First, thanks to everyone for all your kind words and thoughts about Doug passing away. I know I am still very behind in writing back to people, but although life is beginning, in its weird way, to even out, there are still significant pieces of me in a shambles. Good correspondence is to come later.
Ok. One of my best coping methods is full cognitive dissonance, so let’s talk about the apocalypse, shall we? Just briefly. Casually. We’ll be breezy.
Awhile ago Dave sent me this story about animal violence. It’s a bit silly (if you read it all the way through, you’ll see what I mean), but the gist is that rapid evolution, spurred by the globally-warmed planet, has caused the animal kingdom to develop an awareness of human treachery (see: global warming, little dog sweaters). In fits and starts, the animals are rising up against us, attacking with a sense of purpose and under clear leadership.
This immediately made me think of Caryl Churchill’s chilling play Far Away, in which all of nature – the water, the grass, the wind, the antelope – have all divided into warring factions. Human beings make tentative alliances with various sides, but their lives are embattled, dangerous, cold. Trust is difficult to muster – in one scene, a character accuses another of perfidy by saying (I paraphrase): “You stand with the crocodiles.”
In discussing the GQ article with friends, additional evidence of increased animal agility in the human world has come to light. For instance, in Moscow some of the stray dogs that were moved out of the city center to the suburbs have figured out how to ride the subway and commute in and out of town to beg.
Now, commuting dogs alone don’t mean we’re doomed (we don’t even know which side the dogs would be on, if it came to full out war. Though Paul does like to get underfoot a lot. He’s…suspiciously good at it). But it does suggest the animals are willing to experience the vague displeasure of a 9 – 5 lifestyle for table scraps. Who knows what they might endure for true freedom?