Clearing the Air

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Even the friendliest of skies can sometimes have a dark cloud.

A few weeks ago, a man whom I’ll call “Joe Smith” began posting anti-gay comments to my Facebook fan page; his remarks included hostile phrases like “go jump from a very hi building” [sic] and “when your dead from AIDS I’ll be laughing stupid fag” [sic]. (I’ve chosen to use an alias for “Mr. Smith” because of the closed nature of the ensuing investigation.) Dozens of people, including myself, reported his comments for containing hate speech. Facebook, which swiftly and appropriately removed Mr. Smith’s statements, deserves praise for responding within hours of the initial report.

It didn’t stop there, however. Mr. Smith’s profile identified him as an employee of American Airlines, and many of my fans and friends emailed AA to alert them to their employee’s objectionable conduct. I wrote to AA as well, feeling that the company should receive a first-hand narrative along with the onslaught of messages from my Facebook followers. As a long-time AA customer, I fly them often (I’ve been a member of their frequent flyer program since 1986), and am accustomed to professional behavior from their employees. When Mr. Smith joined AA (as well as his union), he agreed to abide by a standard of employee conduct that expressly forbids hate speech in any context, including social media. I still don’t know how Mr. Smith found his way to my Facebook page (I don’t post anywhere else on Facebook, nor do I pay for advertising), but nevertheless I felt it was necessary to bring this egregious and public violation of a very important policy to his employer’s attention.

Shortly after the incident occurred, I was contacted by a senior investigator at AA. After we discussed the situation, she launched an internal investigation in cooperation with their diversity manager, legal counsel, and high-ranking members of several departments. She sent me the following letter a little more than three weeks later, signed and printed on AA letterhead:

Thank you for your patience and participation during my investigation of an American Airline employee’s inappropriate conduct on social media. American Airlines actively promotes equality and inclusion, and we do not tolerate conduct that is abusive or demeaning to others, whether in the workplace or under circumstances that reflect on our company. The comments directed towards you on Facebook were entirely unacceptable, and I apologize for them having come from a fellow employee of American. While I am not at liberty to share the results of an internal inquiry or release details about the outcome, I wanted to advise you that my investigation is complete and that appropriate action has been taken.

This was not unexpected: the investigator had informed me at the start that, as this would be an internal inquiry, she would be unable to tell me anything specific about the consequences at its conclusion. She assured me, however, that she would conduct her investigation formally and “on the record,” and that the evidence and outcome would be memorialized in AA’s files. I believe her: American is listed by the Human Rights Campaign as one of the most LGBT-friendly employers in America, so I’m confident that she saw this matter through to its appropriate and proper conclusion, and feel that her handling of the situation was nothing short of exemplary.

I’ll probably never know what action was taken against Mr. Smith. It could be anything: a written warning, probation, suspension, even termination of employment. That said, I did not demand that Mr. Smith lose his job, or ask for any form of compensation. My only goal was to quell his hateful behavior. A mere slap on the wrist and a temporary ban from Facebook would have sent the message that his actions had no lasting consequences. Had that been the only result, it’s entirely possible that he would have then targeted someone else with his anti-gay bigotry, perhaps someone more vulnerable than me. Scores of gay people — youth especially — have harmed or even killed themselves after being bullied by people like Joe Smith. He must be shown, decisively and emphatically, that hate speech is not acceptable under any circumstances. I hope this story inspires victims of hatred to speak up like I did, secure in the knowledge that they’ll have plenty of support when they do.

Now that I’ve had time to reflect on these events, I sincerely hope that Mr. Smith didn’t get fired. That way he’ll still be able to support himself and his family, but both his employer and his union will be watching him like a hawk. If he hopes to keep his job, he’ll think twice before uttering any more words of hatred against a fellow human being.

And that, to me, is the brightest of silver linings.
 
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NEW XXX VIDEO: Dirk fucks me in my rugby gear!


Whenever there’s a big promotion — like Titan’s St. Patrick’s Day sale that ends tonight is still going on as of 11 am on March 18! — I try to post something really special to thank you all for putting up with the extra sales pitches I keep throwing at you. So here’s a preview of coming attractions for ya… a behind-the-scenes clip of Dirk fucking me in rugby gear on the set of an upcoming Titan Rough feature! I’m wearing my actual rugby practice jersey and socks from when I used to play a few years ago; Dirk’s got on one of my training shirts, too.

The as-yet-untitled film is tentatively scheduled for a Memorial Day release, but Dirk and I already shot another movie, Loud and Nasty. For the Rough line. And it was so much fun to shoot! You can watch a free extended XXX preview of it here. Titan members can watch or download the entire scene right now. If you’re not a member, take advantage of the St. Patrick’s Day sale and instantly get an entire month of unlimited access to the entire Titan catalog for just $14.95… and if you sign up through lucky.join-titan.com, you’ll be entered to win copies of both Loud and Nasty and Extra Firm autographed by me and Dirk, plus a TitanMen jockstrap! DVDs more your thing? Then buy Loud and Nasty from the Titan Store and be entered for a chance to win, plus you can use promo code “stpat25” to get 25% off your entire order… but only through midnight tonight it could end at any time… in fact, it should have ended last night but the sale is active as of this writing, so hurry… and good luck!

P.S. I have no idea what I said — in falsetto, no less — at the end of the clip. Can anybody out there figure it out? [UPDATE: Liz figured it out and posted it in the comments below: “After the director says ‘cut,’ he says ‘Thank you,’ and in a falsetto voice, you say ‘You’re welcome. Any time.'” You rock, Liz! Thank you!]
 

Classical Caber: “Eclogue No. 6”

As I’ve written about recently, my husband Dirk has an amazing talent for composing classical music. I’m biased, of course… but listen for yourself. I’ve already shared a few of his efforts, but the one I’m posting today is the lushest I’ve shared so far. It’s an eclogue, a form of pastoral music that presents an original theme and then explores different variations of that theme. He’s written a number of them, but Eclogue No. 6 is my favorite. Dirk explains his inspiration for the piece as follows:

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The Eclogues were experiments in orchestration for me, each using a particular variation on a chamber orchestra of not more than 24 or 25 players. Each was also based loosely on a literary source, usually a poem. Eclogue No. 6 draws on a verse by the 16th century English poet and composer Thomas Whythorne:

As thy shadow itself apply’th
To follow thee whereso thou go,
And when thou bends, itself it wry’th,
Turning as thou both to and fro:
The flatterer doth even so,
And shopes himself the same to gloze,
With many a fawning and gay show,
Whom he would frame for his purpose.

Whythorne’s poem talks about imitation which, despite often being a wan copy, is still the sincerest form of flattery. Musically, this suggests to me an original theme that spawns a myriad of subsequent variations. Eclogue No. 6 is an attempt to set this concept in a musical form that mimics a style of dance called a “sicilienne” which was common in Whythorne’s time.

I find this piece absolutely enchanting. Every single time I listen, I start crying by the end. You might cry too, so when you listen, be prepared for waterworks!

As I wrote last week in my post “Every Rose Has Its Porn,” while Dirk has a supreme gift for writing music, right now he’s really struggling. The move to Boston has proved especially challenging for him, as he’s had to uproot himself from the classical music scenes in New York and Chicago — where he once lived — and start afresh in Boston. He’s having trouble finding work, and is getting really discouraged; Boston’s scene is well-established and difficult to break into. His creative output is a fraction of what it once was, and it kills me to think that his sublime talent might even be silenced. I’m thinking of launching a Kickstarter campaign to help him afford to produce an album, and we’re also exploring the possibility of making his work available on iTunes. In the meantime, though, here’s a simple way you can support him: Share his music. Send it to your friends. Even if they’re not porn fans, you can share his SoundCloud page with them, which has many examples of his work… I’ve even made it simple for you… just click here to post a link to it on your Facebook wall. Let the world hear the beauty that my husband has to offer. Once word gets out about his talent, maybe the tide will start to turn in his favor.

You can listen to more of Dirk’s music at http://soundcloud.com/dirkcaber, and for Dirk’s own take on his musical influences, you can read the blog post he wrote entitled “Musing on My Muses.”

Thank you.

English Court Dance

Got Bone? Or: “Working Hard with Rogan Richards”

Filming a scene is a lot of fun, but it can be exhausting. I usually fly into San Francisco the evening before a shoot, sometimes getting to the hotel as late as 11 pm. The next morning we start right at 9 am; we fill out the required paperwork (tax forms and such), then there’s a photo shoot in the morning which takes a couple of hours, then we discuss how the scene’s gonna go, film any intro footage (including dialogue), and then finally — usually around 1 pm — we’re ready to start the action. By then, I can be pretty tired… and when that happens, it can take me a little while to “bone up.” Titan doesn’t employ fluffers; we performers help each other out instead. And in the case of this scene from TitanMen’s Dick Danger, I was all too eager to have super-sexy Aussie Rogan Richards lend a hand… or, in this case, his tongue. Check it out above.

To see more of me and Rogan in action, you can watch a free extended, X-rated preview of our scene here. Titan members can watch or download the whole 32-minute, Grabby-nominated scene in HD here. If you’re not a member, you can take advantage of Titan’s St. Patrick’s Day sale and get an entire month of unlimited access to thousands of scenes for just $14.95! And if you sign up using the special link lucky.join-titan.com before March 17, you’ll be automatically entered to win copies of Loud and Nasty and Extra Firm — autographed by me and my hubby Dirk Caber — plus a TitanMen jockstrap!

If physical DVDs are more your style, you can order Dick Danger on DVD here… and you’ll still be entered into the contest if you place your order by the 17th. Plus you can use the promo code “stpat25” to get 25% off your entire order from the TitanMen Store. Good luck!
 
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NEW HOME MOVIE: “It’s Not What You Think”

I’m sorry in advance. I really, really am.

 
So yeah… go to lucky.join-titan.com to sign up and enter to win. Also, check out free extended previews of me and Dirk in Loud and Nasty and Extra Firm! (You can, of course, watch or download the full scenes with your Titan membership.) And I really am sorry for being such a tease… but Dirk and I will shoot a real home movie soon… we promise! Besides, we really wanna show off our new dungeon bed.

UPDATE: You can also enter to win by buying anything from the TitanMen store… DVDs, Blu-Ray, lube, toys… you name it! You need to use the special link jackmanstore.join-titan.com to be entered into the contest. And as a special bonus, use coupon code “stpat25” to get 25% off your entire order through St. Patrick’s Day only!

 
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