Thursday, October 04, 2007

Power and the Anthropomorphization of Animals

Reading Schumacher today I realized an interesting possibility in the current trend to relate humans more closely with animals and animals more closely with humans. What if it was tied to our sense of power?

This argument assumes that we are ontologically different than animals, higher being who have categorical differences with non-human animals. This assumption being made, what would the possible motives be for anthropomorphizing animals? Well, they can be made to seem like they have human emotions, human capability for speech (save we cannot understand them), similar social arrangements, and a host of other humanizations. The end of this promotion would seem that we can treat these animals as humans, while remaining gods to them. We can appear totally benevolent, life-giving, caring, and all-powerful while maintaining that these creatures are really closer to ourselves that they actually are ontologically.

The flip side of this is that either animals are promoted or we are demoted. Many people do both, "we are just cool animals" and the like. What could the motive for this be? Well, we can completely comprehend animals (potentially) because they are on a lower level of ontology. Thus if we relate ourselves more to the animal we can mistakenly think that we have much better understanding of the human person than is the case. Again, this feeds our sense of power because we (and the other) are no longer a mystery to ourselves. We Know.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Homework, Yoga, and Mass

Hiya all!

Whew! It has been a crazy last three weeks, getting settled in classes, work, and living in Brighton. We finally have everything we need for our car not to get towed: MA plates, resident parking permit, inspection sticker, and MA license. Yay! We're going to take a picture of our car parked outside of our condo one of these days... as proof of that feat.

Gary, Nick, Gary's friend Yulia, our good friend Tina, Anne and I had a wonderfully relaxed weekend this last weekend. I think I have been burning both ends of my candle a bit too much so we slowed down and slept in. Poets have been strangely silent on the subject of sleeping in (not to mention cheese). It has been fascinating to me that while I took 7-8 classes a semester in undergrad, I find 4 classes in graduate school quite taxing... and I haven't even written a paper yet! Yikes! Hopefully I'll be able to manage my time such that it won't be a problem by then. I doubt I will take four classes again. In one way though, I suppose that graduate school is supposed to take a great deal more time because so much more is expected of you. The reading is in-depth and plentiful, the detail in discussion is minute, and working 20 soild hours a week really adds up. Still... I'm surprised.

It's nice to really be on our own now too, not the fact of being separate from the parents and whatnot, but the fact that... well... we're making our own way in the world! We're working and paying bills, and surviving (albeit with parental support in areas like creditability and whatnot).