Otterday! And Open Thread.

Today’s outrageously cute baby otter is courtesy of Rover75 ! on Flickr. Check out the rest of the Banham Zoo set.


Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a great book? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?

Categories: arts & entertainment, fun & hobbies

Tags: , , , ,

29 replies

  1. OH MY. Every time I think I have seen the bestest otter possible, along comes the next one. That otter sent starbursts through the screen which are ricocheting around my living room.

  2. Salutations!
    I’m asking this of lots of people, because it’s something that just occurred to me, and I’m still feeling like I haven’t gotten the whole story. You know that in the debate last night, as in any other circumstance in which politicians talk for extended periods, there was a lot of talk about the middle class. They’re the heart of America, they deserve tax cuts, they want this they want that, let’s take care of the middle class, blah blah blah. Unending.
    Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about the poor class?

  3. Why didn’t anyone talk about otters?
    Grendels last blog post..Exceptionality

  4. QoT: I’m guessing that it’s because there’s still a large group of voters who think that poor people are poor because of their own choices: I’ve also read of quite a few studies where those who meet the criteria for “working poor” consistently describe themselves as “middle class” because they are responsible people who are in work, and “everybody knows” that poor people are really just shiftless layabouts who just won’t get a job.
    Because of this cock-eyed view of poverty, there just aren’t many votes in talking about benefits for the poor.

  5. Anybody else been playing around with the Google-2001 search that they put up for their tenth anniversary?
    I ego-searched, and only got three hits on old Usenet posts. Boo.

  6. OTTER!

    zomg. Old, old stuff for me. High school.

  7. Oh wow, I don’t come up on that old Google index at all! But now I actually have a bunch of stuff (papers I’ve written/presented, etc), which makes me feel… accomplished. 😀

  8. What Tigtog said, also the basic electoral fact is that its the the middle class, or middle class identifying, votes that they need.

    When John Edwards was in the race he talked a lot about poverty, it was kinda his issue, and forced the other candidates to address it also.

  9. @tigtog: While I agree with much of what Quixotess says, we aren’t the same person. Don’t feel bad, I often see her comments and think, “Wait a sec, did I already comment on this post?”

  10. Oops – so sorry to both you wonderful Qs!

  11. @QoT:
    Achtung! That is one of the primary perks of our handles, isn’t it? Almost any time we see a capital Q, it denotes our respective handles. And now, alas!
    Also, hi!
    @tigtog: That’s interesting, because I’ve also seen articles talking about how many in the upper class will identify as middle class, too.
    @Amanda: When you say “forced the other candidates to address the issue,” that made me think of it another way, too. It could be argued that if we erase the lower class from our discourse–the people who truly live in poverty–it frees us to not address the problems that they face. Maybe?

  12. The ‘working class’ thing is pretty important, I think. There’s a certain amount of targeting going on towards the working class in campaigns, and I think ‘middle class’ in this election is code sometimes for the working class.
    That said, I think it’s less about not addressing the issues of poverty and more about not addressing poverty conceptually. Issues like health care and education and affirmative action and taxes affect the poor quite a bit…but don’t deal directly with Poverty, the overarching concept, because it’s so difficult an issue.

  13. I’d like to say congratulations to sometime guest hoyden Baroquestar on her Masters graduation! Here she is doffing.

  14. Yay for baroquestar! Onya!

  15. Reposted from LP, with added links:

    OK, as someone who defended Henson on the basis of principle regarding the earlier controversy, and wasn’t particularly concerned about photos recently auctioned either, I have to say that this story (if confirmed) is a real worry: I find this alleged behaviour indefensible.
    It’s one thing to take photos of the children of family friends who have grown up around artworks and who appreciate and like the concepts etc of Henson’s photography – to go talent-spotting amongst kids without that acquaintanceship-background and groom them as photographic subjects would very much cross the line of Something That I Do Not Like.

  16. @Quixotess: it is a tad irksome, but at the end of the day the world could do with a few more Hoydenizens with kickass Q-related handles.

  17. @tigtog
    It is kind of ironic that the verdict came in 13 years to the day that he was acquitted of murdering his ex wife. A part of me will always wonder was he really guilty or was this just lets convict him on this because he got away last time.
    Renees last blog post..Man Beats Black Woman in McDonalds: Silence, Submission and Golden Arches

  18. Congrats, baroquestar!
    As for OJ…I’m with Renee on this one. My feelings on it are torn because the original case is so very racially charged, but at the same time, karma seems to have got its due.

  19. Ha – my little grey cat just jumped up on top of the dryer (where she has a view through the window of the backyard, and thus is a Favourite Spot). She immediately started hissing and yowling, because On The Other Side Of The Glass (on the outside window ledge) was the Big Black Tom.
    She batted the glass hard a few times along with her noises and he scarpered quick-smart after a perfunctory hiss back. Yay Molly!

  20. Oh, tigtog, isn’t it funny! I think it’s weird and the headmaster shouldn’t have done it, but I don’t have a a huge problem with the school giving two sets of parents Henson’s number, which is what I understand happened. otoh, I did find some earlier photos disturbing, one particularly so (which is not the one in the Menzies catalogue).
    In happier news, SBS is showing an episode of “Who do you think you are?” on David Tennant on Sunday at 7:30. Just in case anyone’s interested.

  21. In happier news, SBS is showing an episode of “Who do you think you are?” on David Tennant on Sunday at 7:30. Just in case anyone’s interested.

    Ooh, I suspect a few here might be. I’ll have to mention that in this week’s Whoydensday post.

  22. Zoe, now that I know more of the circumstances I’m not too worried with the actions of the principal or Henson in this case either. He does seem to be holding himself to very high ethical standards in how he finds his models and works with them.
    As Mark said over at LP, it really does seem to be more of a case of David Marr really wanting some publicity for his book, and being willing to drag Henson through the muck again and hang the principal out to dry in order to get the whole circus up and running again.

  23. Someone pointed out in the letters in today’s Herald Sun (a rare moment of sanity among HS readers) that if it had been Anne Geddes visiting a child care centre in search of babies to put in pumpkins, no-one would have raised an eyebrow.

  24. I agree tigtog – do you remember how his selections of material to extract from Chris Masters’ “Jonestown” focussed dramatically on claims of homosexuality? I’m a big fan of David Marr, but like anyone else he needs to move units ; )

  25. As feminists we talk a lot about rape culture and the way we discuss it is usually very adult centric. But there is also a culture which enables sexual abuse of children and I don’t think that that culture is restricted to soft targets like the advertising industry – it invades all corners of life, just as rape culture does. It exists alongside the confused and intemperate responses to abuse, ie the fact that vigilantism and other public responses that can be put down to moral panic occurs does not mean that there are not other parts of the culture that aid, abet and encourage predatory attitudes toward childhood sexuality.
    So while it is pretty clear that Henson is not a pornographer and should not be subjected to the appalling character assassination he is receiving at the moment, in the case of those earlier images which Zoe blogged, I would say that they definitely inhabit territory which as a feminist I find disturbing and which in my mind is part of a culture that fetishizes the bodies of children as objects of adult sexual fascination and those images in particular are exactly the kind of images which should receive vigorous scrutiny and critique. Even if their intention is to comment on that fetishisation, it is very hard to discern that comment in the work, at least to my eyes. Instead they just seem to reproduce it uncritically.
    This whole affair had been incredibly painful for me as I find that I agree with exactly noone. It seems to me that defence of Henson as an artist and as far as we know, a decent and ethical person (and that defence is right and necessary) has gone hand in hand with uncritical acceptance of inadequate attention to the safeguarding of children’s safety and privacy and a kind of whitewashing of all of the elements of his work that are dangerous and difficult and ripe for feminist critique. I feel in fact, that there is a failure of empathy because the child here, is the other, is not us.

  26. su, I totally see why you feel that so many aspects of the Henson debate have gone unaddressed, pushed aside in the panic about pervs and the panic about philistines. I ended up overwhelmed by it last time, really: but the questions of children’s safety/privacy and the feminist critique of the work with respect to objectification/fetishisation are definitely ones that ought to be properly examined.

  27. That was another example where I should have paused and thought before pressing “Submit”, Tigtog, it was meant more as a lament that I detect a gulf of understanding between myself and people (“the left” for want of a better word) who I otherwise am in complete sympathy with. I am sorry that it had that kernal of criticism as well- in fact a difference of opinion or different understandings are not cause for criticism but indicators that more discussion is needed.

  28. I must have phrased myself poorly Su: I took it as a lament, and agree with you. There was so much that could have been fruitfully discussed, and hardly any of it was.

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