Bunnified News, Commentary, Social Criticism, Bunzo Journalism

RUNNING BUN MAGAZINE - All things "bunnified," news from the rabbit multiverse, deep down in the Earth, where it's still warm.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Secret Voice of Rabbits



So my colleague, Thumper S. Thompson, has lit a fire under my battooskie to get me working on a new blog post, my first post here on Running Bun Magazine. In my first post, I should unequivocably state that I am a hooman! Yes, that's right, there are hoomans involved with things here at Running Bun Magazine but only as much as is simply unavoidable. As an animal photographer of cute and fluffy beings (and of the occasional not so cute but still awesome being), I expect my little, and sometimes big, models to do their job, that is, to look cute. Their job is to arrest the camera and thus the viewer of the result.

Consider yourself under arrest. I mean really, the camera is like my Bobbie stick. I use it to capture and detain many widdle cyoot bunny rabbits who've run amok, all those irreverent lagomorphs out there marauding in the street, fields, and in our homes (yes, in our very homes right under our noses!) wanton, flagrant perpetrators of being criminally cute! It's must be stopped and I must stop it! And so I do; usually with f11 through f16, or so.

Magic Secrets Revealed!
I have a big black barrel, a Nikkor 18-200mm actually, and I aim it head on at those little twitching noses. They know when they see it that I mean business. I have a lot of help with the bunny shoots. First order of help comes from MagicMan, my rabbit herder, cat herder, and all around handy magician. Oh yea, and I'm married to him. He corrals the rascally rabbits for me and places them up on the shooting stage. I know it all sounds like one of those attractions at the board walk or carnival where one pays money to shoot at targets and win a plush toy. Guess this is kind of similar in that we, MagicMan and I, did pay a lot of money to do this shooting! There's about $10-12,000 worth of ammo, or studio photography equipment contributing to each shot! That's a lot of dough, ain't it? And we did it for free, free for the bunnies, I mean. Not free for us, we didn't make any money off their photo shoots at all...and we had to take care of the bunnies for a long time until they got adopted. Take them to the vet, pay for their food and lodging, fill the gas tank to take them to bunny matches, it just goes on and on. So can you blame us for trying to recoup some of that? We never really could but we're going to try and hope bunny peeps out there will have sympathy for us because we really blew a wad on them and there's literally nothing left for us.

After MagicMan rounds up the little bunnies and places them up on the shooting table, he bribes them with carrots, kisses, and papaya tablets. There it is! The secret! Yes, we really do use a carrot and stick to get a lot of these shots! But that's really only a minor part of the whole secret to a successful bunny rabbit photo shoot. There is a lot of animal communication going on. Also a lot of fear factor. Truth be told, at first the bunnies are all mostly terrified. Time was, almost every single studio shot we've ever done was benevolently presided over by a couple of large soft, peachy, pink parrots, our two fabulous Moluccan cockatoos, Happy Amadeus and Mrs. Mozart!

Mrs. Mozart sits only feet away from the shooting table.
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That's only one secret behind our rock star rabbit photo shoots. In subsequent posts, the ones that I will write, not ones written by Running Bun Magazine Senior Writer Thumper S. Thompson, I'll tell a little more about each the many secrets behind a successful bunny photo shoot, ok? So y'all be sure to stop by regularly and check it out! Yea, but I guess those are the first two secrets; that I have a photographer's assistant helping me, MagicMan, and that I have a magician's assistant helping me, too, Mrs. Mozart, Moluccan cockatoo! I do really mean a magician's assistant too as Mrs. Mozart lived with a real, professional magician for the first 17 of her now 31 years and she brings much magic to the entire household here in this outpost of strange and wondrous things on the edge of reality! And, by the way, Mrs. Mozart is a rescue Moluccan cockatoo, as is her neighbor, Happy Amadeus.

And the secret voice of rabbits mentioned in the headline? What was that all about? The secret voice of rabbits is only partially heard through a type of morse code pounded out with their hind foot and the other part ever so softly heard with the feather soft up and down rustling of their whiskers through clock-like positions, each of which has very specific meaning. Their secret voice is a real, spoken voice. But it's so soft, barely audible, and the room must be so very quiet for it to be heard. No I'm not talking about their snort, or growl, or contented tooth purr. I am talking about their voice, about what I have observed as a result of living with both parrots and other animals and the species jealousy which parrots arouse in other animals when they shout out, "Hello!" That jealousy causes other animals to work with their mouths as best they can to also produce a garbled, "Hello" or some sort of audible sound.

I'll detail these stories in future posts, stories that read like those of Mischka the famous talking Husky of YouTube, or the many famous Siamese cats who are trained by their breeder to yell, "hello!" at cat shows, and so on. But that's all I'm going to say for now. (At least it should be clear why the heck I use an alias for me and my husband! Ha!) Follow me (said the white rabbit), follow this blog, and I will make good on my promise to reveal all of these secrets in time. If you were a true white rabbit of the rabbit cyber multi-verse, you could have already dug up all of these secrets, as they lie in wait, an excavation extraordinaire hidden forever in the labyrinth of the ether.

So for now the secrets revealed are that I have a second hooman helping me and that I have a former magician's assistant, a Moluccan cockatoo, blowing kisses at the bunnies when I ask her to calm the bunnies down. They're all scared of those huge parrots at first but then I tell Mozart, "blow kisses, Mozart, please," and she throws the sweetest kisses imaginable. If you know cockatoos, then you know they can sound sweeter than anything on Earth when they choose. And so, the bunny photos are proof positive of that.

Lighting setup is something else I'll discuss in future posts. And you might even see a video of a shoot now and then. Here's some teaser photos of my shooting table.

Tread Lightly.
The shooting table or stage with 2 of the 5 lights visible.
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Foster bunny rabbit Skennen waits for the barrel to load.
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Foster Bunny Rabbit Skennen now a Rock Star Rabbit!
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Oh, and by the way, poor Skennen here was a blue ribbon winning rabbit at a county fair one day. Later that day, his owner abandoned him and his brother, also a prize winner, at the county animal shelter. But we went and got him, got him neutered and then matched to a lovely French lop from Iowa and he continues to live happily ever after.


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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

We Are UnDead: Zombies Unite for the Hopping Dead


October 6, 2013

I'm sitting in my office holding my iPad tightly. The tension and nervousness is a tic I can no longer really master. It's been almost three years since I posted on this blog and the world is now a different place. This gadget I hold has replaced textbooks, cameras, newspapers, and all the employees associated with those prior technologies.

It has definitely put a dent in the Universe, Steve, this iThing. My little corner of the rabbit multiverse within the cosmos has been rocked to the core. Emphasis on rocked. I love this thingamajig. I feel like I'm living in the Blade Runner / Minority Report / Total Recall (2012, please) continuum every time I look at one of RabbitPhotog's fine art (very fine!) rock star rabbit photographs with this Retina display. As my own retina ages, it has become more dependent on the iVerse. Does that make me an android in beta? If so, then this android definitely doesn't dream of electric sheep but rather albino rabbits with eyes of all different shades of lavender and rose to blood red.

And here in my little nooky niche of the vast rabbit hole known as cyberspace, a new Running Bun Magazine cover is bursting in my head. Wriggling and binkying, it is almost ready to emerge. It's October and we all know what that means, right? Of course, it means zombies! Albino zombies, yea not Rob of White Zombie, but Shauna the Bassist and cover bun this month, an albino zombie. And so that should be a strong indicator of what's to follow...


Knock, knock. Wake up, Neo. How do the words go? "I am the nexus one, I want more life, I ain't done, yeah." This is what I hear when I see the sad eyes of albino bunnies gracing their angelic faces; some see a demon, I see an angel. Partially blind (human albinos are legally blind), the ones with the reddest eyes have the worst vision, the most fear, justifiably. They can sense the stupid superstitious fears of those hoomans who see only the Rabbit of Caerbannog. "That's no ordinary rabbit!" the knights yelp. No rabbit is ordinary. Red eyed whites? They're not Jackson Whites. Pink eyed whites? They have invisible angel's wings BUT you must have the sight to see them. The sight lit by your inner light which has been kindled by the grateful love of the helpless, the meek. Don't be a zombie, open the nooks and crannies of your soul to the love of an albino bunny rabbit today. And if you've read this far, your reward is code BCBUN20 for 20% off items in the Memorabilia section!

Run fast and binky hard. TST.

 -Thumper S. Thompson

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Fear and Loathing and Leporiphobia


"You didn't think I was serious just because I carry a rabbit around?!"

Thumper S. Thompson here with more thoughts on our glorious Halloween Running Bun Magazine issue this month, October 2013.

As you already know, Shauna, bassist of White Zombie and cover bun this month, is a drop dead gorgeous albino mini-lop rabbit. She has pure, heavenly white fur and beautiful white eyes. White eyes, you say? Well, yea, because if we collectively refer to the color of the pupil of an eye to determine what the 'eye color' is, then all humans have black eyes!

Obviously, that's not the case. Albino humans, who are legally blind, don't have black pupils but rather, dark rose-colored pupils and the same goes for rabbits. The color of albino bunnies' pupils can range from bright red to deep, deep rose but the color of their irises are usually anywhere from a pastel lavender to softest pink to white. Shauna, the cover bunny girl in question, has irises of the palest rose, really white. So let's not say she has bloody red eyes, shall we? And why does it matter? It matters to me, Thumper S. Thompson, bunzo journalist.

As far as albinism goes in bunny rabbits, the redder their pupils, the more albino they are and the worse their eyesight. Again, I'll refer to human albinos, they are legally blind. So a bun with blood red pupils has very poor eye sight indeed. But almost no one shows them the same patient tolerance and required legal accommodations to which their human albino counterpart is entitled. And rabbits are a freaking prey animal, for Peter's Sake! They can barely see and so, of course, they're afraid if some hooman with fast moving hands and body is hovering over them like a darned zombie waiting to disembowel them!

But rabbits, in general, while admitting that generalizations are generally a poor way to form any kind of opinion, are a spunky lot. They'll defend themselves, for the most part, yet many times they give a very tolerant snort to warn you that they're disgruntled with your behavior. Then, if you still don't learn, there is always nature's ultra effective device, negative reinforcement. This usually results in a 'bite' which usually isn't anything more than a nip. Yet, the deliverance of such is a blow to the ego and the emotions of the receiver. Yeah, it hurts hoomans feelings to have a cute little bunny rabbit nip them when all they're trying to do is communicate that they, the rabbit, are disgruntled with the inadequate intelligence of hoomans requiring this type of education from a supposed lower species.

The reason I'm telling you this is that an actual real life phobia of such celestially beautiful bunny rabbits exists and it is called leporiphobia. Leporiphobia is named based on the root word of lepus, meaning, of course, rabbit. Now these poor souls who suffer from this phobia have my deepest sympathy because they must go through life never knowing the truth about these wonderful animals, these albino bunnies. There is something so angelic, so pure, so ethereal, so perfect, so rapturous, heck, so celestial about these gorgeous animals, that perhaps the fear of them is really a fear of something more holy unto thou than themselves. Yeah, that's it.

I think I did once actually have a friend who had leporiphobia. But that's another story for another day, and it's a beautiful story I won't tell today. Today, I wanted to talk about how one hooman may develop this phobia if they happened to watch a certain movie; that movie is Seven Psychopaths.

It's a great movie, Seven Psychopaths. I loved it. Our staff  photographer, Rabbit Photog, likes it too but had a rather hard time with her initial viewing of it. However, I know there were two reasons she bit her lip as she watched it and she was determined to watch it; the first reason is because there are about twenty or thirty sweet little albino mini-rex bunny rabbits in it, and the second is because her favorite leprechaun was playing the main character and that would be Colin Farrell.

The movie also stars the master of deadpan comedy, Christopher Walken; emerging comedic genius, Sam Rockwell; Tom Waits as the gentle bunny handling tour de force; Woody Harrelson as a most truly psychopathic mobster; and Abbie Cornish and Olga Kurylenko in small, short-lived but forceful roles. My favorite female character is played by Amanda Mason Warren as Maggie, the wife of Tom Waits’ younger self. Linda Bright Clay appears as Myra, Han's wife.  

As far as the rabbits go, the lovelies make their first appearance early in the movie when Zachariah Rigby (Waits) shows up at Billy Bickle's (Rockwell) house in response to an ad Bickle placed in the L.A. Times. Zach then has tea (of course! rabbit peeps only have tea! with a mad hatter, no less!) with Marty (Farrell) and ensues the story of his transition from serial killer to gentle rabbit caretaker, a role which costs him the love of his life and wife, Maggie. As Zach gets up to leave, we see one of the rare occurrences of a Hollywood film demonstrating the proper way to pick up a rabbit. Carrie, the albino bunny, has been hanging out on the coffee table enjoying a carrot while listening to her hooman recount many, gory murders he has committed. Before that, a flashback to the horrifying murder at which Zach met his first rabbit again shows the innate gentleness of Zach's character. This murder scene flashback is also graced with the twenty or thirty albino bunny rabbits, all hopping about utterly unconcerned about the grisly hooman behavior which surrounds them.

A bunny drinks the blood of her caretaker after his grisly murder by Maggie (Warren)
The bunny makes an appearance again at the movie's end, post credits, when Zach phones Marty from a phone booth to express his disappointment in Marty over a broken promise, one for which Marty agrees to forfeit his life. While Zach and Marty talk, the bunny sits on the phone book shelf of the booth and occasionally stands up to explore the glass enclosure. One can't help but wonder if this is some sort of vague homage to Farrell's stand out performance in a movie named after such an enclosure. One also can't help but wonder, are there really any phone booths left in L.A.? We're also treated to Waits' brilliantly delivered line, "You didn't think I was serious just because I carry a rabbit around?" That line is sure to find it's own place of fame in movie history.

It's not often Hollywood treats us to such a nice portrayal of the bunny rabbit, much less the beautiful albino bunny rabbit. Hence, I felt all involved deserved a shout out to help promote this sure-to-be-a-cult hit comedy, Seven Psychopaths. All brilliantly written, directed, and acted.

However, for you faint of heart peeps out there, this movie is shockingly violent, gruesome, and unsentimental BUT no animals are harmed. Nevertheless, for some, the movie could actually induce a sudden, most fierce and unforgiving lifetime filled with the dreaded leporiohobia! Beware!

Zachariah (Tom Waits) phones Marty (Colin Farrell) from a phone booth with his rabbit, Carrie
Happy October, folks.


 -Thumper S. Thompson

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