From the Afterword
Aristotle, the Greek philosopher and scientist, wrote that, 'man is
by nature a political animal.' The pairing of political and animal
to describe man creates an expression that rings so true that
it could be describing part of the human genome. It does not
belong to an archaic time and place. If humans were solitary, they
would not need to understand their place within in the group.
But humans are social creatures and live within families, communities,
and states, and they exist through relationships whether
they are social, economic, and/or political.
I made Political Animal during the Presidential primary season of
fall, 2011, while Republican presidential hopefuls were in heated
debates to become the candidate who would run against President
Obama &and win. As I watched the debates, I was fascinated by
the candidates’ staunch convictions that they knew how to rule best.
Even though we live during a sophisticated time of human achievement,
with 100s of years of diverse political models over all of Earth’s
continents to learn from, there is little consensus regarding how to
best rule for the most common good. And passions rise… when we
talk politics. It is ironic that many quotes in Political Animal sound as
though they are spoken by people who share an ideology. But when
we see who said what, we know that there is much distance in the
Max, my Westie, plays the dog in Political Animal. He negotiates well at
the dog park where I watch him and other canines 'play nice.' Within
this group are leaders and followers; old-moving and young wildly exuberant
dogs; small and large ones. There is seldom aggression as the
pack instinctively keeps the behavior of its members within bounds so
that the ‘common good’ of happy-healthy play continues until the dog
owner needs to leave or the dog is just too pooped to go on. Utopia,
it seems to me, is a pack of dogs (with the qualification that the pack is
not feral and does not need to find its own food).
The type used in this book is Bembo. Charlee Brodsky made the
photographs and designed the book. Max is an anarchist.