Exotics Out Compete – The Nutria Risk to Wetlands

 

swamp rat
Nutria. Myocastor Coypus. Sleek of fur, orange of tooth.

South Louisiana, the Gulf Coast, the jewel-like Atchafalaya region, and agricultural land roundabouts all have a cute but troublesome visitor. Nutria (species Mycastor coypusof the kingdom, Animalia; the phylum, Chordata; the class Mammalia; the order rodentia and the suborder, Hystricognathi; family, Myocastoridae; and, of course, genus Myocastor) is a native of South America. This huge rat’s native area is from the center of Bolivia, to the south end of Brazil, and further on to Tierra del Fuego – the land of fire.

Nutria (species Mycastor coypusof the kingdom, Animalia; the phylum, Chordata; the class Mammalia; the order rodentia and the suborder, Hystricognathi; family, Myocastoridae; and, of course, genus Myocastor) is a native of South America. . .

 

Either intentionally or accidentally, decades ago nutria from ranches and fur farms, back in the first part of the twentieth century, escaped or were set free. Now, the lushly-coated, orange-toothed vegetarian rats exist in troublesome numbers outside their “normal” habitat, with large populations also living in Asia, Europe, and elsewhere in North America.

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Stripper Fashion, Exotic Dance, & Expressive Sexuality in American Feature Films and Life

expresive sexuality
Michele Merkin model and celebrity. “Merkin modeled for 15 years, living in Paris, Milan, New York, and Los Angeles, appearing in such magazines as ELLE, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, and over 60 commercials …”  Exactly what provides the source material for sexually expressive fashion?

While watching movies, I wondered: presented with opportunity would consumers act in self-interest to create novel and expressive fashion motifs, especially involving human sexuality? human beings are, after all, cultural critters, and we learn culture from one another. Certainly we should learn – and teach – via the films we watch and make. Perhaps this is not always the case. But I’m guessing sometimes it is.

Women spend both more time and more money on fashion as communication. More dollars are spent, more retail outlets exist servicing women’s shopping, and more collateral matter is generated . . . 

Still, before looking particularly at movies it was easy to determine that guidelines do exist, governing time, place, and magnitude of expressive clothing and dress, probably more for women than for men, if only because we can determine that women spend both more time and more money on fashion as communication. More dollars are spent, more retail outlets exist servicing women’s shopping, and more collateral matter is generated – more advertising, blogs, magazines. Continue reading “Stripper Fashion, Exotic Dance, & Expressive Sexuality in American Feature Films and Life”

Camel Wrestling

Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul. Once one lays eyes on the magical skyline, the sight is never forgotten.

Forget that familiar, beatific, mellow picture on the cover of the cigarette pack. Put aside those lingering images of the sensuous East so popular with Victorian Orientalists. Elbowing up to the steel fence around a camel wrestling pitch in Turkey and I suppose anywhere is more like spending an afternoon with the good old boys at a NASCAR rally in the broiling sun of the American Deep South than snoozing on a divan with a plump, warm odalisque. Continue reading “Camel Wrestling”

The Exotic Other – French Impressionism & Japanese Woodblocks

Georges Seurat

This article strays from my more typical pastures of Louisiana to discuss the historic appropriation of aesthetic and design elements from Asia into Western art and their functions as mediating devices. I want to discuss how it seems to me that those elements present a kind of familiarity for visitors to Asia, a familiarity that ameliorates anxiety associated with presentation of the exotic.

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“Alluring” Fun – Fly Fishing the Atchafalaya Basin

fly fishing
The Quiet Solitude of Fly Fishing

For generations, people have been fishing the Atchafalaya Basin region for commercial harvests and for sport. Yet, the idea of fly-fishing in the Atchafalaya is fairly new.  While the Basin, itself, is fresh water, within twenty minutes anglers can access the brackish water of the Basin’s coastal edges, and the salt-water margins of the Gulf of Mexico.  In these varied eco-systems, anglers who come to Louisiana may seek out bass, bream, catfish, redfish, sac-a-lait, speckled trout, and other species—using lighter tackle in fresh water and heavier gear in salty areas.

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“Post-Modern Nipples” There’s a Thousand Stories in the Nakes City

 

Burlesque and Striptease
Once Comedy, Satire, and Wit, Now Mostly Stirptise, Baudy Dance Can Still Be Entertaining

The frisson existing between real and faux events, as between standard human mating ritual and performative settings such as strip tease is exceptionally well defined by the “latex nipples” case which went to court in Lafayette, Louisiana decades ago – way back in about 1994 or so. In Lafayette, a medium sized city in the center of south Louisiana’s “Cajun Land,” apparently part of the regulatory apparatus involved with so-called “gentleman’s clubs” is attached to the corpus of obscenity law.

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Dr. Leisure Dithers About His Doo-Dads: What’s Enough to Close a Cuff?

Cuff Links

One fine summer’s day, the great Lord Curzon, then British secretary of state for foreign affairs, received a delegation from Mosul,” historian Jacques Darras recalls. “When they were ushered in to his presence he was busy writing and he invited them to go to the window and to look at the people enjoying the sunshine in the park. They were polite men and they did so. After a while Lord Curzon joined them. ‘How many people do you think we can see?’ he asked. Since they were especially polite men the delegation ventured on a number of guesses. But the secretary of state soon put an end to the conversation. ‘It doesn’t matter how many there are,’ he said. ‘But you can be sure of one thing. Not a single one of them has ever heard of Mosul.’ Thus the delegation was put in its place. They knew how unimportant they were. Unlike Mosul, cufflinks can be important.

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