Sunday, May 17, 2009

postscript on flight and anthropodenial
as usual on sunday morning, i began the day by looking for what gifts wiley miller and gary trudeau had left for me overnite. i discovered wiley had provided me an afterthought to yesterday's edition. he combined the fantasy of flight with a gentle, but all to real, commentary on a current example of human's lack of superiority to animals. i offer it as a link, non sequitur today, since i haven't yet mastered the art of getting non sequitur to fit on my page.
meanwhile i'm already in love with anthropodenial as a word and concept. in my lawyer world i work with professionals of all sorts who deny their part in the system's discrimination and prejudice and clients who deny how they've taken their anger out on others who don't deserve it.
on a more personal level, i hear the denial of the holocaust by certain loudmouths and cry when i some special people deny their own anti-semitism. appropriately a jewish congregation offers another special non sequitur on the subject which it calls simply in memoriam.

the author of my newly discovered term finishes his piece with an appropriate last word:

we must be very careful not to exaggerate the uniqueness of our species. The ancients apparently never gave much thought to this practice, the opposite of anthropomorphism, and so we lack a word for it. I will call it anthropodenial: a blindness to the humanlike characteristics of other animals, or the animal-like characteristics of ourselves.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

anthropodenial and flightless creatures

this is [ad]man’s newest attempt to prove that penguins not being able to fly on their own can be made into a pretty good bit of humor that might sell something. the first part is right and probably the second too. this is the always mixed blessing of human's enjoyment of my little flightless friends and other creatures.

check out this official analysis from adweek that manages to 1] use ‘anthropomorphize’ and a bad pun in the same sentence and 2] ignore penguins and humans equal inability to fly on their own. then see if the wikipedia piece seems relevant to you.

The star is cute and this Pepsi spot packs a potent visual punch from start to finish. But why would BBDO choose to anthropomorphize such bird-brained behavior to tout a soft drink in the first place? The tagline, "I can," provides as good an answer as any. This approach makes about as much sense as polar bears pitching Coca-Cola -- but that proved popular, so maybe it's a smart strategy for these beverage behemoths to flock together. --David Gianatasio

Anthropomorphism is the attribution of uniquely human characteristics to non-human creatures and beings, natural and supernatural phenomena, material states and objects or abstract concepts. Subjects for anthropomorphism commonly include animals and plants depicted as creatures with human motivation able to reason and converse, forces of nature such as winds or the sun, components in games, unseen or unknown sources of chance, etc. Almost anything can be subject to anthropomorphism. The term derives from a combination of the Greek (ánthropos), "human" and (morphe), "shape" or "form".

Humans seem to have an innate capacity to project human characteristics in this way. Evidence from art and artifacts suggests it is a long-held propensity that can be dated back to earliest times. It is strongly associated with the art of storytelling where it also appears to have ancient roots. Most cultures possess a long-standing fable tradition with anthropomorphised animals as characters that can stand as commonly recognised types of human behaviour. The use of such literature to draw moral conclusions can be highly complex.

Within these terms, humans have more recently been identified as having an equivalent opposite propensity to deny common traits with other species—most particularly apes—as part of a feeling that humans are unique and special. This tendency has been referred to as Anthropodenial.

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

sunday morning with hank, betty and connie

a sunday morning with trial preparation and legal paperwork pending. serious blog work must await another day. luckily no-work saturday gave me two simple pleasures with which to celebrate the beginnning of another may.

first a tulip from a new found blogger friend from kansas city whose blogs and connections are worth a visit on any day when our beauty sensors need recharging: q - walking in beauty .

then an unlikely coupling of hank williams and old cartoons on youtube which works well enough for me to offer two twofers for our other sensors: jambalaya with ms. boop and move it on over with a distinguished detective.
happy may wherever you are.

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