Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NatGeo: What were YOU thinking?

OK.. time for some feathers to fly.

I just saw a post by one of my Facebook Friends (FBF), pointing to the now-running, National Geographic Photo contest.

As usual the thumbnail image, in the post's LINK, was too small for me to see clearly at first. But, I read my FBF's commentary.  I couldn't agree more.  A National Geographic photo contest should be pretty darned good and worthy of strolling through the galleries of photos.

Then I looked closely at the image headlining the LINK in the post.

What ?? !!!!!

This is NOT a slam on my FBF here. Let's get that out of the way first. It's not his fault the image contains the content it does.
Nor was he condoning the specific content shown in the image associated with the link.

Besides, when you include a LINK widget  this way in Facebook - and the linked-to-page has several images on it, a randomly chosen image appears. Unless you click-through the widget and choose a specific image - the first image (the fighting cock photo in this case) becomes the default.  Just like what you see, when you click the link below.
The image, aside from the content, is - technically- a superb photo!

But - there's the rub: the content.

I ask you.  Explain the difference
  • NFL Player Michael Vick - convicted (rightfully so, in my opinion) for his illegal, immoral and ethically drought dog-fighting antics;
  • A beautifully composed, in vivid color, laser-sharp, focus, wonderfully composed image of two young boys,  maybe 8 or 9 years of age , in colorful, native Indonesian (Suradita Village of West Java)  dress, tossing fighting cocks at each other;

Both are abuses of animals, people and sensibility.

Both, by venue, promote such tragedy. 

One is mediated as heinous conduct, while the other a potential International photo contest winner.

Tell me I'm missing something; please!  Otherwise we're sinking deeper into the quagmire of duplicity.

I'm not squeamish about blood, death or killing. I am a hunter.  But neither of the two scenarios mentioned above have anything to do with the natural actions of hunting or territorial protection.

 Slaughter, mayhem, murder and wanton endangerment are NOT natural. 

Dogs will fight dogs - but NOT without provocation. It's a dominance thing.  The same for jungle cock and every male species of animal on the planet.

The train-jumps-the-tracks when people force animals to exhibit such aggression for their (the 'supposed superior humans' in this case) own gain and/or enjoyment.

So, how can National Geographic possibly condone, support or - dare say, defend - the inclusion of this photo in their contest?  It sure doesn't stand on solid ground by using the statement of the photographer.  [click link below].  In which the photographer says,
Actually it was not a real cockfight because the rooster didn't wear blades on their feet. Children likes to play this game because they almost never have toys in their life.

Yeah. Maybe so. But this is as much 'fighter-in-training' for these two young boys - as it is for the young roosters. Both will end up following the imprinting they are exposed to in their environment.  So, yeah, it really is cockfighting .. it's just 'mock cockfighting' .. which trains for the 'real thing'.

Duplicity is even more effective than C4 in blowing holes in the fabric of a sane, sensible society. Selling abuse-in-training ... whether its against animals or humans ... as a substitute for the lack of toys, is about as duplicitous as one can get.

Think about it.