Peep the Peepers

PeepersFolks, I wanna tell you a story about an American hero, a man who has put himself on the line time and time again to alert the women of New York, Union Square specifically, that they are under constant threat from discreetly salivating men who have developed voyeurism from a compulsive disorder to a fine craft. Our hero, Normal Bob Smith, who appears to be a cartoonist and designer, has been documenting the various denizens of Union Square for some time. Aside from the predictable presence of Skaters, Scenesters (a.k.a.: Hipsters), Junkies, a Free Hugs guy, and Bums, Mr. Smith has chronicled the activities of men he calls “Peepers”. Whether acting alone or aiding each other in clandestine groups, Peepers are men who hang around and wait for skirt-wearing women to take a seat on the steps of the Square. Thanks to the high likelihood that their sitting position will provide a line of sight that leads directly to their lower undergarments, these Peepers avail themselves of a salacious free show while the performer, as it were, remains blissfully unaware and continues to chat with a friend, attempt a new Angry Birds high score, or sip on a decaf mocha. Enter Normal Bob Smith, the ever vigilant sentinel of women’s virtue.

On his Amazing Strangers website, Smith has provided readers and potential victims with a graphic guide to the behavior of the common Union Square Peeper. In detailing their usual locations, strategies, and numerous methods used to avoid detection, Smith has not only provided a valuable public service to the women of New York City, he has managed to coin a handful of choice terms in the process. “The Peep,” he tells, “is the actual trail of Peeper’s peeping up the skirt to the panties.” The invisible path projecting from the skirt or The Peep sitting on the steps is called a “Live Zone.” The most fascinating element of Peeper methodology – and, if you were to ask a Peeper, the most difficult to perfect – is what Smith has dubbed “The MACMA: Make-believe Acting Casually Milling About.” MACMAs include such apparently everyday tasks as talking on the phone, reading a map, taking in the surroundings, and taking vacation snaps; or at least appearing to. Peepers, you see, merely pretend to perform these innocent activities as a cover for their peeping, leaving their victims unsuspecting and unaware that their panties are providing anywhere from one to six, sometimes even seven men (depending on the Live Zone and the cooperation between Peepers) with material to augment their continual games of Pocket Pool; that is, the discreet fondling of one’s own testicles (and possibly penis) via trouser pockets.

You might think Normal Bob Smith something of a hero, but, folks, you don’t know the half of it! Stick around as Mr. Pink reveals Smith’s own covert Peeper-peeping techniques and catches the most dastardly Peeper of all, the Picture Peeper.

One Dick, Two Dick, White Dick, Black Dick – Sasha Grey Reads

Sasha Grey“There once was a dog named Hally, who lived with the Tosis family. Hally Tosis was very  good dog, but she had a big problem. Hally Tosis had horrible breath. Whenever Hally Tosis opened her mouth, horrible things happened.” This excerpt from Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey doesn’t just tell the story of a stinky-mouthed pup, it also tells the story of pornstar Sasha Grey. No stranger to controversy – this is, after all, the woman who, in her first hardcore scene, requested a mid-coital punch to the stomach – Ms. Grey last week landed herself in rather hot water by giving a performance of a notably different kind: reading to the students at Emerson Elementary in Compton. Parents who learned of Ms. Grey’s porn past complained to the Emerson PTA, who subsequently contacted the principal. After a school spokesperson flatly denied that Ms. Grey was even present at the reading, photos surfaced online at TMZ showing the tastefully dressed multiple AVN Award winner reading Dog Breath to a floor full of students. Sprung!

Amidst the chaos that followed these revelations, both in the Emerson and greater Los Angeles school communities, on tabloid media sites, and across the pornosphere, were indignant calls for Grey to withdraw from the reading program. Apparently unwilling to do so, Grey insists that porn is her past and that she is now focusing her attention not on double-penetrations and blowbangs, but on solidifying her career as an author (Neu Sex), musician (aTelecine), and mainstream actress (Entourage). She seems intent on fashioning herself as a provocative, intellectual, pseudo-feminist artiste. Who but a serious intellectual could fashion a modest and humble response to the Read Across America debacle containing such ready-made pull quotes as “I am an actor. I am an artist. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a partner,” and “I have a past that some people may not agree with, but it does not define who I am. I will not live in fear of it. To challenge non-profit education programs is an exercise in futility, counter-productive and anti-educational.”

You go, grrrl.

Moving Towards a Trans-Friendly America

It has been a big week for transgender Americans, with a landmark U.S. Tax Court ruling and the passing of a bill in Massachusetts that will grant legal civil rights protection to transgender individuals. The Transgender Equal Rights bill, approved by the State Senate Wednesday, will, when signed by supportive Governor Deval Patrick, grants transgender MA residents protection against employment, education, housing, and credit discrimination, as well as include gender identity and gender expression to the state’s hate crimes law. Legislative Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, Gavi Wolfe, stated: “This bill is about giving transgender people an equal shot at obtaining everyday basics we all need — a job, a place to live, an education. It’s a major step forward for fairness, and we urge the legislature to pass it right away.” The fight for transgender equality is not over, however, as a key clause calling for protection against discrimination in public accommodations was dropped two days before the vote after heavy criticisms from House Republicans.

In the U.S. Tax Court, a ruling may now force the Internal Revenue Service to allow transgender individuals to deduct unreimbursed medical expenses from federal tax returns, as any other citizen would a non-gender related medical expense. Rhiannon O’Donnabhain changed her sex from male to female and attempted to deduct hormone therapy and surgery from her 2010 tax return only to find the IRS disallowing on the basis that these procedures “did not treat a medically recognized disease or promote the proper function of the body.”

The Tax Court, however, saw things differently citing four bases for its ruling in favor of Ms. O’Donnabhain: “1) the disorder is widely recognized in diagnostic and psychiatric reference texts; 2) the texts and all three experts testifying in the case consider the disorder a serious medical condition; 3) the mental health professionals who examined Ms. O’Donnabhain found that her disorder was a severe impairment; and, 4) the Courts of Appeal generally consider gender identity disorder a serious medical condition.” Although she was not able to claim a deduction for her breast enhancement surgery – the court said her tits were fine without it – and although the ruling notes that it is “not to be relied upon or otherwise cited as precedent by taxpayers,” the IRS has agreed to no longer hold the official position of denying gender reassignment patients and those having treatment for Gender Identity Disorder the same tax rights as cisgender citizens.