Monday, September 26, 2011

Hot Catgirls and Cold Dead Philosophers R Us


By Mr. VI

OK, so it's confession time – who finds cat-girls hot? The fusion of animal and human, the exaggerated feline attitudes? Of course, here at Modern Mythology we don't really give a fig about gender, sex or species – except as interesting things to examine and play with, so please feel free to mentally ascribe your felinoid paramour any characteristics you damn well like, yes?

Perhaps in the spirit of overkill, we'd like to bring a dead Greek guy into the sexual equation – because let's be honest, a little necrophilia always spices things up. After all, copulating with corpses seems to sell well – just look at the amount of vampire-based Pornonormal Romance in your local bookshop.

Our ancient nec(e)rotic newcomer goes by the name of Xenophanes (Ξενοφάνης) which, roughly translated, means 'Of Foreign Appearance'. He's a playwright, philosopher and general interesting fellow known only by fragments.

Now, we don't know about you, but a guy with a name like that seems to us to be ripe for engaging in some heretical thought. It's like his mum named him 'X. The Edgy' on purpose, and he spent a great deal of time living up to it.

After all, he has a go at Homer and Hesiod, plus criticising the notion of a pantheon of anthropomorphic gods – sort of the equivalent of knocking Shakespeare, Keats, and the theory of General Relativity all at once.


X. The Edgy pulled no punches – when he tackled the Olympians, he wrote:
But if cattle and horses and lions had hands
or could paint with their hands and create works such as men do,
horses like horses and cattle like cattle
also would depict the gods' shapes and make their bodies
of such a sort as the form they themselves have
...

Ethiopians say that their gods are snub–nosed [σιμούς] and black
Thracians that they are pale and red-haired.
Which basically boils down to pointing out that humans like to use the familiar to try and make sense of things, so to say that one thing is true over another runs the risk of being more than a little bit biased.

So what would Xenophanes say about cat-people? Would he be in like Flynn, joyously mocking the social mores of the day, performing philosophy with wild abandon? After all, it's been over two millennia since he's worn flesh and blood, put on a carnal sensorium and sung the songs of Ancient Greece, hasn't it?

When you consider the leap, the shift, that has been made over twenty-five centuries, imagine how alien it must be.

Go on, really consider it for a moment.

An alien culture for an alien philosopher to explore. Boldly going forth, Ancient Greek-style. Who knows what he might find – how he might smile when he realises his name still means 'foreign' even now:

Xenophobic. Xenomorphic. Xenobiology.

What kind of thing would he get up to, this critic of the status quo? Would he wander through labyrinthine streams of video, navigate the culture and pornography of those of us who dwell in the 21st century, our edifices built on the ruins and actions of generations of his unseen descendants?

What would he make of Youtube, particularly if he saw the video below? Can you imagine him, staring, transfixed by the monitor-glow as imagery wreathes his face in data, sets the hairs of his bearded visage to shine like fibre-optics, bringing the knowledge that he was actually right?



Put yourself in his place – feeling the awe and terrified joy of experiencing what you wrote, as an actual physical representation. This goes way beyond realising that actors are playing roles you created, into something else. This is feeling that pulse in your neck, the blood in your veins, and realising that you touched something of how the universe works – the face of something beyond perception, beyond bias, spotted in a brief twitch of the curtain of illusion.

Xenophanes is grinning, because he knows it goes beyond anthropomorphism now.

The cat-people are us.

It's not the xenomorphic – the exotic – that is erotic, instead it's the deeply known, deeply understood primal recognition that lies beyond and beneath what we'd call the familiar. Watch that video again, and understand that in 1999, a team of scientists indirectly illustrated what X. The Edgy knew. See the cat features overlaid on a human face.

Every being on this planet attempts to see you, as themselves – because that way, you're easier to predict and grasp.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to talk to my cat about our ideal women.

Be seeing you.

[Check out some of the books, albums, and soon movies produced by Mythos Media and our various media partners.]

2 comments:

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  2. Xenodimensionals, in my experience, seem to be able to speak 'cat', and I am being taught how to reach mine semi-telepathically. It seems to work best when:

    - my messages to her are very simple, and in the present tense. Cats seem confused by past and future tense.

    - although cats can definitely learn the meanings of some human speech, this process is enhanced - at least with my cat, who's been called smarter than most - by 'sending' a quick visual image defining the statement, word or phrase, by snapping a photo of the image and 'thinking loud while speaking naught', after the word is said.

    My cat knows the meaning of "I've got something for you" when I open the door, and if I say it, she won't dash out into the hallway. I never EVER say it unless it's true.

    The furry phenomenon, along with other anime-based tropes, never did a lot for me, but I don't feel qualified to make a statement about it since I have rotten personal associations with these tropes. They remind me of the younger generations of wide-eyed lovely kids and tend to make me feel old. If certain lines hadn't been programmed into my noggin by personal events years ago, maybe I'd like it more.

    But probably not. I prefer real cats to people wearing cat-ear hats.

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