Bey B on Sat, 5 Feb 2000 17:37:29 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime>   Vanilla Nut launches campaign site

By Lucy Katz and Bey B

Hi!  I am Bey B!

As an Australian media theorist on study leave in the San Franscico Bay
Area, I am in the process of researching Internet pornography and
censorship legislation.  I have interviewed various American porn
producers and porn scholars (broadly defined) on this controversial topic
and would like to involve the nettime community in porno-criticisms of the
Net - Society of the Sexual Debacle. 

In this first piece I would like to discuss Vanilla Nut's
site in a dialogue with Dr.Lucille Katz who is a feminist scholar in
English and Film Studies at Walden College, New Hampshire.  I first met
Lucille Katz at a film studies conference in Sydney where she gave a paper
about media theory "con woman" and trickster figures in American pop
culture. I took Katz for a couple of drinks on the last evening of the
conference and I asked her if she was interested in writing about the

PS. Let me start by saying that I long to meet you privately in my hotel
room and kiss you, investigate you & will leave no lipstick traces. 

Hi! I am Lucille! 

Oral Sex Hubris? I am a professor at Walden College and I am specialized
in the cultural history of male and female blow jobs.  Whenever I am
invited to give a lecture on the prime millenial disorder called 'Oral Sex
Hubris (OSH)'some absent-minded guy will raise his hand and tell the
public that all pussies taste like sushi anyway.  Such statements
sometimes make me feel pessimistic about my academic writing. In my free
time, I run the Internet mailing list FOXI which tries to break boundaries
in gender criticism, which sometimes is a lot to swallow. 

Lets jump forward back to 1975-1977 with the art of performance.  Carolee
Schneemann INTERIOR SCROLL stands on a table, opens her legs and slowly
pulls a scroll out of the vagina, reads an angry text about misreadings of
and misgivings about her interior body, her brandnew artwork. 

Vanilla Nut, hellbent on brandnew artwork of her own, also has something
up her vagina.

Vanilla Nut--not your typical blonde big-boobed webcam babe--sits on her
desk and looks into the webcam. Slowly she picks up the phone and hits the
autodial. Time after time, her invitation to come over and have a coffee
is rebuffed, and she is now out of numbers to dial. It's a good thing you
are here watching her. 

Bored and listless, Vanilla Nut figures that for your pleasure if not her
own, she will try to make herself come in a creative manner using
non-commodified art objects.  First, she pulls out of her drawer a
non-threatening vibrator made by Tibetan monks sadly in exile in
California.  Needless to say, because it has been that kind of afternoon,
the battery buzzes limply and falls silent.  No Energizer bunny here. 

She remembers bringing along her favorite disco fetish outfit, which she
bought one year ago on her 34th birthday.  She slides the dress over her
brainy head but it encounters an unforeseen obstacle.  It will not budge. 
"Deep intakes of breath can help you," said the yoga teacher, but not now. 
After some work, she dislodges the dress and turns to her next option. 

She gropes for her oldfashioned wooden ruler, manufactured by spinster
schoolteachers in rural Canada, with the engraved message, "Good luck at
school."  She raps it on the desk to hear how it sounds, but it breaks in
two, with one shard shooting back behind her head and hitting the glass in
the frame of her Ph.D. diploma that did hang on her wall. 

Kona, her colleague in the next office, can be heard calling, "Is your
diploma okay, Vanilla?" and the guilt creeps upon her.  Although no one
ever shows up this early in the semester, these are her office hours.  She
decides to do some work on her current project entitled, "Cyberfeminism,
the Net, and the Sexual Transnational Spectacle of the Other" and starts
to read a passage from one of her favorite essentialist authors, Leopold
Von Sacher-Masoch: 

"Every woman, good or bad, is capable at any moment of the most diabolical
thoughts, actions or emotions, as well as the most divine;  the purest as
well as the most sordid.  Inspite of all the advances of civilization,
woman has remained as she was the day Nature's hands shaped her.  She's
like a wild animal faithful or faithless, kindly or cruel, depending on
the impulse that rules her.  A profound and serious culture is needed to
produce moral character. Man, even when he's selfish or wicked, lives by
principles; woman only obeys her feelings.  Never forget this, and never
be sure of the woman you love."  (Venus in Furs, p. 192) 

The passage sparks ideas, and her fingers fly over the keyboard, pouring
out research-institution quality brilliance like it has never poured
before.  Ring, ring.  It is a phone call but only from Maxwell Haus, a
Germanic philologist who is adverse to sushi.  Is this the reason she
doesn't like him?  Or is the only thing wrong with him that he is the one
who calls?  Suddenly, the phone cuts out, thanks to the medieval
telecommunications system at Java College. 

Now she has had it.  There is only one thing to do: launch a campaign! 
Rename the project Society of the Sexual Debacle.  Set up a domain called Become a webcam performance artist/pornographer.  Write a
manifesto, slide it in your vagina/anus/orifice to be named later, pull it
out dramatically and shout out loud, "Reclaim the Net." 

Get your free Australian email account at

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