in which i discover the saddest photo of a kangaroo not involving an arrow

so i realized after i wrote this week’s update that a couple of things had happened: a) i went back to the “i guess stories involving pigs might involve some comedy” well for the second week in a row, and b) i might have forgotten to select some stories that were very funny to rip on. or rather, it SEEMED like they would make for jokes, but now i am not so sure.

now maybe i shouldn’t start the update by saying “eh, it turned out to be not so funny this week,” but this is the kind of nonsense that happens when you’re awkwardly trying to construct an opening for these updates, you know? oh well…

potbelly pigs... ON THE LOOSE
i love how someone got a “dramatic pig escape” photo to go along with this story. priceless

one potbelly pig captured; another still at large

to be perfectly honest, i don’t know how to take this story. if it was in my local paper, i’d figure, okay, it’s rural-to-suburban here, this is kind of a legitimate story. we occasionally have colorful animal escapes around here. but on the other hand… this is the Sun, the paper for Baltimore, a city that DOES still have some amount of legitimate crime and manhunts. so is this a “lighten the mood” joke? or what? so that’s your background; here’s the story:

“For three weeks, Anne Arundel authorities have been on the trail of two fugitives in Linthicum. One was captured Thursday evening, but the other remains at large. The target: potbelly pigs.”

so i think you see what i am saying about the tone here.

“Chasing down a pig can be impossible,” Robin Small, administrator for Anne Arundel Animal Control, said of the animals that have taken up residence outside an office park at 601 N. Hammonds Ferry Road. The pigs, which were first seen Sept. 2, have delighted workers at the office park near Baltimore-Washington Parkway.”

so this mainly proves that a) people in Maryland are easily amused by the slightest things (although i guess random pigs IS a little out of the ordinary) and b) Anne Arundel’s animal control officers admit defeat pretty easily. impossible? it’s a PIG. it’s not using fake identification or driving a car. it’s PROBABLY not “armed and dangerous.” maybe “tricky” or “more challenging than normal” would have been the better way to phrase this?

“But that sentiment does not sway the county’s animal control officers. Traps were set for — and ignored by — the pigs. Until Thursday evening, that is, when one of the pigs, a 26-pound female, was captured with a net.”

terrible phrasing. “pigs ignored these traps until they didn’t anymore.” also, the fact that 50% of the pigs causes me to once again question Robin Small’s defeatist attitude towards the whole thing. “pigs are IMPOSSIBLE to catch. we’ve only caught HALF the pigs so far.”

“The other pig is thought to be male and of similar size. Small said that she and her colleagues will continue their efforts to capture it.”

as opposed to saying “fuck it, who cares that it’s our job to catch this pig, let’s just go bowling.” something tells me that this “i GUESS we’ll keep doing our jobs” sentiment is not a new one around the Robin Small-led offices of the Anne Arundel Animal Control.

“Gower noticed that someone has been leaving food for the pigs in their favorite spot: a space between three large pine trees where the ground is coated with soft pine needles. Gower said she suspected Jones of being be the pig-feeder, but he would “neither confirm nor deny” his involvement, he said with a grin.”

which makes this “impossible to catch a pig” sentiment even more crazy. you have someone regularly feeding the pigs in the same spot all the time? and yet this is still a challenge to figure out?

“As endearing as they may be, Small said they cannot stay where they are for safety reasons. Because the area is right next to the highway, “they can be put in jeopardy,” she said.”

see, i understand this concept, but it’s not like animal control’s mission is to safeguard every random animal out there, right? so let’s not pretend that this is a holy mission to save this one remaining pig from being smashed into bacon by a truck.

“Susan Magidson, owner of a potbelly pig rescue farm, agreed, saying that the pigs must be captured and returned to a home. Because pigs can reproduce very quickly, the two potbellies could become “very much a public nuisance” if left in the wild for too long, she said. “It just does not make sense not to capture them,” she said.”

of course, one of these pigs has been caught, so unless these pigs are about to start breeding through some kind of fission, it doesn’t seem like we’re about to face a massive challenge from rapidly-reproducing pigs.

“We don’t know how they got out there, where the pigs came from,” Small said, but animal control officers are working as hard as they can to “provide for them a safe environment.”

you know, in retrospect, this maybe wasn’t the funniest story to rag on, because it’s mostly me being disgusted with this choice of title selection and/or the work ethic of Robin Small, but not REALLY theatrically disgusted, you know? still, potbellied pigs are a little funny in-and-of themselves, right? right? (sigh) okay, well, let me try to crank up the outrage a little.

Lady Gaga... and some dudes
to this day, i cannot figure out how this woman ever got bullied

Lady Gaga advocates for anti-bullying laws after Jamey Rodemeyer suicide

or, as it could otherwise be stated, “somehow-famous musician makes overreaching, stupid remarks,” but then that wouldn’t be anything new or deserving of a headline. TIME TO CRANK UP THE RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION.

“Singing superstar Lada Gaga has utilized her following on Twitter to advocate for laws against bullying of vulnerable youth.”

okay, so first off, it’s sad this kid got bullied until he killed himself. second, there’s nothing wrong with campaigns against bullying and celebrities using their celebrity to advocate that. so we agree there’s some VAGUE good intentions at work here, right? and that i am not a complete monster? that said, once i start hearing “advocate for laws against,” my “what is the point of this” radar starts going off.

“I am meeting with our President. I will not stop fighting. This must end. Our generation has the power to end it. Trend it #MakeALawForJamey,” Lady Gaga tweeted on Wednesday evening. It isn’t clear whether she is talking about President Barack Obama, who will be at the Department of Education’s national summit against bullying.”

so here we go. for one thing, i don’t think the US president should find himself at the beck and call of Lady Gaga (or any other musician for that matter), and so i HOPE this “meeting with our president” is limited to “i intend to bump into him at this summit.” second, call me negative, but i somehow doubt any one generation has the power to end bullying … but if they do, it won’t be because a colorfully-dressed singer met with the president… since, as she may not know, the president doesn’t just make and pass laws. or beat up all the bullies. although if he DID somehow manage to do that, he might just guarantee my vote in 2012.

“Just before that, she tweeted: “Jamey Rodemeyer, 14 years old, took his life because of bullying. Bullying must become be [sic] illegal. It is hate crime.””

see, and that’s where i officially get off this bus. “it is hate crime?” look, hate crime legislation ALREADY covers crimes against the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, so it’s not like they’re left out on that front. so now we’re just saying bullying, in and of itself, is a hate crime, even when it’s ALREADY a hate crime? this is what i was talking about when i raised my eyebrows earlier.

second, here’s the real point: there’s a limit to what you can prevent with legislation. people are going to do dumb, cruel, stupid shit NO MATTER WHAT. kids get told not to bully, and they do it anyway. they’re also told not to do drugs and have teenage pregnancies… and yet all that keeps happening. so thinking that passing a law making it capital-I ILLEGAL is going to stop all this is naive, at the very least. but more importantly, it makes me think you don’t know how to address the problem.

“”It was a constant taunting,” his mother, Tracy, told NBC affiliate WGRZ. “The same people over and over.” Rodemeyer was tormented both in person and online by people who posted nasty messages on his social media accounts. “I wouldn’t care if you died. No one would. So just do it : ) It would make everyone WAY more happier!” one comment read, reported by ABC News.”

one thing that i also wonder when i see stories like this is what the hell they mean by “posted nasty messages on his social media accounts.” i DEMAND some clarification, because it seems to me that this is something Rodemeyer could have addressed himself. and that doesn’t make it right, but it DOES make me confused.

“Although counselors had advised him not to post on social media sites, Rodemeyer posted a call for help on his Facebook page earlier this month. “I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens. … What do I have to do so people will listen to me?” he wrote, according to ABC. “No one in my school cares about preventing suicide, while you’re the ones calling me [gay slur] and tearing me down.””

and also… if he was talking to counselors about this, i presume they might have been ineffective or given him poor advice, but doesn’t that mean that SOMEONE was listening about this? because it strikes me that would have been an appropriate outlet for a) comments about suicide and b) naming the damn kids DOING the bullying so that the school could ATTEMPT to discipline them.

look, i get that bullying is a big deal. but i think what the average person wants to know is “were the kids reported to the school” and “did the school do anything about it, and why did they do what they did?” these are things that can be addressed specific to the situation, and hey, Rodemeyer’s case can be used as an example of how bullying should be handled.

but advocating for laws to make bullying a hate crime (or, i guess, a double hate crime) to the president as a solution? lame. LAME. i mean, it’s hard for me to believe that someone who wears meat professionally could espouse something this lame, so i am going to chalk it up to the emotions related to the event and leave it at that.

okay, time to lighten the mood again:

some poor, suffering kangaroo
an internet search for photos leads me to believe that kangaroos are CONSTANTLY beating the hell out of people… and i think this woman is going to be next

man, 80, hospitalized in Columbus from kangaroo attack

i think this website has long wondered long and hard about people who have weird animal collections. and they seem to all be in the Midwest, for some reason… not that i am accusing anyone of anything in the Midwest. it’s very classy there.

“A Marion man was recovering from injuries on Wednesday after he was attacked by a kangaroo on Tuesday morning.”

well, at least he wasn’t attacked by a teenage companion, so, it could have been worse. it seems like you often don’t recover from such things. then again, animals didn’t get that Mazzola character beaten up and/or killed, so at least he could say THAT in his favor.

“John Kokas was transported to Grant Medical Center in Columbus and remained in fair condition, 10TV’s Jessa Goddard reported. A woman called 911 and said that her 80-year-old father-in-law was attacked by the animal.”

now, look, i understand that he could have been innocently attacked by a kangaroo for no reason, i guess. it COULD happen. but you know, it’s the kind of scenario where i find myself curious about an explanation, you see?

“The call came from Kokas Exotics property where 10TV found the barbwire fences empty of animals and people living on the property not willing to offer any information. Police did not say how the incident occurred.”

and of course, being “not willing to offer any information” CERTAINLY doesn’t make me think the worst, most obscene things were going on between this 80-year-old and his kangaroo. not at all! and police won’t comment either? why not just title this story “man injured somehow, and maybe there was a kangaroo involved, say police in one of their biggest teases ever?”

“There are more than 42 varieties of kangaroos, they can range from one pound to 175 pounds, Goddard reported.”

thank you for reporting that your reporter noted there are lots of kinds of kangaroos, 10TV! this is very important information!

“Columbus Zoo Head Keeper Adele Dodge said regardless of the animal’s weight, any kangaroo would have the potential to cause serious harm. “If they feel threatened, they want to move away, if they don’t have that option then something else is going to come into play,” Dodge said.”

so basically Dodge is telling us that either a) this victim was doing SOMETHING to a kangaroo to make it feel threatened (which trying to romance it would seem to qualify as) or b) there was a tragic and/or comedic misunderstanding wherein an anxious kangaroo just started kicking ass. i am going to assume it was the former.

“The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said no criminal investigation was taking place and called the incident an “unfortunate accident.””

just once, i would like to get an off-the-record remark where one of these local officers says something along the lines of “well, it’s unfortunate, but then that’s the kind of thing that might happen when you have a kangaroo around for no reason.”

“It was why or what kind of contact Kokas had with any of the exotic animals on the property.”

i guess they meant “it was not clear” what kind of contact he had? well, of course it’s not, since the family won’t comment… but then, if you can’t just say “he owned kangaroos because they’re cool and when he was feeding that one, it beat him up,” then i am going to have to assume he bought the animal to be his illegal bride, and it finally rose up against him. but that’s just me.

“Kokas Exotics or any of Kokas’ family members did not comment.”

WE HAVE COVERED THIS.

ugh. this week was kind of a let-down. next week, though, i am going to try and work on a listicle that involves the Road Warrior. we’re going for sheer ridiculousness!

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