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Meet “Kid Schadenfreude,” a 4-Year-Old Animal-Attack Connoisseur

Photo by Jan Kronsell

Photo by Jan Kronsell

Yesterday, I ran into a friend whom I hadn’t seen in several years. It came up in conversation that her 4-year-old son is a budding connoisseur of successful animal-on-human attacks. Naturally, I proposed that my friend, whom we’ll call “Lady Gogo,” read my latest blog post to her son and record his reaction.

My most recently published commentary is about a dunce in Orange, Texas, who scoffed at warnings that an alligator had been seen in the area, defiantly said, “Fuck that alligator,” and jumped into a bayou, never to been seen alive again.

I later read that the alligator who killed the dunce was mercilessly executed by a vengeful asshole who believes animals should live by our rules. That subhuman thug, not surprisingly, was essentially given a pat on the back by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

What follows is a transcript of the conversation Lady Gogo had with her son, whom we’ll call “Kid Schadenfreude.”

Lady Gogo: So what happened was, the guy said, “I don’t care … I don’t like alligators,” and he jumped into the water, and then almost immediately he yelled for help. But then he was never seen again. What do you think of that?

Kid Schadenfreude: Hmm. I like it. Is there another story that he had?  

Lady Gogo: That’s it. What do you think about that?

Kid Schadenfreude: I like it. 

Lady Gogo: What do you like about it?

Kid Schadenfreude: I just do. Mama, why is there always blood in the water

Lady Gogo: Because some people are always killing animals’ environments. What do you think about that?

Kid Schadenfreude: Hmm. Sad. But [animals] killing people is happy! … Mama I would like a story about a person getting squeezed by an anaconda. I’m really interested in snakes … And a black mamba. A black mamba please. Mama? Mama I would like to meet that man …

Lady Gogo later told her son that the alligator in Texas had been killed, despite having been “an animal in its natural habitat, doing its natural thing.”

Kid Schadenfreude described the alligator’s senseless death as “sad.”

Alligator 1, Reckless Dude 0

Photo by Jan Kronsell

Photo by Jan Kronsell

I have an idea for a short comedic film about a guy being killed by an alligator. As the film begins, we meet a reckless young man who’s preparing to go for a swim in a Texas bayou.

Scoffing at posted and verbal warnings that alligators had recently been spotted in the area, he disrobes and dives in. Seconds later, he’s dragged beneath the water’s murky surface, never to be seen again, his female companion screaming like the star of some formulaic horror flick.

As the credits roll, we learn that the film is based on actual events. 

According to CNN, this very scene played out in Texas on Friday.

In the CNN report, Rodney Price, a local justice of the peace, was quoted as saying, “He removed his shirt, removed his billfold … someone shouted a warning and he said ‘blank the alligators’ and jumped in to the water and almost immediately yelled for help.”

If not a short film, this incident at very least calls for one of those cheesy reenactment videos.

Exploitation on Display in New York Art Gallery

Jannis Kounellis. Photo by Gabuchan

Jannis Kounellis. Photo by Gabuchan

In recreating Jannis Kounellis’ 1969 “art” installation Untitled (12 Horses), New York art dealer and gallery owner Gavin Brown is celebrating that which is most ugly about our culture. The sickening exhibit, on view through tomorrow at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, is nothing more than 12 horses tethered to the gallery’s walls.

“I’ve always wanted to show this piece,” Brown was quoted by ARTnews as saying.

The New York Times Roberta Smith suggests that the horses’ “accommodation in a space that is recognizably an art gallery foments an especially concentrated encounter with the brute power of art and its ability to transform space.”

That’s a whole lot of pretentious — and insulting — nonsense.

In an August 2004 interview with the Greek Left ReviewKounellis likened Untitled (12 Horses) to “a theatrical performance,” and said, “This was the significance of my action, which is defined by freedom.”

Whose freedom?

Kounellis’ exploitation of horses in 1969 marked the move of the Galleria l’Attico into a new space in Rome.

“Now that storied hallmark of Arte Povera is being used to say goodbye,” ARTnews explained.

Brown plans to move his gallery, in September, from the West Village to Harlem.

None of this, of course, matters to the exploited animals.

The horses tethered to the walls of Brown’s gallery space are not willing performers, of course. They are victims.

“The horses were tied to the wall of the gallery in order to make a connection between the living element and the idea of solid foundations,” Kounellis told the Greek Left Review in 2004.

Being tethered to a wall, unable to do anything but stand there and be looked at as an object, is not living. What Brown’s exploitation of horses does is reinforce and celebrate the arrogant notion that man is entitled to hold dominion over other species. Putting a frame around exploitation and calling it “art” does not eliminate the cruelty that, in this case, is the medium.

Contact Gavin Brown at 212-627-5258 and tell him that exploitation is not art.

Related commentaries:
Slaughtered Deer on Display in Syracuse “Art” Exhibit
Performance Artist Frames Animal-Testing Protest

“Gopher Fest,” Killing Contests, and the Defiant Culture of Savagery

Photo by Leonardo Weiss

Photo by Leonardo Weiss

Like “Squirrel Slam,” an annual killing contest in Holley, New York, in which participants slaughter as many squirrels as they can for the chance to win guns and cash, “Gopher Fest” encourages the same kind of savage behavior among residents of Lima, Montana. Each is billed as a fundraiser — the former for the local fire department, the latter to support the upkeep of the local swimming pool. “Gopher Fest,” named after its target species, includes a gun raffle and barbecue.

In a column published yesterday in the Lake County Leader (Polson, Montana), Kylie Richter explains, callously, that “Gopher Fest” took place earlier this month on properties whose owners welcomed the massacre. Richter supports her claim that “hunting is a Montana culture” by pointing out that a “few years back, a reporter from Bozeman wrote an article about how terrible it was that people were shooting these rodents in mass quantities. Apparently, the next year, Gopherfest almost doubled in size.”

If that’s true — and let’s assume that it is — it’s because violent knuckle-draggers are predictably defiant in the face of rational scrutiny. They use the word “culture” because it allows them to play the victims and to cast their critics as antagonists. The real victims, of course, are, to their killers, nameless, faceless interlopers — “furry nuisances,” as Richter describes the gophers targeted in Lima and elsewhere.

The smug refusal of the Neanderthals among us to recognize their evil hypocrisy is an ugly and destructive posture. That they frame killing contests as fundraisers through which their communities are enhanced is obnoxious. Town officials in Holley have declined offers to help raise money through nonviolent means. That’s because they won’t be told that their “culture” is backward and vicious.

This year in Lima, according to Richter, more than 100 psychopaths showed up on June 6 to kill as many gophers as they could. Each paid a $10 entry fee. Those 100 lowlifes could just have easily donated to the community-pool fund without killing any animals. And it’s worth pointing out that the town could raise $1,000 for upkeep of the community pool by asking each member of the community, which numbered 226 in 2013, for an annual $4 contribution.

But that’s all beside the point, which is that killing contests are about killing, and not about making their host communities better places to live. Certainly not for the nonhuman residents who call those areas home.

Contact information for the Town of Lima’s mayor and councilmen can be found here

Related commentaries:
“Squirrel Slam”: The Holleycaust Continues
Protest Song Condemns “Squirrel Slam,” Supports Animal-Rights Group
Holley “Squirrel Slam” is a Neanderthal Custom of Evangelical Barbarism

Hunter Population Numbers One Fewer

Photo by Albert Kok

Photo by Albert Kok

Once in a while, in addition to giving us reason to celebrate, news of a fatal hunting incident can provide a decent grammar lesson.

First, the news.

According to the Associated Press, an inebriated dimwit in Florida, while taking a break from killing fish, checked to see if his handgun was loaded by putting the thing to his largely empty noggin and pulling the trigger. A fatal head wound revealed the answer.

I learned about the incident when my good friend Monty Gelstein called to suggest a headline.

“Hunter Population Numbers One Less After Fisherman Blows Head Off,” Monty shouted, gleefully, into the receiver.

“One fewer,” I said.

“What’s the goddamned difference, dude?” he asked.

It was a rhetorical question, as far as Monty was concerned. I, on the other hand, felt compelled to refer him to Paul Brians’ excellent website and bookCommon Errors in English Usage.

“You’re such an annoying geek,” Monty said. “You should be dancing, not quibbling about grammar, of all things.”

“I’ll dance when all the hunters are gone,” I told him.

I found the AP story on the WPTV website and immediately took issue with the report’s description of the incident as being an “accident.”

“Can’t you just enjoy the moment — and the fact that at very least the deceased will never again kill another animal?” Monty asked.

Mentally unbalanced as he is, Monty had a point. And so I danced …

Montana Officials Kill, Blow Up Orphaned Moose

Photo by Veronika Ronkos

Photo by Veronika Ronkos

If you don’t think hunting agencies are the enemies of wildlife, you don’t know much about hunting agencies.” — Joe Miele, president, Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

That comment was posted to the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Facebook page last week, along with a link to a sickening news story published by The Dodo about an orphaned moose calf whom Montana wildlife officials killed because that’s what they do. After the newborn moose was put to death, members of the U.S. Forest Service used explosives to get rid of the calf’s lifeless body and those of the animal’s deceased mother and a sibling.

According to a report in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, U.S. Forest Service staff “used explosives to get rid of the carcasses of all three moose, spreading the proteins that might attract predators like grizzly bears to the campground.”

A camper from Bozeman, Montana, named Josh Hohm had encountered the orphaned calf and alerted local authorities, whom he figured would help, not slaughter, the young animal.

Andrea Jones, a spokesperson for the Montana wildlife gestapo, told various media outlets that her agency had no choice but to destroy the calf in order to prevent the possible spread of chronic wasting disease. Plus, Jones offered matter-of-factly, the newborn moose probably wouldn’t have survived anyway.

Only a useless fool could possibly believe that Jones and her jackbooted colleagues care about the well-being of wildlife in Montana. Their objective is to provide a user-friendly experience for humans, particularly those who delight in killing animals. Indeed, as far as the Montana wildlife gestapo is concerned, animals and their habitats exist for human use.

The bastards believe they know what’s best for other species and ours. And they’ll stick to their insulting story that what was best for the orphaned calf was to be put to death. Blowing the bodies of three dead moose to smithereens was, in state officials’ eyes, in the best interests of humans who might want to use campgrounds, like the one in which Hohm encountered the calf, without having to share the space with animals who might call the area home.

This is so-called “wildlife management” in action. This is a snapshot of the taxpayer-supported war on animals that rages on, as a policy and a business, from state to state. This is what a newborn moose got for losing her mother.

Tell Connecticut Gov. Malloy to Veto Sunday Bowhunting Bill

Loathsome members of the Connecticut Senate have approved HB 6034, which would allow bowhunters on certain state-identified private properties to slaughter deer on Sundays. The bill, which the state House approved on May 27, is now headed to Gov. Dannel Malloy’s desk. Please call the governor at 800-406-1527 and tell him to veto the odious legislation, about which I wrote on Tuesday.

Connecticut Bill Would Allow Bowhunting on Sundays

Photo by David Baron

Photo by David Baron

A heinous piece of legislation is pending in the Connecticut Senate that would lift the state’s longstanding Sunday hunting ban and give the barbarians among us additional opportunities to kill. Specifically, HB 6034 would allow bowhunters to slaughter deer on private property in Department of Energy and Environmental Protection-identified “management zones.”

“Wildlife management” is, of course, a euphemism for “sanctioned slaughter.” On May 27, HB 6034, championed by 22 heartless and sycophantic sponsors doing the bidding of a ruthless industry, passed a Connecticut House vote by an insulting 113-32 margin.

Should the House-approved bill pass a Senate vote before the regular session of the General Assembly concludes on Wednesday, it would move to the desk of Gov. Dannel Malloy, who should know there is nothing right about supporting more merciless brutality than is already inflicted on animals by state-enabled, bloodlust-full savages for whom killing is a sport.

He should oppose recreational cruelty and reject the dangerous belief that man is entitled to “manage” other species. He should refuse to jeopardize more animals’ lives just so the state can open for bloody business on Sundays. He should say no to more atrocities against wildlife and join the fight to stop the war on animals.

The text of HB 6034 can be found here, and the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research’s analysis can be found here. At the time of this writing, the Connecticut Senate had not voted on HB 6034. Connecticut residents should contact their state senators and tell them in no uncertain terms to vote against this loathsome piece of legislation. Connecticut Senate members’ contact information can be found here. Should the Connecticut Senate pass HB 6034 before its regular session ends on Wednesday, the legislation will be placed on Gov. Dannel Malloy’s desk. The governor’s contact information can be found here. Tell him, if the legislation is before him, to veto HB 6034. 

Hunter Being Killed by Elephant Was Not a Tragedy

Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

On Wednesday, an individual named Graydon posted a response to a commentary I published here nearly three years ago headlined “Hunter Killed by Buffalo in Zimbabwe.”

“Hunters who obey the laws, who are the vast, vast majority, are in fact helping more animals than they kill,” Graydon wrote.

That, of course, is a nonsensical, self-serving rationalization rooted in arrogance. Brutally slaughtering animals is in no way altruistic.

Graydon would have us believe that Owain Lewis — the professional hunter who was killed in Zimbabwe by the buffalo he was helping to murder — and other serial killers like him, “help save these magnificent animals from extinction.”

One cannot be the problem and the solution. It’s an asinine argument.

According to Graydon, “Much of the money from gun, hunting gear, and hunting fees go to wildlife reservations and funds for endangered animals.”

Let’s be honest, the only reason hunters don’t want to see “magnificent animals” go extinct is because they want to maintain a supply of trophies.

At the time of his death in June 2012, Lewis was working for a sinister operation called Chifuti Hunting Safaris.

The same day that Graydon posted his ridiculous response to my commentary about Lewis’ death, Chifuti Hunting Safaris lost another member of its commercial death squad.

Tim Danklef and Dave Fulson from a Dallas-based company called Safari Classics, which represents Chifuti Hunting Safaris, posted a comment on a website called that reads, in part: “It is with deep sadness to announce the passing of Chifuti Safaris professional hunter Ian Gibson. Ian was tragically killed by an elephant bull earlier today while guiding and elephant hunt in Chewore North (lower Zambezi Valley).”

Huffington Post UK report points out that “it is not known if the animal was injured or killed in the incident.”

In 2012, Paul Smith, of Chifuti Hunting Safaris, told The Daily Telegraph that Lewis’ death “is a tragedy.” On Wednesday, Danklef and Fulson used the same word to describe Gibson’s death.

“What is tragic,” I wrote in my 2012 commentary, “is that magnificent creatures suffer violent deaths at the hands of savage men seeking spiritual and financial reward.”

Neither Lewis nor Gibson was an altruist. Neither was acting in the interest of another species, as Graydon would have us believe. Neither’s death was tragic.

Each was a heartless butcher driven by bloodlust and greed.

“Wildlife Management,” As Sickening a Euphemism as There Is

Photo by Stephen Jones

Photo by Stephen Jones

A loathsome knuckle-dragger named Ian Clark took to the pages of the Belfast Telegraph on Tuesday to whine about “animal rights extremists,” and, not surprisingly, to betray his own monstrousness.

“The animal rights extremists are beginning their annual spring rant about shooting — full of the tired old cliches about how cruel it is to kill things and equally full of stupid mistakes which only show how little they know about running the countryside,” Clark complains in a poorly written and unreasoned letter to the editor.

Clark, who serves as the director of the Scottish Association for Country Sportstells us that predatory species and those on which they prey suffer terribly in natural death, as if gunning them down is doing them a favor. Then he explains that since human behavior has upset the balance of nature, he and his like-minded ilk have taken it upon themselves — “at no expense to the public” — to make sure their fingers remain on the scale.

Finally, Clark boasts that serial killers like him “do not inflict unnecessary suffering on anything — if something has to be killed, we do it as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Clark’s arrogance is breathtaking.

He claims in his ridiculous op-ed to “love” wildlife, while in the same letter he refers to animals as things that sometimes have to be destroyed.

This is nothing new. It’s what government agencies in the United States describe as “wildlife management,” as sickening a euphemism as there is.

Callous bureaucrats and the violent thugs (like Clark) for whom they bend over insist with straight faces that killing animals is an act of altruism — that their murderous interests are in line with what’s best for all species. In fact, the only beneficiaries of sanctioned slaughters are those humans who derive spiritual or financial reward from the suffering and brutal deaths of animals.

As The Dodo reported on Tuesday, citing government documents, USDA killing squads slaughtered more than 2.7 million animals in 2014. Those animals were just living their lives when they found themselves in the crosshairs of the humans who’re “running the countryside,” to borrow Clark’s obnoxious words.

Killing is cruel, and there’s no way for Clark and his like-minded ilk overseas or here in the United States to get around that, no matter how many lame euphemisms or what self-interested rationale they use to excuse their violent and bloodlust-full behavior.

It is the height of arrogance to believe that man is entitled to make the all rules. If there is a population that should be “managed,” it is ours.