tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

Otters gonna ott, and other stories.

A whole bunch of schoolboys just passed under my office window, marching and chanting something incomprehensible. When I say schoolboys, I mean ones of the older teenage variety, with the booming voices of adulthood, but in that drab uniform they make boys wear so you can't tell them apart. Anyone know what they were on about?

I found these in a box at home:

Marineland penguins. They are Little Blue Penguins, the kind they have the road signs about on the south coast, known also as Fairy Penguins back then.

Otters! Tarka and Mitch. We used to be allowed to feed these guys, and apparently Mitch gave my brother a harsh lesson when he was little about offering food then taking it away. I remember them being kind of like cats.

Snoopy the chimp, posing with an unlit cigarette. This sort of thing was considered cute back then. Meanwhile, I have very strong memories of Dad's insistence that everyone learned the difference between a monkey and an ape, and even now if someone calls a chimp a monkey, Dad appears in my head going "APE, DAMNIT, APE!"

So when the bloody creationists start in with the bullshit about how evolution says we came from monkeys, you can imagine what happens. I have zero respect for creationism, and even less respect for people who equate monkeys with apes.

On the upside, I now know that I can express my disrespect for monkey/ape equators with int, whereas for creationists I am better off using unsigned int because it gives me more scope for full expression. Lalalala..

Meanwhile, last night's heroin class was .. interesting, but not in the way I expected. I am accustomed to the drug being the focus of discussion about drugs, but in this case, the lecturer made the politics surrounding the drug his main focus. So we learned about the machinations of various governments (particularly the US government), and the way in which they worked with various organised crime groups in the 20th Century to aid the heroin trade in return for helping to control the 'communist threat'. It wasn't new ground for me, but more a new angle to look at it from.

My impression of the lecturer is that he's in the 'drugs are bad mmk' camp, which could prove interesting when we get to Lecture 4 and cover the legalisation debate. He's also passionate about his topic, but not enough to make a 2 hour lecture that ran 15 minutes overtime all that engaging. My bum went numb and I noticed it, which means I wasn't riveted. But, interesting. And worth doing if only for the resolution of my internal question about why the US would on one hand vilify Chinese immigrants at home, and at the same time manipulate international treaties to prevent the UK selling opium in China, ostensibly to help the Chinese. The answer? Marginalising the Chinese was the only way they could get public support for banning heroin internationally, which they wanted to do in order to break the association between their missionaries and opium, who arrived in China on the same boats, and which the Christian fundamentalists thought was the reason China wasn't turning Christian as fast as they thought it should. Or at least that's the generally accepted theory. Fucking religion.
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