Yes, I meant to write 'dogs'.
Thanks for your comment, even though you confused part of the issue. Both birds and birdwatchers are at stake when arrogant dogowners let their dogs loose, and both in Ithaca and in New York city. You perhaps did not read the news or perhapos missed the earlier thread. But, clarifications below. Also I do *not* mean to say every dog-owner is evil. Some may be well behaved and some may be good people. And yes - some dogs may have therapeutic value. Mainly this is about dog (or cat-) owners that let their dog loose where not allowed, or, anywhere in breeding season. We have already turned so much of wildlife areas into golf courses and Walmarts, that we owe it to the wildlife to at least observe basic rules like that. I hope you agree. I should end here, because I don't want to take up too much bandwidth. Feel free to just hit delete, but I'll take up the challenge below. (I will digress away from birds, but also circle back to them). --I do feel strongly there is an unbroken line from the arrogance of the taking of the land, to the arrogance of letting dogs loose on it. It's the same spirit: I do it because I can. My dog will bite you, scare you, I use it to intimidate you - and whatever bird you wanted to see. I don't need your rules. The dogowner at 'Hog Hole' (what an atrocious name, by the way) who intentionally let his monster dog jump on my wife, just weeks ago, and who refused to leash the dog even then, despite our pleas, and despite all the signs about how all dogs must be leashed there - he's a lead example of the worst kind of callous, evil dog-owner, and, he was the one that prompted the original thread with produced such surprisingly numerous examples of similarly arrogant dogowners around Ithaca, as you may recall if you read those many messages from people either similarly victimized by dogowners, or who witnessed dogs set loose on wildlife. Note that right at the Hog Hole place(near Treman marina) these dogowners have a huge fenced area set off just for them and their dogs - yet not a small number of them still insist on letting them run around the entire park, scare off all the birds, and jump on people (sometimes on me, too), and so on. Then, why are they so nasty? Why the wilful setting aside of laws and rules, to bully both birds and people, as we see both at Hog Hole - and in Central Park? I see these dog-owners as indulging in a peculiarly self-righteous evil, which does connects right back to the logic of colonialism, which was, and remains: I took it, I own it, I do whatever I want with it, that is Law Number One. In our area, this connects right back to the blatant stealing and murdering which is how this country was "made", including specially here in Ithaca, where the ash is still smouldering after Town Destroyer George Washington sent his henchmen here to kill and burn and starve the original landowners out of here, and then run the place using slavery. This is straight out of John Locke, by the way, who, regardless of previously existing rules or forms of ownership, gave this idea of self-righteous appropriation legal shape, so as to support slavery and colonialism, in which he himself was so invested. BTW it's amazing how much slavery there was after the conquest right here around Ithaca; I teach the slavery and the colonization as part of my courses on world slavery, on indigenous peoples, and so on, at Cornell. (We may guess that beastly dogs were a big part of both the conquest and slavery but I don't know that part of the story). Now let me digress some more and tell a story that, for me, best encapsulates how peculiar spirit of entitlement to do whatever, on conquered land, survives in the present: On a Queens beach in New York a few years ago I was tending to my little boy when a mother sitting next to me buried her cigarette butt in the sand. So I told her, "Don't do that. Kids play here." Her answer: "My people came to this country long before you ever came here." Hearing a foreign accent, she gave her gut reaction - 'I was here first, so I own this place, so I can spoil the land whichever way I want, and you should just shut up, and go back to where you came from' - That's the spirit! In my case, I was trying to speak for the kids on the beach - I wasn't even thinking of birds or sea animals but of course it is because of this same arrogance that the ocean floor is now covered with junk and cig butts. But, who's a Foreigner to tell a Colonist she can't bury her cig butt in this sand! We should agree that this spirit is exactly the same as that of the infamous gang of armed thugs out West, who flaunted the rules and occupied federal lands -- and then after they were finally arrested, gloves on, they were let go by a jury of the same mindset. As many said at the time, imagine if they had been Black, or Indian! I feel that Christian Cooper was given exactly this treatment in Central Park. I take the woman's racist reaction to him as clear evidence - trying to frame him to the police as a Black assailant, was clearly her means of countering his voice of reason - in his case trying to speak for the birds, not for himself! Because Christian Cooper was Black, the Lady saw him as having No Right to speak, whatever his reason. She obviously thinks that *She* Owns Central Park /this Beach/ this Country - and she lets her dog loose to show it, and indulge in this feeling of "I own this, so I can ruin it, who's a Black dude to stop me." That's why she tried to use his "race" to deflect from her flaunting of the rules. That's my interpretation anyway: In sum, my argument is, both at Hog Hole and in Central Park, we're looking at the weaponization of dogs for the owner's psychological satisfaction in flaunting the rules and impose on others. And, that the roots of this go back to the Might-is-Right behavior of the conquest and slavery of the recent past. You can disagree, but then I'd like to hear an alternative theory as to, just why are those people so nasty? -- Finally, I would love if someone can point me to a history of dog-keeping in the US, from the time of slavery to the current preoccupation with dogs, which perhaps could support me, in my interpretation (and perhaps it would even show that the dog-owning itself started out as a psychological substitute for slavery). ps. Don't take me to mean to say that the bad guys win: It's a struggle. Slavery was indeed abolished, for one thing. And of course many people do follow the rules of the park and put their dog on a leash when the signs ask them to. These are good people who have understood that we need shared rules to coexist and survive, especially now that there is no Wild West anymore, and no more Great Outdoors, and the planet is under threat. Globally, countries like China ravage the ocean and fill it with plastic, just because they can - never mind it's coming to an end. But, same there: can we please have shared rules of decency in ocean fishing and polluting, before it's too late? Such big questions are of course much more important than whatever dog-owner ruins our birdwatching visits to Hog Hole, Ithaca, or Central Park, NYC, or causes damage to the last few birds that try to live there. But they are the same, and perhaps there is symbolic value in New York's Central Park, like in Ithaca, if some of that subset of nasty dogowners can be shamed or forced into complying with the rules, and to show some decency. Not all the birds are dead (only a third). yrs, Magnus Fiskesjö, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University McGraw Hall, Room 201. Ithaca, NY 14853, USA E-mail: magnus.fiske...@cornell.edu, or: n...@cornell.edu Affiliations at Cornell University, WWW: Anthropology Department, https://anthropology.cornell.edu/anthropology-faculty Southeast Asia Program (SEAP), https://seap.einaudi.cornell.edu/people/faculty East Asia Program (EAP), http://eap.einaudi.cornell.edu/people/core-faculty CIAMS (Archaeology), https://archaeology.cornell.edu/faculty Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA), cipa.cornell.edu/academics/fieldfaculty.cfm Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS), http://pacs.einaudi.cornell.edu/people/steering-committee ________________________________________________ From: Robin Cisne [rfci...@gmail.com] Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 8:29 PM To: Magnus Fiskesjo Cc: CAYUGABIRDS-L Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] arrogant dogowner going viral Magnus, your last paragraph linking unleashed dog-walking to the depravities of colonialism is an ambitious overreach, and an outrageous conjecture unsupported by fact. I assume you meant to type "setting their dogs on birds and people." No evidence has been offered, either in this forum or by Christian Cooper, that any owners of unleashed dogs have deliberately sicced 'em on innocent bird watchers. You are not a victim. I am a birder and the responsible, unarrogant owner of a frequently unleashed dog who is not permitted to bother people (and generally ignores them anyway). The great outdoors is big enough for all of us, even for people eager to police others. On Tue, May 26, 2020 at 7:40 PM Magnus Fiskesjo <magnus.fiske...@cornell.edu<mailto:magnus.fiske...@cornell.edu>> wrote: Connecting to the recent discussion here, about arrogant dog-owners, this case in Central Park, NYC is relevant. The sister of the birdwatcher in the incident sent around his original film, which is going viral and reaching millions now: https://twitter.com/melodyMcooper/status/1264965252866641920 The BBC reports: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52759502 But, because the birdwatcher who reminded the woman she is required to have her dog leashed in the park, was a Black man, Christian Cooper, most attention has understandably turned to her astounding attempt to call in the police on account him being a Black person -- and less attention seems to be paid to her arrogance against our feathered friends ... which is why he told her. Some people online have tried to highlight the guy's identity as a birdwatcher also. Here is Christian Cooper the man talking about the excitement of birdwatching: https://twitter.com/JoshuaPotash/status/1265338098256424973 Also his friend said this - turns out he's a TV host, “Birds of North America”: https://twitter.com/JasonWardNY/status/1265353355150450690 All in all, I think this incident actually brought out how the arrogance of the dogowners setting their down on birds and people, is actually intimately related to the deeper history of colonialist appropriation (the "I, me, mine" selfishness of grabbing, owning, excluding others), and the racism that goes with it ... and apraently lurks right under the surface, consciously or not. (ps. I live in both Ithaca and NYC and often birded in Central Park, and I often have chatted with fellow birdwatchers while waiting for birds in the Ravine and other places. I think I may have run into Cooper a few years ago) --Sincerely, Magnus Fiskesjö, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University McGraw Hall, Room 201. Ithaca, NY 14853, USA E-mail: magnus.fiske...@cornell.edu<mailto:magnus.fiske...@cornell.edu>, or: n...@cornell.edu<mailto:n...@cornell.edu> -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ -- -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --