Bear prole shopping, or History is the incapacity of our thought to grasp that one day we too may find ourselves eating a police horse, raw
Wariness of "videos of animals doing things considered roughly human and therefore considered 'adorable'" temporally on hold, because the great thing about this?
For a bear, there is no substantive difference - that sacred, fêted difference - between a corporate supermarket and a locally owned grocery store. There are places with doors unsubstantially secured and there are places with things to eat, and from time to time, those places are one and the same.
And if one wants to talk about a motion concerned with la vita nuda,
[Note on that vita: this may be taken in one of two ways. Either as the debased asymptote of the last century (not a reduction to a preexisting something but a trending toward a dominant form), or as a horizon, a horizon in the sense of that point where the ongoing ground (politicized "natural life") takes on a discrete and countervailing form, a visible edge. That is, the horizon where material necessity + declining access to those materials + collective rage + a weakened and increasingly hysterical security force means that the concern with bare essentials (food, housing, medicine, care, tools, water) becomes not the limit case but rather the only concern - a discernible line worth moving toward and worth taking - capable of breaking the locks between those who hypothetically stand opposed to one another and of breaking the locks on supermarkets and banks. It precisely does not imply that a reduction to struggling for those essentials means that anything will automatically come of it other than continued misery. Only the fact that as those things are a lot harder to secure on your own once labor-power isn't paying its expected dividends, it opens up the space and need for other forms to develop, and there's no doubt that if they do not involve a whole mass of people, then they will be nothing.]
then, and this is no joke, one would be well advised to not entirely laugh this off.
Not to ward off a certain warmth in the heart that this can't help but bring about, for it is, after all, a bear cub rampaging quietly in a produce section. But to let there be something here worth dwelling with, that is: yes, but that reaction of OMG cute! means also that there is something too proximate, too aligned to a shadow falling over these years, a shadow that is a counterfactual and asks merely,
and if this were a human?
And if this were a human doing so, hungry, unable - or unwilling - to go through the proper circuits, while pictures are snapped by shoppers on iPhones, hauled out by the scruff of her neck by some grinning cops, that warmth that starts in our chest would be not be there, no, it would be as though the trapdoor beneath our guts on the gallows swung open... and whatever one could have called cute will, after all, be left hanging.
What else is left, though, what remains in our genuine smile at the cub, is the nervous realization that there have been other moments in the history of capital in which one passed quickly from smirking afar at the goings-on to becoming that desperate subject struggling to go on or get by. (Therein the utter importance of a certain trajectory of horror literature in relation to thinking the history of human misery: not because it depicts things bestial or debased, retrograde or inhuman, infernal or machinic, but because - and think here of Cornell Woolrich's Nightmare Alley and its mouth full of hot chicken blood or Ballard's tales of those who are dimly aware, like the psychiatrist who has been reduced to a doddering imbecilic pseudo-father by the woman he tried to "cure" - of having once been the one who laughed at those in such a condition. Because those tied to and broken on fortune's wheel remember damn well what it was like to look at the poor bastards mangled below.)
That is, one rarely expects or anticipates that, indeed, one will be tearing apart - handful by handful - a police horse for food during a riot. (See 1919, Austria.)
And it is the crossing and rending of that distance - from one who recoils at the thought to one who is discovering just how tough it actually is to tear apart a horse, from a given us before our laptops giggling at a little bear tumbling over some cabbage to a forming us hurriedly stuffing all available produce that involves necessary minerals into backpacks, from the destruction that simply happens to the negation that must be articulated, laboriously, savagely, carefully - which has sometimes been called the real movement of history.
And no, it isn't much fun at all.