Anthropomorphism: It’s Morally Wrong!

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Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human qualities to anything other than a human being – in literature it is typically done with animals or natural events. Aesop’s fables are a good place to start if you want to see anthropomorphism in action.

The reason that it is immoral is that animals aren’t humans and can’t talk. As such, it’s a deception. Think for a moment, on what life would be like if your pets really could talk. There is no reason to believe they would be kind or even helpful. Your cat for example, is probably a jerk, potty-mouthed, and likely a bit of a passive-aggressive racist.

You would be sitting there on your end of the couch, Mr. Tiddles on his and you’d be watching the news while he licked his anus with that raspy pink tongue of his, buffing that ruddy pink spider-bite to a new-car shine. Something would come on and you’d only be half paying attention when he’d stop his counter-clockwise lingual rotation and say “I just don’t trust those people!”

You would look over and say “Did you actually just say that? Did I actually just hear that?” and he’d go back to licking himself, very slowly, clockwise this time – for two complete rotations – and without ever breaking eye-contact with you (a challenge to your authority!) he’d stop and say “Why don’t you take a f*cking picture, Fatty. It’ll last longer.”

And that kind sirs and good madams, is your cat.

Don’t even get me started on your dog. If your dog was an actual person he’d repeat everything you said right back to you as a question, be obsessed with poop, and be like that kid in class the teacher shuts in a closet because he’d immediately stick his hand down his pants anytime he heard his name called, even if it was just to go into the closet for having his hand down his pants.

The above illustrate why we should not anthropomorphisize. I don’t even think anthropomorphisize is a real word. It didn’t pass spellcheck here. So don’t do it.

Now go take Mr. Tiddles to the vet and have him put down. He deserves it.

Keep the faith brothers and sisters, and I’ll be back after Watership Down is over. LOVE that movie.

Steve

What’s in a (e-mail) name?

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I don’t talk about my day time job on my blog much – mostly because this blog is to promote my writing efforts and besides, there are only so many ways to kick a puppy. You all know the drill. However, there was an incident the other day I feel compelled to describe because it made me think of the power of words – and names especially.

Our first name – for almost all of us – is given to us by our parents. Some names we get to choose – easy examples are our email/blog names. What we choose to name ourselves – in all seriousness or just in fun – says more about us than the names bestowed upon us by others. (Conversely, what our parents name us says more about them than it does us – right “Justice’? Right “Eagle Eye”?)

One of our clients came in about a month ago to update his contact information. I sat with him and started updating the customer information screen and when we got to the email field I asked the question. He hung his head and laughed nervously – I just looked at him, waiting for the info. Finally he said “ricochetrobbie” at (some email address). I just typed it in (trust me, I’ve heard odder ones) but he felt compelled to explain:

“Oh man,” he said, with a California stoner drawl (even though we’re not in Cali), “When I was a Kid we’d play Cowboys and my cowboy name was “Ricochet Robbie” so I have always kept a variation of that as my email. Kind of silly hey?” He looked like he did, indeed, feel silly.

You know, I feel for the guy. We’re about the same age, it’s been a long tough winter, and you know what? Whatever brightens your day – it’s all good by me.

“Hey – it’s cool with me Rob” I said. “In fact, I’ve been on-line dating and “Steve Nine Plus” is my username on the website I use. Look at it this way – you really could be a cowboy. There’s time. You can buy a horse, a hat, and give it a shot. Ride off into that sunset. Me? I’m just another f*cking liar on the internet.”

We both laughed at that.

After I completed the customer information screen I brought a puppy out of the bag and we took turns punting it clear across my cubicle. Mission accomplished.Another happy customer.

Stay frosty my friends – I don’t always lie on the internet but when I do? It’s to strange women.

Steve