tnr

SPAY AND NEUTER SPAY AND NEUTER SPAY AND NEUTER SPAY AND NEUTER SPAY AND NEUTER.

There’s seriously like 200+ kittens available on craigslist right now within 30 miles of my home. Fucking absolutely ridiculous. You think they’re all gonna have wonderful lives? Get the perfect home and live until they’re 20 and have a grand old time?! Fucking no. Spay and neuter your goddamn animals.

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This concentrated effort significantly reduced the city shelter’s intake, or the number of cats entering the shelter — and the numbers are staggering.

In 2013, the Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department took in 25% fewer cats than it had just 2 years earlier, in 2011. What’s more, cat euthanasia has dropped by 76% during that same period.

The Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department saved 87% of the cats in its shelter in 2013. Its euthanasia rate for cats is now among the lowest for open admission shelters serving a major metropolitan area in the United States.

The team was hoping for results like these — but didn’t expect them to come until at least the second year of the program.

“The PetSmart Charities grant and the Community Cats Project have really enabled TNR to grow from a local, grassroots program to a citywide solution to cat overpopulation,” said Jayne.

The Community Cats Project has changed the way the city’s shelter operates. Another bonus: TNR education efforts have improved the community dynamic. “We’re making a city of cat lovers,” said Jayne. “People are really learning how to take care of free-roaming cats.”

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hello all, this is hilary (formerly evilregalcaptainswan) (yes i did change my url twice in one year faint) (i think it’s fitting tho)

i just thought i would briefly pop in and let you know that yes, i am still on tumblr, but i don’t anticipate being back blogging for quite a while. i need a lot of time away and have a lot of things going on right now, and the break from fandom and drama has been SO refreshing. i still love you, but yeah, i need a break. so a break it will be.

HOWEVER, something happened this morning that i’m just kinda gonna have to share with you, so:

apparently one of my readers emailed the north remembers to GRRM himself. and GRRM actually responded. not to sue me, thankfully – but to say that he found it utterly captivating from the first chapter and couldn’t put it down. also that, i quote, “this is a perfect counterexample to my dislike of fanfiction in general.” (he did add that the author/me needed to work on original stuff if i wanted to actually become an author – GRRM, way ahead of you there, but yeah). so i don’t know if he read the whole damn thing or just some, but in fact, he has read it and likes it very much. i honestly don’t know how i feel about someone sending it to him because i have known all along that he doesn’t like fanfic, but there is that. i also don’t know if the reason he likes it is because i’ve guessed the approximate shape of the story and my ideas are on target for what he himself has planned to happen at the end of asoiaf – but there you have it. thought i would pass it along. he read it and it kinda changed his views on fanfiction.

so um. yeah. that happened.

This is probably the spot to say that for the sake of this assignment I made a good faith effort to read these books at my city library, but I wasn’t self-punishing enough actually to finish them and had to stop the agony halfway into the second volume. Dreck of this stupendous caliber has a particular advantage over literature in that one doesn’t have to read all of it to surmise, accurately and eternally, that it is all uniformly awful and awfully uniform—romance novels, like racists, tend to be the same wherever you turn. It’s pointless to spend much time impugning these books as writing because they really aren’t meant to be considered as actual writing, the same way a Twinkie wasn’t meant to be considered as actual food. Books ejaculated this easily have the inverse effect of being extremely difficult to read. Leonard’s creations are the cartoonishly erotic suppurations of a hamstrung, not terribly bright adult trying to navigate a midlife crisis, and you get the feeling that the sentences arrived on the page as if by osmosis, unaided by even a sub-literate serf.
— 

William Giraldi in The New Republic, in what is one of the most loathsome texts I have read in some time. It’s a review of Hardcore Romance, a book about the Fifty Shades phenomenon.

If anyone ever wonders why I don’t tend to engage in “value criticism”–especially of culturally marginalized or devalued texts–this is the answer, right here. When I do, it tends to be in the service of positive judgments, explaining why I think something is good rather than the opposite. I also try to explicitly define and explain my criteria for making these judgments. 

It’s not that I’m incapable of being nasty and acerbic on the subject of writing (I’m reining it in quite a bit here) or that I don’t somewhere believe my own judgments to be absolute (I think this article is absolutely valueless). I think I know what good writing is–and I can explain what I think it is, I do that for a living. But I also am grown up enough to know my judgments aren’t, actually, absolute, and that somewhere, someone else is judging by different criteria. 

If I think a text is “bad” writing, then people who think like me are likely to see it that way already. What do we imagine to be the critical project of a piece like Giraldi’s if not to lead a kind of orgiastic circle jerk of disdain around an already devalued work? Is it going to persuade any 50 Shades fans they were wrong? No, though it might shame them for their enjoyment, and indeed, that seems to be a major goal of Giraldi’s piece. But it’s not going to change any minds or point out anything anyone has missed, which is my preferred role as a critic.

There’s more to it than that, though. If you ever wonder why feminist scholars are skeptical or even antagonistic towards discussions of literary value or “quality”–this piece could act like a crash course. It’s like an extreme limit case of the kinds of misogyny that are usually more veiled or occulted in discussions of literary value that substitute hyperbolic scorn or praise for any kind of specific textual or rhetorical analysis. 

What Do You Call a Magazine With No Masthead?

The New Republic, unfortunately.

On Friday, top editors at TNR resigned en masse from the hundred-year-old magazine. At issue is the direction Facebook-cofounder and current owner Chris Hughes and his CEO Guy Vidre want take the publication.

Think: the usual something something digital something; integrated something like Buzzfeed and/or something.

The Huffington Post has an initial list of the resignations:

Jonathan Cohn (Senior Editor), Henri Cole (Poetry Editor), Isaac Chotiner (Senior Editor), David Hajdu (Music Critic), Jennifer Homans (Dance Critic), Sarah Williams Goldhagen (Architecture Critic), Julia Ioffe (Senior Editor), John Judis (Senior Editor), Hillary Kelly (Digital Media Editor), Adam Kirsch (Senior Editor), Alec MacGillis (Senior Editor), Evgeny Morozov* (Senior Editor), Rachel Morris (Executive Editor), Jed Perl (Art Critic), Jeffrey Rosen (Legal Affairs Editor), Noam Scheiber (Senior Editor), Judith Shulevitz (Senior Editor), Greg Veis (Executive Editor) and Jason Zengerle (Senior Editor).

Sad times. TNR is a magazine long-measured more by its political and cultural influence than the hard numbers of its actual readership. In contemporary terms, its thought and ideas are, how should say, viral, at least among center-left liberals.

Important note on Facebook from (now former) Senior Editor Julia Ioffe about her resignation:

The narrative you’re going to see Chris and Guy put out there is that I and the rest of my colleagues who quit today were dinosaurs, who think that the Internet is scary and that Buzzfeed is a slur. Don’t believe them. The staff at TNR has always been faithful to the magazine’s founding mission to experiment, and nowhere have I been so encouraged to do so. There was no opposition in the editorial ranks to expanding TNR’s web presence, to innovating digitally. Many were even board for going monthly. We’re not afraid of change. We have always embraced it.

Read more about it here, here and here.