Dog With Human Hands . com


Prize Essay On Human-Handed Dogs
Prof. Emil Schoeffhausen


To understand the horror and the horrifying beauty of Johannsen Reimer's discovery, we must go all the way back to Aristotle. This may seem suspect, since Aristotle lived 2300 years ago, but it's really this suspicion that is unlikely. Aristotle invented our modern sense of concepts, of mind, of proportion and meaning. Now, faced with an apocalyptic horror so profound it serves as proof that none of Aristotle's dated assignations of good, evil and meaning in human existence cut the mustard-what, indeed, could be worse?-we must turn to

Clipping from Chase City Herald, May 10, 1994
the old master to clarify.

Aristotle was a more human, realistic thinker than his master, Plato. He rejected the heavenly 'forms' as such-concepts of types of things raised to a holy and universal setting, where they determined all matter, and compared to which the reality of them were but weak shadows. Aristotle redefined forms as mere concepts in our heads, created by Nature because they are useful to Her. We know to classify different things as dogs, for example, because we have seen many dogs and noted similar characteristics among them; we can form a grouping of 'dogs' in our heads, which can even potentially include a kind of dog we've never seen, because chances are it will bear the same kind of characteristics as the others, sporting the same old trivial differences: size, build, sound of bark. Great was the innocence of the Greeks, and great their foolishness.

Now, in Plato's world, even though he didn't realize it, there could be no new things. To make myself clearer, Aristotle correctly argued that if there are forms of everything under the sun, ethereal up in heaven and busy with their spirituals "processors," if you will, "compiling" everything on earth, then there have to be forms of things neither Plato nor we had yet seen. Plato could not have envisioned a Tablet PC, just as we are incapable of imagining SENSELESS, HORRIBLE THINGS BEFORE THEY START KILLING US. These future-forms could jive because maybe we can't see the forms, but Plato also argues that, if we exercise true reason in the tradition of the despicable Parmenides and distrust our senses if they give us information that conflicts with what our (insane) logic tells us should be there, we'll see the unreachable true reality that is the forms as clearly as a human can, like a chained wretch being led out of the allegorical cave-where all he was allowed to see was the shadows of puppets created by a fire behind them, and all he was allowed to hear was the lame jokes and endless Ghost noises of his captors-and being blinded by the sun. All we have to do is reason our way out of things, and ignore the world if it tells us that something right in front of us is wildly, howling-horribly illogical in its existence. Here his thinking falters, because if the forms were knowable, an enlightened man would have been able to see the form of THE DOG WITH HUMAN HANDS, G*D D*MN IT, no matter at what point in history he jacked into the Truth-this notion of truth as universally accessible in time and space also borrowed from the insipid j*ck*ff Parmenides. Plato also fails to make sense here because he assigns forms to things that can be their own concepts in theory but really are qualities of something else, like Brown. There is a form of brown, and it is a perfect brown and it is not something brown, it is just brown-ness, and by its very nature, hateful. But in the real world, it always has to be something brown. Brown s*wage. Brown seawater. Brown fur hiding poison spikes. Hands, similarly, have a form, what Socrates/Plato thinks hands should be, their form and function. But hands are merely a characteristic of their owner because they cannot survive without the rest of his body, and their function is to serve him. Serve him in whatever nightmare ugliness he can dream, for hands have no moral self-determination, and the sky and the pit are the limits.

Let me bring this up to date and discuss a film so I don't lose my younger audience. Max Cohen, the sch*zophrenic character in the film Pi, searches for Plato's soul-searing ultimate knowledge through mathematics, to which he argues nature can be reduced, and drives himself mad pursuing Plato's real-unreal heavens instead of Aristotle's, which are the Elysian fields granted us by the True Gods, who have the power to create and unleash screaming monsters until the end of time. I think the film would have been raised to the status of Indispensable in the Canon of Western Literature if the hauntingly brilliant subway dream sequence-which encapsulates western philosophy when Max pokes at a human brain with a BIC pen and is immediately blinded by the lights of an oncoming train which is suddenly right behind him and disappears just as quickly-was replaced with a scene of Max desperately chasing a dog with human hands through the subway for almost five minutes of screen time because this is his last chance to catch it for if he doesn't he'll die not understanding the universe when he's strangled in his sleep and it almost turns its head around, awful, awfully, painfully slowly and we are in terror of seeing it O Horrible!-and then Max wakes up in the bathroom. But like I said before, Aristotle was a more practical man than his brilliant but repressed teacher; rather than argue from there that the forms don't exist, he relegated them to our heads, and let them give the world meaning by overlaying themselves onto identifiable groups of things-e.g. dachshunds. The world could indeed be different than we knew, but life was a process of learning, and that is the way we think now. Aristotle warded off the relativism of the world being in our heads by introducing normative values into the universe: it did not exist just to exist, but to exist well and in the best way possible. But how could such a genius have been so innocently, agonizingly wrong WRONG! Everything is defined in Aristotle by its function and its end result, and that is defined by the best good that could come from it: these are the motivations of Nature, and Nature does nothing by accident. Nothing.

All philosophers after Aristotle, at least those who steered clear of the twin adrenaline-charged d*arrheas of philosophical weakness, namely copout theism and Parmenidean whelp-rationalism, had to answer him. Hegel answered, in somewhat Anaxagorean fashion, that form is no wonder, since mind creates the world itself, or else there is no difference between the two (The Dog is in our minds he's found a way in we'll never beat him). Marx answered, petulant, that forms and the morality of being are irrelevant in the face of his beloved money, which cannot save us now. Nietzsche answered that our definitions of right have flipped/turned upside down like the Fresh Prince, created as we stare at our hairy palms. Reimer answers that you must not argue with him-the god with human hands will kill you man, kill you crazy crazy.