For the longest time I couldn’t decide on a good topic for my debut post at eph. Chalk it up to stage fright. However, it is time for me to make myself heard in a form more extensive than a comment here and there. After all, for how long can the Lawgiver refrain from laying down the Law?
With hatin’ and predation extensively discussed by the collective, I thought that the “eat” portion of our life philosophy warranted further exploration, reaching beyond the wonderful world of candy and extreme food. However, that will need to wait for some other time. I believe that there is an important topic we should address yet again: predation. Specifically, a question of its definition and applicability.
What is predation? As Dr Zaius eloquently put it, it’s an act of contestation, a statement about the inadequacies of the status quo, a life mission. Predation is a full time job. Take it from Dr Zira—it takes some serious commitment not to be flapped, and for that one will receive accolades.
However, there is a dark side to what people believe predation is: preying on the weak. Taking advantage of the disenfranchised. Or generally being a fucking nutjob that makes other people’s lives a living hell. That kind of predation we do not like.
We make a distinction between these two forms of predation. (“What would Chris Hansen do?” might be our motto.) Still, we do not shy away from exploring the grey area that separates—or, some might argue, connects—them. Take, for example, the fascinating study of “Big Bertha” Heyman. It cannot be denied that she conned people. But was her predation indefatigable in its challenge to those who had money and thought of themselves better than everyone else, or was it simply a glorified form of stealing? (I guess I only need to look at Sam Jackson to know the answer to that question.)
Needless to say, predation is a loaded term. It is contingent and contextual. Does the eph collective have a strictly-enforced policy for the correct applications of the term? Of course not. Do we want everyone to be aware of its complexities? I believe so.