Nick's Journal
2010-03-30 00:40:06 (UTC)

Save the Sharks!

i watch a lot of documentaries. i don't know what it is
about them but there's just something so much more
interesting about a topic that is actually based (however
tenuously) on fact.

most of the time, we watch documentaries about the iraq,
afghanistan war, interrogation (i.e. torture) techniques,
and of course the gem of all was "born into brothels" a
documentary that put me off documentaries for a while about
little children who are used in the sex trade in india. ugh.

documentaries are like that though. some of them you watch
and throw your hands in the air and just think, "it sucks,
but fuck it...what can i do?" that's what i hate about
them. they always leave you disempowered. a lot of them
are about past events that don't even give you a chance to
change the future (holocaust, ww2, all other wars and
atrocities of the past century). some are forward looking
but paint such a dire picture that you can do nothing but
shake your head.

so we watched sharkwater the other night. it's a
documentary guessed it! sharks! primarily
about how they are being hunted into extinction as of late.

i've always admired sharks. there's something about them
that is so incredible. the only large predator to have
survived 400 million years. as a big fan of evolution i
view sharks as a pinnacle of it (although others would
disagree with me and say that humans are...yeah right). i
mean come on, how long have we been around? seriously i
don't know, but i think sharks have us a long shot.

so it's just so infinitely sad to me that something so
beautiful (from an evolutionary perspective) is being hunted
with such abandon. what's more, sharks aren't cute and
cuddle and they don't have endearing qualities like whales
or dolphins. they seem like terrifying monsters. in truth
they are not. one of the best points in the documentary was
the hypocrisy of how we view sharks as these vicious
creatures. they're not anymore vicious than a seal eating
fish. nor any more vicious than a lioness hunting down a
gazelle. they just are. that's what's so beautiful about
animals. except for chimps apparently they can display
cruelty...but i'm getting side-tracked.

regardless of whether they are vicious or not, they
shouldn't be hunted to extinction. this guy on the
documentary does the whole sea shepherd thing which i
believe translated into a show called "whale wars". now
bear in mind that all i know about this show is what south
park made fun of. i don't know why, normally i agree with
south park on just about everything but i don't on this. i
am a big proponent of the sea shepherd guy. i think (even
if he is a lying sack of shit as south park says) he at
least is doing SOMETHING.

i love the fact that he rams boats and gives these poachers
hell. what's more the south park made fun of something that
i always joke about too. asians are fucking weird. they
just are. they eat weird shit. they do weird shit. and
they drive like tards. what i cannot understand for the
life of me is that they love the shark fins. apparently a
shark fin adds nothing to the soup it is used in other than
texture. it is more than anything, a status symbol. and as
the status of chinese rise the more the demand rises.
seriously what is wrong with asians?

and this is what south park made fun of when it juxtaposed
chickens and cows (i.e. what we westerners grub on without
abandon) to show our hypocrisy. now i fully agree that
asians aren't obviously any weirder than we are, but that
still doesn't speak to the underlying thought behind it all.
it is just wrong to hunt a species to extinction. sure
sure we white people have done it in the past but we have
become more and more conscious of our past destruction. the
ban on whaling would have never prevailed had we not
realized our past transgressions.

and besides i always find it is a horrible argument from
developing countries to point the finger at us and say,
'well you did it now we get ours!'. stupid logic.

anyhow, i just felt really sad for the sharks. mostly
because they are so cool, so beautiful, so awe-inspiring in
their simplicity. i feel that the sea shepherd is doing
good. of course he doesn't employ violence or act like a
"true pirate" and maybe he lies here and there, but that is
all for attention. and maybe he is a media whore who wants
the spotlight on him but i just think he is too crazy for
that. i think he truly cares and is passionate about his
work. and i think people hate that about others.

it is so rare that the average person can really feel
passionate about a cause. i feel passionate about pit
bulls. that's about it. i cannot abide by anyone who will
tell me the "horrors" of the breed. you better damn well
believe i will argue with you for hours and i will win.
because i can guaran-fucking-tee that i am more passionate
about it than you are.

and that's what it really comes down to. feeling that there
is an injustice and striving to right it. what is so
horrible about that?

here's what's horrible people say: 1) these poor people in
poor countries need the money and we shouldn't deny them
their own resources; 2) who are you to tell anyone what to
do? 3) people get hurt and even killed over something so
stupid; 4) sovereignty; and 5) people flock to supply a
growing demand in asian countries who are we to tell them
what they can and cannot eat?.

here are my responses: 1) fuck them. so the criteria is
that poor people should use them to keep from being poor?
well then, i propose no one under the poverty line pays for
anything anymore. let them steal anything and everything.
if that's the criteria. it is simply illogical to look past
all the damage someone is doing just so that they can create
a living (and furthermore it is the fallacy of the "one job
per person" theory...these people, if not hunting shark,
would hunt other things i'm sure).
2) we have laws that tell people what they can and cannot
do all the time. in fact the main problem is not so much
that there are no laws but that there is no enforcement
(this is where the sea shepherd comes in)
3) while the goal should never be to actively injure
anyone, sometimes violent revolt is the only way you can
ever get anything to happen. while the target should never
be another human's life, ramming a fishing boat and cutting
lines and people jumping into waters to save their industry
does not equivocate to callous murder.
4) international treaties are in place. we should enforce
them. fuck sovereignty, it's only an illusion that is held
in place by the country with the biggest military might
5) so there is a demand? we outlaw many things for which
there is a great demand (illegal drugs). and who are we to
tell another culture what is right or wrong? it seems like
this is a smoke screen. the underlying principle is that it
is wrong to hunt an animal to extinction regardless of what
it is used for. simply saying that we cannot tell another
culture what they can and cannot do is a simplistic argument
which only serves to divert the argument from its true
intention (namely one again of autonomy and the arrogance of
western civilizations).

shark hunting is cruel and stupid. as asian countries grow
they will demand more shark fins and in the end, we will
likely hunt them to extinction. it just so saddens me
because i think of how amazing the shark is. to have it
eradicated so that some moron in another country can feel
like a big man with a fucking shark fin in his soup makes me
sick. mankind is already stupid and cruel enough in its
endeavors, do we really need illogical reasoning as to why
we shouldn't step in and help?