Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

Today I’m starting off with a confession: I don’t really know how to celebrate Thanksgiving. My parents never made a big deal about it, choosing instead to let us watch cartoons and eat turkey patties all day. Turkey patties are objectively disgusting, by the way. Even thinking about them makes me convulse in pain. This is unfortunate because I’ve been thinking about them for the past few minutes and kicked the coffee table really hard in mid-convulsion. When I moved out on my own, Thanksgiving meant watching cartoons and eating pizza out of a bowl (please do not ask me how I did this. I do not know). Now, it means going to Modesto to spend Thanksgiving with Allen’s family, which is actually the closest to a traditional Thanksgiving as I have ever home. It mainly involves eating and drinking myself into a stupor and then playing cards with Allen’s sister-in-law’s grandmother, who threatens me with bodily harm because I play very, very badly. Here comes my second confession: each year Allen fixes me a Tofurky all for myself. And then I eat it. And every year I discover I like Tofurky less and less, mainly because I have to eat it myself. I finally told Allen not to get a Tofurky this year, and while there were tears and recriminations, Allen and I are okay. And we’re making Gardein “turkey” instead. However, Thanksgiving always makes me think how ridiculous it is that we center an entire holiday around slaughtering a Turkey and then saying “thanks for all the blessings!” over its dead body. It doesn’t make any sense and it’s not at all fair.

Here’s another thing that isn’t fair: Remember those dogs I wrote about the otherĀ  week? The ones that were sent to Afghanistan on all-out suicide missions? That was sad. Then I read this article about Target, a homeless Afghan dog that stopped a suicide bomber from entering a U.S. military base. Target was deemed a hero and was sent to Arizona to be adopted by a loving family. Happy ending, right? WRONG! Not used to being confined to a yard, Target escaped and was captured by Pinal County’s Animal Control. Then, because she had not yet been tagged or micro-chipped, she was placed on PCAC’s website, and even though her guardian paid the fee to recover her, Target was mistakenly euthanized. This is a dog that was on Oprah, you guys. She saved countless people’s lives; and she was murdered because some lady at Animal Control made a mistake. Rest in peace, Target.

This is probably a good time to remind you to get identification tags, a microchip, and license for your companion animal. It can be the difference between life and death.

However, I’m not all about bad news! Did you know that it is now acceptable to wear fur as long as the animal that was killed for your earmuffs was a pest and a nuisance? That’s right! Nutria fur is GUILT-FREE and fashion-forward TO THE MAX! (Do we say “to the max” anymore?) Why? Because Nutria are hella annoying and eat plants. I get it, okay? Nutria are damaging a fragile ecosystem and apparently they’re not very cute (wrong!). Does this really give anyone license to wear their fur? I mean, come on. You know who I find annoying? Julia Stiles! She is a horrible actress, didn’t do her own dancing in Save the Last Dance, and didn’t even return my hello when she rented movies at the video store at which I worked—this last one is probably the most damning. No matter how annoying and useless I find her, I can still not justify murdering her and wearing her skin. Actually, this brings me to another point: Why do you want to wear the fur of an “ugly” and “loathsome” animal? Why not relocate it? Why put it on parade in Williamsburg, N.Y.? Why cap its teeth in silver and turn them into necklaces? There are a lot of questions here and not enough correct answers. CONFIDENTIAL TO THE PEOPLE MAKING THESE “FASHIONS”: Why not protest the murder of animals instead of turning them into a “beautiful” profit? I’m going to have to be honest and let you know that the argument that “They’re being killed anyway, so why not turn them into fashions?” doesn’t hold much water. I would draw some comparisons here, but my mother reads this and the last thing I need is another angry phone call that begins with, “What you mean by ‘Hogocaust,’ Mark? You think you so funny and smart but really not!!!!” and ends with her not speaking to me for three to five weeks.

In other news, apparently the animal rights group known as the Justice Department sent a package of HIV-tainted razor blades to two scientists at UCLA, one who participates in primate vivisection and one who does primate drug experiments. Listen, I find vivisection as deplorable as the next militant animal-rights activist, but sending someone razors tainted with an incurable disease is probably not the way to go. First of all, it’s not going to get your point across, and second of all, it is bad biology. HIV cannot live outside the body for more than a few minutes so it’s not going to do anything to anyone. And it’s certainly not going to stop these people from torturing primates. You know what, I was all set to offer some solutions, but there aren’t really good ones I can think of. I just don’t like people sending each other threats and weapons through the mail.

That’s all for this week! Please send me links for next week. Have an awesome Wednesday and a fun and safe Thanksgiving!

[tofurky photo by Aine D; nutria photo by jimstewart3]


Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

Today’s WTF Wednesday is brought to you by the power of the all-nighter. I’m telling you guys, my brief love affair with Vicodin last week really put me out of commission. So much so, that when I began reading over my hour-long presentation about crises in psychotherapy for this afternoon I realized that all I had done was fill an entire PowerPoint file with photos of Miley Cyrus and Paris Hilton. I’m sure I had some kind of master plan—mainly because I left some cryptic notes such as “lol here!” and “Yes, that is where this joke goes!” in the outline—but unfortunately I am now only on copious amounts of Ibuprofen, which makes accessing the part of my psyche that came up with this plan completely impossible. Before I start weeping and rewriting, I thought I’d bring you all the latest fuckery happening on the internet this week.

First up, horses. The Breeder’s Cup just finished. This by itself is a giant WTF! Who ever decided that it would be a good idea to put tiny little men on top of horses and then race them around a track for shits and giggles? Was it the same person who decided that the best way we could get in touch with bulls was by dressing up in a stupid costume and stabbing them as they charged at us? What is the appeal of horse racing? Is it the giant hats that the ladies wear? The sinking realization that you’ve lost Junior’s college fun on a horse named “Life at Ten”? Or is it the cruelty of putting horses through their paces, forcing them to go faster and faster around a never-ending ring as they compete for a prize they will never get to enjoy? Is it the drugs? I’m about 200 percent certain that the horses aren’t interested.
Actually, I am about 300 percent certain that horses would prefer that you not climb upon their back and squeeze their sides to make them gallop. Maybe if you gave them a choice, but I doubt it. You know how I know that? When I was 12, my brother had an ear infection. Because my parents are fairly hysterical people who raised fairly hysterical sons, we took him to the emergency room. I was not allowed to stay home alone because three years previous, I had tried to bake a cake by microwaving a bowl of dry fruit loops. As you may imagine, the wait in the emergency room was horrible. I had quickly finished both my Phyllis Reynolds Naylor as well as the Baby-Sitters Club Super Special I had brought along and was looking around for someone to bother. Just then, a girl burst wailing into the waiting room, followed by her parents. Her hand was bleeding profusely and her mother was screaming “A horse bit her! A horse bit her!” at anyone who would care to listen.
“What happened?” asked the nurse behind the desk.
“She was riding the horse,” the girl’s mother screamed. “And when she got off, it turned around and bit her in the hand!”
“I didn’t even want to go on the horse!” the girl screamed back. “They made me! Child abuse!”
And that’s how I know horses don’t like to be ridden.

Have we talked about dogs lately? Have you heard about the dogs they’re dropping out of planes into Afghanistan? No, this isn’t another opiate-fueled hallucination; U.K. special forces are actually parachuting German Shepherds into Afghanistan with cameras attached to their heads. Have we asked anyone how dogs feel about this? I mean, if they feel humiliated being dressed up, I’m sure they’re scared shitless jumping out of a plane with some dude strapped to their back. The dogs are sent in to look for insurgents and are trained to attack anyone that is armed. Not surprisingly, eight dogs have died this way. The official response has been something like, “Well, that would have been eight of our men, so…” Ugh, you idiots! Those dogs ARE eight of your men. And I’m sure they won’t be receiving any medals of honor. I don’t even know what to say about this except to wonder why this isn’t against any kind of animal cruelty laws. These animals are literally being sent to their deaths! This isn’t the first time we humans are pulling shit like this. During World War II, the Russian army had an entire program dedicated to training dogs with explosives attached to themselves to run under enemy tanks and explode! It was so ineffective, it actually killed some Russian human soldiers! I don’t even know how to comment on this because it is making me angry just thinking about it and since it is late at night I should probably avoid yelling at my computer screen, so let’s move on!

Here’s some exciting news. All that science stuff we’ve been learning in school and hearing about on the news has finally proven to be useful. We now know which animal has the biggest testicles! I hate to spoil the surprise for you, but I’m going to have to reveal that it is the bush cricket! Yes! Did you even know such a thing existed? Did you think, at first, that it was someone’s porn name? I did!! Surprise: in this country, we call it the katydid. Sounds a lot less pervy now. This insect (insect!) has testicles that make up 14 percent of its body weight. OH MY GOD! That would be six kilograms per testicle on a human! How does this thing manage to fly? Who cares how it manages to fly though, because it manages to fu FORNICATE just fine! And in quick succession! With several females! This is amazing. I want to be a bush cricket when I grow up. Or am reincarnated. Sex, Larvae, and Rock ‘n Roll, baby!

That’s all for this week. Please send me links for next week, or leave them in the comments. Have an awesome Wednesday!

[photo of wee donkey by Saparevo; photo of great green bush-cricket via wikipedia]

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