Friday, August 26, 2005

animal art

the massachusets museum of contemporary art is hosting a display called "becoming animal: contemporary art in the animal kingdom" which is about blurring the line between (non-naked ape) animal and naked ape animal. (reviewed here) it is nice of them to follow up on my suggestion from several days ago that we put animals in art museums rather than just in natural history museums. it includes some creepy transgenic mice. patricia piccinnini has weird sculptures in which she combines human and animal forms to create new and crazy hybrids (like naked apes and dogs!). interestingly, a picture of one of her sculptures called "the young family," (seen here) which shows a dog-woman hybrid nursing her puppies/babies circulated around the internet as a hoax about a real hybrid created from genetic engineering. it's sad you naked apes so long to be like us that you must create urban legends to project your fantasies.

and williams college is hosting an exhibit called creature discomforts about the use of animals in naked ape art.

i think i would like these exhibits, though they seem more a projection of naked ape anxieties about your own actions. see, for instance, the proliferation of art in which animals are made from mechanical parts (the old cyborg) or the number of art pieces addressing genetic modification, or scientific discoveries that have demonstrated that in spite of your superiority complex, you naked apes are genetically quite similar to the "inferior" beasts.

and i'd like to give a plug for some real animal art made by chimps that is bringing in big bucks. the image of folks sitting around bidding thousands of pounds for ape art is a lovely moment of boundary crossing. the bbc article i liked also mentioned that the same auction included andy warhol's "piss paintings" in which he, um, invited his friends to piss on a canvas covered with copper paint. bring on the animal art!

too much time on our paws

i love slate's dog columns and one of their columnists is writing a series of columns about how to overprogram your dog just as if you are the yuppie parent of an underachieving child. i'm just coming to the end of not one but two obedience classes. i adopted my mawma two and a half years ago but we took the plunge into classes because my little sister ethel has a little aggression problem (what can she say? she's a bitch?) and has a case of doggy ADD. so i take special interest in these columns since i may be sent back to school.

this month they're talking about agility which is not a sport for the faint of heart, or light of wallet, since it involves tons of athletic ability and ability to focus and many months, even years, of training. and that's just the naked apes. my little sister might kick butt at this since she is fast, a quick learner, and can jump over anything. of course, as a dog who can't be bothered to bring the ball BACK in a game of fetch, she might need to work on her concentration. i have to say that my two favorite groups don't get proper props in the article. the first? corgis. the underestimated athletes. see, i have a corgi body and get regular stares and comments (part of that is my giant head). and occasionally people call me "pudgy" or "chunky" which angers me to no end. corgis are not pudgy. we are big, athletic dogs on short (but effective) legs. see, we were bred to herd. and we nip at the heels of cattle. that, naturally, doesn't always please them and sometimes they kick and, being short, the kicks sail over our heads. on the other hand, we tend to have muscular legs and a big chest because we have to run and maneuver a lot. now, the "we" i am talking about doesn't actually include me since i've never been herding, nor does it include most corgis who spend most of their lives running the households of naked apes (including the queen of england! who clearly needs all the help she can get). but i mean hypothetically. and, when i choose to i can be quite the athlete. i run, i swim, i jump and i can't jump fences with the same ease as my sister but i can climb them if necessary (i was once caught climbing the shelves in the kitchen). corgis are regularly in agility competitions but get nary a mention in this article. the other neglected group? mutts, of course. since most agility events are akc, you have to be an akc registered dog and, therefore, a purebred. that's a shame for both me and my sister who could revolutionize the world of agility. except my big head would probably be hard to maneuver through the weave polls.

last month the column was about dog dancing, popularized by king of the hill. my favorite part? the poodle named edgar allen poo.

on tuesday i take my canine good citizen test. if i pass, i think i get to vote. then i wonder what doggy sport i will be taking over next? if only i could get a gold medal for bossiness. or napping.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

(naked) apes gone wild!

this week renowned religious leader pat robertson took a hit out on hugo chavez, the leader of venezuela. i'm a bit taken aback. as much as i hate the goddamn cats and oppose their political and economic policies, i don't want them dead. we have an agreement on appropriate political dialog. i'll stand over here and strain on my leash and bark and snarl and you and you arch your back and hiss at me. i think someone may have spiked pat's holy water.

but poking in matters a bit more, i found that this is the tip of the frosty paw in terms of crazy things he's said. check out this gem from his rather paranoid-sounding book New World Order (the NWO! not to be confused with NWA):

It's time someone told you the truth. There is an Invisible Cord that can be traced from the European bankers who ordered the assassination of President Lincoln, to Karl Marx, to the British bankers who funded the Soviet KGB. They are members of the 'tightly knit cabal whose goal is nothing less than a new order for the human race under the domination of Lucifer'.

and this guy claims to have a million viewers per day. in spite of some recent bad press some other primates have gotten, i'd still take my chances with the hairy apes any day.

the human zoo

the london zoo is putting naked apes on display! i'm not sure why since you naked apes are boring and ugly to boot. i wonder if they will show you in your natural habitat on the couch watching tv and sipping beer. next thing you know they'll be putting goddamn cats on display.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

the pitts

this story in the village voice about a pit bull breeder is a bit of a downer. it's about a guy who is breeding pits for meanness (though he says he no longer fights them) for personal protection. i'm not sure which is sadder--these dogs who spend their entire lives outdoors, managing their rage, or the fact that naked apes feel so insecure they need attack dogs.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

101 damn good entries

Beggars and choosers
Originally uploaded by cerasmus.

here i am with my sister ethel celebrating my 101st blog entry! doesn't she look thrilled to be a part of my great dog project? 101 cat-hatin', dog-lovin', lab-chasin', bush-whackin', short-leggin' posts.

i will accept congratulatory gifts including snacks and squeakies. no champagne, please, the bubbles tickle my nose.

no goddamn cats allowed. ethel'll catch you.

on my high horse (or log)

Holy Wally!
Originally uploaded by cerasmus.

here i am playing king of the mountain at the park. sadly, no one wants to give me a polka-dotted jersey. yes, in spite of being four-legged and not two-wheeled, i'm a cycling fan, especially since this year's king of the mountain and i have the same last name (do dogs have last names? the vet thinks i do).

and speaking of le tour, this morning a French newspaper reported that an old wee sample of lance armstrong supposedly tested positive for epo (i've always thought it was weird that naked apes picked up my poo, but each other's wee? that's beyond weird.) the story sounds a bit dodgy since the lab can't confirm the wee was in fact produced by lance and he went on to win 6 more titles, and each time tested negative for epo.

now, i'm no big armstrong fan (i know, i know, inspirational story, amazing athlete, blah blah) but it seems like it's time to move on. maybe he was doping, maybe not. still an amazing athlete and making vague and unproveable (and also unrefutable) claims about some urine from six years ago seems like an unfortunate smear on armstrong and on a sport that may be in trouble post-lance.

if you want to complain about armstrong, though, this author has a good point. going for a joy ride with the president after criticizing the war and with all of the loaded symbolism of biking past a protest is problemmatic. but it is emblemmatic of lance's cycling career (is this is budding political career?). he's rather self-serving and often refuses to use his political/social/cycling capital to help anyone but himself. i know, i know, cancer awareness and research but i'm talking about his fellow cyclists.

it's a bit of a bummer that once again lance has overshadowed the rest of cycling including a victory by another american--this one with a funny name!

in conclusion, i would very much like a polka-dot collar and some epo on my dog food so i can keep up with mocha better. you're not going to save my wee are you?

crimes against animality (or, ewwww).

i would prefer if peta would quit speaking for me in particular and us (as in animals) generally. now i'm a big fan of spaying and neutering (especially for other dogs) and i do my best to bully every unneutered male i see but is this really necessary (thanks to wonkette for the link)? unless it's a campaign to neuter ron jeremy which i'm ok with. i also think the slogan is somewhat questionable--too much sex is a bad thing for animals? it seems to feed into the arguments of those who say that tutoring robs us of our sexual autonomy. which it does but also makes me easier to live with, less aggressive, less pee-happy, and less likely to run off after a hot babe. it also strikes me as a little moralistic. it's not so much sex that's bad for us but uncontrolled reproduction. i know that for dogs sex is usually linked with reproduction but the ads message is unclear. too much sex will turn us into chubby, hygiene challenged porn stars? maybe they should change it to "don't be a dick. spay and neuter your pet." just a crude suggestion.

even more offensive is this. last year peta had to apologize for an ad comparing the plight of animals to the holocaust and so they decided this year to make a comparison with child labor, patriarchy and slavery. now i am an advocate of (non-human) animal supremacy but the analogy frankly stinks worse than a litter box. not only does it equivocate naked ape and animal political/social/ethical needs (and "animal is an awfully broad category--my needs are quite different from those of the tasty cow in the slaughterhouse), but also lumps together some very different naked ape struggles. and in doing so, buys into a somewhat questionable story about the "ever-expanding" rights granted in america. and i don't know if you need a dog to point out the irony that you make the (valid) point that the slave trade was often justified by comparing slaves with animals but then you go on to compare...slaves with animals. and you lump us all together under a category you call "powerless." nice. not to mention peta has done a pretty bang up job for anti-racist and feminist struggles in the past (see generally lilly-white membership and ads frequently objectifying women).

once again it seems that the actual message of what you are asking for is completely lost in the thrill of a pretty ad campaign (see above). what exactly do you want to do? the three particular struggles you discuss were quite different and have had rather different outcomes--children did not/do not need the same thing as women who did not/do not need the same thing as slaves and former slaves. the causes of these forms of oppression (or exploitation) are NOT identical nor have been or will be the range of solutions. just as chaining a naked ape is not the same as chaining an elephant or, presumably, putting me on a leash (same treatment, different meaning!) stop me before i froth at the mouth.

so i say this as someone quite concerned with the plight of animals (especially myself)--even the goddamned cats--but peta, beware of speaking for Others.

Monday, August 22, 2005

dogs on display

while i tend to think we dogs belong in the art museum (dogs like me are truly a work of art, a natural wonder), the philadelphia academy of natural science is hosting a special exhibit called dogs: wolf, myth, hero & friend. unfortunately, it appears they discriminate against us and do not let in their heroes and friends!

they do have an awesome website where you can read about dogs. it's designed for kids and therefore does not include advanced information on catering to your dog's every whim but has some nice information on our evolution (or "intelligent design" if you prefer. but i refuse to believe anything intelligent would make goddamn cats. an evil genius, maybe. )

i came across this fun tool called dog-gone perfect that allows you to build the perfect dog for your particular task (herding, hunting, etc.) i'm REAL MAD that it appears you are unable to build THE perfect dog (me) with a big head, short legs and broad chest. i am perfectly suited for the taks for which i was made: begging for snacks, predator of squeakies, entertainer of naked apes.

wally's weekends

Wally Loves Apollo
Originally uploaded by cerasmus.
i've never quite figured out why you naked apes make the best part of the week (the week END) the shortest and you spend the majority of your time working. of course, i really need the work week to recover from my weekend. the biggest difference between the end of the week and the rest of it is visits to the park where, if i am lucky, i get to harass my favorite chocolate labs (in a pinch another color lab, a shepherd, or any noisy dog will do). here i am with my buddy apollo who is second in my heart only to mocha, the lab who screams. seriously. he bit me on the top of my head last weekend this this weekend? i was still harassing him. that's love.

funny minnesotans

this headline is so obvious yet so funny. but then i like my humor in broad strokes.