Saturday, March 30, 2013

How Many Clicks Will I Get if I use the Title "Whale Bone Porn"?

A local mom named Ann Pimentel is having conniptions about an exhibit she and her children were scandalized by at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. The specimens in the display in question are examples of "scrimshaw"--etchings made on (in this case) whale bones and teeth. Rather saucy engravings they are, too, showing boobies and kissing and everything.

Even though the display was elevated out of sight of impressionable young eyes and was accompanied by a "for mature audiences only" disclaimer, it seems Ms. Pimentel, president of the League of Perpetually Outraged Citizens, was outraged. Describing herself as "extremely disturbed" (which is doubtlessly true), she felt compelled to alert the internet and other media.

According to this story,
Ms. Pimentel told the Vancouver Sun that her two small children — aged two and three — were needlessly exposed to the disturbing “whale bone porn.” No advance warnings were made to sensitive patrons outside the display room, she complained.
I had barely recovered from being introduced to the term "whale bone porn" when I came across another extremely disturbing story, this time in Slate. In a piece called Six Ways to Avoid the Classic "Broken Bottle Scam," I learned that certain aggressive hobo-types in New York have been perfecting a ruse whereby they bump into unsuspecting passersby and then accuse them of breaking a bottle--ostensibly filled with an expensive "medicine"--and bullying them into ponying up some coin for the "loss."

Stratagem Number Five on the author's mostly tongue-in-cheek list of ways of dealing with this scam begins:
Carry around your own bag of bottles. OK, this one might not be the most realistic idea, and it definitely requires some advance planning, but I can’t think of a better way to confound a bottle trickster than by dropping your own bag upon contact and demanding that he reimburse you.
The problem in each of these excerpts is that the word "advance" should be charged with loitering. It serves no purpose in either sentence other than to take up syllables. Warnings and planning must always, by definition, be done in advance, so I hereby rule that the word be stricken from the record.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll get back to watching some whale bone porn.