Maybe it’s because I actually bought the Billy Idol Christmas Album. Or maybe it’s because my street skates have wheels about 7” in diameter. But I’ve got a reputation for being fascinated by the absurd.
That may explain why, within the last week, three (count ‘em, three) associates have notified me about PETA’s sea kitten campaign.
If you haven’t heard the news, here is the short version: PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is trying to make fish seem more cuddly. PETA hopes this will discourage people from treating fish like, well, fish.
Disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer: While I think that PETA has its heart in the right spot (the spiders I capture in my house are usually released outdoors), its approaches are just a chunk too extreme for my tastes.
That being said, I admit that I buzzed over to the PETA web site with fascination, expecting to be outraged—as had my associates—at PETA’s silly sea kitten maneuvers. I even thought they may have been pulling my leg.
But there it was…an actual campaign to abolish the use of the word “fish,” and replace it with “sea kitten.” How…how odd!
Unlike my informants, I did not find the site very irritating. Why? Because (duh!) the whole sea kitten thing is clearly couched in the language of a massive, tongue-in-cheek joke. The joke is even a pretty good one at that! And I loved the revelation that the “technical term for sea kitten offspring is ‘baby sea kitties,’ not ‘caviar’”!
Oh, and there’s also a web page where you can configure a darling, big-eyed, anime fishy. You have to try it. As you do so, ponder the functionality of undersea water bowls and (sea) kitty litter. Very weird.
But here’s the interesting bit—I spent about 20 minutes on the site. That is an eternity for a web surfer, so 50 points to Gryffindor! And also, as I left the site I realized that, well, I kind of agreed with the its sentiments that fish were cool. Another 50 points.
Finally, now that I am telling YOU about it, the site is just one step closer to being viral. Gryffindor wins!
So there—I have been to the site. You can stop telling me about it!
Extra credit: as a palate cleanser I offer you “Fish eat Fish” (er, Sea Kitten Eat Sea Kitten ).
(Image source: cursedthing, via a Creative Commons license.)