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Jul 10 2009

Spinster aunt attempts to assuage guilt re: centipede

Giant red-headed centipede

The heartwarming Scolopendra sp. of Spinster Cinema fame dwarfs the striped bark scorpion in the Glue Box of Death.

By way of urging the blamer to view in the best possible light the circumstances which led a hapless giant centipede to become ensnared in a glue trap on my bathroom sink: though it might appear otherwise, I am not an anti-buggite or a sadist. I like bugs. I like spiders. I even like centipedes. A perusal of the Twisty Archive will reveal a veritable buttload of bug-worshiping prose and heartwarming insect pix.

But the unfortunate truth is that here at Spinster HQ we have a brown recluse spider infestation. I’m not talking the occasional traveler just passing through on her way to Albuquerque. Since I started keeping a flesh-eating venomous spider log three weeks ago, I’ve dispatched 47 of’em.

That’s a lotta flesh-eating venomous spiders!

Buddhists and arachnophiliacs may take issue, but unto them I say, “faugh!” The venom of the brown recluse is surpassingly nasty. Wounds resulting from their bites are really painful, not to mention gross and disfiguring, and can take months or a year to heal. They ain’t nothin to mess around with. You Aussies with the white-tailed spiders, you know what I’m talking about.

So, distasteful though it be to the animal-loving spinster auntly proponent of why-can’t-we-all-just-get-along, I weighed both sides of the issue, considered the health of my two floor-dwelling dogs, determined that measures had to be taken, and have elected to live with the guilt.

The way you get rid of brown recluse spiders is this: you hem and haw for a week or two and try a few ineffective hippie-dippy repellents. Then you finally give in and spray a bunch of toxins around the house that actually kill the bugs upon which the spiders delectate. Then you try to trap the ones that haven’t starved to death yet. The result is that you have sixty or seventy of these unsightly glue traps piled around the bunkhouse, collecting dog hair and the 76,842 other innocent insects you didn’t even know you had.

Having tried them all, I recommend Victor Poison-Free Pre-Baited Hobo Spider traps. They are larger and sturdier than the Catchmasters, and have glue on all four interior surfaces (as opposed to just the “floor”), and are resilient enough to withstand a puppy attack for the crucial few seconds you need to get over there and rip that thing out of the dog’s mouth before she devours the pair of striped bark scorpions stuck therein.

Incidentally, striped bark scorpions, of the genus Buthidae, have the toxickest sting going when it comes to North American scorpions. It is for this reason that, as long as I’m wantonly exterminating arthropods, I am not opposed to banning striped bark scorpions from the bunkhouse. Naturally, El Rancho Deluxe is the World Headquarters for striped bark scorpions. Since I started keeping a striped bark scorpion log three weeks ago, I’ve dispatched 79 of’em.

Do not speak to me, o ye air-conditioning-hating environmentalists, of boric acid and diatomaceous earth. These non-toxic powders may work on silverfish and cockroaches, but the brown recluse spider just laughs at that shit, while the striped bark scorpion eats it with fava beans and a nice Chianti.

Anyways, the point is that I am not just trapping giant centipedes for the heck of it. I am, in fact, really grossed out by the carnage generated by this carpet-bombing approach to the brown recluse problem. These giant centipedes are cool as hell. Once in a while you’ll see one out in the field, and it’s motoring along at like 47 miles an hour. The one I inadvertently trapped was undoubtedly doing me enormous favors in the insect control department, and I will probably note an uptick in the general bunkhouse bug population as a result of its demise. As one blamer remarked, “they’re fascinating little predators.”

The reason for this shameless appeal for vindication? Giant centipedes, it turns out, seem to inordinately fascinate sadists. When I put my award-nominated suspense film up on YouTube with the tag “centipede,” all these other centipede videos showed up on the page. It shouldn’t surprise me, but there apparently exists a cult of sadistic videographers who enjoy recording giant centipedes killing things. “Centipede vs Snake,” etc. The worst is “Giant Centipede Predates Mouse,” wherein a centipede is wrapped like a boa constrictor around a domestic mouse, which cries piteously as it is repeatedly bitten, while the videographer — a sociopathic teenage boy — makes “Whoa! Cool!” remarks. It is a deliberately staged snuff film. I actually gagged, and left the teenage knucklehead a nasty note about the anti-philosophic nature of torture.

It is a peculiar symptom of the culture of domination, that its perpetrators almost universally feel compelled to record for posterity and personal amusement their victories in demonstrating their assimilation to that culture. The Abu Ghraib snapshots, the meticulous records kept by genocidal Nazis, pornography. Maybe there isn’t as much difference between “Giant Centipede Predates Mouse” and my iPhone video as I would like to believe.

Fucking patriarchy.

117 comments

2 pings

  1. Laughingrat

    A couple of years ago some pornsick scumbag posted a video on YouTube of a rat and mouse trapped in close quarters and artificially induced to fight. The LJ rat community comment-bombed the sick fuck into oblivion and screamed at YouTube until the vid was taken down.

    But like all forms of pornography, such animal cruelty videos continue to proliferate on YouTube and anywhere else one might possibly find them, because the actual problem is not addressed, namely that patriarchy encourages pornsick nitwits with teeny-weeny-peeny issues to identify with predators, and therefore to celebrate those predators’ natural behaviors as some kind of extension of their own masculinity.

    But you already knew all that. I just had to get it out of my system. After years of having big stupid motherfuckers say shit to me like, “You have rats? HURR HURR HURR, I bet my cat would eat your rat,” I have a little anger built up.

  2. Laughingrat

    *saying. Criminy, why do I post when irritated?

  3. Linda Atkins

    Tired, tired, tired of people killing/hurting creatures (including humans) for pleasure. I’m not talking about you–consider yourself vindicated, by me, at least–but about the teenage boy with the giant centipede and the hapless mouse, and all others of his ilk, so very many of them, including my co-worker who has devised the brilliant plan of ridding his yard of rabbits with a gun. So cruel, and so stupid.

  4. norbizness

    The infestation stories make me glad that I’m living just enough for the ci-tah.

  5. Orange

    I’m feeling much better about the teeny fruit flies inhabiting my house, but I don’t know how I can sleep any more with thoughts of giant centipedes traveling 47 mph. And by the dozens! *whimper*

  6. sonia

    dude! we *can’t* all get along if you’re going to inject flesh-eating venom into my face.

    do you get wigged out getting into bed, or wake up flailing whenever your face itches at all during the night? I’d be like a crackhead always checking my shoulders and jumping at the sight of anything small and dark. probably jumping a mile when a dust bunny rolled across the floor.

    nuff respect..

  7. ambivalent academic

    The genus Buthidae is really quite lovely. The name evokes shades of “butt-dance”, which I imagine striped bark scorpions can perform rather well, being well-endowed in the butt department and all.

    And as for boric acid and diatomaceous earth, they don’t do shit against silverfish and cockroaches either. Nor fleas, nor the tiny little Argentine ants that insist on trekking all the way to my second story kitchen for water rather than drink from the hose in the garden. Maybe it’s all Texan arthropods which have developed an antidote to the exoskeleton-puncturing microscopic granules. To those air-con hating environmentalists I say that while these things may not be so toxic to us humans as a can of RAID, dessication doesn’t sound like a pleasant way to go for those bugs either. Poison depends on your perspective.

  8. givesgoodemail

    Having been the victim of toxination at the fangs of recluse and centipede and the stinger of the (Arizona) bark scorpion, I have a difficult time generating much sympathy concerning their demise (ecological concerns notwithstanding).

    A few pieces of biotic trivia:
    1. Scorpions give live birth.
    2. Some reproduce pathenogenically.
    3. Many scorpions fluoresce in UV light.

  9. Jill

    “Having been the victim of toxination at the fangs of recluse and centipede and the stinger of the (Arizona) bark scorpion [...]“

    Holy shit! The North American Arthropod Trifecta!

    “1. Scorpions give live birth.”

    And if you turn a parturient scorpion over on her back, you can see, through her semi-transparent abdomen, the mini-scorps inside. And they gestate for like, a year. After birth, the infants ride around on the mother’s back for a while. Scorpions can live four years or more.

    Scorpions. Yeah, baby.

  10. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    My (non-Buddhist) theory on bugalicious life-forms is as follows: Outside you are safe from me. When you cross my threshold, most likely (if you are, say, a moth or a spider) I will confine you with a glass and a postcard until I can get you back outside. The only exceptions are things that are potentially harmful (re: venomous) to me or my critters. Then I will beat you to a paste with my shoe.

    Two of the auditors make fun of me because on my way to the w.c. one fine morning I encountered a (harmless) beetle large enough to own property. I caught it in a coffee cup and escorted it outside. They wanted to kill it. So now I am That Weird Girl Who Likes Bugs. Oh well.

  11. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Oh, and that internet thing about the centipede and the mouse makes me want to cry.

  12. givesgoodemail

    Holy shit! The North American Arthropod Trifecta!

    I was hoping to attain Spidey-Sense and the ability to run at 47 mph, but aside from two bites that took months to heal and a horrific headache from the scorpion sting, there was nothing forthcoming.

  13. katrina

    Oh, Antoinette, I feel your pain. I met an otherwise lovely Spaniard who told me she’d lived in Bristol and loved the people there but she thought them terribly eccentric because when they found a spider inside they would trap in a piece of paper and take it outside. I inferred from that the correct response was scream the house down and empty a can of pesticide into it, though there are no poisonous spiders that I know of in the UK or Spain.

  14. Samantha B

    As a 10-year-old child I was bitten on my face by what my pediatrician could only guess to have been a brown recluse. Not pretty, I assure you. But, despite that, I’ve got a pretty Buddhist notion of insects’ rights, and I am similarly conflicted about how to deal with uninvited, potentially deadly houseguests. And now my storage shed, mailbox, recycle bins, and countless other nooks and crannies are positively infested with black widow spiders. Black fucking widows. What’s a parent/pet owner/lover of one’s own life to do?

  15. Samantha B

    * Make that insects’ and arthropods’ rights.

  16. Laura F

    Well, it’s a good test of our limits isn’t it? By that I mean co-habitating with bugs. My philosophy is similar to Antoinette’s. I live in Cuba, and from an arthropodic and hexapodic perpective, it’s like living on the Discovery channel, or perhaps Nature running on a continuous loop. I’ve got tarantulas that dig huge holes in the back yard, scorpions that like to hide under the cat food dish in front of the house, and ants everywhere. Ants that dig through grout to get to more cat food. Ants in the fruit. Ants that come in from outside to nest in picture frames. Ants that scavenge for dirt from electrical outlets.

    So at some point, perhaps after you’ve found cooked ants in your pasta for the tenth time, you decide that co-habitation has gone too far. Ant traps are the only things I’ve found that work, and they only do so by dragging poison back to the rest of the colony and killing them off. If anyone can convince me of another way to dissuade them from wreaking havoc in my house, I’d be very happy to try it. I’ve tried leaving piles of salt, lemon juice, and several other non-toxic means of gently redirecting them outdoors, none of which have worked.

    And don’t get me started on mosquitoes. If you live in a country where Dengue fever is endemic (never mind West Nile virus), the ecological impact of killing as many of them as you can is not a consideration.

    That said, making confessions about killing bugs that enter the house, whether voluntary or involuntary, is a far different thing from the bug snuff videos you describe. You’re right to bring them to patriarchy-blaming attention, but I hope that you don’t think there’s any similarity between them and your very funny video involving a hapless centipede.

  17. ambivalent academic

    Ordinarily I am a big fan of nature documentaries, and while I certainly don’t like watching heart-warming critters meet their end (nor do I take sadistic pleasure in so doing), I do sometimes like predator segments for no other reason than the moment of awe when one can actually see how well-adapted some critter is in it’s little red-in-tooth-and-claw corner of the world. *Holy shit! Take a look at the chompers on that beetle/strategerizing in that pack of wild dogs/agility of that leopard seal! Evolution is amazing!* It doesn’t keep me from rooting for the prey I have to say.

    This doesn’t seem like snuffporn. Maybe I have an unhealthy relationship to natural selection?

    That being said, the mouse predated by centipede flick is horribly disturbing. In part because I don’t think mice are the natural prey of centipedes (other arthropods right? Though I guess they’re fairly opportunistic), and the fact that that kid FED the mouse to the centipede so that he could watch and enjoy its suffering just chills my blood.

  18. goblinbee

    Jill, that you like and admire critters including spiders and centipedes has always been clear to me, which makes for one more thing to love about you. But I would have to do the same thing you’re doing if I was in your shoes. The brown recluse is nothing to shake a stick at (shaking sticks at them is just another one of those useless hippie-dippy remedies).

    And, Laura F, as far as your ant problem is concerned, I recommend poultry. I didn’t know when I got chickens two years ago that they would solve my ant problem (I’m on a veritable anthill here in North Portland), but it has been a wonderful fringe benefit. So, it’s not so much that the ants aren’t getting murdered, but that I’ve hired someone else to do my dirty work.

  19. Bella Donna

    I recently had to spray for ants. Felt like a murderer, but the darn things were building a nest in my door frame, and my usual non-deadly herbal deterrents weren’t working.

    The internet can be a lot of useful things, but often it is the no-longer-abstract bottom of the barrel.

    When boys used to talk about feeding Alka-Seltzer to seagulls or tying firecrackers to cat’s tails, I always assumed they were telling tall tales for some mystifying male reason.

    Now, thanks to youtube, I know it was just the tip of the iceberg.

  20. ruby

    Okay, I’m not afraid of snakes, rodents, I’ve handled tarantulas and preying mantis, but that centipede photo, and the mere idea of flesh-eating-poisonous bugs in my house makes me gag and shudder. As Sonia said, they don’t want to get along, they want to maim you so really what you’re doing is all in the name of self defense.
    The chicken suggestion is on the mark – a small enclosure filled with chickens that encircles the bunkhouse will do away with all manner of buggy critters, except at night ’cause a hen’s gotta sleep too. Plus, they pay the rent with eggs.

  21. Comrade PhysioProf

    Kill the motherfuckers. They’d kill you if they could.

  22. C. Atrox

    In an odd looking-glass kind of way, I actually caught and released a Loxosceles spider (same family as reclusa, although less toxic). And I’ve been kind to most of the Centruroides found galavanting about the house. The older I get the less I feel the urge to squish. But, hey, if you have an infestation, I judge ye not.

  23. Sutton

    I did not realize that the centipede was a good thing, or I would have offered this solution sooner. Maybe it would have saved the poor bastard.

    We had mice in the kitchen once (I can’t believe I’m telling the world this) and had put out glue traps. I took the one little guy we caught outside, along with a tiny paintbrush and a small saucer of cooking oil. . . and freed him in the back yard. It took about 20 minutes to paint the bottoms of all four feet, loosening him one toe at a time, and he bit me for my troubles, but it was worth it. He got to live and my conscience is clear!

  24. PhoenixRising

    We have a black widow in our bathroom.

    She lives behind the vanity, and scarpers for it whenever I have the proper equipment for capture at hand, or indeed anytime there is a warm blooded life form in the bathroom. I can’t catch her for export to the yard, so I’ve learned to live with her.

    Brown recluses, OTOH, must leave or die–and telling them to leave has never worked yet.

    If you feel ambiguity, imagine what Fran will look like with a bite on her paw. Chester the spaniel damn near died, and he was well over 50 pounds of mean.

  25. elm

    Guuuuuhhhheeeaaaahh!!! [shudder]

  26. Barn Owl

    Another possible solution to the arthropod problem would be guinea fowl. They’re available in all sorts of beautiful and fascinating color variations, such as Royal Purple, Powder Blue, Lavender, Bronze, Pewter, Buff Dondotte, and Pied, and their babies are called keets. Smart enough to roost in trees at night too, away from coyotes (but raccoons or ringtails might be a problem). We’re looking into getting a few guinea fowl for my friends’ ranch, where, if you stay overnight and sleep on an air mattress on the floor, they’ll kindly provide you with a handheld UV light to identify scorpions, in case you have to get up in the middle of the night.

    Most non-Texans don’t sleep very well, under these circumstances.

  27. Kathryn Cann

    and we have linked back to you

    http://www.miscellani.org/blog/weblinks/

    (under feminism and gender)

    I can’t help it if I am not particularly interested in centipedes. It doesn’t mean it is spam. I was just making an invitation that’s all.

  28. Toonces

    I hope that teenaged wankstain who filmed the mouse snuff film wakes up tonight with a giant centipede trying to burrow up his nostril. Let’s all send him our negative energy, shall we? Little shit-heeled bastard.

    I had a mouse living in the kitchen under my fridge for a few months. It was winter time, in Canada, and there was no way I was going to kill it, or catch and release it at that time of year. So I fed him each day, and left a lid of a pill-bottle filled with water beside the fridge. Basically, I let him live his mouse-life in my house over the winter, scratching inside the wall between my computer room and kitchen. He became pretty tame, and started to recognize the sound of my voice, poking his nose out from under the fridge to see what I had left for him each day.

    When spring came, I stopped feeding him, and put out the humane “tin cat” trap. He walked right into it, and I released him into a field near my house.

    The only thing I kill in my home is the odd wasp or mosquito. Last year, I had to kill a spider that was in my bedroom. I still feel guilty about it.

  29. Kathryn Cann

    Seriously, if this is what it does to you, get yourself off death fucking island and start writing some quality posts once more. Just because you called someone a cuntalina, doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of your life in blog purgatary. I can’t comment about fucking centipedes. I really don’t give a crap about centipedes. I can’t help it. Now if you won’t publish my post, come over to miscellani.org and tell me why.

  30. Mau de Katt

    Do not speak to me, o ye air-conditioning-hating environmentalists, of boric acid and diatomaceous earth. These non-toxic powders may work on silverfish and cockroaches, but the brown recluse spider just laughs at that shit, while the striped bark scorpion eats it with fava beans and a nice Chianti.

    Damn. I was going to mention diatomaceous earth. I’m sorry to hear it doesn’t work for recluses and scorps.

    I live in an apartment building that now has a really bad bedbug problem, thanks to an idiot tenant who thought the way to get rid of his infestation was to give his infested mattress to someone else in the complex, thus spreading the joy. And she gave the mattress to someone else. And the bugs spread through the pipework of the radiator system, and then out into the halls.

    And let me tell you, bedbugs are damned hard to get rid of, once they are established. Most bug poisons won’t touch them; you have to get one that is specifically labelled for bedbugs, and they are hard to find in stores.

    Fortunately, diatomaceous earth does work, and beautifully so. I buy this stuff online that is D.E. mixed with a pyrethrin toxin, which supposedly will kill the suckers, and I puff the powder everywhere. I also have non-poison-enriched, food-grade D.E. for use on my bed and in pet areas.

    It’s been the only thing that’s worked for me. I’m sorry it doesn’t work at El Rancho Deluxe…. Just one more reason for me to NEVER EVER move to Texas.

    And I love air-conditioning. Lovelovelove it.

  31. Goldrush

    So, after poisoning everything out of existence, how long do you have before the asps (as you Tejanos call puss caterpillars) show up? You’ll have to lay in the sting kits then.

  32. Jodie

    I have infestations of Daddy Long Legs spiders. I love them — other spiders and bugs don’t seem to stick around long. And the loveliest thing is that their fangs are too short to bite people or animals. Oh, and Orange, you can build a trap for your fruit flies that won’t kill them but will allow you to remove them easily from your house (googling “fruit fly trap” will probably get you what you need).

  33. veganrampage

    Sutton-

    I LOVE you for that, for your oil painting mouse saving efforts. Sorry the varmint bit ya, she was a-scared to death, you betcha! Why are you ashamed of this story? It is heroic! If you are being too heavily rewarded in this society, that’s when you know you are doing real evil. This culture is dominating, insensitive, violent and kills creativity. They always try to make the sensitive feel bad about being sensitive. Sensitivity is a good trait, not a bad one. I have had that word hurled at me as invective all my life from my dysfunctional co-dependent addiction built upon family.
    People who think twice about killing a mouse are not likely to engage in gratuitous violence or elective wars.

    I too, have saved many a critter from the jaws of my death-cat clowder of 8. Some know how to deliver a death bite, like Johnny Rotten Jr. does because his Mama Cat taught him. Others like Zak or Zelly or Hallie or Dickens will just gum the voles or mices until they croak of a heat attack(or I will from watching). Just pick up the critters by the base of the tail (does not hurt them) and quickly bring outside. If you are able to support their little rodentia bodies with a newspaper or magazine with your other non-tail holding hand do- but I must warn you there is a good chance of breaking your leg, hip, ass-bone as your cat/dog/predator companion of choice gambols in front of you wailing for their “toy” back.

    Twisty, perhaps instead of painting these centipedes with oil you can be a bit more liberal and slosh some small amount of corn oil in the horrid glue trap, thus freeing them in the woods, thrush, or Texas moors, and releasing them back into the wild and releasing you from your guilt as well.

    As a born vegan I have had to make like compromises in order to survive. You cannot live in a patriarchy purely- a matriarchy (there are a few small communities that still exist, but are about to be snuffed) would have birth control for brown recluse spiders, and mice, rats, and all other perceived “pests”, not glue traps. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Many people kill other people with less thought and guilt than you entrap the centipedes in collateral damage. This may help, or not.

    Just have got to say that this Buddhist myth of non-violence drives me up a vegan- without- her- xanax wall! Women, women! Buddhism, most of it anyway, it yet another slut-shaming, patriarchal, violent and misogynist religion! The Dalai Lama is full of it, and in some ways more reactionary than the pope! The former “nice guy” pope, not Ratzinger the child molester shuffler slash protector.

    For more evidence and a hearty laugh see John Saffron vs. God. A gut bustingly funny series that I am surprised did not result in his mysterious disappearance. (John’s not “god’s”)

  34. admirerofemily

    My post may be about to take this thread off-topic – I will rely on blamers to determine whether or not this is acceptable.

    My potentially off-topic point is this – what are blamer’s views on the word ‘motherfucker’, as used above?

    Remembering the veritable storm over use of the word ‘cunt’ recently, I was interested to note, when I searched the site to see whether there had been discussion of this word, that ‘motherfucker’ seems to be fairly commonly used.

    I didn’t quickly find any discussion about the feminist implications of this usage, maybe I didn’t look hard enough.

    I mention this particularly because one of the first feminist books I ever read whilst still at high school was called ‘Up Against the Wall, Mother… On Women’s Liberation’ by Elsie Bonita Adams. (The ellipses were part of the title I hasten to add.)

    It spoke about how bizarre it was that the term ‘motherfucker’ was seen to be so vile, considering that Motherhood, the state of apple pie, aprons and gentleness, is brought about by fucking.

    But once a woman has been fucked and given birth, thereby becoming A Mother, it is outrageous and disgraceful that she would then be fucked again. “To fuck a mother!? You bastard!” (I am not unaware, and neither was the book, of the passivity assumed of the fuck-ee).

    I loved that book. I loved even more than some librarian, in deepest, darkest suburban Australia, chose to put the book in my library.

    So is motherfucker being used in an ironic way here or in some other way?

  35. Tupe

    Re: Abu Grahib photos -

    On This American Life two or three weeks ago (Episode called The Fall Guy) there was a long piece done by a radiojournalist dude on Lynndie England, the woman who was photographed with the tortured prisoner in what became the iconic photograph of OIF. VERY interesting, although I wish it had been done by a feminist and featured more of her story in her words. Basically, the woman was in a manipulative Patriarchal relationship with her CO who forced her into the staging of that photograph, which was one of her only interactions with any prisoners. And now she has no life because everyone blames her for everything that the men at the prison and back in Washington did.

  36. Apostate

    Jill, that thing up there at the top of your post needs a trigger warning. It put me entirely off my midnight snack.

  37. Eve

    Holy shit! I try to take useful bugs outside, but I am not sure I would try to wrangle a centipede like that! Creepy. Unless the bugs are attempting to attack me, they go outside. Now any roach, inside or out, doesn’t stand a chance. If I don’t smash them myself, I call the cats to get the ones that find their way inside.

  38. maidden

    I don’t get the fuss over the centipede eating the mouse video. Ok, it was pretty gross, how does that make it “animal cruelty”, exactly? Don’t lots of animals eat other animals? Alive? I didn’t like the video, but I also don’t like watching lions eat gazelles on tv. I don’t hear many people complaining to Discovery about animal cruelty. Was that video in bad taste, sure; but cruelty?

    As far as people squeamish about killing bugs and mice that get in their homes, all I can say is (firstly, wtf! And then) you’re damned lucky you don’t live someplace where you have to worry about dengue fever, malaria, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, leptospirosis, chagas disease and so many other insect- and rodent-borne illnesses. You’re truly blessed.

  39. polly sytrene

    If anybody doubts that animal cruelty is tied up with patriarchy, can I suggest they talk a look at the bull run in Pamplona. In which loads of brain lacking dudes goad bulls in an attempt to prove their macho qualities. And then everyone indulges in hand wringing when one of the unfortunate creatures actually does what its instincts tell it to and kills one of the eejits.

  40. Queenie

    With dread I Googled the sick snuff video of which Twisty spake here, and, when I found it, I hurriedly pressed the pause button so as not to witness its horror — lest I burst into horridly ineffectual tears — all with one sole purpose in mind: to flag said sickness, and therefore hopefully cause it to be removed for reasons of animal abuse.

    It seems I am constantly thunderstruck by the sickness of people. Worse, no matter how often I blame the patriarchy, there remains far more thunder out there. Yet with vigilant, ever-ongoing education and thought-inducing sites like this — and with flags, too, fingers crossed — perhaps we can all, at least, call attention to the lightning.

  41. Queenie

    Oh, crikey. As I glance back over my original comment, I see it may contain some sketchy shades of out-of-sight/out-of-mind philosophy, which I certainly did not intend to express. Alas, sicko thunderstrikes will continue whether we can flag them or not.

    We can still try, though, I suppose.

    IBTP. Sigh.

  42. Jill

    “Seriously, if this is what it does to you, get yourself off death fucking island and start writing some quality posts once more. Just because you called someone a cuntalina, doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of your life in blog purgatary. I can’t comment about fucking centipedes. I really don’t give a crap about centipedes. I can’t help it. Now if you won’t publish my post, come over to miscellani.org and tell me why.”

    Well, check this out: Your tone is hysterical and hostile, and I don’t give a crap about you.

  43. the Omphaloskeptic

    While I share the horror that is being expressed at the centipede-mouse video, and I think Jill is right to class it with snuff porn, I do suspect that some of our natural recoil reaction is because it’s a mouse that’s being killed. My limited knowledge of centipedes suggests that they eat pretty much whatever they’re big enough to kill, small mammals right along with invertebrates. But I’m not sure that a similar video of, say, a centipede killing a scorpion would elicit the same horror. Mammals, with their cuddly appearance and easy-to-interpret distress cries, draw our sympathy much more readily than other critters, even when we think said other critters are cool and interesting.

    All that said, I know the point here is that some teenage nitwit thought it would be fun to set it up and film it for his own entertainment, rather than outrage because a poor little mousie got killed.

  44. arlene

    Suddenly I feel a whole lot better about collecting all the snails (Garys) in my garden after a rain storm and releasing them in the local park. Plants non nibbled, snails unharmed.

  45. Jill

    “I don’t get the fuss over the centipede eating the mouse video. Ok, it was pretty gross, how does that make it “animal cruelty”, exactly? Don’t lots of animals eat other animals? Alive? I didn’t like the video, but I also don’t like watching lions eat gazelles on tv. I don’t hear many people complaining to Discovery about animal cruelty. Was that video in bad taste, sure; but cruelty? [...] you’re damned lucky you don’t live someplace where you have to worry about dengue fever, malaria, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, leptospirosis, chagas disease and so many other insect- and rodent-borne illnesses.”

    This comment falls into the “how dare you discuss [this frivolous topic] when people are dying in Transylvania?” category. Which, if you’d bothered to read the required “Guidelines for Commenters,” you would know is disallowed.

    Also, when some psychopath kid sics a venomous centipede on a domestic mouse for entertainment, it’s not merely cruelty, it’s prurient, voyeuristic sadism.

  46. Felicity

    Lol to prove your point Jill, some cool dude wrote this on a ‘huge centipede eats mouse!!’ vid:

    ‘guys should see these pics of sexy girls being killed and eaten by large centipedes? :o’

    I’m going off to ponder how defenceless fluffy creatures being desroyed by something that intimidates the sadistic viewers themselves, relates to pervasive sexism.

    Doesn’t it relate to a lot of things in life? If something scares somebody in a culture, that person often shows enjoyment in perpetuating the behaviour/ activity, as if to ward off others. Like female tools of the patriarchy. They get intimidated by sexism, are sexist against women themselves. Viewer gets intimidated by centipede and how it destroys the mouse, puts a video of it up on youtube and intimidates everyone else by appearing to enjoy it.

    I know there’s a reason one commenter had to relate ‘sexy girls’ to the fluffy mouse being eaten by a huge centipede.. (and why he needed to put it in, despite its irrelevance) but I wouldn’t have the ability to articulate it. Or what he expects us to understand.

  47. ivyleaves

    “Now if you won’t publish my post, come over to miscellani.org and tell me why.”

    Jill, I think you may want to consider adding comments commanding the blog author to do something, anything, as coming under prohibited content. Sheesh.

  48. Ayla

    Jodie, those daddy long legs most likely aren’t actually spiders at all, they’re arachnids called harvestmen. They don’t have fangs of any size and aren’t poisonous.

    The few true spiders that look like and pass for the typical “daddy long legs” harvestmen do actually have fangs and could bite you, though they aren’t particularly dangerous.

    check this page out: http://www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/spidermyth/myths/daddyvenom.html

    I dug this up a while back for a cousin who was terrified of the things sitting outside her door… Turns out they were the harmless harvestmen!

  49. Kathryn Cann

    “Well, check this out: Your tone is hysterical and hostile, and I don’t give a crap about you.”

    I’ll apologise, ok. I’m sorry for posting that in that way.

    I don’t give a crap about centipedes, that much is true, and it is also true that I enjoy most of your posting much more than this one, but I shouldn’t have put it across in that way.

    Not that I give a crap about whether you give a crap about, me, but I genuinely thought you would take my later post about getting off savage death island as a joke, as it was kind of intended. I have been a long time reader and occassional poster on this site and because I have seen you treat such banter as such I thought you would take it that way, but I obviously misread that situation.

    As for the poster above who said I am commanding you or anyone else to do anything, no that was not my intention, I cannot command you or anyone else to do anything. I did originally post a more friendly invitation but you removed that post and I guess by my later post which you have published it appears I have truly screwed that up now. Sorry.

  50. Laughingrat

    @ Omphaloskeptic: You do raise a good point. As hypocritical as it is, I certainly am more naturally sympathetic to a mouse than to, say, some insect that might be a centipede’s more usual prey. But I think the real revulsion issue here is that someone deliberately pit two animals together in unnatural (or even natural!) combat in order to gloat over the pain and fear of the more defenseless animal. If that doesn’t embody the lowest, most bottom-feeding, sick-ass level of Patriarchy, I don’t know what does.

  51. Kathryn Cann

    More mea culpa from me. It’s not even exactly that I don’t give a crap about centipedes, despite that I just said that above, a more truer description would be that it’s just that I don’t have a great deal of interest in them. I do also abhor the culture that would deliberately treat any animal or insect cruelly for the purposes of enjoyment and/or sadistic voyeurism and probably should have said that originally. I totally screwed up yesterday in my haste to post an invitation to a new blog and a frustration at having my well meaning original comment deleted. I really am sorry for doing that.

  52. Jill

    Kathryn Cann: “I did originally post a more friendly invitation but you removed that post and I guess by my later post which you have published it appears I have truly screwed that up now. Sorry.

    Look, I never “removed” any comment of yours. Sometimes comments just get lost through no fault of my own. This is why, in the “Guidelines for Commenters” section that all commenters are expected to have committed to memory, I am explicit about refraining from jumping to conclusions and posting these “You deleted my comment! You hate me! You owe me an explanation!” dealios.

    If you want a do-over, please proceed. Here’s a clean slate.

  53. birkwearingblamer

    Jill, you must destroy the brown recluse spiders by whatever means necessary. I got bitten by one, and it was awful. The medical personnel can do nothing but remove the skin as it dies. Those nasty biters must go!

  54. Kathryn Cann

    ok, I get that. Thanks for the opportunity to start over.

    Co-editors Kathryn Cann and Victoria Skyrise invite you to visit them at the new Blog-a-Zine!

    Visit http://www.miscellani.org/blog/ today for a spicy variety of commentary and news on Politics, The Arts, Science, Technology and The Media. We are woman-focused and feminist-to-the-core, while welcoming all to explore and chat with us.

    Co-editors Kathryn Cann and Victoria Skyrise invite you to join them at the new Blog-a-Zine!

    Visit http://www.miscellani.org/blog/ today for a spicy variety of commentary and news on Politics, The Arts, Science, Technology and The Media. We are woman-focused and feminist-to-the-core, while welcoming all to explore and chat with us.

    `The Sestet and the Sextrain`
    by Victoria Skyrise
    Why be singin’ the blues about WordPress when I should be snoggin’ it like a kitten smitten with a valerian-flavoured mouse? After weighing the half-cocked “upgrade” measures of this software, bloggers like me along with our many fine freeware programmers have found WordPress wanting, for nothing less than a full upgrade at its foundation.

    `Fourth Wave Feminism?`
    by Kathryn Cann
    Somewhere along the way the “post feminist” world was defined for us, and there are many in Western society who genuinely believe that feminism has achieved its goals. Never mind the rape statistics, the hate crimes against women, and the misogyny in the media, both subtle and openly hostile. Before we even get outside of the Western culture and look at the rest of the world, we can see feminism’s work is far from done.

    Holding Back the Waves
    by Victoria Skyrise

    I don’t number any “waves” of Feminism nor do I attempt to name each of them. Internationally, all the “waves” from “1st” through “4th” really began long ago and far away. Pick a year. Pick a place. A good feminist, on the other hand, is a woman for all seasons…

  55. Hedgepig

    admirerofemily, I used to wonder about “motherfucker” as well. Then I read somewhere that it is referring to incest, i.e. it implies that the target of the term is fucking his own mother, not just a woman who is a mother. Not sure if that makes it less offensive, but it does kind of make more sense as an insult.
    To get even further off thread topic, it’s the term “son of a bitch” that really pisses me off. Some guy is an arsehole, so let’s insult his mother. On Law and Order recently (I know, I know) they even had a woman calling her own son a “son of a bitch”. Huh?

  56. wiggles

    Have you tried those gadgets I’ve seen in the infomercials where you plug them into your electrical outlets and they emit some super-sonic repellent noise that somehow doesn’t freak out dogs?
    The Google reminds me the gadget is called the Riddex Plus and that its specialty is the elimination of rodents and roaches. Rodents and roaches are pretty tough critters though, so maybe it would at least make things at El Rancho Deluxe less comfy and inviting for arthropods.

  57. janna

    This post has inspired me to do spider research on my own locale. I have determined that I do not live in a place with known recluse settlements and there have been only 5 recorded bites from transported spiders.

    The only spiders that actually live here are yellow sac spiders and black widows, both of which are not so hard to recognize. So in the future, I intend to make a better effort to relocate all non-poisonous spiders found in my home.

  58. janna

    the only medically significant spiders*

    obviously plenty of other spiders live here.

  59. Kathryn Cann

    Jill: Sometimes comments just get lost through no fault of my own

    As a new blog owner, I am just finding out for myself the idiosyncrasy of wordpress. So, I accept what you say and wish we hadn’t got off on the wrong foot. I fully accept responsibility for that and appreciate the chance to start again.

    My co editor has written about our discoveries with the unpredicatability of wordpress.

    `The Sestet and the Sextrain`
    by Victoria Skyrise
    Why be singin’ the blues about WordPress when I should be snoggin’ it like a kitten smitten with a valerian-flavoured mouse? After weighing the half-cocked “upgrade” measures of this software, bloggers like me along with our many fine freeware programmers have found WordPress wanting, for nothing less than a full upgrade at its foundation.

    Please feel free to visit our brand new blog by clicking on the link in my name. We are patriarchy blamers also, and although it is no substitute for IBTP, I hope that you and some of your readers will find something there of interest.

    Now I will leave this particular post for those who are more interested in centipedes than I.

  60. slythwolf

    This is the thing about nature: In nature, some things kill other things. You have a right to defend yourself and your dogs, obviously; scorpions an’ shit have a right to eat. Teenage boys do not have a right to purchase animals for the sole purpose of going “Whoa! Cool!” while other animals kill them in painful and terrifying ways. Again, obviously.

    I think you may be right about your video being in the same category as that other stuff; it’s kind of like how when women and girls take naked pictures of themselves to present to their romantic partners, and/or when people in a relationship record themselves having sex for their own amusement, it’s in the same category as commercially-produced porn because that’s how the patriarchy is going to interpret it. You post your video on YouTube, and you’re going to get animal-torture enthusiasts enjoying it in the manner they would the death of the poor mouse; ain’t nothing you can do about it. Your intent doesn’t matter, I don’t think. Once it’s out there, it’s out of your hands.

    Sucks, yeah?

  61. XY1960

    At my feet, right now, is a wild mouse (probably a deermouse) nibbling on god knows what edible detritus has accumulated since I last vacuumed. It’s big and healthy, with a shiny gray coat. It’s also very brazen for a wild mouse, though I’ve seen haired pups sufficiently oblivious to crawl over one’s foot on what (I assume) must have been their first foray beyond the nest in search of food. This particular mouse can’t decide whether it prefers to hide in the printer or the subwoofer. I knew those goddamn peanut shells didn’t grow legs and walk themselves into the computer/dining room.

    This arrangement is not acceptable. Let one mouse have the run of the house and before you know it they’ve invited all their friends and relatives and you’re wrestling with vermin for cornflakes and peanut butter. And they urinate and defecate wherever they please, like human babies. Also, their effluvia can become airborne and inhaled, which doesn’t bother me as much as it probably should, but if the inhaled effluvia comes from a hantvirus infected mouse, the unfortunate inhaler can expect a lengthy hospital stay with a one in three chance of death.

    This mouse will be given every opportunity to leave voluntarily after I give the place a good cleaning to remove any food source that might have possibly attracted it inside. Failing that, it’ll be glue trap (and release) city. I think I may have one left from the last invasion.

    It’s true, you just put a little cooking or olive oil around the feet and they wriggle free. If you have a conscience you’ll put the glue traps away when you leave your domicile so a frantic mouse won’t injure or kill itself trying to get unstuck. Glue traps are horribly cruel if used as directed (throw the trap away and let the animal die of starvation, dehydration, or fear). Please don’t use them unless you absolutely must.

    I’m trying to atone for the cruel shit I did as a kid.

  62. Rikibeth

    Yikes. That centipede is HYOOOGE. Is it toxic to humans? All I can think of is the Calvin & Hobbes strip where Calvin invites Hobbes to play a guessing game, about the contents of his cupped hands, and Hobbes immediately guesses “gross” and “big centipede with poison pinchers,” at which point Calvin decides to let the centipede go, because he hadn’t known about the poison pinchers!

    It’s scary-looking.

    I’ll confess to mammal-centrism: in this household, we rescue mice from the cat, catch them in dustpans/boxes/what have you, and release them outside, but spiders and ants get squished.

  63. Gertrude Strine

    Quoth Jill

    You Aussies with the white-tailed spiders, you know what I’m talking about.

    Thanks for the nod at Savage Death Island II aka Australia, but the jury’s still out (I reckon it should have come back ages ago with a “not proven”) on white tails.
    This kiwi article has better links than any Oz one.
    http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/biosystematics/invertebrates/spiders/white_tail.asp

    the link to the Medical Journal of Australia definitive survey of over 100 reported Lampona bites is in that article.

    Living in a country area on acreage, I’ve cohabited with white tails happily, since they almost exclusively hunt and keep in balance that bane of households that don’t use nukem insecticides – - grey house spiders Badumna sp. – who live on the midges, mozzies and assorted other diptera who make free around our living space. A white tail’s bite is no more or less painful than a grey’s(personal experience)but a white tail is a lot better risk to have inside the house since they are extremely retiring, only like damp cool areas, and only hunt at night when we’re all asleep, whereas those annoying widow relatives, the greys, camp all over the living area and drop out of their messy webs on bungee ropes when the temperature inside rises beyond their already high tolerance.
    Combined with the expert attentions of LBJs (small birds) at the eaves and verandah ribs, the work of the white tails here means that we can happily slouch around the verandah with a coldie on a hot day without having to check every square inch of the inviting cane chairs before we fall into them.

    Nuking a species is probably as futile as is that obverse activity – captive breeding of wanted ones.
    At least it is if there’s no attention paid to the environment that species belongs to.
    Time, observation (after dealing with a hopefully temporary dangerous overpopulation, of course) and, most of all, restraint is the most fruitful way to coexist in an ecosystem. Applause for the Savage Death Island approach.
    My bet is that a building under construction is no balanced ecosystem and that time will see things look very much more accommodating arachnidwise without more intervention needed.

    And those centipedes are the toughest. We get similar – not as giant – big boys typically under rotting bark – and the normal sad duty when splitting a load of firewood here is to try to quickly help an axe-broken one out of its misery. It’s almost impossible to do quickly without a hammer and an anvil.

  64. speedbudget

    As for the idea of some sadist setting a couple of animals up for a fight, they do it all the time on nature shows. Especially with bees. Gah, it does piss me off.

    Yes, the first-hatched bee out of a queen cell will go and destroy the other queen cells. That much is true. But the farce starts when they show the two queens killing each other over the hive.

    Bees only make a new queen in two circumstances: The existing queen is dead, or the hive is too big and needs to split (which is the real bee procreation).

    In the first instance, no big whoop. The new queen is born, she gets mated, life goes on.

    In the second instance, the nature shows are full of crap. They always show the new queen and the old queen duking it out, catfight style. Which rarely if ever happens. What does happen (and they’re still unsure how) is the hive actually splits. Half of the bees stay with the old queen, half of the bees go with the new queen. They know there is some sort of pheromone feedback loop that goes with this, since that is how most communication gets done in beehives. But they aren’t sure how the bees know which ones go and which ones stay.

    But, you know, that’s boring. And it is a bunch of chicks. You know what we need?

    CATFIGHT!

  65. Lily Underwood

    Fucking patriarchy, indeed.

  66. rainie

    Jill, are you ever tempted to make a sticky trap moat around your bed? Or, maybe, put the legs of your bed into coffee cans of water and make a more literal moat? Or heck, why not both?

  67. Comrade PhysioProf

    As hypocritical as it is, I certainly am more naturally sympathetic to a mouse than to, say, some insect that might be a centipede’s more usual prey.

    Being more sympathetic to a mouse than an insect is not necessarily hypocritical. Mice and other mammals have the sort of nervous system organization that enables them to experience suffering in the same way that human beings do, while insects do not.

  68. Agasaya

    Mice and other mammals have the sort of nervous system organization that enables them to experience suffering in the same way that human beings do, while insects do not.

    I won’t speak of the suffering of insects since it isn’t really relevant to the need to keep one’s ‘nest’ clear of harmful critters, be they insects or males of any species. A friend of mine told her new husband after the ceremony that she didn’t believe in divorce. She believed in widow’s benefits from Social Security. They’re still happily together after 25 peaceful years.

    Back to bugs and the point of this post: Pesticides kill bugs mostly by destroying their central nervous systems in the same manner as these chemicals affect human nerve cells. They hyper-activate the cells, causing them to fire until they are damaged and die via several mechanisms. The organophosphates deplete the synapses of an enzyme that inhibits the travel of impulses between nerve cells across synapses. Another mechanism is to disable the ion channels along the nerve axons so that cells again, cannot inhibit firing.

    They do the same to human nervous systems. Products using less toxic active ingredients add synergists increase their toxicity ten-fold. Added ingredients can disable detoxification mechanisms so that targeted (and non-targeted) organisms can’t successfully fight it off. Pesticides are also delivered in toxic solvents like xylene, hazards in themselves.

    Some are endocrine disruptors and my own thyroid function and estrogen-testosterone balance was damaged in my early twenties, rendering me infertile. Years later, I lost a layer of brain cells and 24 IQ points to the products freely used without notice by landlords and employers. Cardiac and respiratory damage is done as well. Diversity in genetics also plays a role in the degree of damage done by the chemicals to humans,but there is damage sooner or later including cancer and autoimmune diseases. Women are disproportionately harmed because ‘safe’ amounts are based upon the physiology of healthy adult males.

    Just don’t use them. Look up methods from experts such as ‘Buggy Bill’; Steve Tvedten and databases at panna.org and beyondpesticides (NCAMP). These chemicals do not degrade indoors according to labels because that requires sunlight as per agricultural use in fields. They cannot be removed from fabrics or other porous materials and, when heated, release into the air as gasses all over again. Pet deaths are frequently sited as resulting from these chemicals as well.

    If I can’t be a good example, I can serve as a horrible warning.

  69. slade

    I had just been reviewing zucchini recipes since my garden is full of them. Reading the recipes made me hungry so I stopped.

    I decide to visit my favorite blog and see if Jill had said anything new….I’m certainly not hungry now.

    So, when one decides to build a home, should one check out what bugs are around?

    Jill, I would be going nuts…all those logs full of numbers of dangerous insects running around in the house and they’re not paying rent!

    I try to get bugs outside and not kill them. But if they bite, I sadly say, ‘Do you have rent money?’ And if I don’t hear ‘Yes,’ I swat. I’ve had so many infected bug bites.

    You are a better woman than I. I will do better. I wish you the best of luck of ridding your home of those spiders…I had never heard of them until I lived in Kansas City. Do they run really fast? Or were people pulling my leg?

    The patriarchy sucks…and may it suck venom and wither away into nothingness!

  70. Ron Sullivan

    We’ve got one of these in the house and I use it when I don’t feel like handling a critter directly or when I want to keep said critter around for ID and then release her. If you google on “spider catcher” you’ll find something more hilarious.

    I’d be cautious about accepting a forensic ID of brown recluse bite from a physician. Seems they screw that up a lot and they don’t know they’re wrong. Medicine has its folklore too.

    OTOH if I had brown recluses AND scorpions AND giant centipedes in the quantity Jill seems to have them, I’d be painting half the house in glue. Clap a cup of Idunno-what-terminal-anaesthetic over them if I find them still alive, and call it an art project. Maybe a coat of shellac too.

  71. maidden

    If anybody doubts that animal cruelty is tied up with patriarchy

    Let me just clear up that I do not doubt that animal cruelty is tied up with patriarchy. What I questioned is what constitutes animal cruelty.

    This comment falls into the ‘how dare you discuss [this frivolous topic] when people are dying in Transylvania?’ category. Which, if you’d bothered to read the required ‘Guidelines for Commenters’, you would know is disallowed.

    I did read the guidelines before commenting, and the FAQ. Perhaps my comment was misinterpreted: my intention wasn’t to claim that you shouldn’t be discussing that topic, I was in fact attempting to join the discussion, but with a viewpoint different from what the majority of commenters were presenting.

    I have to say, though, that I’m very glad it was allowed through, even though it seemed to break the guidelines. That alone puts this blog several orders of magnitude above some others that shall remain unnamed. Thanks!

    Also, when some psychopath kid sics a venomous centipede on a domestic mouse for entertainment, it’s not merely cruelty, it’s prurient, voyeuristic sadism.

    I wasn’t aware you could ‘sic’ a centipede on anything. I thought he just fed it a mouse. A live mouse, disturbingly enough. I figured, though, that if the centipede ate the mouse, it was because centipedes eat mice, when they can catch ‘em. And one of the downsides of keeping animals as pets is that (usually) we don’t let them go find their own food, so we gotta feed them ourselves. Whether the pleasure the kid got from watching his centipede eat betrays a perversion on his part… Well, maybe. I’m not qualified to say. But feeding your pet one of its natural foods is cruelty?

  72. Gertrude Strine

    Quoth Ron

    If you google on “spider catcher” you’ll find something more hilarious.

    http://www.spidercatcher.net/
    It’s a boon to those with severe reactions to venom.
    I use it on the occasional indoors european honeybee, at whose venom I chuck an instant vasophyllactic act – if I haven’t kept up with the desensitising jabs. And I’m not prepared to get a challenge dose any more just to check that currency, so the spidee catcher presents a lot less risk than helping madam bee outside with a broom. Bees appear to calm down when in the filaments, while they get agitato if in a transparent trad catcher.

  73. Sophie

    As a practising Buddhist I am almost entirely certain that horrific beasts like that centipede have no Buddha potential, and personally I’d beat it to a pulp with my shoe (if I was brave enough to get that close and hadn’t already run screaming to the next state). If I’m wrong, and my next fleshly incarnation is spent as a giant face-eating centipede, then hell, at least it’ll be short and I might get to be world-famous in a video on someone’s blog.

  74. speedbudget

    Agasaya: It’s interesting you bring up pesticides. I live on five acres, and right next to us is a field rented by a farmer for his corn crop. While it’s cool to watch the pilots spread the pesticide (I mean, daredevil flying. Does it get any better??), it’s sad when you go out at night. Our five acres are absolutely alive with fireflies while the corn field is an empty desert.

    My dad farms our acreage organically, so no pesticides at all are used. We have tons of ladybugs and I’m noticing more and more parasitic wasps (for those of you who kill wasps indoors like me: The ones with the long, long filaments coming out of their butts are parasitic. They won’t sting you. That long filament is their ovipositor. In stinging insects, the infertile bugs sting with their ovipositor, which is why the bee queen won’t sting. Her ovipositor is used for laying eggs, not stinging). The bugs stop right at the property line where the farmer’s spray starts.

  75. Agasaya

    Speedbudget,

    The bad news is that aerial spraying leaves pesticide drift all over the place, up to six miles in terms of radius from some studies I have read. No organic farm remains ‘organic’ next to such an entity as a conventional corn field, even if they used ground spraying measures.

    You can send soil samples from your field to confirm and property values are respected – you may gain buffer vegetation and a more restrictive fly zone etc. However, if you also test the air in your home via an air purifier filter being analyzed or even analyzing fabric samples from the house, you may also find significant drift has entered there as well. Insects around your home may multiply and behave abnormally due to damage done from drift as well. It has been proven that spraying for mosquito control purposes actually increases the percentage of disease-infected mosquitoes through surviving insects.

    Chemical drift of all kinds is a major health threat to women and children. Indoor air pollution is so serious today that one highly reputable epidemiologist (Kaye Kilburn) has data showing that around 70% of ‘normal’ middle aged adults are showing signs of premature central nervous system dysfunction not expected until very late in life.

    The revolution needs to begin with the indoor areas of our homes (I have measured unbelievable amounts of toxicants in houses and offices) if we are going to be healthy enough to fight it.

  76. blondie

    (sorry) string-drift

    Speaking of toxicity and insect control, does anyone have an effective way to help your dog avoid ticks and fleas other than the liquid medicine you squirt between their shoulders? I understand that stuff works by making your dog’s skin and hair toxic to the bugs. If he, himself, is thereby toxic to bugs, how toxic is he to himself? I know he hates the stuff and acts sluggish after it’s administered. How else can we avoid the ticks and fleas? Or am I over-reacting to an uneducated, imagined risk?

  77. ambivalent academic

    Blondie – In the past I have used an “herbal” flea/tick repellent. It’s mixture of citronella, clove, cinammon and myriad other aromatic oils that you also squeeze between the shoulders. Not toxic, but it makes your dog smell overpoweringly like a Christmas fruit cake. I thought it was rather nice, but dog noses being what they are the dog absolutely despised it. Presumably, the fleas and ticks do too. Except here is Bass-ackwards, TX, where the fleas and ticks think fruit-cake flavored dogs are just that much more delicious. I switched to the nasty toxic stuff when the dog suggested he might chew his leg off for all the itching.

    My feeling is this: you, as a steward of your pet’s health and responsible companion, have to weigh the options and potential outcomes and make the best decision you can. Deworming medication for horses is a toxin and not without risks, but the risks of not using it are far more dire. Not using an effective flea/tick treatment exposes your dog to tapeworm infestions (via flea bite) or Lyme disease, and the treatments for those involve more toxins. Heartworm preventative is also a poison, but so is arsenic, which is what they have to use to get rid of the heartworms once they’re infected. “Poisons” are a function of perspective.

  78. virgotex

    Twisty, I have an exceptionally laissez faire policy re fauna in my house. It is only under duress that I roust myself to administer my equally liberal catch and release procedure and interfere with bug and snake lives. For example, I went to great lengths to re-home an errant coral snake a while back.

    That said, I live in Wimberley (not so far from your HQ) and I completely understand your dilemma. Exceptions to my above policy are not taken lightly, and must for the same reasons you describe, be administered consistently. Habeas corpus is not applicable to scorpions and brown recluses unlucky enough to wander into my domicile.

  79. Shelby

    Reminds me of when I was sharing house. We were all pretty pissed at the time – well most of the time actually -and we noticed a huntsman spider on the ceiling whose lovely egg sacks has just hatched. A whole bunch of ever so cute baby huntsman started to spread themselves out over the house. They were just so darling until a week later they were all as big as mum. They ended up in every nook and previously unexplored cranny in the house. Frightening!

    But bugger the spiders. What about that mad centipede? Is it poisonous?

    @blondie. I don’t know about a natural repellant for ticks and fleas but I have been told by a vet that if your beloved does get a tick you should try and get beloved to eat said tick in order to build up an immunity, not that I all together trust vets since the last one I went to told me that both my cats had skin cancer and should be put down immediately. I didn’t follow her advice and they both lived long and pain free existences.

  80. speedbudget

    Shelby: An immunity to what, exactly?

  81. Agasaya

    . “Poisons” are a function of perspective.

    I understand where you are coming from but this makes it sounds as if the effects of poisons ‘change’ according to your intentions in using them. As women, we have to look at every point of reality because the sales pitches of the ‘P’ are at work here. Poisons utilized in order to save (as in some medications) are not the same as selecting ‘poisons’ to sell for the purpose of preventing illness (like DEET or even more commonly, triclosan, the antibacterial agent). Repellents should not harm to the same extent as the illness you are trying to avoid or there is no risk/benefit ratio worth having. When you use the pesticide drops that go on your dog’s back, they spread to cover the entire coat through absorption into the animal’s glands. The poisons are also deposited all over the owner and house through mechanical contact. Illnesses in children from petting animals treated like this has been well documented. I just had to throw out a set of clothing from having a friend’s dog, fresh from rolling in herbicided grass, jumping all over me.

    There is a two-fold program for repelling ticks and fleas from riding along with your dog. First, you can make them less attractive to taste through feeding them garlic or B vitamin loaded snack foods with your vet’s okay. However, that only helps after the bugs take a bite out of your poor pet. Repelling initial forays into the hair or fur can be done via washes with vinegar and soapy water solutions. Combing at the end of the day is also indicated. Yes, there are herbal formulations containing topical garlic or mint etc which aren’t bad but should not be so concentrated as to harm the pet and others. Essential oils happen to be quite harsh on systems in many cases. Many oils are actually processed using petrochemical solvents while others are simply too concentrated to be tolerated (e.g. citronella is processed internally as an aldehyde, toxic to us).

    Lavender oils are estrogenic and have caused breast development in boys. Citrus oil (D-Limonene) is a sensitizer and neurotoxicant. People have been disabled by its use as a pesticide. Chrysanthemum oils are touted as a natural (pyrethrum) pesticide but they are marketed with added synergists as mentioned in my earlier post, turning them into uberpoisons. The pet treatments consist of pesticides which have been banned in different locales for agricultural use due to unintended hazards – imidocloprid (Advantage, which can kill cats) and fipronil (Frontline).

    Do the research. Some items to get you started:

    http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/pets/execsum.asp – In 2002 after this was written, the newer formulations were found to be neurotoxic and even carcinogenic (but no one follows the Delaney Act)

    http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/pets-pesticides-47062203

  82. Antares

    More thread-drift :

    @blondie : I, too, have been using that squirty stuff between my cats’ shoulders to deal with mites and fleas and whatnot. What I understood from the vet is that it makes their blood toxic. Two of my cats are from the street so every month after dealing with the catastrophe of administering that shit, I have to build back their trust. The process is just not worth it – especially considering they still have brown gunk in their ears, (which means they have mites – the brown stuff is mite poop).

    Anyhow, a friend of mine deals with this in a way im about to try myself. She puts a couple of drops of garlic oil into the food of her cat. Not only does this keep parasites off of and out of the cat, she says, it has the added benefits of helping the cat vomit up hairballs more easily and gives him a shiny coat. She’s been doing this for many years. The oil can be made by putting a couple cloves of garlic in olive oil for 24hours.

  83. Bella Donna

    Yeah, just don’t overdose the garlic oil, it’s also a natural laxative for cats.

    I saw a black widow out by my place for the first time.

    I killed it, I have cats and a dog and a niece.

    My cousin was over working in the yard and he observed that it was the first time he’d ever seen me kill a spider.

    It wasn’t the first time I’d ever killed a spider, because the house I grew up in had a constant Hobo spider invasion, but since moving to the country it was the first time I’d felt it was necessary.

    Now I’m all bummed out.

  84. pheeno

    Dogs will naturally fight. That doesn’t mean it’s OK to stick them in a ring and watch them go at it. It sure doesn’t make it ok to film it and cheer at the violence and pain the losing dog is experiencing.

    Dogs have been known to kill cats. Likewise, that doesn’t mean Hey, go get a cat and stick it in a room with a dog, film it and narrate the coolness of the cat being ripped apart.

    That’s the difference between the mentioned youtube vids and the Discovery Channel.

  85. utahgirl

    So, as much as I love the (not so) heartwarming nature crap (really, though–I do.), I’m very interested in reading what you have to say about the “spunky”, “feisty”, “hot-headed” and even “hysterical” brown woman about to be nominated to the supreme court. (All adjectives heard on NPR, CNN, etc.–not my own.)

  86. intransigentia

    There’s been a hidden benefit of having this post at the top of the page for a few days, at least for me: I’m horrendously >6legphobic, and the first few times I stopped by to see if there was anything new, I saw the picture, recoiled, and actually felt nauseated. After a few days I stopped having any particular reaction. Then last night I encountered a local, benign, spider in my basement, an event that at one time would have had me shrieking, running back upstairs, and reconsidering the location of my sewing lair. I seem to have been significantly desensitised. I just waited for it to go back under the shelves, and went about my business.

  87. Tata

    Was it just me or did the IBtP disappear for a day?

  88. Laughingrat

    Yes, for about two days whenever I tried to get to the site, I would get a dialogue box asking me to download a file. Pretty shady–I was wondering if someone hacked the blog?

  89. Nolabelfits

    Well I’m glad to hear the site disappeared for others as well. Now I don’t have to troubleshoot my damn computer.

  90. maidden

    Pheeno, if you search Youtube for videos of dogs and cats put in the same room, more often than not, you’ll see them play together, rather than rip each other apart. In the few videos where they seem to be actually fighting (not play-fighting), you can’t assume the dog is going to be the one to take down the cat. Cats can really hold their own, you know?

    Besides, in neither of the cases you mentioned was one animal being fed to another, so I’m not sure the conclusions of one situation can be perfectly applied to the other. Maybe if you had given an argument against pet snakes, I’d see your point more clearly, they’re fed mice too. Usually already dead mice, although I’ve heard some species can be rather fussy and won’t eat it if it’s not put with them still alive.

  91. Larkspur

    Ooh, I had trouble with the site too, but I assumed it was something I screwed up. I got a prompt for a download when I tried to set IBTP as my home page, and after that I kept getting error messages that ended in .part, and could only see the site as a google cache. I still think it’s something I did wrong, but I reset my homepage to bland old google, and cleared the cache and cookies, and now I’m back, and isn’t that just thrilling as hell, y’all?

    maidden, I recently read in Temple Grandin’s Book Animals Make Us Human that she sees no excuse for feeding pet or captive snakes live mice, as she feels the mouse’s suffering counts for something, and that if it is humanely and quickly killed immediately before feeding it to the snake, the snake eats it just fine.

    I am not sure how to kill a mouse quickly and humanely, but I assume Grandin does – she is a scientist and has worked with lab animals and animals of all kinds for years.

    That said, I confess to feeding live crickets to a client’s iguanas. I do not know if Cricketville is planning revenge, but I can’t picture humanely euthanizing a dozen crickets. If they feel anything, it’s gonna be collective terror. At least they recognize iguanas as part of the cycle of life. Maybe. I am going to think about something else now.

  92. ma am

    PhysioProf, I must challenge you on your assertation that insects do not feel pain. Recently it was found (by science!) that crustaceans feel pain even though their nervous system is also unlike ours, and because of this reason the study results were a surprise. I won’t provide a link but it is easily found. It seems highly possible that insects and many or all other living creatures could also fall into this category. Pain is a method of danger avoidance and is therefore necessary to survival. Just because we humans have chosen not to investigate various capacities of other creatures, or that we are incapable of such investigation, or because we refuse to acknowledge the possibility of various capacities (because either it would make us feel guilty or it would interfere with business as usual), from this does not automatically follow that such capacities do not exist.

    Further this is a very old and tired play in the patriarchy/racism ballgame. Unfortunately science is usually on the wrong team.

  93. Jezebella

    Maidden, you are missing the point entirely. Staged dog fights are reprehensible and abusive, as are cockfights, dog/cat fights, mouse/centipede fights, or any other situation where humans goad two animals into violence for the amusement of said “humans”. Anyone who gets off on seeing such things is dangerous and sick.

  94. huzzah

    I’m still getting the dialogue box asking to download a file. Any idea what that’s about?

  95. Larkspur

    huzzah, I’m not sure what the dialogue box is about, but don’t download it. I have a further comment about the trouble I had, but it’s in moderation still. But don’t download it because I couldn’t get back to the site until messing about with caches and cookies and stuff.

  96. Agasaya

    Yeah, I still have a comment in moderation replying to a question about flea and tick treatments for pets. Then the dialogue box began appearing. You’ll need a new bookmark for the site most likely.

  97. AM

    About that dialog box: it’s about Quicktime and Firefox. There may be other reasons, but in my case, it was because I have Firefox 3, which, for the time being, Quicktime doesn’t work with. I got around it by opening Opera for I Blame.

  98. Suzz

    @maidden: Yes, centipedes in nature might catch and eat mice, and snakes in nature might constrict cute bunnies and lions in nature might nosh on the hot guts of still-conscious gazelles. Dogs/bulls/gorillas might have bloody fights with their competition instinctually. Nature is cruel in many ways – we know that. I think the point, though, is that we have a choice to embrace and encourage that cruelty by participating in it (even for sustenance – we do not need to kill or hurt living, feeling beings for our food, clothing, etc.) and looking to it for entertainment, reveling in our dominance of that system and generally not giving a shit, or to reject it in our own lives and live a more sympathetic existence that doesn’t assume ‘might is right.’

    As has been said before by Jill, as well as other blamers and scholars, patriarchy is not just a type of society in which Men are In Charge and Women must Make Babies and Cook Dinner. It is a complex and far-reaching system of fetishized dominance and submission, and its grounds are not limited to man-woman interaction. ‘Might is right’ is the basis for the oppression that is often raged against here, from rape and abuse to economic exploitation and marginalization. Not giving a shit about someone’s entertain-o-film of nature’s cruelty is not all that different from not giving a shit about someone’s entertain-o-film about inter-human cruelty. It’s just as much based in the same blasé attitude that ignores any human rights infringements that aren’t right there in front of us.

  99. Josquin

    Hey- The Odd Lady is on Twitter! Twitter just became slightly more interesting to me. As for insects, I consider some of them worthy opponents, and treat them as such. I was felled for 2 weeks by a wasp which stung my eye. I became the swollen pig-eyed lady, and went stark raving nuts on the steroids needed to get it under control. Nonetheless, I would get no pleasure from trapping a wasp and making it fight to the death with some other insect or mouse or anything. IBTP for revenge-sick justifications for cruelty.

  100. Larkspur

    Josquin, et al., that’s the thing: the wasp sting is totally without malice. It’s painful, maybe life-threatening, and of course you have to try to kill one before it stings you. But there’s no malice. A wasp is incapable of acting maliciously (of course I mean the insect wasp, not the WASP wasp, a group to which I belong, btw) and killing a wasp before it stings you isn’t malicious. But people are capable of rigging up death matches between wasps and whatever, as you described, Josquin, and our whole destiny and history and marching orders and what have you needs to be dedicated to learning that we mustn’t do stuff like that. Not to anyone or anything. Ever. Even if we really really want to.

    Here is a totally true honest-to-dog fact, cross my heart: I know someone who survived a hyena mauling. It was no laughing matter: pain, fear, bad scars, PTSD (mostly resolved), expenses, etc., and yet the experience really was mitigated by knowing that it was a hyena being a hyena, and the person the hyena mauled was not targeted for any other reason than he/she (discretion, I haz it) was in the hyena’s environment and seemed like food.

  101. Josquin

    Larkspur,

    Yes, in complete accordance. I didn’t feel a sense of malignant offense from the wasp, and thus harbored no anger. And although the hyena mauling sounds horrific, it seems that it also was not worsened by a sense of being gratuitously or maliciously motivated.
    (oops – I did giggle though when I read it was “no laughing matter.” Laughing hyenas and all. Sorry.). But. There are many people out there, mostly males, who WOULD wrongly feel personally offended by an animal attack, and take revenge on that animal or others like it. Captain Ahab of course comes to mind. Although a tragic fictional character, that driving impulse of hubris, machismo, revenge, and above all a wounded sense of superiority cause calamity and cruelty every day in the real world.

  102. Jezebella

    That damned centipede appeared in my dreams earlier this week. I dreamed it was in my bed, and the cats were trying to get to it, and I was trying to get it before the cats got stung, but also didn’t want to be stung myself. I’m guessing there was much flailing about and startling of the non-dream cats during said dream. Point being: I have looked too long upon the creature, and it has invaded my sleep. I hope for a new post – and new picture – sooner rather than later.

  103. Cathy

    Agasaya, the same thing happened to me (to a lesser extent). Nigel fumigated our house when I was about 20. He seemed to believe the stuff was harmless to people, and left me there to study in the fumes while he drove off to work. I couldn’t study, and fell asleep on the floor, breathing in even more of that crap. I had trouble conceiving, the child has a lot of problems, and I became hypothyroid. I feel decidedly stupider, though never measured IQ points.

  104. denelian

    some years ago, i was bitten by a brown recluse. for the first day or so, i wasn’t worried – at that point i didn’t even know what a brown recluse *was*, but i had been bitten by both a black widow and a tarantula before (the tarantula? not deadly- or sickly making, but OMFG THE PAIN!!!)
    and then it went from a little bite to a slightly larger blister-type thing. still didn’t know what a brown recluse was. after 28 hours it was the size of a 50- cent piece and BLACK.
    a friend of mine gave me this patch thingy, that was supposed to “draw the venom out”. i wore it for two days – the bite started to *hurt* right around the 48 hour mark, maybe 10 or so hours hours after i put the patch on.
    it HURT and HURT and HURT and grew bigger than the patch – at the end of the 3rd (72 hours after being bit, 40 hours after putting on the patch, so i guess i wore it for slightly less than 2 days) the patch was…well, it was burnt through in spots, flaking off in others. so i peeled off what was left. i asked my sister to *lance* the thing, but she wouldn’t – but she would *squeeze* it, which did nothing except make me pass out from pain one of the only 3 times i have dones so (the other 2? tarantula bite, and trying to walk 2 hours after major hip surgery. avoid both)

    so squeezing didn’t do anything.

    next day, officially the 4 day of the bite, i put a regular ol’ bandage over it (square of gauze, taped all around, because it was now the size of two and a half 50-cent pieces) so i can wear pants (because it was right on my waist, on the right side) and GO TO WORK.

    i was at work for maybe two hours when all of the sudden we all started smelling something *horrible*. i was a delivery driver for Papa John’s at the time, and we were afraid that there was a dead something in one of the vents of something. so i reached up to open the first vent, and the manager said “Hey, Liz, why is there black goo oozing out over your pants.”
    the bite had burst open. the smell? was my dead flesh. now ooze. at which point Eunice (why she was managing a pizza shop and not managing an anthropolgy department i will never get. she said PapaJohns was her “retirement job” anyway) looked at the weird goo, and my side, and freaked out, closed the shop, and took me to the ER herself. because *SHE* knew what a brown recluse was.

    years and years and years later (almost 10 years, now) the scare has shrunk to just about 2 50-cent pieces. and it’s filled in – it used to be a HOLE three inches deep into my skin. three inches deep, 5 almost 6 around – and until Eunice saw it, i thought it was no big. i am apparently really lucky to not have had anything worse happen, because i had the venom in me working for 4 full days – i was told i should have lost a *lot* more flesh.

    *NOW* i know what the fuckers are, and i ain’t messing around. i like spiders in general, because i am bug-o-phobic and spiders eat bugs and i am happy. but the second i see anything that *might* be a brown recluse – i bug bomb. not very nice of me, i guess – but moths make me run in terror, silverfish give me nightmares and roaches are – they are the worst. actually REALLY bug phobic here. it’s why i live in a city – the theory being that there are less bugs here than in the not-city.

  105. maidden

    @Suzz: “we do not need to kill or hurt living, feeling beings for our food, clothing, etc.”

    Unless you’re proposing everyone live as a level 5 vegan (won’t eat anything that casts a shadow), then yes, we do need to kill or hurt living beings. There are a few critters we are symbiotic with, but to everything else we’re at least hurting them by taking up their space.

    @Jezebella:

    The mouse/centipede video was a “fight” inasmuch as human vs. box of tv dinner is a fight. ‘Course, tv dinners don’t cry out when we stick them in the oven, so it doesn’t look so bad.

  106. Larkspur

    Josquin, thanks for giggling. When it comes to hyena maulings, you absolutely for sure have to take your jokes any time you find ‘em. Also, you and I (and most, if not all, of the commenters here, not to mention our genial and most beloved host, who I didn’t even know was knocking helplessly on the door of her own blog for the last few days, welcome back) are surely not Dominionists. You know: believers that God gave us dominion over all of the creatures of the world, flying, crawling, swimming, running, or just hanging out, on account of them not having souls like we do. That concept alone has given us endless carnage, and all you have to do to spill that carnage over onto humans is to allege (as we figured out so long ago) that certain bunches of them have no souls or aren’t quite human, and are thus like animals, over which we has the dominion. Gah.

    Cathy: this is the most awful thing I have read in a while. If I could time travel even just the once, I’d go back and carry you the hell out of there. Unless I could go back a wee bit earlier and stay the clueless Nigel’s hand.

    denelian: what a nightmare. Holy crap. Bugphobia: guaranteed. Tonight I shall drink to Eunice.

  107. pheeno

    Maidden- You’re being purposely obtuse. Arranging a predator/prey scenario JUST SO YOU CAN ENTERTAIN YOURSELF is the issue here. It’s not a natural environment, there’s no chance of escape (like there would be naturally) and people don’t film it to get their rocks off.

    Yes, things eat each other. No that’s not what other people here have a problem with. No, not even when it’s a cute cuddly thing getting eaten.

    If I have to dumb that down any further, you will get the troll version.

  108. Suzz

    Maidden, of course we need to eat living beings to sustain ourselves – but it is not truly necessary to hurt and kill those that are feeling. By this, I mean members of the animal kingdom – the only organisms with nervous systems, capable of experiencing pain, suffering, and fear. Yes, we may encroach upon their habitats just by being (or, rather, being overpopulated!) but aside from existing, a value for which i suspect will not disappear, we harbor a practical capability to be interested in the well-being of other beings, and not just see them as dinner/shoes/test subjects.

    And I don’t know what this “level 5 vegan/nothing that casts a shadow” stuff you’re talking about really is, but it sounds like sensationalist bs to me. People often mischaracterize vegans/vegetarians in the same way that they mischaracterize feminists: “Oh, that is so crazy and extreme and unnatural!”

    Anyway, my point was just that it happens in nature isn’t necessarily a valid excuse for our participation, capitulation or entertain-u-lation.

  109. denelian

    Larkspur – thanx. every year on the anniversary of that crazy day, i take Eunice out and buy her a drink (August 3rd, to be exact). but i’ll tell her you were drinking to her – she’ll be pleased! she pretty much *the* most awesome 65 year old i have ever met!

  110. Cathy

    Thanks, Larkspur. Most of my fantasies seem to involve time travel. If this blog had existed back then, I would have known better than to marry him. And, yeah, it wasn’t so long ago that women were considered to be sans souls. I kinda wish it were true so none of us would have to worry about an afterlife with men.

  111. Chai Latte

    Aunt Twisty, I admire your devotion to these creatures great and small. I can’t share it in this instance–quite frankly that picture is giving me the heebitijeebies.

    If it has more than four legs, I do NOT want it in the room with me. That’s all there is to it.

  112. Barry

    Our infestation is a little bit different, we are inundated with the western conenose bug. This is one nastey creature.

  113. Rana

    Yar. That’s a BIG ol’ centipede. I get wigged out enough with the smaller ones that the cat chases about the house.

    I’m posting to pass on the information, for all you glue-trappers out there, that oil is not the best way to free the little dudes (mice or otherwise). I found this out the hard way, ending up with one very oily and freaked out mouse still stuck to the trap.

    No, what works best at dissolving the glue is rubbing alcohol. I don’t know if it’s safe for arthropods, but it works quite well for freeing the rodents.

  114. Agasaya

    Cathy,

    My participation has been limited as I am trying to get into a Vt battered women’s shelter, being stalked and assaulted with regard to a pending law suit involving the pesticide industry. Of course, the police insist I require hospitalization on life support before the stalking charges are taken seriously.

    Your health issues are quite common with exposures. Pesticides have become ubiquitous in the environment and it is not even a legal right to obtain advance notice of their use in your work or school/residential environments.

    If women took consumer rights issues as a priority womens issue, we could vastly improve our health.

  115. Sophie

    Way back further up someone mentioned the use of the word ‘motherfucker’. I always interpreted this to mean ‘someone who fucks (ie rapes, presumably) their own mother’, I’d never thought of it as general ‘someone who has sex with a woman who has given birth’. That’s why I’m happy to use it as an insult. (Notwithstanding, that is, the bit in the film ‘Wildcats’ when Goldie Hawn’s character, accused in court of calling her ex a ‘motherfucker’, replies ‘Well, it’s true, I’m a mother and he used to fuck me’.)

  116. Cathy

    Agasaya,

    Holy shit, you’ve been stalked and assaulted by someone you’re trying to sue? I hope you can get to safety.

    Momsrising.org is trying to get BPA out of baby products in CA. It’s a start, anyway. I suspect BPA is as ubiquitous as pesticides, as the FDA decided it is safe. Maybe for a 250-lb. man.

  117. Agasaya

    Cathy,

    It is ongoing. Yet none of the womens’ groups will touch it because it is the ‘wrong kind’ of violence. They ‘only’ handle domestic or sexual violence. As a litigant, no one takes you seriously because we’re all supposedly frauds trying to get rich.

    The cops just say keep calling us when someone bothers you. Like the stalkers hang out waiting for them? Women have no credibility there, ever.

    I’m open to suggestions.

  1. Danger and slapstick on Savage Death Island! at I Blame The Patriarchy

    [...] of the hysterical and insane.” I know this is true, because I have written at least 3 posts [1, 2, and 3] on this species alone, and even made a movie. Inexplicably, the movie failed to beguile [...]

  2. An almost perfect day « Intransigentia's Blog

    [...] anything new, and she left (warning: image of a giant centipede, not for the faint of heart) this up for a really long time.  Non-Texas-sized bugs don’t seem to phase me any [...]

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