Why I call this place Baa Ram U.

Cam the Ram

Cam the Ram

And of course, I do so affectionately, since I like teaching at the old Aggie school because of days like yesterday, when some of the Ag students put on a show-and-tell for the rest of the university in a plaza in-between the Liberal Arts college and the library.  The big guy at left is the university mascot known as “Cam the Ram.”  (He’s not really a Rocky Mountain Big Horn, for perhaps obvious reasons, but a farm animal shaved down and wrapped up real purty.)


calvesHere are the calves (whose “moooooowww”s I could hear in my office upstairs!)



ewelambsAnd here are a ewe and her two lambs.

In other good news:  as many of you may have heard, Allen Andrade was convicted of first degree murder for the cruel bludgeoning death of 18 year-old trans woman Angie Zapata last summer.  He was immediately sentenced to life in prison, according to Colorado law.  The trial was in my own little cow town of Potterville, where I feared the “gay panic” defense Andrade’s lawyers mounted might stand a chance, but the jury returned the verdict in only 2 hours.  (People here are conservative, but they’re not especially ideological about it.)  I just about did a spit take into my coffee this morning when I saw this quote from District Attorney Ken Buck, who is someone with whom Historiann agrees with very infrequently:  “We care deeply about human life in this community. . . If someone goes after someone here because of their sexual status, we will come after you with everything we have.”  Well alright then!  I just might settle in and stay a while.

Like a Whisper and Roxie’s World were on this story pronto–check them out for more background & thoughts.  Interestingly, all of the local mainstream media that I’ve seen (TV, public radio, the Denver Post, and the Greeley Tribune) and everyone in the trial (except the defense attorneys) referred to the victim as Angie Zapata and used the pronoun “she.”  I was impressed.

Finally, since this post started out as the Farm Report, here’s a related story involving large animals:  When the trial started last week, D.A. Buck ordered mounted police to stand guard outside the courthouse, because they were afraid of “protesters.”  That seemed like a little bit of an overreaction, so I asked my courthouse informant about it, and ze reported that people in the courthouse had heard that the Fred Phelps traveling  road show might be coming through town to spread their Christian message of love, peace, and “God hates fags.”  Fortunately they didn’t show.

0 thoughts on “Why I call this place Baa Ram U.

  1. you know gay prof, I think you just articulated the one nagging thought in my head as I was praising the verdict. As someone who finds policing, def. of criminality, and the “justice” system lacking for both identity and ideological reasons, this victory is still tinged with a reliance on a system that ultimately does a lot of damage in the trans community (as well as a million other marginalized ones).

    I’d love it if you’d leave the same comment there. (Tho my readers are quiet, there are quite a few who would welcome the bumping up of the analysis a bit.)


  2. I agree that prevention is key–prevention of all forms of so-called “domestic” violence. But I want to applaud Buck and the law enforcement here more generally for their handling of Zapata’s murder. I didn’t see or hear any sensationalized coverage, and from the first, the law enforcement attitude was that someone had brutally murdered a teenager, and her sex assignment wasn’t at all an issue.

    You both probably live in much more progressive communities than Potterville–so maybe it’s difficult to see how heartening these baby steps are. Buck is considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat here–taking a strong position on prosecuting someone for a transgender Latina is something that won’t earn him brownie points in the Republican primary (especially since his big issue here is “illegals”) although it may be a means for positioning himself as more centrist than he really is.


  3. Love the animals. The farmland around our nascent campus is still farmed, so there are cows grazing just off the main path from the parking lot to my office. We’re trying to figure out how to have the cows all lined up at the fence to watch Michelle Obama.

    Oh, and that verdict — every now and then something happens that restores my faith in the jury system. Twelve ordinary people look at the evidence and do their job. I’m not naive, and I know it doesn’t always work, but when it does in a case like this it’s deeply satisfying.


  4. Tell the Cam-handler team to watch out, Historiann, for those goat-eating golden eagles, who like to drop these guys off of 1,274 foot cliffs in Spain! Various URLs, but they’re all over YouTube currently. You probably don’t have too many 1,274 foot cliffs in Potterville, but those mountains are nearby. Very dirty birds, according to Dr. Franklin.

    Those interested in the many dimensions of the domestic violence discourse might want to check out today’s new headline: “iPhone Baby-Shaker Pulled.” This was a briefly-available app for your dumb-ass smartphone sub-demographic, I guess. The content developer says it put in clear consumer warnings saying “Don’t Try This in *Your* Nursery,” which I guess makes it o.k., right?!?


  5. The fact that the Zapata conviction happened in Potterville makes me proud of this community for the first time. Someone mentioned on a blog you linked to that Colorado is conservative. Well, it depends which part of Colorado. True the whole state trends libertarian, I think– which offends my New England communitarian soul– but there’s a lot of local government control (“home rule”) and that makes Boulder more, well, Bouldery, and Potterville more,well, homophobic, xenophobic, and resistant to change.
    Potterville has the exact party split as Colorado Springs–and the left here is more subdued than down there. When I taught at Slaughterhouse U, the local college, the GLBT group on campus was tiny and I think many students were closeted. Three students came out to me in five years of teaching and tutoring. Period.


  6. Pingback: Who ever would have predicted? : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present

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