Thursday, July 30, 2015

American Insanity, Episode L(ion)

Here's the reaction in the country of the lion's residence:
"Why are the Americans more concerned than us?" said Joseph Mabuwa, a 33-year-old father-of-two cleaning his car in the center of the capital. "We never hear them speak out when villagers are killed by lions and elephants in Hwange."
You see, Mr. Mabuwa, a great many Americans place more value on certain classes of animals than they do on humans in certain classes. Certain classes of humans are killable; certain classes of animals are not. Rage ensues whenever this class system is violated. That's how Americans - in certain classes - think these days. Irrational? Yes. Insane? Yes. Impossible to change back to sanity? Who knows? For now, the dentist is in the Killable Class.

Cecil the Lion and America's Broken Outrage Meter

"Paying $54,000 to kill a wild, beautiful animal seems like a strange and questionable hobby at best; at worst, it seems downright cruel. On the other hand, some conservationists applaud the practice, at least when it’s done legally. What’s telling, however, is that the great Cecil conflagration of 2015 occurred on the same day undercover operatives released the third in a series of graphic, disturbing Planned Parenthood videos. This video, unlike the former two, featured body parts. Tiny body parts. Detailed, well formed, and unmistakably human.

But never mind. Let’s talk about Cecil, a lion that has emerged as a benevolent, finely sketched cartoon creature in the global moral imagination, setting our hyperactive but wildly misfiring outrage meter into a wild, chaotic spin. He’s a lot more fun to think about than unborn baby humans, apparently. The villains in his case are certainly more dramatically drawn. And really: Who doesn’t like cartoons better than reality?t"
Read elsewhere: Lions don't have names; cartoons have names. You'd think that Elmer Fudd actually killed Bugs Bunny.

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