Sunday, April 3, 2011

The (Deceased) Elephant In The Room

I'm not going to go all PETA on the "GoDaddy CEO Shoots Elephant" thing. Like most situations, it's not black and white, it's gray... and the really damning aspects are largely ignored because we're too lazy to think past our gut reactions.

For instance, I'll take Bob Parsons' defense: elephants are big, destructive motherf*ckers who trample and eat crops and can spell death for subsistence farmers teetering on the brink of survival. So now, thanks to Parsons' hunting trip, one farmer's sorghum field is saved, a family is less likely to starve and the village got a butt load of Dumbo meat to throw on the grill.

But there's a bad side: in the process, Parsons also gets to indulge his white hunter fantasies and the insane Zimbabwean government gets a sizable cash injection by way of whatever exorbitant fees Parsons paid for his trip. This is some exploitative, culturally chauvinist bullsh*t straight out of a 1940s Tarzan movie.

And then there's the details: While Parsons' PR team have him play up the hunting trip as some kind of humanitarian mission, can anyone seriously picture a billionaire CEO picking up his rifle, yelling "a Zimbabwean subsistence farmer needs my help!" and flying half way round the world out of the goodness of his heart? No. The humanitarian excuses are just plain stupid. Parsons is a redneck who made out selling domain names on the web and, like most rednecks, he likes shooting stuff. Now he just has enough money to pay top dollar to kill really big stuff in exotic locations. He ain't Doctors Without f*cking Borders, so cut the humanitarian crap.

If Parsons was on the level, he could have paid for shock fences to be built to save those farmers' crops. He could have paid for the relocation of the elephant herd. Maybe he could have just sent over a bunch of guns so the farmers could have taken care of the 'pest problem' for themselves..? No. That wouldn't fly because those poor farmers Parsons is supposed to be saving are not allowed to shoot elephants themselves because that would disrupt the very lucrative hunter/tourist business. Sure, says the Zimbabwean government, your family might starve next time an elephant gets the munchies, but you can't go shooting them yourself and thus deprive a rich foreigner like Parsons of things to kill on vacation. So who's helping who and who's screwing who in this scenario?


1 comment:

  1. yup, just a redneck with millions of dollars.
    excellent idea about buying shock fences if you're really concerned.

    Down in FL the rich people completely razz the mangroves along their property and put in concrete bulk head seawalls so that you've got their yards that come right to the edge of the water where there is a concrete seawall that goes down into the water with big rocks piled in front of it. Then they put up signs all along the seawall warning boaters in the channel to go slow and protect the manatees.
    Dumb fucks ought to leave the mangroves if they want to "save the manatees." Rich people can be very ignorant and rednecked.


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