Magpie, definition, Cambridge Dictionary: 1) a bird with black and white feathers and a long tail, 2) someone who likes to collect many different objects, or use many different styles
The New York TimesMetamorphoses
Actually, the Japanese government is killing the boars. People who might already be a little ambivalent about moving back to the site of a nuclear meltdown are apparently put off by the prospect of radioactive wild boars roaming around what’s left of their living rooms and, possibly, attacking them. It’s odd to think of the face-off between people whose town may no longer be recognizable, or inhabitable, and animals who don’t know if they’re in their home territory or new territory. If Sillman were drawing a video of this moment, the humans and the boars would shift into one another and back again, over and over. Given that they’re both poisoned by the same element, wouldn’t that be a truer representation of their states? There’s a certain irony in the fact that the animals and the people have been united by a shared toxicity. A Geiger counter would tick at the same rate near creatures whose hearts never beat in time before.
Moreover, in an Ovidian sense, the boars are the children of the people, because people made them as they are today. In a fable, it would be the task of the exiled townspeople to recognize their estranged children, claim them, and break the spell. To date, that hasn’t happened. In the towns near Fukushima, dishes are still in sinks and the children’s backpacks still lay where they were left. The clock seems to have stopped at one particular moment on a previously ordinary day, as at Pompeii.
But not for the boars. For them, time still went tick, tick, tick, as usual. After the disaster, they came down from the mountains; they ate; they settled in. In my cartoonish fantasy, they’re glowing, but that isn’t really what radiation exposure does. It changes living things from the insides, unpredictably. It moves the DNA around. It induces, it seems, a perpetual feeling of uncanniness. Everything looks different, and you’re not who you thought you were, but you’re not exactly sure how or what it means. You just know that you’re walking down streets that seem like your streets and not your streets at the same time. Something has changed. When people look at you, they have different expressions in their eyes. You look back at them, trying to understand.