20 December, 2016

The Digest—Tuesday, 20 December, 2016

[The Digest is a collection of articles, videos, and other media I've viewed and found significant throughout the day. It is a way to divest myself from other social media that is more reliant on likes, click-bait, and peer-approval rather than quality, intelligence, and diversity of opinion, which are the qualities I find important. It is also a way to devote myself to daily contributions to this space...at least in theory.]

-=Summary: Anti-cat propaganda & Richard Spencer, fame whore doucherag extraordinaire=-


'Mysterious power over humanity': How cats affect health
Alice Robb from CNN

Apparently the author and the expert in this are both cat people, or at least the "expert," but they're both pretty negative about cats, and this almost reads as anti-cat propaganda. 
They're a disaster for the environment: One conservancy organization has called cats the "ecological axis of evil." 
Nearly half of house cats have physically attacked their owners.
But nearly all of these attacks result in, at worst, superficial scratches. Cats are not dogs that can maul you to death, unless you're an idiot who keeps a panther in a 10' cage and is then surprised when it takes a swipe at you.

Discussing reasons for domestication, the expert states:
We also tended toward animals that had social hierarchies that we could dominate. Dogs and cattle have lead animals, and we can control them by acting the alpha dog or the lead steer. But cats are solitary animals that don't have social hierarchies. They're hard to physically control, and they don't tolerate confinement well.
First of all, I think cats domesticated humans, not the other way around, but this person speaks as though the only reason to interact with an animal is to control it to perform some laborious task. I don't want to dominate my cat. I don't want to control her. I marvel at her world of 1 that is occasionally eclipsed to allow me in its presence. 

This is the reason she gives for us accepting cats in our lives.
Cats have big round eyes located right in the middle of their faces, because they're ambush predators and need good binocular vision. They have little noses, because they don't hunt by smell. They have round faces because they have short, powerful jaws. This set of features, which is actually just an expression of the way the cat hunts, looks to us like our infants.
Again...seriously? I agree we tend to show more affection for animals that remind us more of ourselves, as we're species self-obsessed, but she says more in a bit that confirms why this statement drives me nuts. I'll quote it here:
There are some interesting ideas from evolutionary psychologists -- that a woman might use a cat to hone her parenting skills or, before having kids, to demonstrate her fitness as a mate.
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuccckkk yooooouuuuuu.
People who have cats are less likely to be outside in the world, walking their cats, meeting other people in cat parks. And cats may not be as good a substitute for human companionship as other kinds of pets. Dogs and their owners have this lovely synergy -- they gaze into each other's eyes, and both of them have this flow of oxytocin going.
Maybe your cat doesn't like you very much? Very frequently, when my cat comes for cuddles and pets, she demands I stare into her eyes. She will even reach up with her paws and try to turn my head to force me to do so. Eye contact is very important to her, and then there's all the squinty-face and nuzzles and other overt expressions of affection this person apparently lacks.

And no, I don't walk my cat because cats are not servile little imbeciles you can put on a leash and drag around wherever you want. Cats do what they want, which is why I think so many people do not like them.
Somebody who is socially isolated to begin with, or unable to do the rigorous care that a dog needs, might be more likely to get a cat -- but having a cat can be isolating in and of itself.
Cats don't require rigorous care? I've tried 10 flavors of food this month for my cat. I'm not incapable of taking my cat outside to relieve herself, but she doesn't need me to do that. Instead of preferring more independent creatures, we're "unable to do the rigorous care," yet somehow use this as practice for having kids. As I said, this is a self-described "cat person." And then there's this:
From my experience drifting around the cat world, it does seem to be more of a female-centric passion. The simple, slightly sexist explanation is that cats' infantile-looking features prey particularly on female instincts.
And then, about cats living with humans:
There's evidence that to prevent cat-human violence, we need to go to more extreme lengths than I'd ever thought. Experts say that you need to give an entire room of your house for the cat's exclusive use. That you should make sure the cat has multiple litter boxes, one per floor, and extra ones for extra cats. That you should never rearrange your furniture. That you should try not to wear perfume. That houseguests are freaky for your cat.
Oh give me a freakin' break. Yes, some lunatics might go to these extremes, but, as is mentioned earlier in the article, cats are incredibly adaptable. Yes, moving stressed out my cat, but now she's happy as a fuzzball can be curled in her bed in front of the fireplace. She has also never attacked me. The only cat I had who attacked was formerly feral, incredibly traumatized, and only attacked in response to unwanted touching by me. She never ambushed me or scratched/bit unprovoked, and she was the most violent cat I've ever had. "Attacks" are also often expressions of play from cats, as with many other mammmals, as play-fighting is how they learn fighting skills for later life. 

I know some cats do "attack" their humans, but just like all people don't get along, I think some cats just don't like some people. They choose who to spend their time with. They don't care who feeds them, who changes their litter; if they don't like you, it doesn't matter what you do for them. Some people don't like cats because they view this as disloyalty. They want the unconditional love of a creature absolutely dependent on them for survival. 

I think it's about control and self-validation. If this is what you need from an animal, a cat who doesn't come when you call or respond with affection to every touch or sometimes doesn't want to be touched at all must be wounding to the ego—I can't force this creature to love me! Whaaa!

That's one of the things I love most about cats—they are individuals, their own masters, and if you kick them out (you evil bastard!), they can make it on their own. Their instincts persist. But when they do come to you for touch and affection and pull your glasses off your face trying to get you to gaze endlessly into their eyes while they drool and purr and fall into that half-sleeping squint and then you go back to what you were doing and OH NO YOU DON'T WHO GAVE YOU PERMISSION TO LOOK AWAY fuck there go my glasses again. So precious!

Jewish leaders in Richard Spencer’s home town targeted in posting on neo-Nazi website
Katie Mettler from The Washington Post

This Richard Spencer guy is so gross. These people are getting death threats now, and all he has to say is that he wouldn't handle it that way. Does he not realize that, eventually, one of these people is going to actually kill someone(s) based on the shit he says? Or does he not care? Or does he secretly hope they do? 

He then has the audacity to say:
“Their lives are based around creating tension and hating people,” he told The Post. “No one in Whitefish had anything ill to say about my mother.”
"...creating tension and hating people." Gee, sound familiar, you doucherag?
He said he was “shocked” by the behavior of some residents, that the last name of one Jewish activist sounded “sinister” and that the rabbi was “up to no good.”
Because none of his actions have consequences, of course.

Richard Spencer called the attacks on his mother “vicious” and “totally unwarranted.”
...when they're about your mother, but when they're about someone because they're Jewish or African American, it's cool, whatev. What's vicious and totally unwarranted is determining someone seems sinister because of their name and exploiting fear and desperation by excreting hatred.

I think he's nothing but a famewhore latched onto ideas he knows cause controversy and, thus, court attention. The more outrageous he is, the more famous he becomes. I'm still awaiting his cabinet appointment. 

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