This is after a lengthy conversation that covered topics such as:
- Do tubes enjoy having liquids pushed through them? Given that this is what they are designed for, they might well enjoy it.
- Do tubes ever get bored?
- Do the multiple available attachments help alleviate boredom?
- Do tubes ever have a problem with being a tube, or are they free of that particular kind of angst?
- What do tubes do for fun?
- Do tubes enjoy having a wider variety of things put into them?
So then I just decided to give Lindy some head scritches because I’d do that for any pet, and that was a bit of a heavy conversation to spring on hir out of nowhere.
BTW to clarify: When I say that I see objects as alive, this is not what I mean. This, and anything with Lindy as my pet, is me playing. Objects being alive is something much deeper and less “They’re just like humans and other animals.” Objects are their own things, and belong to themselves.
The closest in all of this playing that I’ve gotten to the reality of how I see things is wondering about whether objects that are designed by humans and other animals (humans are far from the only animals who make tools and houses and such, after all), enjoy doing what they are designed to do. Where ‘enjoy’ is a bad translation for a concept that doesn’t really exist in English.
I live in an apartment, for instance, that genuinely seems to enjoy doing what homes are supposed to do: Having people live in it, making people comfortable, protecting its occupants, etc. It both takes those things very seriously and enjoys doing them. Which is interesting to me especially given that I know enough of the history of this building to know it was not always apartments, it was once a factory or something like that. But I have never before lived in a home that so much wants to be a home and dedicates so much of itself to being one.
And I have lived in some very messed-up homes. The house I grew up in had a terrible personality that seemed to encourage violence, strife, and being trapped. Despite learned helplessness so bad that I often wouldn’t know I could run to get away from abuse, I dedicated a lot of my childhood to spending as much time outside that house as possible. And so did a lot of people. Nobody really liked being inside it very much, which is probably one reason we got it so cheap.
Places and things do have personalities. They’re not human personalities, they don’t work the way humans work, and anyone who uses the term ‘anthropomorphism’ and condescends at me about this risks getting virtually trout-slapped. But ‘personality’ is again, the closest way to translate something that doesn’t translate well. And some places have bad personalities.
The apartment I live in is the first place I’ve ever lived in that feels like a home. Apartment, house, converted factory, doesn’t matter, this place wants to be lived in and wants to fulfill all the functions of a home for human beings. It loves its inhabitants. (Love, in this sense, is not an emotion. Sorry for all the word explanations, but things like this are all very bad translations at best.)
And there are ways the tube is alive, but being a pet is part of a game I play with things sometimes. The way I play such games may be connected in some way to my belief that everything is alive, but they are expressions of playfulness. For lack of a better word.
I’m saying that because a lot of people when they hear I think “objects are alive” automatically think “anthropomorphism” and proceed to behave in extremely irritating and condescendng ways. And by the way, please don’t throw the word ‘animism’1 around in these contexts with me either, especially if you’re gonna do so in a way that manages to be both racist and ableist at the same time. Which it usually is. Especially when you not only paint it in the most simplistic light possible, but describe it as a phase human beings go through before we really understand the world… I’ve had so many condescending explanations from so many people who have no idea what I actually mean, that it’s gotten ridiculous.
Anyway, cute tube gets head scritches!!!! And that’s what matters right now. Silliness is an important part of life. TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOBS!
1 Also I don’t call myself an animist, just so you’re aware. There are many reasons. One is who came up with the term, why, and how it’s normally used. Another is that whenever people tie me to an ‘ism’ it seems to come with ideological strings attached, so I’d be wary even if I didn’t think of the term as nearly always racist and often ableist. (The term itself, not the intent of the people using the term, mind you. This isn’t an accusation towards everyone who says it, just why I personally won’t use it on myself. Words mean different things to different people and this is not a request for people to use words differently than they alrady do.)