Toad in the Hole

June 22, 2005

Bio Logic and Otherwise

Over at Chris’ blog, and in a great assortment of other blogs (scroll down to the 14th), people are having some weird debates about rape, porn, The Woman Question.

There are things that make me feel very very old. My left ankle, with its odd swelling and creaky demeanor. My knees, which hurt rather too much of the time. My lungs, which never have been much good. Menopausal nominal aphasia, the name of which I couldn’t guarantee remembering just then. Hot flashes, as in "WTF, I’m getting hot flashes again??" The skin of my neck. And reruns of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, including but not restricted to hip-hugger pants, mostly inept attempts at "hippie" style, and those damned debates about women, sex, and rape.

I really want to slap people. I really want to ask if they can’t read, and why they’ve never bothered to look up or read or even just ask about what’s been said before. It’s like running an urban legend debunking site, but even more repetitious and certainly more exasperating.

"Uncontrollable urges" my fat ass. "The drive to reproduce" – yeah right. Do the sociobiologists still wonder why some of us get impatient with them? Yes, yes, I know that this crap has as much to do with sociobiology as Social Darwinism has to do with Darwin or the vast sodden mass of Christianity has to do with Christ, but for gods’ sake how about you guys doing some of the lifting for a change? How about telling the rest of the world that your data on ants and duck rape and alpha wolves doesn’t actually map directly to human beings and sure as hell doesn’t give anyone a pass for fucking up?

And of course, before that there was the Pie Fight, and its lesson on Friendly Fire versus Horizontal Fragging. Remember how it felt when you realized those nice gentle brothers still thought you were a household appliance? The only household appliance they weren’t ready to give up when they went all wholegrain and groovily off-the-grid?

Well I do.

Well, if we really have to go through this clodfooted dance once again, at least there’s stuff in print we can… can roll up into cylinders and stuff up the appropriate noses, I guess. I don’t have a lot of hope for the people who are still making the same old indefensible arguments thirty years later. I’m not sure they’re educable and I’m too damned tired to educate them if they can’t pay attention.

Meanwhile, back at the belfry, we’re having a herp adventure week.

One aspect is that it’s Spring, hopla! and the voice of the turtle is heard throughout the dining room. OK, mostly the clunk of the turtle. It was an unfortunate accident that of the four box turtles, only one is female. Poor Blanche duBox is putting up with a lot of courtship lately. Courtship in box turtles is pretty klutzy. Add to that the personality of one of the guys, Sid Viscous, and you can see the impatience building in even the most patient of animals.

We’ve actually had to take Sid out of the turtle sty and put him in the bathtub to meditate upon the error of his ways. We’ve taken Studs out and let him roam around the room, when everyone else seemed to decide it was Bite Studs’ Foot Night. Studs is our senior – we’ve had him for at least 25 years and he was an adult when we acquired him – and of gentle disposition, so he gets some breaks. Sport, our refugee from Los Angeles, is only this year getting bold enough to try mating, and Blanche seems interested, as she has been in Studs’ direction for years. But not Sids’. Sid does not get any action.

Sid tries, though; Sid tries with all the other turtles, and just won’t give up. He’s really annoying; I can see that.

The other night, I noticed that Sid had got one foot between Blanche’s plastron and upper shell – this is part of mating; the male engages both feet between the female’s shells and then brings his goodies out from within his tail – and Blanche had clamped down on him at that point. He was over on his back, one foot well stuck, and clearly in pain. He had his mouth wide open and was snapping ineffectually at the air.

Well. I figured we didn’t need to be dealing with injured turtles, however richly Sid deserved his comeuppance. I did feel a bit sorry for him. And hell, they’re turtles. They’re living in unnaturally close quarters in the 60-gallon fish-breeder tank in our dining room. And they’re box turtles – the female can close up completely, and presumably doesn’t have to do anything else she doesn’t want to.

So I picked them both up, put them in the bathtub, and ran tepid water until it started pooling and Blanche let go of Sid to start swimming away. I put her back and put Sid on Joe’s lap, just for a change.

And I’ve been thinking about the limits of analogy and sociobiology a lot lately.

Posted at June 22, 2005 07:10 AM


Oh I'd love to hear someone try to come up with an analogy for that one! Interesting turtle tales.

Posted by: Rurality at June 22, 2005 03:14 PM

The "uncontrollable urges" conversation got replayed because it was the only one people were able to imagine, regardless of what was actually being said.

Posted by: murky at June 23, 2005 05:42 AM

Just stumbled on this topical abstract, which you ought to love

Posted by: murky at June 23, 2005 05:46 AM

But speaking of....

"In this paper I argue that control or volitional disabilities do make sense and should be recognized."

Posted by: murky at June 23, 2005 05:49 AM

But speaking of....

"In this paper I argue that control or volitional disabilities do make sense and should be recognized."

Posted by: murky at June 23, 2005 05:51 AM

But speaking of....

"In this paper I argue that control or volitional disabilities do make sense and should be recognized."

Posted by: murky at June 23, 2005 05:58 AM