Yes, so you can stop asking about it. And in case you thought I already did, read on.
So basically people will remember that I have always said that I don't really have a fursona or indeed any kind of non-human persona or abnormal persona. My identity online has always been that of the human character featured in the avatar there. Fans created my wolf persona for Sonic the Hedgehog fanworks and my pony persona for My Little Pony fanworks and of course there were many others for other specific purposes.
I've been a cat, a rat, a crow, a rabbit and octopus, a pigeon, a robot, some furniture, various mythological creatures (most notably an orc) and many more but what's infuriated fans the most is that I've never chosen any of them as a persona that represents me, mainly because they were chosen by fans and not myself.
Thankfully now I've researched literally hundreds of mythological creatures and animals I can say without a doubt that the persona I think best represents me is that of a goat. Now many will be scratching their heads as to why I would think a goat of all creatures would in any way represent myself but trust me I've done my research.
For The Sake Of All That Is Good, Jay, Why On Earth Did You Pick A Goat?
There seems to be one of three different ideas as what a goat character is like, 1, some sort of psychedelic rock punk with possible ties to Satanism, 2, a variant of a My Little Pony pony type character and the most common one, a fan character of Undertale. I am none of the above.
All three of these character choices are derived from preconceived ideas that are not built on knowledge of the animal itself but rather around certain trends, groups or cultures. Mine of course is built on research of the creature itself making my choice almost the only one to be completely unbiased and I'll explain what I mean by that now.
Goat characters are not rare at all on the internet but what definitely are rare are people who have chosen to use it as their own identity for a least a long enough period of time for it not to be considered a decision on a whim.
Goats in general are not a very popular animal, they aren't exotic, they aren't common pets, they rarely feature in nature documentaries and they are hardly the first animal anyone thinks of when farms are mentioned. So it stands to reason why many people might have gone as far as to make a side character or dabble in it as a persona but ultimately choose that it's not for them an chose a different animal instead.
In fact of all the vast online communities I searched including Furaffinity, Facebook and Pixiv there was just 1 person who stayed consistent with their choice, GoatTrain. Chances are if you looked up goat personas you've probably come across them.
Now I have to say that when I announced my choice of power animal I was immediately engaged by a bunch of rather stupid and aggressive Christians and by that I certainly do not mean that all Christians are like that at all but this bunch in particular were certainly so.
They started trying to tell me that I was in league with the Devil and such and even after I pointed out that the sheep mentioned in the Bible were originally goats, the devil was originally a crocodile and that Satyr, the trickster faun of earth worship that was made into the devil was originally half horse, they still felt the need to go on and on about it even using Goat Simulator as evidence which had me desperately trying not to laugh out loud about it.
In the end I think it was obvious to everyone that they were just highly aggressive people too hyped on their own sub culture and had nothing legitimate to say and in general made the whole Christian faith look bad. I'm not ignorant of the ramifications of the faun's religious background by I'm not so much of a follower mentality to let that be a factor in my choice.
As I said to them, my choice of animal was entirely built on facts about the real life creature and was in no way chosen due to any cultural, religious, historical, social or any other kind of influences. I know people nowadays tend to base their power animals mostly on society's interpretation of them. Why do you think there are so many of the same handful of creatures? But I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone as impartial as myself.
A major factor in my choice was evolutionary perfection and let me explain what is meant by that phrase. There is no such thing as the perfect animal (bare with me, I know you might disagree on that) but there are animals that are adapting in the direction of having certain features that enable them to survive in a vast variety of environments.
Fish for example are actually hardly "perfect" in this sense as their adaptations though to us appear like a vast colourful rainbow are actually sadly lacking. Aquatic environments have remained pretty much unchanged for millions of years and so, if you look closely enough, though the animals come in a vast array of sizes, shapes, colors and patterns, they haven't actually changed much in any other sense and developed any adaptations for survival.
I really did want to choose some sort of alien creature like molluscs or other invertebrates but I came to realize that in terms of evolution they are mostly just very lucky to be in the right environment rather than adapting to suit it.
To me land animals are all too cliché and I certainly wouldn't have thought to choose a quadruped on the face of it but as I studied it the reason why they are so common started to make sense. Nature may have further evolved into birds and primates and such but actually those were adaptations to particular situations rather than a push in the right direction.
What I'd often considered to be a mid stage in an evolutionary sense, the undulates, wasn't that at all and it was simply a stage that to some extent even evolution itself overlooked. Turns out hooves instead of paws or talons is actually a much better system of movement.
However even looking through all the undulates I never once in a million years though I'd pick an animal as plain and mundane as a goat and I was totally expecting an antelope or giraffe or something. Turns out that goats are chemically and mentally a lot more advanced than the others, more so than almost all animals in the animal kingdom in fact.
Now nobody would think that on the face of it a goat is super intelligent. Socially they don't have as complex a communication system as primates or dogs and their memory is hardly anything compared to elephants or apes. So now I bet you're thinking I've just proven myself wrong but really I haven't.
Intelligence is not measured by social skills or memory as us humans like to think it is. Makes sense to us since that's what tends to make humans smarter next to other humans but actually in an evolutionary standpoint it's really irrelevant.
Intelligence is the ability to use the knowledge you have for the benefit of your kind and that's where our whole idea of what makes something clever turns on its head. Apes like us have lived in an environment that's remained unchanged for millions of years meaning that memory to us was very important and our large memories shaped our social skills to be increasingly complex.
But that doesn't mean we're smart. Should the environment suddenly change, us apes are rather incapable of adapting to suit and coming up with new ideas. The only reason this isn't a problem for us humans is the fact that 1, we can change the environment to suit out needs like with farming for example and 2, we are interconnected over a vast network of humans so the limited creativity we have often means that if anyone finds a solution it can easily be passed around to where it's needed.
But humans can only do this due to the fact that we have tools and technology which is highly a product of having opposable thumbs rather than brains as we can remember skills but fail at constructing new ones. Our opposable thumbs themselves are a fluke caused by when our weasel ancestors took to the trees and became primates. Nature didn't even intend for our thumbs to be used to make tools with. A goat's hooves by comparison slowly evolved to be better for all kinds of mobility over a long time period and could be considered nature's attempt to perfect walking for a highly unpredictable landscape.
A goat's brain is highly flexible compared to a human's and in terms of the animal kingdom they could be considered one of the most creative creatures with an immense ability for problem solving. The reason why this is not often documented is because a goat doesn't tend to follow the rules us humans set it in the first place and wont take part in tests if there is an easier alternative to get what they want.
One famous test that proves just how dumb us humans are is the jar test. A large jar is placed in a room with a tasty treat at the bottom, too far down to reach by hand. Besides the jar is a long stick that at full arm's length is only just long enough to reach the treat but still makes it very difficult to retrieve the treat with. Across the room is a faucet that at the start of the test someone uses to fill a glass of water before walking off with the glass in hand.
Almost every single human tries fruitlessly to use the stick to fish out the treat before either giving up or trying the faucet out of desperation, unless of course they already know the trick. A crow given the same task downscaled takes literally seconds to figure out they need to turn the tap to start the water, move the jar to the water to fill it and therefore raise the treat to where they can reach it.
These crows have never had to do anything similar before in their lives so the fact they know what to do is nothing to do with memory or instinct and it's entirely down to problem solving. The reason crows can do it and we can't is because despite the fact a human's memory is much bigger than a crow's, humans haven't really needed to be that creative in the wild and so we never evolved the need to solve problems like this.
Humans came from an environment that remained unchanged for millions of years. Finding creative ways to get food wasn't necessary when all they needed to do was remember what was available where and when. Crows on the other hand have lived in environments that constantly changed so remembering where things were was pointless and every time a new solution was needed so problem solving was paramount. Goats too had the same problem.
This means that they can adapt to any environment where we can't. That doesn't mean we would be better where we lived and them where they lived either. They would survive just as easily as we can in our environment but we would fail in theirs. This is what's meant by evolutionary perfection.
Unlike sheep who are fairly easy going and will try whatever tasks we set them, a goat will always try to find a quicker solution. Not because they are impatient and stupid but because they are smart enough to know the test isn't necessary to get the food they want. Only tests where goats have been literally starved to ill health have actually shown how good at the tests they can be.
There's more to my choice but there isn't enough room to explain everything so instead I'll just say that goats have a lot in common with the way I think and what I'd like myself to represent at least concerning the actual animal and not some cultural idea of it.
I did consider every other possibility other than anthropomorphism as well but one by one each possible creature was eliminated. I kinda thought that maybe robots or aliens or something might be choice but surprisingly they were in reality a lot further from being like me than I imagined. Dolphins turned out to be more like what we think of robots and robots turned out to be more like we think of dogs for example.
The name I chose for the character is also a rather hard thought decision and I annoyed my home tutor by staying up late the night before toiling over the perfect name for them but I am very happy with the results, I must say.
Sammu Akuchin Tireundashi the Bokiundhamlin is their name. I know it's quite the mouthful but luckily it can be read simply as Sam Kush Trondash the Bucking Orc. So what exactly does the name mean? I doubt any of you have a degree level knowledge in Kretan so I'll have to explain it.
Sammu, as opposed to Samu, means literally a guard, as in a protector or people or property or as an authority figure. However in the sense of a name it's often used in the sense of someone who protects the defenceless, the young, the weak or the infirm.
Generally it means a kind-hearted individual who goes out of their way to keep safe those who might help the most. It's also the Kretan spelling of the name Sam, which itself is a variant of my name John and also the focal part of my surname Samer.
Akuchin has multiple possible definitions but by far the most commonly used is "Of the mouth" where the word "mouth" is a slang term for the Khobb race. This doesn't mean that the individual is Khobb themselves or even suggests it. Instead it means they are a non-Khobb who is friends with that group of people.
The Khobb are synonymous with the outcasts of society and those that are often strange and unusual or unappealing. Someone who is friend of that group means more than a sympathizer though. It means someone who has become part of that culture and accepts it more than the alternative. Very apt wouldn't you say?
Fans have already pointed out the fact that it also translates as "The essence of Aku". Aku in Kretan meaning mysterious and unpredictable or potentially dangerous. Though this isn't a likely translation I like the fact that my middle name is now literally "Danger" and I can make that pun now.
Then we get to the hard part, Tireundashi, which may not be obvious at all what the name is meant to be but its origin is a little unusual. It's actually a fusion of Teundashi and Treundashi where the letter I after the initial T acts as a reiteration of the first E in Teundashi. Essentially it's (Te/Tre)undashi.
So what do Teundashi and Treundashi actually mean? You may be surprised to find out they are already names in use in the Albion universe. So technically I didn't have to make anything up.
Treundashi is shortened "Treun da Shi" which means literally "Man of Strength", although unlike similar names in our world where it means physically strong, it actually refers to a person of integrity, meaning a person of unwavering will who stands up for what they believe in despite the odds. Again this name is very suited to me.
Teundashi is a name but then again it's not exactly a person's name except for the system of nicknames in Uchinah that have become as given names due to frequent use. It is literally "Te und Ashi" or "Hand and Foot" in English which for those people who know about Albion's lore it'll obviously raise an eyebrow.
Te und Ashi is the nickname of a particular group of martial arts in the Albion universe including styles similar to Tae Kwon Do, Karate and God Hand AKA Te Form. This character does in fact use these styles so the name is indeed apt.
However some smarty pants have pointed out that in Kretan "Tireundashi" is literally "Ti Reun Dashi" which means "Likes Drinking Tea A Lot", which of course I do, despite it being an unfortunate stereotype of the English.
So what the hell is a Bokiundhamlin because apparently I am one. Well that's probably the simplest part. It's "Bo Ki und Ham Lin" or literally "Practitioner Of Chi And Pole Hammer Styles". My character of course uses a pole hammer this time and practices the arts of chi flow.
Of course the name also translates as a person from Buckingham or just simply Buckingham as a name and it also translates as Bucking Orcneas or Bucking Orc for short, where Orcneas means someone is difficult to get rid of and unlikable at first glance, which I must say is rather apt as well. Bucking in this sense meaning a person who fights when under threat or others are under threat rather than the English definition of the name which simply means they kick ass.
2 years, 3 months ago
18 Apr 2017 21:31 CEST
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