Tuesday, September 25, 2012

That's Very Human of You

 Do you anthropomorphize?  You can tell me...really, this conversation is just between the two of us and perhaps some inanimate object that you are currently best friends with.  Do you consider your pets to have human qualities?  Do you make friends with things around the house...not of the human variety?

 Thought Number One: According to Wikipedia we have been anthropomorphizing for a very long time.

From the beginnings of human behavioral modernity in the Upper Paleolithic, about 40,000 years ago, examples of zoomorphic (animal-shaped) works of art occur that may represent the earliest evidence we have of anthropomorphism. One of the oldest known is an ivory sculpture, the Lion man of the Hohlenstein Stadel, Germany, a human-shaped figurine with a lion's head, determined to be about 32,000 years old.

(according to American Heritage Dictionary)
(an-thruh-puh- mawr -fiz-uhm) The attributing of human characteristics and purposes to inanimate objects, animals, plants, or other natural phenomena, or to God. To describe a rushing river as “angry” is to anthropomorphize it.

Earlier this week, I was talking to a friend who was having repairs done to her home.  We were commiserating about how every time we have one issue taken care of something new rears it's ugly little head.  One could logically say that it is just physical deterioration or functional obsolescence but in this particular conversation my friend said "My house hates me!"  

As you might remember from some of my recent posts, my house has let me down a bit over the summer with a few "surprises" but I hadn't given thought to the possibility that my home is angry with me.  I was pretty secure in the fact that my house and I are pretty friendly.  I probably love my house more that it loves me but I am OK with that. I am not OK thinking it is "out to get me".

Frankly, I have never thought too much about things like houses, cars, computers, etc. having grudges against me but it did get me thinking.  

Now, I can add another worry to my rather lengthy list of worries.  What if my house hates me?

I want my house to be a friendly house.  I drive by a house fairly often on the way to my daughter's home.  Now this looks like a friendly house.

Yes, I am a happy house...look at my smile

If it were my house, maybe I would take it one step farther...or maybe not.

Thought Number Two:   My Cats and I  Are Very Pro-anthropomorphism

Ahh...how cute were the Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh stories?  Yes, very cute.
( But just to point out the obvious if this little guy, Christopher was our kid, we would
be asking ourselves, " Where does active imagination end and schizophrenia

Yes, Pooh is quite cute. As with most things, we are evolving. 
Are you familiar with the TV show Wilfred. Wilfred is a real dog that
his owner sees as a human-like dog.  Wilfred has a very naughty
mouth and smokes like a fiend.

Disclaimer:  Two cats...even very human-like cats..... doesn't make me a cat lady.

Another Disclaimer; the opinions expressed by Carmen and Chantel do not express the opinion of Cheryl P.
Disney characters that talk and dance, not excluding tea pots, teddy bears, candlesticks, dogs, rabbits, elephants that fly, lions, puppets and even human size mice are quite lovable.

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momto8blog said...

one reason we discourage current movies is because the directors equate animals and things with humans.

Cheryl P. said...

I don't tend to go to the theater as much as I used to as I don't care for most of what's out there but I am fine with the Disney-ish, Pixar or Dreamworks, dancing and singing teapots and Pooh bears. I loved fairy tales and fables when I was little and still love them, now with my grandkids. I am much more concerned with the slasher movies and violence that permeated some of the movies.

Bodaciousboomer said...

I am the Queen of Anthropomorphizing. Any one of the pack will tell you so.

Anon A Mus said...

I think I can tell you this because you won't tell anyone else. Shhhh. So, my favorite animal is steak. I especially love the way they talk to me, sort of a sizzly sounding voice.

Steaks are hard workers; perfectionists, in fact, if you don't keep on eye on them. On a rare occasion, I get distracted on some task that demands immediate attention. When I return to my beloved steak and ask, "Are you done?", they always reply, "Well done!". Oh no.

Sometimes, my steaks aren't around when I need them. I meant to bring them home with me, but I forget. Or, my budget tells me to avoid them for the moment. Such a sad time. I hate miss steaks like that.

Cheryl P. said...

Just one of the many things I like about you. I think people that love animals are very loving people.

Cheryl P. said...

Seriously, Anon A Mus, you are funnnnyyyy! I made you a little picture of one of your steak friends. It's not very often that I get a chance to anthropomorphize a steak. I hope you are able to open my little cartoon.

Katherine Murray said...

I am apparently crazy because I do this!!! Without even thinking, I have been known to knock something while walking by and mumble "sorry" while I touch what I knocked. They are certainly going to take me away!

Katrina Grothe said...

Wow, I never really thought about it but I guess I do anthropomorphize a bit. I talk to all kinds of things... esp when they are broken. That would be baout the time I'm begging them to repair themselves and give me a break!

LOL - Great post!

Wolfbernz said...

Hi Cheryl,

Yes, I guess I do that. I talk to Woofy all the time and I take his glances as him talking back. I think I want to see that show Wilfred.... looks so very interesting.

Clicks for you!

Cheryl P. said...

That is about the cutest thing I have heard of in a long time. In an age where so many people have gotten increasingly rude, you are even polite to inanimate objects. I don't think that is crazy...I think that is wonderful.

Thank you so much, Katherine for stopping by.

Cheryl P. said...

If it ever turns out that asking things to repair themselves works be sure to let me know. At your end, I would keep it a secret. If just asking caused things to fix themselves, it wouldn't be good for your business.

My brother used to say that if he talked to his car it would start for him. I am not sure what he said but I'll bet threat were involved.

Cheryl P. said...

I am very prone to talk to animals like they are people. I realize the difference and am not delusional but I think domesticated animals do have a connection to us and understand things. I used to have a dog but now only have my two cats. I, also talk to them all the time.

Cheryl P. said...

Oh BTW...Wilfred is on FX but you can watch past episodes online. It is really edgy...very dark humor with the dog being very crude...funny but crude.

oldereyes said...

Well, let's see. People around me anthropomorphize computers because they'll do things for me and not for them ... they say they like me better. Muri and I both give our cars human names. I talk to our cats continually and I have little theme songs for each of them. I talk to the television, but I'm really talking to the people on the other side of the screen ... does that count? But I don't think my house likes me or dislikes me.

Click, Bud

Don E. Chute said...

anthropomorphize?...didn't know it was a 'phize' and didn't know bulltookie about 'anthropomor'...pretty sure I don't do this and if I do/did, pretty sure I wouldn't want a 'phize' associated with it :-/...I have enough trouble with the real most days let alone let not real things into my life as real...so really, I'm really not sure, what I'm really talking about...and this post has given me enough pause that I really think that I'm going back to bed...

PLU from SSF

Cheryl P. said...

Sounds like a great plan...going back to bed that is. I guess there are plenty of humans in the world without "humanizing" our things but nearly everyone does. Most men have had a car at some point in their lives that they named and referred to as a person. Not you??? I have had cars that I referred to in less than complimentary terms but not by name.

Cheryl P. said...

I love your comment! I am sure that people DO like you better. I have never given any of my car names but I think that sounds fun. I would be interested how you pick a name for a car...what is the criteria? Did Muri already name the new car?

I totally get the cat thing. I talk to my two cats all the time and as you know they get their pictures taken pretty regularly and poor Carmen gets hats Photoshopped on her. I think she looks cute in hats.

Theme songs???? I am totally intrigued by this. Haha That is so clever. What are their songs?

I haven't made a definite decision on the issue if my house dislikes me. The current trend around here indicates that it does.

Anon A Mus said...

This is great, Cheryl! The only bad thing is that I'm looking at this while it's almost lunch time. Thanks to your taunting t-bone, I'm starving now! :D

meleahrebeccah said...

I think the only thing I've ever "anthropomorphize" is my computer, because I love it so much as if it were like a boyfriend/husband. I have no idea if I just used the word "anthropomorphize" properly, even though I read the definition.

*this medicine I'm taking makes me really dumb*

Don E. Chute said...

Well I did have a '79' Honda Prelude years ago, that I called 'Ludie'...but to have a 'phize' attached is just so wrong...

meleahrebeccah said...

think the only thing I've ever "anthropomorphize" is my computer,
because I love it so much as if it were like a boyfriend/husband. I have
no idea if I just used the word "anthropomorphize" properly, even
though I read the definition.

*this medicine I'm taking makes me really dumb*

Nicky said...

The only thing I've ever anthropomorphized is Jepeto.


You said inanimate objects, right? :-)

Cheryl P. said...

Surely most people humanize their computers. Between praising them and swearing at them, we spend a lot of time interacting with them.
You could never be dumb no matter what medicine your on.

Cheryl P. said...

hahah, Poor Jepeto...let's hope he's not inanimate.

babs (beetle) said...

I talk to my cats and know what they are saying back. Does that count?

Cheryl P. said...

That totally counts! This, of course, is coming from a person that puts hats one one of her cats because I think my Carmen looks great in hats. I am relatively sure that Carmen likes wearing hats...and tiaras too.

babs (beetle) said...

Ha ha ha ha ha! You sound as mad as me!

meleahrebeccah said...


Jo-Anne said...

The only human size cartoon animal that is freaky is Big Bird he is freaky and you would think scary to little kids.......just saying I do not like Big Bird............

Cheryl P. said...

I can totally see why you think that but I will say that I used to watch Sesame Street all the time when my kiddos were little and it never occurred to me that BB was freaky. Today when I watch TV with grandkids I find the characters on Yo Gabba Gabba beyond freaky and possibly some of what nightmares are made of.