My Not-to-Do List to be more like a horse, less like Edward Snowden in 2014

It's your year, pony!
It’s your year, pony!

2014 is otherwise known as the Year of the Horse. Horses are remarkable creatures, full of symbolism and stuff, so why not act like a horse in the Year of the Horse? Edward Snowden, who “used to have a good job in the security business,”* is not like a horse. It would have been better if he had “left and kept his big mouth shut.”*

So here is my list of things to not do in 2014 so that I can be more horse-like, less Snowden-like.

  1. Be a traitor. Horses are known for their loyalty; Snowden is known for his disloyalty. Enough said.
  2. Talk too much. Horses don’t talk — they are horses. Instead, they use body language (“lifting of the ear, a swish of the tail, a flaring of the nostril or hoof stabbing at the ground”) and sounds (neigh). Snowden not only talked, he blabbed to people like Glenn Greenwald, who talked (and wrote) some more. Neigh, do not talk.
  3. Not “face the music.”* Snowden ran off to China, then ran off to Russia, and then tried to run off to Ecuador. Horses run too, but only to where you guide them to run. If you can’t not do No. 2 (talk too much), then at least stay and face the music. You know how horses face the music? They get slaughtered.
  4. Ignore culture. Horses “remind us of the importance of culture” because they are part of a lot of myths. Snowden ignored the NSA’s — and the US’s — culture of spying and secrecy. For this, he was exiled to Russia.
  5. Not have charisma. Horses “know a lot” about charisma, whereas it’s hard to like Snowden because even though he’s dropped a giant bombshell regarding the government’s invasion of everyone’s privacy, no one cares because he doesn’t have any charisma.

(This list was inspired by three opinion pieces by two Westerners that Boyfriend and I had to edit recently. Starred quotes were unfortunately taken out of the final copy because, let’s face it, gems as they are, they just don’t belong. Happy New Year!)

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