Do you ever bother to acknowledge the ground that you stand on is unceded Coast Salish territory, and if you do, do you comprehend what those words mean?
Have you even stopped to acknowledge at any time in the past ten years, how much First Nations across the country are feeling since the women of their communities started disappearing? Have you stopped to acknowledge that a majority of missing persons cases and disappearances involving First Nations (especially women) simply aren’t even aired on the same news channels as your abhorrent photo was, for multiple consecutive days, multiple times daily? Have you stopped at any time to think about the socioeconomic disparity between yourself and a marked majority of people of First Nations descent in this country (social factors that might, oh I don’t know, lead some aboriginal women into survival sex work, where they are at risk of getting picked up by Pickton or his accomplices — who are still at large — and for all intents and purposes, silently disappearing)?
Would you try to convince the Musqueam, Squamish, or Tseil-Waututh, that the pictures you shot are “art”?
Would you stand silently on a street corner in the Downtown Eastside, and hold up a full-colour copy of it on 8 x 10 laminated paper — as I did with Mona Wilson’s photo, when her surviving half-brother asked me to grab it on the way out the door to meet him there? Mona disappeared after Cpl. Brown produced Ross Caldwell* (presumably by pulling him by the ear out of a top hat?). Her remains were found on the pig farm when police and RCMP stopped taking off from work early to jack off, and finally started doing their fucking jobs. That was the same year I moved in with the knife-wielding fuck-up pictured above, who, I will now remind you in the event you didn’t know already, sexually abused his own son.
*Update: Brown himself has aired details of his relationship to this Pickton witness, as part of a civil claim against people who have libeled him. You can read a relevant quote from the claim that accounts for the entirety of his involvement in the investigation, in this blog post.
Would you look Mona’s surviving half-brother in the eye and try to convince him that this photo is “erotic” and “artistic”?
Would you brag to her entire family about how much money you could rake in from this photo if you took it to an erotic arts festival? Or how much money you were paid to shoot the set?
Your many privileges are showing, Damien.
And you have the gall to tell 1.5 million people on the internet — A MILLION AND A HALF COMPLETE STRANGERS ON THE INTERNET — that you took this picture. But no, don’t go to the RCMP with this information while they were investigating the possibility that this was a fucking murder. You wouldn’t want to violate someone’s “confidentiality”, even though you have no legal obligation to live up to such a farcical expectation.
But more to the point. You’re actually proud of this shit?
Would you be so proud if you were facing all of the surviving families of 49 women who died this way, on the very ground we all stand on, while you stutter to get the words out: “But I wasn’t hurting anyone… But there was no crime…”?
Would you be so proud when they told you you’re a Settler here, who directly prospers from five hundred years of colonial government-sanctioned genocide against aboriginal peoples; and that you used that prosperity to spit in the faces of 49 women who were targeted by a serial murderer specifically because their ethnic make-up meant no one with a socially privileged voice would come looking for them?
Fourty-fucking-nine, Damien. Have you stopped at any time in the past ten years to think about how often you are in a room with 49 other people? How empty and lifeless that room would feel if they disappeared in rapid succession, one at a time, until you were left all alone to contemplate their absence?
I don’t give a flying fuck if this is what you do in your bedroom. I would expect at some point, it would at least occur to you that your bedroom doesn’t exist within an oppression-free vacuum, and that you’ve internalized some seriously fucked up gender-politics. But the second you brought your camera into it and pressed that shutter button, that “glamourous” fantasy moment playing out in your head lost any further expectations of sworn secrecy. I’d say the same to you, too, Mr. Charles. And you too, “unknown female model”.
You can’t hide behind your claim of “copyright infringement” to cover this up, Damien — to either your satisfaction or that of your misogynist, pedophile “friend” in the picture. Any fucking chance of that went right out the fucking window as soon as your sick fuck of a friend hit the upload button.
By the time it was all over the news, it was beyond too late for that defense How many people do you actually suspect saved a copy of that photo somewhere on their hard disks? And what about the rest of the set?
Once again, would you be so proud if you knew that right now, Robert Pickton himself is jerking off to it?
How the fuck do you sleep at night?
How do you live with yourself?
Wait. Don’t answer.
Just fuck yourself.