No pressure (sea kittens?!)

So I’ve been endorsed by (at least one of) the Atomic Nerds.  While it’s quite a thrill to the ol’ ego, it also leaves me with rather large boots to fill.  Stay tuned for more acerbic and independent thought.  (Read their archives, if you haven’t, in the meanwhile.)

If you’re desperate for snark right this second, however, I direct your attention to:

I’ll pause while those of you who clicked on the link (I’m sorry!) put your exploded brains back together.

Whether or not you read PETA’s little schtick, you’re probably still a bit confused about this whole “sea kittens” thing.  So far as I can tell, “sea kittens” are sushi on the hoof.  They’re fish.  And even the bright lights at PETA seem to realize that fish just aren’t cute enough to engender sympathy:

People don’t seem to like fish. They’re slithery and slimy, and they have eyes on either side of their pointy little heads—which is weird, to say the least. Plus, the small ones nibble at your feet when you’re swimming, and the big ones—well, the big ones will bite your face off if Jaws is anything to go by.

So instead, they’ve decided to give the unlovable little ichthycs a PR makeover:

Of course, if you look at it another way, what all this really means is that fish need to fire their PR guy—stat. Whoever was in charge of creating a positive image for fish needs to go right back to working on the Britney Spears account and leave our scaly little friends alone. You’ve done enough damage, buddy. We’ve got it from here. And we’re going to start by retiring the old name for good. When your name can also be used as a verb that means driving a hook through your head, it’s time for a serious image makeover. And who could possibly want to put a hook through a sea kitten?

Yes, really.  The clever folks at PETA decided that the best way to convince people to stop eating fish was to RENAME THEM AFTER A CARNIVORE.  (Not only that, but a carnivore famous in popular culture for eating fish.  Gosh, that was clever.)

The bit that particularly bothers me about this “sea kittens” charade — aside from the idea that whichever dipshit okayed it is entirely likely to breed — is the notion that one can fundamentally change the way a thing is perceived simply by renaming it.  Imagine, for example, if instead of trying to make fish all cute and cuddly by calling them “sea kittens”, they’d tried to make Klansmen all cute and cuddly by calling them “sheet kittens”:

(I swear to fuckin’ Jesus I didn’t expect to get any hits that relevant when I googled “KKK hello kitty”.)

Does that make you rethink Fort Pillow?  Want to burn a kawaii little chibi cross in your front yard?  No?

Well, thank fuck for that.  And by the same token, PETA’s crude attempt at emotional manipulation shouldn’t keep you from tossing a couple of salmon steaks on the grill this weekend.

8 Responses to “No pressure (sea kittens?!)”

  1. November 9, 2008 at 00:03

    My perennial rejoinder to people who say “I won’t eat anything with a face” is “I guess you REALLY don’t want to crash in the Andes with me…”

  2. November 9, 2008 at 00:23

    As Denis Leary said: “More meat for the meat-eaters!”

  3. November 9, 2008 at 14:26

    Oh, it was both of us. When I got two pages back and found something worthy of quoting aloud to Stingray in at least half the posts, I figured that merited a blogrolling.

    I came thisclose to spewing iced tea on my monitor at “sheet kittens”. Given that the county has been attempting to find a way to describe the regular burns the forestry department mandates in order to keep brush and detritus from building up to firestorm levels (necessary in a Western fire-dependent ecosystem if you don’t want to let natural regular forest fires do the work), that does NOT make the entire population jittery- one of their “controlled burns” turned into a multimillion-acre blaze in 2000…

    Well, I think I’ll just be referring to them as “smoke kittens” from now on.

  4. November 10, 2008 at 00:51

    PETA= People Eating Tasty Animals

  5. November 10, 2008 at 01:27

    You know, this “(foo) kittens” thing could really catch on. I can start referring to my less-than-qualified students as “prereq kittens” (if they’d been adults, they would have passed the prerequisite courses) and maybe my beer-and-Madden neighbours as “frat kittens” (though that involves a bit of cognitive dissonance, since “sorority kittens” would have vastly different connotations).

    Who would have thought that PETA would turn out to be so genuinely entertaining?

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