Rax E. Dillon (rax) wrote,
Rax E. Dillon
rax

Catgirl Goth Rave X: November 15, 2014, Somerville MA

SHORT VERSION: Catgirl [0] Goth Rave, address friendslocked Somerville MA
upper floors, doors at 9 PM music at 10 PM, dress goth wear black wear
cat ears, if that's hard for you, cat ears and cheap eyeliner will be
provided at the door. Please ask before passing on the invite.

Remember, Remember, 15th of November, [1]
  Catpersons, Glowsticks, and Goth.
No justification why catgirl goth raving
  Should ever be forsought.

Reader, let's talk about species. Species is a technical designation by
which we classify lifeforms, as well as being a collection of metaphorical
archetypes we use to understand others and each other. The technical
designation of vulpes vulpes, for example, is largely distinct from
the trickster archetype developed through literature and other cultural
formations, even though there are connections between the archetype and
the physical animals' interactions with humans. The trickster "steals"
food and resources from the human farm, for example; the hunter hunts
the vixen for fur in a microcosm of patriarchal conquest.

In some cases, these archetypes are projected onto their animals so
aggressively that the species adopts aspects of the archetype. We're used
to thinking of "alpha wolves," particularly an "alpha male," who are the
"leader of the pack" and have certain breeding rights, &c. &c. The fact
that wolves are like this is often used to justify _humans_ acting like
this, which is funny because wolves adopt these behaviors in captivity
_likely due to learning them from humans._ Wolves in the wild are pretty
much Communists and don't have the weird creepy hierarchical sex that we
use to justify our own creepy hierarchical sex. (If they have a different
kind, they haven't seen fit to tell us about it.)

Furries have been, often fairly, accused of perpetuating this process
by virtue of taking animal archetypes and reprojecting them onto
cartoonish animalized bodies. The cat in the cute floppy wrist pose
that cats can't make precisely, the wolf or other canid playing games
emblematic of domestication, and so on: These read as caricature, a
way of becoming-animal that domesticates through mimicry rather than
through direct intervention. If you can play with a tiger who purrs and
nuzzles you like your cat does, does it matter that the tiger is a human
in a costume? Perhaps --- but if through future technology the tiger is
indistinguishable, have we not domesticated animals by becoming them?

Even if we have, there is a flipside to this. In the process of
becoming-animal, we invite the animal alongside the archetype. While our
interactions with these animals are mediated, it is surprisingly easy to
learn the mannerisms, habitats, and so on of all manner of animals. There
are videos, especially if they're cute or elegant. Reference material is
accessible. While our taking on the animal's role and embodiment is an
act of domestication, learning from and embodying the animal's ways of
interacting with the world is a way to counter that effect and challenge
the definition of what it is to be human.

Last year, we partied about undomestication. This year, I invite
you to join me in amplifying the animal in our animality, and we'll
un-domesticate ourselves in a different way. Beats will be provided. [2]

<3,

-r.

[0] The event continues to be called Cat_girl_ Goth Rave for continuity
reasons and so as to tap into the archetype of the catgirl; catpersons
of all genders are welcome and encouraged to attend. I think I wore a
suit two years ago.

[1] The Fifth, Increasingly Irrelevantly Observed

[2] If you're interested in contributing beats, we'd love to have more DJs.
I can't fly anybody out, but I can give you nice things!
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/133464.html.
Tags: animal studies, catgirl goth rave, furry, the self as text
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