Maybe it’s because I’ve seen it so many times now, maybe it’s that I’ve never liked being told to calm down, or maybe it’s because it’s used so widely for commercial purposes, but for whatever reason, the KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON meme gets on my nerves. Apologies to those of you who love or use the meme; I’m not pointing fingers or trying to hate on anyone…It’s one of those trivial things that shouldn’t annoy me, but it does – so I’m ranting. It’s possibly the least creative meme phrase of all time, it’s not funny, it’s not thought-provoking…in short, I can’t understand WHY it’s popular. And, although calmness is a wonderful thing, the phrase “Keep calm and carry on,” outside of the WWII context from which the phrase originated, connotes a complacency that doesn’t sit well with me. You’re not saying, “Keep calm and solve problems,” or “Keep calm and think clearly,” or “Keep calm and do what you can.” Which is fine if it’s WWII and you’re just trying to bolster morale. But we’re in an unsustainable world system that’s got serious problems. We can’t sit back and carry on living in complacency while things break down. People need to be active, informed, and motivated to do more than shop and watch television. Just my humble opinion here, mind you.
Chinchilla’s Log, Entry 002
Dasha here. The humans’ behavior continues to baffle me. I have noticed some inconsistencies since my last entry. First, the humans walk around in The Great Habitat, the floor of which has no bedding at all! I know they have access to bedding, because the small human provides my home (the Lesser Habitat) with a fresh supply of it every week. I watch her do this from my runabout ball, so I know it is the small human who brings me provisions. It is bad enough that they walk around with all their weight on their hind limbs all the time, which must be a great strain and very hard on their back paws, but to do so on the bare, hard surface of the Great Habitat must make it even worse. I know their hind paws need protection from such abuse, because they wrap their lower limbs in tubes of fleece to help alleviate the problem. However, when I try to help them by sharing the bedding from my Lesser Habitat – and make no mistake, it requires effort and athleticism to get the majority of my own bedding spread as far out into the Greater Habitat as possible – the humans are unappreciative. The small one makes a kind of cooing noise by blowing air through her mouth and nose at the same time, and uses the “brume” (a large chew toy with a wooden handle attached to a bundle of dry grasses) to take away all the bedding I so generously offered. The big human makes a loud noise, STOPIT, if he sees me at my work. I don’t think they understand that I am trying to help them.
Additionally, I have noticed that the humans do not get enough exercise and that they seem lethargic much of the time that they are in the Great Habitat. They do spend a lot of my sleep-day Outside, so it is possible that they exercise while I am asleep. However, when I have been Outside with the small human, I have not seen any human-sized exercise wheels, runabout balls, or other athletic equipment, so I fear that this is not the case. I know from experience that lack of exercise can lead to an unpleasant state of mind and body, so I try to encourage them to play now and then by unexpectedly dashing from the Lesser Habitat when they open the door, leading them in a merry chase around the Greater Habitat. Strangely, they seem to appreciate this even less than when I share my bedding with them. The big human gets loud (his usual tactic) and the small human gets agitated and grabby if I don’t respond when she calls my name. It is particularly strange that it distresses them for me to demonstrate my agility, speed, and gymnastic prowess under such conditions, but overjoys the small one when I display these skills while in The Hallway (i.e., Playtime).
Still, they pet me and feed me and sometimes carry me around so I can look at things not visible from the Lesser Habitat. The big one makes music for me and the small one controls the radio, and usually plays things I like. The small human looks after my needs, and the big human sneaks me extra treats when the small one isn’t looking. Even if they are strange and tend to interrupt my meditations upon the nature of the cosmos, I enjoy their company, and they are my family, whether they accept my help or not.