Monday, April 27, 2009

After a US Airways Flight was struck by a flock of Canadian Geese (illegal immigrants that they are), a recent study shows bird attacks are on the rise nationally.

Ballinrobe Bull in the market

A bull in Ballinrobe busts lose from his fate as beef and heads for town. He enters the local market and runs through the aisles. Now the customers and workers are the meat being targeted. The farmer comes after the beast only to be run off by the bull he was looking for.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Swine Flu and Cross-species contagions

Having some time ago written in Technologies of the Picturesque about the anxiety of innoculating humans with cow pox to cure small pox, I've often mused on cross-species contagions. Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel sees European adaptation to livestock diseases over the centuries as key to the Euro invasion of the Americas. Native American populations unaccostumed to these animals and their diseases died as a result of this germ warfare.

Today, we are all susceptible: avian flu, swine flu.... We've used pig parts to enhance humans--pig hearts, harvesting pig parts to fit in us. Now, the connectedness to swine has, like a return of the repressed, come back to haunt us (in ways similar to mad cow disease affecting humans). Spawn, spore, rhizome. I am Legend. We're woven into the animality of animals as they to us beyond cultural appropriations.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Revenge of the Easter Bunnies... a rabbit swarm

Bioinvasion of released pets. The once companion animals now stake their claim on the terrain: "Green iguanas released decades ago now splash in the pools of Palm Beach. Peacocks roam free in parts of Miami, Burmese pythons are spreading through the entire state — and here, on this two-mile shoelace of beachfront land, the bunny problem keeps multiplying.

Dozens of rabbits, the spawn of Easter gifts from as far back as 2002, now run wild in a field of two-story condominiums. "

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I find compelling this picture of Bo Obama sniffing a microphone. Yes, there is a leash but what strikes me is his interface with his celebrity status (made evident by the media as if he were on stage). What does Bo do with all the mics around? He leans in, sniffs. Dogs see the world differently. Here is a big moment for potential animal revolutionary media attention. Bo could announce an animal revolution and broadcast using the media outlets. Instead, he sees the mics and sniffs. What is important to us is for dogs something to sniff, eat, or pee on. The revolution will not be televised.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Enemy Within--Hedgehogs

The Colbert Report recently released the news: Hedgehogs are the new terrorist threat. They carry a number of incurable diseases that can be passed on to humans. We have seen animals pass on diseases to humans before, plagues and infestations. The hedgehog burrows its animality within the heart of our domesticity. Beware.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Monkeys seize moment to escape

In Portland, Macaques, or snow monkeys bust out of the Oregon National Primate Research Center intending no longer to be breeding monkeys. According to the AP: "HSU has long been criticized by animal-rights groups, who say the research monkeys are mistreated."

Sunday, April 5, 2009


"The chicken, the chicken has declared jihad on us all." Chicken-headed humans and lots of feathers in this B horror film. In Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, possessed humans and humans with chicken heads invade a fast food restaurant and begin cutting up, gutting, deep frying and otherwise mutilating and eating humans. (Thanks to Eugene Thacker for pointing me to this). Think of Agamben and Battaille's headless humans and the teleology of the human end of days on earth, add infectious disease (by zombie possession), plus feathers as friction.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Apparently the sports talk radio host Tony Kornsheiser has been broadcasting news of the animal revolution on his radio show. His animal incidents--real and imaginary--get the word out that the animals are not pleased with human encroachment and domination of non-human environments.
'The Animal Revolution: The idea that animals -- who are threatened by the expansion of the human population, and the encroachment of cities and suburbs upon their habitats -- are revolting against humans. Examples include rabid otters chasing golfers on the course, captive lions on top of a Mexican meat processing plant killing a man attempting to feed them, cats growing wings as the precursor to an animal air force, alligators banging on doors in South Florida and the "rat in the mouth" story. Brennan frequently fills the news updates with animal-centric stories'.
Thank you, Kornsheiser, for getting the word out to the revolutionary masses. Like Castro in the mountains before the revolution, the liberation radio is filling the airwaves with word of a revolution to come and, indeed, already underway. Perhaps this is why the show is currently off the air, the humans are on to us. Time to set up a new base camp.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

WE3: animal+techne, posthumanism in action

"A dog, cat, and rabbit have been adapted by military scientists into automated fighters, resembling cyborg robots with animal heads. When the project is about to be shut down, the three escape. Here, they’re not seeking a home so much as continued survival, even in their tortured state. Their quest for freedom and the way they no longer fit anywhere — they’re not animals, not soldiers, and distinctly not human — is immensely sympathetic. The result is a condemnation of a military/industrial system that warps living things and then discards them without thought of the potentially devastating results."

Review at Comics Worth Reading. The DC Comics website for the graphic novel. Anntennea art journal issue 9 has an interview with Grant Morrison (the comic's writer) who worked with Frank Quitely (illustrator) on this project.