June 28th, 2013 / 10:00 am
Author Spotlight & Behind the Scenes

Save the Pit Bull! – Talking to Jereme Dean

jeremy with flowerjeremy with flower

Jereme Dean’s Facebook page is filled with macho, sexist and self-professed “asshole” comments. But mixed in are posts concerned with the environment, the socially and politically embattled, and, above all, posts asking, poignantly (with pictures), for people to save, or help save, a dog’s life: ie, a dog, usually a pit bull, that’s about to be euthanized.

What follows, then, are some questions I sent Jereme and the answers he sent back. The core of the interview is the Pit Bull (“most every dog I’ve posted about is dead”) but it is also Jereme Dean, his views on people, culture, the media, etc.


Do you prefer dogs to people?

I wouldn’t necessarily say I prefer dogs over people but… have you ever witnessed a dog walking around in sweatpants and boots or making faux inspiration videos or quipping a passive-aggressive remark on some forum or writing a pre-school philosopy poem about beyonce? I haven’t. I appreciate their lack of language–their honesty.

Human beings are great while in the concrete world: fucking; fighting; dancing; crying. It’s their abstractions which creates a psychological division. Most people revel in the bullshit creations of the 21st century. I can’t relate.

I enjoy specific human interaction though, but not much. 4, maybe 5, people, total.

I do think dogs prefer my company, people not so much.

Adorable puppy needs adoption

one of Jereme’s FB shares — “Adorable Puppy Needs Adoption” — (Jereme’s Note)

So you like humans when they’re animals not humans (“fucking; fighting; dancing; crying”) and, feeling estranged from human culture, identify with more basic creatures, basic creatures who were bred to our needs, convenience, and whims, and are at the mercy of human kindnesses and callousness. But why the Pit Bull (the answer may be obvious, but humor me)?

Human beings are the only beast which suffer from extreme arrogance. In other words, they’re the only animal who believes their worth is higher than every other fucking living thing on earth, past, present and future–a trait of the ego.

People have been bred much like dogs. The difference being that dogs know their role in a dominant/submissive relationship while (most) humans are completely unaware of their servitude to hegemony.

To be lucid, I like people on either side of the spectrum: the pure of heart and the strong minded. The rest I can only suffer in miniscule increments.

Pit Bulls are fucked on so many levels. The corporatized media villainizes their image for ratings, cops shoot them dead just because, most shelters euthanize the breed within 24 hours, some states have laws against ownership and will confiscate the dog then murder it regardless of temperament, egotistical men with mommy issues feel better about their vast insecurity while parading around with one, and, of course, dog fighting, which has many forms, like “trunking”–the process of locking two dogs in the trunk of a car and driving around with music blasting to obfuscate the noise of the altercation, the loser is thrown to the side of the road while the winner gets to live to fight another day.

Racism against the breed is out of control, too. My dog, Little Dave, is a pit bull/boxer/labrador mix–as far as I know–and he has never acted aggressively towards a human being… ever. The manner in which strangers unfairly treat him is ridiculous. I’ve had several verbal altercations because of it.

People need to stop being informed by television and the internet, and, like, actually fucking experience life. Then they would see how lovable pit bulls really are.

I mean, if people knew anything about their history, then they would know that breeders took great pride in creating an athletic canine which was completely trustworthy and loving towards people.

For the record, I love all animals and share my home with a dog, cat and tarantula.

pitbull mr. worldwide

“background noise” — “shitty cocaine”

What do you think of Pitbull the singer? Good dog?

I wouldn’t consider what he does singing. I guess his ‘music’ is just as good for background noise as any other.

The guy doesn’t seem to share any traits with the canines of the same moniker. I’m guessing one day he was snorting shitty cocaine off a mirror, then a cartoon thought bubble containing a faun pit bull wearing locs and a lightening-bolt earring appeared above his head… and a legend was born.

I think the same people who feign ironic enjoyment of pop acts like Justin Bieber, LMFAO or Lady Gaga don’t care much for Pit Bull because he’s the wrong skin color. I don’t have any hard proof though. Just a hunch.

Guapo A1399034

SAN PEDRO: on death row, needing adoption (Jereme’s FB share)

Your posts pleading for people to save or help save the lives of dogs (usually pitbulls) who are about to euthanized are often very touching, and traumatic, jarring. Is part of your persistence the fact that most people don’t really care, can’t be bothered (to lift a finger or press the “share” button), and so you are being cruel and revenging yourself on those people (the price of being your Facebook friend)?

When I created a profile on facebook I enacted a usage policy which consisted of the following criteria: no outgoing friend requests, acceptance of all incoming friend requests (unless it’s an obvious fake profile); and no disfriending. I’ve only made two exceptions, I think.

The onus isn’t on me. I don’t really care if someone feels offended by what I say or do. Revenge isn’t an idea I understand.

21st century life in america is chiefly based on selfish desires and addiction to convenience. Anything deemed inconvenient is thrown away and forgotten. The problem is that people buy a dog without any critical thought about what ownership means, and a year or two later abandon the animal without remorse.

The pet’s last days are spent broken hearted in a small concrete and steel cage, alone, waiting for rescue that almost never happens, eating shitty food, without affection or interaction, wondering what they did wrong.

Their life ends by being shoved in a box crowded with other dogs of all sizes–many of which are scared and begin to attack each other–until the death gas being pumped in fills their tiny lungs, a process that can take up to 45 minutes.

A dog isn’t a toy. People need to realize this truth.

I’m always thoroughly amazed at how few actually share my posts about dogs in shelters needing adoption. Even people who are self-professed dog lovers look the other way.

Sadly, most every dog I’ve posted about is dead. There wasn’t anything wrong with them, they weren’t vicious killers or rapists or incapable of being a worthwhile companion or anything, just abandoned by assholes who ,instead of providing love and care, moved on to something more convenient, like slightly more affordable housing.

I remember all of their beautiful faces, vividly. Some days I feel like crying.


Michael Vick — Dog Fighting

What writers or celebrities or neighbors, whatever, if any do you have violent fantasies in which they are tied to a chair in your basement and tortured (or are pursued through a dark woods by a pack of rabid pitbulls or chihuahas, poms, shih tzus, etc)?? (Michael Vick, etc, etc)

I have a reoccurring fantasy which involves me winning the lawsuit I have against this cunt insurance corporation i’m suing, using the money to buy a ranch property in the desert, rescuing every pit bull in the high kill shelters of LA and Lancaster for the next 5 years and training them on a specific task. Then we descend on the streets of Los Angeles like a tumbleweed of snarling teeth and kill every police officer in the city, or, at least do our best to maim or kill as many as possible, eventually dying together–a good death.


(yes, people look the other way, me included. I also change the channel when those commercials filled with abused cats, dogs–and sometime a horse or two–come on. I used to be able to watch Animal Cops and shows like that, but i just can’t take it anymore) ..So, do you have any success stories where a dog’s life was saved because you posted or shared a notice?

Directly, no. There was one, Misty, who was used as a bait dog and left for dead, badly injured with several abrasions and a large incision over her forehead, just above the eye.

I shared the picture asking for help. People responded because of the graphic image. Some said they lost hope in humanity, another mentioned the dog should be put down. I argued all that was needed was a vet, love and time to recoup. Months later Misty was completely healthy and made an appearance on The Today Show.


On the other side of the coin what’s the saddest, worst case of abuse and/or negligence that you know of?

Man, I don’t know how I could make a value judgment about such a thing. The “bad” cases are all manifestations of human cruelty.

A common act is to tie a dog up some place remote and let it starve to death. Others toss the dog out of the car while on the freeway or highway. I’ve seen several with their throats cut open.

Snoopy was a very small dog found tied to a building in Brooklyn with a shoestring noose, duct tape wrapped tightly over his snout, and riddled with cuts, stabs and abrasions. The secondary hurt was the stream of people who walked by and did nothing for several days. Someone affiliated with a dog rescue was alerted and rushed to save his life.

But the worst, for me, was Chip. He was a very large, playful pit bull found wandering the streets of West Hollywood. After animal control took him to the shelter, he spent the next year of his life in a cage only to be killed because room needed to be made for another.

So much time alone, without exercise or affection, dreaming about a warm hand and running against the wind.

I think about Chip often.

dead bee

“the sicker the world”

I see also that recently you’ve been posting about Bee Holocausts. Can you tell us a bit more about this ? (what’s happening and what this suggests to you about the human species)

Bees are dying, man. Everywhere. It doesn’t take a genuis to realize bees aren’t around like they have been in past decades. I’m 36, when I was a kid bees were so abundant it seemed as if they were spontaneously multiplying in mid-air. Now, on the rare occasion I see one, it’s dying or dead.

The further man departs from nature, the sicker the world gets. There are atrocities happening globally right now from the hand of multinational corporations.

Bee deaths aren’t a result of overpopulation/loss of living space, just the greed of the small grouping of truly powerful who want to amass more wealth. It’s that simple.

The chemical corporations who rule the world are to blame. Two of the largest offenders are Monsanto and Sygenta, specifically their pesticides and genetically modified foods (which contain the pesticides).

America is one of the few countries providing a safe haven for these shit hearts. 

jereme dean with deer

With Deer — “A larger gamut of emotion”

Have dogs made it into your writing at all? And if so, in what ways (good, treated well, treated badly, sad ways, bleak ways, ways erupting with anger, ordinary ways, etc?)

My existence has always been plagued by mysterious illness. Over the past 2 years health and mental faculties have gone downhill drastically and concentration for long periods of time is almost impossible, which means I can’t write at the level I need to.

Mostly I just take notes for later consideration. I’m not creative enough to make shit up, so, everything I’ve written, or will write, is based on my life.

I am working on an ongoing screenplay with the poet my dog is named after. Pit bulls are mentioned often. Specifically a blind one named Junior. There’s no plot or theme or ending. Just scenes. Doubtful anyone will ever see it.

I think being a poet, at least according to my definition, isn’t limited to writing though. It’s a type of conditioned spirit plagued/gifted by a larger gamut of emotion than an average person and what a poet does outside of the page is just as important as on it, maybe more.

My actions toward pit bulls is part of my poetic nature.

pitbulls and parolees

Pitbulls & Parolees

Are you familiar with the T.V. show “Pitbulls & Parolees?” and if so, what’s yr opinon?

Terence McKenna thought the effect of television was similar to a drug, allowing a person to go into a passive state of fantasy for protracted time spans. I concur. I’d rather waste my brain function on something more pleasurable, like talking to my dick.

I do know of the show because Villa Lobos Rescue being behind it. That ‘rescue’ has been kicked out of several cities, and, from what i’ve heard from sources in Aqua Dulce, they kennel dogs without adopting them out and constantly troll for monetary donations. In other words, they’re profiting off the exploitation of dogs and people who love dogs.

Fuck them, in the mouth, with a flame thrower.


Bio: when I asked Jereme if he’d like to include a Bio he said he sucked at Bios but that maybe I should link to this


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  1. mimi

      i liked this

      just the thought of dog-fighting, or any cruelty towards animals really, makes me feel like crying

      and i too fantasize about owning property somewhere (but not the desert – somewhere cool and shady – nocal coastal) where i can create a safe haven for dogs – but the fantasy stops way-short of any attack-training ! !

      hi jereme

  2. Guest

      “have you ever witnessed a dog walking around in sweatpants and boots or making faux inspiration videos or quipping a passive-aggressive remark on some forum or writing a pre-school philosopy poem about beyonce?”


  3. Rauan Klassnik

      i have seen the best minds of my generation walking around in sweatpants and boots or making faux inspiration videos or quipping a passive-aggressive remark on some forum or writing a pre-school philosopy poem about beyonce? … yes, LOL

  4. Rauan Klassnik

      Jereme calls me “the Pickle King”

  5. Jeremy Hopkins

      I live in a place even smaller and more backwards than Portland, OR.
      All we have are real deer.
      “Have you ever witnessed a deer walking around in fetish straps and a gas mask or ‘fawning’ over a blogger or …”

  6. A D Jameson

      I’ve never seen a dog do those things, but I have been attacked by dogs, twice. The second time, the dog bit my then-girlfriend, who needed a rabies shot and stitches.

      No hipster writer that I know has ever attacked me, or bitten my ex-girlfriend.

      (Note: I like dogs fine despite the attacks, although certain dogs spooked me for a while.)

  7. jereme_dean

      Probably because you haven’t encountered a rabies infected hipster writer yet. Which seems improbable since their parents typically provide decent health care and adequate housing for them.

      But why is a dog attack any different than a fight with a human? You wouldn’t say something like “been attacked by black people twice before, but, despite the altercations, I still like black people, though, I get spooked when I see the really dark ones.” Or maybe you would. lol.

  8. jereme_dean

      I live in Hollywood, dude.

  9. jereme_dean

      The difference between our fantasies is that yours should just be a goal.
      The pertinence of my fantasy is found in the dying part, not necessarily the attack training.
      hi mimi

  10. A D Jameson

      My point was that if one wants to dislike whole categories of animals, it’s not hard to find justifications, silly or otherwise. But I don’t get disliking whole categories of animals. As I said, being attacked by two dogs didn’t make me stop liking dogs. I was a bit nervy around pit bulls for a while (the second dog was a pit bull), but I got over it, and I realized I was being irrational at the time. Cheers, Adam

  11. A D Jameson

      Deer are everywhere these days. I once wrote an article for Field & Stream about urban deer sightings. I wanted to write, “Now that nature no longer exists, the deer have nowhere else to go,” but my editor wouldn’t let me.

  12. alanrossi

      i really liked this, and i get the thing about dogs not, like, being people, but still: i have a german shepherd who has, completely objectively, separation anxiety and (if he doesn’t a) go for a long walk daily, or b) go to the dog park weekly) serious manic-depressive episodes. more than one of my books has been destroyed, sometimes rightfully, but sometimes just b/c he’s in one of his moods.

  13. jereme_dean

      I’ve seen deer, coyotes, skunks, rattle snakes and owls while living in Hollywood.

  14. jereme_dean

      Dogs are emotional creatures. Humans, too, but we tend to pretend we aren’t.

  15. jereme_dean

      We agree, then.

  16. alanrossi

      i was just playing. i agree with the dog/sweatpants thing.

  17. A D Jameson

      They lived there long before we did.

  18. A D Jameson

      I think you dislike people more than I do? Not saying you’re wrong to. But a lot of the craziness people do is arguably part of human nature, and therefore part of nature. Humans aren’t unique in fucking up the environment and causing extinctions, for instance. We breathe oxygen thanks to cyanobacteria, to cite but one of many possible examples.

      I guess what I’m saying is, even though you criticize humans for removing themselves from nature, I don’t know if humans have really done that, and in any case your own argument similarly removes humans from nature (in an ideal sense). But I’m not trying to argue that harshly, or anything. I’m more just pointing out the conflict in the thinking. Which I’m doing because I’m trying to respectfully communicate, and find the thinking here complicated/problematic.

      I agree with you wholeheartedly that it’s terrible, the way many people treat animals as disposable. But I don’t think humans are unique in that.Non-human animals can be pretty terrible, too. Dogs aren’t some kind of perfect class of animal. Dogs do terrible things, too. Nature is terrible.

      What makes humans especially awful, if anything, is our sapience. Our tragedy, if it even is one, is that although we know we’re making it difficult for life to continue existing on earth, humans on the whole are continuing to cause that destruction. Which includes you and me right this second—we’re using computers and the internet, which are not good things for the world. You’re using Facebook to try to save dogs, and Facebook isn’t good for the environment. Which arguably calls into question human sapience.

      Mind you, I don’t have any answers, and am not trying to claim any moral superiority. Or even that I’m correct. I just tend to be suspicious of criticism that doesn’t include itself (something I’m often guilty of myself). … This comment is longer than I intended, and probably sounds harsher than I intend; apologies for both. I’m more thinking out loud than anything. These are complex issues!

      I hope the bees stop dying. I fear they won’t.


  19. Rauan Klassnik

      i agree that the “thinking here (is) complicated/problematic”.. but i just “feel” good about Jereme’s vibe and color (color with respect to person- or animality)…
      and i’m also worried about the bees

  20. Rauan Klassnik

      are hipsters a plague?

  21. Rauan Klassnik

      my female Rott (feel “hip” saying “Rott”) is a real neurotic … we leave for 5 minutes and when we return she acts like we were gone for weeks…

  22. jereme_dean

      I like and dislike people. No clue the extent of your disliking or the criteria used to evaluate such a distinction.

      Do I identify with people? Not really. I feel more of a kinship with Joseph Stalin than most every person I’ve encountered. I also feel the same kinship with the schizophrenic guy I see every day shuffling his feet on Hollywood and Wilton.

      I’ve never met an animal I didn’t feel some connection with though.

      I didn’t say humans were unique in fucking up the environment. They are, however, the only animal living outside of their means and willfully destroying for no real reason other than ego.

      Bees aren’t dying because it’s us or them, they’re dying because a handful of truly powerful, wealthy men have no end to their avarice.

      The action of those men have consequences globally. which is an allusion to my point: the belief that man is in a higher esteem than all sentient beings simply because of his advanced sapience.

      I’m using a computer because I was born into this. True regression can never happen, however, gumming the gears to halt progression towards an end can.

      We are making a juggernaut type approach to a world of complete fabrication, towards steel and artificial light, an ending. The comically tragic aspect is that we are so blinded by arrogance we think our life will be sustained in such a system and all of the extinguished lives that came before are valueless.

      I’m not saying to reject your furnishings and go live in a tree–at all–but allowing multinational corporations to destroy on a large scale is absurd, especially when you consider that opposition isn’t being made because the average American life is too easy to be anything but selfishly ‘chill’.

      I also am using a computer and facebook because my health doesn’t allow me to do much else. I’d much rather be helping in a more concrete way. Education is all I can muster.

      What you describe mostly as human nature seems to be more about attachment of ego than anything to do with animals. So I’m going to argue that the two are unrelated, not even fuck cousins.

      Human cruelty towards animals/humans is nothing like animalistic violence. Thinking you haven’t spent much time with either if you believe they are.

      Go to a shelter, take an inspection of the caged dogs, their sagging body posture and clearly depressed facial expressions, then walk out of there knowing that more than 2/3 will die in the very near future, and that most all of them were taken from their mother by a human who instead of providing love, shelter, and food taught them a world of pain, abuse, starvation and neglect.

      Then return in a couple weeks and see the new intakes who’ve replaced the dead.
      If you can honestly say afterwards that humans and animals are on par, email me. Would love to hear your thought process.

  23. jereme_dean

      More like a lesion.

  24. mimi

      duly noted

      : )

  25. mimi

      with good reason, i’m sure

  26. jereme_dean
  27. Rauan Klassnik

      there’s a place smaller and more backwards than Portland? … are you in prison (and “real deer” is kind of perverted euphemism)??
      … just playin’

  28. deadgod

      It’s true that humans are completely part of nature and completely animals–I mean, completely in the category ‘animal’–, and so, that whatever humans do is ‘natural’ and even ‘animal’.

      But, on human terms of morality, human violence does seem to be qualitatively different than (other) animal violence.

      Animals hunt and protect ferociously, but they don’t seem to hunt when they’re not hungry (or know they’re going to be hungry). House cats toy with prey because that’s an element of their learning that was magnified in their human-purposed evolution. Squirrels save nuts, but they don’t hoard them (that is, save beyond what they’re programmed to ‘know’ they’ll need to eat). Sharks attack whatever seems edible, but they’re not obese animals. (Wanton obesity seems pretty rare in nature… non-existent outside of people?)

      Human violence surely has some evolutionary root–that is, as a selection factor in favor of survival–, but most violence, and most accumulation, seems to me so far outside the raw need of the person as to be only connected to the nature humans share with all animals by the slenderest of causal threads.

      Awareness of consequences, consciousness of time, symbolic exchange of awareness, and so on: probably every human signifier has animal roots and is evidence of a shared pan-animal horizon.

      But Jeremy’s example–Monsanto executives (and ‘scientists’) knowingly perpetrating colony-collapse disorder, or self-interestedly denying that CCD is happening–seems to me dispositive in the way you’re suggesting: sapience. People are uniquely knowing–as well as being near-uniquely powerful–in their… um, our destructiveness.

      And human destructiveness often isn’t part of a natural cycle of regeneration; the symbiosis of CCD is extremely narrow (a slightly bigger niche for a few birds? that we’re exterminating in other ways?).

      It’s hard (for me, anyway) to see links between biophilia and misanthropy as being necessary, exactly–I mean that even if you love animals, you can still love people, too. But, you know, I–who’ve also been attacked and bitten by dogs, among plenty of other animals–haven’t ever felt betrayed by a dog.

      But maybe that’s my ego. Maybe a destroyed world is human “nature”.

  29. dtomaloff

      I applaud Jereme’s passion here and his comment on
      arrogance. Word to that. I also hope that people understand how–as terrible as
      it is for these companion animals–the 50 MILLION animals that we kill DAILY
      (DAILY!) for food are every bit as living, sentient, and as filled with the
      passion to live as any dog or cat. Speciesism is real and needs to end.

  30. deadgod

      There’s a fairly impressive handful of animals and plants that do well with encroaching urbanization of habitat: deer, squirrels, raccoons, pigeons, temple monkeys, starlings, kudzu (often they’re introduced species–species already proven in their ability to live ‘with’ humans), and so on.

      But there’s not much scientific debate about the extinction spasm–especially megafaunal extinctions–we’ve begun… is there?

  31. Guest

      I also admire Jereme’s passion, even if I don’t agree with him on all points. It’s refreshing to see someone in the online lit world have something to say beyond the usual tepid circle jerking of other writers, phony ass self-righteousness, and cool/hipster fronting. The dude is legit with no facades. I can respect that.

  32. jereme_dean

      Which dead god are you?

  33. Rauan Klassnik

      yeah, there’s definitely something appealing about his straight up meatiness

  34. Rauan Klassnik

      this is an excellent point to raise. but you’re not talking about chickens are you?

  35. A D Jameson

      I thought I was the Pickle King! [pouts]

  36. Rauan Klassnik


  37. Rauan Klassnik

      we can share the Pickle Universe

  38. A D Jameson

      Hey Jereme,

      I like and dislike people, too. And I often feel like an alien myself. I used to tell people I was from the moon.

      I do think other animals live outside their means. I used to study biology, and predators will sometimes consume all the game in an area. Then they will suffer a population crash. Maybe humans will invite such a crash?

      I do think we should figure out why the bees are stopping, then end whatever it is that’s causing it.

      I’m sorry to hear about your health problems. I wish you well. You seem like a good guy, going from this page, which is my only contact with you.

      However what you describe as violence unique to humans is merely a matter of perspective. To plankton, whales are mass murderers.

      The thing about humans is, since we can see and arguably understand the violence we inflict upon others, we have the power to alter our behavior. The whale can’t stop eating plankton. But humans can stop slaughtering cats and dogs. But the thing there is, it’s precisely due to our abstract powers that we can change things. I’m communicating right now with you via abstraction (language, computer protocols). Whales can’t do that—at least, not the whales I know.

      So the very things that are causing thousands of extinctions per year (humans, industrial life) are also the very things capable of preventing/changing that destruction.

      I have no idea how it will all turn out. But I don’t think that it makes sense to valorize one species over another (i.e., dogs are “better” than people). The world may have been turned out a better place had H. sapiens not evolved. But no one would have known it, since “better” is a concept they created. Meanwhile, our current problems are so severe, they must be confronted head-on, and we seem the only species on the planet equipped to do so. (Of course, we’re also causing the problems, as noted.)


  39. A D Jameson

      I don’t really get anti-hipster sentiment. But I also somewhat get it. I tried writing something about it here, in a post that contained way too many things to be coherent. I should rewrite it as a series, break its individual components down. Because, to be totally immodest for a moment, I think my critique of hipster irony was insightful.

  40. A D Jameson

      My guess is Tiamat.

  41. dtomaloff

      Ha! Indeed I am–let’s make the umbrella “all who would wish not to die” for simplicity’s sake.

  42. A D Jameson

      deadgod, I knew my half-assed comment would summon you :)

      FWIW, I agree with you, overall. Humans are qualitatively different from other animals; I don’t find that controversial.

      But I think that everything humans do has a demonstrable root in nature. Humans are, it seems to me, exaggerations of nature. (That’s a scientific term, “exaggerations.”)

      The funny thing is, the very things that got us (and the rest of the planet) into this mess now seem the only things that will get us out of this mess. The exact human quality that led to things like CCD—sapience—is now the only thing that will allow us to prevent the extinction of bees.

      I guess what I was objecting to in Jereme’s comments—and again I want to note that by “objecting” I really mean “trying to respectfully engage, and use as an opportunity to push the conversation forward, since I think the participants worth talking with” (which is the use and purpose of criticism, as I understand it)—is that, dog-lover and cynic that I am (and I am using the word “cynic” here very deliberately, in a way that I know you, Greek-loving deadgod, will appreciate)—I’m suspicious of the tendency to valorize non-human animals over animals. And I say this as a total animal-lover, in general.

      But I don’t think dogs, or any other kind of animal, are “better” than humans, for a whole host of reasons. For one thing, dogs can be awful. For another, “better” is an entirely human concept. Etc.

      As I’ve tried to express here, the very qualities that have led humans to slaughter dogs in uncountable numbers (which is beyond horrible) are also the self-same qualities that can allow humans to imagine and then fabricate a world in which dogs are not slaughtered. Which is something that dogs cannot imagine and enact. For whatever it’s worth, the powerful abstract-reasoning prowess of humans is both the cause and remedy of much destruction.

      It also seems perverse to me to criticize abstraction via Facebook. (Mind you, though, I adore perversion.)

      Maybe a destroyed world is human “nature”.

      That, too, is my fear.

  43. A D Jameson

      One might as well argue that humans are among the handful of animals that have proven their ability to live well with humans, in encroaching urbanization.

      FWIW, I think suburbanization is more a problem than urbanizaton. (Though I might be wrong about that.)

  44. A D Jameson

      In a nutshell: it’s easy to say, “Two legs bad, four legs good.” But that’s a platitude, and it doesn’t really get us anywhere. And we need to get somewhere.

      Meanwhile, the arguments Jereme is invoking on behalf of dogs are themselves human inventions. Morality does not exist outside humanity. “Nature” knows it not.

  45. mimi

      oh my gosh that’s right! the pickle costume an’ all

      but to me you will be first and always the Bear Suit Papa

  46. A D Jameson

      Speaking of Papa while walking yesterday I saw a billboard for Smurfs 2 and there are white Smurfs?>? I have no idea what’s going on with that shit. Nor do I care, but I had to get that out of my system. Please ignore this comment.

  47. A D Jameson

      That’s a great moment in Vonnegut. Has the “backlash” against him ended? I hope so.

  48. Rauan Klassnik

      i draw the line at chickens!! :) but, i hear ya

  49. Rauan Klassnik

      i encourage hipsters to buy my books as much as anyone else

  50. mimi

      mm-hmm, nothin’ like da straight-up meat

      ; )

  51. A D Jameson

      My nature is perverse and contrarian and the second people start attacking something, I want to stick up for it.

  52. Rauan Klassnik

      only good Smurf’s a blue Smurf

  53. mimi
  54. A D Jameson

      Or purple, gnap gnap

  55. A D Jameson

      I read that. I stole it from an ex. She got a copy of Wittgenstein’s Mistress out of me, though. (That’s my usual consolation prize.)

  56. mimi

      i have a ‘friend’, she’s a third grade teacher, and she told me once about a kid in her class that wrote an awesome story about little blue (whatever)s and she thought the story was so great and the kid was so smart

      until she learned (i don’t recall How) that the kid had totally plagarized ‘the smurfs’

      she hadn’t known what a Smurf was because she had been raised by hippie parents

  57. Rauan Klassnik

      why don’t we just skip the contest and you send me the book? … just kidding,…

  58. Rauan Klassnik

      you have no idea (but, then again, maybe you do)

  59. mimi


      if you really want me to i will

  60. jereme_dean

      But smurfs were hippies.

  61. Rauan Klassnik

      check back with me in a week or two about a contest, maybe ??

  62. jereme_dean

      Predators killing all the prey in an area isn’t necessarily living outside of their means. The motivation behind the action is what is pertinent.

      Like, if a community of owls are killing all the varmints in an area because the yacht, mansion and bugatti isn’t enough to quell their insecurity over the whole not being able to see during the daytime thing, then, sure they’re living outside of their means.

      Now if the owls are just hungry killing machines then that seems completely within their means.

      I don’t have an issue with violence. Everything dies and sometimes a motherfucker has to get cut.

      Sheltered dogs are being euthanized because human beings are callused and selfish, not for any other reason.

      Bees, an insect that’s paramount to all creatures because of their role in the lifecycle of living things (not just animals), are being destroyed so a multinational corporation can make more profit off of pesticides.

      Why? How is that okay?

      Chemical corporations rule the world. Their significance of power in America is frightening. Almost every item you eat or drink is somehow linked to them, even tap water is treated with chemicals.

      The only designation I made about esteemed value is how humans perceive themselves over others, even their own kind.

  63. jereme_dean
  64. mimi


  65. Trey

      “god I love people” is what I thought when I read this exchange. sorry jereme. I just love them.

  66. Jeremy Hopkins

      Then you know what I mean.

  67. Rauan Klassnik

      i’m kind of Catullus re Lesbea — Love & Hate at the same time …

  68. alanrossi

      oh yeah, also had a “Rott” mutt at one point in life and she was that way too. the german shepherd who lives with us now is intensely loyal and also extremely manipulative and i love him so much.

  69. mimi
  70. Rauan Klassnik

      dogs are like writers, then! … manipulative, but we love them!

  71. Rauan Klassnik

      not surprising,.. Wiki’s anti-American

  72. alanrossi

      I didn’t get the feeling that Jereme was saying dogs are better than humans or that animal life is better or that humans aren’t animals.

      My take is this: Jereme is critiquing (and is disgusted with) the way humans interact with and perceive reality, which is almost exclusively through thought, conceptualization (which is ego-y and often selfish). It’s not that human thinking, conceptualizing, is bad; it’s extremely helpful and is part of what we are; it’s that when thinking becomes the major way that one interacts with “reality” and that one uses define “reality,” it creates all these divisions, separations – thinking almost sets up it’s own violence, b/c most thinking, which often seeks to divide shit up, leads to judgments (this isn’t that and that is bad, or i want that, so i have to destroy this).

      There’s another aspect of our living that is always with us (nature, whatever), that we always are, but that we often, almost automatically at this point, keep ourselves from, even though it’s impossible to keep ourselves from it – it’s that we forget it, this thing we always are. When Jereme says that the further we get from nature, the sicker we get, what I take him to mean here is that we are animal, but even more than that, we are the same as everything else in the universe, but through our constant thinking and psychologizing, we forget and don’t allow ourselves to experience this fact – if we could balance our intellectualizing and conceptualizing with what we also are, which is “nature” or whatever, if we could just shut up a minute, then that would be a start. We don’t need to intellectualize that we “shouldn’t kill dogs” or we “should help nature” b/c there’ll always be another thing to fix, which will be at odds with something else, you know – I don’t know what we need to do, but it seems to me it’s less thinking, less imposing, and more letting things go as they go, a balance between these two things.

      also wanted to add that it’s really rad that this post has so many comments and attention.

  73. alanrossi

      yeah, chickens seem like a pretty obvious mistake.

  74. A D Jameson

      I guess I don’t see human behavior as all that unique, in terms of nature. Rodent populations, for instance, will often reproduce so rapidly that they exhaust all the food in a region, after which the population will crash. Sometimes the entire population dies out. This is ecology 101. (I initially studied ecology and math at college.)

      Humans can view and understand their behavior in a way that rodents can’t. Rodents won’t ever stop repeating that boom/crash cycle unless some outside force prevents it. Humans, meanwhile, can use their sapience and abstract systems like language and analysis to analyze and alter the course of their behavior. … And of course humans can also not do that. And the very means that allow us that possibility present their own problems. Giant chemical companies make pesticides. They also make contraceptives.

      My fundamental point is that I don’t agree that 1) destructive human behavior is necessarily unnatural or removed from nature (indeed, the problem is that it’s so inexorably tied up with nature), and 2) that abstraction/ego/sapience/etc. are not only problems. And 3) morality does not necessarily follow from appeals to nature.

      The world wouldn’t necessarily be a “better” place if humans just engaged in “concrete” or “natural” behavior. Rodents screw and eat other animals and run around and spread diseases. Non-human animals are not magical fairy beings who live ideal pristine lives and whose behavior humans should necessarily emulate. Nature is a fucking bloodbath and chaotic to the point where it often spirals out of control and causes mass extinctions (of which there have been several, long before humans hit the scene). It’s always riding right up against the limits of physical reality.

      That all said I of course think it’s terrible that humans have created Monsanto and have caused CCD and mass extinctions, and that people abuse and slaughter dogs. But who would disagree with that, really? That’s not exactly a controversial position to take.

      Meanwhile, the real question or issue is how to critique and change those behaviors, especially in light of the fact that very many people agree that Monsanto is evil, and yet that agreement doesn’t prevent Monsanto from existing. And I don’t think that smirking at hipsters at HTMLGIANT, or praising dogs because they don’t use language, is really going to accomplish much re: Monsanto. I mean, it’s certainly very easy to mock people who like Lady Gaga, but how does that mockery help Jereme or anyone else bring us any close to a world where bees aren’t dying en masse, or puppy mills no longer exist?

      I’m asking these questions not to be harsh or to be a Debbie Downer, but because these are all-important questions. We humans are killing ourselves and a lot of the rest of the planet. Our behavior is unsustainable, and we will probably go extinct because of it. And while it may be fun in the meantime to fantasize at HG about training rescued pit bulls to murder the LAPD—well, fantasize about anything, really. But don’t mistake that fantasizing for a substantive critique of the situation.

      That’s all I was trying to say, inasmuch as I was trying to say anything. “Physician, heal thyself.” (And, yes, I should take my own advice. My criticism always applies first and foremost to myself.) Cheers, Adam

  75. jereme_dean

      Try actually watching the show. Maybe smoke a joint while doing so.

  76. alanrossi

      wow, i’m super hungover so this is especially difficult. i’m not sure i get exactly what you’re getting at. also, i’m working in a bookstore and b/c i’ve killed a lot of brain cells last night, simple interactions are taking on cosmic absurdity and weirdness. but i’m going to try to address your fundamental point, which has three parts:

      1)it’s not that humans doing stuff is natural or unnatural – it is what it is, like everything else; most “humans doing stuff” is simply an approach to reality that is fundamentally different than other “animals” b/c it is an approach to reality. A rodent doesn’t attempt to change or approach reality; they are just it. humans look at reality and go “let’s change/fix that”.

      2) abstractions/ego/sapience are nature as much as anything; it is only when we forget this that there is a problem; to me, it’s because we believe we’re different than nature that is the problem; that most of us identify soley with our ego, sapience, and abstractions (me included).

      3) i don’t understand the morality thing. never really think about morality personally, so that’s probably why i don’t understand.

      lastly though, nature isn’t pristine or undefiled, but it’s also not not pristine and defiled. it is neither a bloodbath nor peaceful, but it does do what it does; in other words, it is a flowing and we are the watchers of the flowing who are also the flowing and that seem to dislike it and want to change it. we can’t act in more concrete natural ways – we’re already doing that. it’s just recognizing what we already are, which, to me, involves stopping, not wanting to change something, even if for the better, not judging, thinking, wanting, etc. not wanting to change or fix would be a huge change.

      then, when you “rescue” a dog, you’re not rescuing a dog, you’re the dog.

      (i realize a lot of that is extremely abstract, which seems hilarious to me right now in ways i don’t feel like taking the time to articulate.)

  77. A D Jameson

      I don’t think you and I really disagree? My comments were responses to things Jereme said above, such as:

      I wouldn’t necessarily say I prefer dogs over people but… have you ever witnessed a dog walking around in sweatpants and boots or making faux inspiration videos or quipping a passive-aggressive remark on some forum or writing a pre-school philosopy poem about beyonce? I haven’t. I appreciate their lack of language–their honesty.

      He leads by denying that he prefers dogs to people, but watch where the paragraph goes. Lacking language makes dogs appreciable in some way—it makes them “honest.” Never mind the fact that dogs have their own means of communicating with one another, and are entirely capable of deception. And why does possessing language make humans dishonest (as implied)?

      But really I was critiquing the mockery of hipsters more than anything else. I still don’t get where that was coming from, or what it’s intended to accomplish. It strikes me as more lazy/kneejerk thinking than anything.

      But I didn’t mean those critiques all that harshly, and I fear that repeating myself is creating the opposite impression. And I might not be making any sense myself. You’re not the only one “working in a bookstore” this morning, if you catch my meaning. Cheers, Adam

  78. alanrossi

      oh yeah, damn. i kind of suspected that, but i get all confused about who’s replying to what in these longer threads.

      anyway, your critique doesn’t feel harsh, and i’m just interested in this thread more than usual, which of course means i can’t stop myself from saying things.

  79. A D Jameson

      It’s a great thread! I really enjoyed this post, and all of the comments.

  80. deadgod

      Ecological recovery depending on human intelligence and empathy is probably Really Bad News for most animals that can suffer.

      I don’t mind preferring other animals to people on the grounds that those beasts aren’t sadists or liars or hypocrites–though there does seem to be a paradox in liking animals for being, as it were, ‘good people’ (and not just less-obnoxious meat machines).

      I do agree that opposition to abstraction is doomed: that opposition is a matter of thought, right? and not a meat reflex? If Jereme means that abstraction that goes away from direct contact with life ends up being undertaken to the detriment of life, well, that’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s largely true. Angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin scholasticism saps theory’s effects on practice and feeling. But throwing out the baby–seeing patterns; induction–with the bathwater–circuitous exhaustion on irrelevant details–would be silly. Put the baby in a pragmatism-collander: that’s the ticket.

      Rats will reproduce and consume as individuals beyond a local environment’s ability to sustain that population, but, as we all seem to agree, they don’t have a way to control those behaviors through enlightened self-interest (or any other kind of enlightenment). Our difference from most of ‘nature’ might be rooted in nature, but humans seem to me to have both power and responsibility that, say, gnawing, fucking rats don’t.

      I wonder that nature knows morality not. Ethical determination comes from somewhere!

  81. mimi
  82. mimi

      good advice jd !!!!!

      (wiki DID mention:
      Smurfs “live in mushrooms”; creator’s pen-name “Peyo”)

      this did not escape my attention!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  83. jereme_dean

      Also the implied free love going on since there’s only one woman.

  84. jereme_dean

      I dislike any person who identify themselves as part of a larger group. I could have said yuppies, academics, mfa grads, mba students, politicians, or Disney fanatics.

      Hipsters are titty-coddled, pus-souled cunts who live an extremely conceited existence and it bothers me.

      I didn’t just choose hipsters though, I alluded to specific examples of people in the ‘alt lit’ community–a catering for the htmlg audience.

      Steve Roggenbuck, for example, runs around making 300 pop culture references a minute while feigning concern over his fellow human beings. That kid hasn’t done a fucking thing to help anyone but himself.

      Anyways, I didn’t say i’m against all abstract thought. Just the abstractions that most of the population is imprisoned by.

      I lucidly said that I like people on either ends of the spectrum. In other words, people who are governed by the heart and less by intelligence, or, strong minded individuals possessing the ability to think through the mire of illusion being taught as reality. And if I like those people, inherently I like their abstractions.

      For the record, appreciating dogs, or really anything, doesn’t devalue what isn’t appreciated. At all.

      Misinterpretation exists out of ignorance but a dog isn’t anything but truthful. It doesn’t happily wag its tail in your company, then shit talk your existence upon departure.

      Language is a translation, which makes it dishonest by nature. I’m not saying words are outright lies though.

      Unsure why you keep bringing up morality. It isn’t something I practice and I don’t remember even alluding to it?

  85. deadgod

      Ha ha — the yawn contagion got me.

      Goes to Jereme’s question: we mention “morality” because that’s the pan-animal horizon we’re talking about–reciprocity and empathy, fairness and sharing of emotional states.

      de Waal’s (and primatology’s) research target illustrates exactly the crux of Jereme’s pro-dog (and anti-asshole) preference: “morality from the bottom up, without religion or god”.

  86. mimi

      my favorite part is the demand for ‘equal pay (GRAPE!) for equal work (delivering rock)’

      : )

  87. guanji470


  88. Wulgus

      Jereme’s a fucking idiot and should be put to death.

  89. Rauan Klassnik

      you know Jereme?