The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

August 2, 2001


zoo, minima moralia

zoo functioning as an inverse concentration camp - the animals are ideally
reproduced in their conservation ur-environments; they ideally reproduce
in such environments; they are protected against the external violence of
humans. but they are displayed, not in terms of relation, for the audience
we watched and rewatched, but as individual isolates, spectacles; all con-
nections were permanently broken, and the violence - especially of the
children - was evident, as if it repeatedly struck the incarcerated
bodies. the earth sends minor populations into condensation; we harvest
and transfigure our destruction of habitat. but the obscene remains and
intensifies - the violence carries no message but that of momentary stasis
as animals cower as far from glass or mesh as possible - or else pose
obsequiously in the hope of junk food engorgement.

in the camp which is the zoo we watch our triumph over the demise of the
planet; we watch the idiocy of our triumph; we watch the spectacle of
destroyed cultures of any species not our own. in the camp which is the
zoo we attempt the resurrection of the end of life; one can watch with
horror at the gaping human mouths and screams staring at the last few
members of one or another species; in the camp which is the zoo, we find
the technological triumphant over each and every last bit of tortured
flesh on earth. everything is identified, tagged, labeled; the spectators
would like, as one said, nothing better than a taste of flesh killed as
fast as possible, offered up for a last hideous meal.


to reproduce until a plateau of stability is realized, but for what end;
the human monsters want nothing more than their share of the game. lock
the zoos; keep out of national parks and forests; return wildlife refuges
to whatever environment is left. the zoo might flourish without that
gaping audience; some sort of semblance of life might finally be returned
to one or another abandoned spot of earth. better yet - to cleanse the
world of humans who created this disaster in the first place, transforming
the planet into one great concentration camp of final and irrevocable


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