18/04/10

Contrary to popular believes I do not hate cats. I really don’t. In fact, they are quite good seignant with a smidgen of peppersauce.
Of course I’m kidding. I never ate cat before. How could I? I could never eat something that looks at me cutely!

Huh.

Turns out I can.

Anyway. Cats. No, I don’t hate them. I don’t even dislike them. In fact, most of the time, I find them fairly pleasant, amusing, agreeable creatures to have around. What is true, however, is that I find a dog to be so much more pleasant to have in my house. Not because they’re smarter than cats, because they aren’t per se. I mean, cats and dogs are both mammals. Meaning that the average cat and the average dog are both smarter than, say, the average newt. Like humans there’s going to be a few really smart specimens in either species, a number of decently intelligent ones and the vast majority of either species is going to be plain stoopid. No, it’s not because of their intelligence that I prefer to have a dog as a pet. It’s because they’re pets. And cats aren’t, I hear you ask? No. They’re not. The word ‘pet’ implies ownership. More specifically it implies ownership by consent. One can look at a pet and say “I own that creature” and mean it. My dog right now is laying behind me on my bed. I can turn around and look at my dog and say “I own that creature” and mean it. And really, I do own my dog. That bitch (pun intended) is mine. I can literally do whatever I want with that dog, and it will not complain. I can throw it off the bed, physically pick it up and throw it off the bed. I can pick it up by it’s hind legs and walk it around like a wheelbarrow and it will let me. My dog is essentially a living, breathing, moving piece of furniture. And it is ok with that.

Now, cats… If you have a cat, and the cat is in the room, look at it, please. Look at it and say “I own that creature”. Say it out loud. Did you say it? Good. Did you mean it? Did you believe what you just said? Good.

You are a moron.

Cats are owned by nobody but themselves. They have no masters. They have no owners. They respect no authority but their own, and that of other cats who are naturally more dominant. Note how you are not a cat. Pro tip: if you can read this, chances are you are not a cat. If a cat doesn’t like something, it will either leaves or fight. Cats have been known to scratch their ‘masters’ and we’re ok with that because, well, “that’s what cats do”.
If a dog attacks its master, or indeed anyone it’s not trained to attack it is invariably put down. And of course ‘put down’ is a euphemism for  ‘killed’.

Of course I realize that my dog is an exceptionally passive specimen, and other dogs will protest at the very least audibly if you do some of the things I described above, but the point remains that a dog, a domesticated wolf, because that’s what they are- don’t give me that “Dogs aren’t descended from wolves. Dogs and wolves share a common ancestor” crap. Yes, dogs and wolves indeed share a common ancestor: more fucking wolves. Dogs and wolves are genetically closer related than humans and chimpanzees. If you don’t believe in evolution, you’ll think that’s logical, but if you’re smart, however, or rather, not stupid, then you’ll know what that means. The wolves that were domesticated simply evolved differently than the wild ones, but they’re still the same fucking species. In fact, wolves and dogs can breed. There’ve been experiments where where wolves fucked poodles and they had offspring that was fertile. To put that in context horses and donkeys can fuck. And by fuck I mean they can make babies. Mules. Mules, however, are invariably infertile. This is what happens when two species that are close enough to produce offspring produce offspring. The hybrid can’t reproduce. You can’t have two mules and make baby mules. To make more baby mules you need a horse and a donkey. Only two creatures of the same species can reproduce and have offspring that is fertile. This means that horse and donkey are not the same species. However this does mean that dog and wolf ARE. The only reason most dogs look so different from wolves is the same reason African people have a brown skin and Slavic people are pale: genes and evolution. Caucasian people evolved differently to adapt to a different climate than African people. In the same way the domesticated wolf, or ‘dog’ for short, evolved differently than the wild wolf to adapt to a different environment.
That, and human breeding fucked stuff up. Get it? Fucked? Ah, forget it.
Aaaand I lost my line of thinking.

There it is.
Domesticated dogs. Of course I realize that my dog is an exceptionally passive specimen, and other dogs will protest at the very least audibly if you do some of the things I described above, but the point remains that a dog, a domesticated wolf, because that’s what they are- <insert random rant here>-  can be taught values. And I don’t mean complicated human values like Life, Liberty and The Pursuit Of Happiness, or other bullshit like that, but the basic difference between right and wrong. For example: ‘don’t tug on the leash right‘ ‘poop on the carpet wrong‘. And when the dog does poop on the carpet you can show the dog its… deed… and I mean literally shove its nose into it, say ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’ or ‘awooga’ in a condescending tone -cause, seriously. Dogs don’t speak human. They go purely by intonation of voice and the sound of some words you taught them, which don’t necessarily have to mean anything in anyone’s language ever- and maybe shake it about a bit by its neck or hit it with something newspaperish and it will know that poop on the carpet wrong. And it might poop on the carpet… twice after. And twice after you give it the same treatment. And it will never fucking poop on the carpet again. It’s amazing.
Now cats. <insert genetic analysis of wild and domesticated cats here.> You can’t teach cats shit. If a cat poops on your carpet, and you point this out to it, it will go ‘what?’ then walk off and find food. You can’t teach a cat to not do things you don’t want it to do. At the very best you can put down a litter tray and hope it will recognize the gravel as something it can bury its poop in.
Now, there are cats that don’t poop and pee in the house. Why? Because it has already set the boundaries of its territory to beyond your house. And that is the only reason. You didn’t ‘housetrain’ your cat. You just got lucky that your cat is an expansionistic, imperialistic arse.
As I’m writing this, one of my cats entered the room and laid itself on my lap. I know fully well that this is not because it loves me. It doesn’t. It wouldn’t give a shit about me if I lay bleeding to death. The only reason it does this is because my lap is the warmest place in my room that’s soft enough to lay on. There’s three reasons cats show affection: warmth, comfort, food. These are the only reasons cats live in your house. It’s warm in there, there’s a comfortable place for them to sleep, and you feed them. If any of these things are missing: if your house is too fucking cold, if you chase them away from every comfortable spot (tricky, because your house if FULL of comfortable spots) or if you deny them access to edible stuff (read: everything), they will simply go away. Or if they find another place where it is warmer (within reason), where they can more easily find comfort, or where the food is better/more, they will move there. For example: a cat recently decided to walk through my grandmother’s garden frequently. My grandmother decided to feed the creature. Result: the cat is now a full time resident, and its previous ‘owners’ can go rot, for all it’s concerned.

Dogs won’t do that. Dogs can be mistreated, underfed, left in the cold rain or whatever. As long as its master clearly established his superior dominance, the dog will suck it. And if you treat your dog well: feed it, walk it, hug it, you know, shit like that, it will genuinely care for you. Dogs are wolves and wolves are social creatures. Dogs view humans as more dominant members of its pack, but members of its pack nonetheless. And a pack is basically an extended wolf family. Not all may be related in blood, but only stupid creatures like humans think blood relations are more important than other kinds of relations.
The point is, the respect, loyalty and affection a dog shows for its masters is genuine. That beast really loves you. This is what makes it such great pets: They play the part and they do it willingly.
If anything, cats are glorified parasites, taking advantage of the fact we find them ‘cute’ and ‘pretty’ and so on.
To put that in analogy, a dog is basically a child. One that will never pass the stage of infancy. It will never talk, it will never be capable of independent, mature thinking. However, because it is YOUR child (say, you adopted it, makes it yours), you love it. And it loves you. Really. Cats are more like your unemployed brother who crashes at your place and eats your food until he finds somewhere better to stay.

Don’t get me wrong. I really do like cats, and when I call them parasites, I meant that in the most loving way possible. After all, I am a parasite myself. I’m 20 years old, have no job and live in my mother’s home. However, I am not under the illusion that cats aren’t pets. That ‘my’ cats aren’t mine. When I say “I have a dog and three cats” I mean “I own a dog and there are three cats living in my house”.  Also, the fact that I genuinely like cats does not mean that I can’t be extremely frustrated by them from time to time.
Which is in fact the reason I wrote this piece. The words started dripping into my head right after the following incident. I collect dragon statuettes simply because I think dragons are awesome, and they look cool, and everyone should give me one for my birthday. A while ago, I think a year and a half, I bought a really beautiful one. It was more magnificently carved and (hand) painted than any statuette I had seen before.
The smart people among you already guessed what happened.
This crown jewel of my collection had been adorning my desk ever since, until one of my cats came along and knocked it off. On collision with the grounds, both of it’s wings broke off.
I wasn’t looking at it at the time, but I saw the thing disappearing from the edge of my desk in the corner of my eye, and when I walked around to pick it up, and saw the damage I was furious. Part of me now wishes it was my dog who did it, because I could yell at my dog and my dog would know it did something wrong and feel bad and that would make me feel slightly less bad, but instead I was yelling at a cold, heartless, uncaring creature who stared back at me, blinked twice and then proceeded to lick it’s paw. All I could do was pick the cat up and throw it out of the room and steam for five minutes.

This isn’t the only time cats caused me grief. They used to frequently chew through small power cords, like those of a mobile phone charger. They often piss and crap in small, difficult-to-reach corners, like under my bed, where the smell quickly fills the room. They knock over loads of things: lamps, stacks of stuff like books or dvd cases, empty bottles, etc. They ate my cake. Then they did it again five months later.
However, this was the first time they destroyed something of physical, intrinsic value (about 50 euros) that was mine and that I liked, mainly because it reminds me of a period where I was sort of happy-ish, and the fact that I cannot punish them for it, make them regret it or in any other way get some sort of, I don’t know, apology out of them, or the fact that that cat will never know it did anything wrong at all is something that pisses me off to no end.

I will see if I can somehow repair the damage tomorrow, however I doubt I’ll be able to do it effectively, and even then, the damage will probably still be visible. I might keep you updated, but don’t hold your breath.

~Helena

12/04/10

Had a discussion with someone about the difference between goth and emo, and made the following post on a forum we both are members of, explaining the difference. Here goes:

This is a typical emo guy. You can recognize them by the fact that his hair is purposefully done to cover one eye, and bits of his second, rendering him without sense of depth. He is also rather vain, shown by the fact that he takes pictures of himself. In this case in a mirror.
Emos are generally self-obsessed, and constantly complain about how their life is miserable, how everyone should feel sorry for them, about how nobody cares for them, all in an effort to draw attention to themselves, despite the fact that, when viewed objectively, they are much, much better off than most. Emos might measure their success in life by the amount of friends they have on facebook (previously myspace). A popular theory says that emos haven’t been breast fed as a baby, and so missed a lot of love a child of that age needs so badly from their mother.
Emos might also cut themselves, though they’ll rarely make themselves bleed. The main reason they do this is to have red lines on their arms that they can pretend to hide so they may draw even more attention to themselves. This is opposed to people with real emotional problems, who inflict real harm upon themselves so they can concentrate more on their physical pain, and dwell less on their emotional pain. These people aren’t usually emo, and will actually hide their self-mutilation.

This is a female example. Note how her left eye (right hand side of the picture) is almost covered, but not quite. Also note how her left arm is stretched out, out of the picture, indicating that she’s holding the camera taking this picture.
Also note that in the above examples, their clothing is more or less normal. Now, let’s compare that to the goth.

Where emo mainly revolves around attention-whoring through self-pity, the goth subculture revolves around self-expression and self-exploration. The average goth does not care what others think about them and rarely let the opinions of others affect their lives. They might ask for your opinion, but only if they agree with it will they adjust their own.
Goths are usually friendly, open-minded, artistically gifted in some way or another and rather-to-very intelligent. What separates them from, say, other sensible people is an attraction to the dark side of things. Most goths will not equate ‘dark’ with ‘evil’, but with ‘different’. Many are anti-capitalist, misanthropic and cynical in their outlook of the world. They abhor violence.
Their style is most often black clothing with black-and-white makeup and quite often hair dyed-black. They use this to accentuate contrasts: the white of your eyes with the black line around it with a pale white skin. Goths may be intrigued with death, but this does not mean that they will seek it out. Not for themselves, nor for others, as is often claimed. They will incorporate many elements relating to death, like skulls, in their styles and art.
There are many offshoots of the goth subculture. Let’s examine some.

This picture came from an advertising site, no doubt, but it serves it’s purpose. This is an example of a ‘victorian’ goth, sometimes known as a ‘vampire’ goth. This style favours elegance and grace over functionality. Note how the corset accentuates the waist while the hips seem to flare out further into the wide skirt. Most Victorian goths might save clothing like this for parties and conventions, but some might wear it in their day-to-day life.

The cybergoth might wear a lot of flashy-coloured dreads (often green or pink) in their black hair, as well as ditto-coloured elements in their otherwise black, more simple (though still extravagant) clothing. Cybergoths are unique in their style of music, as they prefer electronic music over instrumental.

Also note how the above pictures were all taken by somebody else.
There’s many more types, but I realize this post is getting quite long, and I have stuff to do.

Helena