Sunday, April 13, 2014

[Lorna ramble] Why I am not currently involved in rescue.

I've been asked a few times as we head towards Easter why I haven't been posting about bunnies. I've been asked a few times why I'm no longer involved in any rabbit groups. I've been asked why I'm currently not even involved in any rescue and the answer is simply the attitudes.

The biggest problem with any volunteer organization is there's people who get the "more volunteer than thou" attitudes. While almost fifteen years ago, I've had this one myself! I thought "I bend my back for this organization, I deserve more recognition and rights than someone who volunteers 1/10th my time!" And I was WRONG. We all volunteer what we can, we do what we can, we offer and give what we can. No one volunteer is better than any other. However, I run into this all the time, the attitude of entitlement, the attitude of superiority, the attitude of higher rank and right. This leads to in-fighting and politics and frankly, I just don't want to deal with any of it any more. If you want to wear a crown because you help, more power to you, but I'm not kissing your ring. Sure, there's people who know more, who have more experience and who we look up to for advice and help when we're lost, but I've yet to meet any of these leaders who have the attitude!

Another I run into is the "Holier than Thou"s who believe their way is the only way. "Oh, I just want to HELP" they say as they busily tell you how you're feeding your pet wrong, you're giving them exercise wrong, or you're not doing something else. The bottom line, to me, in pet care 'Is the pet happy, healthy, and having it's needs met?' If yes, I shut my yap. A great example in rabbit care is the controversy about pellets. Some pellets are horribly bad for them, some are okay, some are fine. Some rabbits can be trusted to be free fed some will go piggy. However, in the minds of the self-designed experts all pellets are bad, no bunnies should ever be trusted to free feed and anyone who does so is an idiot. They're not shy about telling you you're an idiot either. There's no multiple ways to the same destination, it's their way or the highway. They talk down to you, they try to make you feel small, they treat you like the rawest recruit with the brains of a guppy and they often use aggressive words. I don't need that in my life. I didn't need it in my life even when I was in rabbit rescue but I thought it for the better good and just tried to water off a duck's back. Funny thing, I didn't run into nearly as many of them in cat rescue and there's just as many discussions about 'proper feeding' in catland.

I'm also no longer on the backside of a mountain where rabbits tend to get dumped. So I'm not seeing those rabbits who need to be fished out of the bush and brought to a rescue. I've moved a few times, my number has changed countless times, I'm probably a lot harder to track down and for people to say "Lorna, we found a rabbit in.." or "Lorna, I think there's a rabbit.." Hopefully these people have found others to call or call the BCSPCA.

I'm not saying all people in rescue are bad or full of attitude, far from it! I have met some truly wonderful people in rescue and some of them, I hope!, will be life long friends. For the most part, the average volunteer is a giving, wonderful person, who is a joy to be around. However, I just can't stomach the bad apples in the barrels anymore. I have enough crap in my life, I just don't to add more to it. Maybe when my load lightens again, I'll take on volunteering once more, but till then, I just try to support those who do!

Monday, April 7, 2014

[Star Trek Bunnies] Mark the Bunny, true ruler of the USS Spectre

I adore cooperative writing and I think my favourite remains Star Trek PBeM groups purely because everyone knows Trek and it's just so open ended you can do pretty much anything.

The ship I'm on is the USS Spectre, Captained by the wonderful Alan. At some point in Alan's weaker moments, he thought letting me add a rabbit personality to the ship was a good idea. Mark the Bunny is a houdini. He has a thousand ways of escaping the Captain's quarters and getting out and about the ship. In this case, he's managed to end up in engineering. The problem is, the two feet are all suffering from hallucinations, one Ensign Frost thinks Mark is an evil overlord.

Mission: Inimicus Invisa, Part Two - Fallen Comrades
Day: 5
Stardate 2414.10.15

(USS Spectre - Main Engineering – Mark the Bunny - 1930)

Frost whispered to the little bunny, "You can't talk I hope, you are just a little normal fluffy thing. But if the rabbit invasion is coming. I am on to you, and I will stop you."

There was probably a universe where Mark was sapient and would understand such threats. In such a universe he was probably leading such an invasion if not plotting the domination of the galaxy. This universe, however, had to settle for a vaguely sentient rabbit who just expected for everyone to do what he wanted and had no real way to enforce that expect through passive aggressive peeing and general stubbornness. It was ridiculous how disorganized two foots were and Mark was forever trying to train them to the bunny method.

He was carried to a different part of Engineering and the two foot sat down, giving Mark the opportunity to wiggle around so he was resting against the two foot's chest, his chin on the two foot's shoulder.

This gave Mark the ability to get pet, to watch the room for dangers and not to have any bits dangling with indignity. Some two foots just didn't know how to hold a rabbit properly!

Time passed.

Mark was starting to get bored. He nibbled on the two foot's artificial fur for a bit, but it didn't taste very good so instead he settled for squirming around, wriggling out of the two foot's grasp, and jumping down to the deck. He picked a direction mostly at random and made a dash for it.

(Reply Any)
(Posted by Lorna

Friday, April 4, 2014

[Gerbil Stories] Talking Gerbil

There's a gerbil sitting in his cage watching me as I read. The story has a bunny in it, it has to be good, right? (Elizabeth Ann Scarborough's "Song of Socery" for those who are interested)
"Cheep" goes the gerbil. I don't pay him much mind.
"Cheep, Cheep" says the gerbil. I look up.
He stands up on his hind paws and says "Cheep, Cheep." again.
I say "Cheep" back to him. Okay, I mangled the happy gerbil chirp. I got a look of 'Huh?' So I tried again "Cheep." No, not much improvement. "Cheep!" I said a third time and this time got whisker wiggles.
"Cheep!" says the gerbil.
"Cheep!" says the human.
"Cheep, cheep!" says the gerbil.
"Cheep, cheep," says the human.
"Cheep, cheep, cheep!" says the gerbil.
"Cheep, cheep, cheep!" says the human.
There's silence as he looks around. I think we've just run out of gerbil ability to use progressive math. He grooms his whiskers, he seems to be thinking about it, and then "Cheep!" before disappearing into one of his hideys.
"Cheep." I say. I then get off my duff and check his water and food, he has plenty of both, he has, however, eaten all the sunflower seeds out of the mix.
I, being the stern, proper, pet mom, didn't give him more sunflower seeds. I gave him a few pumpkin seeds instead.

[Lorna Blather] Humour vs. Bullying.

So - after being told I was being oversensitive on a friend's page (and we all know I can be oversensitive, I know it, you know it, we all know it!) I decided to look into what's considered bullying and what's considered humour.. and the best answer I came up with was "If it hurts, it's not funny."
But DAMN, is that nebulous. Rape jokes aren't funny because they dismiss the suffering of those raped, it desensitizes to the crime, and other than as a self-directed coping mechanism you shouldn't hear them. (And even before I ever thought about rape jokes as funny/not funny those self-directed never struck me as anything close to ha-ha.)
Making a "Top 5 crappy Cosplay Costumes!" video doesn't seem very funny to me. It seems to be point at those who are just starting out and mocking them. "Oh look, you can't sew, you suck." It seems an effort to drive people out of the fandom, to me. But is it okay because it's anonymous and on the internet? I mean, it's not like any of those people will actually ever SEE that video, right??
A post about women gaining weight which showed "Then and now" pictures seemed very not funny to me. Some of the women looked like new mothers. One looked like she'd been through major surgery. The majority of them didn't look unhealthy, just larger. There's a difference between fat and unhealthy - and you know what? So WHAT if a woman is fat? Oh, but anyone pointing out the obvious is told she too much be a 'fat cow' and 'ugly.' I could quote all sorts of stellar winners of comments, but I think most of us have seen or heard them before even if they weren't in our direction.
Geekdom is infamous for trying to create a pecking order. "Well, I have been playing this game since BETA." So what? The game has changed since beta. "Girls can't game." I heard that one A LOT growing up; because I had a vagina I couldn't possibly know how to play CRPGs, RPGs, or even shoot 'ems. (I could wrap the score on Centipede as much as I wanted as a kid.) When Doctor Who first rebooted back in 2005, there was a lot of "I've been a fan since Tom Baker, so I'm better than you!" attitudes. We couldn't welcome new people into our fandom because .. they're not as cool as us? Not as old as us? Not as British sci-fi obsessed? It popped up again with the influx of fans that joined with Matt Smith. "TENNANT IS BETTER! YOU SUCK!" type comments came around. Sorry, I've been a watcher for a time and I disagree with Tennant being better, it doesn't mean I will tell the Tennant lovers they're wrong or they should be ostracized.
Was I being oversensitive at a post that fans of only the J.J. Abrams Star Trek films are calling themselves Star Trek fans is 'face-palm' worthy? Probaby. But, three things keep me from apologizing. One, those fans are right - they ARE Star Trek fans! They are fans of movies called 'Star Trek.'  Two, those movies may serve as a gateway to the old show. I find it doubtful, since the shows are kind of worn no matter how good their message, but it's possible. Three, Star Trek is about inclusion, peace and friendship. Who are we to mock people who have found that road, no matter how they got there?

I don't expect, or want, my friend to take it down. It was cute in its way and she obviously thought it was humourous rather than hurtful and I trust her judgment. I just think we have to consider who our throw away comments and meme posts could hurt more carefully, and I definitely include myself in that 'we'!