Friday, January 31, 2014
Jan. 26, 2014. Pope Francis releases two doves as a symbol of peace and immediately they are attacked by a sea gull and a large black crow. For these animals there is no transcendental signification. Doves are not a symbol. They are other animals in the territory. Animality responds to the the transcendental signification of the Pope and his God and the verticality of metaphysics, they respond by doing what animals do... Pope, you're and your "symbols" are in the animal world now. Humans want peace by releasing doves? Try release all of animality onto the streets.
Richard Conniff in his recent NYTimes editorial "Pastoral Icon or Wooly Menace?" laments the bucolic sheep that dot the landscape of Great Britain. As Conniff explains, these sheep damage the landscape with overgrazing causing deforestation and loss of vegetative variety. Well, lets consider the sheep perspective: humans put the sheep in the landscape and in great numbers with all sorts of experimentation as to which breeds work best in which terrains. During the 19th century Clearances humans were driven off the landscape to make way for sheep grazing. Now in the 21st century with our synthetic materials to keep us warm we want to do away with sheep and their wooly being-in-the-world. We lament the decisions of past generations that brought us to this pastoral abundance. But the animals are not factories that are easily shut down or converted or re-purposed into post-industrial terrains for human consumption and production. Their bodies, their animality and the culture entwined around the companion species resists.