Sunday, 4 April 2010
G is for Greenworld ( Greenworld III)
It's been only a few days since my last post here, and I normally try to post at intervals of one week or a week and a half. The present post is an extra: it is short, did not require any research, and is a kind of Easter egg.
The occasion is Greenworld again. Dougal Dixon sent me an email about my earlier post on his new book, Greenworld. As that book is in Japanese, I had to guess a bit at what was happening here and there. Dougal wrote an email about my guesses; rather than just adding it as a comment, I decided to give the book some additional attention. That's why you will find the other half of the children's alphabet above. The 'G' of 'G is for Greenworld' can be found in the provious post. There is 'D for Dixon' though.
So here is his email:
I would just like to express my appreciation of what you are doing for GREENWORLD on your blog.
As to your speculations, you are quite right in the interpretations of what you have seen. The TAME YOUR OWN STRIDA poster is indeed an advertisement for a service that allows the customer to train this animal and use it as we would use a horse. In the book it is followed by another poster that implies that the industry has moved on and that now all the training is done by the kraal itself, and the customer does not need to bother himself with the dirt and inconvenience. The subtext here is that the colonists are still using the living resources of the planet but, but bit by bit, are moving away from any connection or empathy with those resources. (And there is a suggestion that one of the partners has ducked out of the business in protest at the way things were going.) And this item is South African in background - there is a whole multicultural spread throughout the book representing the cosmopolitan nature of the settlement.
The ARTEMIS poster is a bit of fantasy, showing an idealized relationship between settler and animal life. The reality of taming one of these beasts involves hobbles, muzzles, blinkers, whips, goads, force-feeding and all the rest.
The illustration labelled "17" is meant to be part of a series of "survival guides", this one being how to trap a rogue spitter - one that is not part of anyone's herd. The lure is based on sexual attraction. These guides tend to emphasize over-exploitation and waste.
I have just thought - I should be putting all this on your blog site. Please feel free to do so if you wish.