The Underworld

I grew up the son of a preacher man. I was immersed in Seventh-Day Adventism and looked at the world through its prism until my teens.

I started public school in tenth grade and I ran into some bad guys.

Several more times over the course of my life, I strayed from polite society and mixed with the dregs.

One of the things I learned was that bad guys often see the world more clearly than good guys. In other words, good people are no more likely to see the world clearly than bad people. In other words, there’s a lot to learn from bad guys.

For instance, when I reported on the porn industry, I found that pornographers were often more honest and penetrating in their insights into life than the good Orthodox Jews who dominated my private life.

Prison populations tend to divide up according to race. I wonder what that has to tell us about the essence of the human condition? Perhaps there is more significance to race than polite society allows us to believe?

Throughout my life, I’ve been frustrated that girls I just wanted to be good to preferred to be with bad guys. I’d be nothing but nice to certain women I adored and they treated me like trash while guys who treated them bad got their desire.

I’m reading Matthew Randazzo’s new book, Mr. New Orleans: The Life of a Big Easy Underworld Legend.

From page 104:

The art of the pimp…was the art of playing hard to get permanently with a group of women. Prostitutes seek out pimps for three reasons: to enlist a protector in the underworld, to purchase a place of stability in their chaotic lives, and to find an outlet for all of the emotions normal girls throw at their daddies and husbands.

A whore will pay a pimp less for his protection than for his approval and affection, to fill the hole left by her usually negligent dad. A girl with daddy issues usually has little respect for anyone who treats them too well…

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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