Innocent Criminal

“Present day terrorism aims at society in response to the terrorism of society”

“Paradoxically, it seems that the innocent pay for the crime of being nothing, of being without destiny, of having been disposed of their name by an equally anonymous system whose purest incarnation they then become. They are the end products of society, of a new globalized abstract sociality. It is in this sense, in the sense in which they are precisely anybody, that they are predestined victims of terrorism.

-Jean Baudrillard, In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities

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‘Where did you find the body?’

‘We didn’t find any body.’

‘Well, what did you…’

‘… we found hiking gear. In a grove. REI hiking gear, to be exact. And a few bones. Scattered. Coyotes got the rest.’

‘How did he die?’



‘No doubt. Terrorism.’

‘But how? I mean, why here, in a National Park?’

‘As opposed to what?’

‘New York City, Chicago- not in the middle of nowhere.’

‘You have a narrow definition of terrorism.’

‘Well, who was he? Was he important? A politician, CEO?

‘He was just a regular dude. It could have been anybody.’

‘But why him?’

‘I wish I could give you a better answer. But you can’t reason with bears.’


‘Bears. Grizzly, to be exact.’

‘A bear cannot be a terrorist.’

‘You’ve obviously never met a bear.’

‘You know what I mean. A bear is part of nature. It can’t wage Jihad or take hostages.’

‘We know these bears do not take hostages. That much is certain.’

‘Sure, they killed somebody. But they acted naturally, they had to eat.’

‘Hunger was no motive. We were able to track the bears’ feces since the incident. Acorns, salmon, berries. No trace of human flesh whatsoever.’

‘They didn’t eat him? Then, maybe they were provoked!

‘In a sense, they were. But they weren’t acting in self-defense.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘This has been the ninth hiker since spring killed in this grove. And not eaten. It makes no sense. Unless…’


‘You’ll think I’m crazy.’

‘Too late. Unless what?’

‘Unless this grove is sacred to them. To the animals. And the hiker unknowingly trespassed onto their holy land.’

‘Animals do not have holy land.’

‘You’re new to this profession. But let me tell you. Animals pray. Each in their own way. Call it meditation, if you prefer.’

‘Pray to what? Meditate upon what?’

‘The same things we pray and meditate about’

‘I don’t do either.’


‘Do you?’

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