Well, if I’m going to put on knee pads and publicly service Mayor Mike McGinn every time he’s right, I suppose it would be intellectually dishonest of me to completely ignore him when he’s wrong.
For those who are not aware, Mike has been embroiled in a controversy with Village Voice Media — the company behind such “alternative” publications as the Village Voice and Seattle Weekly.
You see, Village Voice Media operates a Craigslist-competitor called “Backpage.com”, and according to Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, this page (and others owned by Village Voice) are contributing to a national underage sex slave epidemic.
If you would like to see the article that started the entire debacle, I urge you to read the now-notorious issue:
The battle has continued for over a month, culminating in a rebuttal from Village Voice last week:
When Mike McGinn read Demi and Ashton’s junk-science filled screeds, he fell for it.
And, as you can imagine, sinker.
He ordered the City of Seattle to pull all advertising from the Seattle Weekly, and he instituted a public finger wag campaign against the publication.
Because in my opinion I really think the guy means well, but he is often a victim of his own white privilege at times. People who have never had to worry about where their next meal was coming from often lack perspective.
When a man in Toronto speaks his opinion about women’s wardrobes, and that opinion does not align with that of pampered, white, upper-middle-class UW grads … holy shit, it’s worse than 9/11 … to the streets for a SlutWalk … pronto.
“Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are upset about something? It must be serious! After all, they are rich and white, JUST LIKE ME!“
Now, look, I’m not a huge, mega-fan of Village Voice Media. Papers like the Seattle Weekly are as faux-alt as the people they cater to. These tabloids are written by middle-class-white, former suburban, well-mainstream-educated, ex-sorority kids with degrees in journalism who think they are oh-so-edgy because they have a black friend and they once kissed a girl while high on X.
It’s a stretch, though. Alt.news is mainstream news with a couple of “fuck”s or “shit”s sprinkled in to create the illusion that it’s somehow revolutionary. It’s homogenized thought masquerading as diversity. On most positions, King 5 and the Seattle Weekly (and for that matter, The Stranger) are all in agreement. If I’m not mistaken, they all endorsed Sally Clark while completely ignoring her opponents.
That being said, on this issue, I agree with The Weekly wholeheartedly. Ashton Kutcher is a mathematically-challenged imbecile, and Mike McGinn has shown a great deal of anti-intellectualism here.
There are not now, nor has there ever been 100,000 – 300,000 child sex slaves in the USA. The numbers to bear this out simply do not exist, and for all intents and purposes, this is yet another “15 out of 16 rapists go free” hoax.
Do under-aged prostitutes exist? Sure, but the vast majority are between 16 and 18 years old, they know right from wrong, and they are in the trade completely of their own volition.
If any of these girls, and I mean ANY of them walked over to their local police station and said “hey, I’m being pimped out”, the cops would immediately set up a sting. Police departments love that shit. “County cops break up a child prostitution ring” is great PR. It’s the wet dream of every police chief in this nation, second only to “County cops break up a multi-zillion marijuana operation.”
The fact of the matter is that, most of these women know what they’re doing and they’re not poor babes in the woods. I knew some of these girls when I was a teenager myself. They all did it for the money. The same reason that we all do whatever it is that we do to get paid. It sucks that they are now selling their ass a year or two sooner than they used to, but that’s becoming the new economic reality for the working class. The Weekly didn’t make it so. If you didn’t live in an ivory tower, Mike, you would know this as well.
Facts be damned, though — the lure of gratuitous chivalry is hard to resist for the typical upper-middle-class white male.
Female circumcision? It’s evil barbaric genital mutilation.
Male circumcision? It’s for their own good.
Breast cancer? Run and walk! We must all run and walk! For the love of god won’t somebody run or walk?!
Prostate cancer (which kills just as many men per year)? Huh? Prostate what?
Pregnant? You should have the right to choose!
Got her pregnant? You should have thought about the consequences beforehand!
Male Life Expectancy: 75.6 years
Female Life Expentancy: 80.8 years
OH MY GOD THERE’S A WOMEN’S HEALTH CRISIS!
Hundreds of little boys molested by Catholic Priests? Welcome to Seattle, Monsignor!
A 17 year-old girl offers $50 blowjobs in the back of the Seattle Weekly for some quick cash? Quick, pull all city advertising from The Weekly! They hate women!
Look, Mike, I get it. Hysterical female causes are good for a quick PR boost, and let’s face it … they garner us all kinds of attention from the fairer sex.
Back when feminists were hot (and I swear there was a time when they were), we all railed against the glass ceiling. When supermodels said they’d rather go naked than wear fur, we all joined PETA. When Demi Moore said that under-aged sex slavery was a problem, we all took a look at her and said “By god, this large-breasted woman must be appeased!”
We all want to fuck Demi Moore, Mike. We all want to have the world agree with us 100% about at least one issue. We all want the approval of celebrities. It’s human nature.
We don’t have time for it now, though, Mike. We’ve got bigger problems. Real problems. Problems with a real, quantifiable existence. Problems with real, identifiable victims. Problems that Demi Moore and her son lack the requisite IQ to process.
Use the force, Mike. Fight the primal urge to please our celebrity overlords. Engage your brain. Look at the numbers, Mike. The numbers don’t lie. On the list of problems that Seattleites face, under-age sex slavery doesn’t even crack the top 1,000. Please wage these gratuitous holy wars against made-up boogeymen on your own time. Please cater to the Hollywood elite off the city clock.
Leave the Seattle Weekly and its hooker ads alone. Now that the Sears catalog has stopped delivering, it’s the last free masturbatory aid that most of us have left.
Hands off, Mike!