We call our mission both
impossible and mandatory.
Thus, the pig. Catch up on all things pig here.
A Disclaimer: When Pigs Fly
Here’s our steely-eyed fact-based interpretation of the Village Square organizational motto “When Pigs Fly…” PIGS WILL NEVER FLY.
So now you know that we know and freely admit (although not often) that politics will actually never truly be civil (and it never has been). This immutable law of human nature and political history explains our mascot – the flying pig. So our organizational oxymoron seemed to require a little bit of explanation. Why the flying pig? Why such an impossible organizational mission? Why have an organization if you’re pretty certain you’ll never achieve what you set out to do?
Flying Pigology (or what in the world were we thinking)
Here’s what people are saying about our very favorite animal:
“an adynaton—a figure of speech so hyperbolic that it describes an impossibility. The implication of such a phrase is that the circumstances in question will never occur… often used for humorous effect, to scoff at over-ambition.” – Wikipedia
Etymology: This phrase is used presumably due to the unlikelihood that pigs will ever evolve wings. – Wiktionary
Truth be told, civility isn’t even necessarily exactly our goal. Politics will likely always be roll-up-your-sleeves-and-have-it-out messy. But the moment we stop involving ourselves in the conversation – when “tribes” form and hate begins –we’ve lost the fundamental factory-setting of democratic governance: We have to engage with each other, whether we like it or not. Out of that sloppy, challenging process comes uneasy relationships of trust that form a foundation for decisions to be made, problems to be solved. If we’re unwilling to do that, we’d be better off with a king to decide for us. And we Americans tend to dislike that king thing.
Our intention in taking on this “when pigs fly” sort of challenge is for people with differing views to find a way to walk toward each other. And where we fail in the mission to find our similarities, in the proud tradition of this country we love, we will just agree to disagree.
We think that’s the charge our founders left for us. And in our corner of the world, we plan to keep it, Mr. Franklin.
The Flying Pig in Literature
“Thinking again?” the Duchess asked, with another dig of her sharp little chin. “I’ve a right to think,” said Alice sharply, for she was beginning to feel a little worried. “Just about as much right,” said the Duchess, “as pigs have to fly….” — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
John Steinbeck was told by his professor that he would be an author when pigs flew. When he eventually became a novelist, he started to print every book he wrote with the insignia “Ad astra per alas porci” (to the stars on the wings of a pig).
Flying Pig Everything
The Flying Pig Marathon (Cincinnati, OH) The Flying Pig Cafe (Los Angeles, CA), The Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen, (Oceanside, CA) The Flying Pig Gallery and Greenspace (Algoma, WI), The Flying Pig Bistro Pub (San Francisco, CA), Flying Pig Taphouse (St. Pete, FL – one of our Village Square communities), Flying Pig Farms (Shushan, NY), The Flying Pig Saloon (Malvern, PA), The Flying Pig Antiques and Consignments (North Kingstown, RI), The Flying Pig Coffeehouse (Oak Island, NC), Flying Pig Frames (Philadelphia, PA), Flying Pig Productions (Brea, CA)
All this confirms our suspicion. We are a nation of believers in a challenge. And we’ve got challenge(s).
A Final Riff on Flying Pigs
One of the many wonderful things that has happened since we started the Village Square (flying pig mascot in tow from the beginning) is that people bring us flying pig everything – big flying ceramic pigs, flying pig posters, flying pig prints, flying pig bags, flying pig Christmas tree ornaments. Trust us, there is no lack of flying pig merchandise in this world. To us, these gifts are ultimately a sign of the community we’ve always been hoping to build, more about making pigs fly than angry partisanship. It’s looking like many join us in our pushing-rocks-up-hills kind of quest. And they’re bringing flying pigs.
So if all of us roll up our sleeves and get to talking, maybe when politicians inevitably put their finger in the air, they might notice that the wind has shifted a bit. We’re going to need a lot of you blowing nice and hard – we’re going to have to hold up a pig or two.
-Liz Joyner, Village Square co-founder
(and big fan of big challenges)
**This page is thinly sourced. Pretty much Wikipedia. Probably need to add staff in the research department.