Banana slug + mice mascot manifesto (circa '88 driving '66 cars in Santa Cruz)


12/2/2020> Once up on a time in 1987 or 88 we was walking out to our '66 Mustang in the remote parking lot of UC Santa Cruz + saw a large snake slither under the car + coil up into the engine. If we hadn't of seen it it might have hitched a ride (or got mangled/burnt). We got down on our knees + peered under the car wondering what to do. We reckoned it was a gopher snake but it was hard to tell as it was all tangled up in our transmission. California gopher snakes are similar to rattlers except they ain't poisonous, but they often will rattle their tails + hiss, which is what this snake was doing. A woman walking out to her car noticed + asked what the problem was + when we said a snake had crawled into the engine she didn't hesitate to get on her back, slide under the car + pull the snake out. This was typical of women @ UC Santa Cruz. This woman could very well have been Donna J. Haraway, who was a professor @ UC Santa Cruz @ the time + whose Maniestly Haraway we just finished reading.

> Manifestly Haraway is made up of "The Cyborg Manifesto," "The Companion Species Manifesto" + "Companions in Converstation (w/ Cary Wolfe)". We've read bits of the Cyborg Manifesto before online... + come to think of it we vaguely remember perusing it when this body we inhabit was @ UC Santa Cruz in the late '80s. UCSC was like that, there were these xeroxed copies of various manifestos that got passed around w/ hushed tones. But @ the time we was probly more intrested in subersive documents on dripping faucets + strange attractors penned by members of the Chaos Cabal, tho we did take a class in Cybnernetics (we majored in computational math). Haraway was/is w/ the History of Consciousness department @ UCSC so likely our paths never crossed unless she was the 1 who yanked the snake from the engine of our Mustang (or rather, the Mustang that drove us). She comes @ it from more of a feminist/socialist slant ("The Cyborg Manifesto" was 1st published in Socialist Review). Actually, it occurred to us that we can check our transcript (UCSC handed out narrative evaluations in loo of grades) to verify... we took Cybernetics from a David Huffman. We also took Sociobiology w/ Robert Trivers but we dropped it cuz he was super creepy. He had a reputation for picking up on young co-eds, including some of our friends in the class... it was astonishing that he was a professor cuz everyone knew about his sexual exploits. We member the day we walked out he was talking about beach-master elephant seals while making some sort of social darwinism type of argument + it struck us that he was taking these theories too literally + practising what he preached, in the same way we now realize Kevin Spacey has spent so much time acting creepy/predatory that he became that way. Looking @ Trivers' wiki page now ends up he has ties to Jeffrey Epstein, defending Epstein's underage sexual exploits by saying "By the time they’re 14 or 15, they’re like grown women were 60 years ago, so I don’t see these acts as so heinous." Again, surprising he was never fired, specially considering all the radical feminists on campus. He stopped @ least this author from ever pursuing a career in sociobiology (biology was actually our major initially before we switched to math).

> In "The Cyborg Manifesto" Haraway inhabits cyborgs "to try to make feminist sense of contemporary life in techoscience." In "The Companion Species Manifesto" she inhabits dogs to similar affect. She's definitely high-flutin', dropping a lot of fancy buzzwords, or she uses words like "bitch" frequently to perhaps restore the word to it's original meaning. She says things like "To be constituted by another's desire is not the same thing as to be alienated in the violent seperation of the laborer from this product," which we ain't sure we understand or agree with but it sounds cool. Her thoughts on pets rub us the wrong way tho... as we pointed out in chapter 2 of thriver meme, we're glad we was raised by wolves when we was a kid, but as an adult have consciously never "owned" a dog just like we've chosen to not reproduce biologically. She justifies her pet adoration as reciprocal, says something like "I have a dog, my dog has me," but the diffrence is she can choose the dog whereas a dog can't choose its owner. Sure, there's stray dogs that follow u home, but their attachment to a humun is probly cuz s/he is in despirate need of food + shelter. Worse, Haraway has a pure-bred dog that she trains to do tricks, so has indirectly contributed to selectively weeding out (i.e. killing or not allowing to breed) puppies w/ traits that ain't deemed desireable (for performing in such agility circuses, which don't get us wrong we love to watch). We don't have an academic argument for it but that whole business just seems fundamentally fucked. But we love all dogs + are glad they exist in this world + are happy whenever we are around them + wish we was in a position to have 1 (where they were completely indeependant + not reliant on us).

> We're reading/thinking about Manifestly Haraway mostly in light of working on our own thriver meme dbook. Since we came up w/ the idea for our selfish machine theory 2 or 3 years ago standing on a corner in Rome realizing that people weren't driving cars but cars were driving them it makes sense we shd go into our history w/ these machines + also the kind wonderful creatures that have intersected our life. Perhaps the reason the snake coiled into the above mentioned '66 Mustang was cuz there were mice living in it. We used to find nuts stashed on the engine block + heard them scurrying about up in the upholstery above our head. Once we even trapped 1 in the upholstery w/ our cupped hand to satisfy ourselves that indeed that's what we thought we heard/saw. Once we was satisfied we let the mouse go about it's business, seeing as it din't really interfear w/ ours (tho it was a bit unnerving to think they might crawl on us while we was driving).

> It was somewhere around this time that the steering column of this '66 Mustang snapped going around a corner in the hills between Santa Cruz + the Bay Area. Luckily the car went up a bank instead off a cliff. We walked away + hitched a ride home then called the glue factory + sold the it for parts. We got $500 bucks (what we paid for it) turned around + for $50 bot a '66 VW bug (we had a thing for vehicles made in the same year we was born) that was gathering dust in a friend's barn (they didn't think it worked). We got her (we named her Sara) running + drove her (or rather, she drove us) til we graduated some 3 years later + she never broke down (or if she did we was always able to fix her ourselves w/ the help of that hippie guide for the "compleat idiot"). Don't remember if we had any mice co-habitating Sara but around this time we lived in a camper in the UC Santa Cruz camper lot + there was a mouse that ran around in the walls + cupboards + used to do things like put nuts or noodles in the underwear drawer or chew up our socks + put them in the cereal box. This mouse got so bold that 1 time s/he was on the counter + we just sat there staring @ them while we ate cereal + s/he just stared back while chewing on a nut. Eventually we bot 1 of those humane traps but then we couldn't sleep cuz we read somewhere that a mouse can only live a few hours w/out eating + that if they have nothing to eat they'll start to eat their own tails. On the 2nd or 3rd night of no sleep cuz we were listening for the trap we finally caught the mouse + walked a mile or 2 into the redwoods to let them go but the next night s/he was back in the camper (whose name was Wally). A few days later we caught the mouse again + then let them go in our neighbor's camper.

> Guess u cd think of this post as an addendum to somewehere between post #540 or #546 when we was summarizing our UCSC years to fill in the gaps of this retroactive archive (which we're soon gonna rename to "My Life in the Blog of Ghosts"). Or u cd think of this as material that we might eventually use in thriver meme. Whereas Haraway inhabits cyborgs + dogs to examine posthumunism (a term she eschews instead preferring instead the term "companion species"—nonhumun entities that coexist w/ humans), we're attempting to inhabit each + every animal, alien + manmade product from agricultural zuchini to art + no, we ain't thinking along the lines of co-existence but removing humuns from the equation, wondering if humuns have had it wrong all along thinking they were kings of the jungle when in fact humuns are mere pawns to bring all these dogs + technology into fruition until 1 day humuns are no longer needed. We ain't even sure if this qualifies as "posthuman" thought (perhaps why we can't bring ourselves to spell it rite) + don't know who coined the term or is responsible for defining it. Posthumunism seems to have emerged in more recent history, since the '80s + Haraway is seemingly a pioneer, but back in '67 Richard Brought-a-gun penned "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace" (or rather the poem caused Brautigan to put it down on paper) but if Haraway distances herself from posthumunism cuz of it's utopian implications (per wikipedia) than she probly wouldn't buy into it:

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now, please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.

... then again, Brought-a-gun blew his brains out + no 1 discovered his body til a month later. Weather his sewerside note said "Messy, isn't it?" is subject to Inurnet revisionist history, but per his wiki page he once said, "All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds." Amen, brother, tho our place is @ 1 w/ the rivery dadastream.

817 <(current)> 819> Dazed + confused in '94: leaving the Black Hills + aimlessly ending up in a drive-away to France
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