Friday, January 27th, 2023 02:56:04

“Creature” Comforts

Updated: December 18, 2010 12:23 pm

The world, some sadly say, is going to the dogs. Satiricus objects on two counts. First, that’s nothing to be sad about. Secondly, why just dogs? It’s also going to the donkeys.

Take dogs. It really seems the world is happily going to the dogs. At least Satiricus is sure the dogs must be happy about it. Why wouldn’t they, when there is a range of good things in a modern dog’s life, from dog biscuits to dog restaurants? And now we even have a doggie networking. After all, why should this “man’s best friend” be deprived of some social life? So a company in America (where else?) called SNIF (Social Networking In Fur) has come up with a radio communication technology that allows dogs wearing special digital tags to exchange dog and owner info with other similarly tagged dogs. When two such dogs come within a certain range the tags start to swap info, such as the best shop for dog biscuits, good dog clinics, even dog “dating” opportunities. Now, isn’t that cool, as Americans (and their dogs) would say?

                At the other extreme donkeys may be far away from living a (happy) dog’s life. In fact, they may be unhappy enough to commit suicide. Do donkeys commit suicide? Well, a few years ago the papers reported that in Sudan (Africa) they did, and it was reported by the Indian peace-keeping force there. The army listed two cases of donkey “suicide” in a UN report. In one of them it said: “The donkey who decided to end its miserable life ran towards the Nile and plunged into the river that swept it to a watery grave.” The army doctors’ formula to check the “suicidal tendencies” was a week’s rest and a good diet of grain and that is what a “donkey clinic” in Mumbai is reportedly advising labourers who use donkeys.

                All in all, Satiricus thinks the world going to such beasts is not all that bad. The problem is not with beasts, the problem is with beastly people, people who kill and massacre in the name of their religion the religion that preaches: “Think not I come to send peace on earth, I come not to send peace, but sword, war, fire…” (Bible: Mathew, 10:34-37 / Gospel of St. Thomas), and : “Disbelievers will wear garments of fire, boiling fluid will be poured on their heads, their bellies and skin will be melted, they will be tormented with iron hooks, and when they try to escape they will be dragged back with the taunt: taste the doom of burning.” (Quran, sura 21:39-40.)

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Not being either a Christian or a Jew, Satiricus cannot recall all the ten commandments that Moses’s god gave him for his flock. However, he believes “Thou shalt not steal” is one of them. But then, Moses is now old hat. Now, as per a modern Moses in the form of a British priest, the old commandments now include a new one, which says shoplifting is okay at times. It has been reported from the city of York that a priest there told his congregation during a Sunday sermon that it was sometimes acceptable for desperate people to shoplift from large chain stores; he said shoplifting can be justified if a person in real need is not greedy. So there you are. Now, “thou shalt steal”, provided, one, you are needy, two, you are not greedy, and three, you steal only from a large chain store.

                Satiricus is impressed. Could there be nobler advice on the pious practice of any religion? Surely, from now on every shoplifter worth his stolen Bible will religiously follow this religious thievery. But who will decide if he is needy? Of course he will. Who will decide that he is not greedy? Again, he will. And who will decide if the shop he lifts from is large enough to fit the priest’s specifications? Who else but him? In short, if or when he is caught by the police and hauled to court for theft, he may successfully plead in defence that in the land of the defender of the (Christian) faith he was just faithfully following the Christain faith.

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