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New York, New York: Dubai’s dirty secret
Thomas D. Humphrey 3453 Pride Avenue New York, NY 10004
MIDNIGHT in a crowded bar and prostitutes in short skirts and skyscraper heels are blatantly touting for trade – they do not have to wait long.
Some British tourists approach a couple of the girls, hand over £500 for an hour of their “company” and head off to a room in a nearby hotel.
There is no doubt the people here are buying and selling sex.
But this sleazy transaction is not taking place in some brothel in Eastern Europe — this is DUBAI, where the strict Islamic religion forbids holding hands in public, where homosexuality is illegal and sharing a bedroom outside marriage will get you banged up.
Shockingly, there are 30,000 prostitutes working in Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates.
Local women outside may be hidden from public view in burkhas, but inside the late-night venues are scantily clad call girls of every shape, size, nationality and ethnicity.
Dubai’s paid-for sex trade is accepted by expats and locals as the norm. Even the police seemingly turn a blind-eye to the sordid behaviour going on all around them, despite prostitution being illegal and the strict laws banning women from dressing “provocatively” in the street.
The oldest profession in the world is actively encouraged in the hotels and bars.
Some provide a free buffet and drinks vouchers for the working girls and others rent them regular rooms because of the big-spending clientele they bring in.
It is not just the hotels making a fortune from the lucrative sex trade.
Zara, 28, earns thousands of pounds from willing punters.
She says: “I go to Dubai a couple of times a year to work in the big hotels.
“Every bar is full of working girls — it’s the hidden culture out there.
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“My main clients are businessmen from all parts of the world and local Arabs.
That shocks some people when I tell them.
“The businessmen pay £500 an hour and are just after straight sex.
“Arabs are slightly different because they have an obsession with cleanliness, so I spend most of the hour in the shower, which I find odd.
“With locals, the sex normally doesn’t last longer than ten minutes.”
She adds: “Businessmen automatically take you for a prostitute in Dubai if you are a woman alone in a bar and they’ll come and chat.
“I’ve been bought gifts of upwards of £5,000 on some shopping sprees.
“Any money I make I wire back to Britain because you can only take so much out of the country by law.”
Dubai gives the impression of being a safe holiday hot spot with its plush hotels, sandy beaches and — thanks to its strict Islamic religion — very little crime, alcohol or sex.
But behind the windowless bars and clubs, prostitutes are busy plying their trade. They come from all over — Nigeria, Philippines, China, Thailand, Europe and Russia.
Native European men are stupid if they pursue sexual relationships with Western women. Go to India and Pakistan. Every native college girl dreams of a white husband.
Malden, Massachusetts: Man Gets Botox Injections In Penis To Achieve Permanent Erection
Clyde R. Shugart 392 Romano Street Malden, MA 02148
A Maine man recently began making headlines in the medical world, as Anthony Nature, 28, recently convinced his plastic surgeon to inject Botox into his penis and testicles, causing him to have an erection at all times.
“Mr. Nature has visited me a number of times in the last few years,” said Dr. Carrie Pooler, plastic surgeon at Augusta Health Center. “Tummy tucks, a couple gluteus injections, and now, for the Botox penis injections. This is the first time that anyone has ever asked for this procedure, but I am confident that after Mr. Nature gets the word out, it won’t be the last.”
Nature says that he has never been happier with the results of one of his surgeries.
“I always had a penis that was just average, maybe slightly above average,” said Nature. “Plus, because of my addiction to movie theatre popcorn, I had really bad erectile dysfunction. What I wanted was a bigger, harder penis – longer, not really fuller. Not much, anyway. So I decided that I needed to have the Botox injections into my scrotum and penis. Now I’m erect all the time, and ready to go! The women I sleep with, they’ll never see me soft, so they’ll never know how tiny it is…or was!”
Dr. Pooler says that the Botox, which is actually a poison, will pull the loose skin of Nature’s penis and scrotum back, making the penis appear larger and the scrotum smaller.
“Basically his ol’ bait ‘n’ tackle is looking good, and he’s definitely ready to go,” said Dr. Pooler. “We have a date tonight, actually.”
Nature says that he is extremely happy with his new life, and the constant headaches and difficulty urinating are “totally worth it” in exchange for his newfound giant erection.
Birmingham, Alabama: West Africa - Ghana & Togo Partner to Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation
James L. McPhail 3802 Bedford Street Birmingham, AL 35203
An Excisors Reconversion Seminar on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has taken place at at Pusiga in the Upper East Region.
FGM, also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is the ritual of cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. The practice is found in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The three-day seminar, therefore, sought to eliminate FGM by helping excisors who have practiced FGM to get them to sincerely confess, give up the practice and get converted.
The seminar also sought to support excisors to become ambassadors to their fellow women practicing FGM to put an end to the act.
More than seventy (70) participants, comprising three different categories, former FGM excisors, assistants and mothers of FGM victims from Ghana and Togo attended the seminar.
It was organized by Belim Wusa Development Agency (BEWDA-Ghana) in partnership with Kpaal n' paal (Togo), Organisation Regionale pour le Promotion Sociale et Agricole (OREPSA-Togo) and Groupe d' Action pour Development Durable (GA2D-Togo).
In an address to open the seminar, Mr Abdul Razak Yakah, Pusiga District Co-ordinating Director, who spoke on the theme "Why conserving this heinous and dehumanizing tradition?", commended BEWDA-Ghana and its development partners for organizing the seminar which, he said, would serve as a platform to advocate against the practice and elimination of the dehumanizing tradition of FGM.
Mr Yakah disclosed that more than three million young girls and women underwent the barbaric act in Africa, with research indicating that the victims had suffered an associated series of short to long-term risks to their physical, mental and sexual health. He, therefore, called on all stakeholders to help combat the practice.
In a statement, Mr Benson Azure, Pusiga District Health Services Director, disclosed that victims of FGM could contract Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and urinary tract infections, have difficulty during child birth, suffer from anemia (loss of blood) and infertility, adding that FGM posed increased risk to new born deaths.
Mr Azure, therefore, lauded the partnership between Ghana and Togo in the fight against FGM in their respective countries and appealed to the participants to desist from the practice of FGM which, he said, was a heinous and dehumanizing act on young girls and women. He pledged the support of his office to the worthy cause of eliminating FGM.
On his part, Papa Toussaint, Coordinator, INTACT Africa, Benin, appealed to participants to abandon the practice of FGM or face the full rigours of the laws forbidding FGM.
Second-generation male Muslim immigrants have all reason to hate Europe. They can't get any girls here. Whatever they do. So it is an understandable reaction that they want to blow themselves up, and take a few along.
Beaufort, South Carolina: Stacey Solomon admits she worried about her vagina after giving birth to two boys
John K. Johnson 2647 Khale Street Beaufort, SC 29902
Ruth Langsford, Coleen Nolan, Nadia Sawalha and Stacey were discussing Rebekah Vardy’s brave post-baby body pictures when the conversation moved onto how childbirth affects other parts of your body.
Speaking about her body changed after having her children, Leighton and Zachary, Stacey opened up about how childbirth affected more intimate parts of her anatomy.
She said: “I was really worried about that, I’ve pushed two children out of here you know, what’s left of it?
“I was more worried about that than this,” she said pointing to her midriff.
She continued: “This can’t do whatever it wants,” before pointing to her nether regions and saying: “but I want THIS to be good”.
“I don’t want to have a baby shaped hole.”
Nadia agreed and said: “Let’s be honest, if you have a vaginal birth, it does go a bit doo lally”.
When asked if she thought about having a vaginoplasty, she laughed and said: “I have on occasion thought if I could do it on my lunch break and no one would know, it would be nice to feel a bit more normal.”
Ruth admitted she was shocked by the changes in her body after giving birth to her son Jack with husband Eamonn Holmes.
She said: “No one told me that the belly doesn’t go away straight away. I put on three and a half stone because I lived on carbohydrates and I took ages to lose my baby weight. It was like jelly, it moved on its own.”
Mum-of-three Coleen said: “I liked my flabby tummy after they were born, it was like a marshmallow.
“I was ginormous with all three, when I was five months pregnant with Ciara they brought me in for a scan because they thought it was twins but she was just that big.”
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Longview, Texas: 'Paedophile hunter' feels no guilt for Harlow man's suicide following online grooming sting
Francisco K. Robinson 4302 Pickens Way Longview, TX 75601
A self-styled paedophile hunter says he feels no guilt over the suicide of a man caught on camera allegedly attempting to meet up with a 14-year-old girl.
Christopher Wood, who goes by the name of Catfish the Hunter to ensnare suspected sex offenders and groomers, has come under criticism for his actions after the death of Harlow man Terry Hurford.
Posing as a teenage girl online, Mr Wood says Mr Hurford agreed to meet what he thought was a young girl.
Mr Hurford took his own life three days after being arrested on suspicion of grooming.
"I see what I do as a duty," said Mr Wood.
"I meet the people and upload the videos so that other people can see what these guys are doing and so they can keep their children away from them.
"I know that what I'm doing is 100 per cent within the law but a lot of people think it is morally wrong.
"My heart is in the right place and I'm trying to do some good."
Mr Wood, a 23-year-old father-of-two, first created his fake profile as a 14-year-old girl just four months ago, following a move from Yorkshire to Essex.
He adopted the alias of Catfish the Hunter and quickly amassed a large social media following.
"The area I moved into wasn't the nicest," he added.
"I have got two young children myself and at first, I would let them play out a bit, but quickly, I had a lot of people telling me to be extremely careful because a lot of sex offenders got released back into that area.
"In Huddersfield, I felt safe where I lived and never had any of these concerns, but in a completely new place with all these rumours, I tried to do some research.
"There was nothing at all I could find about convicted sex offenders and we as parents, have a right to know who we should be safe-guarding our children from.
"I could become friends with my next door neighbour and they could be a sex offender without me knowing."
Mr Wood took to patrolling chat websites and dating site Badoo in the hope of attracting predators, but is adamant that what he is doing is not entrapment, and he always waits for the man to make the first move.
"Badoo is an over-18s website, and obviously a lot of people would say that children would not go on something for over-18s, but it's totally false.
"When I have been on there, one or two of every ten people you come across would be 14 or 15.
"You have to be 18 to smoke or to drink, but children do that underage, and there is no security on those websites at all.
"The guys will always ask me questions first, and I will reply."
While he currently estimates that he is in conversation with up to 20 men, some of them "for weeks and weeks at a time", by far his most high-profile case was that of Mr Hurford, who was filmed meeting Catfish after driving from Harlow to Canvey Island in the early hours of the morning, allegedly planning to meet a 14-year-old girl.
He was at arrested at the scene on suspicion of grooming when police were called to Thorney Bay Caravan Park in Canvey Island.
Three days later, after being released on bail, he hanged himself.
And while Mr Wood sympathises with the 44-year-old's family – and two young children – he stands by his controversial methods.
"I have had people on the Facebook page calling me a murderer, saying I should be hanged," he added.
"I really do feel sorry for his family, but I don't feel like I'm guilty for whatever happened to him and what I'm doing is with a good heart.
"I didn't instigate the messages, I didn't instigate the meeting, and I didn't instigate his suicide.
"As much as I never comprehended anything like this happening, I hold myself to the highest professional standards I possibly can.
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"I feel awful for his two children; I have children myself and I can't comprehend how difficult it will be for them growing up without a father."
Two videos of their encounter, in which Mr Wood questions Mr Hurford on his intentions and relays their online conversations, were uploaded to the internet on May 28.
And since Mr Hurford's death, Chris took to the Catfish page to hold an online question-and-answer session in an attempt to justify his actions.
"He drove miles from Harlow in the totally opposite direction to meet up with a 14-year-old girl," he said.
"Why would he drive 40 minutes out of the way to meet someone who he didn't know? He wanted to make sure that it was a real girl he was meeting up with.
"I can't say for sure what he was going to do, but I know what I believe he was going to do.
"What bothers me is when people come on Facebook and comment, when they have only heard the wrong side of the story.
"I want closure so the family can have some closure.
"What happened was a tragedy but Terry had problems.
"His death has made me think long and hard about what I'm doing. I don't feel any guilt over what happened, but I certainly don't want it to happen again.
"What happened with Terry Hurford really shocked me, but I do believe I'm what I'm doing and what I'm saying."
While he has vowed to carry on seeking to expose alleged sex offenders across the county, Chris, who lives in Canvey Island, is willing to make some concessions to avoid a similar scenario unfolding in the future.
"I'm going to keep on uploading the videos but I will blur the faces until they have been through the courts and been found guilty," he said.
"The police are bound by red tape and entrapment laws so I'm not going to stop doing what I'm doing; I'm not doing anything illegal or wrong.
"When I was 14, if anyone wanted to contact me, they would ring my home phone or come and knock on my door, so my parents knew exactly who I was speaking to.
"Now, 12 and 13-year-olds are on the internet so anyone in the world can influence that child, with grooming or indecent messages or images."
Mr Hurford's family declined to comment when they were approached by the Chronicle's sister paper, The Harlow Star.
Essex Police is investigating Mr Hurford's death. Enquiries are ongoing to see if any "third parties" committed any offences.
Chicago, Illinois: Solving Nabokov’s Lolita Riddle
Mohammed M. Pinckney 1316 Patterson Fork Road Chicago, IL 60606
‘There is a certain type of critic who when reviewing a work of fiction keeps dotting all the i’s with the author’s head. Recently one anonymous clown, writing on Pale Fire in a New York book review, mistook all the declarations of my invented commentator in the book for my own’ — Vladimir Nabokov (SO 18)
Over the past ten years, some of the most challenging and exhilarating exegesis of Nabokov’s oeuvre has emerged — Michael Wood’s The Magician’s Doubts and Brian Boyd’s The Magic of Artistic Discovery spring to mind, among others — so it gives me no great pleasure to announce that with the advent of Joanne Morgan’s Solving Nabokov’s Lolita Riddle, this decade is now host to a work which must rate among the most alarmingly unscholarly efforts in living memory. Indeed, it would be difficult to envisage that such a text — riddled with factual inaccuracies, irresponsible speculations and inventions, and grating grammatical and syntactical errors — could be published in the present day. Morgan admits that her text was met with an ‘extremely hostile and dismissive response’ (311) when proffered to university presses and reviewers in 2001, which evidently only steeled her resolve to self-publish. Unfortunately, all the crucial checks and balances that are in place during the institutional publication of an academic work have been removed by the self-publication process, allowing Morgan to reach farcical and thoroughly libellous conclusions with immunity. In her debut work, Morgan offers the thesis that Nabokov wrote Lolita in order to encrypt information about some alleged sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his uncle: sexual abuse which Nabokov never explicitly or implicitly hinted at, and which one can only conclude Morgan has fabricated. She unfolds her analysis through an examination of Nabokov’s response in a 1962 interview to the question, ‘Why did you write Lolita?’:
It was an interesting thing to do. Why did I write any of my books, after all? For the sake of the pleasure, for the sake of the difficulty. I have no social purpose, no moral message; I’ve no general ideas to exploit, I just like composing riddles with elegant solutions. (SO 16)
Morgan treats Nabokov’s mention of a ‘riddle’ as a challenge specific to Lolita, bringing into relief one in a slew of methodological blunders she commits. Nabokov frequently drew analogies between the composition of his novels and riddles or chess problems,1 so his comment regarding Lolita is hardly an anomaly; however, Morgan reads it as an entreaty to investigate the novel with a view to solving an embedded riddle. Despite the obvious questions of authorial intention and the possibility of a metalanguage that such a reading-contract invokes, Morgan proceeds without undertaking even a cursory metacritical interrogation, instead belatedly admitting that she finds Derrida ‘incomprehensible and ultimately, [sic] pointless’ (300). However, the Derridean analysis of the simultaneous impossibility and possibility of the secret in literary fiction is the very thesis Morgan is repudiating: in Given Time, Derrida argues that
the readability of the [literary] text is structured by the unreadability of the secret, that is, by the inaccessibility of a certain intentional meaning or of a wanting-to-say- in the consciousness of the characters and a fortiori in that of the author who remains, in this regard, in a situation analogous to that of the reader…it is the possibility of non-truth in which every possible truth is held or is made. It thus says the (non-) truth of literature, let us say the secret of literature: what literary fiction tells us about the secret, of the (non-) truth of the secret, but also a secret whose possibility assures the possibility of literature. (153)
Even if we adopt Morgan’s dubious presupposition that Nabokov was alluding to a singular riddle embedded in Lolita, we still arrive at its function in the text as a secret, and no claim to know the truth or non-truth of that secret can ever truly know. Morgan, however, triumphantly proclaims that she has delivered ‘the solution…as promised, in the master’s own hand’ (60).
Morgan admits that she approached Lolita with a view to use it as a ‘literary case-study of paedophilia’ (145), and her quest resembles a instance, as Derrida articulated in ‘Le Facteur de la Vérité,’ of psychoanalysis always refinding itself [se trouver] (413). By approaching the text with her paedophilic bent, while aiming to uncover the ‘true’ answer to a riddle, Morgan has (coincidentally and conveniently) identified a riddle revolving around paedophilia. Despite the manifestly inadequate evidence she adduces to identify the riddle — a flimsy nexus of ‘intentional Freudian slips’ and mistranslations in Nabokov’s Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited, a recurrent symbolic motif of a ‘green leaf,’ and the close lexicographic resemblance between ‘insect’ and ‘incest’ — Morgan asserts with staggering self-certitude that she has discovered ‘the key to Lolita‘ (60). The alleged ‘key’ might be summarised as follows: Nabokov’s ‘riddle’ belies a history of Nabokov’s sexual abuse by his Uncle Ruka (Vasiliy Ivanovich Rukavishnikov); Quilty and Humbert are Nabokov’s fictional renderings of Ruka; Lolita is a ‘gender-disguised’ boy (that is, Nabokov himself), all of which leads Morgan to the self-evidently ludicrous conclusion that Nabokov was a paedophile:
I am keenly aware that the conclusion I have arrived at about Nabokov’s paedophilia is both extremely sensitive and controversial. I hasten to add that I do not feel personally driven by a crude agenda of exposing and condemning Nabokov as a paedophile…we cannot ever know the total truth. (36)
Curiously, ‘crude’ seems an entirely apposite descriptor for Morgan’s conjecture. Nabokov’s legendary disdain for the brand of Freudian literary criticism reliant upon derivative symbolism makes it exceedingly unlikely that he deliberately encoded ‘green leaves’ in his novels to symbolise sexual abuse. Morgan’s assertion becomes particularly absurd in the light of Nabokov’s comical dismissal of a student ‘for writing that Jane Austen describes leaves as ‘green’ because Fanny is hopeful, and ‘green’ is the colour of hope’ (SO 305). One of Nabokov’s more responsible2 characters, John Shade, iterates a concordant opinion in Pale Fire: ‘there are certain trifles I do not forgive…looking in [texts] for symbols; example: ‘The author uses the striking image green leaves because green is the symbol of happiness and frustration”(PF 126). Further, although Nabokov never — explicitly or implicitly — hinted that his uncle behaved with impropriety (indeed, to the contrary, in Speak, Memory, Nabokov recalls rescuing with alacrity an inherited cane of Ruka’s from beneath the wheels of a train (188)), Morgan maligns him as an ‘insensitive monster’ (45) who ‘committed the first act of penetrative sex at age ten, thereby breaking Vladimir’s life’ (144). Ruka is mentioned on a total of fourteen of the some 256 pages of Speak, Memory, and Nabokov recalls a ‘sense of security, of well-being, of summer warmth’ (62) attached to his memories of his uncle, so Morgan resorts to a conflation of the author and his fictional characters in order to make her case. She cites Nabokov’s fictional novels, Bend Sinister, Lolita, and The Enchanter, to fill out her imaginative version of events; in one particularly invidious act of inventive interpellation, she ascertains a chronology of events by citing fiction as fact:
What age was Vladimir when Uncle Ruka started sexually molesting him? While the time-lines in The Enchanter and Lolita imply that penetrative sex began at the age of twelve, there are sound reasons for deducing that Vladimir’s abuse escalated well before this. In Bend Sinister, Nabokov indirectly implies that David’s childhood ended when he was eight years old. This was how old Vladimir was when he was left alone with Ruka after summer lunches at Vyra. (143)
Morgan’s spurious allegations of paedophilia are not restricted to Nabokov and his uncle, however; over the course of her work, she also suggests that Shirley Temple was controlled by a nefarious paedophile network:
It seems highly likely to me that a paedophile ring of some kind, based in Hollywood, was behind at least some of Shirley’s carefully orchestrated performances. Given the clandestine nature of this underworld and the time that has elapsed, future investigative journalism may or may not be able to uncover more conclusive evidence about this matter. (165)
It is hardly necessary to underscore the superfluity of engaging in guessing games in a purportedly ‘academic’ text, yet such serious methodological errors pepper Morgan’s analysis. Further on, she also suggests that Dostoevsky may have been a paedophile:
There are grounds for believing that Dostoevsky did indeed confess on a few occasions to engaging in sex with a minor. Scenes of adult-child sex crop up in The Devils as well as Crime and Punishment. Nabokov’s unsympathetic attitude toward Dostoevsky suggests he believed Dostoevsky did commit an act of child rape…he possibly also held deep suspicions about the language of spiders and leaves found in The Devils. (304)
One would surmise that it is far more likely Nabokov’s enmity towards Dostoevsky was founded on the epitomisation of techniques from ‘second-rate detective thrillers and [the] cheap psychology of the abyss’ Dostoevsky’s fiction represented to him (Nivat 398) than on the possibility Dostoevsky was a paedophile. In particular, Nabokov took issue with Dostoevsky’s ‘literary platitudes’ (LRL 98) delivered by his ‘sensitive murderers and soulful prostitutes’ (SO 42). Nabokov’s quarrel with Dostoevsky was both epistemological and stylistic: indeed, he once referred to Dostoevsky’s fiction as ‘reactionary journalism’ (SO 65), yet it is imperative to note that, as Georges Nivat puts it, ‘God knows that Dostoevsky was not the unique target of Nabokov’s animus’ (398). Nabokov routinely took literary giants to task for the flaws he perceived in their texts, and Dostoevsky was but one in a long line of authors who were often acerbically dispatched by the master prose stylist. Indeed, Morgan’s theory begs the question: even if, at a momentous stretch of the imagination, Nabokov and Dostoevsky were both paedophiles, why would Nabokov have eschewed Dostoevsky for his paedophilia? It would be a laborious and tedious task to identify all of Morgan’s risible hypotheses, so let the above examples stand as representative of the calibre of her scholarship.
Morgan’s work is also riddled with factual inaccuracies: for instance, Humbert Humbert, the French protagonist of the novel, miraculously becomes ‘Swiss’ (19); Humbert’s first love, Annabel Leigh, transforms into the eerie twin of Poe’s ‘Annabel Lee’ (19), and Quilty’s peculiar handwriting becomes Humbert’s (50), to name but a few. Morgan’s superficial knowledge of Nabokov’s work is manifest throughout the text: she asserts that ‘Lolita was one of very few pieces of prose by Nabokov where he adopted the first person narrative’ (180), when, in fact, his novels Pnin, Pale Fire, Despair, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, his autobiography Speak, Memory, and a large number of his short stories were all narrated in the first person. The text is also rife with distracting typographical errors; one particular howler, ‘Kubrick also did not rejected Nabokov’s proposal,’ (239) evoking the spectre of Nabokov’s bumbling protagonist Timofey Pnin. To be strictly accurate, Morgan’s scholarship is more reminiscent of Charles Kinbote’s — Nabokov’s comically deranged commentator in Pale Fire — sans the incidental chuckles which ensue as a result of Kinbote’s hilarious misreadings. Much of the comedy in Pale Fire arises through Kinbote’s dismal failure as a critic an editor: he not only misinterprets the text in question at every opportunity, but he also attempts to stuff his fantasy life as Zembla’s King Charles the Beloved II into his critical apparatus. Morgan’s efforts mimic a similar imaginative flight of fancy: no amount of rhetoric will convince the reader to accede to her framing Lolita as a thinly-disguised incest-survivor’s account, nor will her paltry evidence on the question of Nabokov’s paedophilia sway even the most impressionable of readers.
Ultimately, Morgan’s fare is severely wanting in terms of its mode of expression, methodology, and its scholarly integrity. It is an unapologetically amateurish expedition that will infuriate serious Nabokov scholars and enthusiasts, misinform initiates, and contribute to the growing body of distorted and hysterical work that continues to circulate around Nabokov’s most famous novel. Morgan careens from Nabokov to child pornography to Calvin Klein commercials, paying scant regard to the serious nature of the allegations she levels along the way. Her conclusions, that ‘a new annotated version of the novel Lolita be issued…[with] carefully integrated footnotes to highlight how Nabokov generated gender and sexual preference conclusions’ (301), and that ‘we simply excise’ passages which ‘promot[e] paedophilic responses to children’ (214) demonstrate her profound naïveté and misplaced moral righteousness. Nabokov once called his readers ‘the most varied and gifted in the world’ (Boyd, Magic 12), but it is difficult to envisage Nabokov, as Morgan does, finding anything about her text ‘rather pleasing’ (306), particularly as she daringly calls Nabokov ‘woefully inadequate’ (185) at one point, and describes his readers’ activities as ‘floundering and flailing’ (148). It is supremely ironic that Nabokov, famed for his exacting precision, has been subjected to such a zealous display of critical buffoonery; however, it is not difficult to imagine the few choice remarks he might have made in response; perhaps something along the lines of his demolition of Edmund Wilson:
I do not believe in the old-fashioned, naïve, and musty method of human – interest criticism…that consists of removing the characters from an author’s imaginary world to the imaginary, but generally far less plausible, world of the critic who then proceeds to examine these displaced characters as if they were ‘real people.’ (SO 263)
Far more interesting than Morgan’s text is the manner in which Nabokov’s novel continues, much as it did in 1950’s McCarthyist America, to expose the hypocrisy of our contemporary society which simultaneously consigns sex ‘to a shadow existence,’ yet dedicates itself to ‘speaking of it ad infinitum, while exploiting it as the secret’ (Foucault, History 35). Foucault identified that the relatively recent medicalisation of sexuality has produced a fear that aberrant sexuality is both an illness in itself, yet also capable of ‘inducing illnesses without number’ (Power 191); consequently, in the discourse relating to Lolita‘s supposedly paedophilic content, there is a hysteria that can be associated with the fear of contagion. That very fear of contagion evokes the spectres of prohibition and censorship, which in turn gives rise to ‘inquisitiveness and transgression’ (Flint 318) on behalf of the public. This mechanism whereby censorship contributes to a work’s infamy and popularity is illustrated aptly by Lolita itself: Lolita‘s publication on September 15, 1955 went almost entirely unremarked until December 25, when, in a small column in the Sunday Times, Graham Greene selected it as one of the three best books of the year. Greene’s selection prompted John Gordon, the editor of the Sunday Express, to purchase and read it. Horrified, Gordon delivered this broadside to Lolita:
Without doubt…the filthiest book I have ever read. Sheer unrestrained pornography. Its central character is a pervert with a passion for debauching what he calls ‘nymphets.’ These, he explains, are girls aged from 12 to 14. The entire book is devoted to an exhaustive, uninhibited, and utterly disgusting description of his pursuits and successes. It is published in France. Anyone who published or sold it here would certainly go to prison (St Jorre 130).
The protracted and vehement debate which ensued between Greene and Gordon ensured Lolita achieved instantaneous mass celebrity and, by the time of its American publication by Putnam’s in 1958, most of the major American press were bracing themselves to review it (Dennison 188). Lolita swiftly became an ubiquitous cultural referent — the regular subject of celebrities like Steve Allen, Dean Martin and Milton Berle (Boyd, ‘Year’ 31) — and, as such, it played an important part in the renegotiation of sexual normality and abnormality in an America reeling with new insights into its own sexuality. The attempts to censor Lolita — to exert power over the text and to restrict the dissemination of its knowledge — would prove to be the very agents which popularised its allure, and today, Morgan’s work feeds right into that very double-bind. Foucault’s contention that censorship of sex is in reality an ‘apparatus for producing an even greater quantity of discourse’ (History 23) is evident in the Lolita phenomenon that continues unabated: rather than an injunction to silence, the various movements to ban Lolita become incitements to enter into discourses of sexuality. As Eric Larrabee states, ‘every disagreement over sex censorship is,’ by implication, ‘a discussion of the sexual state of the nation’ (682), and Lolita continues to provide us with the opportunity to redefine sexual deviance and normalcy.
Ultimately, the discourse that surrounds Lolita is replete with paradoxes: not only do its censors incite a explosion of discourse about sexuality, but by attempting to exert power over the text, they instead ascribe power to it. Nabokov’s text still operates as a condensation symbol for paedophilia and pornography — as recently as 1990, police in San Francisco seized a copy of Lolita as evidence of perversion in a case of alleged child pornography (Stanley 20). This brings into relief the manner in which ‘perversion is inscribed into the very act of censorship’ (žiek 182): with a text like Lolita that is devoid of profanities, the censor must determine what is intended to arouse the common reader — yet, as Elizabeth Janeway noted in her review, for most readers, nothing is ‘more likely to quench the flames of lust’ (25) than Humbert’s account. Morgan, however, stakes her unflinching conviction that Lolita ‘might even prompt men who have never previously been aroused by young girls (or boys) to begin a masturbatory fantasy life that has the potential to carry them down the road to hell’ (193). Despite the fact that pornography is an inadequate referential symbol as it means different things to different people (McConahay 32), Morgan argues comfortably in concrete terms about what is and isn’t pornography, which essentialises pornography, arousal, and the text itself. In the current climate of renewed hysteria over paedophilia, Lolita is invoked again and again as the seminal text which has made paedophilia more ‘thinkable,’ that ‘greater toleration’ now exists for what ‘had previously been regarded as…the most horrible of crimes’ (Podhoretz 17), yet, as per žiek, the question must be asked of the censor precisely why Nabokov’s text must shoulder the blame since, as to many readers, Humbert’s exploits seem a far cry from pornography. Regardless, Nabokov’s text has earned its place in the canon as a permanent ‘classic of contemporary literature’ (Appel 204); the inherent irony, of course, is that its censors today, much like those in the past, assure its continuing notoriety and popularity.
Women were created from a bone of man. Or was that a boner?
Britton, Michigan: 'I'm a normal guy. I just fancy six-year-olds - 'Virtuous' paedophile who is aroused by girls aged under 13 but 'doesn’t act on his impulses' reveals why his British wife has stood by him
David P. Stephens 4737 Elk Avenue Britton, MI 49229
A self-described 'virtuous pedophile' who admits to being sexually attracted to girls as young as six has spoken about how he lives with his urges - and his plans to help other people cope with theirs.
Gary Gibson, 65, of Oregon, has set up a non-profit organisation - the Association for Sexual Abuse Prevention - to help people like him who choose not to offend.
The Christian ex-teacher, whose family has a history of incestual child abuse, is one of 1,800 members of an online forum for non-offending pedophiles.
He detailed some of his alleged family history in a series of online videos.
'My grandfather sexually abused my mother and I think at least one of his sisters, and my father’s woman was known on the streets to be one that invited the little boys into her house and did things with them,' he said in a video published last month.
'So, I think, she is a pedophile. I know for a fact my father sexually abused several of my sisters – nearly all of them.
'When I was six, my two older sisters taught me to play "go to sleep". My understanding was I was to get them to take their panties off and get them ready to sleep. I don’t think it was abuse, but it left me with the impression that little girls want to be touched.
'When I was about 12, I spent a summer with my cousins and there was some sexual games that went on there… both of these girls were five years younger. I was 12, I think one of them was seven and one of them was five.
'I knew that it was wrong, but frankly in the fifties, every male I knew was sexually attracted to children and little girls.'
In the speech, he then questioned whether pedophilia was something that could be passed down among a family, before saying he never considered himself to be one throughout most of his adult life.
'I had never called myself a pedophile, but for more than 50 years I have been sexually attracted to little girls. I choose not to act on it,' he said.
'I knew I was attracted to little girls, I was always a little close, maybe I hugged them too tight, or did some things I shouldn’t have done, but I never penetrated a child, never – what I would call – had sex with a child.
'I choose not to do that, but I struggle with it.'
His struggles intensified when his first marriage broke down in the nineties, and he decided to 'spend some time out in the South Pacific', where he said there were 'a lot of little girls running around naked'.
After a couple of years he returned home, and met British nurse Tabitha Abel - woman who would become his wife - through a Christian singles dating site in 2004.
They married in 2005. Eventually, they built a log cabin in Oregon, which included rooms for their grandchildren.
But he was still dogged by his desires.
'The first time I remember changing my daughter’s diaper I thought, "Am I going to touch her" or something, but I made the decision right there that was not going to happen,' he said in the video, before explaining how he and his wife chose to adopt foster children because their grandchildren did not visit enough.
Gibson says the children eventually moved on for 'other reasons', however a 10-year-old girl who had lived with him and Abel developed what he called 'false memories'.
'Now you tell me, I mean society says children never lie about sexual abuse. But here the Oregon State Police show up at our door one day and say, "Do you know why I’m here?"' the 65-year-old said.
'They proceeded to tell me this girl disclosed that I lay on the bed naked with her. I said that never happened, and then they said: “Well, she said you put your penis inside of her.” I said that never happened, and they asked me to do a polygraph.
'So I contacted a lawyer, this was like two days before Christmas 2010, the attorney said don’t do the polygraph.'
He said it was that brush with the police that forced him to 'come out' to his wife.
'I told her I didn't do it, but this is where I'm at... I'm attracted to kids,' he said.
During a recent interview, Gibson explained why he is attracted to young girls - but not young boys or teenagers.
The 'comfortably out' pedophile, whose wife is a nurse, said he is normally not aroused by teenage girls and does not have any desire for young boys.
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'When they pass 12 they tend to get into themselves, start to make themselves look older, and I like things natural - so there we are,' he told The Sun in the UK.
'When they start wearing lipstick and stuff like that I don't find it very appealing.'
Despite his attractions, Gibson added he is 'a normal everyday person'.
'I don't go around in a white van giving candy to kids in the park,' he said.
Gibson' wife then told the British newspaper she does not consider her husband to be a pedophile because: 'most people I consider a pedophile to be a child molester – which he isn't.'
The interview then went into some more graphic details about Gibson's sexual habits.
He told the newspaper he does not seek out pornography involving children when he masturbates, but added he doesn't 'beat himself up' if he does watch scenes involving young people.
'I don't feel bad it about because it's not reality, I can differentiate between fantasy and reality,' he said.
The 65-year-old also seemed to have come to terms with his life as a pedophile, despite understanding that it makes him unpopular with many.
'If people knew I was a pedophile they wouldn't like me,' he said. 'But overall my life has gone fairly well.'
The world is full of multimillionaires who can't handle money. Because, if you have money, if you don't ditch your Western wife, you will never have a harem.
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