At the age of ten I received a present. It was a very thick book with photos and brief descriptions of the 20th century until the year 1989. Every page had three pictures on it with three paragraphs about the subject of each photo, which was, more often than not, war related. This is our life, and this is the timeline humanity has chosen for itself. It has photos from the first and second world wars, as well as other events of mass murder, alongside, of course, several more celebrated moments, celebrities and important events. Among all of the pictures on this book, I remember to this day one clearly. On 1982 the IRA attacked in central London when the royal guards were changing shifts. In the picture (in black and white, like the rest of the photos in the book) you can see two royal guards walking near four dead horses who are lying on the ground. The area is defined and sealed by stretched strip lines and the lonely, middle light of the traffic light is there, as if examining the crime scene, and maybe the viewer as well.
I think this image is very powerful, and its power comes from the kind of slavery that was forced on these steeds and the rest of their specie in general. I think it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that the horse is the most exploited animal by mankind. Horses are trained to be pets (a horrible term that should be discussed as well), they serve as a status symbol for their owners, they serve as transportation methods, therapy objects for people (more often – kids) with special needs, they are forced to become food, lab experiment subjects, and like this image reminds me, soldiers as well. But the horse (and every other being forced into military or police service) is not only unwilling to participate in our wars and become our soldier, he also does not know he has become one until the moment of his violent death, exactly like a dog who is being sent after a pack of explosive material. On one hand, these horses did not even know about the queen and about the fact that they are serving as her soldiers, but on the other hands they were targeted as ones, along with their human soldier masters. This is these horses’ biggest tragedy, being soldiers who do not know that they are soldiers, and this is how it was throughout history.
Like the black man was taken from Africa in order to serve the west, so were these horses taken from the Arab lands in order to become labor task force and soldiers for the conquering nations. This noble beast, discovered with her wild beauty, was abducted and reduced into nothing but a servant for mankind, who had his sight on her because of her nobility in the first place, but nobility was the first thing to be taken from her upon arrival to her new prison. Only a little portion of the horses nowadays are allowed to have their dignity and nobility, but this nobility is conditioned to and by the vision and will of mankind, a little like a chimpanzee who wears a shirt and smokes cigarettes for our pleasure.
The year is 2003, I am in London with my brother and I am going with him to see a very important soccer game, so I’m told. Even though I have absolutely no knowledge or interest in this game, this experience seems very interesting to me and I am happy to go to the stadium with thousands of other people who are much more knowledgeable on that field than me. Among the sea of people who was slowly shifting and moving outside the stadium stood enormous horses with policemen and policewomen mounting them, officers who were examining the human herd in order to spot acts of violence or illegal activity. One of the only things I remember from that night (besides the giant heaters that kept us warm, and the horrible sausage I have eaten, serves me right for eating meat back then) was these huge horses, standing still in the night when they should have been sleeping, only to prevent possible violence of humans against humans. These were trained horses, whose true being was broken by us in order for them to serve us instead of themselves. The human race demands full, unconditional and complete sacrifice from his slaves, yet has the nerves to get angry on his governments, presidents and worst of all, Gods, when they exploit it for their ends and demand liberty from them. This is not even hypocrisy. This is a hierarchy in which each individual only sees and feels the pain that is inflicted upon himself from the higher level, and not the pain he inflicts on lower levels. This is one of the worst tragedies we have created for ourselves in the global-social structure that we have invented and enforced on everybody else.
When the game was over, I left my brother and went by myself to see a gig by Neurosis who I was lucky enough to catch on my brief visit to London at that same day. I stood for one hour in line outside of a hall called ‘The Arena’, and since I did not buy a ticket in advance I had to sit down further from the stage and watch this great band from afar. Needless to say, I remember much more from that show than from the game I have watched few hours earlier, but another important detail I remember from that place was a giant, remarkable replica of a roman lance that was carried by cavaliers during the roman conquests when they were soaring into battle on top of their horse soldiers. War became the life of these noble animals, victims of our weak, ape like race’s envy that grew inside of us when we discovered them and coveted them. Those conquering horses remind us, we who try to repress the evil and destruction we raise around the world, of the four horses of the apocalypse who will arrive in order to pass us the judgment we deserve. We fear that day, we eagerly wait for it.