The Turin Hound

The body was the first prosthetic

Pasted onto our ghosts

To bring them for a while into the present


The dog that barks at God can be no best friend of man. And yet he barks and barks and barks - at ghosts, flickers, optical floaters, schisms, as though in some Beckettian purgatory; tilting at windmills, a Dog Quixote, liberated from the duplicitous reason of causality; the numbing chains of sensibility. It’s unwise to dismiss the wisdom of a fool, but one does need an editor.


If god is omnipresent then perhaps, with adherents tending to favour the most ancient places of congregation, his presence in modernity is only available in dilute form: he’s omnipresent but not equally dispersed. Otherwise we could dispense with the reliquaries and confess in the washrooms of shopping malls - whose walls, incidentally I’m sure bleed with sin. But the sanctity accrued in ancient stone; air long-humming with the frequencies of faith, is something I in my indifference to the continued existence of God can and do appreciate. I guess vast units of time exert equally profound an impression upon our relative ephemerality as do vast units of space - more so when the constructs evinced by those vast units bear the authorship of human hands.


If we were to view the edifice of human history as a holistic, myceloid wall into whose Boschian vines we all are equally embroidered, then perhaps in doing away with our perceived ephemerality we’d simultaneously take as much pride (and horror) in the work of our forebears as in that (and that) of those yet to be born, and thus conduct ourselves with better grace, in greater accountability: to do away with the ersatz - and comfortable - distancing effect of reportage on milieu long passed. This is where poetry triumphs over history: in its empathy burns complicity.


The body was the first prosthetic, the second the cave, the third the spear, the fourth the furs, the fifth the church. I'm extemporising the sequence. Spool forward a few thousand years: the printing press, spectacles, the super yacht, the penis rocket and the apotheosis of modern man’s naked and flailing insecurity - the robot dog. I certainly feel that before robot dogs go into mass-production we should cap the prosthetics. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. Unless I see a prototype with three heads, guarding the path to Silicon Valley, then it’s a dystopia into which I will not be investing (with the fruits of my vast revenue from Spotify - one of this mythic hound's three aforesaid heads).


Cyberus the hell-hound is no friend of man and we need to begin balancing the books in our ratio of experience to innocence. We chose the tiger over the lamb and now the robot dog is apex predator.

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To celebrate ten years since we made this short experimental feature I’ve decided to make mine and Chris Purdie’s Letters To The Dead available publicly for the first time. This was a labour of perver