Mar 062015

Yesterday Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced it would stop using elephants in its shows. I strongly oppose using megafauna in circuses. Performing elephants are systematically abused their entire lives, so I applaud this announcement, even though it’s much murkier than it should be.

For one thing, the official press release flirts with disingenuous. Excerpt:

“As the circus evolves, we can maintain our focus on elephant conservation while allowing our business to continue to meet shifting consumer preferences.”

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey has long maintained that it has a deep interest in the welfare of the Asian elephant as a species, and that’s the stated purpose of the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation. (The actual purpose is that it has been an elephant farm, used to supply the circus with elephants after it became illegal to take them from the wild.) They claim to want to turn this facility into something open to the public, which will get considerably easier once the abhorrent training methods are no longer necessary. We shall see.

(And I guess “shifting consumer preferences” is about as close as we’re going to get to “too many people are repulsed by how performing elephants are treated and it’s hurting the bottom line.”)

Why 2018? Why so long? I understand that this is a decision with a significant business impact, but that seems an awfully long time to sort out how things will go.

Ringling Bros., though it’s obviously being taken begrudgingly, this is a step. Thank you. Make it happen. I’m hopeful that as you implement this change, your rhetoric will begin tacking more toward honesty.

And let’s talk big cats next.

 Posted by at 5:53 pm
Mar 052015
  • I’m at home because of winter weather for the second Thursday in a row, though this one was less pleasant because the forecast was mostly for an ice storm. Snow doesn’t elevate the likelihood of a power outage much, if at all. Freezing rain does so significantly. Fortunately, it didn’t last as long as they thought it would, and the blackout threat has probably returned to normal or nearly so.
  • Aaron’s Scholar’s Bowl team took second in the county yesterday, and he was the team’s high scorer. Congratulations, man! I’m proud of you.
  • After we have our awards ceremony this weekend, Upward 2015 will be in the books. I always enjoy the program, but I absolutely loved my team this year. What a great bunch. Thanks for blessing me, guys. Hope I returned the favor.
  • Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus says it will phase elephants out of its show by 2018. I’ll leave it at that in the interest of keeping Thursday miscellanea posts apolitical (and even though this strikes me as something that shouldn’t be political, it is). Watch for a dedicated post soon.
  • Exchanged email with Dad yesterday and he told me he’d just sold his 1990 Corvette ZR-1. With just over 2,000 miles on it, it was essentially new. It was neat that he had it, and I got to take it to 100 or so (at which speed it was still practically yawning), but it just wasn’t very good at demonstrating value. You couldn’t really drive it because it was an investment-grade car, but you really wouldn’t want to anyway. Corvette C4 ingress and egress is awkward, and the ride in a ZR-1 is brutal. So, gone. Last time he told me was thinking of selling it, it was to turn it into travel funds. Have fun!
  • Just a week and change to go until the Australian Grand Prix. Looking forward to the return of racing! At 1 in the morning, I believe we’ll DVR it and watch it after church.
  • Our next Alabamians Can Read broadcast is Sunday, March 15, on The Martian. You have plenty of time to join us for this one. It’s quite easy to read. Come be part of it!
 Posted by at 3:35 pm
Mar 032015

Kids are epically dumb sometimes. Of course, that’s practically a tautology. And, as parents, meliorating said dumbness as best we can is a significant part of the gig. Which brings me to this afternoon. My beloved firstborn texted me a not-nice something that is making the rounds on the Internet. It’s an abbreviation for a […]

 Posted by at 7:37 pm
Mar 012015

I’ve noted before that when a guy like me has a mohawk, the difference between spray-on color and natural color is the difference between ball coach dad and thug. “You talkin’ to me? Hey. You talkin’ to me?” I kept it to attend church this morning at my pastor’s behest, though he thought I was […]

 Posted by at 4:22 pm is using WP-Gravatar