n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Thursday, May 18, 2006

some theory

[Animals referred to are from Zanatonia, continent written about profusely by SAIC writing class]


Bio: The theories of the great Zanatonian animal-psychoanalyst, Androgena Breton, have arguably had the greatest impact of any Big Ideas since Zano’s study of landscape ephemera-politics. Born in 1888 on a dairy farm in the region near Factory City, Breton attended Hops University with the aim of becoming a zoologist. On the fateful day of June 12, 1909, Breton draped a flag reading “this is all bunk” out of her window. From this moment onwards, she radically shifted the direction of her studies and went on to eventually create a new field that specialized in examining the issues of the animal psyche. Ever afterwards, Breton carried a largish grudge towards all biologists and was known to be particularly hard on zoologist-adventurer, Harriet Kendricks, going to the point of even saying, “I never met an animal that woman wasn’t willing to find a dissecting tray for.” Still, the enmity seemed to prove productive for both women, and considering that the great treatise “On the Multiplicity of the Mongrel Squawk” was produced during Breton’s long convalescence, Kendricks can perhaps be forgiven for having challenged Breton to a duel that left Androgena with a piece of harpoon shrapnel in her left butt-cheek. Androgena’s most oft-quoted reason for developing her field was that “Any human endeavor that does not seek to preserve the great mysteries of the universe even as it probes them is not worth a phratumlet’s watermelon seed.” As her works are far too voluminous for this particular anthology, we have chosen a few important excerpts from Breton’s lesser-known and highly unedited works: Animoporphism / Botopomorphism, Beyond Survival: the Animal Raison D'existence, and Abnormal Junglisms.

on moving from biology to animal-psychiatry:
Why, we might ask, would I want to pick up a scalpel and rip a creature from anus to Adam’s apple, when I might understand the great anima-mechanization of a creature’s shifting mind without dependence on those easily confused creatures that I will call the senses? The animal’s um, a portion of the self I believe lies outside the realm of the material, is partially based in, but extends much further than the grey matter that holds it.

We do not call a “boat” its own captain, and indeed the very generation of these two distinct terms (boat/captain) suggests an understanding that structure is not given to guiding itself. We are very keen on acknowledging that fiberglass and wooden plank may be set out upon the ocean but is not likely to find its way into a harbor without the assistance of several deckhands and one, or perhaps more, captains who work in a variety of fashions—from anarchic randomness to fascist dictation—to land the subtle creature that lifts it distinctly away from the inanimate flotsam that drifts unthinkingly upon that great and mysteries of entities, the ocean. So, why do we refrain from acknowledging the um’s distinctness from body, and studying it in a way that is more, shall I say, scientific in nature than religion or philosophy are prone to.

To make the metaphor clearer, I think, I must emphasize that I understand the um is carried within body, within flesh, and it is within the flesh that each is differentiated in border. However, I do not agree with certain biologists that the meticulous decimation of chemical conflagrations will get us one iota closer to understanding the um, or the vague shifting entities that we might shout “ahoy, ahoy” to from our individuated crow’s nest on a particularly sunny day. Studying the struts of a ship, the keel, its sail, and perhaps even sinking the ship as we prod our thousand little holes into its bung, will not help in the endeavor to trace the formation of the boat’s path. It is path that I am interested in studying; the generation of direction; the motion that finds respite from storm. And this path is marked by the um, the psyche, and not the fleshy shell that gently rocks it atop the water.


“Why not the human?” many people have asked me. And to them I reply, “What could be more boring than a human? It cannot be denied that still waters often run deeply, and I find the psychological intrigues of our more soft-spoken counterparts, the animals, far more exciting and illuminating than the disappointing thoughts and emotions that skate us along the surface of our human docudramas.”

on anthropomorphism:
Twitter mrp xnt, rrrrrrrrrrhr mew sqk, blbblbblb nnnph woof erp erp erp erhhhp screeeeeeeeee huf.

[manifesto as translated by Lazy Eye Wilkins: “We have feelings too, you know.” Signed by Many Zanatonians of the animal disposition.]

on the advent of awareness:
At birth, the um of all creatures (except the mongrel squawk) is voiceless and some may argue, not entirely present. So how does it come to be? The lifesaver is perhaps the most intriguing of animals to consider when examining the initiation of the um into awareness of itself.

Young lifesavers, grown from a kind of green flagellate spore, do not resemble their adult counterparts except in their reflective qualities. However, their initiation into the realm of self-awareness actually seems to coincide with the moment they cease using their flagella to whip subatomic particles and microscopic sea plants into their entrails and instead generate energy via their solar panel system. This is the moment when a lifesaver bumbles into another fellow lifesaver, from which community they are not included in upon birth (being spewed as they are from the adult lifesaver’s liquid-solid “thigh” muscles).

The first time the lifesaver reflects the surface of their brethren, they appear to grow agitated and confused, as it is indeed their own reflective surface they are confronting. Thus, meeting with other lifesavers is an experience in time, and the eternal nature of the reflection within reflection within reflection (etc) tends to poise the lifesaver on the brink of new awareness.

The um is born at the moment of suffering when the lifesaver has no knowledge of which direction is north/south, which reflection “real,” which and how it is that their motions magnify the eternal upon moving closer to the reflection’s reflection, and elongate the eternal upon the creation of distance. The young lifesaver tends to spend months dancing a slow dance with its new buddy, attempting to distinguish the temporary from that which does not shift in the field of reflection.

This question is never actually resolved and the um does not find itself until another object is insinuated between the two shiny young bodies. It is this third, this other, perhaps a mere unicellular ameba on an ocean-binging rampage, that breaks the hypnotic oneness of the lifesaver, ruptures the um from unfiltered time, and sometimes splinters the mind of the young lifesaver, as it attempts to reconcile itself to the reverse mirror-effect of an object inserted between two reflective versions of body. After all, the left-hand side of an ameba rarely resembles its right-hand side, and it is a mind-boggling phenomenon to view both simultaneously. Thus the um of the lifesaver is born, and it is this awareness of the fleeting moment, the shifting second (the path of an ameba), as an entity squished between two eternal voids that is perhaps at the bottom of the lifesaver’s infinite wisdom.

on abnormalities as normalities:
The Salapian Danteller has long been a rabid curiosity for that particular zoologist who will go unnamed, and even as I strain to remove myself from her particular field of obsession, I cannot help but note with interest upon the danteller’s oft-pondered habit of not sleeping.

Sleep, as we have discussed elsewhere, most likely serves to re-align the poles of the um’s guidance system via exploration of alternative universes, within each of which north tends to be a few degrees off of our own. This system of dreaming is akin to turning off a radar system in order to give the machine that few extra seconds upon re-start to more thoroughly explore new positioning and reef-like structures. Initiation into and abrupt removal from chaos thus serves to “re-awaken” the um to its tenuous position within time, and give it new coordinates to consider for harbor. But it’s this very system of re-alignment that the danteller can do without. Upon contemplation, several possibilities assert themselves: either the danteller is overly-capable of determining its directional energies and is born with a conscious um recognition of multiplicity, or perhaps the danteller is a genetic throwback that will eventually run itself into extinction by not being able to re-orient itself and thus casting itself into deep melancholia (see my notes on the lorgnette bittern).

My field research tends to suggest an impossible merging of these two theories. Originally, I tended to think the former a far more likely possibility, and I find my evidence within the very fruit for which the danteller is prized. The wound-fruit is known for its ability to help with night terrors, which thus suggests a capacity to reach into the ephemeral dream worlds and re-align any polarities that are too far afield from our own Zanatonian experience. Thus the poison of the danteller would serve as an auto-correction that might, under different chemical diffusions, help with the sleep deprivation caused by the danteller’s unusual genetic make-up.

However, the danteller tends to be a bit cranky and prone to melancholia as well, which suggests the possibility that the danteller is not as well-adjusted as we might like to believe.


For animals, as opposed to their sorrier brethren (I do not speak only of mathematicians), sheer decadent gluttony seems to be the safest way to achieve the Rest of the Just. See my notes in Beyond Survival regarding the bipolar hyanerus, mongrel squawks, huffingers, archeoceratops, and phratumlets.


How do the wings of the marscerephim work? The notes of Dudley Norton and his lover Norbert Lonesomeback of the Animal Trafficking Foundation, suggest that, as the wings do not function to move the marscerephim, and they have no discernible biological function, it is plausible that their enchantment functions entirely on the level of the internal guidance system. It’s as if the wings are calling “come back, come back” just as the dead are entering the re-uming cycle, without which our beloved Zanatonian world and Universe has been known to stagnate and grown entirely too Republican for anyone’s liking.

Yet, the dead creatures awakened by the marscerephim’s touch have been said to exude a wind of kindness and a particular sparkle of the eye. My current theory, which will be tested very soon as my boat falls off the flat edges of our world to the um whirlwind, is that the wings are so vestigial and unexpected that they awaken us to the possibility of re-creation and imagination, without which the deckhands/captains of our drifting structures grow quite entirely sad.
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