Another reason I love grad school is because everyone is extremely witty.
This is why my Literary Theory class is so enjoyable. Everyone is quick to laugh at themselves and the material, because when you’re trying to understand Formalism and Walter Benjamin, it’s necessary to have a good sense of humor.
Otherwise you won’t make it out alive.
The people in my Lit Theory class also have a love of the ridiculous. This is the reason why an innocuous comment about an objectified chicken led to a twenty-minute discussion on the validity of Animality Studies. To be perfectly honest, I hold no opinion on the subject. Considering I spent a good part of my undergrad writing papers on Ecofeminism (i.e. the relationship between women and nature and how the oppression of one leads to the subjugation of the other), I’m not one to judge. If you want to write about a rock lobster, that’s your prerogative. As long as you don’t take your theory too seriously, I’m with you.
Actually, I think every literary theory could use a strong dose of mirth, but that’s beside the point.
My professor doesn’t really find Animality a credible study, but one of my classmates does.
Oh the fun that was had.
Even though we probably owe my classmate a cookie for teasing her beliefs as badly as we did.
The conversation went from crustaceans to poultry and then landed firmly on monkeys. We talked about whether or not primates are capable of composing literature since they’re able to learn sign language. Then we talked about whether or not artistic intent would be there if the ape did manage to compose a sonnet or if it would just be a serendipitous occurence. When one of my classmates affirmed that apes were incapable of complex thought, another said, “Wait, you don’t believe in the simian Shakespeare?”
To which classmate one replied, “Well, you know it’s been shown that apes are the only other species besides humans known to kill for political reasons.”
“Really?” said classmate two.
At this point, my professor had finally had enough with the foolishness and said, “So why are we protecting animals if they’re killing each other?”
Because PETA would throw a hissy fit if we didn’t.
And also, if we don’t, pictures like this will cease to exist.
- STUPIDITY: New York Times’ Sexy Chicken Ad Irks PETA (blippitt.com)