sneering-lepus

i don't revere nature

grand narratives explaining everything tend to say that “Nature” is localized and it isn't here where we live but no, there is no clear boundary between the two — “natural” and “civilized” only the times and spaces where human systems are firmly in place to repeatedly extinguish that which spontaneously grows systems that use human hands to build and maintain that which would self-destruct if left unattended

“Nature” may be the sum of the inhuman ways of life we witness and try to document and generalize and package into Knowledge

you're pretending to know that which is unknowable and who worships “Nature” as a Thing but someone who truly doesn't know what they're looking at or where they are

“Nature” does not welcome you you are one of many lives no grand plan holds space for you to flourish as well, nothing in “Nature” wishes to violently extinguish you because you are who you are

Forget “Nature” as a feminized parental authority figure who cares for all Her children wants to keep them in line and scorns those who stray from Her Law if anyone hates us, let it be those individual lives we trample and tear apart but not “Nature”

Forget “Nature” as a machine with a directive inclined toward elegance and efficiency optimization and progress and expansion There is no domination for its own sake there is no economy of time and energy

there is will to live seeing opportunity noticing being alert play with your food chase and howl for there is no plan or purpose only the bullshit games where humans have turned obedience and compliance into matters of life and death

but how do we separate Leviathan from our true feelings how do we trust our warped instincts, our dulled senses, our proprioception which way is up?

do you, who talk of going feral, understand what it means to sever ties that bind you to not just state and the global economy but to family and friends and those threads running through your body that narrative that justifies your existence in words words words

imagine being in the jaws of the fierce and indifferent
the vast and alien uncaring expansive and endless Everything mountains inconceivably high barren solid rocks and ground eternally deep oceans unyielding and enveloping forest inconceivably dense firm and stoic trees tall, thick, and Everywhere What do you eat now?

your body subject to roaring, explosive powerful elemental forces that reduce you to nothing your body subject to those beings, neither friends nor enemies sinewy predator who has set their sights hot breath and undeniably present strong death is inescapable close at any moment and words do nothing to change it it's always been close

Enter the Wendigo* the Call of the Wild in flesh with a sweet, musty, and lonely smell humans hear the call and change they are first taken, then they run of their own volition feed on human bodies possessed to fly with feet of fire over mountains bounding, fleeing, leaping with enough force to tear and deform one's own body

you outrun yourself into an unrecognizeable form be wretched embody that which disgusts you that your loved ones would not recognize and you would not recognize them in turn abscond into abjection that feels so natural so alive there is no other way to be

imagine truly abandoning those imposed structures we orient our lives around fighting against and never even seeing a choice of whether to stay or go life means ceasing to be you lose yourself, lose what you have called your “life” into “another scheme of life” in the “beyond region”*

what could it look like what could you be capable of what could you do to those things you care about today here and now

“There are things about us, I’m sure, that make for disorder, disintegration, destruction, our destruction,”*

*References to Algernon Blackwood short stories – The Wendigo and The Willows

Facts of the Body that Can't Be Decolonized Just settler bullshit.

For someone else's school assignment, I was reflecting on what decolonization is in concrete terms, beyond the slogan “decolonization means no state.” Riffing off “Decolonization Means No State” by Tawinikay and “Decoloniztion is Not a Metaphor” by Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of colonial impositions that are not, contrary to official history, “good for us” or inevitable or necessary: landlords, paying rent, being employed, identifying as a “citizen” or “worker”, buying food from grocery stores, factory farming, compulsory heterosexuality, two and only two binary genders, whiteness, racialization, industrial agriculture, only letting food plants grow in tiny little plots, embalming our corpses, getting served food at restaurants, the stock market, psychiatric institutions, assembly lines, plastic-wrapped food, the imperative to be productive at all times, ubiquitous advertising, human resources departments, prison, police, “private property”, spending most of our lives sitting down and inside a climate-controlled cube, “corporate social responsibility”, a few weeks of vacation per year, air travel, one-day shipping, English as a lingua franca, the institution of Science, compulsory schooling/kid prisons, keeping animals as pets, humans thinking they're not animals, bottled water, the concept of “dating”, rich people starting charities, the concept of “value”, concrete sidewalks with the occasional tree, lawns with nothing but grass on them, micromanaging our kids, cities built around highways and car sales, separating life into “work” and “leisure”, conceiving of time as a resource to spend and save, conceiving of rocks and water and dirt as “resources”, dreams of terraforming mars...

While maintaining these things is really only important for the wealth and well-being of a small group of people, nearly everyone is subjugated by this this toxic shit. All of these impositions are mutually supportive. You can only lock an upstanding canadian citizen into pointless jobs for life when they have to pay rent and buy food. So private property has to be protected with violent force, and food has to be grown and processed by slave labour “somewhere else.” I don't think I have to spell out much more. There is no removing and fixing isolated elements in this system, which is designed to accumulate Value and dismiss all other factors as externalities.

Here's my sense: decolonization is expansive and penetrating as state and corporate control are totalizing. I'm thinking it's not possible to reduce decolonization to a series of discrete, manageable processes. Maybe there is no stable set of conditions to aspire toward and protect indefinitely. There is no correct social organization to prescribe. There is no central authority imposing structures on everyone at once to achieve “decolonization.”

Considering what it all practically means, I thought about my local context. I thought about myself and my positionality. I wondered about what decolonization could mean on the individual level, for a settler who has been steeped in capitalist industrial mass culture from birth.

I live in the city. I sustain my body with commodities purchased from stores with money. I navigate bureaucracy to obtain what I need from institutions that hold that shit hostage. If urban parasitism is all you know, if you have no family and no history that tells you anything else was ever possible, you can't even imagine the life-ways that are excluded and extinguished so more cities like yours can flourish, so more highway malls and sweatshops get copy pasted everywhere. No drinking from a river. No picking berries from a bush. But it goes so much deeper than observable activities and consumption choices like that.

There is an interiority, a subjective experience beyond my imagination, that I cannot possess because nearly every facet of my body has been sculpted and stunted to suit the needs of employers. My sense of what is possible or real has been bent into shape by the tools I use.

I feel like decolonization is not a state you can arrive and stay at, like “death” or “employment.”

“I” cannot be “purified” or returned to a “state of pre-colonial nature”. “I” am an extension of the colonial process. This is a social order intended to reproduce and support people (somewhat) like me: potentially productive and reproductive worker-renter-consumer-citizens. Everyone else is supposed to die or go “somewhere else”. Industrial production and material flows hold my life. My “self” right now only has a future in a world that is as genocidal and cruel as the present.

Not to self-flagellate or sermonize on the necessity of settler guilt. This may be the plain fact of how things are, the outcome of causality, devoid of moral meaning. I wanna accept the body and circumstances I have and make the most of existence anyway. I'm not gonna insist there are any “should”s here for how you feel about yourself.

I messaged my friend with much of the above to help pad their assignment. I don't think any of it was usable. One flippant line I wrote went like so: “Hot take: decolonization in practice is self-annihilation*. Self-annihilation, unlike decolonization, can be a metaphor.”

I’m not going to stand by that equation. But I do jive with the idea of becoming something you’re not, when the present you makes you feel so not at home, and guiding that iterative process of reinvention with intention and active rejection of the ideological slosh getting pipelined into our brains.

In practice, I think that means not going through the same unthinking motions as usual. It means uprooting the habits and thoughts and forms-of-life that make “you” up. The flipside is inventing new, deliberate forms-of-life that make sense for where you’re at and who you’re with. It means fucking with your sense of time, what matters to you, choosing the places you wander and inhabit, cultivating new a sense of “possible” and “real.”

Taking it metaphorically, 'self-annihilation” is probably never a place you get to, unless you literally die and are forgotten by everyone. Maybe I'll never untie every knot there is to untie. Maybe I'll never live a completely free and uncompromising kinda life because we all live interdependently, amidst forces of overwhelming scale. Maybe there will always be an urgency and compulsion to preserve and grow the “self”.

All I want for myself is to reject (as much as possible) scripted modes of life for securing a future for myself as an amenable, recuperable human resource.

No Self. No hope for living the Good Life within the bounds set by Empire.

*I'm not the kind of person who literally gets told I should die. This idea of yeeting yourself, literally or not, has a different meaning for me than someone who is actively encouraged to stop existing. You know if you're one of those people. I’m not telling anyone what to do or how to feel. I only know I’m sick of myself, as I’m sick of all this shit.

EATING IS CRUEL

Mass-produced living creatures, who are born, raised, and killed on an assembly line, perhaps understand on some level what is coming, what has happened to hundreds of thousands of others just like them. Perhaps they are attuned to the echoes of their predecessors looping and trapped in this time and place. Perhaps, for the duration of their short lives, they have the stillness to think through questions like “why?” Perhaps they understand enough to be angry that it didn't have to be this way, and to curse their own meat down to the bone. May the farmed turn their disgust and rage inward. May they inlay their technologically-accelerated swollen tissues with their futile desire, fury, and terror. May these emotions with nowhere else to go accumulate like shards of asbestos of everyone who swallows with delight these farmed bodies into their own. May every egg be invested with hot corrosive hatred for those who knows it as a neutral commodity, rather than living tissue forcefully extracted from a body cannibalizing itself until it is exhausted to nothing. May the memories of hundreds and thousands of lives born to die suffuse and penetrate every cell of every thoughtless human eater. It is a burden worth carrying, if we are going to nourish ourselves this way.

We all know what happens in a slaughterhouse, as we have all seen the videos. Think about what it would be not to outsource this killing and do it yourself. Think long and hard about what it is to deliberately deprive a creature of choice and movement, to put it right where you want it in a trap. It is easy to see yourself and your will to live in this creature, who fully sees what's coming because it knows immobility is death. You have to injure its body to the point of full system breakdown, so that the light inside goes off and you're left with meat and no spirit. Living tissue is robust. It holds itself together. It wants to heal and perpetuate itself. You must puncture holes in the container, so inside bleeds into outside. Sever critical transport tubes and organs, so fluid pools and spills where it's not meant to. Rend, cut, and shred muscle fibers, so they can't contract and produce tension on bone. No fighting back, no seeking egress.

We are not meant to confront the horror reality of inflicting pain and death so we may sustain ourselves. Streamlined economic functioning systematizes and abstracts that reality to have endless reams of food product on demand. It's been set up to keep us consumer-user drones from metabolizing the true, fleshy weight of killing and death.

And perhaps the worst part is that we can walk this world knowing, but we still don't get to choose how we eat. Those who have never taken the stillness to process it all would only be destroying themselves to carry all there is to carry, regarding life and death and production and consumption. A small portion of us are allowed some lateral movement to avoid putting the worst of it in their own bodies, for being born in the right time and place, but ultimately don't get to climb out of this hole. It's not a simple matter of choosing between modes of consumption with clear ethical rankings. Organic, grass-fed, family farm-raised. You know what continues regardless of the pains you take to eat differently. We were born losers in a sense.

We all eat and shit and breathe the fumes. This is a people farm. A people grinder. It exists to continue existing. Eternal snake eating itself, crapping into its own mouth. We must keep the economy running or there is no “we” that continues to feed and get fed.

—– to be continued —– forever in a circle —– not done yet —-