Friday, 1 July 2011


Can animals be villains?  I've heard of heroic dogs and horses (and military medals of bravery have even been awarded to pigeons!) but I've never heard of a villainous animal.  

Villainy is a hard concept to tie down, so perhaps it's best to first think of evil - are there evil animals?  Of course, some people needlessly view the ways of an entire species or family, usually a reptile, as evil - but to tar a whole group of animals as evil must surely be to dilute the meaning of the word so much as to be meaningless.


Intelligent animals can certainly lie.  There are troops of monkeys that forage on the jungle floor, and if one spots something juicy in someone else's patch they occasionally give a warning call that sends everyone into the trees - leaving them free to go get it.
More obvious lies have been told by chimps and gorillas that have been taught sign language - and seem as prone to fibbing as most humans, though the lies are typically less devious.  In one famous example there was a gorilla called Koko who had a pet kitten.  Koko had a fit of temper in the night and ripped a heavy steel sink off the wall; when asked what happened, Koko pointed to the kitten and signed "cat did it".

Is it such a long way from the simple lies of gorillas to the deceptive games of human villains?  We are all animals and the forces of nature and nurture are powerful ones indeed - so how accountable is anyone?  I like to ask people who believe in the devil if he could repent and be good again.  It perplexes them as they have to either give up on the idea he has free-will and therefore that he is evil (these seem intertwined), or give up on their belief he is fated to be the head evil dude forever.

Villains add to the rich tapestry of life and help create bonds in society - nothing brings people together more than a common enemy - that's why the highest sense of nationalism is in times of war.
So in conclusion, I've waffled and digressed a bit, and I had no clue where I was going when I started writing this, but it is past 3am so forgive me - I hope you just have some food for thought :)


Anonymous said...

Evil animals... Yes.

Cats. Total assholes.

As far as the Devil goes, or Satan, or Lucifer, w/e, I don't know the specifics, I don't think he actually had free will in the true sense of the word within Judeo-Christian lore. Though he did have the will-power to rebel, though. It begs to ask the question, does this being have free will now? Or is it simply a slave made to create sin/sinners? How miserable would it be, especially knowing it would get fucked in the end? Why wouldn't it want to repent?

Bella said...

Cats are total control freaks. They shit is your bed when you have a guy come over. Mine actually took his own shit from his litter box in his clean kitty mouth into the bed. Then he found a mouse, chewed it's leg off, and i had to take that mouse into the bathroom and hold it in the toilet with a spatula to get it dead.

ResCogitans said...

TNP - though being the head honcho in hell would be pretty awesome, hanging out with all the interesting people and dealing out any imaginative punishment you like to anyone down there, so really where is his motive to repent!

Bella - hmmm I hadn't heard of cats being vendictively manipulative before, perhaps there are evil cats. did you give the cat more attention due to this incident, or did you punish it?

Kelly said...

I had no idea about the lying chimps and gorillas. That's pretty darn freaky. I think poor little puddy cats are getting a bad rap here, though. Sure, they shit in your bed and play with their food (small vermin or whatever) but heck, don't we all?

No matter how bad animal villainy gets in the future, humans will always be the champions in that dept.

Bella said...

I'd never punish an animal for acting in a manner that is consistent with it's nature. Putting shit in my bed was him making a statement about the bed being his territory. I rather appreciated the gesture, tbh. He only did it that one time. i must say, I was really impressed with his ability to communicate his annoyance. I mean the shit was placed literally at my partners feet while he slept. Simple communication was "fuck you, buddy this den is mine, this bitch is mine"

Obviously I'm not going to punish him for chewing off a mouse's leg, either. I don't want to emasculate my pussycat!!! He doesn't know he's inconveniencing me. He has his needs, dammit!

ResCogitans said...

lol bella it sounds like the cat owns you, rather than the other way round :)

Anonymous said...

The whole image of hell being a place where the Devil himself tortures lost souls is a later addition to the Hell canon of Judeo-Christian lore. Hell is barely spoken of, and when it is, it is understand that all beings within suffer intense agony, demons included (and I would image Especially the Devil)

That's why they apparently like to come where we are. It's a respite from damnation, kind of like vacation.

You also have to take into consideration that within the same canon, the Devil hated mankind, and the main reason he rebelled was because God demanded he serve mankind, imperfect and flawed creatures that we are. It would be the equivalent of being an 19th century plantation owner whose local lord demanded that they relinquish their land and serve their former slaves. Ain't gonna happen.

It's a funny sort of tragedy where the so-called fallen angels were albeit prideful and defiant, perfectly in their right to be disgusted by the plea. That's why he took 1/3rd of them with him when he fell. The other 2/3rds were either too loyal or too scared (or too smart) to follow suite. It's a classic tail of vanity, but it does make God look like a dick. Not that it's anything new for the Judeo part of Judeo-Christian lore.

Bella said...

That's why they apparently like to come where we are. It's a respite from damnation, kind of like vacation.

Do you mean that coming here is like a relief from the daily grind of having to put up a front all day to people who don't know you, who don't know you have ugly thoughts about them/their "humanity"/"morals"/hypocrisy/ignor-ance?

I like it here because I can see why I've had contempt for people. I feel most people suck at being "good". This place makes me feel better about that. I wasn't even aware I was that angry. Because I feel that I have been shaped by the ignorance of assholes for parents. I can't change how others shape the minds of children, who will then fuck up their children. I feel that people here, if they ever had children, would at least try to be good parents. I'm so angry. But I don't feel like I belong with the devil and I don't hurt people. I just don't like most people. I see jerk offs here but I figure they're aware of the shit that is life and know why. It is a place to see how fucked up society is. I guess most people go around seeing a false reality. I see the ugly in real life. Here, people like me also see it. I guess it is a vacation from the norm.

^ But too much of this place and I get even more angry. I wonder when that will stop.

I'd like to stay coming here but I keep hoping my anger will subside, that it is of the cleansing kind. I think so. That is my intuition. I don't want evil and manipulation in my life. I want love. I deserve love. I have paid enough dues here on earth and I will not stop searching for it.

How long must I mourn my past? It seems a necessary step in the right direction, but also really really bad.

Do not tell me I am bleeding. i am bleeding the good blood, not the whiny needy kind.

ResCogitans said...

most people suck at being "good"
i like that :) it succinctly explains the human condition - most people try to be good against their instincts and when they fail they have guilt and unhappiness.

everyone wants love, loves the idea of love. even though i intellectualise it as a concept i am a romantic idealist - perhaps that's my only cognitive dissonance...

btw were you drunk when you wrote that comment?

Bella said...

"Love is the idea of love." I'm beginning to see this more and more. What is your idea about self love? i have cognitive dissonance about that, too. I've seen Vaknin's stuff. It scares the crap out of me. I don't want to be that kind of person.

I just reread my comment to see why you thought I might have been drunk. No, I wasn't but I was raging. I don't need alcohol to tell me I'm mad, and I don't need it's permission to express myself in words on a page to a pack of wolves. I'm bipolar. My life is debilitating but I can't scream that at the top of my lungs to most people now, can I.

Thanks for the opportunity. Sincerely,

BTW I like what you wrote about lateness. I've been late for everything my entire life. I've started telling people that I have time management problems when I meet them. It's a bit of a load off.

ResCogitans said...

i said "everyone... loves the idea of love", not "love's the idea of love".
self love? well i know it doesn't make you blind! :p seriously though, i have strong narc tendencies so what do you think? for example i can't imagine feeling like i would sacrifice my life for someone else's.

keep venting that rage - if you can't have an honest rage to strangers on the internet then when can you?

lateness - that was definitely one of my more ranting posts... why can't you try to account for your constant lateness by aiming to be there earlier and earlier until you end up being there on time? i just don't understand why people don't do that!

Bella said...

why can't you try to account for your constant lateness by aiming to be there earlier and earlier until you end up being there on time? i just don't understand why people don't do that!

Are you serious?

Bella said...

i can't imagine feeling like i would sacrifice my life for someone else's.

Me neither. People don't want admit to that. If push came to shove you'd see all the hidden colors. Maybe that's why I don't want kids. Who wants that kind of pressure!

ResCogitans said...

yes serious.

do you want to be on-time? if so, and you recognise you constantly underestimate how long it will take you to get somewhere, then why don't you amend your original estimate?

a. meet me later for dinner?
bella. ok, i have some things to do, but i should be ready to meet you at 7pm
a. that's good for me
bella. wait a sec - in case things take longer than i expect, how about 7.30? that way i know i won't be really annoying and keep you waiting

Bella said...

Of course I want to be on time. This conversation has happened plenty of times. I always tell people I don't want to annoy them by keeping them waiting. I don't. It is always down to the wire, though, no matter how much time I give myself, and I arrive frantically. It feels great to be on time

This goes way more deep than tweaking a habit.

Don't get me wrong. I'd like to change. (I'd like to be an entirely different person most of the time.) But it ain't happening. Not so fast anyway. So I'll take a tiny step by telling people who I am RIGHT NOW. It's better than promising and not delivering.