July 17, 2014 § Leave a comment
Yesterday Tom Junod at Esquire published a long, thoughtful, and at moments utterly heartbreaking article about pit bulls in America. As he explains, pit bulls –a category that includes pit bull mixes– are ubiquitous nationwide, not just in the inner cities but also, increasingly, in suburban areas. One would think that this would translate to greater acceptance of the breed (or perhaps more accurately, the classification, as pit bulls aren’t really a breed as much as a mix of common traits), but nope, not so much. As he writes:
We might accept pit bulls personally, but America still doesn’t accept them institutionally, where it counts; indeed, apartment complexes and insurance companies are arrayed in force against them. And so are we: For although we adopt them by the thousands, we abandon them by the millions. The ever-expanding population of dogs considered pit bulls feeds an ever-expanding population of dogs condemned as pit bulls, and we resolve this rising demographic pressure in the way to which we’ve become accustomed: in secret, and in staggering numbers. We have always counted on our dogs to tell us who we are. But what pit bulls tell us is that who we think we are is increasingly at odds with what we’ve turned out to be.
July 13, 2014 § Leave a comment
I know, I know, I haven’t been posting much, largely because I immediately jumped from submitting my first book to working on the proposal for my second book, which will focus on antagonism, mischief, and humor online. Also, all these episodes of Broad City, Frisky Dingo, and Sins & Secrets aren’t going to watch themselves, oh well. I will likely return to a more regular posting schedule once my life schedule gets back to normal, or what passes for normal. For now, here is a puppy expressing concern for his elderly friend!
May 31, 2014 § Leave a comment
Yas, yas, YAS! Dogs need to get pumped too you know. I’M GETTING PUMPED JUST THINKING ABOUT IT. They should make one of these for editing books!!!
via What’s trending
April 24, 2014 § Leave a comment
March 23, 2014 § Leave a comment
Part of me clapped and grinned whilst watching this video (yeah yeah it’s from yesterday but I HAD OTHER THINGS TO DO OK?) because dogs are some of my favorite people — all they want is to do right by the humans they love, and they just try so hard no matter what! But another part of me thought the basic premise –haw haw let’s see what happens when we disappear some dog treats– was a little mean, an idea echoed by this article discussing the moral lives of dogs. Dogs have rules, you know, the most important of which is DON’T LIE. Here are some highlights:
Play bows [when dogs crouch down to indicate they're just playing] are honest signals, a sign of trust. Research shows that animals who violate that trust are often ostracized, suggesting that violation of the rules of play is maladaptive and can disrupt the efficient functioning of the group. For example, among dogs, coyotes, and wolves, individuals who don’t play fairly find that their invitations to play are ignored or that they’re simply avoided by other group members. Marc’s long-term field research on coyotes living in the Grand Teton National Park, near Jackson, Wyo., shows that coyotes who don’t play fairly often leave their pack because they don’t form strong social bonds. Such loners suffer higher mortality than those who remain with others.
Play can sometimes get out of hand for animals, just as it does for human beings. When play gets too rough, canids keep things under control by using bows to apologize. For example, a bow might communicate something like, “Sorry I bit you so hard—I didn’t mean it, so let’s continue playing.” For play to continue, it’s important for individuals to forgive the animal who violated the rules. Once again there are species differences among young canids. Highly aggressive young coyotes bow significantly more frequently than dogs or wolves before and after delivering bites that could be misinterpreted.
The social dynamics of play require that players agree to play and not to eat one another or fight or try to mate. When there’s a violation of those expectations, others react to the lack of fairness. For example, young coyotes and wolves react negatively to unfair play by ending the encounter or avoiding those who ask them to play and then don’t follow the rules. Cheaters have a harder time finding play partners.
And that’s what the above video is doing, very cutely, but still, that cookie is a LIE! Not cool man. Not cool.
October 15, 2013 § 1 Comment
Way back in the forever ago (last year), I used to write some things for Chris’ blog Modern Primate, may it rest in peace. It occurred to me that someday the site will likely be recycled for scrap metal, or whatever ends up happening to decommissioned websites, so I’d best start archiving.
This realization coincided with an earlier realization that I have done a horrible job indexing this blog, due largely to the fact that the whole thing started out as a haphazard repository for snarky PhD exam commentary. I had been tagging certain things as “Digital Culture,” for example, but only in relation to my digital culture exam list. All the actual “digital culture” posts, you know, the ones in which I talk about things on and around the internet, got filed under “Spotlight On” or “Lightning Round,” tags I eventually deleted because they were annoying (which didn’t delete the posts, but rather how they’re indexed onsite). This has made searching for stuff very difficult, which is silly if the whole point of a blog is to write things that other humans can find.
Anyway, in order to kill two birds with one post, I’ve transferred the full text of all my Modern Primate writings to their corresponding posts here. And then because I was already doing that, I figured I might as well collate them all in a separate, more easily navigable MEGApost. No one cares! So without further ado:
- Life is “Hard” for Rich White “Girls” (Review of HBO’s Girls)
- TLC: A Retrospective
- TLC Virgin Diaries: The Celebration Continues
Of and Related to Dogs:
- The Death of Internet Culture, Or Not
- Honorary Trolls: Hotness Trolls
- Honorary Trolls: Courtney Stodden
- Quitting Facebook: It’s Not THAT Complicated
- Moving (On) Without Facebook
Santorum Slashfic, which got increasingly weird as the months wore on:
- Episode 1: The Cone
- Episode 2: Rank Stinktorium Takes a Bath
- Episode 3: The Dark Side of Santorum
- Episode 4: Santorum Takes a Stand
- Episode 5 & 6: Ricky Santorum is Bad and Filthy, and Ricky Santorum Wears His Bunny Suit
- Episode 7: Ricky Makes a Career Change
- Episode 8: Scratching the Activia Itch
- Episode 9: Looking for Friends is a Real Grindr
- Episode 10: 50 Shades of Romney
- Episode 11: Ricky Makes His Best Friend a Blingee