Friday, March 28


If a group of people have been doing something for a long time, and there's no rational reason to keep doing it except what was just mentioned, inertia itself (or "tradition") is a good enough reason to keep doing it. Unless, of course, it's doing something that's wrongheaded.

"Donkey basketball" is one example. A game that was scheduled for last Saturday night "was canceled by high school Principal Michael Shore this week, for what he said is a lack of willing participants." Even for those who don't believe it's cruel, there's just not a good enough reason to risk injury to themselves in order to participate in something so ridiculous. So the inertia is wearing off there.

Other "traditional" forms of animal-based entertainment are dying off as the slack-jawed, head-scratchin' mentality they appeal to is replaced by a slightly more lucid attitude. Cities all over the world are discussing banning exotic circus animals, and some have already, as more parents take an honest look at the harrowing effect that experience has on their children. The discussion has even reached the state level here in the U.S: Tennessee has tabled the question for the year, but watch how many other states start talking about it. Meanwhile, check out this forward-looking diploma course in circus arts - notice any "animal trainer" courses?

As usual, those most heavily invested in the pathetically out-of-date entertainment tradition fondly known as bloodsports react the most hysterically. Noting "a disturbing trend: Kids aren't hunting as much as they used to," the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources commission "established a [license-]free junior hunting weekend." The hunt's open to kids 15 and younger (!) but those under 10 have to be "accompanied by an adult who remains 'in position to take immediate control of the child's bow or firearm at all times.'" That's those children younger than ten, folks.

Similarly, kids are failing to pick up a laughably moronic, ridiculous and pointless muskrat-trapping tradition, so it's dying off as well. What do these losers trap animals for? Can't say. But "one thing they all know for certain: it's no longer for profit." One clue to why they do it: "Humane people think different than we think." Well, yes, that's probably true. Or maybe, do you think it could be, humane people took the time, somewhere along the line, to learn how to entertain themselves? Without roping in, and killing, defenseless animals to prove our tuffness? Without shooting our fellow human beings because we're too stupid (drunk?) to keep track of where we are or what direction we're shooting?

A few more hunters like that, and there'll be a lot fewer hunters left. And, of course, ever-growing numbers of kids who look at them and just shake their heads, snickering quietly.

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