Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dystopian Dish: Canines

Dystopian Dish

Canine Edition

            There is something to be said about the canine. In many times they were and are our worst fears, and others a necessary companion. History has become something in our evolution with the addition of the canine to our human progress, and throughout literature the canine has played a large part in our fear or mistrust in the canine.
            Werewolves have created their own dynamic in relationship to canines and humans, by being something we fear and loathe but also that we find terribly alluring. With strength and abilities that no normal human possesses, but also being human and the counterpart of the wolf, the idea of transformation is throughout history. Today there are many books and adaptations including werewolves taking a new spin on history, and on werewolves being an active part in historical armies and battles. Imagine Gettysburg but with werewolves, or a World War including the pack dynamic associated with werewolves. The fear that the change can occur in a person or the attack to preempt the caustic transformation of becoming a were can be a horror for some. So many books and movies have portrayed a violent and horrendous body change, or the lucky few that have the magical, simple shift. The thought for many of their whole body chemistry and bone shifting into something other can be a terrible fear for many, even more so than the initial attack. So canines have developed from their normal National Geographic  image to something out of control and loosing one’s self to some primal animal urges.
            Taking the canine at face value we have the fear of the historical use of the dog as a tool of war and a bred beast of burden to the canny hunters of the pack. When the Spanish came into the Americas they brought with them their dogs of war that were trained to hunt and slaughter humans at the command of their handlers. We have the huge and mighty hunting dogs taking down boar and legendary Aurocks of the plains. From a tool of man to a fearsome hunter, the canine has a conflicted past. Humans wanted something that could aid them in hunting and possess a new facet of defense for their home territory so as early people caught wild dogs and adapted them for their use, they began to change the wild into something of a new breed.
 We can see a personification of the dog in adaptation to our legends and myths through human suckling savors, and coyote tricksters to kitsune shifters to forest guardians. Humans have a long held series of canine myths and god associations that through different geographical religions and stories all have common threads with canine figures. When people sit down around the fire to tell stories to each other there could be heard the haunting exchange of canines in foxes, wolves, coyotes and dingoes. When we imagine the woods many times there is the thought of watching eyes and claws and teeth. While the occurrence of wolves or other wild canine attacks are low, people fear the hunters of the wilds more so than they should, since the companions of today in our homes are more likely to attack us than their wild counterparts.
So for this dystopian future one can only hope that the canine does not evolve into some monstrous creature hell bent on our destruction because people have grown accustomed to their soft squeezable companion status. The future of the canine could be a huge and terrible monster and with a dystopian destroyed future and possibly no weaponry fighting off something that has been so closely tied with humans and knows many of our secrets and flaws, growing intelligence could be used against us. Imagine cyborg canine hunters and we may very well be screwed in the future. With the horrors of a demise of our civilization the thought that there could be a rise to the canine is possible frightening. The Mayan’s gave us the thought that with 2012 our toasters would become animate and the animals could talk to us, so one hopes you fed your poochies tonight or they may do more than bark at you in the morning.
As fearsome as the thought of evolution and the development of canines into a weapon of mass destruction may be, we can always turn to our books to be scared of the things that go bump in the night, or take a look at the museum to see what size creatures in the past have been to get an idea of the development of future animals and the new onslaught of fears that they can bring to us in the future. With change on the winds and the dystopian fueled genres ahead of us, readers get prepared for a new hard bitten future and expect the worse when it comes to our companions be they human or other in the hard times ahead.

1 comment:

Heather said...

I could definitely see a trend in dystopian canines. What is more frightening than man's best friend turning on him?