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#1 of 20 Old 07-30-2011, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hiya folks, hiya hiya.

 

It's been a long, LONG time since I posted here, so I don't have much hope that anybody remembers me by name.  Some might remember me by "Rudolph the Foreskinned Baby" and a couple of other parody lyrics, or maybe the hand model demonstration of circumcision's effect on skin mobility that I wrote with Gary Harryman years ago.  Or, well, as the guy who submitted the first-place winning intactivist question in Rob Newell's (of The Truth Laid Bear/TTLB Ecosystem) poll of reader-submitted questions for the GOP congressional leadership candidates.

 

If you haven't heard about that latter, it's probably because he cheated us out of first place both times.

 

Anyways, I'm dropping in today because I'm seeking emotional support.  I just found out that a couple of weeks before the big genital-mutilation-via-garbage-disposal laugh-in on CBS' 'The Talk' recently, Sharon Osbourne told ET that if she'd were Schwarzenegger's wife, she would have. . .cut off his willy and run it through the garbage disposal.  See http://www.etonline.com/tv/111780_Sharon_Osbourne_s_Choice_Words_for_Arnold_Schwarzenegger/index.html

 

So did Catherine Kieu Becker get the idea FROM Sharon Osbourne?  Or someone who repeated Osbourne's views to her?

 

I'm very upset at Osbourne's "apology", as well.  Especially in comparison to her apology to Susan Boyle for calling her ugly with several unorginal put-downs a while back.  Osbourne didn't even apologize to the victim himself this time; just to 'offended people'.

 

I've concluded that the default standard of treatment for boys and men in usa culture is dehumanization and objectification.  Don't believe it? Let's compare two statements:

 

Quote:
"Susan Boyle is a lovely gracious woman and I took advantage of that by poking fun at her.  I would never want to be responsible for hurting Susan and I must apologize for getting a cheap laugh at her expense."

 

versus

 

Quote:

"I do not condone genital mutilation and I didn't mean any harm by laughing about it and I'm sorry that I offended people 'cause that's not my intention or the intention of this show.  It's not what we're about.  So I apologize."


So Susan Boyle wins worldwide acclaim, fame, and fortune for her magnificant singing ability.  Sharon Osbourne then calls her ugly using several unoriginal put-downs.

Eventually, Susan Boyle receives a direct apology from Sharon Osbourne on the grounds of having exploited her for audience amusement.

Later, a man is drugged and tied down by his domestic partner, one Catherine Kieu Becker, and when he regains consciousness, she cuts off his penis as he helplessly watches, then takes it into another room, and grinds it up in a garbage disposal, while he helplessly listens.  Sharon Osbourne thinks this is "quite fabulous" and makes other comments praising it and making jokes about it.

Eventually, Catherine Kieu Becker's victim has to settle for just being one more among the of millions of people to whom Sharon Osbourne "apologizes" for offending them on the grounds that she didn't mean any harm and her intentions weren't bad.

Am I the only person to notice a grotesque double standard here?

I want you to try imagining that for a minute.  Imagine waking up and finding that a person you once wanted in your life, strongly and deeply enough to marry them, has drugged you and tied you up.  And then, as you watch, unable to do anything to defend yourself, completely helpless, she cuts off your penis.

Now, if you've got enough presence of mind and pop culture or medical background, you know that there's a chance this can be fixed somewhat.  Your penis can be surgically attached, like John Wayne Bobbit's.

But then she takes into another room, and if you're not screaming too loud to drown it out, or too deep in shock to notice, you hear her destroying it in the garbage disposal.

What do you think that feels like, emotionally?  What goes through a person's mind during something like that?

But wait, there's more!

Now imagine being that person, and watching this clip of 'The Talk' show where the hosts and audience are laughing heartily at what was done to you.  They are delighted that you, personally, were drugged and tied down and your penis was cut off and ground up in a garbage disposal.  They think it's marvelously, wonderfully funny.  It makes them happy.

Lying in your hospital bed, facing a life choice of penile castration vs. a poor artificial imitation of a penis made from your own forearm skin, you watch them praise your sexual mutilation.  Your violation is their amusement.  An entire audience of women is laughing uproariously at what was done to you.  And as you listen, you look down at the remaining stump of your manhood, wrapped in bloody bandages.  That's what amuses them.  That's what they're laughing at -- your crippled, mutilated, ruined penis, and that it was done to you.

 

And then comes the non-apology, in which you aren't even addressed specifically.  You're just one of millions who were "offended".

 

The default standard of treatment for boys and men in usa culture is dehumanization and objectification.

 

Because there's no way things like these happen unless that's true.

 

Well, I have more I'd like to say but I just can't continue this right now.  It's hurting too much again.  I've cried for this man twice already today, and if I start again I won't be able to hold food down.

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#2 of 20 Old 07-30-2011, 09:49 PM
 
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Wow, thank you for posting this. I don't really follow pop culture and television much so I was not aware of her comments (although I had heard about the crime it references).  Both are horrifying. I wonder if decades of allowing our sons' penises to be mutilated has desensitized women to the value of a male's whole body? Or maybe folks just assume if this type of crime is committed against a man, that he must have 'had it coming'? I saw a clip of a female talk show host recently making flippant jokes about the San Francisco ban. It totally saddened me in this same way to see someone use their national mouthpiece to spew such harmful and ignorant garbage for the sake of a cheap laugh....

 

 

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#3 of 20 Old 07-30-2011, 10:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by T-man's Mama View Post

Wow, thank you for posting this. I don't really follow pop culture and television much so I was not aware of her comments (although I had heard about the crime it references).  Both are horrifying. I wonder if decades of allowing our sons' penises to be mutilated has desensitized women to the value of a male's whole body? Or maybe folks just assume if this type of crime is committed against a man, that he must have 'had it coming'?

 


exactly what she said.

 

and, again, thank you for posting this.  when i think about it (especially the way you've stated it), it is appalling. 

 

 


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#4 of 20 Old 07-30-2011, 11:45 PM
 
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Sharon Osbourne obviously has taken WAY too many drugs in her lifetime. she is warped.


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#5 of 20 Old 07-31-2011, 12:57 AM
 
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I remember you,

 

I hadn't heard the details, but that is horrifying. And that woman is utterly abhorent.

 

I can't help wondering if most of the audience weren't either laughing from nerves/shock or a feeling they should laugh, even though they didn't find it funny. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking. Either way, they were wrong.

 


mom to all boys B: 08/01ribboncesarean.gif,  C: 07/05 uc.jpg, N: 03/09 uc.jpg, M: 01/12 uc.jpg and far too many lost onesintactlact.gifsaynovax.gif

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#6 of 20 Old 07-31-2011, 01:59 AM
 
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what a horrific thing to do to someone. mecry.gif


mama to one '07 and one '09
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#7 of 20 Old 07-31-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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Yes,  Acksiom,  I remember you too.  Welcome back.  Thank you for posting this.  While I watch very little television, I too was aware of the original henious act of amputation and destruction.  This just further supports the notion that there definitely is a double standard - especialy when it comes to genitalia.

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#8 of 20 Old 07-31-2011, 12:20 PM
 
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Yes, I also wanted to add that I fully agree there is a glaring double standard. I believe this applies to across the board in terms of sexuality between the sexes in our country, sometimes in reverse depending on the particular topic at hand....

 

Can you imagine how people would (rightly so) be up in arms if a wife in the US committed idolatry and her husband, in a fit of rage, committed a parallel crime as this woman (such as excising his wife's clitoris or otherwise mutilating her genitalia)??  There would be no late-show jokes on the matter and one can only imagine how Sharon Osbourne would react to THAT.

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#9 of 20 Old 07-31-2011, 08:17 PM
 
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I think you are dead on right that our culture has lesser value on men. 

 

Why is it funny to kick a man in the genitals?  It's NOT!

 

Behind most humor is pain but that is no excuse to use all pain to create humor.

 

I seriously bothered by the cultural attitudes towards men in the US. 

 

And I totally remember you Acksiom!


"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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#10 of 20 Old 07-31-2011, 08:40 PM
 
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Wow, what an insightful post.  Thank you.  This double standard that female babies should be protected by law.... but NOT male babies is horrendous!  In this day and age, it is so hard to believe that people take the attitude that cutting at a baby boys penis is no big deal.  They say, oh it looks better (aesthetic);  it's easier to keep clean (convenience); he's just a little baby, he won't remember (rationalization that it's "only" a baby boy, so its okay to do this to him cuz he can't protest);  he should look like his dad (more rationalization);  he will have less medical problems  (baseless health information that doesn't add up); it's part of a religion (can't say what I want to about this one); it won't hurt anything, he will still function (more rationalization that is based on some one else's opinion, not the baby boys).... and on and on.  It's just plain wrong on so many levels.  It will take more people of like minds who see the ridiculousness of such an un necessary and damaging genital amputation, performed on defenseless baby boys no less, to keep the information alive and flowing so that others might be spared. At some point, circumcision will be a thing of the past, but until then, more baby boys (and men, when they get older) will suffer needlessly.  I think it is so sad!

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#11 of 20 Old 08-01-2011, 09:24 AM
 
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Hello Acksiom, I remember you and your insightful posts.

 

That story is indeed gruesome. I had not heard anything about it. Surely the disregard for this man's suffering is rooted in our culture's deep-seated belief that the owner of a penis has no real jurisdiction over it; that others can carve up said penis as they see fit, either to "improve" its appearance, or to punish the boy or man (think of the recommendations from circ's beginnings in the U.S. that it be used to punish boys who were caught masturbating... and then you see these people dismembering men to punish them for adultery.

It makes perfectly logical sense, if you are starting with the premise that a man has no rights over his penis, if he starts his life with parents or doctors having every right to cut away as much of the healthy penis as they feel like* (ranging from circumcision to removing the whole penis in the case of intersex babies "assigned" to be female), then it would follow that later in life, his wife would have every right to cut off more if she felt like it. And the attitude that he should just suck it up and quit complaining.... because that penis was never really his to begin with!

 

 

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#12 of 20 Old 08-01-2011, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Jen, that's excellent.  It explains so much, and applies to a lot more of men's experience of life than their penis.  Thank you.  I will be thinking a lot about that and integrating it into my analyses.  I'm very impressed.

 

T-man's Mama, I hardly watch television either (Fringe, and the occasional high-concept anime series, like Bakemonogatari).  I found out about all this from the men's issues folks.  And thank you very, VERY much for blocking off the remote possibility that someone here might suggest he "had it coming".  I haven't been back in a while, but when I was a regular there were at least a few others here who might have done that, and then I would probably get banned.

 

I've started looking for a pro-male therapist.  I haven't felt this bad since my parents died.  But I probably wouldn't be doing it if I didn't have some of you here for backup in case it goes pear-shaped.  I know better than to expect even supposedly male-friendly counselors to behave professionally about these issues.  I'm very grateful to know of one public forum on the internet where I can say certain things without having to worry whether someone will suggest I had it coming.

 

Oh, right, it's been that long since I was last here.  Um, update:  Dad got brain cancer a couple of years ago and was gone in a few months.  It was too deep for surgery and grew too fast.  They sent him back home again and he starved to death in front of me over a week.  He couldn't talk or eat, so all I could do was put morphine drops under his tongue and play the New Testament for him on audiobook.  Then Nancy died about six weeks later from heart failure.  It was probably a combination of the blood draw her doctor did that day plus hearing about Dad's death in a different environment than normal -- her alzheimer's and dementia were pretty bad by then.

 

I should provide the background for those who don't know.  My dad had a massive stroke back in 95 and I dropped almost everything else in my life to be his sole caregiver for the next 14+ years.  Then in 07 my ex-mother had some kind of cerebral event and I became her responsible party/POA as well.  She was an abusive alcoholic who made most of both our lives hellish before we separated.  Forex, once, when I was about 8 or 9, she forced me to the filthy, disgusting floor of an old art-house movie theater and put her foot on my neck to keep me there because she was "ashamed to be seen with me."  That's an exact quote; it was burned into my memory at the time.

 

She also once picked up a kitchen knife and tried to gut me with it, when I was 19 or 20.  So between that and my own scarred, callused, mutilated, dysfunctional genitals, this Becker thing has been pretty much my perfect storm of triggers.

 

Oh, and I found the thread here with the copy of my and Gary's Educational Model of Penile Skin Movement, for anyone who wants a way to demonstrate the differences between intact and mutilated that they can always have with them.  IME you should try to get people to actually do the physical movements themselves if you can, because experiencing the sensations often gets the difference across to them in a uniquely personal way:

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/167595/speaking-of-hands-and-fingers-and-sensitivity

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#13 of 20 Old 08-01-2011, 10:53 PM
 
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YOu will always have support here!!!!!

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#14 of 20 Old 08-09-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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Acks, I'm happy to see you here again, even if the trigger for your visit was a traumatic event. I'm glad that you felt comfortable enough with this group to turn to us for support.

 

I fondly remember you as thoughtful, insightful, and compassionate - obviously that hasn't changed a bit, and I'm not at all surprised that the media circus you described affected you the way it did. My sons are very empathetic too, and I've seen how difficult it is for them to witness instances of injustice - I feel like I understand what you're going through.

 

I take heart in the fact that some of us still are outraged by what others consider "acceptable" behavior. We have not become desensitized to the feelings of others, or to the atrocities we do to each other, and still maintain high standards of right and wrong. As long as there are people like us - like YOU, Acksiom - there's hope that we haven't all gone to hell in a handbasket. We alone aren't going to change an overwhelming tide of idiotic thinking in a hurry - just like the fight against infant circumcision, this one is going to be a long, slow grind.

 

I wish you peace, my friend, and offer a warm hug and a soft shoulder.

 

Ann


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#15 of 20 Old 08-13-2011, 08:31 PM
 
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It's a disgrace that someone would attempt to find humor in such horrific mutilation.  You're right that there is a double standard at work, and if the tables were turned,  Osbourne would be the first in line to lynch the guy who made fun of the woman who was mutilated.  But, double standards are everywhere in the media.  One only need take a look at the number of commercials depicting men in a bad light, unable to make decisions or acting like children, while the wife and kids roll their eyes in disapproval of "stupid Dad".

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#16 of 20 Old 01-31-2012, 09:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acksiom View Post
 

 

I arrived at this thread just by searching for people talking about this event because I didn't feel like I'd seen enough thorough opposition to Sharon's reaction to the event.

 

You sir Acksiom, have pretty much summed up all that should be said on the matter.  There are so many points to cover and you covered them well - particularly the less often mentioned one where this isn't some random violent assault, (in which case it would already be unfathomably horrible) this is supposedly someone he fell in love with and married - only some sort of mental retardation could possibly begin to explain how someone could do such a thing in that context.

 

Naturally I feel the same of men who end up beating or killing the ones they married as well - it's some sort of mental deficiency, I do not consider these people human - more like monsters.  This is not some random on the street, or someone who started a fight with you, but the person you're sworn to love and protect.  I could not bring myself to hit a girl (outside of preventing direct personal harm to myself or someone else), so forget even mentioning someone I love or have loved in this context.

 

And every time I read about something like this, my view is supported.  Look at the reaction of this woman - "He deserved it" - who reading can claim they can react in such a way to cutting open a human being, and what would it take for that person to do for you to bring yourself to do this?  It's like these people are just out of touch with reality, becoming violent with their spouses over non-violent issues - could they stand by and watch it happen between another couple?

 

Not human, that's my verdict.

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#17 of 20 Old 02-01-2012, 12:07 PM
 
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I am relatively new here and did not know about Sharon Osborne's part in this story, but I was horrified when I first heard about it, and this makes it seem so much worse if possible. I agree that there is a horrible double-standard, and I can't imagine how anyone would condone genital mutilation under any circumstances. Sharon Osborne does have a history of promoting circumcision on that show as well because she thinks intact males smell "cheesy". As the mother of 3 intact sons, I find this to be terribly insensitive and cruel as well. I can imagine the reaction if the tables were turned and a male "celebrity" used a similar forum to declare normal female genitals to be gross and smelly.
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#18 of 20 Old 02-02-2012, 12:39 PM
 
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I think you raise many societal issues with your post Acksiom.

To be honest, I've never heard of Sharon Osbourne-- my avoidance of most TV programming is deliberate.  The media as a whole industry sensationalizes inappropriate and unhealthy attitudes, especially regarding violence and sexuality.  You are viewing it as someone who has been harmed, and therefore have a heightened awareness of these issues.

May I gently suggest your rage is not coming from the "double standard" but from recognizing the callous disregard of human life and our bodies as something sacred and of value.  I can see you have a deep sense of compassion and I believe you are not the type who would be satisfied realizing both women and men are equally maligned in the media.  I honestly don't see it as a double standard.  The fact is, both men and women, and children, animals, emotions, basically everything in life of true value, is mocked, maligned, made fun of, and abused in media. 

If you doubt the ongoing debasement of women in the media, please peruse the following site:

http://www.now.org/issues/media/hall-of-shame/index.php

 

I think the more significant issue here, is not double standards, but violence and barbarious displays in general.  My husband and I have basic cable...only the main channels.  I hate TV, but my husband enjoys watching, and night after night there are at least 3 stations in a row which are having crime shows.  These shows seem to be competing with each other who can come up with the most gruesome, shocking, gory horrific stuff.  On one channel a teenager is being raped, on the next a psycho killer is slicing up bodies and feeding them to pigs, on the next channel a long dead body falls out of the closet.  Ugh.  What does is say about our society that this is our entertainment??  Have we become so desensitized to the pain and trauma of others that we see it as entertainment rather than the horrifying reality that it is?  The real problem comes when our society faces real life mass murderers, rapists, body mutilators, and because we are so used to seeing it on TV, to see it in real life is no big deal.  It has lost the shock value that it should have. 

It's not a stretch to realize how willing we are to subject ourselves, as well as babies and children, to medical mutilations.  Too many colds?  Forget diet and improving immunity, just slice out those tonsils.  There are so many examples where medicine jumps to surgery as a first option rather than a last resort.  Circumcision fits well into this paradigm.  Don't want to bother teaching your son simple hygiene?  Just cut off anything which might get "dirty".   Of course there are other rationales for circ, none of which I agree with.

It's a deeply disturbing mentality which is part of a flawed attitude we have in our society.  This acceptance of violence and body mutilation.

 

 

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#19 of 20 Old 02-04-2012, 10:47 PM
 
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I think the more significant issue here, is not double standards, but violence and barbarious displays in general.  My husband and I have basic cable...only the main channels.  I hate TV, but my husband enjoys watching, and night after night there are at least 3 stations in a row which are having crime shows.  These shows seem to be competing with each other who can come up with the most gruesome, shocking, gory horrific stuff.  On one channel a teenager is being raped, on the next a psycho killer is slicing up bodies and feeding them to pigs, on the next channel a long dead body falls out of the closet.  Ugh.  What does is say about our society that this is our entertainment??  Have we become so desensitized to the pain and trauma of others that we see it as entertainment rather than the horrifying reality that it is?  The real problem comes when our society faces real life mass murderers, rapists, body mutilators, and because we are so used to seeing it on TV, to see it in real life is no big deal.  It has lost the shock value that it should have. 

It's not a stretch to realize how willing we are to subject ourselves, as well as babies and children, to medical mutilations.  Too many colds?  Forget diet and improving immunity, just slice out those tonsils.  There are so many examples where medicine jumps to surgery as a first option rather than a last resort.  Circumcision fits well into this paradigm.  Don't want to bother teaching your son simple hygiene?  Just cut off anything which might get "dirty".   Of course there are other rationales for circ, none of which I agree with.

It's a deeply disturbing mentality which is part of a flawed attitude we have in our society.  This acceptance of violence and body mutilation.

 

 



So true and so eloquently put !!

 

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#20 of 20 Old 02-04-2012, 10:48 PM
 
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WELCOME BACK,  ACKSIOM !!  I remember you well.

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