There are many taboos in society. They are always changing, I suppose, like everything; and they tend to be centred around real heavy shit—I mean real, heavy, shit. Like sex, like death, like incest and suicide. The kind of stuff you find yourself thinking about with a rapid heart beat, and fifteen minutes later you realise that you’re sweating and have been staring at a wall for the duration of that time, so involved in the terrorising thought of death or sex or (etc.) that you have indeed temporarily ceased to exist as a physical person. You are, rather, for a time, horrifying waves of thought.
Good times, of course (patronising chuckle).
But what about the not-so-wrenching taboos? What about taboos that may not have been discovered yet, or which perhaps exist but have not yet reached the forefront of human fear or thought in general? There are many, to be sure. But one recently arrived at my mental door step, and I could not stop thinking about it: initially, not in fear, but in a more contemplative way which in turn led to theorising which in turn led to—well, yes—to fear. But no such a simple fear, as will be discussed.
At this stage you’re itching to know what the fuck I’m talking about, no doubt. It is worth the wait, I assure you. And here it is.
For the Pig People are, in a sense, a people; they are not a clan or a unified group of any sort, but they are a commonly perceived “type”, if you will. What is the author talking about? you find yourself asking ( me too!). But somewhere, I venture to assume, lurking in the back of most minds, is a notion of an archetype that is “the Pig Person”.
What is a Pig Person?
A Pig Person is the title I have chosen to denote the evidently noticeable amount of people in this world who resemble the common farmyard animal mentioned in their very title.
Immediately I cower in fear. There are rocks being thrown at me and people screaming obscenities at just how insensitive I could possibly be. I run and try to hide, but they find me, legions of them, pointing accusingly at the sinner: “How dare you!” they whine, “how dare you propose that there are human beings, human beings, on this earth who you could possibly term ‘Pig People’! Away with you and your esteem-crushing ideas!”
But I have as yet said nothing insulting about these beings. Of course, they are human; of course, they aren’t actually pigs. Both the former and latter suggestions are to me absolutely preposterous, and for that matter, far from the point.
My point is that there are Pig People. Each and every one of us knows it. Even those who chased me just now, threw objects at me in rage and denounced even my mention of such an idea—these people, perhaps, know it most. For in their hasty rage—far too hasty not to be questioned—they give their little secret away. They know, most of all, that the Pig People exist; it is not surprising (perhaps it is even usual) that those who are most afraid of a taboo are the first to pounce on it, sinking their conservative claws into its flesh and essentially doing all they can to prevent its being addressed by anyone ever.
But I have gone off track: a further explanation of the Pig People is due.
We all know them. We see them and we take note of them in our minds, consciously or subconsciously. Some of us may even know a few, be friends with a few—but we do not explicitly mention their appearance in our social groups, of course. The latter would be too daring. It would perhaps be akin to arriving at a table of friends and announcing, without phase, “Hello, my friends! I have decided it best for personal reasons to commit suicide tomorrow at dusk. I have indeed had a grand time with most, though of course not all of you, throughout my mediocre life and wish now to depart on personal grounds which I shall not detail right now—and certainly won’t detail any time after dusk tomorrow morning. (Beat). So…what’s for lunch?” Though this example is but a little ridiculous, I think it perhaps approximates the message I am attempting, very slowly, very dragged-out-edly, to, well, approximate.
The Pig People are, of course, people who resemble pigs in their physical appearance. Having said this, as mentioned before they do not really look like pigs; their features merely resemble pigs: the upturned nose, the characteristic chubbiness of the face and sometimes other parts of the body; and sometimes even the posture. Of course, the first two characteristics mentioned are the cardinal ones. They are what usually, I conjecture, cause one to think to themselves, “My God. This person resembles a pig!”
Immediately, this comes across as an insult. No one would ever, under any circumstances, mention this resemblance to one of the Pig People themselves: for they are, of course, human, and such a remark is certain to crush any human’s self esteem, their physical self awareness, and so forth. I oftentimes wonder whether the Pig People are aware of themselves as resembling pigs. Surely, one would think, these people have some inkling. But this, of course, I cannot say for sure, for I am fairly confident that I am free of all pig-like characteristics, what with my scrawny physique, my large-but-not-upturned nose, and rather drawn, if anything horse-like, face. Hmm.
And so what now? The observation has been made. Many, I’m sure, feel somewhat awkward now, what with being faced with the explicit description of the Pig Person phenomena. It is a strange thing, aye. Indeed. Indubitably. Intuitively. Indelibly.
I have lost my trail of thought, just now, right at this moment…
There it is!
Yes, there is one other thing. The Pig People are necessarily a minority. They are a small group of people, scattered about the Earth, who presumably have not amassed as a distinct sub-culture yet. Maybe they have, I am not of course sure. But they have not, I am sure, amassed in such a way that is as yet identifiable, or particularly evident in the global community (like, say, the radical UFO societies around the globe).
Are the Pig People a threat? Well, if I were one of them, I would want to find others. See, the fact of the matter is that pigs are looked down upon by most humans, like most animals really. They are seen as disgusting because of how they behave, despite that such behaviour is of course relative to the lifestyle of the pig. Of course we find it disgusting, but this is just because we ourselves see rolling around in the hot mud, lazing about and eating profusely, snorting, etc. as disgusting (oddly enough, humans are prone to do pretty much all of those things, with perhaps the exception of…no, wait—we snort, too.). So, really, there is nothing to it. Being deemed a Pig Person is only insulting to the prejudiced masses of this world. But of course, such features are perhaps not seen as physically attractive in the human realm. A problem, to be sure. Undeniably. Indubitably. Indeed. But, there is a solution to this.
Beauty is also relative, and for humans involves also a hugely complex and wide array of emotions and associated phenomena (you could insert a billion words here, but I’ll just stick to these particular approximations, for they approximate what I am ultimately trying to approximate in an approximately approximating way, so as the approximations themselves should become self-evident enough to outline my main approximation—approximately, of course). And so, there really are no reasons to fear these people. They are but people, like you and I; they merely resemble pigs in very vague ways, and are not in any way pigs themselves (unless it is meant metaphorically, in that the particular person is in fact a Pig person whose behaviour resembles that of a pig so emphatically that they are deemed disgusting, unhygienic, or what not, so on and so forth, ad infinitum).
The only real fear we have is of the Pig People becoming fearful themselves. We cannot afford for this to happen. If they become too self-conscious about the way others perceive them—that is, as Pig People—then they will form minorities and they will eventually unite, perhaps even march the Earth in an advance of war. This sounds farfetched, but if they begin to feel themselves to be outcasts, to be looked upon as repulsive and even as lower forms of being (even worse, as inhuman), then a counter-culture is sure to ensue.
This is, perhaps, preventable, if we just give them a little mud to wallow in, and some mounds of food.
The moral of this story: Don’t write a piece describing Pig People which concludes with a prescription not to point out Pig People in order to prevent such people becoming fearful and thus forging armies that march the Earth in some whacky form of the End of Days.