Anyway I said the Saints would win 10 games. That's still looking like a good bet. But I didn't get to tell the story I wanted to tell in the unfinished post. I'm keeping the draft because I think it's an important story which may come up again later. It is a story about Valerio. That tragic hero of this summer's incident at Audubon already has my vote for New Orleanian of 2018 for a number of reasons I'll be happy to go into when the time comes. The point, for now, is I think about him a lot.
I posted that photo of my little gourd tribute to our boy and his fallen animal comrades to social sites last night. It didn't take long for people to recognize the image. Its creator certainly got it anyway.
Never thought a graphic of mine (In this case, the escaped Audubon Zoo jaguar’s killing spree in July) would be turned into a jack-o’-lantern. My work here is done. Happy Halloween, y’all. (H/T @skooks) pic.twitter.com/0q1qsb7UGI— Dan Swenson (@NolaGraphicsGuy) October 31, 2018
But, while there was obviously some humor intended in the reference, I noticed some reactions from people who inferred a gratuitous or even exploitative vibe there. Nothing can be further from the truth. There is a natural humor in Valerio's story, for sure. But humor is closely related to tragedy, subversion, and catharsis. All of these are part of the story. They are also elements of horror which is why this is a Halloween story.
Valerio's story is a story about doomed resistance. It is about the hubris of our attempt to tame the natural world. It is about the thin, uncomfortable line that exists between order and chaos; particularly when that order is built on suppressed injustices. It is a tragedy born of righteous defiance gone awry. There are themes present which hint at the inescapable consequences of colonialism, of the despoiling commodification of nature, and of the capitalist exploitation that drives it all. To contemplate the tragic horror of Valerio and his (I hesitate to use the word victims. Really they are all victims) we are forced to question our own role in its creation. The scariest monster stories aren't really about monsters.
Well, Happy Halloween. Here are some pictures I took this year at the St. Charles Avenue Skeleton House and later at the Magazine Street "Ghost Manor" Clever stuff but I didn't see any jaguar pumpkins.