Monday, January 31, 2011

Petulism: Boudicca's Thought For The Day #1 - Being and Not Having PROPERTY

Have the sales finished yet? Buying stuff is fun. Being owned is less fun. Humans in the west stopped doing it to each other hundreds of years ago but apparently it is still fine to own "pets". This is abuse.

And it's not just the fact that pets can be owned that is abusive. It is all the connected oppression. Think of it. Pets cannot own property - fine, they may say "that's Boudicca's bed", or "this is your ball", but when that ball gets lost, or the bed gets thrown out due to somebody's allergies, is there any right of redress? Can you sue? Can you fuck.

Also, pets don't count. Even owned humans got counted (2/3, but hey, every little helps) but check your census forms - are owned animals mentioned? No. Some guff about pets not using public transport. I beg to differ - plus, have you ever been on a bus in Paris? (don't answer that, proles) There's dogs in wheely trolleys everywhere. The first step in addressing oppression is gaging the size of the problem - pets aren't even given that recognition. Pets are invisible. In films, invisibility is cool. Not so in real life.

Then, there is unremunerated work. You may say, "oh, but you get fed and somewhere to sleep, and toys and stuff" - cheers. Does that meet the requirements of the National Minimum Wage Act? Of course not. And this is not just a matter for the professionals (sheepdogs, racehorses), nor the insufferably smug (guide dogs), who at least get some recognition for working (and occasionally a rosette) - this affects every owned animal. That decapitated mouse? That took work. Shitting in Auntie Mavis' slippers? Stealth and skill. Providing companionship in the absence of a man, dependents to tend to in the absence of children? Pay me, bitch.

Finally, there is the monetisation of owned animals' reproductive capacity - leaving aside the total absence of reproductive choice, which believe me will be covered later - dog breeding, stud farms, pet shops, the small ads in the back of the local paper, all of this is for the benefit of the owner. What do the parents get? Nothing. Not even expenses. I mean, even ebay realise this is a bit moody.

The totality of this situation is a vicious circle - pets are property, and property cannot own property - extending not just to our working, but also our family lives. Our heritage is co-opted by own owners for financial gain. No respect is paid to our traditions - this would have been a guard dog in Imperial China, and now what? Just a boom mike on legs - our personal sovereignty, or our entrepreneurial spirit.

This is the first blast of the squeaky toy against the monstrous regiment of pet owners. Marx said that property is theft. I say that 'property' is pissed off and about to turn round and bite your ankles.

You have been warned.