Saturday, September 01, 2007

And people wonder why I want to write about Canada.

Former Journalist to Open Brothel

VICTORIA (CP) – “She's run a newsroom at a daily newspaper but now she wants to build a co-op brothel, run by and for prostitutes…. Paterson, who also wrote a regular column for the the Victoria Times-Colonist, admits many of the stories she wrote, especially ones about sex trade workers, touched her personally - a journalistic no-no, where reporters seek the heart of stories but attempt to keep the emotion from sinking into their own skin.”

Awwww. And who says the press never focuses on any heartwarming stories? This is challenging my assumptions. I always thought they lined up lawyers and journalists and surgically removed their hearts as soon as they were hired.

Okay, I am joking. At least about the reporters. ; )

Now, I could say something, and it would probably be the dirtiest thing I’ve ever said, so I’ll keep it to myself and keep my pristine image in tact. But I will say that the potential mileage from something like this is sky high.

Journalist starts brothel, fellow journalist gets a camera and catalogues the clientele. Entrapment for slow news days. Okay, seriously, no matter what anyone says attitudes won’t change overnight. I personally feel that the day we’ll have really made progress is the day we don’t see a headline like First Gay Couple Marry in Iowa. The real sign of equality will be when we consider this so normal it isn’t newsworthy. Of course, the recent sex scandal involving a US senator doesn’t help. Society still hasn’t caught up to the law in terms of how it feels about homosexuality. Proof to me we’re slow to change, and society has been frowning on prostitution since the days of Cain.

Oddly enough, I do tend to forget this and put my own mindset on things. It never even occurred to me a few days ago, when I posted the Maid Marian video, that people would think of it as anti-gay. I seriously thought, “Oh my word, look what’s on Youtube” and if I’d thought for a second my friend, who’s in the video, would have been upset by it I wouldn’t have posted it. After all, if a person who was in it doesn’t have a problem, should anyone else? (No doubt some of you are wondering who is in the video, as I never did say, and don't plan to. It really is just proof some people have too much time on their hands, that once you're in the public domain anything's possible, and what about copyright anyway? How does YouTube get away with all the tv show clippings? File that under things that make you go hmmm.)

And then part of me wonders if the reason some people got their knickers in a twist over it is because they actually are a bit homophobic. My brother-in-law is gay. In my experience, a lot of gay people have a better sense of humour about their sexuality than straight people do – they’re too busy trying to be politically correct so that it doesn’t seem like they have a problem with homosexuality.

Getting back to the topic at hand, though, I could do a whole side discussion about the fact they’re trying this in Victoria as well. I must admit to being intrigued, and wondering what would happen if a reporter tried this in such a high-profile capacity in the GVA. They’ve been having a hell of a time over their safe injection sites, something I pay attention to because my Cdn series is set in the Greater Vancouver Area.

But there’s pretty handy access from the US to Victoria, and I find myself musing the possibilities for cross border sex trips… Musings like this are how books are born.

And since we're on the subject of sex, here's a joke for you:

The only way to pull off a Sunday afternoon "quickie" with their 8-year old son in the apartment was to send him out on the balcony with a popsicle and tell him to report on all the neighborhood activities.

He began his commentary as his parents put their plan into operation:

"There's a car being towed from the parking lot," he shouted. "An ambulance just drove by!"

"Looks like the Andersons have company," he called out. "Matt's riding a new bike!"

"Looks like the Sanders are moving!"

"Jason is on his skate board...."

After a few moments he announced, "The Coopers are having sex!!"

Startled, his mother and dad shot up in bed. Dad cautiously called out, "How do you know they are having sex?"

"Jimmy Cooper is standing on his balcony with a Popsicle."


norby said...

First of all, what pristine image? I think I've sullied that by now.

Is prostitution legal in Canada? I had no idea. Yet another reason for the US to send its young people over the border every weekend. Yee-haw!

Sandra Ruttan said...

No, it isn't legal. But the police are a little busy manning photo radar...

norby said...

Damn. I was having dreams of all our testosterone heavy freshman taking field trips to Windsor for some fun on the weekends. Would have guaranteed me some quiet. Back to the drawing board.

Sandra Ruttan said...

(resists urge to make jokes about Windsor)

Seriously, apparently these brothels are already operating some places as escort agencies and it's anyone's guess how the law will treat them. They're being pretty public about their intentions, but then, BC does tend to be on the cutting edge.

Anonymous said...

Norby - you never said the heavy freshman was interupting your quiet weekend....
Speaking of Maid Marion - and the like - I'm begining to think PC has gone way over board - I know some gays and they are the first people to start with the jokes - we need to find our sense of humour and our acceptance of all things different.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I'm so glad you said that Betty - tomorrow I'll start with the Irish jokes.

(Just kidding. Although when I lived in Europe I did hear my share from the English. They tell jokes about the Irish the way we do about Newfies. Of course, in the case of English vs Irish, I figure the English are jealous...)

Anonymous said...

As you say Sandra there's Irish jokes, English jokes, American jokes and very possibly Canadian jokes and every other kind of joke, we grew up on The Irishman, Scots Man and the English Man jokes where the Irish Man was the dumb one - but we laughed with everybody else - isn't that why humour can be so tearjerkingly funny sometimes - we can understand it -empathise - that's one of the reasons I love the series House - he is (House) a throw back to pre PC days. Betty

Sandra Ruttan said...

I love harmless jokes. Life is filled with problems, and I spent far too many years being too serious. I'd rather have lines around my eyes from laughing too much than deep groves from scowling when I lecture someone.

Here's a Canadian joke for you:

Why did the boy climb into a tree with his hockey stick?

He wanted to play with the maple leafs. : )

A joke which may fall flat to anyone not familiar with the NHL, and if you're groaning I challenge you to do better.

John McF said...

Actually, prostitution is legal in Canada. Soliciting for the purposes of prostitution isn't. If you can figure out how that's supposed to work....

Also, this isn't the first Canadian journalist to open a brothel. The last one was a Globe and Mail reporter stationed in Thailand, I think, who wrote a book about his experiences running a brothel.

I'm glad I can call all this research.

Sandra Ruttan said...

You know John, you bring that Globe and Mail reporter home to TO, have him killed and you could have all sorts of fun with that as a story. Maybe even work in a trip to Thailand.

Why is it I think if anyone could do justice to writing about a brothel, it's you? And I mean that as a compliment. You write women exceptionally well, and you aren't shy about writing sex either. Yeah, I think it's perfect for you.

Peter said...

I like this idea. Let reporters do something that might bring pleasure to the paying public, and it could slow down a lot of the mindless media bashing so prevalent these days. It's a good public-relations move, in other words.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun AwayFrom Home"

Sandra Ruttan said...

I'm not sure if women would agree, unless there are plans for his and hers brothels. Now that could be very interesting.

norby said...

It just often seems that 18 year old boys don't actually have control over their own actions Betty. I occasionally lose my sense of smell when someone walks past my apartment in a fog of body spray-mind you my door is closed and I'm nowhere near the door, but it's all I can smell for an hour. Those companies are getting rich because no one has told these guys that a little goes a long way.

Then there are the wonderful moments when I suddenly hear a yell and then someone getting slammed up against the wall or my door. The phrase 'monkeys on crack' goes through my mind on occasion when watching them.

Not that the girls are any less entertaining.

Anonymous said...

And there was I norby thinking totally different disturbances -my oh my!!!!Betty

Anonymous said...

It never stops amazing me how some people can find the bad in anything. And somehow i'm always dissapointed. You'd think i'd learn? I hate to see people attacked for no real reason. Can't people disagree and accept that.
With regard to the whole Maid Marion thing. I missed it, and in a funny way am glad of that. Mountains being made out of molehills, i felt.
My mother always told me "If you've nothing good to say, say nothing"
As for Journalists opening brothels. Who would go? I mean wouldnt you expect your face to be all over the local paper the next day?

Sandra Ruttan said...

That would be my guess Chelbel.

As to everything else, if someone's your friend they give you the benefit of the doubt, if they're bothered they give you a chance to explain first before jumping to conclusions.

A lot of times, the accusations people level at others are indicative of their own ulterior motives. I'm discovering I'm happier not reading a lot of blogs or articles. I felt I had a responsibility to keep an eye on things, hear about up-and-comers and know what was newsworthy so that I could plan appropriate features for Spinetingler, but now? I'll take referrals from my friends for the books I should look for and leave the headaches and the fights to everyone else. I find most people enter discussions with their mind made up to begin with anyway. The Rankin-McDermid fiasco was the last straw for me. I used to skim almost a dozen lists on at least a semi-regular basis. These days, I'm down to two. I don't like coming off aloof and snobby and that isn't the point. It's too easy to be negative and I could win contests for complaining without any help from anyone else. I don't need to stick with a diet of steady negativity.

Anonymous said...

Prostittuion in this country is legal. All of the activities surrounding it are interpreted as not being legal

Sandra Ruttan said...

Thanks for clarifying anonymous - John elaborated on that as well. It's a bit of a technicality. Can you legally be a prostitute? Yes. But you can still be arrested for solicitation, and they run these brothels as escort agencies to stay out of trouble with the law.

Sounds to me as though the laws need to change.