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cuteness open thread

I exist! Here are some baby stoats

Totes adorbs

Hey, folks! I still exist. I’m just having another unplanned migraine vacation — same thing yesterday — so I may not get to posting anything today beyond this.

The tweet below has pretty much exhausted my creativity for the day, I think.

Oh, and as long as I’m pasting tweets, everyone should see this:

Consider this an open thread.

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Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
3 years ago

@Croquembouche, poorly-dressed vandal,

It’s Karen Straughan, guest at the Australian AVFM conference coming up this weekend, being interviewed by fellow guest Bettina Arndt, on fellow fellow guest Mark Latham’s Sky channel vanity project. Not sure how many other fellow guests may be involved.

Egads, please be careful! The Australian Mammotheers are a small band and we need you!
Also, I thought Latham got fired from Sky? Or was it just from that one horrible show?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ croquembouche

Holding nose, going in.

I tried, I really did. But forget the content; I just couldn’t get past the production values and the presenter. And that’s not just “oh they’re baddies so I’m going to nit-pick”; they were objectively terrible. Sound balance was all over the place, and the complete lack of preparation from the presenter. She was just winging it. She didn’t even get the name of her guest’s blog right. It was like they’d filmed two people who’d just met at a bus stop and were trying to make awkward small talk.

Croquembouche, poorly-dressed vandal
Croquembouche, poorly-dressed vandal
3 years ago

@ Alan, likewise couldn’t watch. All that and tedious into the bargain.

@ Mish, you’re right of course, Latham was dumped from Sky and now “broadcasts” via his Facebook page – hence the terrible production values.

Apparently there have been a few “party with the Honey Badgers” events already, and more planned in the next couple of weeks across Australia. I’m sure they were as funsome as that interview.

Iseult The Idle
Iseult The Idle
3 years ago

Aw, Seymour Fellows has a little two-tone nose thing going on, very snazzy.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

How could anyone not like rats? I trained one to pull a lever for a treat for my psych class and it was so much fun. My rat, Esteban was the first in the class to get it. He was so friendly and smart. I wish I could’ve kept him. Dracarys is such a little predator that I don’t think I could safely keep a rodent pet though. When we had that mouse infestation this winter, she spent all night every night hunting.

I don’t much about about stoats, although they are cute. I’m an otter fan.

comment image

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

I trained one to pull a lever for a treat

You mean he trained you to give him a treat every time he pulled a lever.

KatieKitten420
KatieKitten420
3 years ago

@ Victorious parasol
I am so impressed. That is some gorgeous yarn. I have just gotten back into crocheting in the last few months after not doing it for over a decade and I am a rank amateur so just the fact that you can make your own yarn I find incredibly impressive and cool.(I also want to learn to embroider. I just got some materials for it from Amazon and I’m hoping Google and YouTube will be able to teach me at least enough to make simple pieces)

@Axe and everyone talking about Redwall
I absolutely loved those when I was a kid. That series, Watership Down and the Rats of N.I.M.H were all my favorite animal books when I was young. You guys are making me want to check out the Redwall series again.

@WWTH, Axe, Fran and anyone else who’s a fantasy novel fan
I left a semi-long comment on page eight of the last comment thread directed towards anyone who’s a fantasy novel fan. I would really appreciate it if any or all of the people who fall under that definition and have time could please read it and give an answer if they have one. I would transfer it over to this thread for convenience if I knew how(if that’s even possible, I’m totally computer illiterate)Thank you so much in advance to anybody who goes to read the comment I just mentioned and answer it

Okay, I sleep during the day so I’m going to bed. I hope everyone has a fun, pleasant and/or useful day. I’m hoping to possibly finally see some good news when I wake up. I try to be an optimist cause you can always hope😜

dashapants
dashapants
3 years ago

Gosh darnit, but the man is special. He must be superlative in all that he does. When he steals a family crest, he replaces “integrity” with this own wretched name. When he takes candy from babies, why, he makes sure that they are cancer babies. He probably puts thumbtacks into beggars’ bowls. Cholera laced thumbtacks.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
3 years ago

Aw, I’m blushing now. But I am proud of that yarn, so I accept the compliments graciously with sincere thanks.

If any other spinsters/fiber artist types are interested, I blended a couple ounces of Merino on my blending board with a couple of mystery fibers from a Miss Babs Destash grab bag I got last year. I got 100 grams of fauxlags together, divided in half, and made a 2-ply DK yarn with the singles spun semi-woolen at 6.5:1 and plied at 7:1.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Katie Kitten,

I did another ASOIAF comment in that thread when you were typing out your comment here.

I have a blog about the books. If you’re interested, just click on my name to get there. It’s sporadically updated and has few readers, but those who have read it give good feedback. *shameless plug*

Do you ever comment in the westeros.org forums? I haven’t been there in a while but I used to spend a lot of time there. I’d recommend it if you want to discuss ASOIAF and read lots of really good theories and analyses. There are some assholes there, but the moderation staff is really responsive and trolls get banned really quickly so it’s generally a fairly safe place to comment.

Paradoxical Intention - Mobile
Paradoxical Intention - Mobile
3 years ago
Lysistrata
Lysistrata
3 years ago

@Victorious Parasol
I’m a knitter/seamstress/fabric dyer/textile freak (not a spinster) and that is gorgeous stuff. I itch to taste it with my fingers, you know?

Combining my love of words and my love of textiles: I was recently in the Linen Museum near Belfast, and saw a hank of combed fibres, a step or two before spinning – and suddenly got the full meaning of “flaxen hair”. Thick, straight, ash-blonde, and very glossy.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
3 years ago

@Paradoxy
Hmmm…
A civilian’s Twitter blocking someone is absolutely fine, and I suppose a government official’s personal account blocking folks is well and fine too. Trump’s personal Twitter, however, is essentially acting as a public resource, so how does that work? And do we really want these spaces left wide open for… unsavory elements? I mean, if Twitter has a hate speech problem to deal with, one would think Gestapepe Central to be the best place to start culling. Many thoughts…

@sunny

I think it would make more sense if the rats/weasels/foxes etc lived in close knit communities like the “good guys” do (Redwall, Salamandastron, The Sparra) and it turns out that they’re taught from birth to hate/attack the “good guy” species by cult like leaders

Nerdy, teal deer, overthought apologetics incoming…

At this point, that’s my headcanon. Especially cos we very rarely get to see fox kits or rat pinkies. Mouse, bunny, and badger children abound, and we see them being taught racist worldviews and having those worldviews reinforced

Weasels and crows are, at present, more prone to torture and conquest, but that’s down to geography. The books establish ‘woodlanders’ as default and settled. No need for roving bands of marauders in one’s own land. Tho, there are northern ‘savage’ tribes of shrews and squirrels that will attack or enslave anyone ‘good’ or ‘evil’. Which, I think, does lend itself to the nurture hypothesis

The strongest bit of… evidence(?) that ties this all together comes from the origin of ‘vermin’. Cluny the Scourge is thought to be a Portuguese rat. Martin the Warrior grew up fending off pirate rats and stoats from the sea. The mice and such all have anglicized names, while the weasels are given monikers like Halftail and Bageye. As if they’re all from different linguistics backgrounds, couldn’t understand each other at 1st, and just called each other what they looked like as they learned English. And they woulda looked like those things, cos piracy is a dangerous job and losing half a tail wouldn’t have been uncommon

Methinks that all the ‘evil’ creatures we see are privateers or the children of same. Most of them are back home in mainland Europe being, more or less, nice to each other. The bad guys are specifically those who actively decided that invading Britain was a splendid idea, existing population be damned. Which, sure, makes them bad, but it also makes them an unrepresentative sample

Also, I doubt the reliability of the nobility of the badger narrative. They are, for all intents and purposes, conquerors too. Brocktree established an Empire from Salamandastron. He and his son, Boar, extended that territory to all of Mossflower. And then Boar’s daughter, Bella, and her mate, Barkstripe were routed by Verdauga Green Eyes. Yet, the badgers are called rightful ruler and the wildcats are tyrant even tho Verdauga wouldn’t have been considered especially cruel by historical human standards. ‘Evil’ creatures have spin placed on them that ‘good’ aminals don’t. Especially if the goodun is the local warlord instead of a foreign one

Long story short, and viridian antelope closing, I say that the fact we don’t see many baby ‘vermin’, as well as other data points, leads me in the direction of ‘evil’ aminals being no more intrinsically bad than ‘good’ woodlanders. Which isn’t to say Jacques wasn’t being incredibly shitty, cos he was. And the text is the text. But it’s something I keep in mind as I read thru the series. If just to keep perspective on how righteous I’m supposed to consider Matthias. Answer: not much, the little jerk. I dunno, it’s more interesting this way 😀

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ axe

invading Britain

It’s generally accepted that rabbits came to Britain in 1066; although there’s a less well accepted theory that it was AD43. Either way though it was as a result of an invasion. So I can see where they got the idea.

ETA: Not suggesting the rabbits necessarily planned the invasions. That probably was either William or Claudius (there may have been rabbit lobbyists I suppose).

Hambeast, disorderly she-tornado and breaker of windows
Hambeast, disorderly she-tornado and breaker of windows
3 years ago

Vicky P – That skein of yarn has me drooling and my fingers tingling! It’ll make a luscious scarf. I’d love to spin, but my carpal tunnel prohibits it (I tried it a couple of times.) I’ve had to revert to mainly crochet since knitting is way more painful but I can’t quit the sock knitting because crocheted socks are lumpy.

Paradoxy – I wonder if Трумп thought he could skirt the First Amendment issue by using his personal account? More likely, he was (mistakenly) told that by an adviser.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
3 years ago

I am very worried about Iran and Qatar. While I dislike a lot of aspect of thoses countries, I sure don’t wish them to become the new Irak.

Capra
Capra
3 years ago

@Victorious Parasol: I love playing on my blending board, it’s such fun. I hope someday I can spin a bit more intentionally, but for now I go seat of my pants. I have two ratios on my Ashford Traditional’s flyer but only ever use one! I think it comes of being technical in my day job. I don’t want to think when I spin!

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
3 years ago

Good luck to all of us Brit-type mammotheers for tomorrow – looks like turnout will be crucial, so don’t forget to check out

https://mynearestmarginal.com/

if you can manage an hour or two helping to get out the vote where it counts the most!

Falconer
Falconer
3 years ago

@opposablethumbs,

Good luck to all of us Brit-type mammotheers for tomorrow – looks like turnout will be crucial

Yes, good luck tomorrow!

JS
JS
3 years ago

Just leaving this here… Reality Winner is the name of the person who allegedly leaked NSA documents…

Recent late night TV host’s take on it:
“Trump is at war with Reality”

I’d also state that she is more of a Winner 😀

leftwingfox
leftwingfox
3 years ago

Oh, Redwall. Yeah, some gems and a bunch of stinkers. I’m also a sucker for food porn, even if it’s text-driven, so I enjoyed the banquets.

Redwall fans might enjoy The Mouse Guard graphic novels, which is a little more… grounded than the Redwall books while maintaining a similar tone. It’s literally about a mouse civilization, so it bypasses a chunk of the racial undertones even if it doesn’t escape it completely (I.e. Most animals talk, but are very much animals. Only the weasels have a competing civilization, but war between the two kingdoms is past history rather than present plot).

Speaking of weird politics in talking animals books, has anyone read WIlliam Horwood “Duncton Woods” series? They’re… deeply weird, and not necessarily in a good way. I don’t want to recommend them, but at the same time, I want to find someone else who has read them so I can at least talk about it. =/

freneticferret
freneticferret
3 years ago

@Axe

I do like that headcanon, and I would have loved to have seen more baby vermin, but Outcast of Redwall had such a shitty message about them. The badger maven of the abbey, meant to represent all that is good, purposefully named Veil that because it’s an anagram for ‘evil’ and ‘vile’ and she suspected he would grow up to be so. Heck, even as the ferret kit is abandoned by his own kind, too young to walk or speak, he’s portrayed as a vicious savage, biting Bryony and devouring ‘frogspawn’ in a deliberate evocation of repulsive imagery. We’re not supposed to find this tiny baby ferret sympathetic or cute, and the hares and Redwallers certainly don’t. This was an excellent change for a message about prejudice, but instead, we’re supposed to agree with them and see Bryony as utterly naive.

I guess it could be argued that Veil grew up to be a jerkass because of how the Redwallers treated him and spoke to/about him, but I found it exceptionally poisonous that even after Veil dies protecting his mouse foster mother, and the badger mum says that maybe she was wrong about Veil, she is immediately corrected by Bryony saying ‘no, he probably wouldn’t have saved me if he knew he’d get killed.’ So there. Veil bad, Redwallers good, because how could a ferret be a good guy?

Then we have the Taggerung, which presents the opposite narrative: an otter cub raised by ‘vermin’ to be a killer. This could have been a really interesting look at vermin society and nature-vs-nurture, but again, Tagg never truly likes his adopted family, he never accepts the views they teach him, and he’s ultimately good because, well, he’s one of the ‘good’ species. He just can’t help but be good.

Even my very favorite morally gray Redwall character, Romsca, gets the short end of the stick as she dies (heroically), saying she wishes she could been born a ‘good beast.’ She isn’t corrected from this view, though this would have been a perfect time for the abbot to tell her that she was a good creature. Instead she just dies, presumably believing she was inherently bad.

The comic-relief vermin don’t get off any easier. The goofy, harmless stoats Dingeye and Thura, some of the most sincerely entertaining characters in Salamandastron, show no genuine malice or aggression towards the woodlanders. They bumble their way into Redwall and show a real interest in staying, but they flee because they accidentally kill someone while goofing off and are terrified of the possible retribution. They subsequently die gruesome deaths, and when the Redwallers find them, they do give them a proper burial – while making sure to mention, of course, that they ‘were bad creature(s).’

Is it possible that many vermin lash out and become wicked because it’s the only path expected or offered to them? Growing up being told that you can only be evil because of the circumstances of your birth would screw anyone up. That could have been another interesting possible storyline. But then there are still Veil and Tagg, and their stories honestly piss me off the most, because they’re the ones that truly work to hammer home the idea: nurture be damned, lowly species are low, and you are doomed to what you are born as.

This turned out really long, I’m sorry. D: You’ve turned on my nerd switch. I hide now.

Valentine
Valentine
3 years ago

Paradoxy – I wonder if Трумп thought he could skirt the First Amendment issue by using his personal account? More likely, he was (mistakenly) told that by an adviser.

Forgive me hambeast but when you spelling Trump on russian you need put like this ‘Трaмп’ with ‘a’ not ‘y’. That how they making this english ‘u’ sound for Trump. ))

IgnoreSandra
IgnoreSandra
3 years ago

RE: Redwall

Brian Jacques is a racist ass, and I didn’t pick up on that until Outcast. The entire characterization of Veil was just fucking wrong.

But there’s an important parallel here – medieval Christians considered the Norse to be inherently evil, Rome considered the “Barbarians” to be inherently worthy of destruction, and so forth. They act much like the Redwallers, touting their so-called civilization and religion as superior.

The only difference? Both Christians and Romans were ultimately in it for power instead of self-righteousness, so total compliance to their wills saved at least a portion of those they targeted.

I honestly sympathized a lot with Asmodeus. Does a serpent even have an option for living that doesn’t involve eating rodents? No, they don’t. So why are they evil? They’re doing what they were meant to do in a very real way. Dangerous predators. Threats to public safety. Damned by their nature in a far more real way than the designated “evil” species. Possibly gods relative to the setting. But not evil.

Otrame
Otrame
3 years ago

@ Katiekitten420

Over the years I go through phases. Bead weaving (by hand, not on a loam) to knitting & crochet and back again. I am currently back in knitting and crocheting. Youtube is your friend. You can even learn to spin, using a drop spindle, which is SO much cheaper than a wheel (you can even make one for a few bucks or from household stuff if you have a garage full of random crap like I do). There are also ALL kinds of tutorials for a pretty much anything. I’m finishing off a hooked rug for my granddaughter, but I think I want to try entrelac knitting next.

@Victorious Parasol

Oh and that IS a lovely blend in that skein. I bought a yarn swift a few weeks ago because I find the yarn I like the best almost always comes in skeins and making balls from them is a pain in the ass without a swift. The swift is built sort of like an umbrella, so it fits any diameter skein, and holds it while you unwind the skein and then wind it into a ball. I also found out how to make “center-pull” balls that are so much easier to knit and crochet with.

varalys the dark
3 years ago

@leftwingfox: If you hadn’t have mentioned the Mouse Guard comics I was going to. I have covered Autumn and Winter on my blog with the prequel The Black Axe to come in a couple of months. They really are gorgeous books, I just wish the release of them wasn’t so glacial! Also they are square and poke out of the bookcase, but that’s being super picky lol.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
3 years ago

@Otrame

Swifts are nifty. Do you have an expanding umbrella type swift, or Amish style?

ETA: Dur, you answered that. I have an Amish style swift – it breaks down and stores easily.

Robert Walker-Smith
Robert Walker-Smith
3 years ago

That lovely skein! Reminded me, there’s a shop in my neighborhood that sells a variety of herbs, spices, teas, and related items. They have a section of home dyeing materials, including mordants and dried cochineal beetles. Imagine spinning yarn you dyed carmine with homemade dye.

Unrelated personal note: my new doctor seems to be good. After reviewing my chart, he signed off on my medical marijuana renewal form. I’m​ back on 5-HTP, a serotonin precursor, which seems to be really helping my mood. Also, I made almond shortbread and cherry jam, so I could make sandwich cookies for the family. Husband the baker had some leftover nectarines that were going overripe, so I made those into jam as well. There was a certain prideful pleasure this morning in serving my spouse and child homemade jam on homemade bread at breakfast this morning. There are many ways to say, ‘I love you’, but the most sincere way I know is ‘I made you something to eat’.

So much of my life has been affected by a cultural myth I absorbed in childhood, that says that the best life is centered around having a family you love in a home where you’re comfortable. And food. Gotta have plenty of food.

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

@Axe

Also, I doubt the reliability of the nobility of the badger narrative. They are, for all intents and purposes, conquerors too. Brocktree established an Empire from Salamandastron. He and his son, Boar, extended that territory to all of Mossflower. And then Boar’s daughter, Bella, and her mate, Barkstripe were routed by Verdauga Green Eyes. Yet, the badgers are called rightful ruler and the wildcats are tyrant even tho Verdauga wouldn’t have been considered especially cruel by historical human standards. ‘Evil’ creatures have spin placed on them that ‘good’ aminals don’t. Especially if the goodun is the local warlord instead of a foreign one

Of course! Our imperialism is bringing the light of civilisation to the benighted savages of the outer world, uniting everyone under the benevolent hand of our glorious monarch; their imperialism is a despotic blight upon the land, a creeping evil that will reduce the world to mere tyranny beneath the unyeilding heel of the foreign oppressor.

Weasels and crows are, at present, more prone to torture and conquest, but that’s down to geography.

Is it? Weasels and crows are, IRL, more prone to hurting things for fun than mice or rabbits.

@Freneticferret

Heck, even as the ferret kit is abandoned by his own kind, too young to walk or speak, he’s portrayed as a vicious savage, biting Bryony and devouring ‘frogspawn’ in a deliberate evocation of repulsive imagery.

Thing is, ferrets, baby or not, do that shit all the time. It’s kinda their thing

We’re not supposed to find this tiny baby ferret sympathetic or cute, and the hares and Redwallers certainly don’t.

And if I were the size of a mouse, I would’t consider a ferret cute either; I’d be legitimately terrified. Ferrets IRL kill mice and rabbits for shits and giggles; it’s quite reasonable that a civilization of rodents and lagomorphs would have a poor opinion of them.
That’s one of the oddest things about the setting to me, is that badgers are looked up to as much as they are, and how many predator species are counted as allies. Although apparently the Eurasian badger is more omnivorous and less actively predatory than the American variety I’m familiar with, so maybe the local rodents feel differently. OTOH, they eat hedgehogs a fair amount, so maybe not.

Redwallers good, because how could a ferret be a good guy?

How indeed? Ferrets literally exist for the purpose of killing mice. (Ferrets, as such, are an entirely domestic species, probably derived ultimately from the European polecat or some close cousin. They are traditionally used as a pest control measure, because they can and will go down mouse and rat holes and slaughter everything they find therein.) From the perspective of the Redwallers, I can’t see any way that a ferret could be considered good.

@Sandra

I honestly sympathized a lot with Asmodeus. Does a serpent even have an option for living that doesn’t involve eating rodents? No, they don’t. So why are they evil? They’re doing what they were meant to do in a very real way. Dangerous predators. Threats to public safety. Damned by their nature in a far more real way than the designated “evil” species. Possibly gods relative to the setting. But not evil.

That’s kind of my point from above, though. I mean, yeah, IRL Jaques was racist as all hell, etc. but in the context of the setting, the Redwallers’ classifications do make sense. Because stoats and ferrets actually are entirely different species from the protagonists, and those species actually do kill members of the protagonists’ species just because they’re there. I should rather like to see a more nuanced exploration of the idea, honestly, done by someone with less obnoxious baggage about humans as well as a somewhat greater knowledge of the natural world.

@Katie
I left a responses over there.

freneticferret
freneticferret
3 years ago

I do think it’s important to not label Jacques as actually racist. His stories may have carried racist allegorical tones, but there is literally no reason to assume that his views applied to human races, too.

freneticferret
freneticferret
3 years ago

@Dalillama

Heck, even as the ferret kit is abandoned by his own kind, too young to walk or speak, he’s portrayed as a vicious savage, biting Bryony and devouring ‘frogspawn’ in a deliberate evocation of repulsive imagery.

Thing is, ferrets, baby or not, do that shit all the time. It’s kinda their thing

The point is that the language used intentionally displays it as disgusting – we’re meant to be repulsed by this tiny baby.

And if I were the size of a mouse, I would’t consider a ferret cute either; I’d be legitimately terrified. Ferrets IRL kill mice and rabbits for shits and giggles; it’s quite reasonable that a civilization of rodents and lagomorphs would have a poor opinion of them.

Really a moot point, as the books (with the exception of the original Redwall) portray the animals as being all roughly the same size. Bryony is able to cradle the baby ferret in her arms, which would be impossible if they were their respective sizes.

That’s one of the oddest things about the setting to me, is that badgers are looked up to as much as they are, and how many predator species are counted as allies. Although apparently the Eurasian badger is more omnivorous and less actively predatory than the American variety I’m familiar with, so maybe the local rodents feel differently. OTOH, they eat hedgehogs a fair amount, so maybe not.

And that’s part of why it makes zero sense. Badgers and otters are both very efficient predators.

Jacques tended to use creatures as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ based on their roles in folklore and heraldry. Badgers = noble and representative of royalty, foxes = sneaky and hungry. The issue is in representing entire species as symbols of good or evil, with no chance at transcending either label.

How indeed? Ferrets literally exist for the purpose of killing mice.

Mustelidae simply do as they must to survive, which is kill so that they can eat, and the domestic ferret does as we’ve bred and trained him to do. Actually, socialized ferrets are extremely friendly and loving, but I guess that’s beside the point. Badgers and otters will also engage in surplus killing, which is really what people are talking about most of the time when they refer to creatures killing ‘for fun.’ Most carnivores will. There are also ‘good’ raptors in Redwall, such as Skarlath, the kestrel, a species that is a terror to rodents.

Meanwhile, Jacques’ mice fish for food, which is portrayed as just fine, even though mice, hedgehogs, moles, squirrels, etc don’t need to eat fish. What makes it morally acceptable to brand a baby ferret as inherently evil simply because his species feeds on mice? I should point out that we never actually see foxes or mustelids in Redwall consume mice. When they do eat meat, it’s typically a bird of some sort, and birds range all over the spectrum of good and evil in Redwall. Veil survived just fine on the food provided by the Redwallers, but was still an abhorrent brat in personality for no other reason that his species.

The ‘good’ beasts also frequently display hypocrisy in their alleged reverence for life, so long as the lives being taken are the specific carnivores we’re meant to see as evil. The final book’s epilogue has the victorious woodlanders run down and crush a band of fleeing, bumbling ‘vermin’ with a landship, while laughing about it, which honestly killed off any remaining empathy I had for the ‘good’ guys of that story.

Viscaria the Cheese Hog
Viscaria the Cheese Hog
3 years ago

You know what children’s fantasy book series is particularly hard on mustelidae? Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising. Polecats are pretty much the embodiment of evil in those books.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
3 years ago
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
3 years ago

@ferret

This turned out really long, I’m sorry

That was amazing! Many thanks 👏
Which brings me back to Martin flirting with greatness. It’s got some of the only real subversions of the racism. Not nearly upfront enough, and I don’t even think Jacques meant it, but it’s there

Spoilers: Martin the Warrior
In the Redwall series there are 3 characters of any note I can think of off the top of my head (I’m sure I’m missing dozens, I never read thru all of em) who are not explicitly racist. Abbot Mortimer (not like that fucker Mordalfus), Brome of Noonvale, and Tramun Clogg. 2 of whom appear in Martin. In fact, Brome and Clogg are probably the best characters in the series in general, and their willingness to see the ‘other side’ as something other than enemies to be slaughtered is part of what makes them appealing

It takes Clogg all of 5 minutes to fall in platonic love with Ballaw and the Players. The stoat truly does believe the hare is his friend. His sense of hurt at Ballaw’s betrayal is real. Also helps that he isn’t really seen doing anything that evil. He’s a corsair and a slaver, so he’s definitely a bad guy but far less than Badrang. And he helps take down Badrang, cos seeing that guy defeated is more important than any speciesism

Then there’s Brome. He hates fighting and killing. Can’t do it can’t stand it. His back and forth over Felldoh (a right asshole, IMO) is compelling. And he seems to be the only one who hates Badrang’s horde exclusively cos of their actions. When Felldoh’s killed, and he rushes into the fray in a rage, he can’t bring himself to kill a rat. Partially cos he can’t kill another creature, but partially cos he knew the guy. Saw his… animality(?), and he let the poor thing go

I dunno, that book seemed to invite empathy more than the others. The characters were more individual than race based dichotomies. I liked that 🙂

The point is that the language used intentionally displays it as disgusting – we’re meant to be repulsed by this tiny baby

That’s how all eating is written in the series. Bad guys tear flesh and wines from bone, dripping juices down in a gruesome display. Good guys consume the season’s trout with deference and manners. Even with those wolf down their food, it’s played for laughs. Again, Tramun Clogg is the only bad guy who’s disgusting chomping and slurping is drawn to be endearing rather than menacing. Jacques grew attached to Clogg while writing, which explains why he’s the least villainously written villain. It’s all about who he likes…

@Dali
Weasels eat rats too. And foxes eat anything small and meaty. Badgers are just fuckin murderers. So, yeah, the irl biological thing is fucked as an explanation from the start. Given that, foreign invaders comes across a better rationale. YMMV, obvs

Speaking of badgers, and considering what they do to rabbits, the Long Patrol is the most noxious thing in the books, right? Like, there’s no way Salamandastron isn’t built upon the masticated corpses of bunnies, is there? *shudders*

Viscaria the Cheese Hog
Viscaria the Cheese Hog
3 years ago

@SFHC, well now, that pole cat is clearly the embodiment of evil. How could it jump so high and land on such a small area without involving the forces of darkness? I ask you.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I’ve been watching season 12 of Supernatural on Netflix and it made me wonder something. It seems like a fairly common trope in horror and supernatural genre stories for there to be an organization that’s headquarters is in England which is dedicated to fighting and/or studying supernatural entities. They tend to have noble ends but often times shitty means and create conflict for the protagonists because they use their large wealth and power to try and force them to adhere to rigid rules that are not always effective.

Off the top of my head, there’s British Men of Letters in the Supernatural episodes I’m watching. The Watcher’s Council on Buffy and Angel. There’s the Talmasca is Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches series. I think I’ve seen it elsewhere but can’t remember where.

The thing is, I’ve seen it in fairly recent stuff. Recent being the past few decades. I can’t think of any older literature where there’s something equivalent. Is this a new trope? Or do I have a big knowledge gap here?

I suppose the Knights Templar were possibly the inspiration for the trope. That’s definitely the case with Rice’s stuff since the Talamasca was founded with wealth taken from the Knights Templar when they were disbanded. The witch trials and corrupt witch judges may have something to do with it too. But I still feel like I’m missing something here.

Random, but this is an open thread so I thought I’d bring it up.

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

@WWTH

I suppose the Knights Templar were possibly the inspiration for the trope.

I’d guess Freemasons, personally.

PaganReader - Misandrist Spinster

This is Emmet Fellows. He is the last of this batch.
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All three pictures are from the Itty Bitty Kitty Comittee.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

I have something that I hope is fun. I’ve been a bit locked up by social anxiety and I’ve been holding back on this one until now. (I’ve got my therapists narrowed down to two that I want to call from my first group I looked at so I hope to get some help soon).

I’m “working on” (mostly thinking about at this stage) some rhetoric designed to dismantle the improper use of inheritance and genetics by racists and was wondering what some of you think. (I think rhetorical analysis is a mental habit related to how the tourette’s syndrome intersects with my life). It plays on the “3-dimensional chess” metaphor that I’ve seen some Trump supporters use when describing his behavior during the election (as strategy), and my use of the metaphor puts racists at a fraction of a dimension in terms of accuracy with respect to inheritance and genetics (and I’ve never seen a racist speak coherently about chromosomes of any kind). I’m curious about any impressions and suggestions that anyone might have, it’s not a “I have specific questions” thing. More of a “Is is at all useful and can it be made better?”

The key concept is [Inheritance] because your original zygote inherited a lot more than DNA in terms of molecules that carry information. The [DNA] carrying genes is simply one dimension of this. They only get partial credit there because you also inherit the [DNA methylation] patterns of the DNA from both parents. That’s two covalently linked pieces of information in terms of inheritance. You do inherit methylation pattern changes from your parents, and ancestors before them. It’s arguably environmental and experience information.

Methylation patterns of DNA inhibit protein binding (at the very least).

But that’s not all. That methylated DNA is wrapped around [histones] that have been modified (]histone methylation], [acetylation], [ubiquitination], [SUMOylation], [phosphorylation], [citrullination] and who knows what else). The histone is a dimension and each modification class in which you can inherit alterations is a dimension.

Histone modifications affect the binding of proteins, RNAs of many classes and other strands of DNA in how tightly the DNA is wound (arguably the histone’s oldest role).

But wait! There’s more!

You also inherit RNA from both parents. The sperm contains miRNA and piRNA. miRNA’s have been shown to suppress the expression of genes by shredding the DNA copies (and they probably do other things). piRNAs have been shown to affect protein binding and other activity.
The egg contains lnRNA* and it’s easy to assume mRNA along with who knows what else. (lnRNA remodeling is apparently important in the zygote transitioning forward in development).
*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_non-coding_RNA
(sorry, copy paste fuck up).

To be frank you don’t see a lot of people in academia pointing at epigenetics saying that it’s directly related to inherited behavior changes. To make my bias clear I’m saying that I’m convinced that the there is enough reason to start acting like we are inheriting things relevant to behavior. Even if it is something like inheriting an experience of famine, that comes with an experience of reality. The inheritance of patterns in the descendants of holocaust survivors are another one. We’ve also got data showing that the impulsivity in ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome has an inherited component. I have inherited social impulsivity and that is a bit of a mindfuck right now. It explains too much. I’ll cite anything above and anywhere else upon request.

Gonads and gametes are hard drives that href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics#Transgenerational”>soak up experience and store it. There will be aspects that we think of as good, but things like the effects of transgenerational trauma are in there too. Racists are so off the picture of reality emerging that it’s impossible to avoid the reality that they wreak social damage on our discussion of inheritance. Fuck that.

Hambeast, disorderly she-tornado and breaker of windows
Hambeast, disorderly she-tornado and breaker of windows
3 years ago

Valentine – Oh, I spell it that way on purpose; it sounds like someone falling on their ass: Troomp! Although, I guess Трамп sounds a lot like “tramp” in English, so that works too! But not tramp as in an itinerant person or immoral woman, but the verb meaning to stomp or deliberately smash things with one’s feet.

wwth – There was Torchwood, too. Oh, wait! Torchwood was in Wales.

Never mind. /Emily Litella

Steven Dutch
Steven Dutch
3 years ago

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee: “How could anyone not like rats?”

Several years ago, our street was torn up for sewer repairs. We came back from a trip to a strong urine smell in our garage. I figured squirrels or mice. When I saw a story on line about rats being reported, I said “uh-oh.” I got traps, spring and glue, and sure enough, caught one in a glue trap, the first of several. Filthy disgusting creature —-

Except he wasn’t filthy or disgusting at all. He was just a small animal with sleek fur and terrified out of his wits. I could actually understand why people keep rats as pets.

Of course we had to kill it. If we turned it loose it would just be someone else’s problem, and maybe a legal violation on top of that. But I really had the feeling “this is not right,” having to kill something merely for being what it was and being in the wrong place. It was perfectly happy and harmless in the sewers, and once the sewer work was done they disappeared.

Any excess stoats you have, send them to me.

Steven Dutch
Steven Dutch
3 years ago

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite: Trump really is playing 3-D chess. Unfortunately, he’s playing it on a backgammon board.

numerobis
numerobis
3 years ago

Viscaria:

@SFHC, well now, that pole cat is clearly the embodiment of evil. How could it jump so high and land on such a small area without involving the forces of darkness? I ask you.

+3 Claws of Slashing and Climbing.

And I have scars in my shoulders to prove it.

epitome of incomprehensibility

@Axecalibur – you’re totally right about the War of 1812! A peace treaty happened December 1814, but the British invaded Louisiana in January 1815. TSK TSK British.

@PaganReader – KITTIES! <3

@Brony, Social Justice Cenobite –

I’m curious about any impressions and suggestions that anyone might have, it’s not a “I have specific questions” thing. More of a “Is is at all useful and can it be made better?”

My (somewhat cynical) take: I think someone would have to be in deep denial to both
a) know enough biology to understand the details of what you wrote*
and
b) maintain a “scientific” defense of racism

So to me it’d seem nearly impossible to convince people who have that much cognitive dissonance. But I’m curious: what racist argument does the idea of epigenetics challenge?

*To use myself as an example, I’m familiar with the main idea, but I’ve never taken university biology, so I don’t get all the details.

K.
K.
3 years ago

IBKC~!

*squees happily*

Ray of Rays
Ray of Rays
3 years ago

OT, and I hate interrupting kittens, but…

https://www.lawfareblog.com/initial-comments-james-comeys-written-testimony

Is it simply not possible, is there no godforsaken way that asshole can stop acting like a sexual predator, even in ostensibly nonsexual situations? Fucking seriously? I can’t be the only one who’s noticing this, right?

…okay, stupid rhetorical question, obviously I’m not, but still!

Valentine
Valentine
3 years ago

@hambeast it not meant to insult Trump with calling him Tramp, this just how it done. You cannot write with the ‘y’ normally unless you want to spell like this like you say. But why you writing with russian alphabet-i think because this scandal about hacking? I dont like this really. I know now thay saying it true (( when i see first it was one woman from Georgia i thought they mean country georgia and i thought they mean she is hacking. Then i understand that this woman from amercia and only leaking again something from investigation. But no one already read what she share? Because i cant find this information. Only that it was been confirmed by independents and she arrested for this.

History Nerd
History Nerd
3 years ago

@brony

Even if you look at the research on IQ and racial groups and uncritically accept it, it doesn’t come anywhere near what the alt-right and KKK-type racists want to use it to justify. Moreover, much of the test data is on whites and blacks in the United States, and much of that is from the 1960’s and earlier.

Psychometricians claim they can use statistical techniques to correct for bias in the data. But the socioeconomic differences between poor blacks and poor whites are very complex, and hence you can’t really claim you’re reliably measuring the relative intellectual potential of whites and blacks. Psychology is still a “soft science” (like gender studies), but there’s often a bias involved in preferring research that uses a more quantitative approach.

All this is related to the New Atheists. At least Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennett are adaptationists, in the sense that they believe almost all human physical and psychological traits are adaptations from a natural selection process. Whether adaptationism makes sense or not, adaptationists tend to theorize that behaviors are determined by adaptations rather than culture (and many would favor a compatibilist view of free will). Thus, it makes more sense to view cultures and other differences between groups as biologically inherited adaptations and almost traditional conclusion in the social sciences is wrong. The New Atheists believe that things are naturally getting better over time and science needs to guide social policy without concerns for religion or traditional morality, so you can guess how all that influences some amoral /pol/ user.

DanHolme
DanHolme
3 years ago

@WWTH

I had my own idea for a ‘British-based supernatural study’ organisation story a long time ago, the Derbyshire Zombie Patrol.

The peat bogs of the Pennines are a great place for bodies to be preserved, and I was going to have a group of what were essentially Peak National Park rangers, whose day job was looking after tourists, but at night were watching out for any reanimated bodies that were getting up and wandering about.

The deal was going to be that these bodies were not the bad guys; they were murder victims, Celtic sacrificial victims, Romans who’d wandered off the path and drowned in the swamp; basically, lost, confused people who, like the tourists, needed someone to look out for them.

The DZP would rescue lost zombies, protect them from exploitation, collectors, over-zealous slayers, and – the big bad of the season – the old Gods to which some of them had been sacrificed, like Cernunnos.

It was also going to be the only mystical association ever based in an old factory in New Mills, just outside Stockport.

This post is as much of it as has ever been written; maybe I’ll start again, summer holidays are nearly here and it would be a project!

KatieKitten420
KatieKitten420
3 years ago

@WWTH and Dalillama
I saw both of your comments and responses on the other thread and thank you for them. I only started commenting anywhere a couple months ago cuz I am so computer illiterate but I used to lurk at Westeros and read the comments. Still do sometimes.

The fact that you guys both also seem to like Supernatural absolutely thrills me. If you’re still watching it in the 12th season I assume you’re one of the big fans like me. I adore Supernatural. I will still watch it if it has 20 seasons. I will admit the first five seasons were the best but it’s not like it’s unwatchable now like some people say. I still enjoy it a lot. Lastly, Sam is so my type. I adore him. For men my physical ideal is tall, long haired, lean but still some muscle(but not big ones, big muscles are excessive and bodybuilders actually disturb me)and pretty rather than handsome. And he’s a brilliantly intelligent geek. What more could you ask for?😍