end of the double standard and commodification of female sexuality. Oh well. The boy’s would rather pay for “sex” either outright through porn or by husbanding one woman. And, best of all, they no longer had to bear the entire financial burden for their families because, unlike their fathers, their masculine identity was no longer threatened if their wives worked outside the home, in menial, low-paying, jobs that is. Bonus.

    Even better, when the boys decided they were ready to take advantage of all the benefits that accrue to them through marriage, there were still plenty of girls just like the girl who married dear old dad around to choose from. Ever see the movie “The Heidi Chronicles” with Jamie Lee Curtis? If not, please do. It does a pretty good job of showing the sense of betrayal I felt in the ’80s when the boys made it very clear they were not interested in choosing to partner with any woman they might have to compete with in any way whatsoever.

  11. Rowan Golightly

    Response to Spinning Liz:

    Not only do you appear to be OT here but you’re also jumping to conclusions. Perhaps you might wish to read the web-site to which you’ve linked a bit more carefully. Not only are you incorrect in your assumption that the beheficiary of this calendar has stripped for the calendar but none of the rest of the women the calendar have done so either. They are all professional woman who have gathered together to help a friend using the tool we all know works best: sex sells.

    You admit that you are bitter and angry; that comes across quite quickly. Well, you’ve now made at least 12 other women angry…at you. Add me to that number. Just because you have a serious, life-threatening disease does not give you license to bad mouth and abuse others who are doing something they believe in to help a friend. This is a woman who has insurance which will not pay for her medication, who is working hard throughout her illness to the best of her abilities. She is maintaining a positive attitude and is a wonderful role model of those who suffer.

    Bitter really won’t get you far nor gain you a whole lot of friends. It just sounds to me like you’re upset that no one is putting together a similar fund-raiser for you.

    But of course, I could be wrong.

  12. kathy a

    rowan, chill the fuck out. liz is fighting cancer herself, without the safety net of insurance. she is entitled to any humor she can find, and if it is too bitter for your taste — live with it.

    can norway be serious about not taxing an industry that is all about making money and lots of it, because somebody says it is art?

  13. kathy a

    because i am still a nice girl, i do not usually use such language. but i’ll tell you — i have been with too many loved ones fighting cancer to have any patience for people who can’t find a grain of decency in their hearts to understand HOW BAD THAT IS.

    rowan, i found your comments repulsive. kick a cancer fighter when she is down. belittle her, question her motives. way to go.

    someone else found a way to raise money that raised liz’ hackles. is liz denying that person treatment, or condemning the efforts of friends to help? no. liz is expressing, very succinctly, some things on her mind.

  14. Rowan Golightly

    All I am complaining about is that she DIDN”T READ THE SITE properly.

    Oh gosh, you are all hurting my feelings horribly; think I’ll go cry now.

  15. Pony

    Are there any calendar fundraisers for prostate or testicular cancer with money shots of men’s gonads?

  16. Mandos

    Would anyone buy that?

  17. kathy a

    positive attitude and wonderful role model for those who suffer. look, i have nothing against that, if that’s what someone does to survive, and if it feels ok to that person.

    but here is the thing — i think the patriarchy goes on overdrive when someone has cancer. and it can happen from both ends — the patient may just cut everyone off because he/she doesn’t want to look bad, or other people who find out about the fucking cancer may just feel free to critique the sick person’s coping skills. because, y’know, any dude who has not met cancer is sure he/she could do a more elegant job of it.

    cancer doesn’t care if one is nice, cordial, aggressive, timid, feminine, feminist, macho, manly, or whatever. the cancer’s job is to kill. the victim’s job is to kill the cancer, and/or live with how cancer wrecks and changes lives. people close to the victim also must deal with stuff. the behavior requirements posed by random strangers do not even hit the charts of what’s worth considering.

    rowan, that’s just too cute. toilet paper works, if you run out of official kleenex.

  18. Jezebella

    Mandos: I would pay at least $1.99 for a calendar featuring hot men doing housework, if the money went to cancer research. Hell, they don’t even have to be that hot.

    And Rowan, like kathy a said: please chill the fuck out. Liz is asking a legitimate question. Of course, I do note that the “professional women” wouldn’t dare lower themselves to the status of stripper, heaven forbid. The message I’m hearing from you is: “We’re just selling sex, it’s fine, it’s okay, because it’s for a good cause!” And there are so many things wrong with it that I hardly know where to start. Beginning with the lack of universal health care in this country and ending with your nasty little attack on our Liz.

  19. Mandos

    Well, I mean, people buy fireman calendars and the notorious Dieux de Stade and all that. Ain’t the same as gonad pics. (I’m assuming it was a reference to the boob pics for breast cancer research.)

  20. Pony

    I don’t know if Liz did or did not read the site properly. I came across it some time ago, read it “properly”, and was properly disgusted by the mawkishness of women who seem to leap to any opportunity to wave their tits around for sexual reasons. Let them send money to a account set up for their friend, and while their at it, get their boyfriends husbands and partners to match it to La Leche.

  21. Spinning Liz

    Yes, I read every single word on that site. And I didn’t badmouth anybody. Heather’s situation made me cry. It broke my heart that THIS is the kind of thing people have to do to try to pay for health care in this country. Well, not ALL people. Just people with major illnesses who can’t afford to be fully insured. The word of the day is: inequitable. And the point is that those of us who aren’t fully insured stand a much higher chance of dying from our diseases than those who are. This is what I was badmouthing for dog’s sake, not Heather and her friends.

  22. mearl

    Thanks for the movie reference, Mar. I will check it out. And I feel ya.

  23. kathy a

    liz, your outrage about the inequities is one of the most rational responses one could have. fucking cancer. stupid system. other daily indignities. xoxoxo

  24. Pony

    I am someone who fights tooth and nail with various groups to KEEP our fantastic universal health care, and wish very much you and ALL Americans, including the almost 50 million YUP folds 50 MILLION Americans who have no health care could benefit from a system such as Canada has.

    For profit health care: well, people with a lot of money can become guinea pigs for what hasn’t be tested on more than 3 other people and end up dying of that. I’m not talking about ‘natural’ medicine, or voodoo, but good ol US of A and Canuck ‘medical science.’

  25. vera

    Just wondering — are women in the U.S. more likely than men to be uninsured? I’m assuming the answer is yes.

  26. Pony

    Women in Canada are more likely to only have basic universal health insurance without any extra insurance such as one would have with a full time job, or ‘career’.

  27. vera

    Well, shoot! I thought “universal” meant “everybody.” So there are inequities in the Canadian system too?

    Silly me.

  28. Pony

    It is universal insofar as everone has a basic level of taxpayer funded healthcare within each jurisdiction. What is covered for everyone may be different in Ontario, from what is covered for everyone in B.C. The inequity comes in :) with insurers like Sun Life etc which cover employee benefit plans. I have never had benefits with a job in my working life.

  29. Pony

    So for example, a big plus to this not having as much health care coverage as say, my boss does, is that I don’t have drugs coverage (except for hospital care). That saves me from taking the multitude of drugs a lot of people my age take. Again, :)

  30. Mandos

    “Universal” means “everybody”, but unfortunately it doesn’t mean “everything”. For instance, dental care is, for some very mysterious reason, not covered except by insurance schemes familiar to most Americans. Same with prescription drugs outside one or two provinces. Canadian health care is usually pretty good, and its overall outcomes are somewhat better than the American outcomes despite the continuous whining from certain quarters *long unblinking stare at the Fraser Institute*.

    It is continuously theatened, however, especially currently by the Chaouilli v. Procureur Général du Québec decision and the BC private emergency clinic affair. And there are a few major oversights that need to be brought into the system.

  31. Pony

    Anyone can book at any dental school for very reasonable and supervised dental care, all procedures. It’s practically free it just takes a long time because everything is charted, and checked by the supervising dentist/professor. People who have serious health problems, such as ungoing chemo, will be sent to a special clinic in the medical schools to have their dental work done. Again, very reasonable. I had all x-rays, meticulous examination, and cleaning over 2 appointments for $46 last month.

  32. Mandos

    That works if you have (1) $46 on you, (2) a nearby dental school, and (3) that kind of time. In Ottawa, for instance, there is no dental school, and I have heard many reports of the dentally uninsured poor suffering through toothaches. I can’t imagine it.

  33. Pony

    University and College Dental clinics
    http://www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/seniors/english/guide-directory-Dental.htm

    Several universities and colleges have dental clinics open to the public. Services vary according to the clinic. Fees are generally less than what private practitioners charge. Please contact clinics individually to determine services, fees and availability of appointments.

    ##

    http://www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/seniors/english/guide-directory-CommunityInformation.htm
    Local Community Information Centres may be able to identify options for dental care services in your area.

    (1) $46 on you
    Sell something.

    (2) see above college and university dental schools in Ontario

    (3) that kind of time
    How much pain were you in, again?

  34. Mandos

    (1) Sell what?

    (2) Neither Ottawa university dental clinic is a teaching clinic—they’re full private practices effectively renting space.

    (3) Not enough pain to be evicted with one’s children. Still unacceptable.

  35. Pony

    Mandos I don’t know what your point is. There are three places in Ottawa that will provide. Algonquin College very cheaply, the Universities less so, but still less than private enterprise. It’s for you (or whoever) to figure out what to sell or do without, or from whom to borrow *if* that is possible. If I can do without a phone so I can get this, then I’m sure you can figure out a way. Hock your leather jacket. All teach a program of preventive care. I have not been to a dentist in 14 years. I didn’t need anything done because I’ve taken advantage of preventive care for even longer, at even less than I paid last month, for me and mine. I paid in installments, with no insurance once. If you absolutely cannot pay, negotiate, plead, at the schools. I’m not using IBTP banwidth any further to lead you by the hand to what you can easily find out yourself.

  36. Pony

    I meant, I paid in installments, for braces, with no interest. We walked. We couldn’t afford bus passes, we cut our own hair, wore home made clothes. Etc. *We* also give to the Spare Change vendors. We edited the first issue on the streets in Canada. We have resolve.

  37. Mandos

    The point is that regardless of the options that some people can find on the side, it really should just be included in the system, as I’m sure you’ll agree. I think you’ll also agree (?) that it’s disproportionately women who have to hunt down these alternatives. I think the only point of disagreement is the real availability of the side options in some places.

  38. Twisty

    This blog is a cancer-patients-can-say-whatever-the-fuck-they-want zone. It is not a I-know-a-cancer-patient-with-a-perkier-attitude-than-yours-so-I-can-dump-on-your-ass zone. Therefore, Rowan, go fuck yourself.

  39. Pony

    It has never been included in any part of the system I’ve used, and will most certainly not be now, along with 9/10 of the rest that’s disappearing.

    No. Not women. Men in those chairs next to me, and why I couldn’t say. Most are students, the next group (other than men of all ages) are people about my age. But children. Last appt there was a busload of school children from the inner city. That was good to see.

  40. Mandos

    You’re right about what probably will happen. However, from time to time people bandy about establishing national pharmacare. Unlikely, but it’s on the table at least.

    Re dental patients and gender: That’s interesting then. Because many Canadians get dental care via employment-related insurance; I would have expected that fewer women would have jobs with that sort of insurance and hence would become a larger proportion of the student dentist patient body. Interesting.

  41. Pony

    The men I saw last appt were older than me, Chinese, East Asian, somewhat “indigent” appearing, and middle-aged to older men with false teeth. They are prized for the experience of working on their dentures, which is still included as a unit for dentists who may have to begin their careers in Moosonee or Churchill.

  42. Pony

    that was; older than me, or Chinese and East Asian; or somewhat “indigent” appearing men, and .

  43. Ron Sullivan

    Geez, Mandos, I suffered through toothaches through a couple of years of college. (I did a lot of dumb, arguably masochistic things in college. It was a Catholic college.) Come to think of it, I find it hard to imagine myself doing that too. And no, I couldn’t afford college either; I was there on scholarships.

    Then I moved out here and decided to do something about them. I went over to UCSF’S dental school for three extractions. Pony, bless your country. It cost me more than $46 — I think it was $100 — in cash, and this was around 1974.

    And I got a dental student stitched to my gums. I don’t recommend this as a way to meet the fellas. The most fun was working to articulate an answer, while my mouth contained the following: at least two hands’ worth of fingers, maybe three; a big curved cutting needle (rather like an upholsterers’ needle) and attached suture, that gizmo that sucks saliva, an irrigator, a dental dam, and some big shiny tool that probably wasn’t pliers (excuse me, forceps) because they had the tooth out by then. Oh, and a bale or two of cotton wads.

    The question was: “Ummm, you don’t have syphilis or hepatitis, do you?”

    I said, approximately, “Ngngngnuhaoo. OuhwwWHYYY??”

    Student A had run the needle and suture through my gum and then through Student B’s index finger.

    I looked like a roadkill chipmunk and felt worse for a week after, though they clipped the suture and at least I didn’t have to go home with a student dentist hanging out of my face.

    Then I hitched up my pants and found a real dentist, who did three more extractions with real pain control and,I suppose, more expertise. I was eating solid food and feeling fine the next day. Yeah, I’ll pay for that and eat more beans, thanks.

    Oh.

    Preventive dentistry is great but it doesn’t mean your teeth won’t go bad. Hooray for teaching it, though. Can’t hurt, might help

  44. Pony

    A roadkill chipmunk; now that’s an image doesn’t need Kodak.

  45. Pony

    Note to potential dental school clients: I had nothing like what Ron describes. Fun as it sounds. The dental work done on me several years ago when I came out of the dentist-free and fluoride-free Arctic was *extensive* meticulous, painless and under $800, paid $50 by $50. Because of preventive dental care (professional cleaning every six months, teaching and monitoring of flossing and brushing technique, free toothbrushes and floss, coaching about diet etc) my children among them have one teeny almost invisible filling.

  46. kathy a

    i got my dad’s bad teeth, and had approximately 4 dental checkups in my life before beginning law school. like ron, i turned to UCSF’s dental school, and they fixed me up [although i was never threatened with taking a student home because someone sewed him to my gums -- they probably fine-tuned the program by '79]. in fact, the professors loved me — i recall lectures to hoards of students involving the phrase, “bombed out molars.” one does not get a compliment like that every day.

    did you ever notice how nobody ever does “dentistry: the naked truth calendar” as a fundraiser?

  47. Pony

    While they’re cleaning my pristine teeth almost every female hygienist I’ve seen tells me the guys with 40 years of plaque and fur down their tongue hit on them, continuously, throughout the whole looooong scraping, blasting and chipping session. Fowl breath, blood running from their gums. Oh baby.

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