In my family life, household pets have been conscripted into bearing too much of the psychic-semiotic burden. Repeatedly, we’ve projected our own unbearable humanity upon them, and transferred our unspeakable familiarity with/contempt for each other into passive-aggressive, baby-talking pet-worship.
It sickens me more than it should, this pretty-culturally-ubiquitous, “harmless”-ish institution of culture-generation or symbolic affiliation. Certainly, pet worship is no weirder than mine own preferred mode of pomo/catholic/aesthetic transference. I experience my everyday life-world as HAUNTED: on an axis of more or less, implicitly or explicitly, concentrated or diffuse…. But always semi-haunted.
Like early on in John Capenter’s The Thing, I am terrorized by the sense that an ultimate Other looms out in the (literally or figuratively) frozen horizon. And like in Bergman’s Religious Trilogy, my terror-fantasy takes the form of a monstrous, god-like, figure of Judgement (in the Old Testament sense) and alienation (in the marxist sense.)
And again, like in The Thing, while my proximite fear (anxiety) is of other people, the latent, unspoken, half-unimaginable fantasy pertains to the contradictory, Ultimate Double-Horror of BEING LEFT IRREVOCABLY ALONE* — only then to wet-nurse a grisly, abject, unlovable alien from inside of myself.
I know this is all theologico-nonsense, but I deal with it at least every Sunday, and sometimes Sunday is every day.
(* for more on the “being left irrevocably alone” theme, watch Blatty’s “Ninth Configuration.”)