Bread & Roses Forum

Smorgasbord => Broad Shoulders => Topic started by: skdadl on May 19, 2008, 04:57:01 PM

Title: Crying
Post by: skdadl on May 19, 2008, 04:57:01 PM
I've been thinking about crying, what a funny thing it is, when we do it, how we do it, where it came from as an evolutionary thingy (someone give me the right word) ...

I know that there are other animals who seem to do something like what we do when we cry; certainly, other animals mourn. So I've been thinking about that.

But crying is also socially conditioned, much freer in some cultures than in others, or much freer for one sex than the other.

And then, depending on what happens to us, there may be times when we can't react to trouble by crying, which is a weird but true thing, I think.

I've gone through a couple of extended periods in my life when I simply never cried, not crying-jag crying, anyway. I think there can be great mental benefit in full-out crying jags, but they do leave you feeling sick afterwards (dehydration is such a downer), and I suspect that traumatized people sense the danger of that kind of release and just don't do it.

The main reason I don't allow self crying jags any longer is simply that I am too old, and I don't want to be sick again until I die -- ha ha, skdadl, silly person.  :wink:  Tears come to my eyes all the time, probably too easily, but I don't do what I did when I was a teenager, the whole chew-the-pillow scream-at-the-universe number. It's not that I don't do that because I'm smarter or don't feel that way any longer -- it's just that I know from experience how sick that would make me feel tomorrow, and I really hate feeling sick.

So anyway. This is kind of an open question. Do people have thoughts about crying as an evolutionary capacity? Why would the larger apes have learned to cry?

Or, more domestically: when do you cry? or when do you forbid yourself to cry, and why?
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: fern hill on May 19, 2008, 05:07:56 PM
Crying at work is verboten. I worked with a woman who cried at the drop of a hat, as they say. Everybody, but particularly the women, hated her for it.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: skdadl on May 19, 2008, 05:16:44 PM
I meant to add this (http://youtube.com/watch?v=CPK_5yJZScQ) to the OP. That's Roy on his own. It's easy enough to find the even greater performance he did later with K.D. -- ok, here. (http://youtube.com/watch?v=78eQbwe3-9o)

ETA: Better original Orbison performance. (http://youtube.com/watch?v=sE9AwR0awVQ)
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: deBeauxOs on May 19, 2008, 05:31:30 PM
Quote from: fern hill
Crying at work is verboten. I worked with a woman who cried at the drop of a hat, as they say. Everybody, but particularly the women, hated her for it.
Even if something happens, like the accidental death of a co-worker?  I don't know how we could have not cried - that would have been artificial and phoney.  But then, none of us - including the men - came from an ancestry that valued stiff upper lip and suppressed emotions.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: skdadl on May 19, 2008, 05:36:52 PM
fyrnova, I find that comment very odd.

I remember the afternoon that one of our designers walked into my office, sat down in a corner far away from me, said "Please just let me sit here for a while," and then cried quietly for a time. Given the hell we were all living in at that point, I understood entirely, and I let her cry.

I mean, in what kind of office would sane workers not recognize that other sane workers were being abused to the point of needing to cry? I have often seen that. Often. Where is the virtue in not crying? I ask you.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: fern hill on May 19, 2008, 05:45:50 PM
I said 'cry at the drop of a hat'. This was the early 70s and she made all the other women just writhe in embarrassment.

Somebody wants to cry quietly, fine. Don't try it in my office, though.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: Mandos on May 19, 2008, 05:49:00 PM
I know a few people who use crying to deflect criticism and reverse the blame onus.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: skdadl on May 19, 2008, 05:50:50 PM
Hmmn. We have a difference of opinion here, fyrnova. I spend my life with tears in mine eyes, although I don't do jags.

Well, I guess that's how it goes, and that's the question I asked. Do others cry? Or do others have thoughts about why the monkey mammals developed the crying facility? It must mean something.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: fern hill on May 19, 2008, 05:58:47 PM
Quote from: Mandos
I know a few people who use crying to deflect criticism and reverse the blame onus.

Yeah. 'Look what you did, you made me cry.'

skdadl, I cry. I choke up ridiculously easily, music, puppies, all kinds of things. I just don't do it in public. You have to know me a very long time before I will cry in your presence.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: skdadl on May 19, 2008, 06:14:12 PM
Well, I'm not getting a lot of evolutionary thought here. I was hoping that people would think about why the monkey mammals decided to cry, because they do, we do.

God knows, I'm a repressed Presbyterian, so I know my place socially and I don't do this stuff usually ... But that isn't what I was asking.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: GDKitty on May 19, 2008, 06:19:09 PM
I don't really know why us primates cry.  Damn good question.  

It can be a really energy-sapping and, as you say, dehydrating activity, so the benefits are not immediately obvious to me.  I will have to give that some thought.

Count me down as a crybaby who is absolutely terrified of crying at work--just the thought of it is on par with the nightmare of suddenly discovering one's nekkid at work (a nightmare I have on a bi-annual basis :lol:).  

Of course I have cried at work, but managed to do it in a bathroom stall or out for a smoke in an alley or summink. Sometimes it just can't be helped or staved off until you get home :(  Usually it's the result of a sudden wave of humiliation or dressing-down (more nekkid!) from a boss or proxy-boss. There's a brief window where panic & adrenaline will keep the tears away, but then afterwards: le déluge! :oops:

As for crying of the non-occupational kind, it really depends on the circumstances.  I find I'm less likely to cry if I'm in shock or still absorbing bad news (e.g. death of family/friend).  I will definitely cry about death, but there's usually a long lag for some reason.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: brebis noire on May 19, 2008, 06:29:44 PM
I haven't done an awful lot of evolutionary thinking, only a few basic attempts here and there. But to think that way, you have to observe what animals do and don't do in various situations, and at various stages of their lives.

Kittens and puppies and other small, baby mammals and birds definitely cry, when they're separated from their mothers, littermates, or when hungry. It's a distress communication signal. But it fades away relatively early in their development.

I can't say I know much about other primates, but facial expression (along with the nerves and hormones that make it more elaborate) in humans is probably the most ancient form of emotional communication, predating oral language and likely encouraging its development.

Crying seemed to be the only thing that came naturally to my own babies. My first born was way better at crying than he was at sucking, which he seemed to find difficult to learn to do properly. And kids hang on to the crying reflex/behaviour/whatever for such a long time that it becomes a valid response to all kinds of situations.

I guess I can only conclude that the prolonged childhood in humans is the reason why adult humans cry whereas the adults of other species don't (afaik). (And socially, I wonder if it's why women in many societies are "allowed" to cry whereas men aren't...but that's purely my speculation.)
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: brebis noire on May 19, 2008, 06:33:28 PM
I forgot to include this interesting link about crying in animals:

http://www.cerebromente.org.br/n16/ment ... brain.html (http://www.cerebromente.org.br/n16/mente/crying-brain.html)
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: GDKitty on May 19, 2008, 07:12:52 PM
OK, this one's a long article, "Why do we cry? (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=why-do-we-cry)" from  Scientific American Mind (Dec 2006).  It's subscription only, so I'll do my best to excerpt the best parts:
Quote
Other animals may whimper, moan and wail, but none sheds tears of emotion—not even our closest primate cousins. Apes do have tear ducts, as do other animals, but their job extends only to ocular housecleaning, to bathe and heal the eyes. But in our case, at some point long ago, one of our ancestors evolved a neuronal connection between the gland that generates tears and the parts of the brain that feel, sense and express deep emotion.
[...] Like other animals, we humans yowl to signal distress, and we start in infancy. During their first three or four months, before babies learn to smile or laugh or gesture, they cry often and with ear-piercing effectiveness. Later, as they edge closer to the first year of life, they cry less often, and they work out other ways to express what they want, such as pointing, grunting, or tossing spoons and food around. (Some babies cannot cry emotional tears until they reach three to six months of age or so.) Infants develop different cries that send specific messages as they grow older—shrieks and screams of pain, or cries of separation, discomfort for hunger. Each serves as a kind of rudimentary vocabulary that precedes a baby’s first words. They all trace their origins to the hoots and howls that other animals, including primates, still use as their primary way of communicating.
Here's theory #1: cleaning out the stress hormones and assorted guck (warning: I'm not buying this one)...
Quote
But emotional tears have a makeup all their own—one that provides some clues about their function. William H. Frey II, a biochemist at the University of Minnesota, has found that they carry 20 to 25 percent more types of protein and have four times the amount of potassium than reflex tears, as well as 30 times the concentration of manganese than human blood serum. They are also loaded with hormones, such as adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), which humans produce when under stress, and prolactin,
which controls the neurotransmitter receptors in the lacrimal glands that release tears.
[...] Because so many hormones exist in emotional tears, Frey has speculated that crying is the body’s way of flushing out the chemicals that are present when we are experiencing strong feelings.
Ok, so that's theory #1.  Here's theory #2: homeostasis (getting warmer, I think)...
Quote
The role of both [the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems] in crying is controversial but intriguing. The sympathetic nervous system prepares us for fight or flight—physically, mentally and emotionally. When we are scared, the sympathetic nervous system fires off messages that prepare our body to stand its ground and do battle— or to skedaddle. The parasympathetic nervous system then pulls us back to normalcy afterward. Since the 1960s researchers have theorized that we cry because we are upset, not because we are seeking relief, and that our sympathetic nervous system must therefore govern weeping. But just as many scientists have held the opposite view. They argue that crying is an involuntary way of calming down. [...] Other studies have shown that if the nerves central to the sympathetic system are paralyzed, patients cry more; when important parasympathetic nerves are damaged, they cry less. Those findings suggest that we do not cry because we are upset but because we are trying to get over being upset.

Given the dangers our ancestors coped with, a means for calming down would have been not only useful but also downright necessary; otherwise they might have been wiped out in a series of cerebrovascular accidents or a rash of coronary thromboses.
None of these findings precisely explains why we cry tears.

Next theory's a weird, counter-intuitive one...kind of a cartoonish, 'reverse psychology' thing:
Quote
In 1975 Amotz Zahavi, a biologist at Tel Aviv University, conceived an interesting theory about how animal behaviors and traits that seem detrimental to survival often turn out to be perfectly useful. [...] [Tears] are noticeable, and the blurred vision they cause is a hindrance. That makes them costly. Because tears appear only when a person feels very deep emotions, they are not easy to fake. They send an unmistakable, Zahavian signal that the feelings behind them are absolutely real and, therefore, should be taken seriously. Tears, after all, reveal us at our most vulnerable. When we have reached the point where we are crying, the walls are down and our defenses have been breached. The intense emotional bonds forged partly by the binding ties of crying may have helped human communities band together more successfully than they would have otherwise.
...and apparently tears (rather than just whining or tear-less moaning) can help primate mommies distinguish between real infant/child distress and "fake" or manipulative behaviour:
Quote
Dario Maestripieri, a primatologist at the University of Chicago, has found that infant rhesus macaques share this behavior. They cry out to their mothers in infancy and tend to howl and whimper even more around the time their mothers wean them. At first, macaque mothers come running, but as the cries increase they respond less, because so many of the alarms turn out to be false. Eventually the macaque moms grow more skeptical, and the infants cry less because it does not bring the reassuring attention they seek. As a result, the young monkeys also grow more independent, which in the long run improves their chances of survival.
In the case of people, tears give mothers an extra tool for detecting if a toddler is crying wolf. Every parent has experienced the tearless crying (a.k.a. whining) of a child who is unhappy and wants attention but is not really in trouble. Parents quickly learn to look for real tears if a child cries, a sure sign that their toddler truly needs help.
Finally:
Quote
During the past six million years, enormous changes have taken place in our ancestral lineage, much of it from the neck up. Our brains doubled in size and then doubled again. Our faces also have changed, and with them so have our ways of conveying emotion. The rich, expressive musculature evolved by chance but remained with us because it helped us more precisely communicate with, and sometimes manipulate, one another. The parts of the brain associated with the experience and expression of emotion somehow became connected, quite literally, to the lacrimal gland that sits above each of our eyes. Complex relationships beg for similarly complex forms of communication. For our kind, language was one mighty adaptation that served that purpose. Tears, with the strong, highly visible messages they send, became another. They married raw emotion with a human brain capable of reflecting on those howling, primal feelings.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: lagatta on May 19, 2008, 07:19:48 PM
God, most of the workplaces I've been at cry a lot. Also laugh a lot. And yes, even the men, and even the straight men.

I've been seeing people crying about Nancy Michaud a lot; I was having an espresso at a caffè-bar near here and there was a lot of crying and tut-tut.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: vmichel on May 19, 2008, 08:35:23 PM
This has been bubbling around in my brain a bit too, as I've both been trying to keep my own hormonal tears inside and been working with a couple of kids who want to stop crying so much. (Their decision, not mine.)

Babies cry to communicate. They cry, a caregiver responds. Until words come, it's their most effective tool for expressing their needs. They learn something from the response of others to that crying -- if a caregiver tends to them they learn that the world is a safe and secure place, and if they are neglected they learn that the world is harsh and no one can help them.

I am inclined to cry at the drop of a hat, but have trained myself not to at work. When I really examine my feelings in the middle of a good cry, and I'm brutally honest, I think that it's my maladaptive way of reaching out for human reassurance. I cry because I want attention and the soothing from others, and I've worked myself up into a state where I can't ask for that in words. I go back to baby-land, I guess, and use tears to provoke a response in others. Even if it's a negative response, an "I can't believe you are crying at work," it still feels a little good that someone else has noticed my emotional state. I exist, I matter, there is some human connection.

I know all of that is childish, but like I said... if I'm brutally honest, that's what I think is percolating behind my tears.

Then there are some kids who I think have been short-circuited by neglect, and they cry because it's the only way they have to soothe themselves. After a good cry you get worn out, and the emotional tension breaks. I'm thinking of one kid in particular who just has no way to cope with escalating tension and stress, and when he cries he is lost. Literally lost. He's reached the point of no return, nerves frayed after days of minor stresses that have built and built, and a screaming crying tantrum is the only way that he has to release that tension. He isn't looking for reassurance. He is completely shut off to the outside world.

Something is going on inside himself, something private and powerful, and crying is the only tool he has to give himself any relief.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think that crying serves a different purpose for every different person.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: sparqui on May 19, 2008, 08:53:49 PM
There are different types of crying, at least in my experience. There is sentimental tears that creep up when reading a touching passage or seeing something emotionally tugging in a film or even TV. There are tears of frustration that as an adult most often occur in work place situations in my experience. Those are the ones where you need to escape the room and find a private corner/bathroom stall/smoke break. Then there is uncontrollable sobbing. That when you are left dehydrated and exhausted. In fact, I have no memory of that actual event, only what triggered it and the aftermath. I feel like I can practically count the times I actually sobbed. It's rare for me and it scares me because it is so emotionally engulfing. And it sneaks up so powerfully that it can, and has, happen in very public situations.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: brebis noire on May 19, 2008, 08:59:35 PM
I also tear up at an awful lot of things, but I don't consider that to be crying - it's just an emotional, often empathetic reaction to distress, whether it's real, potential, imagined, historical, whatever.

As for crying, that happens when I am feeling (or just am) helpless and exhausted. So from that point of view, I can see why crying at work is a dangerous thing - if the workplace is a competitive environment, then any sign of helplessness or tiredness is troubling, annoying, disturbing or worse. If it's a creative or an empathetic environment, then maybe that's not so, and it might even be a good or normal thing.

I see a lot of adult people crying in my line of work, when I have to euthanise a loved animal. It's definitely not just women who cry, though in an offhand observation, I have noticed that a man will usually cry only if he is unaccompanied, or if he's accompanied by a daughter. Usually, a man accompanied by a wife or partner will either not cry (leaving his partner or wife to be the one to cry), or else leave the room and go to the car.

So without being at all scornful, I do think that crying is a return to babyland, as vmichel puts it. We cry when we can let ourselves admit that we are feeling exhausted, helpless, powerless over circumstances or existence. Unfortunately, although it makes us better and more empathetic human beings, it also further increases helplessness and exhaustion. It takes you back to the place where you need somebody else to take care of you.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: brebis noire on May 19, 2008, 09:13:42 PM
Quote
Babies cry to communicate. They cry, a caregiver responds. Until words come, it's their most effective tool for expressing their needs. They learn something from the response of others to that crying -- if a caregiver tends to them they learn that the world is a safe and secure place, and if they are neglected they learn that the world is harsh and no one can help them.

One of the strangest physiological effects I've ever experienced was when I was "a lactating mother" and any baby's cry - even if it came from the television, I can still remember one commercial in particular - would stimluate milk production and leakage. It was like being in bizarro-world (though everything was bizarro-world for the first few months after giving birth...)
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: BCseawalker on May 20, 2008, 11:48:56 AM
With my background, crying was a really, really bad idea, so I worked hard to hide what I was feeling. For most young children, that's tough to do, so my solution was to stop feeling, period, to go numb. Then the tears (or anger, or laughter) wouldn't sneak out.

I grew to hate crying, not other people's, just my own. Unfortunately, I've lost the ability to prevent it, since feeling has come back. Now, certain triggers turn on the tap and as hard as I try to turn off the tears, I can't.

I loathe and am disappointed in myself when this happens. Behind that loathing and disappointment is fear, that my crying has made me vulnerable - it always happens in a social or public situation.

Never cry when I'm alone. Well, except when watching a movie or show that moves me; Gattaca (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119177/) did that not long ago.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: skdadl on May 20, 2008, 12:03:25 PM
Drifting my own thread, but I just had to say somewhere, BCS, that I love that anemone you have as an avatar. Every time I see it I feel good.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: BCseawalker on May 20, 2008, 12:35:28 PM
Here's (http://picasaweb.google.com/chrystal.ocean/WildFlowersAndTameDuncanBC/photo#5201150377989814674) the larger version. If you click the magnify icon, you can view it even closer up. Looks like some rare beauty from non-terrestrial space at that magnification.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: Holly Stick on May 20, 2008, 12:37:25 PM
Quote from: sparqui
There are different types of crying, at least in my experience. There is sentimental tears that creep up when reading a touching passage or seeing something emotionally tugging in a film or even TV. There are tears of frustration that as an adult most often occur in work place situations in my experience. Those are the ones where you need to escape the room and find a private corner/bathroom stall/smoke break. Then there is uncontrollable sobbing. That when you are left dehydrated and exhausted. In fact, I have no memory of that actual event, only what triggered it and the aftermath. I feel like I can practically count the times I actually sobbed. It's rare for me and it scares me because it is so emotionally engulfing. And it sneaks up so powerfully that it can, and has, happen in very public situations.

Yes.  I would add defensive tears, like during a discussion of what I was going to do with my life when I had no idea.  It wasn't a conscious choice to cry, but I recognise that it was a defensive action.

And crying during a passionate argument.  In some arguments you expect emotional reactions because it's personal, but sometimes women cry during an argument that is mostly intellectual.  I'm not sure why, maybe from a combination of strong feeling and fear that the point they are making will not be accepted?

And some people reportedly can produce tears no matter what they are feeling.

I don't see all that much significance in crying; sometimes it seems to be appropriate and sometimes not.  But nobody should expect other people to react the same way as themselves.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: skdadl on May 20, 2008, 12:46:20 PM
Yes, I wish to apologize, especially to fyrnova, for being a little controlling at the beginning of this discussion. I shouldn't have done that. I think I was just trying to get things going, but I was wrong to say some of that stuff.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: fern hill on May 20, 2008, 12:49:20 PM
skdadl, gracious as usual. Well, except when she's cranky. :hug:
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: skdadl on May 20, 2008, 12:51:45 PM
I gotta do something about my temper. It's worse than the crying lately. A sharp tongue: one of the few implements that gets sharper with overuse. C'est moi lately, I fear.  :oops:
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: BCseawalker on May 20, 2008, 01:22:44 PM
Re the evolutionary value of crying, I'd mentioned previously that my crying almost exclusively occurs when I'm in a social or public situation. Again almost exclusively, such situations have been when I've had to speak about myself in front of a room full of people - usually when doing a WISE presentation or speech.

You see, what I'd discovered from the beginning of the WISE movement was that the personal is what got the attention. It was my story, after all, which started it all. And when doing presentations, speeches, etc., I found that what people wanted most to hear was my story, told by me, and the larger story of WISE - how a group of low income women came so rapidly to gain respect and grow nationally.

In evaluations and other feedback, people reported that it was when I broke down and the tears started coming that they felt most moved and were galvanized to take action for change. Yet these were the moments I most hated; as hard as I'd tried to stay together, I fell apart.

Human faces take on expressions of happiness and other positive emotions quite well. But they're not so good at showing sadness. It's physically harder to turn down the ends of one's mouth than to lift them. So I think that crying was selected for its value in human communication and generating empathy.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: Toedancer on May 20, 2008, 01:26:33 PM
When I look at my sisters picture on the fridge holding my grown kid as a wee baby, I sometimes just quietly cry missing her while I am preparing a meal. Sometimes I look at her and I laugh out loud at one of our ridiggulous physical fisticuffs (no fists really) that ended us both in a mountain of snow which we could not get out of for laughing so hard.

For me it is about regrets or continued belated mourning for those who have gone before me.

eta - BSC yes that is soo very true. I will cry in public/private consultations IF my own story has to be part of the situation. It sux, but there you go, it happens.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: deBeauxOs on May 20, 2008, 01:53:14 PM
Quote from: skdadl
... A sharp tongue: one of the few implements that gets sharper with overuse.
One would thinking that hitting the keyboard with that implement would dull it, but it's one of the wonders and evuls of electronic communication: impulses are easily satiated, if ever so briefly.  I try to be aware of my tendency to type and expedite quickly, only to recriminate later.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: skdadl on May 20, 2008, 07:24:56 PM
Quote from: Holly Stick

And some people reportedly can produce tears no matter what they are feeling.


I meant to come back to note this. Once on the Dick Cavett show, I think, we watched  Sir John Gielgud produce tears at will. Cavett said he had heard that Sir John could do that, and so Sir John did it.

It was actually quite moving to see because Sir John had that beautiful, sensitive face, and so much seemed to be going on behind it, but really, for him it was all in a day's work, as he said. Did you know that he was a nephew of Dame Ellen Terry?

Kitty, I am reading your references, which are fascinating, but I'm way behind. Thanks very much for them, and I shall return.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: anne cameron on May 20, 2008, 07:32:27 PM
My pig cried when his good buddy the  poodlymutt died.  He sobbed.  And when a pig cries it's tears are the colour of tea.  Ruarhaigh Boar mourned so deeply and so completely I got him a puppy.  I was afraid he would die, his grief was so terrible.  For a few days he ignored Kate but she won him over.  Kate died of a heart attack the day after Ruarhaigh Boar died.  I'm sure the heart attack was because her heart was broken.

DAMN, but I miss that pig, he was nicer than most people!  He could also laugh, tease, and pull jokes and pranks.  And, smarter than many people, he never voted conservative in his life!
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: BCseawalker on May 20, 2008, 07:35:12 PM
Aaahhh... Anne, do you have any pictures of that pig? Gosh, that's a sweet story!
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: anne cameron on May 20, 2008, 08:07:08 PM
I don't have any photo's and I'm too much a techno-dolt to know how to feed them in, anyway.  He was pink, with white bristles, and he looked like a pig.  He had a straight little tail with a white tuft on the end, which he wagged when he was happy.  When the blackberries were ripe his maw was stained purple.  He ate the centres out of dandelion plants, he had several different places he used only for toilet purposes, and he slept in the hallway, on a pallet of blankets, just outside my bedroom door.

I think the absolutely funniest part of the whole Ruarhaigh Boar experience came when my blonde daughter arrived on the farm with some of her friends.  They came in, we were doing the hugging and the introductions and then here came Ruarhaigh, tail wagging happily.  One of the friends nearly shat himself and my daughter exclaimed OHMIGAWD, Mo, I'm so sorry!  I didn't even think........and Mohammed smiled bravely and said he had never known anybody before who kept a giraffe in the house.  The entire time he was there Mo called Ruarhaigh a giraffe.

I suspect there are other animals who cry, we just don't get to really know them.  I know when I took Viva to the stud she had to stay almost a month and while she was gone old Molly got so lonely and depressed I was getting worried about her.  And when Dice went blind he flatout refused to eat or drink.  Wouldn't even let me hand feed him.  I asked several people who knew horses and they all said that's how horses commit suicide and Dice didnt' want to live blind.  So I had him put down because the other was just too godawful to contemplate.

We treat animals as food or as amusements or entertainment and we don't seem to dare get to actually know them, on their terms.  Mostly, Ruarhaigh lived a pig life, he got fed a teeny bit morning and night and he could come in the house any time he wanted but in decent weather he was outside, his choice.  I didn't want him to root up the entire yard so from the beginning as soon as he started to dig I'd bang the window and yell "no".  It took a couple of weeks, and he learned not to root..but if he was pissed off at me he'd turn his back to the house, peek over his shoulder, then deliberately rip up a bit of the lawn.  It was so obviously "fuck you, snarly bitch" that I'd nearly collapse in laughter each time.

The horses absolutely detested him.  Those who knew horses said it was because pigs smell like and sound like bears.

Ruarhaigh didn't mind getting his face washed, and he liked having lotion applied to the dry skin on his shoulders but each time we tried to bath him we'd no more than get him in the round rinse tub and he'd poop.  Immediately.  More "up your kilt, milt" messages.

I miss him.  He was an absolutely exceptional and loyal friend.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: Toedancer on May 20, 2008, 08:31:57 PM
Anne your animal posts make me laugh and cry. We could just as easily ask why we laugh. Everything I thought of off the top of my head is in the link, especially spontaneous baby laughter usually over and with animals. Lots of youtubes on that.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3077386/ (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3077386/)
and animal laughter here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7348880/ (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7348880/)
Oz laughs her fool head off when I play hide n seek with her one bikkey a day, after she finds it I threaten to take it away and her hilarity and antics are a game that she loves. If I'm not playing correctly she will re-hide her bikky in her own blankey and then shake it like crazy for it to re-appear to start again.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: RP. on May 20, 2008, 09:04:55 PM
Quote from: skdadl
Or, more domestically: when do you cry? or when do you forbid yourself to cry, and why?

I cry on Palm Sunday.  [shakes head at self]
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: Berlynn on May 20, 2008, 11:09:35 PM
I've always been a bit of a deep feeler who cried when hurt.  I grew up being called a crybaby and it has only been in the past few years that I have reclaimed my right to cry.  I hate how society treats people who cry.  

Oh, I can see I hold some anger about this.  Sorry.  :rant: coming!

Crying is a release for me and stopping that release is not a healthy thing for me to do.  Crying is a way to heal and, good grief, don't we all need that?

Emotionally, we are warped in our development, I think, or at least I was.  And many are losing the ability to cry.  Why the fuck tell someone not to cry if that's how s/he is feeling?  Just because someone else experiences some discomfort?  And what's that discomfort about?  Inadequacy?  Inability to control?  Seems to me that's her/his issue, not the crybaby's.

I'll damned well cry anywhere and any time the tears demand it, thank you very much!

Here endeth the :rant: !

A poet once told me that tears are saltier when the sorrow we're releasing is old.  I've found that to be true.  And interesting.

Evolutionarily, well, I'll have to ponder that.  Good question, skdadl.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: J. Parson-Robert on May 21, 2008, 02:06:33 AM
Laughing and crying.

How often have we laughed until we cried, or cried until we laughed?  I'm partial to the scientific explanations posted above which more or less fit with the idea I learned through Richard Dawkins.  As babies, we cry to indicate fear or distress until we learn to recognize a face (through imprinting) and then we laugh.

Of course, sometimes we cry and never laugh.  That seems to happen most often when we're alone.  Crying and laughing alone are somehow different from crying and laughing in public.  I'm reminded of the difference between (dramatic) irony and sarcasm; irony requires an audience.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: sparqui on May 21, 2008, 12:35:36 PM
Oh anne, like Toe, your posts made me laugh and cry. There is nothing sadder than a broken heart.

There was a film I saw as a kid that had me sobbing for hours. It's a vague memory but I remember it involved a group of colonials captured by the Japanese (WWII) who were being marched to some camp. Anyway, there were a couple of young kids among the captives -- one died of illness( (?) and the other soon after of a broken heart.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: Croghan27 on May 29, 2008, 06:07:02 PM
I try, lord knows I try not to be sucked in by hokum - mostly unsuccessfully. Dickens, unashamedly switches from pathos to bathos and breaks my heart every time. Hokum works through some kind of agreement between the author and the reader  beyond the suspension of disbelief ... to be in any way effective, it must contain a powerful element of reality.

I have been reading The Cynic and Senator Obama (http://www.esquire.com/features/barack-obama-0608) - By Charles P. Pierce (again) from a link I got from Matt&t. (and Matt&t is thrise blessed for it) It is written in a faux first person style that should, should be a turn off for me .... he even illustrates some manufactured emotion in the article, speaking of an "warm up' Congresswoman for Obama - here is this passage, about HRC:
Quote
“In this corner,” Moore begins, “wearing the helmet of fear, the breastplate of pride, wielding the shield of special-interest dollars and carrying the sword of bitter partisanship!” The crowd boos lustily. There’s no room for metaphor in the cynic’s politics anymore. His head is beginning to throb. Congresswoman Moore is just getting warmed up.
and about Obama:
Quote
“The candidate of the people. Skinny young man. Big ears. Funny name. Armed with the experience of humble beginnings. Educated in Ivy League suites. Trained in legislative seats. Toughened in inner-city streets.”

(Okay, this is more like it.)

“Wearing the helmet of good judgment.”

(Uh-oh.)

“The breastplate of hope. Wielding the shield of unity. Carrying the sword of truth. And feet marching to the beat of change!”
He (the Cynic is afraid of the metaphor.) - but then he switches back into his persona.  

Finally the last lines of the piece still leave you waiting - is he still the Cynic? Was he convinced? Converted?

No ......

Quote
The cynic believes in an old, abandoned country that’s no less illusory than the redeemed one Obama is promising to this crowd. Isn’t that something? the cynic thinks. Maybe that’s enough, that single revelation, just a flicker of the lost imagination. For the last time, in the roar of the crowd, it comes back to him again. Convince me America is not an illusion. Convince me that it never was. Convince me that you’re not a pious mirage. Convince me that we’re not. Now that you brought it up, convince me.

Convince me.

Convince me.

Convince me.

WOW - I read that in a laboratory waiting room this afternoon .... when I finally finished I had tears cascading down my cheeks.

God-damn Charlotte, it is so well written. Hokum, of course ... but terrific and moving. All the more so for the truth of it.
Title: Re: Crying
Post by: Croghan27 on October 06, 2010, 08:21:45 AM
..... and you think that you're having a bad day:

(http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t304/croghan27/th_badday.jpg) (http://s163.photobucket.com/albums/t304/croghan27/?action=view&current=badday.jpg)