Wednesday, August 31, 2011

when the domestic gets out of hand... On Going Native

"There are an estimated four million to five million feral hogs in the United States"
We domesticate them, transport them, and create biodiverse environments. Now they are an invasive species once outside the pens we've created. NY Times article details some of the devastation of animality gone feral.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Yvonne the cow as difference

How can we think difference in itself? It is a question posed by Deleuze in Difference and Repetition. Examples of D's thinking are hard to come by since the question bears upon the unrepresentable. Animality offers a mode of engaging difference in itself. Cows are domesticated beasts but for Yvonne the cow, domestication is merely a camouflage. She has not only taken herself out to pasture, she kept running and is in full on wilderness. Some in Germany are hunting to kill her. The State says she posses a threat since her corporality, her animality that was used for commercial gain in milking, has turned into a possible weapon should she step onto a road and get hit by a car. Others, animal welfare folk, want to bring her into the fold and give her a safe home. But Yvonne is having none of this dialectics. She has receded into the wildnerness and humans can't find her. Recall Heraclitus: "Nature loves to hide." But really, must we seek it? Can it not be into and of itself. Allowing Yvonne to be is a recognition of a difference in itself, one that cannot be domesticated but roams of its own accord.

Aliens and thought

Aliens are in the news often these days and with good reason. They are figures of an unknown animality with an unknown consciousness and reasoning that confronts humans and humanism. has a good video dialogue on the subject. Aliens confront the limits of human reason and biology with an unknown. This unknown and unknowable is played out in animality as well in the work of Thomas Nagel (essay "What is it like to be a bat" references aliens) and Uekull (whose Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Men ends with astronomers gazing at the stars and the life they could hold).