lotesse: (l'engle_unicorn)
So, I've got to say - I'm halfway through Blackfish, and it's a whole different experience from the one I'd been expecting. I avoided the doc in theaters because I was afraid of Sad Animal Feelings, a genre of pain I find unnecessary. But instead it's doing this wonderful thing of detaching me from my species loyalty; these American brats and white tourists treat majestic, powerful creatures like gratification machines, less respect than they'd give a dog, so that when the whales turn on their trainers you see the heroic nobility of their soldierly attempts at escape, communication, sabotage. Free the prisoners, fuck the police. The footage of orca violence comes off as remarkably considered and strategic, from the hunting group in the wild that works together to overturn a seal's icefloe to the precision way they dominate and damage their primate tormentors. Some of the anti-SeaWorld commentators talk about psychosis, but the attacking whales remind me more of that moment when you just can't take the bullshit anymore. Don't fuck around with beasts. They have more mojo than you.

I've had Virginia's bit from Three Guineas in my head a lot of late: "Set fire to the old hypocrisies. Let the light of the burning building scare the nightingales and incarnadine the willows. And let the daughters of educated men dance round the fire and heap armful upon armful of dead leaves upon the flames. And let their mothers lean from the upper windows and cry “Let it blaze! Let it blaze! For we have done with this ‘education’!" She backs down from it, and by all pragmatic thinking she's right to do so; but although no being should have to kill for its freedom, I end up hissing and baring my teeth and curling my toes with the intensity of watching "trainers" getting schooled on the real powers with which they've dared interfere. "Trainers." there's a difference between teaching and training, between training and genuine interspecies interaction. I don't train my cats, and all jokes to the contrary they don't train me; we communicate. Reciprocally. In a non-hierarchical fashion. ime anything that thinks of itself as a trainer lacks knowledge and spouts disinformation.

I'm drifting from my first thought, but stream-of-consciousness style: what is up with Disney princess movies normalizing the abuse of domestic animals?! I've been clipping for a vid about princesses tripping balls, and keep noticing really cringeworthy stuff. Cinderella is unforgivably rude and disrespectful to that poor cat, for one thing, and on reflection I think he was actually quite decent about it all, far more decent than she deserved. And then, how is killing a cat literally a part of the movie's Happily Ever After? It's not confined to the 50s, either; in The Princess and the Frog, the little white girl is shown treating animals in a borderline abusive manner. It indicates how CUTE!! and BOUNCY!! she is. And I guess just screw the poor beasts that she mauls? becuz animals, amirite? Definitely lower than humans on the Great Chain of Being.

Date: 1 Feb 2014 06:06 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] staranise
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
This entry makes me smiiile.

And Disney? Disney promotes totally awful cartoon violence as a whole. Physically and emotionally. I spent the last six months trying to wrap my head around how to teach neglected and emotionally-struggling children how to handle their emotions and relationships, and you know how? NOT THROUGH DISNEY.

Basically, kids' media gives kids a lot of models of how to behave badly. How to mistreat your animals, how to bully your siblings and classmates, how to ignore your parents and view them as useless, how to totally accept subordination until something magical occurs...

This is not Disney-specific, though I am still nauseated by the animated short that ran before Frozen in theatres. It's like... everything that isn't, I don't know, Franklin, or made for explicit reasons of religious didacticism.

Date: 3 Feb 2014 09:08 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] elspethdixon
elspethdixon: (Default)
the hunting group in the wild that works together to overturn a seal's icefloe

I saw footage of orcas doing that in a different documentary (one about polar marine life rather than about animals in captivity) and it blew me away. Not only did they work as a team to flip the piece of ice over, they first dove under it and thwacked the underside with their tails in unison to break the larger icefloe into pieces small enough to flip over. It's one of the more impressive clearly-requiring-planning-and-forethought things I've seen non-primate animals do.

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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