Thursday, September 22, 2016

Dildos on Mixed Meters

September 15 was the eleventh anniversary of Mixed Meters.  I must have started this blog for some good reason.  Right?

In my very first post I admonished myself to keep things short.  I've failed at that quest many times.   In one early post an anonymous commenter said that I "went on and on and on about it..."  ('It' was a hip hop song which quoted the Dies Irae.)   Dude was right.  "Going on and on" has become a motto around here.  Thanks, Dude.

I really appreciate everyone who reads my blather, either here or via email.  Getting comments is a pleasant bonus.

What's really amazing is not that I'm still posting.  I'm amazed that I haven't found an excuse good enough to get me to quit.

It's been remarked that Facebook has killed blogging.  True enough.  Many things which I used to post here I now post there - and they disappear completely in a few days.  If I link Mixed Meters posts to my Facebook page they might get a few extra comments on Facebook.  FB, however, doesn't increase the traffic here much.

Incomprehensibly Google tells me that Mixed Meters keeps getting hits anyway.  Google, as you know, owns Blogger and competes with Facebook.  They provide me with this fine web forum for free.  Thanks, Goog.

What's more, they've been keeping track of my hit totals since 2010.  Last month MM registered the highest monthly hit total in that entire time, double the amount from the previous August.  Why?  I have absolutely no clue.  Certainly not because of all the great articles I've been posting.

In 2008 I joined something called Google Adsense, where the Goog posts ads on my blog which they think will interest you, my dear readers.  Every time you click their ad a small sum of money is paid to an account in my name.  Over 6 or more years I had gotten over $25 in credits.  Hey, don't laugh.  It's the biggest revenue stream in Mixed Meters entire history.

The trick - and there's always a trick - is that in order to get paid in actual currency, my earnings would have to reach $100.  And that would take, give or take a long time, another 24 years or so.

Recently I learned that this is not the incredibly sweet deal I thought it was.  Google Adsense, for all its largesse, does have a few rules.  And one of those rules is 'family friendly'.

Last February (the February in 2016) an email arrived calling my attention to one particular page - an archive of all seven posts I made in September of 2007.  Their complaint was pretty non-specific considering the variety of subjects I addressed that month.

Google ads may not be placed on pages with adult or any kinds of non family-safe content. This includes, but is not limited to, pages with images or videos containing:
  • Strategically covered nudity
  • Sheer or see-through clothing
  • Lewd or provocative poses
  • Close-ups of breasts, buttocks, or crotches
Were they complaining about my piece of music named after my dog's genitals?  Maybe.  Maybe they didn't like this picture of a topless Hawaiian goddess:

Or this historical, usually strategically blurred, photo (from my article comparing judicial punishments for Abu Gharib prison and Nazi death camp officers):

Or this musically relevant photo of nude people doing couples yoga on a Paul Horn concert poster which I had found in Leslie's papers:

I'll never know exactly which post that month triggered the warning, only that it took 8 and a half years for me to get the news.  I opted to ignore the notice.

Then in June another warning, this time for a specific post from an even earlier date:    This time their complaint was more specific:

Google ads may not be placed on adult or mature content. This includes fetish content as well as sites that promote, sell or discuss sexual aids. Examples include, but are not limited to:
  • sexual fixations or practices that may be considered unconventional
  • sexual aids or enhancement tools such as vibrators, dildos, lubes, sex games, inflatable toys
  • penis and breast enlargement tools
So Google objected to my discussion of the legality of saying the word dildo in Texas.  I was inspired by this video clip from a film called The Dildo Diaries. Watch for a good laugh at the Texas legislature's expense.  It features Molly Ivins, a political reporter who had a knack for finding humor in narrow-minded politics.

These days, 10 years later, I have no clue whether it's still illegal to say the word "dildo" in a Texas sex shop, though, apparently,  at least parts of this particular law have been declared unconstitutional.  I do know that Molly Ivins, then the reigning champion at exposing Texas hypocrisy, has since died.  I hope someone is carrying on her work because it's a sure bet that Texas politics are still jaw-droppingly crazy.

Anyway, after the second notice I decided to make Google happy and remove the ad from Mixed Meters.  It represented my blog's only source of income.  Now it's gone.

Had I kept the ad, sometime around the year 2040 — when I'll be nearly ninety years old — if Mixed Meters still exists then — if the Internet still exists then — if I'm even capable of writing blather then — I might have earned $100 from Google as payment for my 35 or so years of blog writing.  That would have been a sweet moment of validation.   And I'm giving it up to preserve my right to write about dildos if I want to.

Hey, that's the Mixed Meters blog news for another year.  Thanks for reading.

The subject of penises used to come up a lot on this blog to the point that I created a "penis" label.  Click here to see all my blog posts marked "penis".  Google Adsense would have been shocked by that.

Read more Crankshaft.
Buy stuff that says No One Cares About Your Stupid Blog.
Buy the complete Dildo Diaries.
On my original dildo post you can still watch the Dildo Song video and the links to OhMyBod and The Phallic Logo awards remain active.