August 20, 2007

Other Ways to Describe How a Knot Is Tied Besides the Hegemonic Rabbit-Tree Paradigm

I've never seen a rabbit tie a knot, certainly not by a series of circumlocutions about a tree.

Yet, for billions of years people have been describing the procedure for tying a knot by employing a mythical rabbit jaunting about an imaginary tree - even before rabbits and trees existed.

We must free ourselves from this brutal rabbit-tree regime if we are to truly understand the nature and beauty of knots.

Here are my suggestions for a new, emancipating language.

1. The dumb kid with a rope around around his neck runs around the fence post then, like the fucking moron he is, crosses back through the loop of rope between him and the fence post and runs off down the street trying to get to the ice cream vendor that he thinks is coming, the rope pulls tight and snaps him backward, smashing his head on the sidewalk. He lies unconscious for fifteen minutes and dies of exposure; since it's a bitter cold February night. No ice cream vendors patrol the streets in February, kid.

2. A dead rabbit with a rope tied around its hindquarters gets thrown around a tree by two cruel children. They come from very fragile home environments, which is not the dead rabbit's fault. Nonetheless, they loop the rabbit about the tree then twice around the long end of the rabbit's death rope, then they viciously pull the rabbit and rope through the open loop created by the tree and the rope and back through the loop they just created making the first loop and pull tight. They leave the rabbit corpse hanging against the tree. It is a brutal and ominous scene. In the distance, thunder roils.

3. A playful water sprite dances about a lily pad stem trailing a length of sparkly magic string behind itself. The water sprite circles the lily pad stem once then stops and giggles. Silly water sprite! The sparkly magic string loops around the sprite once and pulls itself tight, because it's magic! The water turns bright green with the life fluid of the now bisected water sprite. Silly, be-halved water sprite!

4. The trout, in an effort to flee from the looming shadow of the mature bald eagle, swims around the string three times then back up through the three loops it just created. The bald eagle dives with force, missing the trout but ensnaring one of its deadly claws in the loop witlessly created by the trout. It flaps its mighty wings, lifting itself from the water along with the trout dangling from the fisherman's hook. Both trout and eagle are ensnared and can go no further than about thirty feet above the fisherman's boat. The commotion draws the attention of a patrolling game warden. He is not amused by the scene as it is neither trout season nor is it ever permissable to allow your illegal trout to lasso the foot of a federally-protected species. Many other nearby anglers pull closer, and some of them begin filming the unvelievable scene. It gets shown on local and national news, and pulls in millions of hits on web video sites. Despite successfully freeing the eagle and trout, the fisherman receives a healthy fine. The fine, however, pales in comparison to what happens when his wife finds out he was not attending a "weekend board meeting" at work, but rather fishing with whom his wife recognizes in the video e-mailed to her by many concerned friends as his very cute secretary.

5. The zombie clown trudges around its victim twice then tears its victim's scalp open and begins consuming the brains within. The corpse drops between the first and second loops. The zombie clown, in frustration, picks up the warm cadaver and tosses it with the unknowable strength of the undead around the outside of both initial loops but back through the loop created by the collapsing corpse. The zombie clown then turns in its oversized shoes spattered with the blood of so many, and lumbers away. The rope pulls tight. The zombie feels the tug at its ankle and howls in anger. It pulls harder at the constraining knot and the rope passes cleanly through its rotting leg. The zombie clown limps forward, unfazed by this small amputation. Its hunger must be satiated.


Anonymous said...

Why didn't the zombie clown simply use his axe to chop off the rope with the constraining knot?

Brendon Etter said...

Ummm... Elizabeth, as most second graders could tell you, zombie clowns do NOT carry axes.

What you don't know about zombie clowns could fill a book.

A book entitled "What I Don't Know About Zombie Clowns".

Anonymous said...

As usual, you missed the point here, because, you left out the hole, which is the whole point to this analogy. The rabbit comes out of the hole, first, goes around the tree, and back down the hole. How can the rabbit or the tree exist in any meaningfull sense, without the hole. Otherwise, chaos exists, which is pointed out by the entire diatribe as written. Also, it's a rope, not a tree, or a rabbit, a rope. That should clear things up for you, saving you from further embarrassment in the future.
Thank you very much!

Brendon Etter said...

What analogy? Aren't all knots rabbit and tree induced?