Take animal abuse seriously

I made the mistake of watching the Magnotta video. Police hadn’t confirmed that the video was real at that point. They had just released the suspect’s name, the video was a rumor, and I was curious, so I googled it. I found it right away on Wednesday afternoon. It’s awful stuff. I felt shitty after watching it, to say the least. It also made me mad.

And then all this other stuff came out about Magnotta. Most disturbingly, that he was the (alleged) asshole who was torturing and killing kittens a few years ago and posting the videos online. That made me very mad. I’ve blogged in the past about how much animal abuse infuriates me, especially this online bragging bullshit. I had written about the Kenny Glenn case, and it was fairly similar. Well, up until about 2 weeks ago it was similar, anyhow. With Magnotta, the online campaign to identify and locate him was pretty impressive, but clearly it wasn’t taken seriously enough by authorities. And we now know what that can (allegedly) lead to.

The thing is, it’s not like we didn’t know that it can lead to murder. This isn’t a surprise.

For many individuals, animal abuse escalates unless something or someone intervenes. It’s been documented in research and is apparent in many legal cases. Just this year, it was revealed that Tori Stafford’s killer (McClintic) had microwaved a puppy when she was a child. It starts there. And the internet is making it easier for these fucked up individuals to share, to inspire, to brag, and encourage others.

But it’s also making it easier to find them. And people are willing to volunteer their time to do so, as Magnotta’s abuse videos demonstrated.

This asshole killed a bunch of kittens – and judging by a bunch of photos of Magnotta with terrified-looking dogs – he probably killed a bunch of dogs too. And who knows what or who else he’s harmed. It’s time to take it seriously.

Law enforcement, policy analysts, teachers, parents, social workers, peers, random people watching videos on the internet – everyone needs to take animal abuse seriously.

They’re not “just animals”. This abusive behaviour is a serious red flag. Quit fucking around and use it as such.

OMG EVERYONE FREAK OUT NOW

SWINE FLU MOTHERFUCKERS!

It’s in CANADA. It’s in the US. It’s EVERYWHERE!

OMG OMG OMG

(c/o mal pingu)

Yes I realize this could be a big deal, but the way the media is taking this shit and running with it is completely ridiculous. It will undoubtedly turn into another racist wankfest like SARS was a few years ago. It’s the flu. It can be treated with antiviral meds and Canada supposedly has enough of those to go around. Unless you are in a high-risk group, chill the fuck out. Even if you are in a high-risk group, chill the fuck out. Wash your hands regularly and don’t make out with strangers. Or at least sick-looking strangers. Educate yourself. Be smart. And most importantly, don’t buy into this hysteria crap.

I’m sure there is waaay more important stuff going on in the world that the media is “ignoring” in order to cover this flu business.

Remembrance Day

Since they started showing those Remembrance Day spots on tv, and since I started seeing poppies around, I’ve been missing my grandfather. Whenever we observed remembrance day in the past, I always associated it with him, as he was a flight instructor with the RCAF during World War II. His participation in “war” was the closest I could get as a child. He told us stories and had photos from those days. I remember this photo the most.

He passed away this past spring, and today really makes me miss him.

My mother’s parents lived in Holland during World War II, and thus, spent most of it suffering while occupied by the Germans. I’ve heard a few stories about how difficult it was for them. My Grandfather has told a few stories about how his friends were randomly shot (in front of him) by guards at checkpoints in their town. Grandma’s told me about how some girls dated German soldiers and got chocolate and stockings and other fancy gifts that no one else could dream of at the time. Those girls were essentially disowned after the war, but I guess it might have been worth it, since everyone else was starving. I don’t know what I’d do in that situation, and you probably don’t either. I don’t know much else about my Dutch Grandparents’ experiences during the war. I’ve tried to get them to somehow document their experiences, for the sake of preservation and my own interests, but Grandma says it makes her too sad and Grandpa usually ignores requests like that.

Most recently, I had a cousin in Afghanistan. He returned safely, thankfully.

That’s the extent of my experiences with war, in the most literal sense. I’m grateful to never have lost anyone close to me under such circumstances, but I still usually cry at some point today, for people I’ve never met.

I just heard the gunshots from the national memorial service downtown. I’m listening to the service on the radio, and surprisingly heard the guns “live” first. I just saw the CF-18s fly past, since my apartment faces downtown. I like living in Ottawa for things like this. I would have gone down there, but I have a meeting this afternoon at school. As usual.

Carnivàle Lune Bleue

Seems like I took a break there… didn’t mean to. Just lots of back-to-school business to take care of at this time of year. I think it’s mostly finished, for now.

On Friday, my friend M & I went to Carnivàle Lune Bleue out in Kars. Had no idea what to expect, other than what the website had told us, as none of our peers had ventured out yet. We arrived quite early, around 6:30, and it was pretty dead. It possibly killed some of the ambiance by going early like that – I suggest you go at night when it’s all lit up and spooky-looking. There were two psychics doing Tarot readings, set up like an old gypsy caravan. We both had our cards read. For $5, you got a pretty solid reading, at least 5 minutes long and quite detailed. Wendy & Michele, the psychics, did it together, which I understand is an unusual way to do a reading, but good fun. It was my first formal reading. I’ve played around with cards for years, and had friends read for me, but never actually paid someone for it. Some very interesting revelations came forth, let me tell you. I hardly told them anything, and they went right into the area I was interested in – my career – and focused mostly on that. They also predicted some interesting things relationship-wise. I guess we’ll see if any of it comes true. It was a GOOD reading, and I went away both amused and impressed. M’s reading was very different from mine, from what I could hear, but also positive. I think it’s definitely worth $5, if not just for the experience, and this is coming from a highly skeptical Psychology MA student.

I don’t want to ruin the whole thing for people who want to experience it themselves, so I’ll just give you a quick run-down with some photos.

Once you go through the gates, you’ll see some tents, some games, some folks dressed in period garb, the Ferris wheel, and the carousel. It’s not a huge midway, by any definition, but that’s not where the strength of Lune Bleue lies. If you’re going just for a Super Ex-type midway, it will be a letdown. It’s not worth $40 for a Ferris wheel and carousel. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy them, but I’m not much of a midway kind of girl, so this 30s-style thing was more my speed.  If I can haul myself up on one of those carousel horses, you can too! I found the Ferris wheel to be very relaxing, especially without pumping dance music and crazy lights.

We saw the exotic animals show, and it was OK. It was entertaining, but having had friends with snakes and weird pets, it wasn’t anything mind-blowing for me. They do have some cool snakes, and the folks running the show were good at what they did. Want to see a big snake? Like, really big? Go there.

Cirque Maroc was very good. This was probably worth close to $60 on its own. Some amazingly talented women acrobats put on a surprisingly erotic show. They don’t strip or anything like that, but they don’t need to do that. It’s just sexy stuff. The $80 tickets get you front row seats to the show, but that didn’t appear to be necessary. We sat back several rows and could see just fine. The performers are up off the ground for most of the show anyhow. But yes, very entertaining.

The final show we saw was Carnival Diablo. I remember seeing them do some of their act on a MuchMusic Halloween special about 13 years ago, and have wanted to see them live ever since. I’m saying “them” but I think Nikolai Diablo is the only constant in the show since then. He’s a great host – very funny, over-the-top, and well rehearsed. He does several stunts/illusions himself, and keeps the show moving. I must admit, he got the old goth kid in me a’twitching… in that good, pervy kind of way… Anyhow, the performance we saw also featured a sword swallower (amazing) and the strong man (funny), although I’ve heard they switch it up a bit, so you might see something else. I was a silly fan girl at the end and got a postcard signed by Nikolai Diablo. Incidentally, my spellchecker keeps suggesting I replace “Diablo” with “Doable” – and that’s not a stretch, in my opinion, but people tell me I’m weird.

That’s about it. I didn’t play any games, but M tried at least one in my presence. There’s some other good things to see too, but I won’t spoil that for you. All in all, it was good fun. Worth the $60 pass and the time/energy to get out to Kars. I think it’s a good location, as being in the middle of an open field away from the city lights does help set the mood, but they would probably get more people if it was closer to the city. The food was not bad, but was somewhat limited in options. And to round out the necessities, the Porto-potties were the cleanest I’ve experienced in Ottawa. I have a few tips to pass on if you’re thinking of going:

♣ Bring some change or smaller denomination bills – a few places were running low and I’m sure it’d be appreciated.

♣ Bring BUG REPELLENT – Seriously folks, I wore sandals and my feet were just ravaged by those little fuckers.

♣ Think twice about bringing little kids – there isn’t a ton for them to do there, and you’ll probably have more fun without them anyhow!