Thursday, July 26, 2007

a quick ramble about shambo

So today they came and took Shambo the Welsh Hindu bull with bovine tuberculosis despite the monks holding a continuous act of worship around him dragged them out of the way led a garlanded bull out to be taken away to receive a lethal injection and head out of all sorrow
...into whatever but that all happened 300 miles away and I only knew of it because of the TV that had imported the moment or some part or some properties of the moment, carefully selected, over here to where I happened to be looking in open like a fool to whatever they decided to upload into my head and I couldn't help but feel sad for Shambo and ignore the 2,000,000 other cattle killed today and I have to wonder if this transfer this shift this import and this selective teleportation of only the poetic, the magical, the evocative, the demonic elements present at Shambo's stall is some kind of actual metaphor or metonym. I can't quite get at this one, but the process occurs in reality, rather than just in text or language. Representative forms from the story of Shambo are implanted in me, I assimilate them and respond as the semiotics direct. The signs are not Shambo, but I believe Shambo is real. (This may be delusional on my part, but if so then the world is far stranger and more sinister than I think.)

Although I know I am being manipulated by story-tellers (tricksters) I still respond. If I think of 6 million Holocaust victims I feel little; if I am told the story of just one, or shown a face, or some personal effects recovered, I feel more. What is this process? Is it only knowable as story-telling? Is it more fundamental, or am I ignoring the depth of meaning inherent in the term 'story-telling'?

I am some kind of robot, and people can send signals to me from afar, instructing me to dance or throw up my hands or weep, and I will obey. Poor Shambo, says the robot, befuddled with words and images and the manipulation of signs. Do I object to my response, or do I attempt to claim it as somehow my own, and not something prompted and controlled by others? What is my free will regarding Shambo? Do I have any free will once I am exposed to his story? Even if I fight it I am reacting to the dictates of others.

Maybe I will strive robotically for total indifference to all such stories of bulls. Why will I do that? Why did the idea of doing so occur to me? Is this story influencing my urge to strive in such a way? The only sensible and proactive approach is to remove myself from all exposure to symbols and influence for a long time, and then ask what I will do next. After this hypothetical cleansing of interference, assuming it to have been totally successful, would I have any will to do anything other than satisfy the requirements of the body and shamble around with a vague interest in bright things? Forget it, let's go with Shambo and embrace garlanded slavery, and believe for a few stupid moments that we are free.

Save our Shambo!

Why does that remind me of this?

Postscript: Shambo executed last night. Monks in mourning. Durga festoons Shambo with flowers upon his arrival. Now looky here!

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