On Whores

A cowardly troll from Phoenix took exception to my characterization of the Tucson Weekly on my blog post the other day, indicating that I was a whore because I've availed myself (or more accurately my causes) of publicity thanks to the Weekly and yet I complain about that same publication.

I'm pretty much done sparring with this jerk but he/she sparked an interesting train of thought that I want to follow for a moment. What exactly is a whore? Besides the literal, sex-work definition, I assume that what was meant is a signification like this one from Wiktionary: "A person who is unscrupulous, especially one who compromises their principles for gain."

Well, as I've often observed, pretty much nobody is pure. In this un-free society where everyone is locked in a web of greed and fear and necessity, constructed by capitalism and fascism, pretty much the only people not compromising their principles for gain are those that have none. For instance, by that definition,

  • If you are against the war in Iraq (I'm not sure what the current poll numbers are but probably at least half of all estadounidenses are) and yet pay for it with your income taxes, you're a whore.
  • If you believe in human-caused climate change and yet still drive cars or fly in airplanes, you're a whore.
  • If you care about human rights and yet buy products made in China, you're a whore.
  • If you care about the environment and sustainability and yet live in Phoenix or Tucson or anywhere in the Sonoran desert bioregion, you're probably a whore.

    These are just a few examples. I could go on and on. Everyone makes compromises. But, so, yes, I'm a whore. We pretty much all are. Suck it up. The person I know who comes closest to being free of all compromises lives alone in an abandoned town off the grid, drinks from a rainfed lake, grows and shoots his own food - but he still drives to town occasionally to buy more bullets and other supplies.

    Besides this compromise issue, there is the issue of tactics. If it's a crime to critique something but to also tactically exploit it as a resource or tool, then I'm guilty as charged. Lock me up. But many others who work for a better world (not to mention those who don't really work for one but rant about how one is possible) do this every day. How many freegans rail against consumer society waste yet benefit regularly from it by the dumpster-load? Primitivists who type their essays and fly to gatherings (and wear glasses and use clocks and language, etc etc) is one of the other more extreme examples. I myself think computers are evil, but I use one every day to do the work I do - that is the best way I have right now for my skills to help better the world.

    So, if, to promote a screening of a film about brutally raped and murdered women, I utilize a piece-of-shit newspaper like the Tucson Weekly which I hate, well, I see no problem with that. Corporate media is a tool to be used judiciously and tactically to accomplish valuable things. Sticking my head in the sand and refusing to exploit such tools in the name of some sort of ethical purity is counterproductive and stupid.

    And so is heckling and name-calling a blogger from behind the shield of anonymity.

  • re: On Whores

    love it, i think you say it better than anyone ever has. your next entry should be an in-depth look at cowardly trolls. :)

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