Tag: Mr. Smiff

“You’ll never see a squirrel trapped by a syllogism.”

Mr. Smiff is a genuine kick in the pants.  Dude’s worth listening to.

The fact that he got Buffalo Bill-ed by our psychopatho-genic society simply gives him more time to kick me in the pants, which is fine by me, as I appear to be a more-than-fashionably-late political bloomer.  If only he had gotten to me sooner.  I wish him the best in a long, wave-lapped retirement.

However, my eyebrows torqued when he claimed that [unlike humans], “You’ll never see a squirrel trapped by a syllogism,” while continuing his discussion on the “lesser evil” problem presented by Democrats, i.e., the neurotic yowling between advocates of lesser evilism (logic-trapped squirrels) and the “fuck all y’all and the horse you rode in on” camp (my people).

Mr. Smiff’s main point, to my mind, is that you can’t fucking tell Republicans & Democrats apart!  It takes such a fine-tuned sense of discrimination to reveal the iota, the remaining quantal unit of distinction, and even that discrete packet is suspect, that it drives one fucking nuts, neurotic, pissing oneself, snarling, hunkering in dark corners, clawing at the handlers, and falling down, sprawling and panting.  Be more squirrel-like, and reject the choice itself.

I am not claiming that my admiration for squirrels is any less or more than Mr. Smiff’s  (some of my best friends in Golden Gate Park are squirrels!), but mine is different, in that I think squirrels and humans have more in common than Herr Smiff thinks obtains.  To phrase my view in Clintonesque Obamanisms, there’s nothing right with our squirrels that can’t be fucked by what’s wrong with humans.

My good buddy and comrade, Ivan Pavlov — who was probably dead wrong when he apocryphally warned his underlings that “The revolution is not out there; it is in here, in this lab!” —  provided some relevant experimental evidence on conditioned conflict behavior in dogs, which he referred to as “experimental neurosis.”

Pavlov was toying with the borderline between competing conditioned responses, using a discrimination task (circles v. ovals as signals) to train responses, and then inducing conflict by making the discrimination ever more difficult.  

In experimental canine terms, the syllogism is expressed as:

IF circle, THEN respond (orient to the circle, and get food reward.)

IF oval, WITHHOLD response (do not orient to oval, or else!  Zappo! Electric shock.).

After training both competing response elements, the un-American commie bastard then proceeded to present increasingly oval-shaped circles, and increasingly circle-shaped ovals. The dogs, unable to tell the difference between reward and punishment, became progressively unhinged, and unmanageable (Yay, dogs!).  The same has been shown in cats.  Democrats and Republicans have merely demonstrated that such frustrating breakdowns in discrimination also occur in humans.  If that finding, “experimental neurosis,” does not also hold true in squirrels, I’ll eat my straw hat loaded with nasty brick dust.

My point is this: it is precisely the current non-difference between our formerly distinct expectancies of Republicans and Democrats (ovals and circles) that evokes our conflicted animal phenotypes.  The formulation, “You’ll never see a squirrel…” only works until you present the squirrel with a choice between Republicans and Democrats.

The confused frustration expressed under such confused signaling conditions in all mammals tested to date already indicates that the answer is “none of the above.”

Next week we’ll discuss flesh-ripping weasels.