Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Lassie From Hell

It’s easy to see why people love their pets. They’re small and harmless and don’t talk back (the jury is out on the question of animals and volition, though watching your average mouse or waterbug doing everything they can to avoid extinction, you can see these creatures don't want to die). More than that you can imbue them with all kind of positive thoughts. Try projecting your wishes onto a spouse or friend and there’s going to be considerable push- back. People have minds of their own and they’re generally not afraid to express feelings about you that are different from your self-conception. Whether it’s Neil, the St. Bernard inTopper, Rin Tin Tin or Lassie, a dog running to you radiates the notion that you’ve at last found a living thing that will sacrifice everything for you. What is it like to be God? Get a pet and you’ll know. Pussies tend to be catty and elusive, but they ultimately provide the same tabula rasa on which you're able to inscribe your wishes. But who knows what the correct transcription of Lassie’s feelings would be?  From the human perspective it looks like Lassie is mindlessly devoted, but who knows if she was just hungry and having visions of her bowl of food, as she sprinted across the prairie towards her master? Who knows if the beloved Jeff was just another obstacle in her way? There's nothing like sitting in front of a roaring fire at the lodge with the antlers hung up above the stone mantle, a sniffter of brandy in one hand and your other cupped over the soft pate of your golden retriever. However, the fact is that fighto is a slave who you expect to jump at your beck and call. Someday, if he or she's ever able to master social media, they will be likely to enlist a swarm of killer bees to wreak vengeance on their oppressor.

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