Harmless Entertainment or Animal Cruelty?
What follows is a brief account of two separate incidents that happened several years apart that I witness in my youth at the Shamu show at Sea World Orlando. It is provided for the benefit of a single person who requested this narrative from me. While I hope others might find this post of interest, the main objective remains simply to convey these events to an individual.
While it may appear that this entry deviates from the normal theme of this pretty much neglected and mostly ignored blog I would counter that the universal theme of these pages has been to address injustices and oppression. I am reminded of the lines from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (by Samuel Taylor Coleridge):
He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.
As best I can recall, I was a child at the time, the first (and more dramatic) of the occurrences was in the mid to late 70s. There was only one orca in the Shamu show at that time. I remember being quite excited as it was the first time I had seen a whale larger than the dolphins common in along the Gulf of Mexico where I grew up.
The performance had been going for a while when the whale dived out of sight and then suddenly lunged out of the water forcing as much of his bulk onto the deck as possible. He snapped his jaws and twisted his head clearly trying to grab/bite the trainers. The trainers scattered, diving over prop tables and each other scrambling to get beyond his reach.
As gravity pulled the orca back into the tank, he twice used his a thrust of his massive tail to delay his fall back into his element, the entire time gnawing at the air towards the stunned humans now safely removed from his grasp.
As he slipped back into the water, about half a dozen handlers ran out to access the situation. The orca retreated and floated motionlessly at the water’s surface. One of the trainers took to the microphone to assure the audience that all was fine and dandy.
She explained that this “extremely rare” behavior and was merely Shamu trying to get their attention the only way he could. She reassured us that Shamu simply gets tired but can not verbalize that to the trainers, so he was just acting out the same way a frustrated puppy might snap at its owner. She added that they were going to let Shamu “Think about what he’s done for awhile.”
After several minutes of the bobbing lifelessly in the water “Shamu” again responded the trainer’s whistle; the show resumed. I recall the crowed be especially excited when the trainer shut her head in whale’s mouth. Surely if he wanted to hurt them…several people in the crowd reasoned.
My older brother eagerly watched the local news at the hotel that evening as he was sure such a “rare occurrence” would make the news. It did not.
The second time we went to Sea World would have been in the early 80s. At that time, they had three orcas in show.
This time I did not see how the problem began, but mid-way through the show, the the largest of the whales stop performing and simply froze in the middle of the tank refusing to move or acknowledge the trainers’ whistles and hand gestures. It was the similar to the behavior that followed the biting attempt I had seen years earlier.
The two smaller whales at first seemed confused. They briefly darted around the tank and their still comrade. They then joined the silent protest, three living black and white clouds floated in a calm sky of murky blue water.
Again, a group of handlers came out. They managed to corral the two smaller whales into side tanks. We heard basically the same speech we had heard before. And again, after the whales had “thought about what they had done for a while,” the show resumed.
We concluded that perhaps these incidents must not be as “rare” as we were being told as they seemed to occur a 100% of the times we visited.
I have since been discouraging people from going to Sea World and similar attractions, or if they feel they absolutely must go to, at the very least, avoid the whale and dolphin shows and don’t buy the related merchandise.
He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small
What Does It Matter To Slaves What Nationality Their Master Is? A Suggestion For A Non-Violent Show Of Strength By The 99 Percent
While we, the 99%, control only 58% of the wealth, we control nearly 100% of the blood. That is, the wealthiest expects the poorest to protect their life, wealth, and privilege.
We can only take 58% of the money out of their banks, but we can take 100% of the blood out of OUR military.
Might I humbly suggest a week or month or at least one day when no one enlists into the military to remind the 1% that it is the 99% that protects 100%.
I realize that many feel compelled to join the armed forces for any number of reasons ranging from a desire to serve to seeking college aid to simply needing a job. I am asking no one to abandon their plans. I am not promoting a grand, permanent boycott. I am merely asking the young adults among us to delay their service careers for a few days at the same time their peers are delaying their plans.
I would hope that even the most extreme supporters of the current orthodoxy do not desire The Armies of General Washington be used as a private security force. And even if they feel the militias should be used in such a manner, hopefully, they would at least care enough for their follow Countrymen and Countrywomen to agree it is the duty of 100% of the people to fully support the troops and veterans.
Rags Moody III performs at Occupy Long Beach - images were taken at Occupy Long Beach, Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Riverside, Occupy Irvine, and Occupy San Diego
Special thanks to Rags Moody for allowing this posting of his composition.
New Constitution That Is Actually By, For, And Of The People
This is a suggestion for a system of governance. I am not a lawyer, so I would leave it to such minds to work out the details. I understand that several others have worked out details for similar ideas in long, boring books. Here I will give a brief description, and then for those more willing to read long text on a computer screen, I will make some effort to defend the proposal. Of course, we’d begin by making the new Bill of Rights the first 10+ Articles not the first ten amendments. And, perhaps needless to say in this forum, one of those pluses would eliminate corporate person-hood.
Each congress person would go to Washington holding not one vote but a proxy for every single vote they received. That is, if the Penguin Party candidate got 40,000 votes and the Joker Party candidate got 35,000 votes, they would both go to DC with that many voter proxies to cast. Likewise, their district’s pay and benefits would be divided similarly. So for the candidate, not appealing to voters could effect their standard of living.
And to more directly serve the Will of the People, the US Congress would be modified into more of a parliamentary system.
More overly, anyone, with any number of pledged proxies could show up. If any small group wanted to get together and hand their proxies to a person, they could. In fact, anyone could go to Washington with just their single proxy.
Wouldn’t that mean hordes of thousands of congress people? Yes. But there is a manageable solution. Seating in the “Main House” would be limited, to the top X number of proxy holders from each district or perhaps to those that represent the proxies for at least 60% of the total votes cast in that district.
These individuals would be responsible for forming and running the government, i.e., choosing a Prime Minister (or Speaker of the House) and appointing a cabinet.
The remaining representatives would assemble in a newly constructed convention center and stadium style complex, or “People’s House”. Perhaps even providing dorm or barrack style housing would be feasible. There they would debate and cast their votes on the same bills being debated in the Main House. And their proxies would be sent to the Main House to be added to their vote totals. Obviously, because of the potential vast number of voices in the People’s House, the leadership they elect would have to propose rules of order that would drastically limit debate time. Similarly, the People’s House would be able to pass legislation and send it to the Main House for debate and consideration.
And, of course, previsions would be included to give the Speaker and his Cabinet powers to streamline these procedures during national crisis.
New Set of Photos of Occupy Irvine of Orange County, California Now on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/morehueylong/sets/72157627892208847/
New Set of Photos taken at Occupy Long Beach (California) on October 30, 2011 up now on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/69334520@N08/sets/72157628016928176/
New Set of Photos from Occupy Riverside take 2011-10-30 & up on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/68484436@N07/sets/72157628016726822/
Why Occupy Protests are NOT just a “Hippie” Fad (NOW WITH HUMAN NARRATION)
The 19 year old Baby Boomers in 1968 were upset that the war in Vietnam was interrupting their pursuit of the materialistic “American Dream.” The 19 year old….and the 68 year old Occupiers in 2011 are all out of dreams, American or otherwise.
Images are a montage from Occupy Los Angeles and Occupy San Diego - This final edit has a human voice - sorry about the earlier robot version - I did not have a microphone.
New Congressional Budget Office data confirms what we’ve been saying for a while: There’s an income inequality gap, and it’s growing.