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In the lives of two children

August 3, 2008

There’s lots of good stuff in this month’s Carnival Of The Elitist Bastards, handled with self-congratulatory hilarity this month by PZ Myers.  Here’s the send-off he gave to GrrlScientist in her touching story, Living The Thinking Life (Evolution of an atheist).

Myers: “GrrlScientist had a fine start in life, shouting “Goddamn you to hell!” at the age of four. I have to say that this piece approaches perfect elitist bastardry, but what can I say? She likes birds. Birds just aren’t badass enough.”

Hardly gives any inkling of the pathos and depth in her story.  Let’s look at what happened when the little girl made that humorous announcement:

GrrlScientist: “Except for one minor detail: god never fried my errant sibling just as god never fried me all those times I had been damned to hell. But the fallout generated by uttering this one oft-heard phrase was absolutely spectacular. I might have been a sweet little three- or four-year-old (although the parents would tell you otherwise), but my parents nearly killed me, and I mean they really nearly killed me. So I learned a very valuable lesson regarding the power of words…”

Go check out the rest of it, including the role played by her relationships to animals.  And while we’re on children and their interactions with animals and with the adult world, here’s something I didn’t know about zoologist Alan Rabinowitz: as a child he stuttered so badly he could not talk at all to people.  But he could talk to animals.  Go check out where he tells Stephen Colbert about meeting with world dictators to save tigers and leopards, and remember him next time you see a child who struggles with some serious handicap.

We don’t know, I mean we really don’t know what happens in reel 2 of the movie that is our child’s life. Or even necessarily what’s happening in reel 1.

Categories: observations
  1. RayM
    August 4, 2008 at 07:08 | #1

    Alan Rabinowitz: as a child he stuttered so badly he could not talk at all to people.  But he could talk to animals.

    When I was at university (many years, actually several decades, ago), one of my class had a terrible stutter, I mean *really* bad. At least when he was talking to other males.

    However, get him to a party, with girls, and he was pretty much the smoothest talker you’ve ever heard :-)   It never ceased to amaze me…

    I lost touch with him, and so never learned whether or not he “outgrew” his stutter, but it certainly would be interesting to find out.

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