the invisible hand is making a significant gesture

The pet business has been booming for the last year. More people have been buying pets, particularly dogs (at hugely inflated prices….seriously, I paid less for my car than some people are charging for certain brachycephalic, crop-tailed, wheezy, snotty, bowlegged, cherry-eye and skin-infection-prone breeds which shall remain, nonetheless, nameless. I don’t care if they’ve allegedly got tons of personality, they suck as dogs.), more people have been adopting dogs, and more people have been entering the pet business.

Intelligent people knew that the market was going to balance out again eventually, and, sure enough, The Hill reports that the process is now starting. First-time pet owners are starting to return animals to shelters….at an impressively high rate.

Owners returning their pets has risen 82.6 percent since 2020, though it has dropped 12.5 percent compared to 2019, which may reflect the coinciding adoption surge, according to Best Friends Animal Society.

The surrendering of these dogs coincides with cities and states easing and lifting coronavirus restrictions as more and more of the population becomes vaccinated, allowing these owners to return to work, go out to socialize more often and even take trips.

Personally, I think we’re spaying and neutering the majority of healthy individuals of the wrong species. 

There are more tigers in Texas

–than there are in the wild. There’s approximately 4,800 tigers in the wild–in the entire world. There are approximately 5,000 in the state of Texas alone.

In some ways, this is a good thing. The amount of habitat available for tigers–and most other large wild animals–is limited. Preserving the species, even if it’s in captivity, is a worthwhile endeavor. Because a world without tigers, or elephants, or moose, or penguins, or hell, even Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, is a world that is that much less worth living in as a human.

However, there are a lot of people who just do not know how or what is necessary to take care of giant, obligate carnivore, apex predators. 

THIS FUCKING FALLS UNDER YOU DO NOT HAVE ADEQUATE FACILITIES TO CONTAIN THAT ANIMAL and I fucking guarantee you that it isn’t being fed or treated right.

Somebody here deserves to get shot, and it’s not the stripey one.

Jim Butcher is on thin ice, whether he knows it or not

If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged.

When a fan of a book series decides to publically take offense, in a forum comprised of other fans, at a single line depicting a character’s thoughts, the chumming has already begun. And this is just the one place that I know about. Undoubtedly there are other cesspits where the discussion is proceeding likewise. I predict that he’s going to get avalanched if he so much as sticks a toe out of line whenever the next blowup happens. He’s too big of a public figure–a known figure–to allow him to not bend the knee.

Reading through the rest of the thread is kind of eerie. There’s one (1) call for sanity; there’s a lot more casting around for other topics to be offended at. Once upon a time, I would have said, for other topics to mock. (remembering being able to spork terrible and even semi-terrible novels? Those things were vicious, but I don’t recall anyone getting cancelled because of them). The most notable character of melanin being an honest-to-possibly-God Paladin, that’s something to be offended by. Police being depicted as mostly well-intentioned and hard-working at the street level, with a generous sprinkling of rotten bad apples and incompetent leadership? Very much not Current Year-acceptable.

The line in question is from Side Jobs. Murphy’s monologue reflects:

“Stop arresting Marcone’s most profitable pimps.” Instead, we get a long speech about racial and socioeconomic profiling. We get screams from political action committees.

The slightly longer quote is (yeah, I went and dug out my copy to transcribe it):

THE POLICE KNOW where Marcone can be reached. Finding him doesn’t do diddly to let us nail him. The fact that he has his fingers in so many pies means that not only do we have to work against Marcone and his shadowy empire, but we have our own superiors and politicians breathing down our necks as well. Oh, they never say anything directly, like, “Stop arresting Marcone’s most profitable pimps.” Instead, we get a long speech about racial and socioeconomic profiling. We get screams from political action committees. We get vicious editorial pieces in the newspapers and on TV.

We mostly stay quiet and keep plugging away at our jobs. Experience has taught us that hardly anyone ever cares what we think or have to say. They demand answers, but they don’t want to listen.

Or Harry’s bird sanctuary speech from Cold Days. 

“Uh,” I said, feeling somewhat off balance. “What do I think of gay guys?”

“Yes.”

“Boink and let boink, more or less.”

Enough to hang a man for?

You decide.

I wonder if they’re coming for Jim Butcher next

Reddit doesn’t seem to be the top hub of cancel culture (that seems to be Twitter), but it’s close enough, and when your own fan subreddit is talking about how your/their fandom is infested with redneck hillbilly Trump supporters, you’re treading on thin ice. So far, at least in the linked thread, there’s a little bit of pushback, but not much. There have been a couple of attempts to accuse the Dresden Files/Jim Butcher of racism and Nazi-ism (“Harry” starts with an H. So does Hitler. QED), but so far they have been slapped down and/or ignored.

That was before cancel culture accumulated the momentum it has now. I wouldn’t be surprised if an attempt wasn’t made in the near future.

Notice how everyone focuses on the “description”–not depiction–of female characters.

That’s because Jim Butcher actually writes well-balanced, interesting, complex–and not always completely likable–women. Murphy: an officer of the peace and lady knight who has to be on multiple occasions told to pick on people her own size (lol). Luccio: a woman who has been the commander the Wardens–the White Council’s military arm–for centuries, and as such has sent teenagers into battle. Charity Carpenter: a suburban homemaker and mother who arms herself with a warhammer and storms the castle of the evil queen to rescue her children, and also uses iodine and an equally stinging tongue on our hero.

No one ever points out that these women are viewed through the lens of a well-intentioned, scrupulously chivalrous but generally very horny male.

Everyone always complains about Harry Dresden, a fictional character who draws on the film-noir archetype of the penniless and sex-obsessed private dick eye yeah no sorry I couldn’t resist that one where was I, ogling the supernaturally-beautiful and even just plain average women in his orbit. No one ever seems to mind that he’ll also open the door, buy flowers, and pay for dinner. No one ever seems to remember that when there’s a monster to be killed or a child to be rescued, a bullet to throw himself in front of, Harry’s at the front of the pack.

It’s almost as though he’s a complex character with real motivations and failings.

Jim Butcher himself, as far as I can tell, is pretty discreet whenever he speaks about politics, religion, or social issues. But he’s dropped enough hints that it’s pretty clear he’s somewhere east of the wrong side of history.

And the cancel mob is putting out feelers.