Re: RARA-AVIS: Pelecanos on dogfighting in the New Republic

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 06 Sep 2007


Boy, are you streeeeeeetching.

I saw Pelecanos praising the dog for its loyalty and lovability, which said "passivity" only exacerbated.

Cattle are not especially lovable (at least not to me), and as my rancher grandfather (who was too soft-hearted to butcher them himself, and would raise them, then sell them, or hire someone to do the deed) used to say, "Cattle are loyal to whoever is dumping the bales of alfalfa out of the back of the truck, and then only as far as their first mouthful."


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Michael Robison
  Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 7:57 PM
  Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Pelecanos on dogfighting in the New Republic

  Brian Thornton on training otherwise tame pets to kill
  for sport and butchering cattle:

  I've participated in the latter, and I have to tell
  you, half the time the cattle didn't even know they
  were dead. There's a reason that a group of mindless
  people are frequently referred to collectively as
  "cattle." Smart, they are not. They never know
  what's coming to them, and they have a pretty good
  life up to that point. More to the point it's done

  There are at least some subtle contradictions in the
  cow and pit bull discussion. Pelecanos praises the
  passive and harmless nature of his half breed pit
  bull, while the very same nature in a cow is likely to
  evoke disgust. So do we value this passivity or
  despise it? The answer lies between the pages of
  noir. Noir glorifies struggle, stripped of any moral
  content, as a bare knuckle existential celebration of
  life. Thus, the pit bull's easy ways are only
  admirable in light of its propensity towards a raging
  savagery. The lovable exterior is a thin veneer
  masking a killer. The cow is so overwhelmingly docile
  that it just don't get no respect. And when it does
  erupt into a dangerous animal, such as in a bullfight,
  it gets respect. So what on the surface appears to be
  an admiration for a passive nature is deconstructed to
  reveal a reverence for savagery.

  The above is my pomo interpretation of the privileged
  passive binary over its agressive opposite. Hope you
  had your hip boots on.


  Boardwalk for $500? In 2007? Ha! Play Monopoly Here and Now (it's updated for today's economy) at Yahoo! Games.


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