Otterday! And Open Thread

This weekend’s open thread is hosted by an otter with a blankie.

a sunlit otter is lying on its back on a fleecey blanket, amidst rocks and logs.

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

Tags: , , ,

31 replies

  1. She looks like she’s eyeballing the keeper asking what happened to the bellyrub?
    A decent quote on one of the Jez articles about whether or not Claire Underwood on the US remake of House Of Cards is a feminist antihero or just an antihero or just a ruthless sociopath etc
    [ETA: the original Jez post and many comments contain spoilers for Season 2 of House of Cards]

    OK, I haven’t watched the whole show so I can’t say whether or not Claire is a feminist (which seems like it’s kind of a straw-man argument anyway) but I will say, based on the bits I’ve seen, and this summary, I think the writing of Claire is definitely feminist. Isn’t part of feminism in the media the idea that women can be just as many things as men and do those things just as well? If that’s so, then it sounds like she’s doing a bang-up job of being a manipulative monster just like the men in the show.

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    Exactly. The writing and portrayal of Claire Underwood is inherently feminist, not the character itself. Jezebel has been tackling the wrong question in its coverage of the character.
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    Seems to me the lasting impact of Claire Underwood will be that she opens up the possibility of further complex roles form women over 40 in Hollywood. I also note the difference between the importance of Claire to the plot versus the far lesser presence of Mrs Urqhart in the ’90s UK original (how often did anyone ever address her by her first name (which Wikipedia now reminds me was Elizabeth)?) – Mrs Urqhart is definitely Lady Macbeth-esque but much more in the background in the first series (somewhat more prominent in second and even more so in third). I also doubt very much that anyone has ever viewed Mrs Urqhart as in any way feminist, although she was certainly just as politically and personally ruthless as Claire Underwood.

    • h/t to Beppie on FB for linking to Malcolm Fraser’s op-ed on Manus Island in The Age.

      No person or agency should be totally immune from scrutiny when there are legitimate questions to be answered about events that have occurred. This does not equate to an attack on those involved, but to a functioning democracy ensuring accountability and review when matters of concern arise.

  2. Finally got my Much Ado About Nothing review done. Meant to accompany it with Beatrice as a Friday Hoyden, but you’ll have to wait for next week.

  3. Sorry if this inappropriate, but is anybody else having trouble logging in to John Quiggans blog. I am not at all tech savvy but I did have it bookmarked.

    • Debbieanne, looks like Quiggin overlooked renewing his domain name, but he seems to have noticed not long ago, because I’m getting to it at now (although I had to try before it would actually go there, just in case you also need to do that).

  4. This morning I discovered that an entire roll of toilet paper had gone through the wash with my clothes. Orders of magnitude worse than tissues.
    My mother’s broken toe has apparently not healed at all in 3 weeks. This may possibly be somewhat related to her going on a tour of Tasmania instead of staying at home with her feet up resting. Just maybe. Actually, we sort of hope that is the reason and not something that will stop it healing when she does put her feet up.
    Going by the amount of gravel scattered over the lawn in the rabbit enclosure it would appear they’ve been busily undermining the paving. I expect our house to disappear into a rabbit generated sinkhole one day.

  5. Thankyou, tigtog.

  6. Random fist-shake that I’ve been meaning to post about for a couple of weeks:
    At my new hospital (doctor changeover was a few weeks ago), the operation report forms (A) use ‘Sister’ as a synonym for nurse, despite operating theatres being an area where are are more male nurses (B) require a reason for the operation, if you are doing a dilatation & curettage. No other operation requires justification, merely the D&C.
    Rural Australia, still stuck in the 1950s.

  7. @Hildy I think some rural areas take pride in still being like the 1950’s. But I am glad to hear that yours still has a hospital with an operating theatre.
    I am hiding in the bedroom and listening to MyNigel trying to get son’s friends to stop talking and go to sleep. It is
    11.10pm ot thereabouts. I hope they will sleep in tomorrow.
    I should be sleeping but am too busy reading Jo Anderton’s Debris.

  8. Satifice, an author totally new to me, has a great post responding to Eli Pariser’s popular TED talk (based on his book) about the personal and political dangers of “filter bubbles” –

    As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

    The Filter Bubble Is a Misguided, Privileged Notion

    The first and most glaring problem with this idea is that it wholly makes this into a technological problem when it is a social problem.[…] From the moment we are born, we already exist in a filter bubble. A bubble that is determined by many factors outside of our control: race, gender, class, geography, etc.
    Second. Only the most privileged of people are truly able to exist within a filter bubble. […] Existing in the world as a maginalized person means that there is never a filter bubble. You don’t get protection like this.
    I have literally spent my entire life listening to, learning about, being exposed to ideas, thoughts, worldviews that make me uncomfortable and that I do not agree with.
    Instead of having to expend effort to find stuff that disagrees with me, I’m always on an eternal search for information that agrees with me.

    It was hard to pick out just these few quotes, but quoting more would mean people might think they don’t need to click through to read the rest, and I would hate for anyone to think that.

  9. I’m just about finished my draft for my research proposal (Masters in Sexology). It’s been tedious and fascinating at the same time.
    Now I am off to get another tattoo.

  10. The research was tedious or the putting it into draft form?

    • Finding and wading through some of the articles for the lit review was tedious. Collating my reference list was tedious. But even the tedious articles were still fascinating at the same time.

  11. Sounds like it will be a fascinating Masters topic. Will it be published when you are finished?

    • Mindy I hope it will be published! There isn’t much research about polyamorous Australian women so I would love to be able to add to the existing literature!

  12. I managed a couple of hours at the art gallery today! In splendid news: it was all a surprisingly accessible experience. (Surprising because: things that should be accessible so very often aren’t.)
    We got blue parking right next to a lift that took us straight to the entrance of the gallery. Every space was easy to move around in, bar one small part of the old courtroom (but I could still see the art there, just from a bit more distance than the bipeds could). The gallery was well air conditioned – I know, it’s for the art, but it has pleasant side effects for the humans as well. Toilets were accessible to me (but a swinging door isn’t for everyone – sliding/press-button doors would be better). The art was hung at a level where I could enjoy it, as were the information plaques. The only part where I felt the curators could have done better were the video + audio installations: because a large bench was placed complete across the fronts of the screens, it was difficult to place myself such that I could watch easily and have the headphones on at the same time.
    Overall though: good marks indeed.
    Plus, the art was great.
    In bad news: borrowed spoons, and left them all there.
    ETA: We had a brief stop at the Apple store too, and that also got points from me. There wasn’t a permanently-present low Genius counter, but they immediately got the foldaway low counter out without having to be asked, and very cheerfully and quickly. The demo counters were also almost all at a level that could be used by most people, bipeds or no.

    • Glad you had a fun and generally accessible day, Lauredhel! I hope you can restore your spoons quickly!

  13. That thing where someone posts bullshit on your FB timeline and you react then spend the rest of the day being bothered by it. That.
    Apparently soldiers sleeping in tents in the snow is worse than asylum seekers sleeping in tents in tropical conditions. Or really I should say ‘tropical’ because when someone says tropical I think of say a holiday in Queensland. Also when I think tropical I think about not being able to sleep because of the heat. I only have childhood memories of holidays in Tweed Heads to go on but I do remember lying on my bed, sopping wet with sweat desperately wishing I could go to sleep but being too hot to do so. But that was inside a house not a freaking canvas tent.

  14. Manus Island, by definition, is not tropical.
    (I can’t comment on ‘worse’. I live in Sydney for the climate.)

  15. @Hildy – how is Manus Island not tropical? It is located 2 degrees south of the equator (ie in the tropics).

  16. My apologies – I guess I’ve been using the term wrong all these years!
    (I regard the tropics as being the area around the tropics, and a tropical climate as a similar climate to what Mindy describes – with two seasons, typically a wet and dry. The equatorial climate, which is what Manus Island presumably gets, has one season all year, and thus is quite different to the climate around say Rockhampton. I’m not quite sure where the edges of the equatorial climate typically lie – ie, when does it become far enough from the equator that summer is distinct to winter? (or ‘wet’ from ‘dry’))

  17. I’ve always heard that referred to as the ‘wet tropics’ (because the weather is equivalent to other areas’ wet seasons all year long), so I guess it could just be a problem of nomenclature.

  18. I obviously missed a parenthetical note in the above: “the tropics (of Cancer and Capricorn)”.
    otherwise my definite is quite circular and useless.

  19. Mindy, as I recall, most of us didn’t support Australia going with every boy’s own adventure of the US / “Coalition of the Willing”, either. So I don’t see how soldiers in tents the snow are any kind of argument about you opposing Manus. (Not having read the FB post, so I might have got their argument all skewwhiff.)

    • soldiers in tents the snow

      *fixating on small details alert* Soldiers in tents in the snow with military-grade sleeping bags, let’s not forget. I grew up bushwalking, and I’ve camped in the snow as a kid in the 70s when we only had featherdown bags, and it was cosy toasty warm inside those bags (and you kept your socks on and you wrapped your boots in your parka in case you had to go for a walk to the designated latrine area in the middle of the night). If we’re talking about snowy areas in the Middle East they’re quite similar to the Australian alpine area. Even Afghanistan with its much higher terrain and much colder temperatures and blizzards is still well within the specifications of rugged survival equipment available to recreational mountain climbers, let alone the military.
      I can imagine that camping in snow might be startling to somebody who’d never had that experience growing up, but it’s really not a difficult environment to deal with so long as one has the right equipment, and I definitely have faith that the Australian military has the right equipment.

  20. Helen it was just one of those awful justifications for the conditions on Manus.

  21. [comment content deleted: obvious sockpuppet is obvious]

  22. tigtog’s last comment gave me a bit of a lightbulb moment. I found the whole concern with soldier’s in snow so bizarre, thinking your sending a bunch of people to a place where they’re going to be shot and blown up and you’re worrying about snow?! WTF! But, of course, Aussie’s don’t really get snow. As someone who has experienced snow, it doesn’t have to be very cold for snow. To get fresh snow, it generally needs to be above 0C. Once it falls, temps can drop and it can then be cold and snowy, but it can also be very cold with no snow. Even if it’s very cold, I’m not sure this is in any way comparable to what’s happening on Manus.

  23. @Feminist Avatar: in most mountain campaigns, far more soldiers have died from the conditions than enemy fire. (this is probably true of most campaigns in history, actually). As a relatively recent example, see the war of 1962 between China and India.
    On the other hand, human physiology is far more adapted to survival in snowy-but-temperate climes than in excessively hot/wet conditions; indeed, a dew point of more than thirty something Celsius is near incompatible with life (due to the difficulties in heat transfer) [without air conditioning].
    On the gripping hand, obligations to non-refoule are satisfied by Manus Island; I don’t think air conditioning is a basic human right. I’m starting to think that health care shouldn’t be, either.

  24. I’m starting to think that health care shouldn’t be [a basic human right], either.

    Mod note: Take that elsewhere.

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