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Cafe Zoo

Dear zoos, zooey allies, and all of you that are in that gray area,

I have a very good excuse for missing last week's update: I was helping my good friend @TogglesHappyZoo create and host the first episode of Zooier Than Thou, Season 2! As all fans of the show already know, Zooier Than Thou was always intended to outlast its creators, and I am very proud to be counted among the show's dynamic and courageous leadership.

Back to blogging, though! Today's book was The Cat and the Curmudgeon, by Cleveland Amory. As a feline zoophile, I feel a deep connection with Cleveland Amory's experience of raising his quirky and headstrong cat, Polar Bear. This is a book that I have read before in the past, and Amory's prose has helped awaken a special sort of gentleness in me that has really been empowering.

Amory did something with Polar Bear that I have always enjoyed doing with my own cat: he walked Polar Bear on a leash. Rather, he stood there while Polar Bear sat. If you are thinking of leash-training your pet cat, the good news is that your cat will most likely enjoy it quite a lot. However, I suggest packing a very lightweight folding chair for you to sit on while your cat sits down, fairly frequently, to engage in long, long periods of intensive bird-watching, and you might also want to bring a good book with you, just in case your cat decides to take a nap while basking in the sun. Don't get me wrong because your cat will walk plentifully, but cats have more imagination than to just patrol a perimeter and be done with it.

Reading this book again sort of reminds me of something that us zoophiles really ought to spend more time talking about, which is the fact that we actually do have a relationship with our animals besides just having sex with them. Many of us are at least as obsessive over finding ways to have fun with our animals as any other pet-owner. Acknowledging and engaging the sexuality of our animals is really just a part of the same drive, which is to embrace the fact that our animals are a significant and meaningful part of our lives.

However, not all of us zoophiles are pet-owners, and for a long time, I felt a little bit prejudicial toward zoophiles that are sexually involved with other people's animals. I think that the reason why was that I believed that this kind of behavior was going to draw negative attention to other zoophiles, but after having a conversation with @TogglesHappyZoo about this, I realized that he was right: the people that hate us do not acknowledge any such nuance. Nothing we do will ever be good enough for the worst of them, and until we have more allies than we do enemies, us zoophiles need to stay united, rather than getting wrapped-up in petty squabbling and finger-pointing. Blaming other zoophiles for the cruelty and maliciousness of the anti-zoophile mob constitutes taking the blame off of the people that are hurting us and putting the blame onto other people that they have been persecuting. Maybe I would not have advised a fellow zoophile to leap into someone else's horse's paddock in order to have sex with that horse, but that person does not really deserve to be punished disproportionately. Regardless of what I think of trespassing, disproportionate punishment is just as revoltingly unjust as punishing people that have done nothing wrong at all. It is still injustice, and we ought to stand together against injustice. Moralizing at each other when we do not really have to will not help our situation.

Let's stick together, and let's try to change the world.


Thank you,
Sigma
Dear all zoos and zooey allies,

My perseverance has paid off. Since December of last year, I have been hoping that some zoo in the area or who is passing through the area would eventually want to meet with me at that cafe. We actually ended up going to a nearby "coffee bar" named Brew because the cafe had closed for the evening. I am glad we ended up at Brew because Brew has incredible private spaces in them on three floors of awesome, and it is like a secret hideout where nobody knows you are even there.

I can speak for my friend here @Lux_wolf1990 as being a very soothing man to talk to. He is exactly how he comes across online. He even looks almost exactly like I expected him to look. I like getting to talk to people that are like that because when you talk to someone that is the same in person as online, you don't feel all that different talking to them in a nice private spot in a public place than you do sitting at home and talking.

We chatted for hours, and we started out with very SFW things. As we got more comfortable with each other and relaxed a lot more, we started talking about our zooey experience with each other more. It was very much a release to have someone that I could talk with candidly about this, in person, face-to-face.

It blows me away that it only took a little over two months for someone to take me up on just meeting to chat. I was ready for a longer wait. I am very glad that it was not a longer wait, though. Very awesome.


Until next time,
Sigma
Dear zoos and allies,

For the record, I am sexually active with my pets, and I actually have every intention of changing how most people feel about that fact. I am moving forward. However, I missed my usual lunch this week, due to work.

For the past week, I have been working on a local horse farm, and even though I am really a feline and canine zoo, not really an equine zoo, I am actually getting to like the horses quite a lot. I might actually become a convert.

As a matter of fact, I intend to honor the existing relationship between the horses and their owners. As @Aluzky pointed out, it is time for us zoos to learn that "owner-hopping" is a behavior that perhaps us zoos ought to start putting into our past. The way that I think about it is that I tend to assume that any given stallion there just might be somebody else's husband. If you are a married straight man, imagine if somebody got your wife drunk and then took advantage of her one night: the answer is, "the guy can count himself lucky if you do not actually shoot him in the kneecaps." I do not know that the owner of any given horse is zooey, but that is the point: I do not know, and it is not my business to know. I do not have any inherent right to know. I want to become the manager of that farm, save a lot of money, and then get my own horse.

Before taking this job, I had never heard of the idea of a horse getting "herdbound," but apparently, horses can sometimes become so deeply attached to other horses that you literally cannot even take them out of view of each other without putting yourself at risk of a serious and dangerous drama.

I also had, for some reason, previously had an impression that a horse was sort of like a large dog, but I was flat-out wrong. A horse is like a large cat: your name is "room service." I thought that cats were bossy, but horses really take the pie. They know that their mom and dad is richer than your mom and dad, and they want to make sure that you understand this fact.

I am gradually starting to understand and accept this and other qualities about them. I am very excited over this turn in my career, and I am planning on staying in this occupation for as long as I can.

After talking to my friend @caikgoch here, this past week, I realized that starting a zooey non-profit corporation might actually be a good idea. Once it was getting consistent funding, it would be able to hire on full-time staff that do not do anything else except find various ways to help the zooey community or put out great publications on behalf of the zooey community.

Also, I think that decisions that are made by a board tend to be a lot more cautious and a lot less reckless and a lot more informed than decisions that are made by lone wolf individuals. A lone wolf individual might actually do something stupid like go on twitter arguing with anti-zoo trolls and thereby giving the trolls in question a lot of attention they did not really deserve.

In fact, while I was talking with @CritterFunatic, it came home to me that our community really does need to learn how to move forward with greater organization and better planning. I got a little bit frustrated with the fact that he was apparently very focused on criticisms about what is not going to work, but I think that that is why us zoos so deeply need an informed leadership structure that operates by parliamentary procedure and makes decisions as a team. If we had a leadership structure that was focused on safe ideas and sure bets and relatively inoffensive publications, then it would actually be a lot easier to get zoos to fall in line behind them. I think this would also help deter lone wolfs from making decisions that are not really all that smart. I think that us zoos having a higher degree of organization is really the best way for us to address his concerns.

In other news, I have been getting to know some local zoos a little bit better, and they are turning out to be pretty swell guys. I am very hopeful that I might actually get to have a meet-up with one of them soon. I do not really intend for anything in particular to come of it. The way that I feel about it is that we really prove a whole lot by just meeting together in person. Maybe I am just an aging and out-of-touch Xennial, here, but I feel that actually being there and proving that someone else is more to us than just pixels on a screen still means something that is significant and special.

Anyhow, keep it zooey, friends and neighbors!


Until next time,
I am Sigma!
Dear zoos and all zooey allies,

For the record, I am sexually active with my pets, and I intend to help try to change how most people feel about that fact.

Two days late, this time!

However, it was recent enough that I remember my thoughts, at the time. Saturday, at lunch, I was reading some of the opening lines from The Massacre of Mankind, by Stephen Baxter, which is a putative sequel to The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells.

The really powerful thing about Wells' original book was that the book described a war between the entire human race and a foreign invader that had decided to do to humans as the British and other imperial powers had done to many sensitive indigenous populations. The Tasmanian genocide, for instance, is one example.

At the time, there were still many British people that saw the expansion of the British Empire in an overall positive light, and if some "savages" were in the way of the glory of the British Empire, then that was too bad. The British made a particular mess of the Tasmanians, and by the time that Wells had the conversation that led to the publication of the book, there was a huge amount of discussion going on, among the British, about whether it was okay that the British were being so callus as to engage in outright genocide.

The question that was being asked by the book was whether superiority, in either intelligence or civilization or military might, was really something that made it alright for the British Empire to wipe out an indigenous population and take their land and their natural resources for themselves out of nothing more except their own imperialistic certainty that they had a divine right to exploit and to take.

This is easy for us to answer, today, and the answer is no. However, the British had not really fully reached that conclusion, at the time, and there were still many British left that believed that it amounted to disloyalty toward the Empire or perhaps even somewhere close to treason to even ask these sorts of questions. Men like Wells were often treated rather scornfully.

It was very important, though, that Wells created a work of literature that put the human race all on the same side in dealing with an alien menace.

When we talk about zooey rights, we often forget that zoos are an often dysfunctional minority group. There are still zooey youth that engage in fence-hopping behavior or molest their neighbors' dogs or free-roaming dogs in the area, and there are still zoos that have not really figured out that it's not really dignifying to their animals to treat them as prostitutes. The truth is that zoos are flawed.

However, the Tasmanian aborigines were also flawed when the British got there. They were not perfect. They had a long way to go as a people. However, there was a time when there were many British imperialists who therefore regarded their genocide as a sort of "pest control." They were so obviously barbaric that it was laughable, to them, to talk about them as if they were people that might have deserved a chance to make social progress on their own terms and perhaps build empires of their own, one day. To many of the British at the time, the fact that the Tasmanians were imperfect was actually a perfectly valid justification for the Tasmanian genocide.

I am talking about this, right now, because I have run into many more conservative-minded zoos that try to mock me for caring about the zooey community, and they often tell me, "don't you realize other zoos are mentally ill?" and tell me about how they had had endless trouble with other zoos and really never liked them.

However, I would ask any zoos if the Tasmanians therefore ought to have been any better off than us zoos to not deserve genocide. Do you people not realize that there are people in non-zooey society that are talking about having us murdered?

I do not always get along well with other zoos or agree with them, but oddly enough, I think that even the ones that I have thought about in less than than charitable terms deserve better than that.

Trespassing is a petty misdemeanor, not a felony, and even that is not really enforced very vigorously. I would know as a person that used to cut across people's grain fields as a child and likely damaged their crops. It would have been perfectly justifiable for a judge to put me to picking up litter off of the roadside for that. It probably would have even done me some good and taught my young punk self that I really owed something to my community, which had really done a lot more for me than I appreciated. Retrospectively, I would have agreed with it, although I am certain that I would have complained at the time. It was not really acceptable behavior to trample that poor farmer's harvest selfishly to just take a shortcut getting somewhere on a day when I had nothing but time. However, it was not a felony and should not be a felony.

Us zoos do have many discussions that we need to have, among ourselves, about showing due and proper respect toward society and toward our animals. This is really a large part of what I think that zooey activism ought to be about. It is right for us to have those discussions.

Another part of what zooey activism ought to be about, though, is to stop letting the zooey community get bullied by other zoos that believe that the rest of us are barely fit to live, just because we do have issues.

It is not really okay that some zoos mock us activists from the sidelines, just because we are imperfect, while doing absolutely nothing genuinely helpful except behave just as obnoxiously as any anti-zoo if not moreso.

Anyhow, I am going to address the fact that I have been getting these blog entries out so late by taking my laptop with me, so I can just write them right there, staying an extra hour at that cafe and bakery. I want to get back on being more timely.

Thanks to any of you that have been following my blog,
Sigma
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Dear zoos and zooey allies,

Yes, I am dropping the abrasive language. It got old.

Sometimes, I read schlock fantasy like The Dragon Quartet series by Margorie B. Kellogg. Why? The same reason you look at porn, just as I do not look at porn, and yes, I masturbate to it.

I might have masturbated to it, I correct myself. The Book of Fire is about the dragon, of the Dragon Quartet, that represents passionate feelings like anger, vengeance, delusions of grandeur, erections, love, hate, arrogance, self-righteousness, and so on.

Naturally, he got confused about what all of these things were really for and declared himself to be a god. His female human companion has the job of entertaining suitors that are apparently very unhappy to be required to strip naked before meeting her, and she is apparently unhappy about being pressured to spend virtually the entire day dressed like a harem girl and being forced to carry a loaded gun. The dragon, by the way, apparently likes to molest her.

I was almost able to get a boner over that, but he is orange. Orange.

I am one of the few people here that are not here for the pornography first and conversation second. The reason why is that my thing is really quasi-erotic fantasy that has quadrupedal characters in it that talk and, unsurprisingly, are either ultra-spiritual or highly libidinous, little in-between.

Pro-tip: if you are a zoo that is looking for a place to hang out where most non-zoos are not reflexively inclined to treat you like you must have no feelings at all, try hanging out literally anywhere that literacy tends to put you ahead. I have tried fitting in on porn sites, including the ones that call bad furry manga "art," and my advice is that the expectation of knowing how to read tends to be frowned upon by unpleasant people. This is solid advice.


Okay, catch you next week.
Did you guess the winners of the Academy Awards?

Sigma
Dear pet-fuckers and anybody else that cares,

I fuck my pets. Besides that, I read a lot. I also occasionally procrastinate just a little bit on getting something done, and then suddenly it gets into that part of the day when my human-husband might randomly insist that he really MUST take me to a Cuban restaurant in Wake Forest, which is halfway between here and the Virginia border.

Usually, I would blog about a book that I opened up and read on the day for which this blog is dated, but I am really still working on C. J. Cherryh's Chanur books. I don't want to just blog every week about the same series. Besides that, I am getting back into learning how to play piano, and I was refreshing myself on the basics of fingerwork.

Speaking of music, here is a little insight into how my bizarre brain works. I was once listening to the song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," by Gordon Lightfoot, on the radio, and I wondered, "What kind of journalism could ever inspire such beautiful music?" so I looked up all of the news stories that reported on the original wreck of the original Edmund Fitzgerald, finding a beautifully written article by a journalist named James R. Gaines. I found out that James R. Gaines is a music lover, a historian, and a prolific writer, and his book Evening in the Palace of Reason caught my attention as a book that I truly wanted to read.

It always struck me as bizarre how many American Protestants believe that they can only show love toward their offspring by brutally forcing them into a specific mold of what they are expected to be. American Protestants get that idea at least partly from Calvinism.

Frederick the Great's dad, Frederick William I of Prussia, was habitually short-tempered, and he routinely beat his servants, his soldiers, and even his own children with a cane. Every day, he would shout at his son, Fritz, over his long-time interest in music, the arts, and natural philosophy, saying, "Why don't you do something productive?" I think that the phrase he used was ein Plus machen.

Fritz would not have become Frederick the Great if he had blindly obeyed his father, since music, the arts, and natural philosophy led to some of the most important cultural reforms in German history.

Fritz also helped spread a revolutionary musical instrument called the piano-forte, which means "soft or hard" and is now shortened to "piano." The introduction of the piano was so revolutionary because the piano was an instrument that could be played almost anybody but could only be played well by a skillful and experienced instrumentalist.

However, instruments like the piano also posed a threat to great composers like Johann Sebastian Bach. In Bach's school of thought, the beauty that was inherent in music was in its composition, and in the Age of Reason in which thinkers like Bach had been powerful, the ideals of music were based on order and perfection.

This new breed of music, a more impulsive and irrational style of music called "galant music," was really a little bit like the "glam rock" movement that swept through the United Kingdom in the 1970's, and Fritz was like David Bowie. The Age of Reason was passing on, and the Romantic Era was being born.

However, if we look back on history, the same things happen for the same reasons. The world that was created by men like Bach had many benefits because it brought order and a greater sense of certainty to society, but it was also cold and heartless. Reason was really not enough.

However, Fritz and Johann were not just rivals in their musical ideologies, but they were also very good friends that really cared more about their shared fondness of music than they did about their differences. Therefore, Fritz gave his friend Johann a challenge, and that challenge was to take a deliberately and calculatedly irrational melodic structure, which was painstakingly made to be resistant to being conformed to the principles of counterpoint, and then conform it the principles that Bach insisted were essential to good music. Fritz had made this bet because he was trying to teach Johann that reason cannot really be used to deal with everything.

The product of this bet was a now famous collection of music called The Musical Offering. Bach did thereby prove that even irrational things could be understood through the lens of reason. This was an important philosophical point that had really been Johann's adoptive purpose of his entire life.

I think that The Musical Offering may have been intended by Bach to prove that even the most irrational things must ultimately be answerable to reason, but what he was more successful at was creating a synthesis. This is not played as often in cafes or lounges as some of Bach's simpler works, but insofar as its musical theory, this may have been one of the most important things that Bach ever created.

ZETA principles is a synthesis.


Thank you,
Sigma
Dear pet-fuckers and other interested parties.

For the record, I fuck my pets. I have the intention of helping to change how most people perceive that fact. My lifelong interest in literature has been one of the inspirations behind the fact that I care, so every Saturday at around lunchtime, you can find me sitting in a little cafe with my nose stuck in a book.

For the past week, I have been deeply engrossed in the Chanur novels by C. J. Cherryh, and to my surprise, the books actually send a truly powerful egalitarian feminist message by upending gender roles.

In the Chanur novels, a race of lion-like aliens, the Hani, sees their own male sex as being emotionally unstable, and the hero of the series, Pyanfar, is more well-traveled than most members of her species because of her occupation as a merchant. She has seen many different cultures and how males interact in those cultures. She no longer believes that her husband inherently ought to be confined to living in the traditional manner of the males of her species.

Cherryh bolsters her message about gender-inversion by introducing a male human into the story early on. One keeps expecting the human to manifest into a clearly intelligent creature that is just as able as any Hani. Throughout the series, though, Cherryh keeps this point abstruse to the disinterested observer. Evidence of the human's intelligence always demand that the observer look beneath the surface. The story always remains focused on the adventures of Pyanfar, not on the human male. The human male is always treated in the same way that Daniel DeFoe treated Robinson Crusoe's companion Friday: if one ponders how quickly Friday learned Crusoe's language, it is impossible, to the observer that chooses to be reasonable, to pretend that Friday is anything except deeply gifted, but the story is not about Friday: it is about Robinson Crusoe. Only the more introspective observer comprehends how sophisticated and underrated Friday really is, and perhaps this observation never even really occurred to DeFoe. While wishful thinking might compel one to resent DeFoe for not directly challenging slavery or the fact that Friday was always treated as Crusoe's towel-boy, DeFoe--somewhat in his defense--really had bigger fish to fry in his lifetime. DeFoe, for instance, had joined the Monmouth Rebellion, and the big issue of the time was really whether or not England would ever again be at the back and call of the Vatican. It probably helped later English abolitionists that Friday was portrayed as a clearly intelligent individual that was receptive to being educated, and also, DeFoe successfully defended King William III against English racism directed at the Germans in his poem "The True-Born Englishman." In any case, Cherryh's Chanur novels ultimately remained centered around the hero Pyanfar. It was Pyanfar's party. It was Pyanfar's turn.

Importantly, though, Pyanfar was not presented as a character that heroically called for the emancipation of the male sex, but in the long-run, she just loved her husband. The stuffy traditions of her people were clearly just stupid and impractical. She was a very practical and independent-minded individual, and she was not about to bend her own life around such imbecility. Pyanfar did not have any hidden agenda. She was just living her life as well as she could. Her people's sexism was intrusive and just got in the way of Pyanfar being Pyanfar. Pynafar just wanted to peacefully run a merchant ship and make an honest living off it. She was not on an anti-sexism crusade at all. What made Pyanfar Chanur heroic was that she was determined to be a successful capitalist, and her victory was on behalf of free trade. Sexism was just one more thing that got in her way, and she brusquely brushed it aside because she was Pyanfar Chanur.

The science fiction community does tend to be passionately capitalist, though. By that, I don't mean conservative capitalists. Instead, they seem to be free trade capitalists that are entrenched in the liberal roots of early capitalism, which was really more about fighting against the right of nobility and royalty to exercise a ruthless monopoly on trade. This goes back to the time of Daniel DeFoe. Ultimately, the appeal of the idea of space exploration goes back to "freedom of the seas," which DeFoe cared about. They act as the left-wing of capitalism. They are the Larry Pages and Sergey Brins, out there. They are the Elon Musks. Their culture has really been developing slowly for several centuries. You will find incredibly powerful allies among these people.

Likewise, Cherryh is, at heart, a capitalist, and she just sees sexism as one more element of ignorant trivial-mindedness and tediousness that is in the way. It's one more element of red tape slowing down the entrepreneurial spirit.

I would therefore argue that the traditional science fiction community is really a better place to look for zooey allies than the furry community. The science fiction fandom is really a lot more progressive and has a record for successfully shaping the discourse of western progressives. The subversive and subtle writing styles that are endemic to the science fiction community are powerful.

Anyhow, my mind has mostly been on this literature for the past week.


Thank you,
Sigma
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Dear pet-fuckers and interested others.

For review, I fuck my pets. There are many people that have a problem with that fact, and I have every intention of helping to change that. I am always here, in the same cafe, every Saturday for my lunch at the same time.

Today, though, I am more interested in the fact that I have finally returned to reading a novel called Downbelow Station by the science fiction author C. J. Cherryh.

C. J. Cherryh was one of the authors that, during the 1980’s through the early 1990’s, began introducing to the genre races of aliens that resembled earth-like animals and, in some cases, were slightly more primitive than humans. In some cases, those aliens were found to not really be primitive at all, but they were just advanced in different ways. This is one of the hallmarks of Cherryh’s work. Cherryh’s Chanur novels actually helped create some of the themes that were a part of the early furry fandom, although this connection, between the furry fandom and the science fiction fandom, has been widely forgotten. As an early arrival to furry, I always have been and probably always will be a bookwyrm that likes to read space operas more than I am a furry.

In Downbelow Station, we can see that Earth Company is a powerful corporation, and the argument of Earth Company is that short-sighted governments can never really succeed at reaching out to explore the universe. Earth Company’s argument is that a government is ultimately short-sighted and does not have the vision to create anything new. Cloning of humans is absolutely illegal, and it is regarded as a serious crime. It is seen as a truly horrific thing to do.

Well, I have already read Cherryh’s book that is focused on Union, the sworn enemies of Earth Company, and that book was Cyteen. In Cyteen, I saw a very different question being asked: is a person less valid and less human if that person is a clone and barely distinguishable from another person? What if we could use a technology, let’s call it “tape,” to give a perfectly bio-identical clone of yourself almost exactly the same abilities, skills, and life experiences as yourself? Is that person really less valid? Do we really need uniqueness to confirm that we are valid as citizens of the cosmos? Should uniqueness even be forcibly stamped out?

In C. J. Cherryh’s Alliance-Union universe, Pell becomes the center of a third great power in the universe, which is the Merchanter’s Alliance. They are caught in the middle, and they are not really peddling any central ideology. They know that they love Pell and the creatures that live on it. They know that they are weary of being used as pawns in the ongoing war between Union and Earth Company. They bring an end to the Company War by coming together united on the point that they and their families and their other loved ones are not going to be used as pawns anymore.

I think that Cherryh makes the argument that the Company War, between Union and Earth Company, does not stop until the people of the Alliance recognize that their first duty is to themselves and to their families and to the worlds, natural or created, that they live upon. Once these people have stopped letting other forces bully them over to either one side or the other and just refused to join either at the expense of their own interests, the war comes to an abrupt halt.

Notably, everybody benefited from that fact.

I will discuss more along this vein after I have begun to read the Chanur novels. There, I am going to get into some territory where some questions about zooey-related topics can be approached more closely by approaching them obliquely. I did not directly discuss zooiness here, admittedly, but in the Chanur novels, Cherryh actually does start discussing ideas that are ones that we can use, which are really just an outgrowth of the ones brought into discussion here.


Thank you again,
Sigma
Dear pet-fuckers and all other interested parties!

For the record, I fuck my pets. Most of the world has a problem with that, and I intend to help change that fact.

I have made up my mind to start posting these the day after from here going forward, since I honestly prefer to have more time write down my thoughts, rather than less.

This week, the book that I chose to open up was a book that I have read before, in my distant past, The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams. For those that do not know, the British author Douglas Adams battled depression for his entire life, and ironically, this was a major influence on his brand of humor. He found that this type of humor made his own life better, and he decided that he would share it with us.

I was never truly depressed in the sense of having a serotonin transporter disorder or anything else genetically that would have made me that way, but at one time in my life, it was literally the salvation of my sanity. It taught me that I could talk about the weirdness, the chaos, the disarray, and the inconvenience in the world and still laugh.

At this point in my life, I now realize why this type of humor is so healing: it wakes me up to the fact that, although the world may be imperfect and incomprehensible to me, at times, this is not my fault, and likewise, it is not the world's fault that I am not tailor-made for my life to fit perfectly into it without any issues or inconveniences. We are not a perfect match for each other, this world and I, but life goes on.

Regardless of the fact that the odds were against me being alive and sane today, I somehow am here. I have defeated the myth that I somehow cannot survive the world not always working the way that I expect it to or would prefer it to.

The world has gotten very complicated for us zoos, over the past decade and a half. The liberals think that we are a part of the "rape culture," the humanitarians think that we are engaging in "cruelty," and the conservatives think that we are the servants of Lucifer. We are lucky to find friends that are not more unhinged than we are. At the bottom of it has been one Whole Sort of General Mish Mash sized misunderstanding.

We think about the kinds of people we really are, some of us being liberal Christian feminist animal rights nuts who are dedicated vegans all at the same time, and we know that the perceptions that people have of us are so off-the-mark that it is hard to believe that it is not a parody. If I did not know that people were serious over their bizarre beliefs about us, then I would think that they were joking on us.

Douglas Adams might seem like a stark departure from my more serious reading material from the past few weeks, but in our case, it has a truly deep meaning: while the world is not really built for our ease or convenience, this does not really have to get us down or make us gloomy.

We can just embrace the fact that the world is, by the flawed standard of our personal convenience, imperfect, unpredictable, weird, and backward and yet still find beauty and fun and sources of joy in it. We may never truly figure it out all of the way, but that cannot really stop us: we can still be here in it.

Therefore, instead of wringing our hands over the matter, let's just stop to lean back, once in a while, and have some pangalactic gargleblasters.

There is too much good stuff in the universe for us to let it stop us if some aspects of it do not work for us quite as well.

Those Norse Gods really can be impetuous, though, can't they?

Thank you again,
Sigma
Dear pet-fuckers and interested others,

For review, I fuck my pets. Most people believe that this constitutes a reason why I ought to be put into prison, and I intend to play a role in changing this fact. It is a matter of time before this occurs because those of us that have become the architects of this movement, believe it or not, actually know what we are doing.

Social change is really always inevitable and really constitutes the only true constant in society, but there really are people that are certain that the status quo in society is and must be conserved forever and ever. The famous words, “segregation forever,” were shouted by a man to whom the idea of social change was terrifying and incomprehensible, and integrating European-American and African-American society or even engaging in intermarriage seemed like madness. To this person, miscegenation was inherently not any better than bestiality. George Wallace had fallen prey to the idea that the rules of “how things are” just never change or that it’s inherently an awful thing for those rules to change.

Whether we like it or not, though, us pet-fuckers have to follow the same rules as African-Americans and the LGBT community. If we are unhappy with our current situation, then the same system has to be brought into play that is always used for changing society. Music, art, and literature are things that society is capable of understanding, and if you are not good at it, then I suggest that you get good at it if you want the situation for pet-fuckers to change even slightly.

A study was done, back in 2013, which showed that literary fiction but, curiously, not genre fiction could increase people’s empathy. Literary fiction is not even in the same category as genre fiction. When you are reading genre fiction, you tend to already know who the good guys are and what the stakes are and who is going to win or even should win. When you get to the end of a book that is in the realm of genre fiction, you might have enjoyed it, but you have rarely been truly changed deep inside your soul by it. Literary fiction is written in a very different way.

Right now, for instance, I am starting my first ever reading of Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens was one of the most socially influential authors in history. When he first published Oliver Twist, it created a scandal for some people. Very few people actually thought that there was the least reason why they should feel even the least bit sympathetic toward youth that were members of criminal gangs, and it was so preposterous to many people that it created a bit of a scandal.

In the preface, here, Charles Dickens actually talks with us about this in candid terms. His point-of-view is that, in works of fiction, criminals are almost invariably portrayed as almost superhumanly prosperous and impossibly happy individuals possessed of nearly god-like charm and wit. Even in fiction that attempts to paint a sympathetic portrait of criminals, there is very little attention being paid to their capacity for vulerability or the grim and difficult decisions they might have to make in their everyday lives.

Writing literary fiction like this is difficult and often incredibly risky. When you are writing literary fiction, you are not writing within a genre, but you are creating a genre or carving out a new niche in a genre. You are not giving people what they expect, and the majority of readers, when disappointed, are going to put the book down. If you want to make money off of writing, then do not attempt to write literary fiction. It is hard, and it is painful to see well-written manuscripts laughed at or, worse, just politely ignored. Even if you win a Nobel Prize in Literature, I can almost guarantee that you will make a lot less money than someone that writes even mediocre genre fiction. If you want to write literary fiction, then I recommend that you not consider quitting your day-job in order to do it unless you are also supplementing your income...and polishing your prose...with cheap, heartless, and morally spineless schlock that people will inevitably go out to buy in droves because people will pay you to have their preconceptions reinforced a lot more readily than they will pay for pornography.

It reassures people if you reinforce their preconceptions about things, and it deeply disturbs them and often angers them if you burn their preconceptions about things to the ground.

Charles Dickens was sadistic. Within the first two pages of Oliver Twist, he gleefully and cruelly tells us that Oliver might not have survived if he had been born to a more prosperous family. The practice, at the time, was spare a sickly baby from a short life and needless suffering by having them gently put to death. The very incompetence of people that were present, at the time of his birth, simply led to this, which was considered to be the best practice of the time, not having occurred. His mother dies within the third page.

I am not giving you any meaningful spoilers by spilling that. If you even open up the book beyond the preface, you will see the same thing within five minutes with little investment of time on your part. Dickens’ voice drips continuously with irony.

Charles Dickens was a sick puppy, and you have to be a sick puppy to write literary fiction. There is a certain sadism involved in burning down people’s beliefs and even the most sacred institutions in their moral reasoning.

In the end, Charles Dickens succeeded at inducing deep and incredible change in society. He stands as one of the most powerful people that have ever lived.

If we zoos want to change society, then we can. To change society, though, you have to follow the rules, and by that, I do not mean the established laws or morals of society. When I talk about the rules, I am talking about the rules that you would be well-advised to follow if you want to change the established laws and morals of society.

Literature is that dangerous genre that is overtly and unabashedly at war with society as it stands. Literature is an act of cultural warfare.
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