Friday, July 29, 2011

Bet she understands THIS hand signal

Angelyne the Amazing DEAF Cattle Dog (and her companion-person Eric Melvin) recently visited Boulder!

Yeah, more dogs. Angelyne allegedly knows 40-plus hand signals and "non-verbal commands" she will do tricks to, and Melvin hauls her around for such functions and activities as (according to Melvin's web page, feyly titled "A Unique Character and Compassion Development Presentation"):

  • Schools and education

  • Youth programs

  • Churches

  • Senior care centers

  • Developmentally disabled

  • Chronic and terminal illness

  • Deaf/hard of hearing

  • Morale-raisers

  • Fund-raisers

  • Children’s parties

  • and MUCH MORE!

  • From the Gamera's acknowledgement of Angelyne's recent visit, it appears most of her tricks involve Hula-Hoops. Almost makes me wish I were still an elementary school student, or even chronically or terminally ill (oh, I am, I just don't know it yet).

    Actually the only reason I bring it up is that back when Billy Bob (another cattle dog) was a young'un, I taught him tricks (about eight of them, IIRC, the standard stuff--no Hula-Hoops) that he also would do from hand signals alone. And at the time, he wasn't even DEAF! The D-a-W and I used to gig (for free, natch) at coffee shops and housewarmings and the like (me on classassical git, her on that noted instrument of revolution, the Irish harp), and whenever possible I'd weasel BB in to do his stuff. Wowed 'em. At least, more than we did.

    Update: Did you know that the Telegraph has a "Pets" page? It's a subcategory under "Families" which is a subcategory under "Lifestyles," and it's chock-full of cute-animal videos and stories ("Can my rabbit have a brace for its teeth?"; "Chihuahua foils armed robbery"), including this one: "Hitler cat 'overlooked for adoption because of markings.'" "Kitler" is cuuuuute (and I am emphatically not a cat person). Heil, Fancy Feast!

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Billy Bob at 13

    Actually his birthday was a couple of days ago. He's deaf as a post (if you happen to have a post that can hear a little), he's got fatty lumps all oooooover his body, and he sleeps even more than I do. Here he is sneering at the paparazzi (me) after waking up with a severe kibble hangover this morning:

    But he'll still go get that frisbee:

    And catch it:

    (Note grass blade, center-tongue.)

    Update: Aftermath:

    Update II: Teenagers. Just caught BB with two of the neighborhood ne'er-do-wells smoking cornsilk cigs behind the garage.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Wart to speak at "Black August" memorial dinner

    Wart Churchill is scheduled to speak at something called the Denver Anarchist Black Cross's "Black August Dinner" next month, along with Robert King Wilkerson. According to the press release:

    Black August began in the 1970′s as a way to honor fallen Black freedom fighters George and Jonathon Jackson, William Christmas, James McClain and Khatari Gaulden. The practice of Black August has since grown into an important moment to reflect on the history and current landscape of struggles against imperialism, colonialism, and white supremacy.
    Never heard of the Anarchist Black Cross before, though they claim to have been around since "the beginning of the 20th century," which, if this wiki can be believed, is true, sort of, beginning in Czarist Russia. The Denver ABC "About" page says the "most previous incarnation of an Anarchist Black Cross chapter in Denver was snuffed out of existence quite quickly in 2004, after a full scale FBI investigation into the organization was launched to coincide with the security efforts protecting the Democratic National Convention that summer."

    Wonder if they mean "2008," since the DNC wasn't here in 2004.

    Anyway, nothing special, besides their longevity (not counting the usual infighting and resulting splits). More from their "About" page:

    Historically, the Anarchist Black Cross has played a crucial role in mass movement defense; organizing support and defense of political prisoners and prisoners of war, maintaining physical solidarity against the police during factory and school occupations, organizing self defense and armed defense of social movements, and fulfilling a broad range of roles within the defense of social movements.
    Yeah, yeah. Free this guy, free that guy. With guns and stuff. Right up Wart's alley.

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Gere's sum funy st5f

    Sorry for the garbled heading: cut myself trying to slit my throat this morning. Anyhow, Tim Blair has been on fire recently, and his latest column is truly funny. He makes me sick.

    Update: My lead-in reminds me of a story Jim Bouton tells in his immortal Ball Four. A young pitcher trying to stay in the bigs gets hit in the face with a comebacker. Somehow he gets the third out even though he's gushing blood. He comes off the field and tells the manager, "I'm going back in. I'm going back in." The manager replies: "Not with two mouths you ain't, Meat."

    Update II: Ball Four, 40 years on.

    Update III: Why am I getting into this? The wiki on Ball Four says that after it was published Pete Rose "took to yelling 'Fuck you, Shakespeare!' from the dugout whenever Bouton was pitching."

    Monday, July 04, 2011

    Fourth of July at the Radio!

    Pathetic attempt to get the taste of those abstracts out of my mouth.

    Pat Novak: For hire. "Agnes Bolton" (4 June 1949). I keep saying this, but nobody listens: Jack Webb was a hell of a writer. For a while. In PN:FH he plays a private dick on the Frisco (as natives call it) waterfront who makes ends meet, some shows imply, by selling bait. Opening lines to this show:
    Around here a set of morals won't cause any more stir than Mother's Day in an orphanage. Maybe that's not good, but that's the way it is. And it wouldn't do any good to build a church down here, because some guy would muscle in and start cutting the wine with wood alcohol . . .
    Pat's not a happy guy, 'cause 1) he gets the shit kicked out of him roughly twice an episode; and 2) nobody appreciates his hard-boiled similes.

    Okay, one more quotidian: "She was at least fifty, because you can't get that ugly without years of practice. She was wearing a green woolen dress and her figure wasn't any worse than a bale of cotton somebody's cut the wire on. Her fat hung down from her arms and there was so much of it you knew even her bones were plump . . ."

    Not exactly PC, huh? Hard to figure how Webb, so talented, became a humorless law-and-order robot on Dragnet (the TV series).

    Abstract(s) of the week!

    For this Independence Day, a leftist patriotism edition.

    Remember Michael Yellow Bird? He's the brainiac who said, at the trial of Wart Churchill's suit against CU in 2009, that it was common for historians to lie, and that that was okay, because such fabrications promote the truth.

    Here he is around the same time, "defying the lies" of others.

    Canadian Review of American Studies

    Michael Yellow Bird

    What Is the Highest Form of Patriotism?: I Say Acknowledging Our Addiction to Patriotism

    Since the United States’s illegal invasion and occupation of the sovereign nation of Iraq on 20 March 2003, I have published papers that critically interrogate the participation of the “sovereign” US Indigenous nations in this unjust, illegal, imperialistic war. Due to my writings, on 24 June 2007, I was invited to make a presentation at a peace vigil and rally focusing on “What Is the Highest Form of Patriotism?” The speech that I gave is provided in full text in this article, where I probe the United States of America’s addiction to patriotism by interrogating and “defying the lies” of some of US patriotism’s most cherished ideas, documents, leaders, and slogans. I end with a slight twist of the words of the third Buddhist noble truth, freedom from the addiction to patriotism is possible in this lifetime.
    God, he loves himself.

    Social Text

    (Good ol' Social Text.)

    Puar, Jasbir K., 1967-
    Rai, Amit, 1968-

    Monster, Terrorist, Fag: The War on Terrorism and the Production of Docile Patriots
    How are gender and sexuality central to the current "war on terrorism"? This question opens on to others: How are the technologies that are being developed to combat "terrorism" departures from or transformations of older technologies of heteronormativity, white supremacy, and nationalism? In what way do contemporary counterterrorism practices deploy these technologies, and how do these practices and technologies become the quotidian framework through which we are obliged to struggle, survive, and resist? Sexuality is central to the creation of a certain knowledge of terrorism, specifically that branch of strategic analysis that has entered the academic mainstream as "terrorism studies." This knowledge has a history that ties the image of the modern terrorist to a much older figure, the racial and sexual monsters of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Further, the construction of the pathologized psyche of the terrorist-monster enables the practices of normalization, which in today's context often means an aggressive heterosexual patriotism. As opposed to initial post-September 11 reactions, which focused narrowly on "the disappearance of women," we consider the...
    Rhetoric and Public Affairs

    Roger Stahl

    Why We "Support the Troops": Rhetorical Evolutions

    This essay tracks the genealogy of the contemporary call to "support the troops," a rhetoric that includes but goes beyond the strategic and argumentative use of the phrase itself. Support-the-troops rhetoric has two major functions: deflection and dissociation. Deflection involves discursive trends in play since Vietnam that have redefined war as a fight to save our own soldiers—especially the captive soldier—rather than as a struggle for policy goals external to the military. As such, this discourse directs civic attention away from the question of whether the particular war policy is just. The essay explicates these trends through an examination of the POW/MIA, war film, and the symbol of the yellow ribbon. The second trope, dissociation, quarantines the citizen from questions of military action by manufacturing distance between citizen and soldier. Dissociation often goes further to define civic deliberation and dissent as an attack on the soldier body and thus an ultimate immoral act. This essay explores this trope through executive rhetoric, an analysis of the particular phrase "support the troops," metaphor for war, and John Kerry's run for the presidency in 2004. Both deflection and dissociation work to discipline and mute public deliberation in matters of war. The essay concludes by considering strategies for reopening spaces for democratic deliberation.