If you have an "emotional support" animal, you are an asshole.

How to Take Your Pet Everywhere:

What a wonderful time it is for the scammer, the conniver, and the cheat: [...] simply by claiming that the creatures are their licensed companion animals and are necessary to their mental well-being. No government agency keeps track of such figures, but in 2011 the National Service Animal Registry, a commercial enterprise that sells certificates, vests, and badges for helper animals, signed up twenty-four hundred emotional-support animals. Last year, it registered eleven thousand. [...]

Contrary to what many business managers think, having an emotional-support card merely means that one's pet is registered in a database of animals whose owners have paid anywhere from seventy to two hundred dollars to one of several organizations, none of which are recognized by the government. (You could register a Beanie Baby, as long as you send a check.) Even with a card, it is against the law and a violation of the city's health code to take an animal into a restaurant. Nor does an emotional-support card entitle you to bring your pet into a hotel, store, taxi, train, or park.

No such restrictions apply to service dogs, which, like Secret Service agents and Betty White, are allowed to go anywhere. In contrast to an emotional-support animal (E.S.A.), a service dog is trained to perform specific tasks, such as pulling a wheelchair and responding to seizures. The I.R.S. classifies these dogs as a deductible medical expense, whereas an emotional-support animal is more like a blankie. [...]

Why didn't anybody do the sensible thing, and tell me and my turtle to get lost? The Americans with Disabilities Act allows you to ask someone with a service animal only two questions: Is the animal required because of a disability? What work or task has the animal been trained to perform? Specific questions about a person's disability are off limits, and, as I mentioned, people are baffled by the distinction between service animals and emotional-support animals. [...]

Through a site called ESA Registration of America, I found a clinical social worker in California who, at a cost of a hundred and forty dollars, agreed to evaluate me over the phone to discuss the role of Augustus, the snake, in my life. [...]

"How does Augustus help you with your problems?"

"Um, he provides unconditional love, and I feel safe when he's around," I said. "He's a good icebreaker, too, if I'm feeling shy."

"You want to have more ease outside the house," the therapist summed up. "Now I want to do a generalized-anxiety screening with you," she said. "In the last fourteen days, have you felt anxious or on edge nearly every day, more than seven days, or less than seven days?" [...]

People with genuine impairments who depend on actual service animals are infuriated by the sort of imposture I perpetrated with my phony E.S.A.s. Nancy Lagasse suffers from multiple sclerosis and owns a service dog that can do everything from turning lights on and off to emptying her clothes dryer. "I'm shocked by the number of people who go online and buy their pets vests meant for working dogs," she told me. "These dogs snarl and go after my dog. They set me up for failure, because people then assume my dog is going to act up." [...]

Corey Hudson, the C.E.O. of Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit provider of trained assistance animals, told me that he has "declared war on fake assistance dogs." Earlier this year, his organization submitted a petition, which has now been signed by twenty-eight thousand people, to the Department of Justice, requesting that it consider setting up a registration -- "like the Department of Motor Vehicles" -- to test and certify assistance dogs and to regulate the sale of identification vests, badges, and so forth. "They responded that they think the law is adequate."

We have to deal with these entitled, lying shitheels at the club and restaurant all the time. It is especially infuriating at the club, because -- in my humble but correct opinion -- bringing a dog into a nightclub is just straight-up animal abuse. That animal is going to go deaf. So our staff strictly comply with the letter of the law -- and ensure that these people do as well. After their little snookums has inevitably hopped up onto the bar, humped a stranger's leg, or run wild, this usually results in a 30 minute conversation ending with, "You are welcome to sue us, or call the police, but right now, you have to leave." So far, they've been all bark and no bite.

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recent movies

Witching and Bitching: This movie was all over the map, but pretty amusing. It starts off as an idiot-heist movie with angry relationship whining, then takes a left turn into Gonzo Evil Dead Land with a splash of Suspiria.

Franklyn: It starts off as a cartoony world where everyone is required to be registered with a micro-religion ("Seventh Day Manicurists" is one that I remember) where Athiest Rorschach is about to assassinate someone, then it does a needle-scratch and it's a movie about a psychotic performance artist trying to annoy her mom. Both of those movies are pretty good, and when they finally merge, it works out reasonably well.

Predestination: This is a great little time-cop movie. I was about halfway through it when I realized, "Oh shit, this is an adaptation of [SPOILER]!" It was a solid adaptation, as far as I can remember, though I haven't read it since I was a kid. When I got to the end, I started it over to see how it connected. That's a good sign.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: This was decent, though without any surprises. It has the common plot of, "it only takes one asshole to fuck things up for everybody." My only "WTF" moment was when, after demonstrating that the apes are efficient, organized, stealthy hunters, they abandon all semblance of tactics and just run down Montgomery Street screaming. But, they were being led by a moron by then, so maybe that deserves a pass.

Guardians of the Galaxy: I watched this again, and it's still awesome. Why can't they just file the serial numbers off of this and call it the new Star Wars movie? Seriously, make him Darth Ronan, make the Infinity Gem be the Kaiburr Crystal, re-skin the Nova Corps ships as X Wings, and boom, you're done.

Automata: Antonio Banderas is really sad and chases robots, on what I'm pretty sure is the set of Cherry 2000. I've already forgotten it.

Another Me: Girl haunted by her doppelgänger, or maybe just schizophrenic. It wasn't bad.

Everywhen: If you were wondering whether Norway also has irritating douche-bros, the answer is yes. I wanted to smack every part of this movie. I think the author's deep reading of The Matrix was "guns are cool."


Let me emphasize that I only watched the following because I had already watched literally everything else in the world:

Sin City 2: It's pretty, and nasty and hateful, but so was the first one, and this one adds nothing.

Dark Skies: Ghosts or aliens or alien ghosts or something. It was adequate to fall asleep to.

Open Windows: I thought this was going to be another ham-handed rehash of Rear Window but instead it was a ham-handed rehash of Body Double. Why would you even bother ripping off Body Double?? Brian De Palma is one of the most epic hacks in all of film! Who wants to emulate him?? Ick, ick, ick. I think I just watched someone play the worst, most boring video game ever.

The Maze Runner: Utterly mediocre Mary-Sue Every-boy saves... not his friends. Let's say, "some bipedal props". They managed to ensure that not a single person in the movie had even the slightest hint of personality or backstory by giving them all amnesia. Without that they might have needed names! I imagine the three lines of dialog along the lines of, "that's the cool kids' table, and those are the jocks" was fleshed out to 500 pages in the book. Then they send in utterly-bland-Smurfette to deliver a single line of exposition. You know. For the ladies. Whoever wrote this thought that robot velociraptors and Spanish moss are the scariest things in the world. And, wow, for a Depopulated Nuclear Tatooine Hellscape (oops, spoiler), they sure managed to pour a whole lot of concrete for no reason that was ever even remotely explained. I think I just watched someone play the worst, most boring video game ever.

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Mark your calendars

Upcoming events of note:

Thu, Dec 04:   Mystery Skulls, Manics @ Popscene
Fri, Dec 05:   Trapeze @ Rickshaw Stop
Sat, Dec 06:   Say Hi @ Bottom of the Hill
Tue, Dec 09:   Odd Salon: Oddments @ DNA Lounge
Wed, Dec 10:   Glass Animals, Royal Blood @ DNA Lounge
Thu, Dec 11:   Smoke Season @ DNA Lounge
Thu, Dec 11:   Banks, Cold War Kids @ Mezzanine
Sun, Dec 14:   Brunch Steady @ DNA Pizza, 9am-4pm
Tue, Dec 16:   Haerts, Mikky Ekko @ Rickshaw Stop
Thu, Jan 15:   Ting Tings @ Popscene
Jan 16+17:   Edwardian Ball
Sat, Jan 31:   Happy Fangs @ Rickshaw Stop
Mon, Mar 23:   Gang of 4 @ Independent

What have you got?

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