Note: These dispatches from the left edge of the world do not make sense. They should not make sense. If they start to make sense, seek professional help.
So long and thanks for all the … nookie? The recently crowned Best Picture is about a woman getting freaky with a fish-man hybrid thing. And the fantasy seems to have created a stir among a certain segment of the alt-left.
Since the markets abhor a vacuum, Shape of Water-inspired dildos are earning rave reviews at places like Slate. But the Huffington Post’s Ashley Feinberg has no time for mere baubles of unfulfilled aquatic fantasy. She found a fish fornication expert to review The Shape of Water.
Malcolm J. Brenner sleeps with the fishes. Or, he did, back in the 1970s. And it was an aquatic mammal, not a fish. But the fact is, according to Feinberg, Brenner “fell in love with and ultimately made love to a dolphin named Dolly.” On porpoise! (Sorry.)
Brenner later wrote a book about the fling, and was the subject of a documentary (trailor below). He calls himself a “zoophile,” but he’s no love ‘em and leave ‘em playboy. Feinberg tells us Brenner “draws a careful distinction between zoophiles and mere bestialists … the latter “might just have sex with an animal and walk away,” while the former “is someone who has tender or caring emotions for their animal partner.”
You know where this is going, right? Feinberg notes that “The Shape of Water ... frames its interspecies romance in social-justice terms.” Yep. Brenner and other zoophiles are a repressed minority, misunderstood by hidebound traditionalist society. Brenner says he’s had bigots “threatening to go Lorena Bobbitt on me because I made love with a dolphin.”
“I’m hoping that in a more enlightened future,” he tells Feinberg, “zoophilia will be no more regarded as controversial or harmful than interracial sex is today.” Love wins!
As for Brenner’s review, “it was a good movie, it was enjoyable. I thought it was a little long.” But as social justice, it left him cold. “As long as, apparently, the object of your desire is a featherless biped, we’re not going to let a few gills or scales stand in the way of true romance, seems to be Hollywood’s dictum. Quadrupeds? No. Animals with flukes? No. But if it looks like a man …” The struggle continues, and Hollywood is bound by religious stricture.
I would like to think that society will become less religious, because the prohibitions in Leviticus are the only conceivable basis for any laws against bestiality. I can’t see that my boffing my dog has any effect on society, good or ill, as long as I’m not hurting her or abusing her. Laws against animal cruelty ought to be sufficient without criminalizing the act of interspecies sex, which organizations like PETA are trying to do.
Who knows, given time Justice Kennedy could find a constitutional right to dog-boffing. With courts striking down traditional social arrangements left and right, we may soon find ourselves on that flippery slope. (Sorry!)
Speaking of Species … Do you want to join in the excitement of March Madness, but you don’t know much about basketball, the NCAA or any of the schools playing? Just try a few of these conversation starters from the National Wildlife Foundation’s "Mascot Madness" report:
“Villanova Wildcats fan, eh? Great team. It’s too bad climate change is causing a decrease in lynx and could lead to disappearance from the lower 48 states in the next 50 years. The lynx depends on deep snow cover and as the climate warms, it could be unable to field a full roster.”
“How ‘bout those Rams? Ya know, bighorn sheep like them are projected to be challenged by rapidly melting snowpack, warming temperatures and less rainfall. This could throw off reproductive cycles and reduce the survival of their young.”
You get the idea. You’ll be welcome at the watercooler and the life of the party on gameday!
Tara Losoff of the National Wildlife Federation tells Yale Climate Connections, “Many of the animals that inspired the team names, these mascots, are at risk of being impacted by climate change.” So March Madness offers a terrific opportunity to nag your hoops-fan friends about global warming.
“Talking about a beloved animal mascot being impacted by climate change could be a way to engage friends and family members who might not otherwise be interested or engaged in talking about climate.” And don’t worry about resistance from opposing fans. As Lossof says,
“When it comes to fighting climate change, we’re all on the same team.”
Pronounpalooza: “Lubow is, in their own words, a ‘unique blend of masculine and feminine,’ and has spent their life exploring their own gender identity. As signified by the cropped hair, charcoal moustache, and oversized slacks in the film's opening, Lubow presents in a masculine way—and it is what marked the director out from other parents when they embarked on their pregnancies two decades ago.”
-- Broadly, talking about a single person, a girl who lives as a dude, and did during her two pregnanies.
Don’t offend the strippers, dear: Did you know there’s a US Pole Dance Federation? Seriously. It “regularly hosts events and competitions that showcase the athleticism of pole dance as a physical feat.” There’s also a movement to make pole dancing an olympic sport. There are pole dance studios and Youtube exercise channels.
This seems like the kind of development lefties would welcome -- coarsening the culture and making everything just a bit dirtier. But no! According to Vice’s Tonic site, “Making Pole Dancing a Sport Is Offensive to Strippers.” And “pole studio owners are making money off of a culture and simultaneously distancing themselves from it.”
So stripping is a “culture” now? Yes, and so are other forms of “sex work.” They have their own academic experts and everything.
“The push to reframe pole dancing as an edgy—but not too edgy—form of exercise is part of a bigger story of non-sex working women appropriating sex workers' cultural and theoretical innovations while at the same time doing all they can to distance themselves from sex workers,” says Heather Berg, a lecturer at USC who researches labor, sex work, and public policy.
All this reinforces the “stigma” against sex workers.
For “conservative feminists who lament recreational pole dancing as evidence of the ‘pornification’ of culture,” the worst thing that could happen to a woman is that she'd be compared to a sex worker, Berg says. “This has serious implications for sex workers in general, since it reinforces the idea that sex work means violence and degradation, thereby naturalizing violence when it does happen.”
So … it’s really a good thing to be called a stripper, but it’s bad because then people treat you like a stripper. And you’re not just a stripper, you’re part of sex work culture that’s miffed because suburban moms are learning to act like strippers but they don’t want to be known as strippers and that furthers the stripper stigma and …
Speaking of sex workers: “A Massachusetts lawmaker wants the ‘General Hooker Entrance’ sign removed from the State House,” according to the Boston CBS news affiliate. State Representative Michelle DuBois calls the sign “a double entendre ‘misrepresented as respect for a long-dead general.”
“The entrance is named after Civil War General Joseph Hooker, CBS said. “There is also a statue of him outside the State House.” Poor “Fightin’ Joe.” Remembered for nothing so much as the debacle at Chancellorsville, he’s now the target of a literal-minded, humorless scold.
“Du Bois tweeted a picture of the sign on Wednesday, saying “#MeToo it’s not all about rape & harassment but also women’s dignity,” CBS reported. When challenged on Twitter, she doubled down: “Ive seen teenboys tease teengirls about being ‘general hookers’ waiting in line at the entrance. Sign is out of context & either Gen’s his first name should be added or change the entrance name.” Teens teasing each other? What other unholy perversions of nature must occur before the state snuffs out this miscarriage of signage?
Mercifully, DuBois is content whining about it, and tells CBS she has no plans to introduce a bill. It’s up to the brave civil servants in that bluest of blue states to grapple with l’affaire du Hooker. Perhaps a visual aid will help.