Saturday, January 24, 2015

Underinflated Balls


UPDATE!!

NATIONAL SEX TRAFFICKING STING 

nets nearly 600 arrests before 

2015 Super Bowl


"As part of the "National Day of Johns" sex trafficking sting, spearheaded by the Cook County, Ill., Sheriff's Office, police said that they captured hundreds of men and women attempting to hire prostitutes through websites such as Backpage.com and Craigslist. Police also said they rescued dozens of women who said they had been forced into prostitution…" READ MORE 




Is this still a man’s world or what? 
Why are they still talking about underinflated balls? Why? Because they’re not really talking about underinflated balls, they’re talking about money. About men making money. About men losing money.
I don’t want to talk about or hear any more about underinflated balls.
I want to talk about the under-aged sex workers men will be bringing in to Glendale, Arizona for the 2015 Super Bowl.
It’s hard to be ahead of the times on this one. The trouble with statistics is that you have to wait until after the fact to gather them. I have no stats on how many child prostitutes will be unwillingly brought into Glendale next weekend. I do have stats on previous Super Bowls, however: an estimated 10,000 women and minors were brought into Tampa, FL for sex at the 2009 Super Bowl. The numbers for actual arrests are almost comical by comparison – “One human trafficker was arrested and jailed for advertising a 14 and 18-year-old for $300 on Craigslist as a ‘Super Bowl Special’.”
            The Super Bowl may be the Las Vegas of sports events, sex, drugs, alcohol, whatever happens here, stays here, but for the young women who are forced into sex trafficking, it’s no picnic. Most of the men who pay for sex are married with the children, have good jobs and are obviously earning enough money to buy a Super Bowl ticket, travel and pay Super high hotel rates. They will return with no regrets to their wholesome lives after engaging in vacation sex with a child. The child, however, will regret each moment she is forced to have sex with anywhere from 25-50 men every day she (or he) is at the year’s most prestigious event. Makes one wonder about other events – say the political Conventions, I don’t want to single out a political party here – or any other such event you can imagine.
Good people, I have found, do not like hearing about this situation. Good people like to concentrate on the game itself, on the wholesomeness of this family sports event, on having enough snacks and booze for their friends and colleagues at their Super Bowl party. They didn’t even want to see Janet Jackson’s pink nipple - that was too shocking! So, it follows, that during the game no one wants to think about a little girl chained to a bed, shot up with heroin to keep her docile, trained to not gag by an older girl, trained by an older girl to act sultry or scared – most of the men want scared – if I go on about this, you’ll blame me for telling you. How can you say such things?
            How can you ignore them? How can you eat your snacks and enjoy the game knowing that women and children are going to be hurt afterward – for fun?
            You need to know about the damage group. The damage group is made up of the girls to whom men are allowed to do anything they want, usually involving horrible beatings and torture while performing sexual acts. In the documentary Playground by filmmaker, Libby Spears (now streaming on Netflix) about sex trafficking in the United States, one official commented that some of the acts they were seeing he couldn’t describe, against children so young, that no normal person could look at them without being disturbed. Officials blame easy access of child pornography on the internet for the increase in more extreme sexual acts. Users have become dulled by the nightmares they've witnessed there and are looking for more and more perversions.
Most people think sex trafficking is a problem found only in other countries. That’s simply not true. The United States has 100,000 to 150,000 under-aged sex workers; most of them are runaways or captives who were forced into a life of prostitution. Take the example of Debbie, an A student from a good family in Phoenix, AZ who was abducted from her driveway at age 15, held at gunpoint in a dog kennel, given dog biscuits to eat, forced to have sex with multiple men, raped by her captors for sport, stuffed into a drawer under a bed where she was found by police 40 days after her abduction. She was lucky. Most abducted children are never found.
Here is a quote from Gregg Abbot, Texas Attorney General: "The Super Bowl is one of the largest human trafficking events in the United States."
If you click on the NBC News link, the page says, “We're sorry. The text content of this page is no longer available.”
            But I found it: in a great article by USA Today’s Rick Jervis about efforts by Texas law enforcement to meet the challenges of what was expected to be going on underneath the surface glamour of the 2011 Dallas Super Bowl: "The Super Bowl is the greatest show on Earth, but it also has an ugly underbelly," Abbott said. "It's commonly known as the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States.” Ernie Allen, President of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children said, “Each year, 100,000 to 300,000 American kids, some as young as 12 years old, are exploited in the sex trade. The traffickers use the Super Bowl and other large events such as the World Cup to ply their trade. The traffickers try to seize that opportunity to do business.” Traffickers are making money by exploiting children and their co-conspirators are men, most often family men, who are literally lining up to purchase sex with a child.
            Back to underinflated balls. How appropriate. Because that is exactly the kind of balls men have who need to abuse children, who need to scare little girls, who need to force children, who need the perversion of having sex with a toddler or younger - oh, yes, it’s too awful, and too true. Maybe strong women have scared them. Maybe the media has shown them too many sexual images of girls and boys at younger at younger ages. Maybe the easy access of the internet is to blame for the increase in cruelty and perversion. Probably. The sheer number of these easily available, horrifying acts have dulled the senses of perverts who now want more and more aberrant acts performed. But, that’s no excuse. Child prostitution is as old as time. Children are easy prey for monsters. Who knows what horrors existed in ancient Rome or medieval China. It’s always, always, always the same – it’s bullying. Men who need to hurt a very small, very helpless person in order to feel large.
            Men with underinflated balls.

©PatriciaGoodwin, 2015           

What you can do:
If you suspect trafficking, CALL the National Human Trafficking Resource Center: a toll-free 24-hour hotline at 888-373-7888.

Give as much as you can:

Patricia Goodwin is the author of When Two Women Die, about Marblehead legends and true crime and its sequel, Dreamwater.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

REINVENTION = HOPE







The first thing I saw Tuesday morning when I woke up and turned on the laptop was that Robin Williams had killed himself. I passed Denial and went right into Anger. What the fuck is going on? Philip Seymour Hoffman and now another dear genius? I guess on paper, intellectually, I agree that anyone has the right to kill himself or herself. But, emotionally, I’m hurting more than I realize. I just can’t shake my sadness at the waste of such creative, vibrant lives.
I don’t write this post lightly. I never write lightly, even if I make fun of myself. It is not easy for me to say these things. And it is especially hard to come out with these truths in the face of our shared loss in the deaths, both very much suicides, of Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The idea of just not wanting to be here any more, the quality of life issue, has gotten me down more than once. Who wants to be in this world where people cannot stop killing each other? Yesterday, I saw a picture of a toddler with three rifles pointed to his head. Who cares what is was about or which side was which? Who wants to live in that world? It’s horrifying! To say it’s depressing is an understatement. (This photo turned out to be posed. It’s still disgusting. And, since we know atrocities like this pose are actually happening, the posing seems both moot and representative.)


I get depressed because the bees are dying or because Bill and Melinda Gates have invested in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault along with Monsanto Corporation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Syngenta Foundation and the Government of Norway to create a doomsday seed collection, when I know they are really busy destroying our food supply and cornering the world’s seeds for some kind of horror movie agenda. Now, that’s depressing. There are moments in the middle of the night when I really do panic, not for myself, but for mankind. For God. For Nature. Nature doesn’t care; she’ll adjust, even if she has to turn earth into the moon for a while. But, God. The loss of all He created? All He gave us? Such an act is beyond evil. I feel so sad about it, so very sad. The only thing I can do is to continue to champion organics and hope organics can survive. But, I don’t get depressed. I fight. I feel a very powerful sense of responsibility to keep on. As a writer and an artist, I must go on. I believe in the responsibility of the artist – to his talent, to God who gave him his talent, to the people who love him - to keep on - to never, ever squander his gift, not on drugs, not on laziness, not on fear. Not on depression.
When I look at celebrities, people we think “have it all,” people who have “made it,” the severe suffering and panic is obvious: they are people who stuff their faces or breasts with plastic or some other substance foreign to the human body; starve themselves in a land of plenty; workout till their muscles and veins strain out of their arms and legs; shoot heroin; shoplift; drive fast; guzzle pills or alcohol and limp off to rehab over and over. I can feel how lonely many celebrities are, especially geniuses like Williams and Hoffman. Depression, again, seems like an understatement.
However, as a macro, I know that depression is quite often the result of dehydration and constipation. In the coffee shop I go to, one of the kids who works there told me, “I used to get so depressed after drinking the coffee (dehydrating) until I started drinking a tall glass of ice water along with it. Then, I felt completely different.” Just in case you thought a kid with colored hair and a nose ring couldn’t teach you anything. Water is the only liquid that can hydrate you. Prolonged subtle dehydration, that is, not getting enough water every day for a long time, from drinking too much alcohol or other dehydrating liquids such as coffee or tea, soda or mineral water, working too hard, traveling, forced-air environments, smoking, medication side-effects, stress or - just plain not drinking enough water - can interfere with the function of the body’s organs causing problems that may be attributed to other causes and treated with more medications. Problems like muscle spasms, hamstring injuries, heat exhaustion, dizziness, heart palpitations, nausea, weakness, lightheadedness, kidney stones, rashes, gout, even dementia have been noted in people who do not get enough water. 
Robin Williams would have been the first one to rant on depression being caused by constipation. He would have made it funny, though it’s not funny. Constipation is brought on by the American diet of too much sugar, meat, saturated fats, trans fats, dairy, white flour, baked goods and salt in combination with lack of exercise, not drinking enough water and chemicals and drugs of all kinds, whether prescribed medications or recreational. The more medications your doctor prescribes for your depression or for other health problems, such as Williams' heart medications, the more chance you have of being constipated and depressed. Medications make your intestines lax; in turn, you feel heavy and burdened. You have a hard time getting “fired-up” about things. Reinvention seems impossible, while, in reality, reinvention is ALWAYS possible.
We all know about the endorphins released by exercise. Endorphins create positive feelings in our minds and bodies. And I’m really not preaching when I say that exercise can erase depression. I know Williams had a difficult heart surgery which he himself said was so traumatic, he found himself, in recovery, weepy and vulnerable instead of strong and powerful. My husband had heart surgery and he has made lots of healthy changes since. I've seen my husband's improvement first hand and it is very inspiring. I am 63, Robin Williams’ age when he died. I am overweight. I hated to exercise – until I did – now I cannot do without the sense of strength exercising gives me in my muscles – in my legs, my belly – I can feel power in my waist when I move, a little push from inside pushing me forward, more energy, more strength, encouragement, power, the opposite of depression. I can now get out of bed without suddenly grabbing my back or tottering on unsteady legs. I was getting to the point where I could not turn in bed, not from the weight, but from complications from the weight – muscle cramping, poor circulation, weakness. That’s depressing. Most people would give up. But, as a macro, I knew, I didn’t want to go backward. I had some bad habits that were bringing me down. Oh, yes, even macros can make mistakes. The only way was forward. I started to exercise, just a little, then more and more, and the rewards were - and are - greater as the exercise increases. Not just energy, but good positive energy from the good, positive functioning of the body.
An athlete I know once told me, “I can’t tell you how big my bowel movements are after I run!” I asked her, “Where is it all coming from? You’re so thin!” She said, “I don’t know, but it sure comes out!” I said something silly like, “You better run home fast!”
Alicia Silverstone has tried to tell people about how “effortless” her bowel movements are since becoming vegan. Of course, people just laugh at her. What does an actress know about health? Try it sometime. Try being vegan for a while and see if you can get depressed. Leafy green vegetables, vegetables that grow up. These will keep you smiling. Robin Williams would have been the first to make a comedy routine out of it.
There’s a great episode of Two & a Half Men in which the young boy, Jake, is depressed and grouchy. After enduring Jake’s rude remarks and slouchy attitude for a while, the maid, Berta, hands him a jug of prune juice and says, “Here, drink this! The whole thing!” The next time we see Jake he’s back to normal, laughing, joking, eagerly running out to the beach. Berta tells his father, “All you feed him are pancakes and pizza, whaddya expect?”
Can constipation kill? John Wayne had 40 lbs of fecal matter in his intestines when he died. Elvis, whose favorite food was a bacon/peanut butter/banana sandwich, had 60 lbs. of feces inside him when he died. Certainly, these two cases are severe. I don't know if Robin Williams was anywhere near this condition. However, even being slightly constipated can slow a person down and cause other difficulties. Catherine Zeta-Jones' favorite comfort food is a spam/corn flake sandwich. I heard her tell this to an interviewer. As a macro, I can see the results of this eating in her skin. We know she is bi-polar; she's been to rehab more than once for this disorder. She's an amazing, talented, beautiful actress; it's hard to see her having trouble of any kind. According to macrobiotics,  the above mentioned snacks are a recipe for constipation, depression, and other complications.
It’s hard for people to believe that depression can be caused by something as simple as constipation and cured by something as simple as relieving your bowels. We want to think we are depressed about something important. And, we are: death, loss, war, human suffering, our own pain. But, we cannot come to grips with the world and our own pain unless we are reasonably healthy. As a macro, I do not believe that some people are so depressed they cannot be helped by positive diet and lifestyle changes or so far gone they cannot help themselves. As long as you can cook and chew, you can change. If you think you’re too depressed to cook, you are lying to yourself. You have to help yourself if you want to change. Help yourself.
I’m still angry. Angry with Robin Williams. Angry with Philip Seymour Hoffman. It also hurts me to think - they were working when they died. When I think of all the talented people who never get to work, or older actors and actresses who cannot find work, I get really angry with both Williams and Hoffman. One of the things I admired most about Robin Williams was his ability to reinvent himself. He was a crazy-great comedian. He was a brilliant serious actor. His work in the movie, One Hour Photo blew my mind. He was beyond amazing in the Law & Order, SVU, episode, Authority. They say Americans love a come back. I want to say come back, Robin. Come back, Philip. At the very least I can watch them over and over on film. I don’t need to tell you which films. You know.
Yeah, I’m angry. I’m also sad. I’ve always told my daughter, “No matter how bad things get, please remember how amazing you are. And, you never know what’s coming around the next corner. Someone as amazing as you will know how to take advantage of the next possibility.” Robin Williams took advantage of those possibilities over and over. I don’t know why he finally ran out of hope. But I can tell you I’ve seen it many times: a healthy lifestyle change can make a tremendous difference to what may seem insurmountable difficulties. You may not believe it can be that simple. But, it is.
And that makes depression even more tragic.


CNN: Dr. Amen discusses Robin Williams’ depression and the healthy benefits of diet and lifestyle changes.


***Update: We now know that Robin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson's Disease when he died. According to macrobiotics, Parkinson's is a degenerative disease of the nervous system that is caused by long term eating of extreme yin, in the case of yin Parkinson's (shaking) and long term eating of extreme yang in the case of yang Parkinson's (seizing-up). He had been taking more medications for this condition, compounding his depression. As a macro, it is painful to hear this news because Parkinson's can be prevented, controlled, and often reversed with healthy macrobiotic changes.  It seems every day brings another sadness about Williams' death. Even Koko the gorilla who met Williams mourned him. She speaks over 1,000 words and overheard the staff talking about him. She remembered him. He had made her laugh when a gorilla friend of hers passed in 2001. Now, I realize, nature is mourning too. 




Impromptu Robin Williams Memorial at the Boston Garden bench from Good Will Hunting.
These tributes were most likely washed away by Wednesday's rains, making them even more poignant.


©PatriciaGoodwin, 2014

Patricia Goodwin is the author of many articles on GMOs, organics, and other subjects. These articles and her books may be found on her website at patriciagoodwin.com. Books on Amazon: When Two Women Die and Dreamwater.





Wednesday, June 4, 2014

MEMO







Memo to Catholic Church:


Mary was an unwed mother

Jesus was illegitimate




Rest in Peace


2,000

©Patricia Goodwin, 2014

Patricia Goodwin is the author of When Two Women Die, about Marblehead legends and true crime and its sequel, Dreamwater, about the Salem witch trials and the vicious 11-year-old pirate Ned Low.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ned Low: DREAMWATER Trigger Warning! DLSV!







WARNING: DREAMWATER (especially the character of 11-year-old pirate Ned Low) contains content that many viewers may find offensive or traumatic.


Literature and art prepare you for life. In fact, the old tagline of PBS used to be: “To help you cope better with the world around you and with your own life.” If you’ve had a rough life, you may find solace in the violence you find in literature and art. You may say to yourself, “I’m not alone. I thought it was just me.” If something has happened to you, you may get a memory flashback if you read a novel or a poem, or a history book or see a painting or a movie. However, you might get the very same flashback from a mattress ad, or a sofa ad, or an image onscreen of a woman or a man passing through a dark doorway or, as in the case of veterans, a sudden, loud noise. I have witnessed little kids getting traumatized by the mermaids being mean to Wendy in Peter Pan and sobbing over the seeming impossible length of the stairway to Cinderella locked in her room that the tiny mice must travel with the huge key in order to rescue their friend. To the small child, Cinderella seemed doomed. The child was still sobbing heart-wrenchingly after the movie had reached its happy ending. You can never tell what will traumatize someone or cause a flashback of trauma.
When I was abused, I didn’t even know what was happening to me until I saw it in movies and read it in books. I was thrilled to find the information on the page. So, when I read that some college students – college! – were asking for trigger warnings on the literature they must read - I laughed! Ha! I couldn’t wait to get to college to read the most realistic literature! Already, in high school, I had read Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, in which the main character, Jake has been wounded in the war. Our teacher did not hesitate to inform us of the nature of Jake’s injury. His penis had been shot off. In Jakes’ words, “I supposed it was funny. I could feel everything a man could feel, but I couldn’t do anything about it.” (I’ve also had the honor of teaching The Sun Also Rises on to a high school seniors and my class was extremely grateful to be treated like adults.) In high school, I also read Oscar Wilde’s play SalomĂ© which led me to Aubrey Beardsley’s drawings; both were a revelation. And William Faulkner’s Of Mice and Men, which led me to his novel, Sanctuary since I would read, not only the assignment, but all of the author’s works. I couldn’t wait to get to college to read D.H. Lawrence or Henry James, Dickens or Tolstoy, Shakespeare or Virginia Woolf taught on a level that was adult and truthful. I needed to read what could happen as much as what had happened. If a man, woman or child has suffered from it, I can at least read about it and know about it.
Ned Low is a vicious, savage, sexually active 11-year-old pirate. One of my readers complained to me that kids are not that sexually aware at eleven. That Ned would have been, I’m quoting,  “the hero of his gym class.” I asked another friend about this and she just shook her head, “Oh, no! We were at it much earlier than that!” Readers and friends aside, Ned Low is modeled after a neighbor of mine, the boy across the street, son of my mother’s best friend, my stalker, my would-be rapist from whom I escaped many times, whom you will meet if you read my next novel. Ned Low, one of the cruelest and most violent pirates who ever sailed the seven seas, also existed in real life without being modeled after anyone. He was also a romantic who fell in love with a girl and married her in Boston. She died and he never got over it. In Dreamwater, Ned Low, though cunning and terrible, though only 11, also falls in love with a girl whom he marries, with whom he makes love, giving him some redeeming social value and making him all the more interesting to us.
Bret Easton Ellis wrote American Psycho using real life crimes as his models for the crimes of his character, Patrick Bateman. Nevertheless, Ellis has been blamed across the media for the crimes that were in his novel and for the light-hearted tone with which these crimes were committed. In Australia, American Psycho is wrapped and sealed in cellophane. Ellis is thrilled.
When William S. Burroughs wrote Naked Lunch, an obscenity trial ensued that cost his publisher, Grove Press most of its revenue and pretty much closed the publisher’s doors. One of the questions in the trial was this: “Is Burroughs advocating this sort of behavior?” The response: “No! Of course not!” If human beings do it, writers must write about it. Keep silent, and abusers will be empowered by secrecy.
There are no more publishers like Barney Rosset of Grove Press. Generous, he bought homes in the Hamptons, before the Hamptons were the Hamptons, for his employees so that they could all hang out together. Brave, he took a plane to Cuba to secure a few chapters of Che Guevara’s historic journals. Smart, he foresaw the social value of Valerie Solanas’ SCUM Manifesto before anyone else did, even Andy Warhol, who was a genius of artistic foresight. (Solanas, homeless at the time, is also famous for being the woman who shot Andy Warhol.)
Ned Low is also modeled after real life sex slaves in the 17th Century when child abuse and child prostitution was rampant. However, we cannot blame the 17th Century. In Dreamwater, because Marblehead is such a marvelous place, nothing truly bad happens there in the 1995 chapters, however, bad things are happening everywhere and not even Marblehead is completely safe. Every day we hear about more and more horror stories, mostly on the most horrible of all sources – the daily news. Literature cannot keep up with the horrors of real life. Jackie Collins, who writes about Hollywood behaving badly, once said, “Oh, I could never write the complete truth about what goes on! Even I have to tone down reality for my books, no one would believe it!” Just last week, on Law & Order, Special Victims Unit (sex crimes and child welfare crimes) Sargent Olivia Benson rescued an infant from a pornography ring. You might not believe that is possible, but I recall a modern real life crime against an infant that would make you question the existence of God. I intend to write about it, as it is my duty to write. And if bad things make you question God, don’t bother. Question yourself and mankind and mankind’s God-given free will.
Ned Low clears a path before me that I must walk. Even if it means I must bear the anger and sneers of others passing me on the street or in the cafĂ©, “She’s the writer who wrote that book!”  

If you can’t take Dreamwater, then don’t read the next one. It happened to me, it’s true and I was just a little girl. I have earned the right to write about it. Read if you dare! TRIGGER WARNING! DLSV!

©Patricia Goodwin

Patricia Goodwin is the author of When Two Women Die, about the legends and true crime of Marblehead, Massachusetts and its sequel, Dreamwater, about the witch trials of 1692 and the terrible adventures of Ned Low, 11-year-old pirate. Goodwin's next novel will be released soon.