Cats & Dogs



Last known photo of the Atlas Lion, or Barbary Lion, an extinct North African species.

On Hostile Interaction, as it pertains to ambition in the marketplace

Article by Cameron Alexander Murton

Four friendly dogs go after a cat. The cat runs. Though the dogs give chase by way of instinct, there is no malice in their action. There is no fight for survival. They are simply young and curious. So many years of plenty have made them soft and kind and caring. They are no longer like their ancestors, who only chased to kill, to feed, to bleed, and breed. Now, in their hearts and minds, they chase simply because it is good, clean fun. They chase to bond, to build, to connect structure between themselves and others. They do not chase to burn such structures down.

So together the five round a corner whose alley gives way to dead end. The cat turns to strike a pose against the crumbling brick. The four canines pause, cautious of this sudden change. Their little minds question providence and reason. The cat remembers well many dangers faced; its life so different from their own; so full of solitude and leaps of faith. Tactics turn, expressions darken: the cat is reminded of the past, the time before their human gods did feed and stroke with combs of pleasure. Its back arched, teeth shown, a hiss completes the image. The dogs have changed too, their tails curled between shaking legs. Though the cat is smaller than a single one of them, and though they outnumber the creature four to one, their arrangement proves no match for sheer hostility. Now it is their turn to run and hide. But the cat does not give chase. It only lowers its guard, before wondering on to something new.

So I ask you, what is the individual value of hostility? When your assailants mean you little harm, the wrong gesture can still lead to death. We are still animals, though some may pledge to rise above, through honor and valor and contribution of philosophy. We have not risen yet, our species still aims to maim and hurt and bleed. We still tussle in the streets, in disputes of detriment and status quo. Those strong muscular men whose backs do bear the weight of rich ambition; their wives who also work and serve to bear more children back into the fray; do these poor souls become superior? Their nerve and ethic so pure in pursuits of singular purpose: to reproduce, to build, to continue until such a time as robots may come down from noble heaven, to alleviate our suffering.

Be they listeners or teachers or those who simply work to die, it is not them who benefit from the nature of Establishment. Nay, it is those who find purity in the sacrifice of dreams, those whose powers are attained by time spent in systemic qualification, under the apprenticeships of nobler men, who in turn preach and spew the value of a wage earned, soon to be lost on food or rent or sex.

So, I say it is the one that shoots them down, the one who pledges to become more than a simple dog chasing simple cats into the crumbling alleys of metropolitan backstreets. The ones who tussle with themselves, who strive in pain for their own glory; those who pay their tithes each day in moral strife, who dare to write a world unto which they alone are lord and master: slave to none; their tools forged not from flesh, but rather logic, science and transcendental attitude.

It is a lofty dream perhaps, and one no doubt dependent on escape. The saddest, most difficult truth becomes that where no roads are paved there can be no ready transit. But still there is hope to dream the other truth: that those who build their own need not to follow classic avenue; they may indeed drive forth to any setting sun. For Will is the way – there can be no other. The will to promise to oneself the world, and in that promise, there find eternal beauty.