European Sewing Machine Love and Dear Karen

P.K. Koenig’s website The O.T.O. Phenomenon has many delightful examples of Eurotrash sexcult absurdity. One of these examples is an excerpt from Pouillet’s “L’onanisme chez la femme” (Paris, 1880). (If you don’t know what “onanism” is, look it up.):

There remains “before all things the sewing machine is the great seductress to lonesome sensuality”, Herman’s citation from Pouillet’s “L’onanisme chez la femme”…(scene: a factory for military uniforms):

“In the midst of the regular whirring of about 30 sewing machines, I suddenly heard a machine running at a much higher tempo. I turned to the relevant seamstress, a brunette of 18 to 20 years. While automatically tending to the piece of work she was sewing, her face brightened, her mouth fell open slightly, her nostrils trembled, her feet moved the pedals with steadily increasing speed. Shortly thereafter I noted a fixed gaze, her eyelids sank, her face became pale, and she threw back her head. Hands and feet suddenly paused and stretched themselves: a suppressed cry, followed by a deep sigh, lost itself in the noise of the surroundings.”quote>

Sigh. Dear Karen DeCoster – a jug of wine, a sewing machine, and thou beside me, vibrating in the Wilderness – oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

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Front Sight Flap

It appears that Front Sight is suing Diana Mertz Hsieh.

Why? At this point we don’t know, but the characterization of this as an attack on free speech by Scientology is getting a lot of play.

In reading Hsieh’s site it seems clear that Hsieh is more than a bit of a crusader against Scientology and that she’s been harassing Front Sight founder Ignatius Piazza about possible personal ties to Scientology. Quite apparently she wants him to publicly repudiate Scientology, and she tosses around thinly veiled threats of turning his customers against him.

Piazza says he’s a Catholic. He says there is no connection between Scientology and Front Sight. Even Hsieh agrees on that point. I think people would be looking at this a lot differently if Hsieh were badgering Piazza to publicly repudiate Catholicism because of crimes real and imagined that the church has participated in. Can a decent person be a Catholic in good faith without sanctioning everything his church has ever done? I think so. I don’t see why a Scientologist can’t do the same. And we don’t even know that Piazza is currently a Scientologist, though it seems clear he has been connected.

Hsieh started down this road by following up on inflammatory reports about Front Sight, reports which she now concludes were “libelous in their wild speculations and claims”. I see no good evidence that Piazza or Front Sight have done anything wrong at all, for all I know the suit may be an attempt to get her remove some of that libelous material from her site; she quotes the libelous material. Front Sight’s right to such relief may be highly arguable, but I wouldn’t be terribly alarmed that they would argue for it if the law permits.

But this is more speculation; we don’t know what the suit is about. I’ll tell you this though, I don’t see anything particularly noble or attractive in Hsieh’s harassment of Piazza and Front Sight.