Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category
Posted by tinako on October 14, 2015
Posted by tinako on March 6, 2015
I think this book excerpt from The N.Y. Times, “On Smushing Bugs,” is just beautiful.
I love his wording – a “karmic broken-window theory,” “the oubliette of the vacuum bag,” and his natural compassion tested by “the tiny black turd in my mug.”
I love the picture; this man is about to kill, but he is looking, peeking even though it is painful, and he sees. He sees an anthropomorphic cartoon ant, but… more metaphorically, he sees himself in the ant, as the Buddha said:
All beings tremble before violence.
All love life.
All fear death.
See yourself in others.
Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?
But mostly I love his humility, his questioning, his looking deeply into himself, looking for the truth no matter where it takes him, even to a cliff or dead end of choices he doesn’t want to make.
This isn’t a how-to essay, and claims only to ask questions, not answer them, so he doesn’t mention that prevention adds a choice between re-washing all your dishes every day or pulling on your executioner’s hood.
I must admit to mixed results with prevention. But maybe we don’t need all the answers right away. Maybe looking, within and without, is the path to figuring out how we want to be in the world.
Posted by tinako on March 5, 2015
I don’t usually just repost news stories, but this one is so close to my heart and so exciting I just have to share:
Mr. Feld says they’re reacting to the changing public mood. Thank you to everyone who told him what you think of Ringling’s use of elephants.
Posted by tinako on September 15, 2014
I went with my family to see Guardians of the Galaxy Saturday, and spent most of the movie in open-mouthed horror. I would have been warned if I had even glanced at the movie poster before entering, but due to my inattention I had no idea what it was about. So I suppose I deserved what I got.
While I watched, I was reminded of something I once read, “When your young children watch television, it’s like inviting strangers into your home to teach them values.” You should take your kids to see Guardians of the Galaxy if you would like strangers to teach your children that:
- Abusing and killing small animals is funny and cool
- Gambling-induced animal fights are very entertaining
- There’s no problem that can’t be solved with a gun. If you can’t solve a problem, your gun isn’t big enough.
- Prison guards are the bad guys
- If the dialogue isn’t working out, just pile on the bodies. On-screen killings are a great diversion.
- It’s really funny when someone somewhat gentle unexpectedly kills 20 people in an extremely violent way.
- Violence is even better with a cool retro soundtrack.
- We just need to get rid of the “bad guys” and everything will be fine.
Here are the footnotes:
- The hero starts the movie off by kicking small animals out of his way, at full force. I wondered if this would be the horrible “before” person the hero changes from, but while the heroes do grow in that they care for some people, they do not grow less violent.
- There is a dog-fighting equivalent with aliens animals. This is at the point in the movie when the heroes begin to be a little nicer to each other, so I was hoping one of them would show, by even a look, that this was not OK. But no. They eagerly participate.
- If you go see this movie, try to spot the scene without a gun. It is non-stop. At one point, one hero blows away his friend’s sister with a bazooka (literally) when she calls his friend a mean name.
- Our heroes are in prison after they break the law on a peaceful planet. We are supposed to cheer when they kill dozens of guards on their way out.
- I couldn’t believe how gratuitous the violence was. They wouldn’t merely injure someone if they could kill him, and they wouldn’t merely kill one person if they could kill 20. I asked my daughter how many people she saw killed in the movie. She guessed a thousand. I think that would be low if you count the one-man spaceships which are destroyed, but shots where you actually see a person killed, probably several hundred. Alas, their deaths were in vain – they failed to distract from the clunky comic-book dialogue.
- A hero who seems quieter and kinder suddenly impales 10 soldiers and then for a good 10 seconds smashes the implement and their bodies into another dozen or so soldiers, smashing everyone to bits. He then looks back at his friends and smiles at their surprise.
- The soundtrack was all old hits. This was meant to help us relate to this guy as he blew people away.
- The bad guys were completely one-dimensional. Why is it OK for good guys to kill them? Because they’re bad. Why are they bad? Because they’re the bad guys. It’s the Myth of Redemptive Violence. I know, it’s a comic book. But when you put it into a live-action movie, it becomes values. I prefer this one: Wouldn’t it be convenient if we could line up all the bad people on one side, and be rid of them? But the line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man, and who would cut out a piece of his own heart?
It makes me very sad that these are the stories our culture tells itself, these are the values our culture admires.