Note: I found this in my draft blog posts. I wrote it on January 8, but for some reason I never published it. Don’t know why not, but here it is:
Live Journal (LJ) is a website where you can have your journal on-line. It is a quite ugly website, it looks like an ’80s myspace-like webpage for journals. I really don’t care about the journals people post on LJ simply because most people’s journals are quite embarrassing to read. The only reason I write about LJ is that I absolutely love the “communities” section.
A LJ community is a forum for people in the same geographic area or interest group to share news, to ask questions that the community helps find answers to or debate about current issues. You can even post polls or events. I belong to the Davis Square community. Although I technically live in North Cambridge, I live very close to Davis and this is where I mainly hang out. The Davis Square Live Journal (DSLJ) community is great, with updates on what’s going on around the square and the vicinity. The members are quite informed, funny, opinionated, and they can occasionally turn nasty. There are a couple of DSLJ members that are “out there”, there is one member who whenever comments to a post feels compelled to change the subject title, there’s one who’s quite rude and most of them are fairly outspoken. Now, if you post something that sounds or is stupid, the comments are going to be mean. ‘Cause sometimes commenting is far more enjoyable than ignoring. Overall I’m being nice in my comments. But sometimes you read some posts and comments and you think that the community has lost its edge.
This morning I read a post that starts with the line: “Does anyone know of a small animal vet that might be willing to try to help with a neurotic mouse?” Reading on, it appears tha the problem is that this person has a mouse that won’t get off the wheel: the mouse wants to run ALL.THE.FLIPPIN’.TIME. I am chuckling while I’m reading the post and then I reach the last line: ”is there anywhere to go to get a prescription for mouse anti-anxiety medication?” To which I have to respond “Are.You.Effin.Kidding.Me?”
Now I’m really curious to read the comments, as I think that this post is an open invitation to comment nastiness. But no, the responses are quite earnest and they are trying to help and suggest vets and solutions. Somebody asks maybe the “mouse is addicted to running” (yeah, it kinda looks like). Other people suggest medication to which a sane member responds “medication for a mouse? really, that’s where we’re at? really?” Thank you, sane person. Other commentators say that the real problem would be an inactive mouse, but wait, there’s a drug for that! But then this comes up and I think I’m done: “I know an animal psychiatrist that specializes in small rodents but the hourly rate is through the roof.” At that point I don’t know what to think. This looks like a serious comment. A psychiatrist for a mouse that won’t stop running. This is so ridiculous, this is yet another proof that as a society we have lost complete sight of what matters. I mean, I don’t know, maybe I’m just too ignorant when it comes to mouse psychology, but seriously?! Is this what’s important? Is this where our efforts are being directed to?
We humans tend to anthropomorphize animals. We say things like “oh, this animal is cute, this one is ugly.” This person has bought a cage for her mice and is expecting the mice to sit in there still. And when one mouse doesn’t do that, she calls it “neurotic”. What’s next? To buy a mini kitchen and expect the mice to cook?! Mice are born to run. That’s their nature, to constantly run from one place to another. Oh, what a fucking crazy world.
But for me it all comes down to this: “I know an animal psychiatrist that specializes in small rodents but the hourly rate is through the roof.” People will believe in the most crazy things, while being surprisingly adverse to any rational and critical thinking. Actually this is my dream: to find a way to exploit people’s willingness to believe in ANYTHING, and make money. Lots and lots of money, cause you know, my hourly rate is going to be through the roof.