Monday, November 26, 2012

Canis Not So Familiaris

I'm about to take a controversial stand...Humans are more important than animals. "BUT, BUT innocent animal abuse!" "BUT, BUT, rescue dogs and fur is murder and poor living conditions and loss of habitat and..........Okay, shut it. No sane person in the history of the world is going to argue that the way we treat animals is either fair or just.  The problem is that at some point the world made it a sin to choose species first.  The present delusion is that if you care about yourself and like beings who are composed of similar DNA then you don't care about animals. This perception is simply untrue. In fact, a human activist loves one more species of animal than all other animal lovers, they love humans.

Here's an unsubstantiated statistic: A lot percent of animal activists hate humans. It seems that in order to be an open minded individual who believes in a cause you need to be able to target a group of people and judge them for their misdeeds. Without judgement there is no heft to an argument and thus you will only be left with the quiet works you accomplish in your life, without profit or recognition.  With judgement however you can create a multitude of scenarios to feed your narcissism by publicly lambasting anyone who transgresses upon your "superior moral code."

Frankly, I am disgusted that a seemingly growing number of slack jawed yokels can sit and watch the morning news spouting tales of human disease, maiming, rape and murder while continuously cramming spoonfuls of cheerios into their mouths. Yet, if the news anchor happens to show a scene from a movie where a horse gets shot their eyes begin to well up with tears and their body swells with a sense of righteous indignation. "That poor innocent animal." they'll say "How could anyone be so cruel." they'll say.

The prevailing thought from an animal lover is that animals are at once completely innocent AND have no survival skills. Because of this, these humans have decided that animals will forever be babies and must be treated like them at all times. Yet dogs for example are scavengers who were able to thrive in the wild for thousands of years without human intervention or even a puppy snuggie.  Secondly, animals for the most part are assholes. Countless animals on countless occasions have injured or killed other living creatures and people simply for sport.  Further, how many days do you think that Fido would wait to feast on your bloated carcass if you stroked out on the kitchen floor and couldn't open his can of Alpo?  

 Any virtues or extreme intelligence that one could project onto an animal are merely extensions of narcissism. How much "universal understanding" can you really credit to an animal who only gets crapping outside correct 6 out of every 10 times? NEWSFLASH! we are on a dying planet circling a dying star with the certainty of annihilation looming over our heads. The only way to escape our fate is to draw up the plans for a spaceship to blast our collective asses into a new and thriving corner of the universe. Excuse me for not having faith in Fido to make the intellectual leap from Bark Bark! to super genius in time to save our souls.

While we can't know how much animals truly think or feel what we do know is that humans are undeniably the most advanced creatures on this planet. What we also know is that the majority of people who commit heinous deeds do so because of of a history of abuse or trauma. These traumatic events tend to largely occur when people are young, innocent, defenseless children. Early life experiences tend to shape the way a human develops mentally and are a good predictor of how they will act as an adult.  Abused children grow up into abusive adults because without rehabilitation childhood trauma manifests itself in ugly ways when sick kids become sick adults.

Anedotally my dog doesn't know whether I have left the house for 5 minutes of 5 days she still greets me with the same excited look that says "WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN FOOD ROBOT? I'M STARVING!" Anecdotally my neighbors dog lost an eye and she spent a total of zero hours and zero minutes lamenting it. In fact, it is almost as if the dog has no idea that it's gone. She probably thinks "Boy it's a little dark on my left side...all of the time" but that's about it. We can theorize all day long about the emotional capacity of animals but we know for certain that humans young or old, small or tall are composed of delicate feelings that once violated can ruin their lives absolutely. 

Would it not behoove us a species then to pay a little more concentrated effort on developing our own team?  Every half wit who raises a pitbull for dog fights probably has an absent mother or an abusive father. People are rarely jerks for no reason. Certainly it may seem like a good idea to be an advocate for animals but it is only treating a symptom of a larger problem AND it is at the expense of human life. If you give a homeless man a dollar you might feel good about yourself because you "paid if forward" but you did nothing to change the infrastructure to support or change his life.  You have satisfied an emotional need, an extension of your own narcissism so that you feel like you did something to better the world, but you didn't really.  Remember, the people who are mistreating animals are most likely products of being mistreated themselves, a cycle that can only be stopped if we as a species stop abusing each other AND start taking care of each other first.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Over the span of my life I have lost my desire to be famous. Candidly I will admit that as a child being a celebrity was a huge driving force. I didn't want to be admired for my beauty and have people fawn over me.  In my heart I had a deep seated desire to entertain and  be well liked by everyone. Perhaps this desire arose from low self esteem or a lack of confidence. Perhaps I feared rejection so fiercely that I wanted to know that anyone I encountered had no choice but to revere me. To that end the desire to be a celebrity was a weakness masking itself as strength that would help me feel comfortable in a room full of people.

Thankfully due to some childhood trauma followed by years of extensive teasing and ridicule from my peers I lost all hope in the overt kindness of the human race.  What followed was a short (5 year) reclusive stint of developing and exacerbating a messianic complex.  I eventually flew too high into the narcissistic sky and melted my Icarusian wings. What this experience lead me to realize was that even the truest form of celebrity would only ever be a lie. There is a never a time when a mass of people will legitimately adore you for the virtues that you possess as an individual. Vanity, jealousy, ego and envy are the only words found at the noblest roots of celebrity. Because of this, short of earning money, fame is an empty pursuit.

Andy Warhol famously imagined that in the future everyone would get their 15 minutes of fame. The statement assumed that the hierarchy of what we deem fame worthy would diminish to the point where it was possible for anyone to become famous for anything. He of course was correct in this assumption but he failed to predict a couple hidden effects.

As the divide between commoner and celebrity began to erode so too did the pedestal that we put celebrities on. In recent years we have encountered an increase in flash in the pan reality TV stars and Youtube one hit wonders. However, we have also experienced a strange phenomenon whereby a growing number of people have cultivated what should be 15 minutes into a mini series or movie of the week. I'm not even talking about anomalies like the Kardashians rather I am referring to those that make consecutive appearances as cast members on different reality shows over a period of years. (Addiction show > rehab show > sober living show > rebuilding career show > hedonistic party show to celebrate modest success > addiction show.)

The reason they can do this is because the spotlight had been dimmed and diffused over a larger area of people. Instead of personalities rolling in like huge waves, cresting and crashing on the shore modern day celebrities are scarcely more than a pool of stagnant water. There is no crash and burn or exit strategy because they leave no impression either way.  Like a well placed fart in a poorly ventilated room they simply hover in place and refuse to dissipate. Anyone who encounters a nouveau celebrity is more inclined to turn away in is disgust than to ask for an autograph and a photo.

Low level celebrity is much like the drug game portrayed in rap videos. Neither of these lifestyles actually provide a level of respect/recognition or even a steady income above minimum wage.  The perpetual delusion is that merely being watched doing anything grants you a level of merit above the rest of humanity. Now the world is filled with people who are trying to be seen by other people who are only trying to be seen themselves. The modern pursuit of "fame" is really just an act of fitting in and fitting in is the antithesis of what being famous is.

The Celebracy movement then in its least potent form serves as the promise ring of celebrity. It is an affirmation of integrity and vow not to engage in pre marital fame whoring before you have a real talent to advertise. To this end, the act of withholding  your desire to grab onto any available audience might help restore celebrity to the empty soulless pursuit that it once was. Celebracy in its most potent form is to completely abstain from anything that might make you famous and to view anything you do that is fame worthy as a source of shame. 

Modesty, subtlety, patience and quality these are some of the words found at the root of Celebracy. Any recognition you get should only come from a family member, a close friend or someone's life whom you have touched  personally and profoundly. The intent of the Celebrat (we'll have to work on the title) is to celebrate real people and the effect that they have had on your real life.