Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Laughing Rats...

It begs the question: is “the rat laughed” still an anthropomorphic statement if it’s been scientifically proven that rats actually laugh? Does it force us to reconsider the most basic divisions between what is “human” and what is “animal”?

- via Open Source "New Zoology"

Without brakes...

As these bold, unstoppable brutes cascade to their demise I am reminded of the misguided power all around us. Bullet trains running off their tracks, barreling through barnyards and backyard bar-b-ques. Ionesco's Rhinoceroses recast for the American Dream.

("Buffalo Falling" by David Wojnarowicz)

Pachyderm Painting: Trick or Treat?

This one really got the troops in arms one night after dinner. "It's a trick, it's a trick!" some insisted, as though it threatened their place at the top of the food chain. Yes the flower at the end is what breaks the "illusion" but is that a dismissal of the feat itself? The thoughtful precision with which this elephant places the brush, and retraces its strokes, is clearly an act of imagination.

Would a non-captive animal be found painting itself on the Serengeti Plane? Doubtful. But even if a mahout's barbed ankhous prods the elephant on off screen, it's hard to deny the inner creativity of this creature.

Powderkeg Rainbow Ape...

This magnificent mandrill knows how deeply frustrating his Homo sapien cousins can be. He's just barely containing his fury - at least until the photo session is over. Jill Greenberg's monkey shots are really quite good. They sink in. And that's the point isn't it - Teeth! Fangs in the gray matter jolting us out of our hypno-consumer stupor and into a psychic jungle of urgent, vibrant life.

("Grr" by Jill Greenberg)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Today I was a tiger...

Let's keep a tiger-centric theme rolling with this leaping lady who knew when it was time to jump ship. The animal flees captivity, preferring the natural rhythms of the water to the gawking stares and claustrophobia of this floating vessel of civilization.

Incidentally, tigers are great swimmers. "Once, I was following a tiger in a motorboat," said Dr. Pranabes Sanyal, an Indian authority on the hero-beast Panthera tigris tigris. "Tiger was swimming faster."

(anonymous photo - Dr. Sanyal quotation courtesy of The New Yorker 4/21/08)