The white trash left behind by the Mayflower

Hot giggity goo gah. From Return of Kings comes a tale of tourists from the British Isles behaving dissolutely on holiday in Spain. Color me shocked. TL;DR: good girl from a proper Ulster family goes to a meat market resort town on Majorca and sucks off a couple dozen dudes in a dive bar; the mother country’s gutter press gets word of it and does another reflex dive headlong into the pit. RoK, perhaps in a nod to Dame Judy Dench’s recent work, christens this event “The Magaluf 24-Man Blowjob Incident.”

What this girl did was a form of sex work, but barely so. There is apparently a tradition in the Magaluf bar scene called “mamading,” in which a young woman performs public sex acts on strangers in a variation on the ancient Spanish tradition of the mamada in exchange for a free drink. In this case, the drink was estimated to be worth no more than three euros. The pay grade here is reminiscent of the Pashtun herdsman who, when asked what he’d do if he were awarded the $25m bounty on Osama bin Laden’s head, reputedly said that he’d buy a whole bunch of goats, like, praise God, seven thousand goats. If Police Women of Cincinnati is any indication, $20 is a lowball offer for a blowjob in Over-the-Rhine, and what you get for that price is a rather ineffectual woman who’s built like a German brick shithouse. Homegirl looked like maybe she wanted to ask $30 or $40 but didn’t have the nerve. When a wimpy streetwalker in Cincinnati’s most troubled neighborhood won’t offer less than $20 for the deed, there’s no denying that $3-4 for a public round robin suckfest is one cheap date. Only the affluent will settle for a price that low. Likewise, only the affluent will do farm work for free.

Hey, maybe we should stop being such pussies and ask for pay. Nah, can’t do that; ‘t would harsh many a mellow.

Many of the locals in Magaluf, the ones who have to live around that disorder everyday, are up in arms about the atmosphere of out-of-control public drunkenness and lewdness. Having looked through a number of photos from Magaluf, I can’t blame them. It’s a gross scene. It’s equally easy to see why the local authorities have mostly turned a blind eye to the disorder. Ignoring the public disorder  is merely a maintenance-of-way activity for the gravy train. Beach resort towns naturally attract lots of influence peddlers. There’s a lot to be gained by corrupting the local and regional governments, so that milkshake brings all the sleazeballs to the yard, armed with long knives. It happens in San Diego, Miami, and Atlantic City, so why not on Majorca? It doesn’t have to involve sex, but it does have to involve money. The corruption in Magaluf is even less of a surprise in light of the moral character of the current Spanish government, which has been hijacked by thieves and mafiosi, some of them members of the royal family. Spain has a history dating back to Ferdinand and Isabella of screwing over the nascent middle classes, sometimes because they were Jews or Moors, sometimes merely because they weren’t well-connected aristocrats or clerics. It figures that such a country doing business with lushes living two or three hours away by air will turn the whole enterprise into an amazing shit show. If the national government has been plundering the middle classes of the majority religion since at least the sixteenth century and finally got rid of the military-religious-royal establishmentarians with the death of Franco (still dead at the age of 82), why wouldn’t the city council allow foreigners to fuck on the beach in front of highrise hotels? What, does anyone expect to make an honest Jeffersonian living in the trades? LOL.

Britain, apparently the main source of the stupid at Magaluf, has its own troubles. It has more recent experience with broad middle-class prosperity than Spain, not having been governed for the first three decades after the war by a military autocrat (Generalisimo? Good grief), but it also has a more recent history of Maggie Thatcher trashing the unions and Tony Blair pushing his mountebank “New Labour” agenda. Come on, mate, nobody in the government is incentivizing thrift and competence and honesty and diligence and all the other virtues that the Tories never honestly cared for in the first place. (Edmund Burke had his buddies award him a peerage to keep his sorry ass out of debtor’s prison.) Add in a population with a history of endemic severe alcoholism and a local aristocracy with rampant endemic thievery and sloth, and behold: Magaluf. No, go ahead, do tell Mr. Wonka about how you expected the last three decades of British governments to nurture a nation of plain-dealing craftsmen, farmers, and scientist-polymaths.

I often think that if Robin Thicke were transported back in time to any number of  English peasant villages or factory towns, he’d find a most appreciative local audience, one holding “what rhymes with hug me?” in highest esteem as the essence of wit. I don’t see him having such a fan base in the Netherlands, even among the most fluent Anglophones, because the Dutch just don’t seem so vulgar. It’s been that way for centuries. The stuff of Magaluf, it seems, is encoded in a very special way into the British DNA. The bougies suppressed it for several decades after the war, and successfully so, but all it took was a collapse of the honest economy to bring that latent chavviness back. And, yes, do tell Mr. Wonka about how the City is run by honest men and women.

RoK asks some pertinent questions about the geopolitics of this mamading scene, namely, why outsiders (I assume tourists) are butting into local nightlife policy debates in Magaluf and whether the dissolute of Magaluf behave better in other Second World beach towns. The latter is doubtful. All the beach hotspots in Southeast Asia, for example, cater heavily to Australians. Aussies drink like camels just released by their drivers at a Sahara watering hole. It’s amazing. All but two of the Americans I’ve known who studied abroad in Queensland were lushes. One of them returned stateside with a tradition of taking the bag of wine out of the box, holding it up with one hand, slapping it with the other hand, and taking a swig straight from the spigot. She’s a federal probation officer now. Apparently the locals are even worse: one of the party week traditions I was told about was a slip-and-slide leading into a mud pit on the quad, the idea being to do that hang out on the mud quad all day after getting obliterated all night. There’s a very real imperial arrogance that comes with beach tourism in Bali or Ibiza, but the locals don’t look like they’re chomping at the bit to go back to picking olives or coconuts for a living. (One tour guide in Hawaii, however, did tell Sedge Thomson that “the pineapples didn’t talk back.” I must say that I feel similarly about grapes.) The local officials, for their part, are rarely eager to look that gift horse in the mouth.

Nor does the tourism have to be foreign to be coarsening. Just look at the Gaslamp Quarter. It’s a great place to go if you’re a grown woman looking to communicate with strangers using cat noises. For meowing out loud, the masseuses at the rub-and-tug joints in Kearny Mesa don’t do that, and most of them hardly speak English.

Return of Kings has another piece up about an exceptionally coarse New York City event photographer who calls himself Kirill. Notice that he presumes to be his generation’s Kilroy. It’s quite charming, although to be fair it’s more coherent than the Kilroy graffiti ever were. For what it’s worth, his work (sic) is bad enough that Twitter has suspended his account. Kirill, who also styles himself “the Slut Whisperer,” has a custom of photographing himself ejaculating champagne out of a bottle onto women’s faces. It’s some depressing shit, really. There’s something very wrong morally with Kirill, but there’s something even more wrong mentally with the women he shoots (in both senses). I’ve seen saner behavior from paranoid psychotics with violent ideation hanging out at rapid transit stations yelling at entities that aren’t there. As with the mamading tradition in Magaluf, Kirill brazenly lowballs his art subjects. They’d make more as unused extras for a pistachio commercial produced by a Screen Actors Guild signatory, but on the plus side the champagne facial is a gig they can, and in fact should, take on while shambling drunk. These don’t appear to be particularly employable women, in any event. It’s pretty safe to assume that some of them have parents pulling strings left and right to get them sinecures. Looking at the women in some of Kirill’s photographs, I get a bad, sinking feeling in my gut that they have major mental disorders. The least disturbed of them appear to be quite poorly adjusted. Well-adjusted people simply do not engage in such pathological attention-whoring.

What’s really hairy about Kirill’s shtick is that he documents his dirty deeds online. Club scene dirtbags who mistreat women are a dime a dozen, but few of them are as diligent as Kirill is about publicizing their exploits. Kirill is careful to enter the behavior of each of his victims into her permanent record. And yes, these women are his victims. They may not all meet the legal standards for civil or criminal victimization, but in a moral sense, there’s no other way to explain this plea:

I know this will probably fall on deaf ears, but if for some reason you find it in your heart to remove the photos of me topless on your website I would be forever grateful. I just started dating a guy and he’s really amazing and I would hate to lose him if he found out about my less than clean past. I know it is my fault that I drank too much that night and willingly showed you my breasts, but if you can do me this one favor, I’d love you forever. Next time I run into you, I’ll do anything you want. I’ll choke on your dick in the bathroom (as long as there are no photos). Yes. This new guy means this much to me that I’m willing to defile myself one last time to never have him find out about the photos you have of me.

This woman is desperately soliciting sexual blackmail. She’s telling Kirill that she’s willing to fellate him under duress in exchange for his removing a compromising photo of her from his website. Should he take up her offer, he’d be in material violation of laws against blackmailing and right on the verge of committing sexual assault. On the other hand, refusing her offer and defiantly keeping his topless shot of her on his website requires exceptional cruelty, probably unto sociopathy, and exposes him to civil action for torts including sexual harassment, attempted alienation of affection, sexual abuse and subsequent public humiliation of a woman he knew or believed to be severely intoxicated and hence incompetent, invasion of privacy, and unlawful financial gain.

Frankly, Kirill’s parties should be swarmed by undercover female vice cops. He should be tested and lured into blackmail honeypots until he does something criminally stupid. His current practices aren’t awfully shy of the threshold for indictment. There’s a good chance that he’s already accepting blackmail payments and sexual favors under duress in exchange for removing photos from his site; I doubt his followers are savvy enough to track the disappearances of specific photos from his extensive online collection. Regardless, there’s no excuse for what he’s doing. He presents himself as a sort of social commentator on the sexual dissolution of young women today, a court jester, a canary in the coalmine, but he has no qualms about ruining other people’s lives by publishing photographs of their exhibitionism while heavily intoxicated. The publication of these photos serves his personal and professional interests as a renowned sleaze but is inimical to the personal and professional interests of his subjects, and he damn well knows this. He knows that some of the women he photographs will think better of posing for him after they sober up, and he doesn’t give a damn.

He’s clearly a predator. He’s been proposed as the “next Dov Charney,” and quite appropriately so. Personally, I find Charney more pathetic but Kirill much more reprehensible. Charney appears to be much less in control of himself. It’s also to his credit that he doesn’t have the taint of blackmail floating around his persona. Blackmail is quite rightly held to be inimical to good order and good government. It was the stock-in-trade of J. Edgar Hoover’s career of tyranny at the FBI. He subverted the presidency and Congress by threatening to publicize the embarrassing sexual habits of numerous elected officials responsible for overseeing his official conduct as the FBI Director. Homosexuality has historically been an extremely common basis for blackmail; only in recent decades has it started becoming obsolete to blackmail homosexuals, with so many having come out of the closet and put themselves in no position to be embarrassed.

Kirill is inherently antisocial in his contribution to the preservation of blackmail culture. Even if he refuses to collect blackmail payments, he undermines society by distressing women to the point that they contact him to offer blackmail payments, either in cash or in kind with sexual services. His is a pernicious coarsening effect. Prostitutes generally operate under a strict code of discretion, one verging on the seal of the confessional in its sanctity. Like prostitutes, Kirill interacts professionally with people who are often ambivalent, embarrassed, ashamed, or confused about their own sexuality, but his ethics are diametrically opposed to those of any decent whore. They’re downright poisonous. A hooker who blackmails or gratuitously outs her clients in any fashion is regarded by her colleagues as a treacherous mountebank and a disgrace to the profession; Kirill exposes his party guests to the threat of public embarrassment as a matter of standard operating procedure. Maybe the women who think better about posing for his camera after the fact shouldn’t be so hung up or hypocritical about their own sexuality, but the salient point is that they are, and any decent sex worker would fully understand and respect this. The persistence of a sense of sexual shame among these women is no excuse to exploit it for financial gain and public schadenfreude. What Kirill does is absolutely reprehensible.

The Return of Kings crowd isn’t a whole lot better in this regard. RoK is at heart a demagogic operation preying on men’s sexual and social grievances in order to sow discord between the sexes and the classes. Roosh, his writing pool, and their peanut gallery have some crazy misogynistic beefs with women. In Kirill’s case, they cast the lion’s share of the blame for Kirill’s career onto the women he photographs and basically treat Kirill himself as a symptom of a disordered society. They reflexively blame the victims in these potential sexual blackmail scenarios for bringing the grief upon themselves. It’s worth noting that this is exactly what an endless parade of nutty, resentful authoritarians have done for millennia. This is how we get comments about how the women who submit to Kirill’s stunts are fixing to shame their parents and make their grandmothers drop dead in shock at the news of their behavior after hours:

“They know their fathers would be revolted by what ‘daddy’s little girl’ is up to tonight, and their mothers mortified that this is the same girl that kisses grandma on the cheek at Christmas dinner. Grandma, for that matter, would drop dead on the spot if she saw these photos. The women don’t care, they got five minutes of attention out of it. Five minutes of hooting and hollering from strangers for a potential lifetime of regret.”

For a publication that expounds on the eternal truths of psychosexual dimorphism, this is a rather mushheaded sort of nostalgia. No one at Return of Kings has a clue about the sexual histories of these women’s parents and grandparents. They don’t know that grandma wasn’t a burlesque performer or a streetwalker or an adulteress or a horny farmgirl who jacked off the neighborhood farmboys behind the bank barn while they played stinkyfinger with her. If the granddaughter knows about these things, that’s getting pretty incestuous, so hopefully she’s ignorant. Grandma probably didn’t do anything as deranged as taking a champagne facial on camera in exchange for a sticker and the publicity; that much seems a sign of the times, and not a good one; but these guys are not, I repeat, not in the loop about the sexual histories of these women’s older relatives. The real target of their misty-eyed nostalgia is the harsh sexual authoritarianism of earlier generations, an authoritarianism whose lifting they facilely blame for the sexual frustration of America’s beta males. They want to return to a sexually totalitarian regime of shotgun marriages, wayward daughters being put out on the street, and across-the-board shunning of loose women by eligible bachelors. It’s to their benefit not to consider that this regime was rarely as rigid and never as pervasive as they assume. Like the elder Mayor Daley, they want to restore to Chicago all the good things it never had.

Maybe grandma would drop dead; certainly any sane parent or grandparent would be alarmed to see a younger relative behaving like that. Or maybe grandma would ask her granddaughter why the hell she isn’t spending her free time sucking off cute guys from school instead of being a ridiculous cryptosexual exhibitionist for some dirtbag from the internet. Some of these women are probably less sexually active and sexually active with fewer people than the women in their maternal lines were at their age. I’d be stunned if Miley Cyrus spends as much time sucking cocks as she does licking hammers.

This narcissism isn’t good; I can’t deny that. It’s hard to argue that women other than Kirill’s photo subjects are the ones called to the whorehouse and the nursery and the spinning wheel. (No, that is not a synonym for the carousel. And while you’re at it, please stop libeling David Clayton-Thomas’s favorite piece of amusement park infrastructure; it’s unbecoming.)

Kirill certainly isn’t called to any of these places, either. No, that’s a chap who’s called to take John Knock’s bunk at Allenwood. It’s time for those two to trade places. There’s space for another scumbag on that westbound bus.

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