Friday, March 13, 2009

...but some animals are more equal than others.

I’ve found, and I’d think you’d have to agree, that one of the great pleasures of growing up, making new friends and moving around is that your cultural horizons are inevitably expanded and your social life grows richer and more satisfying.

Having kids though, exposes a dark side of that very same dynamic; becoming a parent expands your cultural horizons as well, but in a very different direction. No longer are you hanging out with your cool friends and talking about music, books and politics… no, as a parent you wake up one day to find yourself adrift in a complex, baffling world populated by talking bears, pint-sized explorers and anthropomorphic trains.

So, bearing that in mind, I particularly enjoyed this bravura missive during a visit to Cheeky’s Hideaway. He does a fine job of demystifying some of the more complex economic forces that seem to govern the alternate reality that clutters up my TV every day. Go on, give it a thorough read. I’ll wait.

Back now? Good, because I still have a few questions of my own that remain unanswered. I am, for instance, still baffled by some of the thornier social issues involved, particularly those surrounding inter-species subjugation. How is it, for instance, that a sponge named Bob can in good conscience keep a mollusk named Gary as a pet? On a leash, no less?

Other such cell-shaded instances of domination abound: Mickey Mouse “owns” a dog, as does that disturbingly anthropomorphized aardvark named Arthur. There are, of course, countless other examples.

So just exactly what are the rules that govern this inter-species subjugation? Are they social, biological, or perhaps even intrinsically existential? I’m assuming it can’t simply be an issue of sentience, as we all know that Gary the snail is not only savvier than his “master” but has the natty fashion sense to wear wingtip shoes as well.

If it turns out, as I’m afraid it may, that this class distinction merely lies in the ability to verbalize, then the animated world must be legion with animals trapped in a nightmare of mute impotence, unable to articulate their desire for freedom.

Oooh creepy. Never mind. I should probably just watch something harmless like re-runs of The Bachelor instead… eeew, no. Hey, maybe I’ll just go outdoors and see what’s happening in the real world. =Thoughts?

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