You are listening to TAPE 8 - Bull and Bear.
This is Archipelago. No one is an Island. You are Archipelago as we are Archipelago.
Today let’s try something different.

It’s June, 1853.  
You are in an amphitheater out in Monterey.
Boots with singing spurs, six shooters and pocket watches.
A bear has been caught near the woods.
A lasso noosed around every leg.
The bear is exasperated to such fury.
Drawn in triumph into the arena.

A wild bull, of the fiercest kind, has been caught in the same manner.
Tied up and brought into the dust circle.
The two hefty creatures are turned loose and pitted against each other.

The crowd cheers. In awe and excitement.
Louder with every blow. Every thrust.

The bull foams from its nostrils. Into the brown thick fur.
Thrusting forward with a hiss and a gasp and a moan.
The bear lunging in, its paw shoving through the air.

The claws again digging deep into the pelt – into the spine.
On the tribunes the masses work each other up.
Taken aback by the colossal strength of the bear.
Screaming for climax.
For final blow.

But the left horn of the bull is buried deep into the bear’s gut now.
Its curvature a barb.
It only works its way in, deeper.
Every throw of its massive head moving the spike of bone and keratinised skin further up through muscle tissue.
Perforation of the abdomen. Blood turning runny. A ghastly smell.
The bear launches a final attack.
The opaque black glass of the bull’s eye gives away, as the claw hooks the skull cavity of the eye socket.
The orbit ripped.
A bellow escapes the bull.
Fluids pouring out.
The fur a dark clot.
A gasp in the crowd.
You hold your breath.
Another paw jammed into the temple. The skull threatening to give.
Hind legs scuffling in the dirt.
The bull presses on.
Upwards. Last Lift. Ascent. Upturn. Rise.
A drowning howl.
The bear sunk. Its tongue melted and paper-thin. Draped across the teeth.
The market will rise again.

It is immanent.

And when you’re ready.
Come out.

Bronze Statue
Neoliberal economy and financialisation is inherently violent. It mangles and kills in order to obtain its unbounded authority and divine right. And it does so openly and proudly. The bronze statue of a charging bull placed on Broadway in the financial district of NYC, is a well-known tourist attraction that symbolises financial optimism and prosperity. The bull market, and its permanent foe, the bear market, derives from the bull and bear fights of the past, where these two wild creatures were pitted against each other in an arena for the entertainment of the masses. The violence of this fluctuating fight to the death, becomes a fitting analogy for the fluctuating movements of the market. All the gore and damage visually embraced in the fighting arena, now hides in the movements of numbers on screen, nonetheless equally embraced by those who look on.