Otterday! And Open Thread.

Today’s otter is coming at you from The Daily Otter. He was snapped at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port near Chester, UK.

a shy, whiskery, pale-furred river otter peeks out from between rocks and a log. He has adorable little flipper-hands and his head is cocked to one side slightly.

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 good book (or a bad one)? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? What have you created lately? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?

Categories: Life

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23 replies

  1. Flicked through an awful parenting book yesterday. Supposedly reassuring and lovely and “I’m totally a doctor so trust me ladies” with “breasts are like reservoirs and empty out, usually after 15 minutes of feeding” and “35 min feeds or more are ridiculous” and junk like that. But he is totally pro-breastfeeding! He says so, right there!
    Some days I hate selecting books. But I did buy multiple copies of My Princess Boy so that made me happy.

  2. From @LisaMcIntire via Twitter:
    Mind: blown. Cong. Donna Edwards smacks down the GOP with a WHITE STRIPES SONG. (via @downwithtyranny)
    I guess you have to have a problem
    If you want to invent a contraption
    first you cause a train wreck
    And then you put me in traction
    well first came an action
    And then a reaction
    But you can’t switch around
    For your own satisfaction
    Well you burnt my house down
    Then got mad at my reaction

  3. Does anyone know
    a good antidote
    to an overdose of programming?


    • So, I did my first ever radio show yesterday afternoon (as I kinda coyly let only my Twitter followers know about in advance). I was sitting in for a friend of mine who does the Friday night drive time every week, and I had a great time at 2NSBFM bantering away with Tom and Gary (cheeky sods).
      I could cope with doing more of that…

      • It’s a sad day when Mike Huckabee is a voice of reason crying out in the Republican desert. Calling for the GOP to compromise on budget negotiations to avoid a government shutdown, he was reminded that tea party members don’t want to lose this chance to force deeper cuts to government spending:

        The former Arkansas governor replied, quoting The Rolling Stones, “you can’t always get what you want. The reality of governing is, you get what you can and then you fight for what you want the next day. But if you battle everything on one moment and forget that [governing] is a process and it’s not a single event then you end up with a philosophy [of] ‘I want it all or I want nothing, I want it now or I want it never.’ You end up getting nothing, and you get it forever.”
        He said his personal view is that “I’d love to see Planned Parenthood just disappear. I’d love to see NPR defunded.”
        But he said that if it requires explaining to the wives of soldiers trying to make ends meet that they won’t get their paychecks, then “no, I’m sorry, it’s not worth that.”

  4. Stumbled on this website via ”Feminism 101″, whose proclaimed mission, in part, is to advance meaningful feminist discussions and deter frustrating interruptions and distractions from, among others, “grepping loons,” which term this site defines very helpfully. (I think it was this site that helped me out! I’ve been hyperlinked so many times it’s hard to remember how or why I got where I am, but I do like where I’ve ended up!).
    Initially I was surfing the net for discussions of Susan Douglas’s latest book, “Enlightened Sexism,” and was a little dismayed to see that a few feminist blogs seem almost to have been co-opted by the very phenomenon she describes. . . .

  5. Hi Eva – welcome to the blog! I haven’t read Enlightened Sexism in full, but the extracts I’ve read I’ve found interesting. I think she’s on to something, definitely.
    In other news, today I bought a new oven, because our current one is >20 years old and is starting to operate less than optimally.

  6. Reading John McDonald’s review of Bill Henson’s latest exhibition and noting how he consistently uses pejorative language to describe people who don’t admire Henson’s work: ‘despisers of the body’; ‘overcome by moral panic’; not ‘grown-ups’; ‘hysterical’; ‘amateur art critics’; and holding a ‘minority view’.
    At the same time he numbers himself, as an invited guest at the exhibition opening, as being amongst the ‘cream’ of Melbourne ‘establishment’, and someone able to approach the exhibition like a ‘grown-up’.
    It bothered me that he seemed to be saying “if you admire Henson’s work you are intelligent and sophisticated, but if you don’t you are ignorant and immature.” And I wondered if we would use such language to describe someone who didn’t like, say, the work of Picasso or Rembrandt (who also used nude models).
    Any ideas?

  7. p.s. well done on the radio gig, tigtog, very cool!

  8. people who don’t admire Henson’s work

    That’s not quite what I get from the review: “amateur art critics” for example is a description of people who both haven’t seen the show and proclaim its (particular) contents “disgusting”. Likewise for, I think, “despisers of the body” and “minority view” at least. That is, it’s not designed to capture everyone who dislikes Henson’s work, but those who dislike it on moral grounds (one might not admire it on artistic grounds or “eh, technically fine, doesn’t work for me” grounds, in which case I don’t think John McDonald was saying anything about you).
    That said, it’s a pretty obnoxious review, both because of the snobbery about being part of the elite Melbournites there and also simply because even limiting ourselves to people who do dislike Henson’s work on moral grounds, not all (not most) of those people are “despisers of the body” or calling for a halt to the exhibition or controversy seeking, they simply disapprove morally. His moral critics shouldn’t be lumped together like that.
    I don’t know about Rembrandt, but I suspect people who dislike Picasso’s nudes, or especially those who dislike them because of, say, the particular realisation of the male gaze in them (and I do know people who dislike Picasso’s work for that reason) are also portrayed as over sensitive, uncultured and anti-artistic freedom, about equally as unjustified a criticism of them as a group.

  9. @ Mary. Yes, it’s the “lumping together” that bothered me, and that it was done in a condescending way.
    There are people who dislike the work on artistic grounds, but who aren’t bothered by any of the moral issues the works might raise. And there are people who can see technical, perhaps even aesthetic, merit, but who are unsettled by the notion of portraying nude pubescent subjects in circumstance that make them appear so vulnerable, and as a result dislike the works. McDonald seems unable to see this distinction, and it bothered me. Perhaps because I see myself in that latter category.
    Sometime ago I read an essay by Abigail Bray on the way she sees the media as habitually equating moral concern with irrationality and ignorance. I think that in McDonald’s case, at least, she may well be correct.

  10. Awwwwwwww.

    Interesting and very useful looking boots, I haven’t seen those in Oz.
    What a pretty boy!

  11. Wow, just got linked to microaggressions.
    What a fantastically illuminating site.

  12. Sometime ago I read an essay by Abigail Bray on the way she sees the media as habitually equating moral concern with irrationality and ignorance. I think that in McDonald’s case, at least, she may well be correct.

    Sounds interesting: it’s certainly one continuing form of media narrative. It’s especially notable in conjunction with debates where the media was partisan (very much so in the Henson criticisms), McDonald isn’t explicit about that, but it’s easy to read it as partly a war between Fairfax broadsheets and News Ltd tabloids: your view on Henson’s art work is to be dictated by your news source of choice. There also seems to be some Sydney v Melbourne dogwhistling (Sydney, home of working class prudes, Melbourne, home of cultured high art lovers). It wouldn’t be so hard to have written it as “I like the work both artistically and morally for the following reasons” without all of the class posturing.

  13. It won’t bring her back, but Darcey’s murderer will spend at least 32 years (non parole period) in prison. He is now 37, so he won’t be out until he is a very old man.

  14. I went to go see the cherry poppin daddies with my boyfriend, because they’re his favourite band. I should’ve been alerted by the name that this was something to avoid. Little did I know that they’d have many even more problematic lyrics.
    What do you do when your lover likes misogynistic music? 😦

  15. I’m de-stressing from a very Monday-ish Monday watching Elaine Paige Live At The State Theatre on ABC iview. Just what the doctor ordered!

  16. Kudos on the radio gig, tigtog.

    Welcome, Eva.

  17. First time commenting.
    This article made me so irritated:
    The token “it’s the feminists’ fault” line as well as “women can’t protect themselves and are distracting to the menfolk.” The coverage on the 7:30pm project was just as infuriating. I really need to stop watching commercial TV.

  18. Welcome Carmen and thanks for the link.

  19. Disturbing find of the day: Chicks With Steve Buscemeyes which offers exactly what it says on the tin – celebrity women photoshopped to have Steve Buscemi’s eyes. Oddly compelling.

  20. @Carmen: Ah, I see Mr James is invoking the “simple commonsense” line, which is always so convincing. Along with a major claim with no evidence provided (women will suffer disproportionate casualties), and a cherry of selfish-feminists-haven’t-thought-it-through on top.
    @Alien tea: Bummed to hear that about the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies (eek, I never thought about the name), because I liked their retro-jitterbug feel, and never stopped to listen to the words. Which reminds me, I used to love Emma Tom’s band All Girl Band, whose thing was to do covers of offensive cock rock, so you actually noticed the appalling lyrics.

  21. If I had lots and lots of money I might be tempted to spend some of it on this. Unfortunately I won’t be home when this goes to auction so I can’t go for a sticky beak either.
    *goes off to be grateful that she has a perfectly nice roof over her head*

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