Saturday, March 04, 2006

I love living in Nifindlind!

OK, so to begin with: Larry King is a fucking moron. I'm sure we all knew this in some capacity or another, but tonight more or less sealed the deal. I would think that at the very least we should expect of veteran newscasters that they should be able to master basic pronounciation: "ou" is not pronounced as a short "i", nor is "a" -- ever! Now, I have been coached on the vagaries of how you say "Newfoundland," and spent many conversations correcting my mother when she said NewFOUNDland, and was myself chastised by a friend and colleague to pronounce the province's name along the same vowel sounds and cadence as UNDERSTAND. But it takes a particularly idiotic idiom to name the province as Larry King did this evening.

Of course, that only set the stage.

You know, when I was in grade two, seven or eight years of age, I saw images of cruel hunters clubbing cute baby seals and was outraged. I organized a protest and petition -- which did not reach outside my second grade classroom, but then I did not have quite the same professional connections I have today. Still, I was absolutely outraged at the sight of baby seals being killed, and absolutely earnest in my attempts to mobilize my fellow eight-year-olds.

I was eight years old. So what's Sir Paul McCartney's excuse for imbecillity?

Honestly, the man needs to get a job. And to divorce his idiot wife, who makes Yoko Ono look like a Rhodes Scholar by comparison.

I just finished watching, as many of you will have gleaned, Sir Paul's interview on Larry King Live vis a vis the seal hunt. To which our eminent Premier Mr. Danny Williams was the rebuttal witness. Sir Paul and his wife hoped that, in "bringing this amount of attention" to this event, they might bring pressure to bear on the Canadian government to end the seal hunt.

First: Heather, Sir Paul's wife, said of our new prime minister that "We've heard he's a very compassionate man." Um, OK. Seriously? Who told you that? I fear you are the object of a nasty hoax here, Heather ... I'm rather certain that the only reason Stephen Harper isn't out there clubbing baby seals himself is (a) his suddenly busy schedule, and (b) it would be a really bad photo op. He'll have to satisfy himself with strangling puppies at 24 Sussex. Off camera, of course.

Second: Heather is now officially the queen of hyperbole. She compared the seal hunt to, among other things, the killing of her own baby. Which in and of itself itself would be an excusably, if egregious, comparison, if she hadn't then attacked NL Premier Danny Williams for his entirely reasonable question to the McCartneys: i.e., you're attacking one form of subistence hunting, why aren't you making the same crusade against the hunting of white tail deer, of caribou, of the wholesale slaughter of cattle, pigs, and poultry? To which Lady Heather responded (again and again) that Danny what changing the subject.

No, you stupid bint, he really wasn't. He was raising the very real and relevant question of why you think baby seals are worth defending, and baby cows are not.

As ambivalent to my premier as I am, I have to say that he made a good show of it. He was measured and reasonable in the face of what was, for lack of a better word, a pretty damn shrill and strident opposition. Living in Newfoundland for all of seven months has made me aware of a number of issues facing this province, the whole seal hunt thing among them. And I've come to realize, much to the chagrin of my eight-year-old self, that the killing of baby seals constitutes a small fraction of the hunt -- smaller now then it was several decades ago, and ever shrinking. For those who watched the CNN special tonight: there was not a single clip of hunters clubbing baby seals. They were plying their brutal trade among the adults -- the reason being that the key point of the hunt is not the superciliousness of fur but the necessity of food. We're not talking about the selling of pelts to fashionistas in Milan, we're talking abour Flipper Pie -- a Newfie delicacy I have yet to partake of. We're talking about what happens in the fishing inudstry off season.

(As an aside: the premier of our province was interviewed tonight on American TV, and Larry King called him "Danny," as opposed to "Mr. Premier." Now, I can imagine that this was likely a strategy of Danny's media people, or possibly Danny himself, in the interests of maintaining his folksy persona, but I ask you: on CNN, is this how we want to play cricket? Dammit, he should have been "Mr. Premier").

I should point out: I'm hardly a candidate to go out on the floes clubbing seals, but I do recognize that our relatiomship with the natural world is way too complicated to let everything be. One of Danny's (Mr. Premier's) points is that the seal population has tripled in the last decade or so ... leaving them be would mean they would exterminate themselves as they depleted their food sources. Which brings us back to the observation that before Sir Paul and Lady Heather go after the seal hunt, they should perhaps protest hunts of deer designed to cull a population already artifically maintained by a human presence.

In the end, what I find most ironic about this affair is that the original excusion Sir Paul and Lady Heather took to find a photogenic seal cub took longer than expected because there were very few ice floes on which a helicopter could alight. That's right: the ice floes were few and far between this year. Hmm. Perhaps, rather than baby seals, do you not think there is a greater issue to throw your celebrity behind, Sir Paul? Global warming, perhaps?

12 comments:

airfair crew said...

Aaaach!!! How frustrating was that debate, if you can actually classify what happened with the word "debate". Two other descriptions come to mind - "strident" (Heather - won't dignify her with "Lady")) and "close-minded" (both Sir Paul and Heather). Perhaps naively, I expected more of Sir Paul....at least the willingness to LISTEN (there's a key word) to the other side of the argument.
Congratulations to Mr. Premier who acquitted himself, Newfoundland and Canada extremely well.

Loz said...

i dunno chris. i think i'm with your 8 year old self on this one. i mean, i understand as well as anyone the reasoning behind the population cull, but using a club to do it? not cool.

Anonymous said...

Loz,

did you not listen to the Premier? did you just listen to the sensationalized pup-hugging comments shooting out of Heather's mouth?
When I was a 4th grader in a Newfoundland school, I cried my eyes out when I watched a seal-hunting video.I still cringe a little while watching it. It is not something I could do. But, now I am more ware of the facts including - of all the people who hunt, very few use clubs. There are exceptions to most rules of this kind. Not everyone treats their pets kindly, we are not going to ban ownership of pets. Some people drive under the influence of alcohol, we are not going to ban everyone from driving. It doesn't make sense to ban a hunt entirely because a few people using clubs. Paul and Heather want the hunt stopped altogether and they are over-using the fact that a few people still use clubs (drawing on people's emotions) to gain support for their cause while staying away from the real issues. Unfortunately, you've fallen victim to the propaganda

Iceman said...

Using Heather's and Yoko's name in the same sentence is shamful. I think owe Yoko an apology!

Lesley said...

Can I get an amen on this one? I'm so sick to death of all these protesters on the whole "don't kill the animals" thing. And since I had to listen to the whole fight against the deer cull in London, I can see your point about the overpopulation. The seal hunt in particular. And I was there for the big anti seal hunt protest that fizzled royally at the Liberal Policy Convention in 2000. Find something better to do people, like fighting for the rights of abandoned children, or the homeless, or the poor. Good lord. And Larry King is a tool.

See, now you've gotten ME started!

MrChills said...

He'll have to satisfy himself with strangling puppies at 24 Sussex. Off camera, of course.

Thanks, I just spit my coffee out on my desk laughing, too funny! ;)

You have summed up my thoughts exactly; this is a complete debacle which I am growing so tired of hearing about.

Can you imagine waking up to Paul's bitch of a wife every morning? What an annoying rude animal that one is.

guinnessgoddess said...

"Tonight more or less SEALED the deal." No pun intended, Chris?

I also find it interesting how Larry King did not show the clip of the whitecoat seal snapping at Heather on the ice; that clip was repeated on the CBC various times throughout the day.

I've got a hookup on the flipper pie if you're sincerely interested... the meat is fully-legal non-whitecoat killed with a gun.

amy said...

I don't get why its better to hunt with a gun than a club. Seems like the result is the same, and using technology to distance yourself makes it worse, not better.

guinnessgoddess said...

A gun decreases the margin of error and therefore the chances of suffering for the seal: a clean bullet to the head is more definite to kill than a whack with a more blunt object. It's a more humane method. If you're against the killing of seals in general, yes the result is the same: the seal dies. Those of us who support the hunt but want it conducted humanely support the use of firearms over hakapiks.

Anonymous said...

There are a few things I have been hearing as well. One, being the seals are at over 500,000 and are increasing at a dramatic rate. Their only predators are polar bears (which we all know are hardly ever around anymore), and Whales. Seals eat a tremendous amount of fish, have you seen the sizes of the adults?

Also clubbing has been illegal for almost 15 years. I would have to find the date. Also, they cannot kill whitecoats since back in the late 80s.. I think 87, so all these PETA videos are from Way BAck.

Also Peta makes 80-90% of ALL their income off of the seal videos. WOW is all I have to say.

NL-ExPatriate said...

There are some
6000000 Million harp seals
2000000 Million Hood seals
1000000 million other species of seals which number in the range of 20 to 30 of the East coast of Canada alone.

If anything should be banned it is the caplin harvest for their roe alone while the dead female caplin are thrown back dead. That and the foreign over fishing by countries like Mr McCartneys Britain of our coast and our continental shelf in accordance with article 76 of the UN law of the Sea.
http://www.lawofthesea.net/convention.htm

Balanced Nature Not Balanced ARA's check books

Myths
http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/seal-phoque/myth_e.htm

Canadian veteranarian study
http://canadianveterinarians.net/Documents/Resources/Files/130_Seal%20Hunt%20Report.pdf

Seal killing 8 foot sturgeon
http://www.katu.com/stories/76832.html

Video of dead fish on bay from seals
http://www.exn.ca/Stories/1999/03/09/56.asp

Real reason
http://www.activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/oid/131

Meet your meat very graphic but reality
http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/video.asp?video=meet_your_meat&Player=wm&speed=_med

Endangered fish
http://nl-outsidethebox.blogspot.com/2005/09/cod-wash-i-cant-see-difference-can-you.html

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