Marginalia, no.317

Man might be more tolerable, less fractious and smug, if he had more to fear. I do not mean fear of the intangible, the suffocation of the introvert, but physical fear, cold sweating fear for one’s life, fear of the unseen menacing beast, imminent, bristly, tusked and terrible, ravening for one’s own hot saline blood.

~ J.A. Baker, The Peregrine

If birds made movies, cats would recur in every feature as the constant existential threat to the species. The trouble with being human is that our deadliest predators are either other humans or microscopically tiny creatures like viruses. This insufficiency expresses itself in our science fiction films where the longed-for predator takes the form, say, of a dragon or a well-fanged race of muscular aliens. How many of our personal and social pathologies might be cured if we were reduced to the size of a sparrow?

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