Friday, July 07, 2006

Nice Doggie! Here's Your Biscuit!

Well, my Sweetie was momentarily taken with this using the techniques of exotic animal training on Spousal Units thing. It started with Amy Sutherland's article in the NYT. Here are the nut grafs:

So, like many wives before me, I ignored a library of advice books and set about improving him. By nagging, of course, which only made his behavior worse: he'd drive faster instead of slower; shave less frequently, not more; and leave his reeking bike garb on the bedroom floor longer than ever.


Then something magical happened. For a book I was writing about a school for exotic animal trainers, I started commuting from Maine to California, where I spent my days watching students do the seemingly impossible: teaching hyenas to pirouette on command, cougars to offer their paws for a nail clipping, and baboons to skateboard.

I listened, rapt, as professional trainers explained how they taught dolphins to flip and elephants to paint. Eventually it hit me that the same techniques might work on that stubborn but lovable species, the American husband.

The central lesson I learned from exotic animal trainers is that I should reward behavior I like and ignore behavior I don't. After all, you don't get a sea lion to balance a ball on the end of its nose by nagging. The same goes for the American husband...
Anyway, read the whole thing, but hide the article from your own personal Spousal Unit!!! What's really scary is that our house is full of exotic animals, and my Sweetie has 12 years of experience with the techniques described in the article. For the most part, our parrots are bastions of civility (moreso, perhaps, than Yours Truly). In fact, we've gone to great lengths to talk other people out of owning parrots because they were so impressed with our birds, pointing out, f'instance, that we don't have a "dining room;" we have a "bird room," and that our wooden furniture, rather than "heirloom quality," is chosen for how the wood tastes.

Yesterday, my Sweetie told me I was a "Good boy!" for carrying the laundry upstairs. She also gave me a walnut AND a cashew nut! I love cashews. I'm going to go walk Alf the Wonder Beagle after I finish writing this post, and maybe, just maybe, I'll get a pat on the head and a biscuit!

Thankfully, this sort of conditioning stuff doesn't work on me!

On a more serious note, the various law enforcement agencies involved have released the papers of the Coumbine murders, Harris and Klebold. There had been a lot of clamor to release the stuff because, simply put, Denver and to an extent Colorado are obsessed with, or addicted to, with the 1999 murders. The local media endlessly sifts through the ashes, looking for something, anything, to put a rational face on the two bat-shit crazy murderers, who, BTW, called themselves NBK — Natural Born Killers. that original?

Of course, the one place the media don't look is at themselves and their sick culture of violence — if it bleeds, it leads — or at Hollywood and the vidoe game industry, who basically provided the blueprints for our young whackos. Also, in their endless frenzy of Oprah-ism, they overlook the fact that adolescent males are among the most potentially violent creatures to ever walk the planet...velociraptors pale by comparison! That's why we occasionally conscript adolescent males, as opposed to grandmothers, train them, give them the most lethal hardware on the planet and send them out to kill other adolescent males from different tribes.

When the parental structure fails...and boy did it ever fail in the case of our two psychotics!...the dark Lord of the Flies monster gets loose. The two killers are dead, but we should have executed their parents as well.

But, instead, here in sunny Colorado, we blame the guns! This from relentlessly (and thoughtlessly) liberal columnist Diane Carman this AM:

But amid all the tales of violent daydreams, the hit lists, swastikas, pages from gun catalogs and applications for membership in gun-rights organizations are items from stunningly ordinary lives.


They were teenagers long before they were monsters.


An entry in Harris' diary reveals his lurid fascination with firearms: "Today ... we went downtown and purchased the following: a double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun, a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun, a 9mm carbine, 250 9mm rounds, 15 12-gauge slugs, 40 shotgun shells, two switch-blade knives and a total of four 10-round clips for the carbine ... . I am (expletive deleted) armed now. I feel more confident, stronger, more God-like."

The next entry described his thrilling baptism of violence. "Yesterday we fired our first actual firearms ever, three rounds from the carbine. ... God it felt great firing off that bad boy ..."
Thrilling baptism of violence? Damn, I'll watch for that next time I go to the range! Sarcasm aside — which is admittedly hard when dealing with liberal newspaper columnists — the greatest single victory of the antigun movement has been the proliferation of the myth of a causal relationship between just touching guns and uncontrolled violence. An editor at Salon magazine a few years back described guns in such a lurid (use the word one more time and it's mine!) terms that it mimic'ed J.R.R. Tolkien's description of the One Ring.

The amazing thing to me is that the gun-as-causal-agent-for-violence flat-out fails the sanity test. The accepted number of guns in civilian hands is 200 million, and the real number is probably twice that...if touching a gun lead to murderous violence, America would be more violent as...Scotland, or England, or — heaven help us! — Eastern Europe or Columbia or any country in Africa, or any of those other places that don't allow civilian ownership of firearms.

But feeble-minded liberals espouse it and the dying dinosaurs of the MSM print it and we all have to waste out time defending against it.

Rant mode off!



Anonymous said...

I read the spousal conditioning article and turned to John and said "would your behavior improve if I rewarded you or praised you when you did things I liked?"

John: No. I'm going to do what I want or not do things based on how I feel that day.

So there you go. Nagging doesn't work on him either. I have learned to just leave him alone and peacefully coexist. :)

Michael Bane said...


Have you tried a shock collar?

Reminds me that I once had the strangest conversation with a guy about shock collars. I'd just gotten a puppy, and he asked me if I was going to get a shock collar for it.

I said, whatever for?

he said (and this is the honest to goodness truth!), "Look at it this way...right now, you got a dog, right?"

I nodded.

"Now god forbid, but say your dog gets hit by a car today...what have you got? Nothing, right! But if you get a shock collar for your dog and your dog gets run over by a car, you've still got the shock collar. See?"

I told him the same logic would apply if I got the dog a Ferrari.

He said, "I don't get it..."


Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, those Columbine guys had also constructed bombs. Yet no one "blames the bomb" like they do with guns. This is quite odd since, had their main bombs gone off, they would have killed dozens or a hundred people.

Michael Bane said...

True enough...they copied flawed detonator plans off the Internet. A cop friend of mine who examined the bombs said if the dets had worked properly, LOTS of people would have died.

Yet, amazingly, you can still by FILLED UNREGISTERED PROPANE TANKS at your local hardware store!

Pisses me off, too!


Anonymous said...

The difference between a man and a woman is a man will accept a woman as she is. A woman settles for a man expecting to change him to her liking.

Stay single. Stay free.

Anonymous said...

I am so pissed off at the Denver media. They keep going back again and again to the killers, with so little mention of the victims. And Pres. Clinton did, once more, get his face all over the news when he came to a fund-raiser for a Columbine memorial.