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Nobody Wants Bonsai Kitten

By Fortyseven in MLP
Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 12:42:10 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

I was reading Cruel Site of the Day and found that the Bonsai Kitten website was forced to close down after some high profile organizations decided to believe someone was actually growing kittens inside glass jars. The site is completely fictitious and meant as a well-crafted joke, but this hasn't stopped Yahoo from closing down the Bonsai Kitten Club (which, apparently, is back in business), or from several mirror sites being taken down because of the clueless. Cruel.com is currently hosting the site, and so can you.


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Poll
Favorite Bonsai Kitten Constriction Vessel
o Basic Cube 4%
o Basic Sphere 8%
o The Glass Cylinder 0%
o The Domehead 2%
o The Klein Bottle 72%
o The Wire Cage 0%
o The Conic Cylinder 8%
o The Metal Strap Cage 6%

Votes: 50
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Related Links
o Yahoo
o Cruel Site of the Day
o Bonsai Kitten
o forced to close down
o high profile
o organizati ons
o growing kittens inside glass jars
o Yahoo [2]
o Bonsai Kitten Club
o because
o of
o the
o clueless
o Cruel.com
o so can you
o Also by Fortyseven


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Nobody Wants Bonsai Kitten | 26 comments (14 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
No Support, No Benefit to Society (4.00 / 4) (#6)
by lucas on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 05:07:01 PM EST

It reminds me of the site that featured a woman in stiletto heels stomping a small animal (such as a hamster) to death.

It's not about the lack of freedom that these sites are shut down, it's about intrinsic benefits to society and the lack of support... which, in both cases for this site, is zero.

When the "hamster" site was shut down, do you think any of the cowards who used the site came out in support? Hell no. Did any of these people say, "This is a great thing for society; we need to fight for this kind of stuff on an ideological basis." No. Same thing for this site.

That is what a "Freedom" story should be about. This is yet another MLP posting disguised as a legitimate story.

It's also disgusting; I'm sure the people who created the site were just joking around, but there are some really sick fucks out there who will put a kitten in a sealed jar and kill it.

Not sure about that thar... (3.50 / 4) (#8)
by _cbj on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 05:16:54 PM EST

Did any of these people say, "This is a great thing for society; we need to fight for this kind of stuff on an ideological basis." No. Same thing for this site.

That is what a "Freedom" story should be about

I'm not sure it should, y'know. "This is useless! Who in God's name would do a thing like that? We need to fight for this from an ideological basis..." is more in order. Voltaire and that, innit.

[ Parent ]

Good point.... (3.00 / 3) (#9)
by lucas on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 05:34:00 PM EST

True... I think though that the amount of people who say, "This is absolutely mindless. We need to fight for this!" would probably be limited since this seems really an issue of disgusted special interest groups rather than a problem with the government, itself...

Cool Voltaire reference. ;-)

[ Parent ]

Bull. (4.33 / 6) (#11)
by Fortyseven on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 05:56:49 PM EST

It reminds me of the site that featured a woman in stiletto heels stomping a small animal (such as a hamster) to death.

HAHAHAHHAHA! :D

It's not about the lack of freedom that these sites are shut down, it's about intrinsic benefits to society and the lack of support... which, in both cases for this site, is zero. When the "hamster" site was shut down, do you think any of the cowards who used the site came out in support? Hell no. Did any of these people say, "This is a great thing for society; we need to fight for this kind of stuff on an ideological basis." No. Same thing for this site. That is what a "Freedom" story should be about.

Who are we to judge what 'value' something has to society? I think so-called 'gangsta rap' is utter trash and has no benefit to society, but I'll be the last person to ban it. This site, to me, is absoultely hillarious. I love animals. I also love twisted humor. (National Lampoon's "buy this magazine or we'll shoot this dog" cover comes to mind.) What is trash to you, is comedy gold to me. I can't fault you for not liking it yourself, I can only feel sorry that the site is off your humor radar (like how 'gansta rap' is off my musical radar).

The lesson here is, don't decide for everyone the fate of something based on your own personal prejudices. Such is the price of true freedom: putting up with things we don't agree with.

As for people "not coming out in support", then you must not have checked all the links I provided. Plenty of people have come out to support it, most notably Cruel Site of the Day where the site is now hosted. Quite a few people have put up mirrors, as well.

This is yet another MLP posting disguised as a legitimate story.

This wasn't intended to be a big news story. It was an "MLP" designed to just let people know. If you saw it under another subject, that was my fault as I didn't realize "MLP" was where it rightfully belonged. This is my first post to this particular site.

It's also disgusting; I'm sure the people who created the site were just joking around, but there are some really sick fucks out there who will put a kitten in a sealed jar and kill it.

Yes, and idiots set themselves on fire trying to emluate what they see on MTV. Kids jump off of roofs in Turkey trying to simulate something in a cartoon. Kids are killed trying to perform professional wrestling moves.

People are stupid.

Should we also ban cartoons, anything in the media that might raise an eyebrow, or is even marginally interesting perhaps? Maybe we should ban the news for telling us about these things and giving us ideas, eh?

Humor is quite often filled with outrageous things that are funny purely on the basis of it being so shocking. Check out some of George Carlin's shows. He jokes about people who smash other peoples heads in with hammers while wearing a Bugs Bunny costume. He recommends driving up behind headphone-clad joggers and pulling their sneaker off with your tire. Once he said we should have public executions on Pay-per-View where you line up a bunch of people on catapults and slam them into a brick wall. None of it real. None of it to be taken seriously.

Quite honestly, I'm getting pretty friggin' tired of taking the brunt of human stupidity because some nut job with no sense of right/wrong/reality/fantasy decides to mimic something. Let these bastards do themselves in -- it's natural selection.

------
BTEG.com, Ask your Mom about us.
[ Parent ]

No, you're missing the point... (4.00 / 3) (#17)
by lucas on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 08:38:38 PM EST

>The lesson here is, don't decide for everyone the fate of something based
>on your own personal prejudices. Such is the price of true freedom:
>putting up with things we don't agree with.

I knew someone was going to hit me with it... like clockwork, almost.

No, this was not my point. My point was that this is not about governmental censorship or the loss of freedom, it is about special interest groups and someone bowing down instead of harboring controversy.

My personal feeling is if you build a website with something as perverse as kitten-killing or something as risky as DeCSS, you should at least have the courage to stand your ground. What is actually said on the website is irrelevant to me.

[ Parent ]

peta didn't protest the site. (4.12 / 8) (#10)
by starlitz on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 05:35:47 PM EST

PETA wasn't one of the groups who protested the page. If you read the link there is a letter from PETA saying:

"Although after looking into this Web site, we found it to be a "joke," we still feel that it is inappropriate and certainly not funny. Unfortunately, it is legal to operate such a Web site, and although the site has been closed down before, it can easily reappear at different Web addresses.

We believe that the Web site's creator is simply trying to attract attention by upsetting people who care about animals. We feel that the best thing to do in this situation is to avoid visiting the site or urging others to visit it."

That is the appropriate response, IMO. If you don't like something, don't look at it.

Good point. (4.00 / 2) (#12)
by Fortyseven on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 06:07:01 PM EST

That is the appropriate response, IMO. If you don't like something, don't look at it.

Exactly. They should warn their like-minded friends. Write bad things on their own sites, etc. But don't start whipping out lawyers and calling all sorts of 'authorities'. Especially when some of these people knew full well that it wasn't real.

It's unfortunate that so many people have been completely fooled by the site. It's well written, and the images look real enough, but if you spend enough time reading it, it's pretty obvious it's tongue-in-cheek. :P

(Also, I should have noticed the PETA thing before, thanks for pointing that out. ;))

------
BTEG.com, Ask your Mom about us.
[ Parent ]

Another reason to dislike PETA (4.00 / 3) (#22)
by antizeus on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 01:26:58 AM EST

Unfortunately, it is legal to operate such a Web site

Interesting how they regard freedom of expression as "unfortunate". I suppose we should expect as much from an organization that participates in domain name theft. Tasty editorial.

Go ahead and give this comment a rating of 0/1.
-- $SIGNATURE
[ Parent ]

Appropriate response? (4.66 / 3) (#23)
by CdotZinger on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 01:31:09 AM EST

I'm not so sure. I don't see any evidence of PETA saying "If you don't like something, don't look at it." What they're saying is "Unfortunately, [bonsaikitten.com] is legal." Not the same thing.

And this, from the Humane Society:

"Encouraged by all the negative attention, the student cited his right to free speech in an attempt to keep the site up and running. M.I.T. was supportive of the concerns of animal organizations and citizens who complained about the site and cooperated to the fullest extent allowed by law in removing this site, which they did on December 22."

Note their disdain for the guy's citing right to free speech; they reduce it to evidence of his mental instability (his need for some mental "bad touch" from the righteous mob who are trying to hound him off the 'net).

Special attention here: Citing your right to free speech proves you're a sociopath. [I'm not one to make easy McCarthy analogies, so fill in your own.]

Also, note the dichotomy: We have two cats who've been photographed while screwing around in big jars (which my cats enjoy doing), and the thought of anyone finding this--in an invented, semi-amusing, pseudohistorical context--humorous gets PETA and the HS whining about how terrible it is that Americans are Constitutionally allowed to say/do/feel/think such things. A real person, the operator of the site, being subjected to (admittedly (semi-)metaphorical) mob violence thrills them. Don't they know that cute "Circle of Life" song?

And (P.S.) why did PETA figure out this was a "'joke'" only "after looking into" it? I managed to cut that Gordian Knot of The Mind while I was reading the domain name. Hm. Almost makes you think they might maybe just possibly not really exactly have their shit together, brain-wave wise. Maybe.




Q: You could interest yourself in these interesting machines. They're hard to understand. They're time-consuming.
A: I don't like you.
[ Parent ]
Appropriate? (2.00 / 1) (#25)
by fvw on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 07:54:53 AM EST

we still feel that it is inappropriate and certainly not funny. Unfortunately, it is legal to operate such a Web site.

I'd hardly call that appropriate. Then again, we could probably expect worse from the peta..

[ Parent ]
free to be tasteless... but not on my server (4.00 / 7) (#19)
by Speare on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 08:56:02 PM EST

I think the site is totally tasteless and without redeeming quality. It's about the same as a redneck's "Lost yer cat? Look unner mah tires!" bumper stickers.

I defend the right of the web author, in that I would be very much opposed to governmental censorship of that site, no matter how tasteless it is.

On the other side, I defend the right of various ISPs to decide what they will stomach and what they won't. They're not the government, and if the author has to move their tripe somewhere else, that's their affair.

Since it is tasteless in my opinion, I don't care what happens to the author in the private sector. Anyone else who finds this to be a worthy cause can do what they will, about it. Mirror it, host it, maintain it, expand upon it. Have a ball.

Just don't expect sympathy from everyone.


[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]
"Save the cute pet" syndrome (4.85 / 7) (#20)
by Broco on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 08:59:57 PM EST

It's interesting how many people are protesting this site. It's just a joke; a joke in bad taste, perhaps, but a joke nevertheless. The Onion posted a far more sadistic piece this week, but you don't see anyone organizing petitions against it.

I've noticed there seems to be a strange, irrational human tendency to be more compassionate towards cute things. I'm a victim of this too. I'd say there's nothing wrong with feeling that way, but unfortunately, it tends to direct activism to all the wrong places. People are busy saving the charismatic whales and large African animals, and neglect insect and plant populations, which are at least as important to the global ecosystem. In Australia, so much effort was put into saving the koalas that I hear they now have an overpopulation problem, but meanwhile, some of the continent's less cute species are still in danger.

Similarly, if these activists busied themselves with stopping abuse to farm animals rather than housepets, which are in comparison rather pampered, they would probably make more real progress. Though in the end, I suppose I shouldn't complain: any activism is preferable to none.

Klingon function calls do not have "parameters" - they have "arguments" - and they ALWAYS WIN THEM.

And if you don't think Bonsai Kittens are funny... (4.00 / 2) (#21)
by Fortyseven on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 12:28:18 AM EST

Then this is for you.

------
BTEG.com, Ask your Mom about us.

A lot of tarring with the same brush going on... (4.66 / 3) (#26)
by Dr Fau5tus on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 08:25:55 AM EST

First example of tarring with the same brush: People who make jokes about unfortunate things happening to animals are no more automatically animal abusers than people who make jokes about unfortunate things happening to people are mass murderers.
Second example: Please don't assume that everyone who has an overt interest in animal welfare is hopelessly humourless or that anyone who is politically active in this area is a pro-censorship head.
For the record I'm a vegetarian (quietly going vegan but that's a different story) and I thought it was hysterical. It's an obvious joke riffing off an observable example of typical feline behaviour, despite 'cat lover'(!) press to the contrary they're not terribly bright and will often get themselves squashed into small spaces, I like cats but they're dumb. It's also fairly obviously parodying a prevalent tendency to enshrine any foreign (especially asian for some reason) cultural practice as dignified and worthy no matter how silly it looks (two words: feng shui, one more: kareoke).
As for free speech, well it's obviously been picked as an easy target by people who like to think they are doing something about the rampant abuse to animals that goes on but can't be arsed to get properly active. Attempting to get it banned (aside from being unjust and tyranical) makes them and the causes they are associated with, however erroneously, look silly. I wish that these muppets would stop spoiling it for anyone who tries to argue from a more pro animal-welfare stance than is usual.
_________________________________________________ I'm not censoring you, I'm censuring you. Stop complaining.
Nobody Wants Bonsai Kitten | 26 comments (14 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
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