Chimp Abuse? Did you see the op/ed piece by Steve Ross in today’s New York Times, titled “Chimps Aren’t Chumps” (July 21, 2008)? He wants an end to the use of cute chimpanzees on greetings cards and in ads and marketing — such as “the exaggerated grin on the face of a young chimpanzee, often one that’s wearing sunglasses or a grass skirt.” Ross, the supervisor of behavioral and cognitive research at the Lester Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at the Lincoln Park Zoo, says of the grinning chimp:
“But this picture, harmless as it might appear, is giving the public the mistaken and even dangerous impression that chimpanzees have a safe and comfortable existence — and nothing could be further from the truth.” And,
“A progressive society should weigh the moral costs and benefits of practices like these. Misrepresentations of chimpanzees may not be as repugnant as racism, bigotry or sexism. But they can still serve as a benchmark for our society’s moral progress.”
“. . . The good news is that a growing number of companies, including Honda, Puma and Subaru, have pledged to stop the use of primates in advertisements.”
Yikes. I’m sorry Dr. Ross, but there are far too many important things to worry about on this planet of ours to fret over “misrepresented” chimpanzees. I can’t take your argument seriously enough to work up a cogent response. (Ditto for the post at Animal Person yesterday “On Speciesism and Animal Actors.”) But, I will say that it has never crossed my mind that pictures of cute pandas, peaceful dolphins or grinning chimpanzees meant their species were all thriving and safe — and I can’t imagine why you’d think [reasonably thoughtful] members of our species would have that illogical reaction.
evening loon call —
nothing makes it
I’m pleased, however, that Ross’ piece got me to Google my favorite childhood chimp, Cheeta, to see how he’s doing. In 2006, I wished the co-star of a dozen Tarzan movies, and oldest living nonhuman primate, a happy 74th birthday. Today, I want to congratulate Cheeta (that’s him at the head of this paragraph and of this posting) for getting a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame earlier this month. (See The Mirror.co.uk, August 7, 2008). And, we can celebrate Cheeta’s latest comeback, at 76 — appearing in a new video of the hit country music song “Convoy,” which can be downloaded from iTunes.
the child pressing against
flashing ambulance lights–
rain still filling
…… by Gary Hotham – Missed Appointment
Greenfield’s Bullish on Tasers: We don’t usually look to criminal lawyer Scott Greenfield of the Simple Justice weblog for investment tips. But, today we find Scott touting Taser International (July 21, 2008).
“As the stories of police using tasers in lieu of thinking become legion, there can be only one smart move: invest. Jonathon Turley posts about the latest taser target: [a blind Ohio woman with cancer)]”
It seems to me, however, that private citizens, not law enforcement, are going to fuel the growth in Taser sales over the next few years — and that scares me more than the continuing Taser abuse by police. Some real stock experts agree (see “Taser misfires but Still Has Potential,” The Street.com, by Tom Au, April 16, 2007):
“Electric stun-gun maker Taser International(TASR – Cramer’s Take – Stockpickr) seems more of a venture capital play than a conventional stock play on the basis of company’s recent earnings and news.”
“Taser is also planning to shift its marketing strategy, following the strong reception its new pocket-sized C2 personal protector received at January’s Consumer Electronics Show and the resulting favorable media coverage. The company now hopes to sell more of its products, including the C2, to individual consumers as well as to members of the ‘self defense’ and private security markets rather than law enforcement agencies.”
. . . “[I]n the wake of its earnings report, the company may appeal more to those of a venture capitalist bent than the private investor, which is why my position is smaller than usual. Taser has a bunch of scientifically innovative products that potentially address a major need: preventing more Virginia Tech (and smaller-scale) shootings. Depending on societal acceptance, the market could be huge.” “
Yes, it’s shocking. One online seller of Tasers declares:
The TASER can be used more effectively and safely with less training than other self-defense technologies.
LEGAL TO CARRY
TASER devices are not considered firearms. They can be legally carried (concealed or open) without permit required in 43 states.
Indeed, “The TASER X26C series [available for $999.99] offers the highest take-down power available. With advanced new Shaped Pulse technology, the TASER X26C provides Electro-Muscular Disruption (EMD) technology which . . . debilitates the toughest targets, without causing injury or lasting after-effects.” Still not convinced Taser is for you and those you love? Remember:
“TASER technology has been available to citizens concerned with self-defense for over a decade. Unlike conventional weapons, TASER is effective with a hit anywhere on the body. To be effective for self-defense, bullets risk more lethal consequences, striking the head or vital organs. Similarly, chemical or pepper sprays must hit an assailant in the face � a much less reliable alternative in fast moving confrontations. And, in a windy environment, sprays can be blown back onto the user.”
For now, I’m glad to be living in New York, as “TASER is not available for private citizen defense in DC, HI, MA, MI, NJ, NY, RI, & WI.” But, recent Supreme Court action on the 2nd Amendment suggests they’ll soon be available legally everywhere. So, as Scott says: “there can be only one smart move: invest [in Taser]” — and never leave home.
snow covering things
we see every day —
the fortune left in the cookie
more hot coffee poured
into what’s left
long after sunset–
darkness not stopping the odor
of fallen leaves