Of “Bench Kelpies” and “Barbie Collies”
A metaphor from Eileen Stein:
“There's an ornamental tree called a "flowering peach." It was developed from peach trees, and looks like a peach tree when in blossom, but does not bear edible fruit. If you look at the nursery list of peach trees, you will find lots of varieties, but not the flowering peach; the flowering peach varieties would be in a separate category, probably under ornamentals with the dogwoods and magnolias. There's a market for the flowering peach, but if you called it a "peach tree" and sold it to a commercial fruit grower, or even to someone who just likes peaches, you would be defrauding them. And if you claimed to be judging "peach trees" and chose a flowering peach as the best one . . . well, that would be a fraud too. When all is said and done, the flowering peach lacks an essential element of a peach tree. A peach tree whose fruit is not very good, or whose fruit is never picked and eaten, is still a peach tree, but a tree that is bred for flowers is something else.”
I think that’s brilliant.
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