The morning of the health-care decision at the Supreme Court, before the decision was handed down, I tuned in to the local right-wing AM talk station, figuring it might be amusing to hear the pack tuning up. Alas, the host was beating, with no particular enthusiasm, a drum that anyone could tell his heart wasn’t into — the “stoning” of a Christian group whose only crime was to show up at an Arab-American heritage festival in Dearborn and start yelling REPENT at the assembled Muslims, punctuated by waving a pig head around.
I have to admit, I didn’t have the patience to watch the whole video, but I did drag the playhead to the 9-minute mark, when the stoning allegedly starts. “Stones, rocks and debris,” is what the subtitles say. It’s impossible to tell on the shakycam video, but it mostly looked like water bottles to me. When you think about it, it’s probably easier to find those lying around at a street festival in an urban environment than it would be to find stones, even stones comma rocks. But whatever. I didn’t hear anyone screaming ahhh my eye!!!, but I did hear a lot of ouch! hey! that hurt! which would seem to indicate more of a water-bottle assault than a truly dangerous, rock-based one.
Which isn’t, of course, justification for the violence at all. But when you show up at an ethnic festival loaded for bear — this far shorter video gives you more of a sense of things — the least you can do is not whine when the bear bites you.
The Arab-American News has a pretty comprehensive story on this. I know it’s going around the right-wing blogs, so just in case you’re looking for the rest of the story, y’know?
And now, we haz a sad: Ruby left us behind this weekend. After three years of absolutely uneventful good health, she didn’t come out of her cage Thursday for her usual morning hop-around. I left the door open, and when noon came and went with no appearance, I dragged her out for some amateur veterinary care. There was a little bit of blood around her bottom, nothing alarming, but I took her to the professionals, who gave her antibiotics and a rather vigorous manual exam, but in the end, with rabbits, it’s mostly a matter of shrugging and conjecture. No fly strike (thank GOD), maybe a vaginal infection (yes, go ahead and laugh), maybe a hairball, maybe…? Who knows? You can’t exactly do exploratory surgery on a rabbit. I gave her the antibiotics on schedule and other recommended care, but she turned the corner downhill fast. I missed a followup call from the vet on Saturday, and that might have made a difference, but probably not. We gave her fluids when we could get her to swallow them, petted her a lot, told her she was a good bunny. She died Sunday morning in a pool of sunlight, looking out at the back yard.
I blamed myself for missing the vet’s call, and did my penance by digging the grave myself. I think the whole exercise of grave-digging is for us to remember the deceased, even a three-pound pet rabbit. Ruby lived in our kitchen, and we had many conversations while I made dinner, and I’m not ashamed to tell you I played her part in a high, squeaky voice:
Give me some of that lettuce. Now. I’m terribly, terribly hungry.
Sure, Ruby. Would you like a little of this bacon, too?
I’m a strict vegan, and I wish you’d stop bringing that stuff into our house. Don’t my beliefs count for anything around here?
Not nearly as funny as Animals Talking in All Caps, but we had our moments.
She liked dried cherries and bananas. She was simultaneously afraid of everything and unafraid of us stinky primates 50 times her size — we were rabbit-punched many times. She enriched our lives with her beauty and grace, and sometimes watched “Cops” with us from her perch on the back of the couch.
Wherever she is now, I hope to meet her again someday.