Friday, October 19, 2007

Rough Trade: Not Just for the Gays

Within the realm of gay society there are quite a few things that infuriate me. The most annoying is the breakdown of gay men and women into subtypes. You know, "the butch girl," "the queeny boy." Because of these stereotypes we have subdivided our culture and segregated our force as a community. Because of the stereotypes we have created false concepts of what is attractive. Of course, one manifestation of this cultural breakdown is the evolution of the term rough trade. For those of you who don't know, rough trade is basically the term used to describe a man whose physicality and refinement (or lack there of) make him sexually appealing to more 'upper class' fags. Basically, it breaks down into that porno you saw the other night. . .


A gay, wealthy and well-dressed business man drives into a garage in need of repairs on his new beamer. The mechanic: straight-but-curious, greasified, dirty and a little stupid in overalls with no shirt turns to the business man gives him a 'wink' and assures him that he has the right 'equipment' for the job. The gay man, watches as the 'rough trade' begins to work on his car becoming increasingly excited. The straight mechanic turns, notices the erection beneath the business man's suit and then. . . starts to 'service' the business man's "hot rod." The mechanic and businessman leave each other after a great 20 min. fuck session. The mechanic is pleased because he has taken it up the 'tail pipe' for the first time, eliminating his curiosity; the businessman equally pleased because he has conquered the 'rough trade' adding to his list of conquests.

Got the idea? Rough trade. Accepted. Based on social class-isms within the gay community. Unfair, unjust, and a waste of time.

Unfortunately, I've noticed that Rough Trade does not only apply to the gay community. It seems that this concept applies to what's happening on a global scale with the passing of each "Free" Trade agreement.

Basically, repeat the same scene as above but instead of a mechanic, use a second or third world country.

The wealthy businessman (for example, the U.S.) is looking around and finds tattered countries with scrappy exteriors that are curious as to what it would be like to live in a first world situation. Eager to learn and participate, the tattered countries bow down and service the needs of the first world. Unfortunately, in this situation, after taking it 'up the ass' the tattered country of the day will not leave fulfilled. They are generally left with increased amounts of poverty, unemployment and pollution. After all, the purpose of Free Trade Agreements is to shift the focus from People to Profit.

This happened in Canada (probably the most popular example) with the Ethyl corporation (an oil refining company) and methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT; a neurotoxin). The story goes like this. The Ethyl Corporation (the company that created LEADED gasoline) while refining oil in Canada released a shit-load of poison into the Canadian environment. Canada, realizing that MMT is not healthy decided to ban MMT as a refining byproduct. This of course, got in the way of Ethyl's profits.

So, what happened? Nothing!

You see, NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) says that anyone or any GOVERNMENT that tries to stand in the way of Corporate profits is subject to legal action. So, Canada, having forced down MMT production, was taken to court by Ethyl. That's right, the Canadian government was trying to protect it's environment and people, and Ethyl was able to sue them. So, Ethyl took Canada to court for $251 million dollars, and WON! Canada apparently slandered Ethyl's "clean" name and caused them profit loss by banning MMT. Now, Ethyl Corp. is $251 million dollars richer and MMT is produced in Canada.

Whether it's the businessman or wealthy international corporations getting serviced, one thing is clear. . .Rough Trade is NOT just for the Gays!

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