‘But What About the Elephants?’
(This posting has been revised since the presidential swerve late Friday evening, via Twitter.)
Ted Turner used to make this impassioned plea for an endangered species -- indeed, for an endangered planet -- during his noble effort, The Goodwill Games in Moscow, 1986.
Remember 1986? Remember Goodwill? Remember Gorbachev? For that matter, remember Ted Turner? I dubbed him a “holy fool” because of his Dostoyevskian zeal.
John Feinstein, covering those games in Moscow, heard Turner’s stump speech so often that he could sense the punch line coming.
“But what about the elephants?” John would squawk.
Those were the good old days, when we produced holy fools, not flat-out fools.
Now Turner's cause is sabotaged daily by Donald Trump, whose only concern is setting up his own spawn and the Mnuchins and Wilburs of the world for more riches.
Trump is all for porous pipelines and spewing coal stacks (and tax revisions) as long as they make somebody richer.
For a moment this week he also tried to set up his own killer sons and their type to get richer from slaughtering “trophy” animals in Zimbabwe and importing their parts.
In mid-week Trump announced his intention to make it legally possible to import -- to display -- to brag about -- these tails and tusks and Lord knows what else, cut from the dead bodies of these most civilized mammals.
The total of worldwide elephants has dropped 30 percent from 2007 to 20014. I read that in the Times. People with the savage name of Trump have contributed to that. Are proud of that. What an ugly family.
For some reason, Trump changed his mind in one of his late-night Twitter eruptions Friday, saying he was delaying any action on the (Obama-era) policy to ban importing elephant "trophies."
The article in Saturday's paper:
I have felt more personal about elephants since visiting South Africa for the World Cup in 2010. Our guide Witold took four journalists on a day trip out of Johannesburg for the only exposure to nature we would have during a hectic month.
Witold was trying to find lions and other Bold Letter animals during our quickie run into the wild.
He parked on a dirt road and looked around. Then he saw a family of elephants to our left, moving toward us. We were on their crossroad. He backed up 10 feet, and the family of elders and infants walked slowly in front of us, their heads turned to the right to keep an eye on us, as well they might. (“We’re not Trumps!” I could have said, “We’re not that sort!”)
Their right eyes were patient and wise as they walked with dignity. I fell in love with elephants at that moment, the kind of easy emotion for a day-tripper on a day off from football. I wish I had taken photos, but I was mesmerized.
That was my lifetime African experience. Big deal. But it stayed with me, to the point that I feel familial rage toward a plunderer who enables murderers from his own sordid brood. Have a tusk, Donald. Have a tail, Eric. Go shoot something, brave guys.
“But what about the elephants?”
Where is Ted Turner when we really need him?
11/17/2017 04:39:54 pm
In re the lifting of the endangered species import prohibition by the FM on behalf of his idiot spawn, phone and/or write your congressperson and ask him or her to introduce a bill prohibiting said importation. Then let's see who co-sponsors or supports and who opposes the bill and/or who tries to quash it in committee. We Americans sure do love animals more than our fellow man so let's get to the "Which Side Are You On?" segment of the debate asap!
11/17/2017 04:51:18 pm
"We Americans sure do love animals more than our fellow man"
11/18/2017 09:01:52 am
To Jim Trupin and Joshua Rubin: I appreciate your point but i don't think it's "either/or" for animals and humans. I do think we have a responsibility to care for, to protect, "animals" in a world we dominate. But I also feel that it is a human responsibility to take care of our own, in the broadest sense. Make your own judgment about what I see as a rapacious bunch. Thanks, GV
11/17/2017 08:44:17 pm
Oh sweet Jesus, George. Stay the execution and pay attention please, Let's see what happens. Im curious, too.
11/18/2017 09:04:12 am
Brian, thanks for alerting me about Trump's mood swing. You'll notice that I updated it. I'd love to know why he changed his whim. I value your comments and knowledge. George
11/18/2017 09:39:31 pm
Let's face it: Don the Con is a repulsive human being. Nothing he does surprises me anymore. But, just like OJ, the karma gods will catch up to him and his cast of characters. It should be a good show.
11/19/2017 09:55:10 pm
11/20/2017 02:24:25 pm
Alan Rubinlink( firstname.lastname@example.org )11/20/2017 10:48:47 am
11/20/2017 02:26:02 pm
Alan: you had me til the last line.
11/20/2017 02:03:44 pm
Bruce. I also missed that the elephants may be upset about being the symbol of the Republican Party. Although there are many responsible members in congress, there is a herd mentality
11/20/2017 02:30:14 pm
There are many examples of elephants demonstrating compassion, mourning their dead. A recent video from India showed villagers setting fire to a baby elephant and the mother trying to stomp out the blaze, only to injure herself. Compare this to the sociopath who got elected last November. GV
11/20/2017 02:41:24 pm
11/20/2017 07:28:02 pm
I think this thread has taken a major turn for the worst at this point and everyone who thinks they're comments are smart should just leave them there. Life is too short and there is too much to still learn. Let's pursue it.
11/22/2017 03:07:51 am
Bruce: What a great sentence: "I was solely thinking of the elephants being insulted and thought you might've heard from their legal reps by now." I loved it. Surely you'll be recognized for it at the blog's end-of-year awards ceremony.
11/22/2017 08:39:52 am
Comments are closed.
“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.