The Big Mood: it’s a hog’s life

One week, one mood: Moya Lothian-Mclean’s deep-dive into the feel of the week.

This lit­tle pig­gy went to mar­ket… these 30 – 50 wild hogs tore through the yard where my kids were play­ing in three-five min­utes. So it goes.

I could fill the remain­ing 369 words of this col­umn with jokes about the fer­al hogs. I could do that very eas­i­ly. Hog­wash. Hog­wild. I love my fer­al hog and her curvy body. My fer­al hog fell off a cliff. No, don’t over­analyse the hogs, they’re too fer­al. Hog girl summer. 

The beau­ty of the hogs – and tru­ly, to be sen­tient and with access to a key­board on the day the 30 – 50 fer­al hogs came tear­ing through the back­yard of the World Wide Web was beau­ti­ful, it was a joy I’ve not touched for a long, sad while – is that they were so sur­re­al that they could sim­ply slot in any­where. Almost with­in min­utes of their intro­duc­tion to the col­lec­tive con­scious­ness of Online (in a debate about gun con­trol no less, a man pro­fess­ing to be a rur­al Amer­i­can asked how the hell he was gonna keep the hogs in line with­out his big ol’hog killing machine) they tran­scend­ed all con­text and became icon­ic in their own right, the meme to end all memes.

There were far more than 30 – 50 hogs now; there were mil­lions of hogs, all rac­ing through the back­yard where the kids were play­ing, with­in three to five min­utes. The jokes did not stop – even the death of icon­ic author Toni Mor­ri­son only paused them briefly. The hogs felt like the peak of inter­net sur­re­al­ism, cathar­tic almost. I laughed until I wept, read­ing hog joke after hog joke, each more ridicu­lous and fun­nier than the next. Why did it strike me so much? Sure, the hogs were a laugh – but there was recog­ni­tion in there too.

In 2019, fact is far stranger than fic­tion and the world often appears to me as a Dali paint­ing, all twist­ed and fore­bod­ing. The inter­net is a cru­el place and I think Twit­ter is one of the most hell­ish pits of all. We all scream and holler at one oth­er with­out say­ing much at all; it is sound and fury, sig­ni­fy­ing noth­ing. Mem­o­ry is short there, IRL events for­got­ten with­in hours thanks to head­line fatigue. 

Noth­ing seems to real­ly mat­ter and yet for at least 15 min­utes every tiny, lit­tle thing – a Com­ment Is Free piece, a throw­away Tweet about shoes, a joke about a spot­ty dress – mat­ters more than any­thing else in the world. We race through them at warp speed, yelling our opin­ion, squeal­ing our thoughts until some­one tells us we’re a dumb twat for say­ing that, back­lash begins, the bat­tle rages for a few hours and then sud­den­ly everyone’s tired and ready to move on. We are the 30 – 50 fer­al hogs, rac­ing through the yard where the kids are play­ing with­in three to five min­utes. We’re the boars. The pig­gies dri­ven mad. Oink Oink. Big Mood.

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