08 August 2009

A short outburst on the history of taxidermy that quickly shuts Otterpop up.

Otterpop looks like she has a manifesto coming on. Never a good thing.

What's the matter Otterpop? Crappy taxidermy freak you out? Moldy and badly sewn stuffed cat got yer tongue? You have a vision of your future and you are now in touch with your inner feelings on the aging process? How you like them apples? Mortality looks you in the face like a little pony girl that asks if they invented cars yet when you were a baby, back when Sleestacks roamed the earth and were friends with Josie and the Pussycats and then you flash forward up to the future of nasty ass cross stitching with a few sequins super glued on here and there where the seam is too bumpy and too askew?

Social relationships between animals and humans, sort of complicated. Maybe you are like the marriage counselor between the girl and her horse and they're in therapy together so no one ends up in tears after every single ride. Maybe you got a pack of dogs and everyone has their power trips, but someone needs to step up and act like a grown up and teach everybody else how to behave with nice boarding school manners. Sometimes you got your deer hunting guy and his big truck and he pops that deer good, and SLAMMO. Nature and culture collide in a big, bloody way and Mr. goes home with a big fat rack to hang up in the dining room. Or maybe your beloved pet burro dies and you find a way to skin that carcass and you soak it in nasty toxic acid and and wrap it onto a bunch of big foam pillows and sew it up with gut string and a smile across it's lips. Now you got one helluva cross road between relationships held together with cross stitching. Dead owl on a fence post makes it's way into the nature exhibit about birds. Any way you slice it, there's something to it when people like their animals fully contained and controlled and then how about preserved and staring out at posterity with fake glassy eyes.

Aw, hell, Otterpop. Don't give Ruby that look. She ain't never ending up taxidermied. I can tell you that right now.

A long time ago, like Charles Dickens and shit, they would shoot squirrels and taxidermy them up in little costumes in dioramas having boxing matches and dental procedures and cocktails amongst the hoi polloi at the squirrel party. Playing badmitton and lacrosse and ice skating. Lovely little velvet costumes and genuine boxing gloves and tiny little shoes made from the softest kidskin, displayed before precious handpainted trees with special squirrel sized furniture and tiny fake cakes. I'm just a lady that talks way too much to her dogs, and hell, doesn't even eat meat. But what I wouldn't give for a squirrel army, poised in mid flight, running around on the moldings high up above my head in my creaky old wooden living room.

So wait, Otterpop. Did I just step on your manifesto train here? Beg your chubby little pardon, all sour and dour. No one really wanted to hear your yelling, anyways. Hate to break it to you. But I suspect you were going to yammer on about your tennis balls. Yammer, yammer, yammer. Sometimes, you just need to do something more quiet. Observing nature, maybe? Or taking up the hobby of sculpture? Reviewing stinky old texts of Mr. Levi-Strauss? Heck. I just like dogs and busted up old taxidermy. End of that outburst.


Anonymous said...

Laura, have you been reading Donna Haraway while tipsy? (Either you, or Donna)

Elayne said...

Did you know they have taxidermy contests? I saved this link long ago because sadly it was the only good picture I could find on the web of a black Abert squirrel.