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In the context of "Nymphomaniac Vol. II" the phrase "I don't have enough spoons for this!" gets a wholly new meaning. ;-)
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I've been watching the Ellen-Page-speech about five times today and each time her coming out passes, I feel myself welling up a bit more. And I hate myself for it. I hate the fact that it is still a big thing in this world to make an admission like that, that it still has to be considered a brave act to essentially say "I might want to kiss somebody who I will never be inseminated by". By an actress in Hollywood, people. I know actors and I have ideas about Hollywood and I am certain that there are shitloads of gay actors and actresses out and about working all over Hollywood. Surely this cannot be an issue there anymore.
Ellen Page, star of "Juno" and "Hard Candy", also hardly is the poster girl for traditional family values but I understand that a young and attractive woman is bound to be a better headline grabber than an aged man like Joel Schumacher (Yes, he is gay. Haven't you seen his Batman films?), even if it does make me grumble on some level.

But each time I watch the clip, I see a bit more of her nervousness and her vulnerability and each time it does touch me and make me glad that here is somebody who might now be well on her way to a happiness and level of comfort that is currently eluding me, if she hasn't found it already.
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I'm not really one for zoos. For a while, I justified this to myself with ethical concerns but truth be told I am probably just not all that interested in walking round a park looking at animals suffering from cabin fever. Or be surrounded by hordes of children screaming for attention.
Still, people change, don't they? The SO is very keen on zoos and animals (less so on children) and so it happened that in the past month we visited both of Berlin's zoos. I also made a day of visiting two of Stralsund's marine museums while the SO was out clothes-shopping with mother. In other words, I have done more animal-related activities in the last month than I did in the decade preceding it. And you know what? It was actually quite nice.

The Tierpark of East Berlin, true to its name, is more of a park with the animals at times almost hidden between the bushes, while West Berlin's Zoologischer Garten architectually looks very 70s but has a few more special areas like a huge Aquarium and a section for nocturnal animals.
Not sure if it is really possible to say which one I preferred, except maybe that I really wanted to see Gorillas, which could only be found in the Zoologischer Garten. It was a very bored looking gorilla, which was more than made up for by the frantic excitement of the visitors. Insert your own "You really couldn't tell which side of the glass the true cage was."-joke here.
There also was an orang-utan who had clearly resisted having its fur cut for quite a while now, making it look like a cross between Cousin Itt and a particularly extreme Greebo. Indeed, the SO remarked that it that was really lacking were the dreadlocks.
Sloths can go quite fast when they want to, by the way. Normally they just don't bother. And a laughing hippo is a most imposing, not to say frightening, sound. True story.

The Ozeaneum Stralsund also kicked some major arse on account of hosting not one but two giant aquariums, the larger of which contains around nine million litres of water as well as a shark, several giant turtles and fucking entire shoals of fish. So you stand there and stare up at an aquarium the size of a building and hope that this will not be the moment for the glass to break. Needless to say that I do not recommend being on any sort of psychoactive substance while visiting this museum, unless you really want to know why H.P. Lovecraft felt so iffy about marine life.

Other things I learned that day:
The Basking Shark is the second largest fish in the world reaching a length of about 12 meters (ca. 40 ft.). During sex the male ejaculates 16 litres of semen.
In the Ozeaneum they show you how much that is. And add a visual aid showing the average human ejaculation, just for comparison. I'm certain that it intimidates the average man.

Male octopi also have a special tentacle with which they implant what was described as a "sperm bullet" into the female.
Second dates must be fun.

Also: Grey seals. They sit there and they look cute, fluffy and big-eyed. After seeing half a dozen of these, you feel this overwhelming urge of wanting to cuddle something ASAP, preferably one of these cute, fluffy things.

Then you reach the exhibit showing these fast and sharp-toothed predators hunting and you're instantly happy that you are not a fish. :-S

Horseshoe crabs aren't crabs, btw, they are spiders. Huge, armoured spiders.

After watching the starfish for a while, their mouths sucking at the glass and finding out that sometimes severed limbs can even regenerate a new central section, while sea cumcumber have a way of evading predators by ejecting their internal organs at said predator (yes, these, too, can be regenerated), you start to understand Lovecraft so much better.

Don't get me started on the fish that did a wonderful impression of the campest mincing queen imaginable while harboring poison-spikes of untold agonies and the fish whose bite is more dangerous than a cobra's and who looks like a motherfucking stone! I knew that there was supposed to be a fish there! I was looking for it! It still took me five minutes to find it! And it kills!

What was more entertaining was the fact that the signs describing the creatures inside the tanks often also made mention of how good their flesh tastes.
"This world is full of wonderful, varied creatures. Many of them absolutely delicious."
This motivated the SO to ask several times throughout our Tierpark-visit whether we had eaten the animal we were currently looking at yet. The wonders of living in a city where you can get african cuisine.
von_geisterhand: (Default)
As I mentioned in the previous post, I recently watched a programme on some (white, well off, american) children between 8 and 17 whose inner gender does not match their bio-gender. Some of them had already begun taking hormones and were now thinking about surgery and some of them were still uncertain about whether they ever wanted to take that step.
What made me think, though, besides questions about performing surgery on pre-puberty bodies, was something one of the little boys said: When asked why he felt that he was a boy despite the fact he had been born as a female, he answered that he had always liked to play with boys' toys like remote-controlled cars and enjoyed sports like Karate, far more than taking part in typical girls' activities. Fair enough, you'd say, and not something one has not heard before.
On the other hand, this also accepts and reinforces the traditional ideas of what it is like to be a boy/girl and what is and is not proper for either gender. This always saddens me a little bit.
I mean, fair enough, you can't ask too much from a child around 10 (sorry, can't remember how old exactly) but I had hoped that we as a society had now reached a level of intelligence where (for example) a bio-girl happily living as and being seen as a "girl" can play with a remote-controlled car and excel at Karate without this in any way meaning.... well, anything more. They don't, or should not, take away your "girl-license" just because you don't conform to a standard that was set more than 50 years ago. "Girl/Boy/Man/Woman" are concepts of consensual definition and therefore more than fluid.

Be what you want to be and be it any way you decide.


Jun. 11th, 2011 07:30 pm
von_geisterhand: (Default)
I ate a wonderful vegan bagel yesterday, complete with a large helping of bean sprouts. Today, my faeces are....

If you really have to know )

I may well post an off-colour joke my brother told me recently here soon.
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Happy birthday, Alice Cooper! 63 today. Amazing what a pact with the Devil can do for you.
(We understand that you probably will not have a drink to mark the occasion, so I shall do that for you. ;-)

Also happy birthday to George A. Romero, who turns 71!
(Say, if it wouldn't be too much hassle, could we have a good film again, please? Proper good like "Day" and not so-so good like "Land", if you could manage. I mean, yes, of course you are a legend and have nothing left to prove but it would still be nice to have the reputation reinforced once in a while. Give my love to Dario.)
von_geisterhand: (Default)
I want to comment on a blog-entry about how to best phrase something, but I just don't seem to be able to get the phrasing right. This is most vexing.


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