Wednesday, 13 April 2011

epershand: A dory thinking about a bike. (fish need bicycles)
You know who I'm incredibly impressed with this week? I am incredibly impressed with Ogas and Gaddam. They have outdone themselves. I kind of want to give them the Stephen Colbert Award Of Making Shit Up. (I don't want to link to their article, but there's a good response at Feministe, and [personal profile] firecat's linkspam is not to be missed.)

These guys have some cojones. If I didn't believe in evolution I would have to start now, because these guys have taken bullshit Evolutionary Biology arguments to the extreme. They have mastered it, they are at the top of the heap. And if that isn't a deity-given sign of natural selection I don't know what is.

Like normally, if you were going to make an evolutionary argument, you would at least include some sort of story you made up about something cavemen might have done that is vaguely related to what you're saying about shopping or whatever. And then you also have to come up with a wacky experiment of some kind where you take a non-statistically-significant number of people, show them some photos, and if one or two of them has brain electricity changes of 0.0001% or so, PROOF. [1]

Ogas and Gaddam don't need any of that shit. They don't need to make up stories about cavemen, and they don't need to scan the brains of ten people while they look at pictures of shopping carts. They just went to the grocery store one day and looked at the covers in the romance novel section, found a sexy picture of some rats doing it, put two and two together and wound up in Psychology Today. Not bad, I say, not fucking bad. They didn't even make up the name of a neurochemical to awe us. They just used the sweet, sweet power of metaphor to do its thing.

In fact, at this point I am about ready to declare Ogas and Gaddam's Law: Any metaphor, if described in sufficiently dry terms, is the same thing as science.

Animal metaphors are the best, because you can pick and choose them according to your whim. There is an animal species out there for any specious claim you could ever possibly make about human behavior, as long as you ignore the fact that there is another species that behaves in the oposite way. (Their article just kept making me think of that one Panic! at the Disco werewolf AU where werewolf!Spencer was all werewolf soulbonded to Brendon and Jon was like "Dude! You're like penguins! Penguins mate for life!"[2] I did not know that there would ever be a more blatant misuse of animal metaphors, but I was wrong.)

And people want to believe in animal metaphors, because we have an EVOLUTIONARY NEED to anthropomorphize things and think about them as being like us. Historically, this is because the cavemen needed to not kill babies or something so they evolved to be super into metaphors. This one time I saw a piece of string lying on the porch outside my high school economics class and I swear to you, it looked exactly like a stick figure of a running person. And it ROCKED MY WORLD. In conclusion, SCIENCE.

And when you combine animal metaphors with a statement of what you think romance novels might be about, you have a winning combination. My personal favorite thing about the article is the way they vaguely allude to the existence of "research" that backs up their sweet-ass metaphors without ever saying what it is or what it even says.

Props to you, dudes. Keep the bullshit flowing.

[1] We must always remember the emotions of dead salmon.
[2] Need You Wild, by [ profile] fallintosilence and [ profile] boweryd (Warning: all the porn. I mean that, like, a lot. Also werewolf soulbonding.)


epershand: An ampersand (Default)

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