I really really feel like punching someone in the face right about know. Someone specific, but almost anyone will do in a pinch, so you'd better watch it, mister.
This guy I'm kind of friends with at work, Eskendar -- we just had lunch, I and he and Frank. Frank has this friend who made a habit of capturing neighborhood cats in a Hav-A-Heart trap and trucking them out someplace else, because they walked on his car. Because they walked on his car. Cat's paws do not excrete any kind of corrosive substance, I swear. The worst thing that would do is leave paw prints. And I don't give a rat's ass how you feel about cats, they fucking belong to people who DO like cats. And those people -- please prepare a mental image of a cute little blonde 6-year-old girl in pigtails, I think that will work best -- were probably really really upset when their cat disappeared. Again, I don't give a shit how YOU feel about cats, that's absolutely irrelevant. People who DO care about cats think of them as members of the family, and that should fucking be enough.
So Eskendar starts talking about how there are squirrels who go in his house, but he deals with it. "In your house?" I ask. Turns out he means just in his yard. Then he tells me he was going to kill them, but his neighbors objected, so he decided not to. What a fucking saint.
I have no objection to killing animals for food, or experimentation, or even clothing, and I think maybe I'm all right with hunting, if the mindset behind it is one of respect. And even to deal with an animal if he's, say, burrowing under your foundation, or damming a river that's causing flooding. But to kill another living thing simply because he lives on your property is fucking bullshit. These squirrels -- as Eskendar readily admitted -- weren't damaging his home, or eating his plants, or being noisy, or anything. They were simply there. People should live here, and animals should live in the zoo, Eskendar said. No overlapping.
Do you think Eskendar should go to hell for this, if there is a hell? Because I do. Right now I do, at least. Such a casual disregard for another life is astonishing to me. I told him the animals were here first, but he didn't seem to care. I'm pretty sure that if you removed every animal except people from the suburbs, something ecologically awful would happen, but I couldn't think real quick of what that might be, so I didn't say that. I'm pretty positive it would be boring, though. And if you don't think it would be boring . . . then I don't know what to say to you. "How on earth do you find Joy in your day-to-day life?" Maybe that's what I would say.
I'm one of the most selfish people I know, ask anyone. But I try to observe and appreciate and respect everything around me, living and artificial and elemental. There is beauty in everything, my friends. Everything except this one lemur that I saw on a John Cleese nature program, but besides that lemur (I believe it's called the eye-eye lemur), everything is beautiful. Even bugs. Even fat people. Even power lines. And that lemur -- man, it was ugly, but I gotta give it props for forging on through life being the ugliest being on the planet. Props to being ugly, eye-eye lemur! I think I have some measure of respect for everything that shares this planet with me, certainly everything living. Because everything can do at least one thing that I can't, and no matter how useless that thing may be to me, I gotta fucking respect that. Respect is the one thing that everything deserves, and to so casually deny an animal your respect simply because you're bigger and smarter is ridiculous and arrogant and I think you should go to hell for it. Additionally, I feel that hell should begin to advertise this fact, so as to give people like Eskendar a chance to wise up.
Not that he will. Eskendar is the most frustrating person I've ever met, but this morning was a little frustrating for me in the first place, and then to have him say this shit to me at lunch time, my relaxing time -- man. Four-thirty will not come soon enough, my friends. No, fuck that -- four-thirty Friday will not come soon enough.
But I don't think I'm done yet.
Eskendar also said something about "survival of the fittest". I was amazed. "Are you kidding?" I asked. Survival of the fittest is not referring to destroying something simply because it irks you. The existence of squirrels on his lawn is not affecting his livelihood in any way, not ANY way.
My thoughts on this obviously aren't very organized, but I think a lot of it stems from the fact that I'm currently reading Timequake, by Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut is possibly my favorite author, and I may write about him later, but a thing he keeps talking about in Timequake is that we're all in this together. If there isn't a god, he says, then the most important thing out there has to be community. If there's no god, then we're all just trying to stumble through this fucked-up life, and if we would all just help each other out, we'd all be a lot better off. And if everyone has such disdain towards squirrels, then people aren't far behind, and then, I think, we're fucked. And I don't want to be fucked (not like that, anyway). I think living is a pretty fucking amazing thing, and it seems like everything just keeps going down the crapper, and I really hate George W. Bush, and I'm sure that fits in there somewhere.
Man, I hope you guys don't try to rip me apart, because . . . just because. If anything, I think my guilt is hypocrisy: I draw the line where I feel it is convenient. If anything, I think I should be nicer and more compassionate and empathetic than I am now.