Yet one more straw has been placed on the camel’s back. We have weathered a number of crises in the past and I am so delighted that we have been able to carry on so far (with a few interruptions). Our latest host did careful research to find the kinds of connections that allow us to operate despite somewhat rabid opposition. We have found many tolerant service providers, but the simple fact is that they are in business to make money. That means when there are enough complaints about us, we are asked to leave. After all, no data center wants to be associated with child pornography, however false the claims. Many services have been lined up so far, but I feel it necessary to inform you that were are on our last one and it is possible that we will have to shut down in the near future. Naturally, we are interested in any useful ideas and leads that might keep us going and we have a few guardian angels out there already trying to help us out. I just thought it only fair to warn readers that we may have to unexpectedly shut down. If this happens, this will not be the end of Pigtails in Paint. At the very worst, we will just have to take a break for a while until we can get some more ducks in a row. Thank you everyone for your wonderful support. -Ron
One Funeral at a Time: It is my sad duty to inform you that Graham Stewart Ovenden passed away on the morning of December 9, 2022 (GMT). I delayed in this notification to allow his closest friends and family to process the news. I only got to know him in the last few years, but my life has been greatly enriched in the process. One of the problems of social and academic progress is that the entrenched power-brokers resist change and suppress the contribution of bright young minds. Of course, this idea is a two-edged sword because it is not only the obstructors who pass away, but the hopeful visionaries as well. It falls to those of us who survive to shape the meaning of this man’s life. He will be greatly missed.
Bad Choice: One of the temptations in modern capitalism is to go overboard in promoting a new product. With all the competition out there, it is so easy to cross the line or misrepresent a new offering to get attention. A 2020 coming-of-age film by Senegalese filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré is one of the latest examples. Cuties (French, Mignonnes) is about an 11-year-old girl who joins a dance troupe and is confronted in the process by cultural conflict and her own emerging womanhood. Unfortunately, the writer-director received harsh criticism for this well-constructed work because of an error of judgment by Netflix during its US release. Instead of using one of the established publicity stills, it used an image of the troupe somewhat provocatively posed as if that were the main purpose of the film. Naturally pundits—who certainly have not watched the film—made the boilerplate accusations of pornography and abuse. Bridget Todd of the podcast Internet Hate Machine produced an excellent overview this issue.
The Dark Side of Chocolate: One of the ironies of running this site is how we are accused of promoting child pornography. My understandable irritation is amplified by the fact that there is real deplorable abuse of children out there that requires action. I have posted many examples on this site to inform readers including well-researched outright human trafficking. Let’s give some consideration to this fact the next time we indulge in chocolate. As it happens, the most popular brands have been sourcing their cocoa from companies that make extensive use of child labor, most of which were abducted exclusively for this purpose according to documentarian Miki Mistrati.
Curious Alice: Once in a while I get a message from Pip, the founder of this site, and he shares some interesting tidbits he recently came across. Like many young girl enthusiasts, Lewis Carroll’s Alice is a popular theme. A most curious case in point is a 1971 production called Curious Alice. It was a short US government anti-drug propaganda film. It used animation, still photography and standard film in rather weird combinations that play off the various types of highs one gets from different drugs with each Wonderland character representing a different substance (Caterpillar as marijuana, Mad Hatter as LSD, March Hare as amphetamines, etc.). It is definitely a film of its time and Pip finds it amusing that the government used hippie aesthetics to make an anti-drug film that was not only ineffective but may have had some appeal for drug users!
In Defense of Teddy Bears: Also from Pip is yet another stupid phony controversy regarding Balenciaga for—get this—featuring teddy bear handbags with BDSM attire! Here is a link with Balenciaga’s apology for their ads. This apology was likely the result of pressure from Kim Kardashian who is an ambassador for the brand and also put out a statement in response.
Our Girl Wednesday: According to an associate, there is a new dance inspired by the character Wednesday from the Netflix series of the same name in The Addams Family franchise. The dance is shown here on YouTube and there are numerous imitators either dressing up as Wednesday or copying the dance which I will let you dig up yourself since there are quite a few, most notably on Instagram.
Another Item of Pinterest: One of our readers is an avid postcard collector. He agreed to share what he has put up so far on his Pinterest account.