Saturday, March 15, 2008

Weird, slightly creepy and generally fucked up?

Last night Red Pepper’s volunteers and staff (well, the least misanthropic and most socially presentable of us) turned out to say goodbye to our office manager.

Celebrating in time-honoured fashion with more than a few pints, but sadly no spliff, a colleague asked that eternally perplexing question of feminist women everywhere, ‘just why are lefty men so weird, slightly creepy and generally fucked up?’ Of course, exempting the men at our get-together...after all not all lefty men are like this (are they?) and Auntie knows a few women that would fit this description too.

Auntie has no answers, even so she’s not convinced the problem is socialism, more how we do socialism. To paraphrase what a wise friend said to Auntie on International Women’s Day, 'without strong women taking the lead [weird, slightly creepy and generally fucked up lefty] men will never change the world'- or something like that.

If you know the answer drop Auntie a line at Subcomandauntie[@]


Marie said...

Good question. I’m yet to meet a lefty man who isn’t fucked up! But they can't accept they are anything but perfect (but done in a way so it looks like they are humble) or else launch in to self pity. it's never their fault but capitalism

Anonymous said...

Could the answer be... Shag a Tory????? I can't do that so the only solution for me is CELIBACY.... nittynora

Anonymous said...

What a horrendously offensive post. Not only do you slag most of your comrades, assuming they have deep psychological problems and are personally repulsive, but your sweeping generalization can easily be turned against yourself and your politics.

If someone had said that all feminists were man-hating harpies and shrews, you'd be up in arms. Spreading this insensitivity is not helpful nor nice for that matter.

Obviously there are plenty of superstar "manarchists" around, but women have made major inroads in this area of egomaniacal behaviour. A little self-reflection is in order for everyone I would say.

Nittynora said...

OMG a sense of humour failure or what!!! Read the post again and you might see ..... Auntie was asking a question and that is all!!!!!!!!!!! She also said "...after all not all lefty men are like this (are they?) and Auntie knows a few women that would fit this description too."

Anonymous said...

Skullduggery, Parasitophobia, Delusional parasitosis

As a child the first person I knew to be vegetarian was a respected quaker geographer. When I asked her why she didn't eat meat she replied curtly 'Fear of parasites'. I was disappointed as I had assumed she was motivated by animal welfare rather than personal health. I was also interested which parasites are spread by meat. Animal welfare issues cannot be used to motivate avoidance of meat to people who care more for animals than themselves, though and it is perhaps time to emphasise public health issues more.


Livestock causes disease

Humanity evolved on a planet microbes had conquered. What we think of as disease or bugs were all around before us and remain a significant part of us - 10% of your body weight is microbes. Dinosaurs caught coldsores but zoonoses are on the increase. 61% of microbes that cause human illness come from animals - and most of that is from us ingesting it. One of the main factors driving zoonoses was the domestication of animals 10,000 years ago. Many yearly global infections occur in China due to the region having being subject to intensive pig and chicken agriculture for much longer than anywhere else. Other driving factors include population density. In the past hundred years intensive or factory farming has been directly linked to fatal zoonosis transmission from Hong Kong to Norfolk. Disease today can travel budget or first-class worldwide in hours.


Brain parasites, bacon butties and cat shit

Research that has been circulating for over a decade should be of interest to vegans and feminists here especially.
Between a third and two thirds of humanity alive have a brain parasite most commonly caught from undercooked meat. The parasite can only breed in the stomach of a cat, it is a cat parasite that infects other species from cat faeces, and it affects host behaviour. It is found in most mammals and birds and is responsible for the deaths of many creatures, including seals. Infected rats seek out cats rather than avoid them - suicidal behaviour motivated soley by the murderous parasite getting back into the cats stomach to breed. It affects human behaviour, and is an indicator, and perhaps a major cause, of schitzophrenia, bipolar-disorder and car-crashes. The parasite doesn't know humans are a dead-end host so it still affects our rat-like brains. Affected humans are more neurotic and guilty and self-reproachful, with decreased novelty-seeking behaviour and slower reactions, but it also affects men and women in opposite ways. It seems to make men more jealous, independent and morose. In women it seems to increases warmth and consientiousness. It increases male births by 260%. It is as fatal to most infants as it is to AIDs patients or anyone with a damaged immune system. Most infected people only suffer a minor flu until tested and yet affects culture. Infection varies greatly by nation. Seemingly 88% of French people are affected, only 22% of the English, only 4% of South Koreans. .The older you are, the more likely you are to be infected.

The significance of the intelligence of this zoononis appears to be so scary as to justify not only never eating meat again but slaughtering every cat within a hundred miles. Since this parasite is treatable in humans and cats, that would be barbaric and you should be careful how this information is used as there have already been calls for cat culls on websites that have carried this story. (It would make more sense to cull the infected humans since cats are only infectious for a short period but humans can transmit it to other humans long after infection). The disease is normally spread from under cooked meat, but that isn't a direct argument for veganism, just against undercooked meat.

Can a parasite carried by cats change your personality?

Can the common brain parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, influence human culture ?


The pork tapeworm

The pork tapeworm is one of the most common disease-causing brain parasites. This parasite infects over 50 million people worldwide, and is the leading cause of brain seizures. It is usually contracted from eating undercooked pork, and once in the gut, it attaches to the intestine, and then grows to be several feet long. Under certain circumstances, these worms can also invade the brain, where thankfully they don’t grow to be quite so large.

Why does the worm sometimes attach to the intestine but at other times travel to the brain? It all depends on what stage of its life cycle the worm is in when it is swallowed. In its larval stage, the worm will hook onto the intestine; however, if eggs are swallowed, they hatch in the stomach. From there the larvae can enter the bloodstream and eventually travel to the brain. But in order to reach the brain from the bloodstream, the larvae must traverse the blood-brain barrier. Unfortunately, researchers still don’t know exactly how this happens. Many scientists think that the larvae can release enzymes that are able to dissolve a small portion of the blood-brain barrier to allow the parasite to get through into the brain.

Once the larvae reach the brain, they cause a disease called neurocysticercosis, by attaching to either the brain tissue itself, or to cavities through which brain fluid flows. (Brain fluid carries nutrients and waste to and from the brain, and acts as a cushion to protect the brain against physical impact.) Once attached, the larvae develop into cyst-like structures. The location of the cysts determines the symptoms exhibited by the host. If the larvae attach to the brain tissue, then the host often experiences seizures. This occurs partly because the presence of the larvae causes the activity of the brain to become wild and uncontrolled, thereby causing a seizure. On the other hand, if the larvae attach to the brain-fluid cavities, the host experiences headaches, nausea, dizziness, and altered mental states in addition to seizures. These additional symptoms occur because the flow of the brain fluid is blocked by the larvae. Often, the presence of the larvae also causes the lining of the brain-fluid cavities to become inflamed, further constricting the flow of the brain fluid. Since the cavities are a closed system, blockage of the cavities exerts pressure on the brain. This increased cranial pressure forces the heart to pump harder in order to deliver blood to the brain area, increasing the pressure on the brain even more. If the condition is not treated, the heart eventually cannot pump enough blood to the brain, neurons begin to die off, and major brain damage occurs.

Skullduggery - James

An earwig crawled into my ear
Made a meal of the wax and hairs
Phoned friends, had an insect party
But all I could hear was the bass drum drum
All I could hear was the bass drum drum
Now if you put your ear close you'll be able to hear
Not the sea shore noise of the shore sea shell
The clatter of plates
And the bronze of the bell
Going ding dong, ding dong, ding dong dong
Going out of my mind as they hollow my head
I'm floating in the air, but my body's in bed
The more they eat, the more I see
What is not, but just could be
You can hear them laughing in my head
You can hear them laughing in my head
Ha ha ha ha ha
Now they've eaten my memory, I can't recall
How the world used to be before
So a vision is the same as what is real
Depends upon the lighting, and how I feel
Ding dong, drum drum, ha ha ha ha ha
And then the music stopped
The musician went away
They'd eaten all my brain
The red and the grey
They all staggered home
Down a tunnel through my nose
Where my brain used to be
Now there's only a hole

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