August 2003

I had one seriously messed up dream last night.

It was somewhere between Harry Potter and the X-Files. James and I were at this school for magic, and appeared to be on the staff there, attempting to teach shapeshifting to a bunch of students. It didn’t go terribly well, and I recall one kid turned into a squirrel, went nuts, ran away, got frostbitten ears, and left us all chasing a black and white squirrel with bald ears around the school, which for some reason was next to an old theatre in a decaying downtown.

That wasn’t the weird part.

At some point in this peculiar saga, I was in my room, surrounded by cats (and one bald-eared squirrel) listening to a voice from outside the window, which was sort’ve hypnotic and quite disturbing. Realizing that no one who talks in a calm, reasonable monotone is to be trusted, I got James, and we were thus prepared with some older gent (whom I evidentally knew, although I have no idea who it was once I woke up) busted through the window and tried to kill me.

There ensued one of those complicated protean battles where everyone’s changing shape in a game of one-upmanship to try and defeat the other one, and yet for some reason no one ever thinks “Hey, being a porcupine would end this problem right off!” It’s the sort of thing that makes me wish I was into were-stuff at all, because I’m sure I would have found it a deeply moving experience, but as it was, it was just squishy. There was a lengthy ariel dogfight component, which appeared to be mostly footage ripped from “Blade Runner,” (my subconscious respects no copyright!) with a lot of flying around and James, who conveniently seemed to have me on radio, despite the fact that I wasn’t wearing one, shouting directions. About the only bits I remember clearly were diving very very fast at a building, in an effort to ditch him into the side, and then fleeing from a giant helicopter with an enormous owl skull in the cockpit, through a Fifth-Element style pile-up of rush-hour traffic in three dimensions, and thinking “I’m turning into a gnat, damnit, ‘cos if he can’t see me, he can’t kill me.”

Which appears to have worked, since the next thing I knew, the guy was nowhere in sight, and I was in a department store trying to order pizza at the perfume counter. Go figure.

Obviously this means that my spirit animal is the gnat. Or, since we’ve suspected the wombat all along, the mystical hybrid gnat-winged-wombat and I must invent a pseduo-native spirituality to drape over it immediately.

For no apparent reason today, I was reminded of a scene in “I, Claudius.” I blame having recently discovered my old friend Bjorn here on LJ. He introduced me to the British miniseries by the expedient of having them playing more or less constantly in the background. There’s nothing like Caligula dismembering people to really gloss over an awkward pause in conversation, believe me.

Anyway, during this one fantastic scene, the nymphomaniacal wife of Emperor Claudius, Messalina, challenges a prostitute (Thracian? Sicilian? Can’t recall.) to a contest in the sort of thing one would expect a prostitute to be good at. Messalina wants to compete for the honor of Best Lay in Rome, but the prostitute has no interest in the honor and insists on money. “The problem,” (I’m paraphrasing badly here) “is that my job happens to be your hobby. Now, my hobby is gardening, but I don’t expect anyone to pay me for it.”

If you substitute art for sex in this metaphor, I think this pretty much says it all, re the tiresome and not-to-be-rehashed-here art and money debates. And that made me happy, because any time I can compare art to ancient Roman orgies and/or politics makes me happy. Why this particular metaphor drifted through my brain while painting on the Hanged Man card for the wombat tarot, with nothing remotely Roman in the vicinity, I don’t know, but I’ll chalk it up to fate.

Also, Snorkus, Liberator of Goldfish. No, I don’t know either. But it’s for sale!


Now, I’m opposed to fur-farming as much as the next person. I don’t approve of raising a non-domestic species in a small cage, then electrocuting it through the genitals to make one one-hundredth of a coat. (You want to do this to a chicken, I don’t care nearly so much–I don’t wish the chicken any harm, but the modern chicken is more like fruit with legs. I have stared deep into the eyes of the chicken, and all I saw was the back of the chicken’s eyeball.) Mink, however, are fellow mammals, and not mammals that we’ve bred for intense stupidity, and I would just as soon the mink spent their days minking it up in the woods like the gods of minkdom intended.

But going through and setting farm-raised mink loose does not help mink. These are not wild mink, cruelly torn from high forest country, these are a bunch of mink who think that food gets delivered twice a day in kibble form. If the hills were alive with the sounds of kibble, these mink might do just fine, but it isn’t, so these poor weasels are doomed to either a life of slow starvation, or a fast and splattery appointment with a tire. This does not give the mink a better life.

The other thing that pisses me off is that groups like this who conduct these dreadfully ill-considered acts of animal liberation, (like releasing lab rats, which I still foam about) are not only NOT helping the animals, they make those of us who like animals and would prefer that they aren’t treated badly look like idiots. Say that you’re for the ethical treatment of animals, and people automatically assume you’re either a starry-eyed nincompoop, or a domestic terrorist.

The way to get fur sales to drop is to make it socially unacceptable, and bloody inconvenient. Regulate fur farming so that it’s more trouble than it’s worth. If people don’t buy fur, fur farmers don’t make money raising farm mink, and there are fewer unhappy mink in the world. Buy cow leather or something. Or kill your own fur, if you must have it, which is has a lot of advantages, provided you’re responsible and humane about it, stick to nice, non-endangered species, and it doesn’t put any money in fur-farm pockets, either.

So, to recap–what did these mink liberators achieve? A lot of dead, starving mink and they struck another blow for making those of us who want animals to be treated well look like the lunatic fringe. Thanks, guys.

The Oregon Vortex

Okay, how many of you have heard of the Oregon Vortex?

It’s my own fault for watching crappy psuedo-science shows at all, I know, first snake handling, now this, but they brought up the Oregon Vortex, and James and I laughed delightedly and turned up the volume, because we’ve both been there. Literally. It’s a place.

This is pretty silly.

Watching a show on snake handlers. Who also drink strychnine. Because snake handling isn’t edgy enough.

These are the types who fall down and twitch a lot and bounce in place for God. I don’t know what God gets out of the bouncing, but evidentally they do. (Having witnessed this first hand in my youth, I still don’t know. There’s something vaguely alarming about having the person next to you simply fall over and twitch. I think she may have been vaguely upset that instead of being impressed, I immediately tried to haul her upright saying “Holy crap, do you need a doctor?!” but I stand by the action–falling over and twitching is rarely a good sign and if you just leave ’em on the floor to spasm, you’re facing criminal neglect charges if they swallow their tongue.) I’m not sure why God wants people chugging strychnine or handling irate rattlesnakes, either, but again, we’ll take their word for it that God’s into that sorta thing. (If I didn’t think it would mortally offend a number of perfectly nice Christians out there who don’t deserve mortal offense because of some weirdos from the deep south, I would get bracelets made up that say WWJC–“Why Would Jesus Care?” because I just can’t imagine that a guy who mostly seemed concerned with treating each other nicely would really care about having people drink strychnine to prove that they’re living right.)

The thing that strikes me watching these people is that this congregation needs dental work and some serious medical care. Well, and to stop marrying first cousins, but the damage appears to be done there. Some of the people trying to explain are so slurred that they have to subtitle the guys, despite the fact that they’re speaking English. This does not sell me on snake handling. If you’re telling me that you’ve been bitten a hundred and eighteen times, I am not impressed at how much God loves you, I am watching the fact that your eyes are roving independantly of each other, that you now have fewer teeth than the snakes you’re pawing, and that I can make out maybe one word in ten of what you’re saying. The Hopi do a fairly famous Snake Dance, but so far as I know, they try to avoid getting bitten in the process. I don’t think getting bitten is the main draw. If there’s a Strychnine Chugging Dance, they haven’t mentioned it to the tourists yet.

I realize that the quiet, heartfelt, decorous worship thing just doesn’t work for some people, and that it’s evidentally a lot more fun to twitch and fall down and get bitten by snakes and drink strychinine and…all…that…

Okay, that last sentence even sounded idiotic to me, so I’m gonna just go with “That’s pretty dang weird.”

Porn spam is outta hand.

I endured the hot hot naked naked throbbing giant breasted spines-of-rubber ads. I merely deleted, grumbling, the ones for farmyard fantasies and autophilia and ship sex (what the hell is ship sex? Two aircraft carriers getting intimate?) and anal erotica and things involving ten people, hardware, and a live chicken. I stared at the ceiling and shrugged when my in-box was flooded with ads for barely legal amateur video. I am mostly porn spam resilient. I have a delete button, and I wield it with an iron fist.

Just got one advertising public urination and hidden toilet cams. Now, this is too much. Leaving aside that if my thing was watching public urination, I would simply drive over to L.A. for a day or two, which is live, free, and mostly untraceable; leaving aside that I didn’t even want to know people found this erotic; even leaving aside that I will twitch the next time I use a public restroom–this is not good advertising. Spam is supposed to get a product to people who might want it. Larger penis ads are great, because there are tons of people who want a larger penis. Weight-loss ads are great, because most of us want to be thin. Hot naked women are even perfectly acceptable spam, because there are plenty of people who like hot naked women.

Mass spamming a fetish THIS SPECIFIC, however, is just dumb. It’s like a radio spot advertising that you have ’89 Honda Accord axles in stock–hardly anyone wants one, and if I need one, believe me, I’ll find you. No need to advertise. Likewise, if I need public urination porn, I will find you. If I need tentacle amputee schoolgirl-cow-morph hentai, I will find it. I do not need it delivered to my inbox. It’s a specialty item. People who want it will find it. Be on Google, and that tiny sliver of the populace who needs a hidden toilet cam to fill the void in their bathroom grafitti-riddled souls will find you.

And the rest of us won’t have to hear about it.

Okay, this is a very minor thing, but I gotta admit, I’m all giddy.

“Digger” got pimped today over at “Fans,” with the intro:

I know the question you’re all REALLY asking yourselves is…

“T, how does a small wombat get onto Graphic Smash, an action-adventure website full of renegade spies and other ass-kickers?”

Well, I’ll just let Ursula Vernon’s Digger speak for herself:

“We swing pickaxes for twelve hours a DAY. We’re like BICEPS WITH FEET.”

It goes on for another paragraph or two, but damn, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Too much more of this, and we may have an arrogant wombat on our hands. (Despise! Despise!)

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