Guys, hear me out
This David Tennant
With this Michael Sheen
My heart might not handle this.
-both unable to show their love explicitly
-sexually the total opposite
-both are daddies of girls
-both share this expression ಠ_ಠ most of the time
-a sick man and a doctor, I mean, COME ON
-Alec Hardy would be a BOTTOM, who are we even kidding
-their conversations would be like:
Alec: How was work today? ಠ_ಠ
Bill: it was okay. My study's going just fine. ಠ_ಠ
Alec: I love you. ಠ_ಠ/♡
Bill: I love you too. ♡\ಠ_ಠ
-but most importantly: soft af
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Hey, it's me again. I'd like to apologize about giving you so much flack about you "ruining the mood" of popular animal videos. I've been going through your "not actually cute" tag and noticed that you are really brutally honest. Do you hate the fact that popular animal content seems to favor entertainment over education? If so, what would you like to say to the general public?
Hey, you’re all good, and thanks for reaching back out!
You know, it’s interesting - there’s this whole big concept that’s popular lately that being entertained by animals is wrong, somehow. You can enjoy them, you can like interacting with them, you can value educational content about them, but the moment that crosses over into finding them “entertaining” or interacting with animals or animal content for “entertainment” it’s bad. I’m not here for that. I am entirely fine with finding animals entertaining, and enjoying content about them simply because it’s fun, as long as it’s respectful.
There’s this tendency to also be like oh, content about animals should always be educational in nature, and I think that’s silly. People should be allowed to watch cat videos because cat behavior is sometimes inherently ridiculous and that’s enjoyable to observe. When people say entertaining content is bad and educational content is the only good way to interact with animals, it feels pretty elitist to me. It’s like saying the only “pure” or “appropriate” way to consume any animal related content is from a distance, where no base human tendencies to actually find pleasure from things will dare encroach upon the noble endeavor of studying these creatures, etc, etc.
What I want out of any animal related content, both educational and entertaining, is for it to prioritize accuracy and for the animals involved in it to be respected. We know that when people passively consume media they absorb ideas from it that shape their worldview, so it’s important that behavior / biology / natural history not be misrepresented within it. Now, there’s nuance here. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy content specifically because it looks like the animal is doing non-animal things - I can totally look at a video where I know a cat is trying to catch a bug and think it’s hilarious because it happens to look like it’s dabbing in the process - but the purveyors of animal media shouldn’t be purposefully messaging to their audience that that’s the truth of what is happening.
Similarly, animals should always be treated respectfully, and that extends to media content about them. I don’t mean like “putting a silly hat on your pet is disrespectful to their dignity” - that sort of stuff requires critical thinking more along the lines of if the action is kind and if the animal finds it aversive or not. When I say respect, I mean acknowledging that animals are sentient beings who deserve a measure of care and concern. So while putting a costume on your pet isn’t inherently disrespectful to that pet, I think it’s pretty disrespectful to engage with content of animals wearing costumes who are super upset about them and trying to take them off simply for the purposes of entertainment. Now, can it be funny if you try to put a costume on and your cat freaks out? Sure - but then you take it off and comfort the animal; continuing to film it for the purpose of the entertainment value without caring about how the pet feels is where it becomes disrespectful. That sort of content - stressed animals who do “funny” things while they’re seriously upset or in pain - is the type of stuff I really hate. I’m also not a fan of the “funny” videos where animals take major falls or are unwillingly put through other physical extremes, because we know that’s likely harmful and stressful to the animal. As with above, there’s always nuance: I’m much more okay with enjoying a video of a cat that rolls over and accidentally falls off a couch than being entertained by that video of what appears to be a zoo chimp yeeting a cat. The former is something I know is within a normal range of things for a cat to easily recover from, and was likely filmed and uploaded by the person taking care of the cat after making sure the cat was okay; the latter is an interaction with a much larger and dangerous animal that (if genuine and not edited together) likely ended in the cat being seriously injured or killed. The latter may be a valuable educational reminder of the fact that chimpanzee are not cute, cuddly psuedo-humans, but I think it’s still pretty disrespectful to engage with it as just “funny” content because an animal very likely got hurt as a result of what happened.
So: it’s fine to enjoy animal content, it doesn’t have to be educational all the time, it just needs to not communicate misinformation and be respectful of the animals involved. If all of our animal media online could meet that standard, I’d be a happy camper.
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