History tends to breed mythology, or rather, history tends to be written as mythology. The historian is partly to blame for this, taking stories and gutting them, glorifying the parts that they think should be emphasized, by default defining other parts as non-history. Another factor though, perhaps more to blame, is the immediate mistelling of situations as they occur; this is the fault of the news-teller, the history-creator.
What is a sex worker? $pread Magazine defines a sex worker as “someone who explicitly ex- changes their own erotic labor for money, services, or goods. Some examples of sex workers are strippers, burlesque dancers, escorts, hustlers, prostitutes, phone sex workers, porn performers, nude models, professional dominants, and many others. However not all workers in these professions define themselves as sex workers.”
Ten years ago, when I began thinking through the concept of ideology and what we as a collective entity learn from this thing called the “media,” the object of analysis was a bit monolithic and it was fairly easy for me to tap into what people were watching, hearing, and reading.
Baltimore Indymedia was founded in 2001 by a collective of local media activists and for nearly 8 years provided an open, participatory platform for social justice news and multimedia production in Baltimore City and beyond. But sustaining an all-volunteer collective for nearly a decade is no easy task, and since the beginning of this past year the Baltimore Indymedia website has been more less in a hold- ing pattern, with no new featured articles and an undermoderated open publishing newswire.
Claustrophobia was one of the most interesting underground press projects in Baltimore during the late ’90s and the early ’00s. The collective around the project not only published a roughly twice-yearly newspaper, but put out pamphlets, broadsheets, stickers, and books on everything from Wilhelm Reich to the black bloc (through the imprints “Sex-Pol Editions” and “Insubordinate Editions”).
By the mid-1960s, the area around Wells Street in what is now Old Town formed the heart of Chicago’s small but thriving hippie scene. The neighborhood housed headshops,record stores, music clubs, coffee shops, and a burgeoning population of bohemian young people.
I can’t help but smile remembering the frank instructions from members of the Honduran resistance upon my arrival in Tegucigalpa: “Stand between police and protesters. Hold your camera. Hope it might slow the rapidly advancing boots or raining blows. If it doesn’t, run like hell.”
After a narrow escape, sharing my water bottle with one of the protesters, he teased, “Solidarity here is very practical and urgent.”
No matter what your political or ideological orientation might be, it’s become increasingly difficult to ignore the “crisis” in the world of media. Newspapers are downsizing, magazines are going bust or ceasing print production in favor of a cheaper, but much less substantive online format, and every day there’s yet another casualty in the bookstore world.