In the beginning of things men were animals and animals men. ~ Algonquin saying

"For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons." ~ The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Two Chupies

Leaving aside for the moment the idea that the 1990s Chupacabra lore began with one woman's viewing of the movie Species, we are left with many aspects of that mystery, including the "new chupie."

It seems the chupacabras mystery died down for awhile, the one we were familiar with at first: spines on the back, short creature, sometimes large red glowing eyes or wrap around alien-gray type eyes, etc. Then the chupacabra moniker reappeared, but this time what was called the chupacabra looked to be a mange ridden canine. Throughout the United States, hairless dog like creatures were being called "Chupacabra" and shot on sight.

I'm not sure why this shift took place, and I haven't come across any thoughts as to the whys of this change. I think some of it has to do with shows like Monster Quest, which in itself took a turn in its presentation. At first, the series seemed like a good old fashioned unexplained monster kind of show, then it shifted to bozos with guns who loved nothing better than picking up some still alive squirming fish or other animal while laughing at how gross it was before killing the thing or tossing it back into its habitat without a thought. Gratuitous jollies seemed to be the point, and some shows really offended me in their caveliar and exploitative attitude towards known creatures: bears, feral dogs, wild hogs, etc. Somewhere in this MQ started calling these disease ridden canines "chupacabras" or, maybe it was the residents themselves. Not understanding what they were seeing, and why, they named these new "intruders" with something they were familiar with, a label that connotes mystery and danger.

But did, or do, these canines pose a threat? I don't know. I'm not familiar enough with the situation. However, I am fascinated by the shift in language and how that labeling affects both humans and animals (an uneasy, suspicious one, it seems, at this point) in this case.

No comments:

Post a Comment