In Defense of Non-Human Humanity

A place where everything is something.

Potential-president Romney’s onto something, and it’s not just his embrace of the “corporate personhood” concept championed and re-championed by the U.S. Supreme Court. If a corporation can be a person, like Romney says, then so can a host of other non-people people, too.

Weather. How many times do you hear some knuckle-headed weather people say, “This weather stinks,” or, “I hate the rain?” It’s pure discrimination frankly. Who decided that Old Man Winter was bad and that Aestas, Goddess of Summer, was good? It sounds a lot like the guys who’ve determined that Mexicans are bad and Anglos are good. And we can’t stand for that, can we? We need anti-discrimination-in-meteorology legislation, ASAP.

Fire. You know what the height of injustice is? The ongoing persecution of arsonists. We all know that it’s the fire that actually burns down the building, not the mere pawn who ignited it. If someone as mainstream as Ron Howard can understand this (and then make a B/B-minus movie about it), then we have to accept it. It’s simple logic, really: we blame the corporation for redistributing wealth from poorer to richer, not the fat cats who run the corporation! When a corporation implodes, you don’t punish the man at the helm; you give him a bonus and thank him for a great year. When you catch an arsonist, you give him a cup of cocoa and a warm blanket; the hero just survived a fire attack!

Traffic. There are all kinds of traffic these days – foot traffic, web traffic, drug traffic – and we should see this diversity as a sign of traffic’s inherent humanity. Imagine the accountability you’d inject into state departments of transportation if you were able to sue traffic for making you late and torpedoing your productivity. You’d see a flood of funding into public transportation, just so that the state could avoid costly lawsuits! Corporate personhood allows one to sue a corporation; gridlock personhood lets you take it to the streets.

Electronics. This personalization serves as a kind of amnesty for slow-running computers, pixilated cable boxes, and skipping portable audio players. Sure, it feels nice to throw a malfunctioning printer out the window, but isn’t that being a little harsh on a single, insignificant particle that constitutes but one tiny fragment of the electromagnetic web that encompasses us all? Just as it’s not your fault when your laptop runs a little raggedly after you’ve dropped it on the floor, it’s also not the laptop’s fault that it’s beholden to a unwieldy technological entity – i.e., electronics – that can’t evolve to the point where being dropped on the floor has no deleterious effects on functionality at all. After all, many animals can survive being dropped on the floor; it’s about time our technology caught up.

War. With gods like Ares, Woden, and Huitzilopochtli, the ancients were on the right track here. I mean, these days, what are those damn peace-niks actually protesting? A fusillade of bullets? The chemical commingling of sulfur, charcoal, and saltpetre? How could any chemistry buff hope to get behind a movement that disdains a classic oxidation-reduction chemical reaction? Redox makes the world go round! We definitely need a lightning rod here. But for our purposes, instead of having a war god, it’s much more practical to invest in a war person. We were close before; perhaps No. 43 is worth trotting out for a second encore?

Foods. We already do this with liquor and ice cream. “Jose Cuervo really kicked my ass last night,” you say; or “I have a date with Ben & Jerry tonight.” Foodies love to talk about the “character” of cheese, or wine, or coffee, but what if they were characters in and of themselves? Imagine the spate of excuses that would open up: “I can’t go to your three-hour a capella jam; I already made plans with [Monterrey] Jack.” Or: “I’d love to watch the Pawn Stars marathon with you, baby, but my Boy[Ardee] friend is coming over.” Sure, sharper minds may call you a cannibal, but, then, they’ve probably never spent a solid night drinkin’ and gamblin’ with the Man in Black himself, Cash[ew nuts].

Image: Mittromneys