Now, spending part of Second Life as a neko, I think it's fairly well established that I'm a cat person--sometimes literally--but I have owned dogs as pets (RL) in the past. And, beyond breed or species, I know that pets are very important to many of us, and can feel like--or simply be--part of our families, essential to our survival as living, breathing, emotional beings.
I have faced the staggering cost of medical surgery, and (in our case, because our RL finances are notably absent a large percentage of the time) had to make the excruciating decision to euthanize those animals, rather than make them struggle on in pain and illness. It has never been an easy decision. One of my family members owns ferrets, and--due to their much shorter life span--she's faced this decision nearly once every two years. It takes its toll, definitely.
But in this case, Maggie's not at the end of her life, she's at the beginning. She hasn't grown out of puppyhood yet, and if they fail to raise the funds, she won't reach adulthood at all. They have a very low target they're trying to reach, and forty-eight days remaining on the funding drive. Please help if you can.
In other news, sources are saying Picasa Web Albums are on the way out as a service, transiting soon to Google+ Photos. What does this mean to those of us who do not have, nay, cannot have a Google+ account? I don't know, but just in case, I'm keeping my eyes open for new image hosting services.
The main problem with that is it will end up breaking a TON of content, on a blog that goes back several, several years now. I'm not sure I'm up to the daunting task of recoding every image I've ever posted.
Moving to comics, over on Bleeding Cool, there's an interesting article by Natalie Reed on the (slightly) increasing presence of transsexual characters in comics. While I like her analysis of what it means to a traditionally homophobic (and transphobic) field, I do take exception to one of her examples.
|(from the media album; Lord Fanny from Grant Morrison's "The Invisibles")|
This is Lord Fanny, from the comic "The Invisibles". While Ms. Reed seems to think...how did she put it...that Fanny is "wildly inaccurate and generally exploitative", I strongly disagree. I've known trans women like Fanny. These are not quiet, demure, reserved, politically-active transsexual ladies of stature--women like Fanny had to fight for every step of gender correction along the way. Some I've known became prostitutes, or sold (or helped to distribute) drugs; some stole, some flung themselves into bad relationship after bad relationship, mostly for struggling issues of insecurity and self-esteem, but also, because if your only criteria is who can afford to pay for your hormones, when no insurance in town will touch you, you do what you have to.
|(from the media album; Lord Fanny from Grant Morrison's "The Invisibles"; pencil sketch drawn by Phil Jimenez)|
More than that, though, Lord Fanny's a guerrilla fighter on the edges of perception, and I mean that quite literally. The universe of the Invisibles is one in which reality can change, alter, distort at a moment's notice. There is no good and bad, specifically--there's only nature and destruction. The Invisibles fight on all fronts--gender, mind, spirit, flesh--and they fight at all times, and in all realities. Because most of the time, what they fight has no gender, little mind, and is nothing our minds can comprehend without serious pharmaceutical help.
Like it or hate it--and Morrison, like his comics, is similar to Warren Ellis in this regard: there are very few people lukewarm in their feelings for him--"The Invisibles" is a comic series that was absolutely different from anything seen before its arrival, and still holds up fairly well to this day. And I'll stack Lord Fanny side by side with Neil Gaiman's Wanda and David Hine and Doug Brathwaite’s "Doll", as a powerful, empowering depiction of transgender life.