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Monday, August 31, 2009

Oops, don't care

Chris Brown apparently still loves Rihanna, to which I reply with "So fucking what?"

Chris Brown says he doesn't remember savagely beating Rihanna and claims he still loves his former girlfriend.

In his first public interviews on the subject, the R&B singer told People magazine and CNN's Larry King that his feelings haven't changed for Rihanna since the February beating that left her bloody and bruised.

"I never fell out of love with her," Brown told People. "That just wouldn't go away."

Brown has just joined the ranks comprised of men who claim to love the women they've brutally beaten, as if that has any merit after the fact. Sorry, it doesn't. Too many women have been told this, only to be physically hurt again. A man has no reason ever to hit a woman. Brown's supposed love for Rihanna is inconsequential. This admission doesn't absolve him of his crime.

Oh, you don't remember beating her, and you love her you say? Well, I suppose you want a cookie or something?

I hope his fans aren't so quick to forgive--his youtube video and now this seem to be a sort of desperate scraping for sympathy. Apologizing and saying he still has feelings doesn't take away what he did.

In case we're all having a hard time remembering what Chris Brown is, I've included a visual aid:

Uh, you're missing a "c," dumbass



No, the missing letter was not, in fact, "Y."

Brought to you by the same genius news channel that can't remember where the fuck Egypt really is:


Apparently no one at Fox can be bothered by a simple fact-check. I don't think I need to bother with a usual rant, as this speaks for itself.

Sadly, I don't think the usual Fox viewers realize there's anything wrong here. And even more sadly is that these same people still view Faux News as a reputable source of information.

H/T: Shakesville and PostBourgie for video

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lazy Sunday

So I've got a couple links for you to enjoy while I enjoy my laziness. Sorry, but there's only two (I did in fact read a ton of great posts, but don't have the energy to find them again right now. I'm running on almost no sleep, and I was at work at 6am, so give me a break, okay?).

Over at Alas, a Blog, there's a great post by nojojojo, regarding Lynn Jenkins' ignorant "great white hope" statement. Very well said. Finally, the racist cat is out of the bag. Maybe the Republican Party will finally own their racism.

And I have to give another shout-out to bike groggette for yet another great post, this one regarding having higher expectations for men doesn't mean she hates all men (I think this is true for most feminists, and needs to be said, since we're always accused of being man-hating whores). You may remember her post "Dear Het Men." I think my troll may have found her through me--maybe transmitting trolls is like some weird bonding thing for lady-bloggers.

If you got links, feel free to share them. I'll be taking a nap.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Remembring Katrina

Today is the day that Katrina reached New Orleans. It's not exactly surprising that not much is being said about this anniversary, given the level of utter incompetence, not to mention the racism. Anyway, I thought Renee said it best:

On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. It ravaged the Gulf Coast from central Florida to Texas. New Orleans was the most affected due to the levees breaking. Many evacuated before the storm hit landfall, however; those unable or unwilling to leave waited out the storm in their homes or in what was known as the place of last resort, the Super Dome. The water lingered for weeks because 80% of the city was flooded.

When former President George W. Bush looked back on this horrific natural disaster, at the end of his term, he spoke of how effectively the residents of New Orleans had been evacuated, however; it is certain, that the 1,836 dead would have had a different opinion, had they still been alive to tell their stories. Not only was Katrina a massive display of incompetence, it revealed the race and class divide, that has become a part of life in America to the world.

[...]

The nation watched in horror, as it became evident that those swimming for their lives were largely Black. This was not the dream that Martin spoke of, where is the long awaited mountaintop? Even the reporting on Hurricane Katrina was largely tinged with racism, as Blacks were accused of looting, while Whites were merely forging for supplies. All of the major news outlets were there broadcasting in solemn tones about the human tragedy and yet no one bother to report on the murders of Blacks in Algiers Point. Anyone stumbling into that area risked being shot, as White vigilantes strove to protect what they deemed to be theirs. In a documentary on this event, two members of the community stated:

It was great!” said one vigilante. “It was like pheasant season in South Dakota, if it moved you shot it ... I am not longer a Yankee.”

A woman responded, “He understands the N word now. In this neighbourhood we take care of our own.”

Even amongst the vulnerable, Whiteness continued to exist with the ability to act with impunity. No investigation was launched by the state regarding the shooting of Blacks, revealing that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, racism continued to factor into the governments decisions on which bodies are considered valuable.

Read the whole thing here.

Dear Anonymous Troll(s)

You've probably been lurking around here, submitting comments to various posts, and see that they never get published. So I will address some issues right now.

I, FilthyGrandeur, identify as a feminist. That said, I do not represent all feminists. I am not the president of feminists, I do not speak for all other feminists, etc. I am one feminist woman that discusses feminist issues from one (read: my) perspective.

Do not come here to lump me into the "you feminists" category, since I assume by "you feminists" you really mean "├╝ber man-haters," which I am not. And do not come here to derail the conversation by discussing something completely unrelated to the post on which you are commenting--it makes you look like an incompetent jackass.

Also, your "issues" with my posts can generally be solved by you actually reading them. I suppose asking an anonymous troll to read may be asking too much, but seriously. Fucking read what's in front of your face before you make an ignorant comment. For instance, if I write about, say, a man who kidnapped a girl with his wife clearly aware, obviously I am acknowledging that this woman had some involvement, simultaneously acknowledging that she may have been a "willing or unwilling" party to this crime. So don't think you're being helpful by telling me I failed to address something that I did, in fact, address.

So just know that the majority (usually depends on my mood) of these comments will not be published (even if it's not explicitly against my comments policy)--I just don't need you assholes dumbing up my space.

Sincerely,

FilthyGrandeur

P.S. Your persistence clearly indicates a lack of hobby. Perhaps you could learn to do something useful with your troll-energy. How about cross-stitch?

Friday, August 28, 2009

On blogging

In the last year, I've been more frequent in my blog posts. What started out as a blog to publish literary analyses quickly transformed into a platform where I could also discuss gender, sexuality, sexism, feminism, race and racism. I have created a space in which I can vent about how much the world sucks, and how awesome people are in it despite that it sometimes sucks. I can be an ally to people of all sexualities and genders.

And I can still write about books, on occasion (though China Mieville's seem to dominate).

For me, this is a space in which I can express myself, support my fellow bloggers, and discuss current issues that affect me as a woman and ally. This is just another form of writing which I have embraced in my self-expression.

I have spent countless hours writing for this site, customizing my space, and even creating my own artwork for its banner. To me, this is the most rewarding work I've done.

And yeah, it doesn't pay money. But it pays in other ways. I've found an awesome support network from readers of this blog, and readers of other blogs, and writers of other blogs who read this blog. I find the majority of the comments rewarding (excluding the occasional troll who doesn't get past the moderation).

And simply because there's no monetary reward doesn't diminish the work I put into this space. It's still work.

I'm a writer. This is not a hobby; it's a very important part of my identity because writing is the one thing I have to do. If I've gone a long period without writing, be it a post, a poem, a short story--even a little something in my journal--I feel empty, hollow. I feel restless, like I've lost something. It's like something is very very wrong.

So to my critics (some of whom I know in my personal life), my writing is mine, and I will do with it as I wish. I may not be free of your judgment, but I will not compromise myself because of it.

stufflikemikans: send me this!

I mean, you're all in the land of awesome things. I expect a case of the above, along with my panda toaster. LOL.

H/T: Shakesville for image

Kidnap and rape victim found after 18 years

By now you may have heard of the woman who was found earlier this week. Jaycee Lee Dugard was missing for 18 years, kidnapped in 1991 when she was only 11 years old.

I cannot even begin to imagine what her kidnapper, Phillip Garrido, did to her.

Phillip Garrido, 58, is being held for investigation of various kidnapping and sex charges. Authorities said his 54-year-old wife, Nancy Garrido, was with him during the kidnapping in South Lake Tahoe and she also has been arrested.

[...]

Garrido has a long rap sheet dating to the 1970s.

He was convicted of kidnapping a 25-year-old woman whom he snatched from a South Lake Tahoe parking lot, handcuffed, tied down and held in a mini-warehouse in Reno, according to a November 1976 story in the Reno Gazette-Journal.

He also has a conviction for rape by force or fear stemming from the same incident, and was paroled from a Nevada state prison in 1988, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

In 1991, police believe he was trolling for victims in South Lake Tahoe in a Ford Granada when he snatched Dugard from a bus stop outside her home. The case attracted national attention and was featured on TV's "America's Most Wanted," which broadcast a composite drawing of a suspect seen in the car.

One thing that really struck me from the article is that the day he was caught and confessed, he went to the University of California with the intent to pass out religious literature. His acquaintances said he'd become something of a religious fanatic in recent years. He's described as speaking incoherently, rambling about God, and even stated, "I tell you here's the story of what took place at this house, and you're going to be absolutely impressed. It's a disgusting thing that took place from the end to the beginning. But I turned my life completely around."

Well, that doesn't change anything, does it? I, for one, don't give a shit how he's supposedly changed, or how much he repents. That cannot undo the damage done to his victims. Repenting doesn't give anyone a free pass on their actions.

I can't help but wonder what sort of role Garrido's wife had in all this, since the victim and her daughters were living in the backyard. I can't help but wonder if she was a willing or unwilling accomplice in her husband's penchant for abduction and rape of minors.

At this time, police are investigating whether or not Garrido also sexually assaulted his daughters.

I hope that bastard rots in prison the rest of his life for what he's done.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fuzz Therapy (Guest Fuzz)

Intransigentia has again graced us with a submission, for which I'm sure Princess is thankful, since it means I'm not ambushing her with the camera. She writes, "Earlier this summer, a stray cat - who turned out to be pregnant - adopted my partner's mom. The attached video is of her kittens." You can check out her partner, The Arbourist, here. Meanwhile, check out these hyperactive baby kitties now:


(Let me know if there's a problem with the video--it's the first video I've ever uploaded to my site).

I wish I was in a house full of rambunctious kitties. That would be totally fun! As long as it isn't my house. Princess does enough damage.

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Submit your fuzzy friend!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Uh...no

Via Racialicious. First the birthers. Now this.

The fine Real Americans at the Free Republic have found Obama’s achilles heel: his Long Dark Staff of White Insecurity.

hoosiermama:
The only other thing that hit me was that Sinclair said BO was not circumcised. When my son was born in a hospital that was done as a matter of routine without even consulting us. Would the same be for Hawaii? OTOH People born at home or in some other cultures are not circumcised.

thecodont:
A relative of mine was born (in a hospital) a couple of years after BO’s alleged birth date. He was circumcised also (as a matter of routine, not according to any family request). […]

MHGinTN:
You might want to make that call to a Canadian hospital …

MHGinTN:
No…it would have been in Kenya….not Canada.

Really?? People are demanding to see his penis?

Did I miss something in the past week, where it was suddenly made perfectly okay to inspect a person's genitals?

Why don't these people just come out and say that what they really cannot stand is a black man running our country? It's quite evident that they're grasping at straws here. The only thing they can do is whine about this stupid conspiracy that Obama is not a citizen--which is just about the best example of fuckwittery I can think of.

That said, I'm admittedly very frightened of the imminent white mobs demanding to see our president's penis...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Drowning in rape culture: victim-blaming and women's bodies as sexual objects

I have written previously about the atrocities committed by George Sodini, and as difficult a subject as this is to address, I thought I'd delve back into it, given the comments I'm still receiving from the first post.

A cursory glance through George Sodini's online diary is nothing less than disturbing. The support of Sodini's actions by other men is frightening.

First off, the victim-blaming is just...astounding. Sodini knew none of the women he murdered, and somehow we're to believe that if a woman does not give men the sex they apparently deserve, any woman can be justifiably killed as retribution.

What this effectively does is remove any semblance of autonomy from women. We have to consistently state that "no means no"; we have the same conversations over and over regarding consent, and what is and is not rape. And just when we think we've gotten somewhere, something like this happens and we're reminded of how little the world thinks of us and our bodies.

And it isn't just about a man desiring the sexual use of our bodies (though Sodini's diary is riddled with dismay at not having had sex in decades, he clearly felt that this was something he deserved--he wasn't frustrated or sad due to a lack of intimacy with another human being). In Sodini's diary, there are many instances where he views women as possessions that legitimize masculinity:

A man needs a woman for confidence. He gets a boost on the job, career, with other men, and everywhere else when he knows inside he has someone to spend the night with and who is also a friend. This type of life I see is a closed world with me specifically and totally excluded.
While he was clearly lonely, it's quite evident that he viewed women as status-boosters. In one entry he mentioned he had a date with a woman, but gave no details. He rated women; he read about teenage girls having sex, and seemed angry that none would have sex with him. More than once he mentioned his looks, his cleanliness, citing these as reasons why women should not have rejected him.

And in response, there have been men who say women should "put out," so this sort of thing won't happen. And there are those that cite this act is reason enough to legalize prostitution. But these arguments, if they can be called such, are weak at best, and seem to be forgetting that 1). men do not have any right to any woman's body without her consent. It doesn't matter how clean or good-looking said man is. It doesn't matter how many drinks he bought her. It doesn't matter how expensive dinner was--nothing gives a man claim over a woman's body. For further information on this, I direct you to bike groggette's "Dear Het Men." And 2). Sodini was obsessed with possessing a woman, not just having sex with someone. He saw other men, especially black men, as competition.

And though we like to tell ourselves that this is just a lone man with issues that do not reflect those of "the rest of us," I can't help but wonder what caused this man, and the scores of men supporting his horrific actions, to view women in such a way.

Women are not to blame; but in a sick way it's not surprising that many are quick to blame us for having the audacity to reject a man, because we live in a rape culture, where women's bodies are constantly on display, where women are portrayed as available, as fuckable, as objects for the heterosexual male gaze, where men assume no means yes, women's bodies are there for the taking, and all it takes is a little persistence coercion.

Because, apparently, we're supposed to have sex out of obligation, not because we like it or have authority over our own bodies (oh, but that would make us sluts).

And saying something as ignorant as "put out or die" is part of the problem, and is not justification to abuse women in any way. Saying, "but men have needs," is not an excuse. And it's not our problem. These attitudes are a small step toward justifying similar horrors against women, and so long as we hold onto these attitudes that women are fuckable objects rather than human beings, then it it'll just breed more of the same.

crossposted

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Happy new week, everyone! I figured I would start the day out with sharing some links. I can do little else until the coffee-induced jitters cease.

Laura at Adventures of a Young Feminist has more on Chanel's photoshopping Keira Knightley's breasts. She's also got an excellent post about the media's obsession with Michelle Obama's attire, and how this obsession effectively ignores her as an intellectual woman.

Since I'm all about gender and language this week, here's an interesting post about women's clothing containing the label "boyfriend."

While I have yet to respond to PETA's bullshit, I found this post by the angry black woman to be highly thoughtful and appropriate.

And if you're one of those "but what about the menz?" people that lurk on feminist blogs, this one's for you. You are now free to pose that question.

Friday, August 21, 2009

How do I love thee, genitalia?

To kick off my posting at SexGenderBody, I've decided to share my sonnets, which some people have already seen. I wrote them both in fun, but I think it's a good way to begin a conversation about our private areas. I often take for granted the level of comfort I have with my own body, and would like other people to achieve comfort with their own bodies. I don't feel that subjects regarding our bodies should be taboo, and that includes activities involving our bodies (yeah, I'm talking about sex and masturbation people!).

Anyway, these sonnets (check the meter and rhyme scheme if you want--they're sonnets!) are written specifically to a penis and vagina, respectively. You can view their original postings here and here.


"There never was a member so defined..."

There never was a member so defined
By manliness manifested by so great a spear,
Which enraptures all, and weakens minds
In its skill and evocation of fear.
So great it is, both in length and power
That one falls prey to its thrust;
And what can it be called short of "spectacular,"
But one finds there are no words so just.
So praise unto this wonderful cock,
Which elicits pleasure and desire;
Where others can pityingly mock,
This magnificent one never tires.
So masculine, Herculean, and hard,
It is luscious, lavish, and unmarred.


In the above sonnet, I purposely use archetypal masculine imagery to epitomize traditional ideas of maleness. In a way, I've chosen to mock the idea of the source of manliness being the penis. I also wanted to sort of reclaim a form of poetry dominated primarily by men--and to also get to the source of the "carpe diem" poetry (mainly the ones whose morals are as follows: life is short, so have sex now). I wrote the sonnet a year before I posted it on my blog, in response to Renee's post at Womanist Musings about being a dickist. Smart ass that I am, I simply couldn't resist.

I thought it only fair to similarly honor my lady parts. Again, this is meant to be funny, and, again, I deliberately use archetypal language describing my vagina. I also acknowledge that my referencing a famous white American artist holds connotations of it's own, but please realize that her paintings are well-known for their vagina imagery.


"Soft pillows of flesh tucked unseen..."

Soft pillows of flesh tucked unseen
Blossoming petals, blooms uncurl
From a center of pleasure wrapped between
Minora, majora, a delicate pearl.
A brilliant structure, support of lattice,
Of Nature, reflecting the natural,
An arch, an arbor--a trellis,
Echoing the seasons, it epitomizes cycle.
Flourished paint strokes, slick with color
It arouses inspiration and greatness
In artists mimicking the gossamer,
And in others, simply faintness.
So superb a chalice, and rose motif
Is exemplified best by Georgia O'Keefe.

In both of these sonnets I've purposely used gendered language that reflects traditional ideas of how gender is tied to these perceived sources of masculinity and femininity. I also like to play with the sounds of words to affect overall perception--the first having harsher consonant sounds, the second relying heavily on softer ones.

Our bodies are beautiful, and are deserving of praise, even the parts we keep hidden.

crossposted

Filthy news

So, there are a couple of new things I'd like to share with you.

First, arvan from SexGenderBody has invited me to be a featured writer over there. This doesn't change a whole lot from this end, except I'll be cross-posting here and there, so I'll include links to that. I'm already excited to begin writing new posts, and having a wider platform to share my writing.

Second, I've created a twitter account, which you may have already noticed from my sidebar. I've been resisting, but if it's to get more attention to "o filthy grandeur!" then it's worth it. I'm very stubborn when it comes to new technology and popular things, which is why it took me so long to even create a blog, and it was only through arvan's insistence* that I signed up for twitter. Most of you are already following me through blogger or google, but you may still want to follow me on twitter. Do whatever the hell you want though.

That said, I'm going to eat my Chinese food, write up a couple more drafts of stuff, and drink a beer. Happy Friday everyone!

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*A better word would be "advice," since whenever there's a new post at SexGenderBody, it automatically gets tweeted (ugh, I hate that word). So basically my stubbornness effectively has no merit. Don't worry. I'll get over it soon.

O rly?

Here's a gem of a quote from anti-choicer Michele Bachmann:

"That's why people need to continue to go to the town halls, continue to melt the phone lines of their liberal members of Congress," said Bachmann, "and let them know, under no certain circumstances will I give the government control over my body and my health care decisions."
Oh, you mean like what we pro-choicers have been saying for fucking ever?

Do us all a favor, Michele, and kindly STFU.


H/T: Feministing for quote and links.

You know what's totally hot, ladiez?

Trigger Warning

Being stalked. And you know what's hot when not actually being stalked? Pretending to be stalked. That's right ladies, your silly feminine desires can be fulfilled, or at least played into, because now you can buy this:
That's right, now you can have this creepy douchebag watchin' you while you sleep, cuz that's totally awesome and not at all creepy. I particularly love what this person has to say (there's another NSFW product at the link that I don't even have the energy to discuss at this point):

Yes, you too can imagine a 100-year-old teenager romantically breaking into your house to stare at you while you sleep! What could be more soothing than knowing a strange man who wants to drink your blood has total access to you when you're utterly unaware and most vulnerable? I can't even imagine!
Just what we need: another goddamn example of romanticizing a criminal act (read: almost every romcom ever).

Fucking. Gross.

I don't know about you, but I'm with this woman:

robert pattinson-
see more Lol Celebs

H/T: GreenishBlue for pic and links.

What's going on white people?

Nicked this from Macon D's stuff white people do. While hilarious, I can't help but be frightened as well (by the white folks making these idiotic assertions, I mean).

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Reform Madness - White Minority
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests


I've been watching the footage of these town hall meetings with a feeling of utter dread. Something in this "post-racial" America has all the racist white people flipping the fuck out. And what is that something, you ask? Why, it's a black man in the big house! And he wants to reform health care. OMG nooooesss!

What the fuck are these people going on about any way? Oh, you want your America back, you say? And what America is that, pray-tell? I'm going to also steal a comment from Macon D's post on this (can't help it--he's got some good stuff there). Anyway, this comment from Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist! is dead-on:
"I WANT MY AMERICA BACK!

I want an America that:

-still legalizes slavery
-still forbids women from voting
-still criminalizes homsexuality
-blacklists anyone who's a "commie"
-women should shut up and stay in the kitchen
-blacks, Asians, and immigrants not allowed to go to all-white schools
-the Confederate flag still allowed to fly in the air
-Hollywood leading roles in movies and TV shows should only go to white people
-no foreign languages allowed in school.. except Latin! since it's a dead language.

..."

yeah? Is that what these racist white folks want? Pathetic.
They're not saying this per-se, but it is implied. And no one's using the word "terrorists" to describe the assholes bringing guns to the town hall meetings. But that's only for scary brown people, right?

The only people crying about "their" America is white people. Is whiteness so threatened by a black man in the White House that it will long for the good ol' days (read: the glory days of white people)?

My mind boggles at the utter fuckwittery involved in this "debate" as white people throw around their racism--and yeah, it's racism. One doesn't need to say the n-word in order to be a fucking ignorant racist.

Apparently health care that would benefit everyone is too much for these privileged bastards to handle.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

But men aren't pretty!

The above was uttered to me earlier today by a co-worker during a conversation where a group of us were listing off bands and musicians, and talking about who we loved and who we wished would stop making music. My boss mentioned loving Jared Leto, to which I could not help but unthinkingly exclaim, "Oh, I love him! He's so pretty!"

This prompted my male co-worker to inform me that "men aren't pretty."

I don't think he meant this maliciously, since he was smiling and shaking his head in that way that people do when they think I've said something funny, even if I hadn't meant to be funny. I really think Jared Leto is pretty, and didn't even have to think before I uttered that.

And it could have been worse. I once had a woman get very upset with me when I said her male puppy was pretty. I knew it was male (because she'd just told me his male name), but I still thought it was a pretty puppy, and I said so. She jerked her dog away from me and stated "He is handsome."

And in these situations I mean it as a sincere compliment. I don't think I say it necessarily because I find something feminine in these males I deem "pretty." There's just something about them that I find aesthetically appealing where no other word will do in my description and praise of them.

I'll admit I'm partially conscious of how I use language to challenge gender barriers, and most of the time I use traditionally feminine descriptors when talking about men. Going back through stories I've written shows that I apply this to male characters as well. But I forget that not everyone is as comfortable challenging gender as I am, and it's in everyday conversations that I'm reminded of this. Not only do we identify with gender and perform gender, but we adhere to strict rules regarding the language of gender. I used an adjective that did not fit the prescribed gender of the noun, and this confused my listener.

Nonetheless, I stand by my assertion that men can be pretty.

Little burgers = little people?

I've seen this commercial a couple of times now, and am uncomfortable with this new ad campaign of Jack-in-the-Box's where little people are used as props as a comparison with their new mini burgers.



The commercial also seems to make a spectacle of the little people--they're mini cowboys with a mini horse and herd mini cattle. They're small and funny, just like these burgers!

It's an othering sort of humor that illustrates difference. That this commercial features little people with little things, and demonstrates the "unusual"* size difference by also including a person of so-called "normal"* height is offensive--and the comparison between the little people and the burgers is dehumanizing.

Am I missing anything?

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*I use these terms loosely, and fully acknowledge that they're relative terms.

Any thoughts?

Apparently this judge knows something I don't

Trigger warning

Or maybe I know something he doesn't. Cara over at The Curvature has posted about this man.

Three years ago in B.C., Canada, a woman woke up in the bed of the man in the image to the left. She was bleeding and bruised, and though she remembered going out for a night on town, she didn’t remember how she got in this bed, or what had happened to her. Medical examinations determined that a man had vaginally penetrated her, and also found sedatives in her system.

The man’s name is Fernando Manuel Alves, and he pleaded guilty to sexual assault in the rape of this woman. He was initially charged with sexually assaulting three other women, and administering a noxious substance, though those charges were eventually dropped.

Despite pleading guilty, though, to the rape of a woman who has described since feeling the loss of both her will to live and ability to feel safe, Alves is not going to spend a single day in jail. No, instead, he received a 9 month conditional sentence, and placement on the sex offender registry.

Why, exactly, is Alves not being sent to jail for his violent crime, when non-violent criminals are sent there all the time? Well, that would be the point of particular interest:

In sentencing, the B.C. provincial court judge said Alves was not pathologically dangerous but had committed a crime of opportunity.

The judge ordered that Alves be placed on the sex-offender registry for the next 20 years but that he not spend time in jail.

Yes. Seemingly, since the judge felt the need to express as much during sentencing, Alves is not going to jail because he is believed to be not pathologically dangerous. And the way we know he is not dangerous is because his crime, his rape, was one of of opportunity.

One can only assume that when a rape is called a “crime of opportunity,” the “opportunity” in question is a woman being in the rapist’s presence.

I don't even know where to begin with how fucking ridiculous this shit is. Calling this a "crime of opportunity" is misogynist victim blaming which says the victims simply do not matter. I cannot imagine the trauma his victims are now suffering from, and can only assume it has worsened by the lack of punishment. Apparently it was his victims' faults for being in his proximity, which of course removes any agency and responsibility from the rapist.

Cara goes onto point out

We are constantly treated as though our bodies are opportunities for rape. Victims are constantly told that they created an opportunity for someone to hurt them. And it’s absolutely disgusting that a court would buy into and propagate such a notion.

And it gets almost impossibly more disgusting still when you look at the fact that contrary to the judge’s assertion, this man actually is dangerous, not only because he has proven himself to see women’s bodies as an opportunity for rape, but because he has been accused of rape numerous times before.

In a rape culture such as ours, is it any wonder why most victims of sexual assault do not report the crimes, fearing the pervasive victim-blaming? This may be shocking to some people, but the only person responsible for rape is the rapist. It is entirely irrelevant to take into account what the victim was wearing, how much the victim drank, where the victim was, when the victim was there, if the victim was alone or with friends, etc.

No man has any excuse EVER to sexually assault a woman. And this judge is a fucking moron for thinking this man isn't dangerous.

But I guess that's what we women get for FUCKING EXISTING.


H/T: shani-o at PostBourgie

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Record-breaking runner must undergo "gender testing"--whatever the fuck that means

So I just found this. It's another one of those moments that makes me want to smash my head into something. Or just smash something. I'm gonna find something to smash.

And can anyone blame me? Especially when you read this:

Facing questions about her gender, South African teenager Caster Semenya easily won the 800-meter gold medal Wednesday at the world championships.

Her dominating run came on the same day track and field’s ruling body said she was undergoing a gender test because of concerns she does not meet requirements to compete as a woman.

[...]About three weeks ago, the international federation asked South African track and field authorities to conduct the verification test. Semenya had burst onto the scene by posting a world-leading time of 1:56.72 at the African junior championships in Maruitius.

Her dramatic improvement in times, muscular build and deep voice sparked speculation about her gender. Ideally, any dispute surrounding an athlete is dealt with before a major competition. But Semenya’s stunning rise from unknown teenage runner to the favorite in the 800 happened almost overnight. That meant the gender test—which takes several weeks—could not be completed in time.

Before the race, IAAF spokesman Nick Davies stressed this is a “medical issue, not an issue of cheating.” He said the “extremely complex” testing has begun. The process requires a physical medical evaluation and includes reports from a gynecologist, endocrinologist, psychologist, internal medicine specialist and gender expert.(emphasis mine)

First, I'd like to point out the obvious fail in language: the speculation shouldn't be regarding her gender--I think they mean "sex." You know, that whole biology thing. Gender has nothing to do with sex, since gender is how one presents oneself.

Second, what the hell sort of criteria are we going by here?? Are they going to demand a picture of her genitals?

And third--deep voice? Muscles? Omg, it's as if women can't possibly have these things! May I present exhibit A:



(Had to go with Bea Arthur--I miss her so).

And B:


So yeah...these "speculations" are sexist--they're saying a woman couldn't possibly be breaking these records, or be so muscly. This all plays into the "she must be a man" insult (suggestive of calling cisgender women "trannies," which is insulting to cisgender women, as well as transgender women since it implies that transgender women aren't beautiful), saying a woman is masculine or resembles a man.

Again: gender is how one identifies, and how they present themselves. It is not indicative or dependent upon genitalia.

It is not clear in the article how exactly Semenya identifies, as she did not speak about this as of yet. I would like to point out, however, that whatever Ms. Semenya has between her legs is irrelevant.

I feel like more could be said about this, but I acknowledge that I'm not the one to say it. Thoughts?

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Update: Monica over at Transgriot has weighed in on this:

But this plays into a larger meme of ignorance and preconceived notions about what is and isn't feminine. The fact that Black women have historically been saddled with the baggage of being considered less than female vis a vis the vanilla flavored beauty standard only adds to this drama.

Add archaic and stereotypical notions about what athletic feats a woman is capable of producing, throw in a little borderline racism and you have a recipe for negative behavior and judgmental commentary to come out of people's mouths.

If it coincides with what the 'experts' consider as 'too rapid' athletic performance for a woman, she may find herself being subjected to a battery of embarrassing and invasive tests just to prove to cynical skeptics that she's 'woman enough' to compete in elite sports with other women.

Fuzz Therapy

Hello everyone. I certainly hope you're all having a great week so far. Despite my sort of break, I was not going to miss Fuzz Therapy. And since I'm grumpy, I thought I'd share a couple of grumpy pet pics (one sans fuzz).

Here, we see an angry Princess about to get her nails clipped. Don't worry--she's not in any pain. She's simply pissed the fuck off. The only way to accomplish a nail-clipping of Princess without involving my death is to recruit my fiance to hold her by the scruff. Throughout the (apparently) agonizing ordeal, Princess hisses and growls, to which I respond "Oh yeah, I'm such a terrible mommy! Look at me, taking care of you and stuff!" She won't look at me while I clip her nails; and when the task is finally complete, I step back, and my fiance releases her while we both wear looks of terror. He might as well be releasing an alligator he just jumped on and pissed off.

Thankfully Princess has a short term memory for things making her angry. She's lovey again within minutes (and by "lovey" I mean, completely ignores me and only acts sweetly when she wants a quick scratch, or is bored).

And I'll reintroduce you to my turtle, Whoopi. I'm amazed I was able to get the above picture at all, given that she was pacing along the side of her tank. She enjoys banging her shell into the glass to get my attention. Usually when she's hungry, she'll perch on top of her food dish (you can sort of see it underneath her--it's the rock-like thing) and stare me down until I get the hint. She's like a rude patron at a restaurant. When signaling with looks doesn't work, she'll opt for loud displays of impatience.

I know I'm not the only one with rude-ass pets. I expect some submissions, people!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I got ur fails right here

Keira Knightley's breasts have been tampered with again.

On the left is the ad. Below is a shot taken while stylists were attending her during the shoot. Can you spot the difference?










This is a continuing battle for Knightley, who has stated that she is proud of her body, and who, in the past, has refused to let images of her body be augmented. I admit my crush on Knightley deepens whenever she speaks up for her breasts.

I'm not even going to go into the obvious airbrushing beyond the photoshopped breasts; I'll just point out that apparently women are only beautiful if they have breasts and look plastic.

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You've probably already heard about the latest transphobic idiocy, courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration. Basically under these new policies, transgender flyers will be outed as transgender since it requires that they use a name that reflects their gender (and by gender, they ignorantly mean what's between the individual's legs). According to Jos at Feministing:

Many trans individuals do not have identification that matches their presentation or the name they regularly use. Others have IDs with conflicting information. The Advocate asked the TSA how trans folks should handle these situations and got some very un-helpful advice:

TSA spokesman Dwayne Baird told Advocate.com on Thursday that transgender travelers who are purchasing tickets should declare "the gender that they were at the time that they booked their flight."
And Monica from Transgriot states:
The first implementation phase of the initiative required that airlines collect the names of all passengers as shown verbatim on government-issued identification.

The next phase began August 15 on several air carriers. It requires passengers to declare their gender at the time of booking their flights.

By the end of March 2010 all companies will be required to obtain gender information from persons booking travel.

TSA spokesman Dwayne Baird told Advocate.com in a recent interview that transgender travelers who are purchasing tickets should declare "the gender that they were at the time that they booked their flight."

However, Baird said he was unsure whether those who don't identify with a specific gender or are in transition would be held to the same rules.

Kristina Wertz, the Transgender Law Center's legal director, said the new regulations will likely exacerbate airport hassles that some transgender people already face while traveling.

No kidding. One of the potential consequences of having your trans business disclosed is a situation in which the traveling transperson could be subjected to harassment, disrespect and discrimination by airline personnel, security, customs officials if they're travelling internationally and other passengers. (emphasis mine).
And, keeping with the ugly transphobic theme, there's this about a transwoman named Kate Lynn Blatt
whose employer requested a photograph of her genitalia as a condition of continued employment.

Blatt was working for Manpower, a temporary employment service. After she was asked to leave a job she was on for Manpower in 2007, they told her that she’d have to provide documentation from her surgeon regarding genital surgery, plus a photograph of her genitalia in order to seek further employment through them. (emphasis mine).

::::Head. Desk::::

Here we have a classic example of cisgender privilege. We do not demand to see evidence of someone's genitals when their gender identity matches their biology. This is harassment. Tell me this is illegal--but we all know transgender individuals aren't really human, amirite?

Hey, Manpower--GENITALIA DOES NOT EQUAL GENDER.

Let's make some noise supporting Blatt and her lawsuit against Manpower.

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Today's win, of course, is the sentencing of Dwight DeLee for the murder of Lateisha Green, which occurred on November 14, 2008. He has been sentenced to 25 years, and his conviction of committing a hate-crime is only the second ever in the U.S. which involves a transgender individual. It's a bitter win, however, because a young woman's life was stolen. My heart goes out to Lateisha's family. I hope the asshole rots. More details can be found here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

My apologies (and a sort of request for guest posts, if anyone's interested)

I feel like I should post something to let everyone know what's going on--you may have noticed the lack of substantial posts here, especially since before I went on vacation I was rather disciplined. Well, without getting into too many details, I am having issues which have left me upset, depressed, and angry, and I have been unable to channel these emotions into my regular posts. In fact, I've tried several times in the last few days to actually write up something, and after only a sentence or two, I would give up. I just don't feel like posting anything right now. This, of course, only worsens the above emotions, since posting here on my very own special space made by me once was a beloved pastime, even if the subject matter was less than likable.

At any rate, I will try my best to get back on track. In the meantime I'll probably have filler posts--or maybe none at all depending on my mood. I only ask that you be patient with me. If you have any questions feel free to email me at FilthyGrandeur@yahoo.com.

If anyone is interested in guest posting here as well, you may contact me either by my email, or by commenting on this post.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New layout

I was getting sick of the same old pre-made blogger template and thought I'd try something different. It was sort of frustrating given that the above artwork sort of dictated the look I wanted to achieve, and that of course had to exist within the boundaries of pre-made templates floating around the internet (I would love to learn how to code, but sadly I've not the patience for it beyond simple link coding on forums).

Hopefully everyone likes it--I tried to make it easy on the eyes (something I can appreciate given the amount of blogs I read per day). I will probably spend the next week or so tweaking it, perfectionist that I am.

This is just...inspiring. And adorable

According to the caption of the above photo, "Frank Echols, right, and Bob Robinson kiss at Love Park in Philadelphia on Saturday Aug. 15, 2009, during a kiss-in organized by gay rights activists. On Saturday activists are gathering in more than 50 cities in the U.S. and Canada for the Nationwide Kiss-In a mass demonstration of public affection."

You can read more here. I am planning to post more on this soon, but I wanted to share this, since I'm all about people engaging in public affection with people they love. It's just beautiful.

Kisses for everyone!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Random late-night drunk post

Yeah, I smell a new feature.

Beer's a-flowing. The fiance and I are gettin in the mood for the Wayne concert next month. And I just watched Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for the third time. Johnny Depp is amazing--and I just realized why: his looks aside, it's his hands. Yeah. I'm serious. Go watch a movie with him in it--pick any one. And watch his hands. What other actor possesses such talent that even his hands are part of the character? The answer of course, is no one.

I'm hoping to get back on track next week. There are a couple of links I want to either discuss in full or share with everyone. But for now, it's Friday night--I hope you all are enjoying it!

Had to share this

I saw this woman five minutes ago on my local news, and I just had to check youtube to see if she was there too. I figure everyone could use a smile too.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Man, I can't take all the blubs...

Seriously...why do parents have to be so loving?

Woke up this morning to read this from MommyGrandeur. And then there's this from DaddyGrandeur (lol--I'm so imaginative today). And, of course, they're blubtastic.

I am truly grateful to have parents who love and support me. They not only helped me grow, but gave me room to grow on my own. I know I've done things that have upset them; I've done typical stupid teenage things to piss them off; and it means a lot to me to know that they support me in all I do, even if they may not agree or understand.

I don't have to mold myself into something I'm not for them. I can speak openly, about anything that I am passionate about, about anything that may be troubling me. And that means the world to me.

Feeling poetic today

I was suddenly caught in a Baudelairean mood, and read a couple of poems from the man above (this post, not the way above). So I thought I would share a poem with my readership (maybe I'll make this a regular thing here--if I am so compelled). What I love about Baudelaire is his use of grotesque imagery (I lament that something is lost in the English translations I read; perhaps I'll pick up French again one day). I also love that each of his poems reflects part of the troubled spirit contained within him. In his life, he had very troubled relationships with the people around him. He never married. His life's work was condemned, and the famous six poems were forbidden to appear in print until nearly a hundred years after his death. If you do not have a copy of The Flowers of Evil in your book collection--well, I don't even know what to say (sorry, I'm biased...). The last two stanzas are particularly poignant, at least to me (Baudelaire often uses imagery invoking alcoholics). Enjoy.


Vat of Hatred

Hate is the leaking vat of the Danaides;
Even baffled Vengeance, his shoulders hard and red,
Exerts himself in vain to fill the puzzling space
With buckets full of blood and tears drained from the dead.

The Fiend has opened secret sewers in the well
Through which could pour a thousand years of sweat and strain,
When he himself will raise each victim's mortal shell
To squeeze, to resurrect the body once again.

Hate is a sodden drunkard on the tavern floor
Who suffers from an endless thirst for alcohol;
Like Lorna's hydra, it's his own progenitor.

--The cheerful drunkards know the reason for their fall,
But Hatred is an addict who is never able
To fall down drunk and sleep it off under the table.

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Works Cited

Baudelaire, Charles. "Vat of Hatred." The Flowers of Evil and Paris Spleen. Trans. William H. Crosby. Rochester, NY: BOA Editions, Ltd., 1991. 135.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Damn straight, Hillary



Despite this completely appropriate response in which Hillary asserts her authority, and points out that she is an autonomous woman not reliant upon her ex-president husband, the Associated Press has published this gem: "US Official Struggles to Explain Clinton's Outburst."

Um...excuse me? How the fuck does her totally awesome response constitute an outburst? Anyway, I like how Melissa of Shakesville says it:

Nowhere in these reports will you read that Clinton's terse response was the appropriate diplomatic response to the question as posed to her.

The question, as asked, was a deeply misogynist one. It disrespected Clinton as the United States Secretary of State, and it disrespected her as a person, specifically because she's a woman. What does your husband think? You are merely the wife of an important man.
Of course, this may be an error in translation (at this point we're not sure if the translator goofed up, or the student asking the question did); nonetheless I don't think that Hillary Clinton's response was out of line or unwarranted.

What really bothers me is how this completely overshadows the purpose of Clinton's visit to the Congo in the first place, which was to raise awareness and seek to reduce the occurrence of rape against women. As Melissa states:

With that backdrop as a setting, Clinton's response to the question as asked was not only entirely appropriate, but excellent diplomacy on behalf on Congolese women.
Keep doin' what you're doin', Hillary--I adore you, and your unapologetic insistence at being treated like a human being.

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I'd also like to include this video, via Shakesville (where the hell else?):



Of which, Melissa states:

Not only was Bush not described by the mainstream media after this incident as having "blown up" or "snapped"—his newest malapropism was, at worst, turned into a punchline, just another joke from a harmless clown (Oh, that kooky Bush! What a jokester!), but generally cited as more evidence of what a jus'-folks sorta brush-clearin' and straight-shootin' guy you'd like to have beer with. Just like all the rest of his bullying was by a fawning media.

Bush routinely affected an equivalently belligerent demeanor when questioned during press conferences. Never was he given the media treatment Clinton's received over the past few days. Not even close.

The double standard is gobsmacking, if totally unsurprising.

Fuzz Therapy

Well it's that time again: your weekly dose of Fuzz Therapy, and since I'm home with my family (consisting primarily of a grumpy turtle, Princess, and my wonderful man), I'll let Princess take this one.

Here, we see an irritated fluffies. I guess I should know better than to shove a camera in her face while she's napping.

But with a little adjustment, all is right with the world again.

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Submit your fuzzy friend to be featured on Fuzz Therapy. See Submission Guidelines.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My mommy's a blogger!

And is also one of my followers, as well as an occasional commenter here. Known as luvandfamily on her blog I BELIEVE (yeah, she loves the caps lock), I've decided that here, she may sometimes be referred to as MommyGrandeur (lol!). Right now I'd like to direct you to her page on vertigo, which is a great firsthand example of the frustration of living with an invisible disability, especially when having to see a number of doctors that just will not listen / believe when their concerned patients are trying to explain what they're experiencing.

Highly recommended quick-read

I thought this open letter, titled "Dear Het Men," was very appropriate in the wake of the atrocities committed by Sodini, and wanted to share it with you all. While I'm glad that someone wrote this, I'm quite disheartened that we still have to say these same things over and over. With overwhelming support of Sodini, and the sympathy with which the media has bestowed upon his miserable soul, this clearly hasn't been said enough. So, go read it.

"Monk": Slut-shaming, and female bodies are just icky

[Spoiler alert]
I finally caught this season's first episode of "Monk," where Adrian apparently idolized a show called "The Cooper Clan" which is an obvious parallel to "The Brady Bunch." I'll note that this is supposed to be the final season of Monk, which leaves me feeling sad, but also relieved since it's had a good run and it's about time it ended. I'll take this moment to profess my undying love of the character Monk, and the whole show, and I will admit to having a crush on Tony Shalhoub (this is a preemptive response to the inevitable accusations that I'm bashing the show or the actor--which I'm not--I'm just examining aspects of the show).

Anyway, "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show" which you can view in full here (at least until the video is expired) is a prime example of the slut-shaming that I've noticed previously, only this time it's worse.

We all know Adrian Monk is uptight, especially in regards to sex, but for some reason it's even worse when it's in regards to female sexuality. He is repulsed by female bodies. There are plenty of examples of his disgust with the human body in general, but when we look at how many times he's disturbed by male bodies vs. female bodies, there are certainly much fewer examples of the male bodies.

In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame," Adrian and Sharona meet with an art teacher who is posing nude for his class, and Monk would rather "let a murderer go" because he "can't talk to a naked man." When Sharona insists that there's nothing wrong with nudity, and goes on to say that Adrian must see himself naked, Adrian replies in a horrific admission "Just once." At least this illustrates his discomfort with all bodies, to which even his own is no exception (though it certainly makes me sad).

In "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man," Monk is again confronted with the nude male body (and some nude female ones), and must overcome his discomfort (to a degree) to solve the case.

But then we have all the examples of female bodies that Monk must confront, and those aren't even completely naked. In "Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas," he won't look at the show girls because they are "naked-ish." In fact, it gets ridiculous because he goes to extreme lengths to not look at the women, even holding his hand up to cover all but the face of one woman whom he's interviewing.

In "Mr. Monk and the Playboy" he refuses to look at a woman in a bikini, and busies himself with something else until she leaves the room. In that same episode, while investigating the murder, he tries to look at the magazine the title playboy created, and after a few attempts he drops it, and demands that Sharona give him a wipe immediately.

And then there's "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan," where Adrian shouts to people on the street, informing them that Sharona is a "fornicator."

And in "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring," there is a scene in a museum where Adrian goes through the miracle of birth exhibit, entering the giant vagina, and having a panic attack once inside. He begs Natalie to leave, and when she finally consents, he goes through the fire escape to avoid going "through the pelvis" again, stating "I think this one's going to be a Cesarean."

But all these can be written off as funny--Monk's quirky, he has OCD and several phobias, and is just trying to function without having to see people's nasty bodies. Okay, fine. But watching "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show" was a forty minute jaw-drop moment for me. (Note, I find it interesting that a character that identifies as straight is most repulsed by female bodies).

Natalie glances through Christine Rapp's book (Christine Rapp being the child star that Adrian loved most from the show) and is shocked at what she reads. Now, "Monk" is a pretty mild show, so a lot of things are just sort of implied. About 6 minutes into the episode, Natalie and Disher look through the book in disgust, and "page 73" is apparently the worst example. At first, it seems it could be anything, but as the episode progresses, we are sort of nudged into the assumption that Christine Rapp, is in fact, a slut.

How do we know this, you ask? Well, there's apparently astounding evidence supporting this. 13 minutes in, Adrian discovers a mirror above Christine's bed--in his naivety he's unaware of the obvious purpose of having a mirror on the ceiling (as he is also in "Mr. Monk and the Playboy"). About 15 minutes in, Christine hits on Adrian, saying "Shy, huh? I like that in a man," and after she leaves, her publicist informs him that Christine "likes anything in a man."

It doesn't end there. Nearly 19 minutes in, an ex (male) co-star of Christine's states that she's "a liar, a loud-mouth, and a tramp." OMG he totally went there! And then the Captain orders Adrian to read Christine's novel, which of course crushes him. He idolized the woman (or rather her character) and suddenly her sexual exploits tarnished his worship of her, even to the point where he suggests she's nothing but a slut 24 minutes in. When she says she's signed a million autographed photos, Adrian acidly states, "I'll bet you have." Not only is she slut-shamed, but 25 minutes in she actually apologizes to Adrian. Now, I know the show meant a lot to Adrian's character, but I was sort of uncomfortable seeing a woman have to apologize for her sexual history--and then make excuses for it, such as her being young, which makes absolutely no sense, since she's obviously still sexual with various men in her middle years. This defines a clear distinction between "good girls" and "bad girls," and the bad girls must eventually repent, or at least feel guilty about their sexual history, which I think is bullshit because this sort of shame does not exist for a man. This also plays into the myth that women don't enjoy sex, and those that do are just filthy sluts.

Oh, but it's okay, because that slut's off to jail, since she's also a murderer and all. See ladies? If you love sex, you're a dirty slut; and then you'll do other bad things like kill people, and end up in jail.

I'm interested in what the rest of the season will have to offer, but I'm admittedly worried.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Adding my voice to the awesomeness of the Diva Cup

Yeah, this is a period post, and certainly can fall into the TMI category. Male readership, I'll give you a free pass on this one, but I still issue the challenge to stay, since I'm all about normalizing the natural process that is the female menstrual cycle.

I had heard about the Diva Cup before, but wasn't that curious about it. It wasn't until this post, which I found via Shakesville that I found myself reading more about it. In fact, after only an hour of posting my comment at Jump off the Bridge, I located a store that carried the Diva Cup, and rushed off to purchase one. And then the impossible happened--I couldn't wait for my period to start so that I could try it out.

It has been such a relief, especially since my period started while I was on my vacation. I was thrilled not having to pack extra tampons, or having to count out the day's rations before going somewhere. The cup is ten times more comfortable than tampons, and is actually pretty simple to get in place. I don't know about anyone else, but after a week of using tampons, my lady parts are a little less than happy. And of course there's that good feeling that I'm reducing waste by using a reusable product. So now I'm saving money, I don't have to worry about running out of tampons, I have no worries about leaks, and I'm using a product that is not the least uncomfortable. I'm going to call that a win.

My only regret is not buying this miracle product sooner.

Now, if only I didn't have to take a handful of ibuprofen to get rid of these cramps, it'd be like my period was nonexistent!

Vacation pics!!!

I thought I'd share my favorite pictures from my recent trip (now that I've had substantial rest). Click on any of them to make them bigger. All the animal pics are from Lowry Park Zoo.

Sunset at Hudson Beach

A bearded pig coming over to say hello.

Someone looks hot.

Cute monkey! (Took forever to get the little guy to turn his face toward me)

Flamingos

Alligator snapping turtle. All of my pics of this thing came out fuzzy, but I still think this one looks neat. Damn turtle didn't sit still for one second. Who knew?

Kangaroo

A sweaty FilthyGrandeur feeding the goats. I whined for over an hour that I wanted to visit the petting zoo. Then my family gave in. Then I begged for quarters. As you can see, I won.

Stingray. I got to pet those too. As you can tell, I have to touch stuff.

Me trying to figure out what's flopping around in the water.

I had a lot of fun, but I did get teased for my lack of tanliness. I didn't come back with a tan either. Thanks SPF 30--that sun had nothing on you!