- McSpotlight -

and Hell Low

Posted by: Daddio on November 18, 1998 at 19:15:32:

In Reply to: Sky high? posted by Stuart Gort on November 17, 1998 at 18:45:38:

:To the point. I don't care how many books Peter Singer sold, how many:
:weeks it stayed on the best seller list, or how popular it is with the
:animal rights movement; if I go out and ask 1000 people who this guy
:is, how many of them will have heard of him? You could count them on
:two hands around my neck of the woods.

Yeah, and after they've read a book like Animal Liberation, they'll wish they HADN'T ever heard of him. Books that effectively challenge the established institutions upon which we've become so dependent upon can very easily be left out, or even KEPT out, of mainstream thought. That shouldn't be a big secret to anyone. In fact, in SOME cases, a book's obscurity can be a MEASURE of its integrity. Stuart, what is this peculiar relationship you have with the concept of "mainstream"? You do know that "mainstream" is not synonymous with "good", don't you? You're scaring me dude.

:It doesn't take millions of sales to get on the New York Times best
: seller list. It :doesn't necessarily follow that being on the list
:means that your opinion is
:anywhere near mainstream. Believe it or not, the vast majority
:of the earth's population has not heard "Dark Side of the Moon" by :Pink Floyd. It's been on the top 100 selling lists every year since :it's release. How many millions of copies do you think that is?

Well dang, by those standards, NOTHING is "mainstream" - except maybe
the Holy Bible. Hmmmmm..........Stuart, care to comment?

:I pointed out to Dad that his lament was due to the generally :esoteric nature of
:the subject matter. Of course, I'm certainly not above purile sarcasm
:if I'm right about something.
:Lastly, if I'm going to knee-jerk about anything it's going to be
:because of the title of a book that is meant to incite. There is a
:definite anthropomorphic sentiment in using verbiage that until only
:recently described an element of human interaction. The word
:liberation has been typically used by various factions of
:people to highlight some injustice or another. Without regard to
:the legitimacy of any of these claims, does it not borrow imperative
:from human suffering to title a book "Animal Liberation"?
:I think it is a bold attempt to equate humans and animals.

Equate? Well, he does walk the reader though some interesting equations
with humans on one side and animals on the other. If memory serves me
well, he asks us to consider an animal's "capacity to suffer" above our consideration for what that animal might accomplish for us. If this criteria is applied first, we quickly find ourselves in a morally shameful position with regards to the other species of this planet because, as far as anyone can tell, animals (mammals at least) can suffer as much as humans can. And until we can prove otherwise, we're obliged to err on the side of caution by exercising humility and respect for what we KNOW as well as for what we DON'T KNOW.

Personally though, I don't need to have all this explained to me to understand that its probably a bad idea, morally speaking, to drip shampoo into the eyes of a roomful of restrained screaming bunny rabbits (that's right, they "scream"), but hey, I guess some folks just gotta have their Vidal Sassoon. Alas, this retched state of affairs probably won't offend someone who needs a book to tell them that its wrong to murder people.

Party on.

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