Selling out

In the summer of 2005, my financial situation, which had been shaky for months, finally reached critical point. A letter came from my bank demanding immediate repayment of everything I’d borrowed on pain of court action, and I knew I had no means of finding the necessary sum within the time they were willing to grant me.

I ran through an inventory of my assets, which didn’t take long. The most valuable thing I owned was my computer, and I’d only bought it for a tenth of the sum the bank was now demanding. Desperate, I started to wonder what an able-bodied white baby would fetch in a black-market paid adoption and whether I would be able to find a prospective buyer willing to make a down-payment while the baby was still in utero.

So I know what financial difficulties can do to a person’s thought processes, and that’s why I’m not rushing to criticise Amp for his decision to sell amptoons.com. If I’d owned a valuable domain back then and received the offer Amp received, I probably wouldn’t have even stopped to wonder what they would use it for.

I’m sticking around, but I know some people would prefer not to read or link to Alas now because of this connection. Some of these are people whose opinions I respect and whose comments I would hate to miss, so I’m going to start reposting the bulk of my Alas posts on my personal blog, The Iron-On Line. They will doubtless end up buried among memes, one-liners and updates about my life, but I hope people who can’t forgive Amp for this sale can still join in the discussion.

This entry posted in Class, poverty, labor, & related issues, Prostitution, Porn and Sex Work, Site and Admin Stuff. Bookmark the permalink. 

13 Responses to Selling out

  1. Pingback: Pen-Elayne on the Web

  2. 2
    Yohan says:

    Ampersand made the right thing, he sold, what is not lucrative.
    I cannot blame him for selling his property, which is a fairly large site with good management.

    Such a site cannot run sccessfully without money, not to talk about time, Ampersand spends every day to keep it up-to-date.

    Now, plenty of feminists are blaming Ampersand, but I think, it is totally unjustified to accuse him for any ‘wrongdoing’.

    To blame are the feminist users of his unique male-feminist www-pages. They should have opened their wallets and helped Ampersand with regular donations, every month USD 10,- or USD 100,- or whatever you consider as a small amount.

    Nobody works for free, this includes internet-providers.

  3. 3
    Tara says:

    Sorry – but I missed where Amp apologized for profiting from porn and *asked* for forgiveness… from what I saw it seems like the only thing he felt it was appropriate to apologize for was how he made his decision known. I think your last line is kind of misleading – implying that there was some kind of regret expressed.

  4. 4
    Nick Kiddle says:

    I don’t think an apology is necessary for forgiveness: you decide you can forgive someone’s behaviour based on whatever criteria make sense to you (which may or may not include an apology) or you decide you can’t.

  5. 5
    Q Grrl says:

    “To blame are the feminist users of his unique male-feminist www-pages. They should have opened their wallets and helped Ampersand with regular donations, every month USD 10,- or USD 100,- or whatever you consider as a small amount.”

    And since Amp kept the sale secret for many months and did not solicit money for his blog (which in *not* why he needed the money in the first place), those nasty old feminists did not have a chance to contribute monetarily. However, intellectual-property wise, those same smelly old feminists *did* contribute (mightly) and it is that intellectual property of theirs that drove up the popularity of this blog.

    I know you wish to impune all feminists with your misogynistic belief that all women are just the leeches, sucking away at the rational decision-making of men folk, but you should at least check your facts first, Yohan, and read over the last five years of dialogue that has created Alas!

    But I do admire your cowardly style in waltzing into a blog where you have seldom (if ever) posted before now that you assume all those nasty ass, smelly, hairy feminists have retreated to disgorge the supposedly collective blood of our sucking. Or something like that. Purhaps you should purchase a spine before you try to sell us your opprobrium.

  6. 6
    Daran says:

    And since Amp kept the sale secret for many months and did not solicit money for his blog (which in *not* why he needed the money in the first place), those nasty old feminists did not have a chance to contribute monetarily.

    Look at the righthand margin, and scroll down until you see it. It’s not newly gone up or anything. It has been there all the time.

  7. 7
    Nick Kiddle says:

    It would be nice if the comment thread bore some relation to the original post, you know? I didn’t notice this tangent getting started, but can it just stop now, please?

  8. 8
    Charles S says:

    I’m not sure if I let that trolling comment from Yohan through or if amp did. If I did, I apologize. If Amp did, I imagine it was only because it didn’t look like spam.

  9. 9
    ms_xeno says:

    Please, NO MORE MEMES !!!

    [huddles in the corner]

  10. 10
    Tara says:

    Nick – I think the word then isn’t forgiveness, which is meaningless when it’s not sought, but toleration.

  11. 11
    Nick Kiddle says:

    Tara: I think we may be using different definitions, so perhaps we should agree to differ.

  12. 12
    Tara says:

    Nick – I think you’re right, especially since I have a feeling toleration isn’t a real word… argh!

  13. 13
    maribelle says:

    >I hope people who can’t forgive Amp for this sale can still join in the discussion.

    For me, it is not a matter of forgiveness. It is a matter of where I spend my time, energy and money. The ongoing level of discourse on this blog that Q Girl talks about is what drew me back again and again, especially for discussing thorny issues.

    And now that level of discourse has been exploited to benefit pornographers. Here’s where I bow out.

    Saddest thing about this whole thing: I am a firm believer in woman and men working together to combat the patriarchy, and have argued with others who feel that men are the enemy, that they will all sell us out in the end. So I gladly read a blog written by a “male feminist”–and in the end, he sold women out by helping promote the most disgusting, racist, scary porn–and utilizing his feminist internet cred to do so. Just like my “men all suck” friends have been saying for years. God/dess, I hate it when the asshats and the haters are right. And they were right here.

    You sold us out, Amp, in the end. It’s all very well and good for you to say you’re not that upset by pornography. Women aren’t really your people after all, are we?

    Do I forgive Amp? Of course I do–go with god/dess Amp and enjoy your life and your family. Will I participate on this blog, read here, post here, encourage friends to read here? Never again.

    Good luck to all, hope to see you in cyberspace, contributing to the consciousness raising that will bring our sisters and daughters out of oppression, not contributing to their continued exploitation as sexbots for hire.