furkid friday: dogs and books (and books about dogs)

June 3rd, 2011 5:05 pm by Kelly Garbato

Today we have an extra-special furkid friday/Shout Out two-fer! (Dogs and books, books and dogs; throw in pizza and netflix, and that’s all you really need in life, amirite folks?) I even redesigned the old Colbert Report SHOUT OUT! graphic for the occasion!

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Animated gifs, they’re all the rage. Alas, I was lazy and in a hurry and only used four frames for this one, so it’s a bit choppy. But still, animated Stephen! Times two!

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The props go to Columbia University Press, which kindly sent me a copy of Creaturely Poetics: Animality and Vulnerability in Literature and Film by Anat Pick, a senior lecturer in film and program leader for film and video: theory and practice at the University of East London. From the book’s back cover:

Exploring the “logic of flesh” and the use of the body to mark species identity, Anat Pick reimagines a poetics that begins with the vulnerability of bodies, not the omnipotence of thought. Pick proposes a “creaturely” approach based on the shared embodiedness of humans and animals and a postsecular perspective on human-animal relations. She turns to literature, film, and other cultural texts, challenging the familiar inventory of the human: consciousness, language, morality, and dignity. Elaborating on such themes as witnessing, commemoration, and collective memory, Pick identifies the animal within all humans, emphasizing the corporeal and its issues of power and freedom. Through her poetics of the creaturely, powerlessness is the point at which aesthetic and ethical thinking must begin.

This looks like an interesting read for those concerned with how portrayals of nonhumans in pop culture – literature, film, television – both reflect and inform societal attitudes and ethics towards our fellow sentient beings. (In other words, me!) If you’d like to learn more, check out the book’s listing on Columbia University Press.

I tried my best to snap a photo of Peedee and/or O-Ren with Creaturely Poetics – mock reading it, or some such other cutesy silliness – but neither was feeling very cooperative. (Too hot!)

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That’s okay, though; truth be told, I wasn’t trying that hard anyway. (TOO HOT! Seriously, have I mentioned how hot it’s been lately? We’re looking at a week of 90 degree weather with 70%+ humidity. Ick!)

Probably now is a good time to mention that I recently updated my policy re: gifts for review? Between the books I’ve received through Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program and my various blogs, I’ve fallen woefully behind on reviews. (And just as I’d almost caught up!) While all vegan goods (including topical books) will be rewarded with an on-blog shout out, I can’t guarantee reviews of unsolicited items. If in doubt, contact me first. (Hint: edible vegan nomz and clothing are especially welcome and likely to be reviewed quickly, since they’re much more easily consumed than literature. I especially love pizza and ice cream. I’m also totally into hosting contests and giveaways. THINK ABOUT IT!)

That said, my motto when it comes to books is this:

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Unhelpful advice frog says: “Hugs stack of unread books beside bed. BUY MORE BOOKS.”
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Hey, I’m only human! Weak and undisciplined and uncharacteristically optimistic when it comes to my ability to read all the 3,000+ books I own and continue to accumulate!

And so this week I also ordered and received a copy of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities, edited by Ching-In Chen, Jai Dulani and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (2011) and published by South End Press. Given my interest in sexism and misogyny as it relates to animal rights and activism – and recent allegations of sexual assault and partner abuse from within the animal advocacy community (see, e.g., Peter Young and Nick Cooney*) – this seems a timely anthology indeed.

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Here’s a brief synopsis from the publisher’s website:

The extent of the violence affecting our communities is staggering. Nearly one in three women in the United States will experience intimate violence in her lifetime. And while intimate violence affects relationships across the sexuality and gender spectrums, the likelihood of isolation and irreparable harm, including death, is even greater within LGBTQI communities. To effectively resist violence out there—in the prison system, on militarized borders, or during other clear encounters with “the system”—we must challenge how it is reproduced right where we live. It’s one thing when the perpetrator is the police, the state, or someone we don’t know. It’s quite another when that person is someone we call friend, lover, mentor, trusted ally.

Based on the popular zine that had reviewers and fans alike demanding more, The Revolution Starts at Home finally breaks the dangerous silence surrounding the “open secret” of intimate violence—by and toward caretakers, in romantic partnerships, and in friendships—within social justice movements. This watershed collection compiles stories and strategies from survivors and their allies, documenting a decade of community accountability work and delving into the nitty-gritty of creating safety from abuse without relying on the prison industrial complex.

Fearless, tough-minded, and ultimately loving, The Revolution Starts at Home offers potentially life-saving alternatives for creating survivor safety while building a movement where no one is left behind.

Hop on over there for additional info, including a TOC and author bios. The volume also has its very own tumblr, and of course is being covered on the INCITE! blog as well.

The zine on which the book is based – The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Partner Abuse in Activist Communities (2009) – is available for download (for free!) @ INCITE! Also, if you haven’t yet read Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements – written by Courtney Desiree Morris and originally published in make/shift magazine’s Spring/Summer 2010 issue – please do so now. I highly recommend it.

I’ve added both Creaturely Poetics and The Revolution Starts at Home to my list of recommended reading (anthrozoology and intersections, respectively) – which I continue to update, albeit sporadically. If you have a suggestion, I’m all eyes!

Finally, if the half-assed manner in which I’ve pulled off this week’s furkid friday is any indication, this is most likely the series’ finale. I’m just not that into it. Or rather, I’m not into blogging just to blog. No fun! I’d rather wait until I have something worth saying, you know? Even if it only comes once every two months.

Besides, I’m thinking about starting a private, personal blog (DIARY! THERE I SAID IT! BUT IT WILL NOT BE PINK!) where these gratuitous dog pics would be more at home. What do you think? Do any of you still journal? It seems so quaint in the age of twitter and facebook and tumblr; why bother writing if you’re not going to release your every through out into the world in expectation of immediate feedback, hopefully in the form of unadulterated adoration from your peers?

Holy crap do I feel old. Also: hungry. Dinner time, methinks. Happy Friday, y’all!

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* ETA: I’ve no desire to argue the merits of either case in this here space; I’m simply naming each as a recent example of partner abuse allegations, as well as the dizzying, woman-hating clusterfuck that inevitably arises when such accusations are leveled against men.** Any man, really, but particularly men who are wealthy, powerful, and/or well-respected within/idolized by their communities. On a non-AR related note, see e.g. Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

** This is not to suggest that men are never the victims and women, the victimizers. Or that all violence is opposite-sex. Apologism and victim-blaming may vary.

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