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The Cove

Dolphins over people
The Cove

The Cove is a 2009 American documentary film that describes the annual killing of dolphins in a National Park at Taiji, Wakayama, in Japan from an anti-dolphin-hunting campaigner's point of view. The film highlights the fact that the number of dolphins killed in the Taiji dolphin hunting drive is several times greater than the number of whales killed in the Antarctic, and reports that 23,000 dolphins and porpoises are killed in Japan every year in the country's whaling industry. The migrating dolphins are herded into a hidden cove where they are netted and killed by means of spears and knives over the side of small fishing boats.
The film was directed by former National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos. Portions were filmed secretly during 2007 using underwater microphones and high-definition cameras disguised as rocks.
The documentary won the U.S. Audience Award at the 25th annual Sundance Film Festival in January 2009. It was selected out of the 879 submissions in the category. On March 7, 2010, The Cove won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 82nd Academy Awards.

This piece is addressed to Louie Psihoyos, the Western media, particularly The Japan Times, to "activist" Ric O'Barry, the "Flipper" trainer-cum-activist who stars in The Cove and all of you Westerners with all your lofty feelings.

I live in Japan. I've lived here for 20 years. Japan is a country that harbors a war criminal: former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi. He has led Japan into the illegal war against Irak, alongside other Western vultures, notably the U.S.A. and the U.K.

The decision by President George W. Bush to go to war in Iraq was ILLEGAL because it didn't have U.N Security Council approval, according to Secretary General Kofi Annan in an interview with the BBC World Service on Wednesday 15 2004. On Wednesday after being asked three times whether the lack of council approval for the war meant it was illegal, he (Annan) said:
" From our point of view it was ILLEGAL."

Q: It was illegal ?
Annan: Yes, if you wish.
Q: It was illegal ?
Annan: Yes, I have indicated it is not In conformity with the U.N Charter, from our point of view and from the Charter point of view it Was ILLEGAL.

International Herald Tribune, Friday, September 17, 2004 (U.N chief calls Iraq war Illegal) The Associated Press, United Nations, New York."

Of course nobody here thinks of him (Koizumi) as a war criminal. Instead of being in The Hague, he is prancing around freely... ..just like Bush, Blair, Berlusconi and all the other partners in crime, members of the coalition of the willing (to kill and plunder). The rape of Irak is barely in the mainstream media, Afghanistan even less. When it does make the news it's usually to tell us about U.S. soldiers suffering from PTD or some other Western casualty .
I read a daily (anesthetic) called The Japan Times. The other day, Tuesday 24, I came across, again!, an article, almost half a page (by Jay Alabaster, AP), about Taiji where The Cove was shot. There has been so much in the English language press, especially The Japan Times, about The Cove, the "slaughter" of dolphins, the "dark" secret of this little town, Taiji... ..hell, the slaughter of dolphins got more attention than the slaughter of more than one million Irakis (so far) by the U.S.-U.K.-led coalition of the willing (to kill for oil). Some Japanese fishermen kill some dolphins and eat the meat. So what? What is the big deal?

I am sick and tired of this intentionally misplaced Western concern! Doesn't the director of The Cove, Louie Psihoyos, have anything better to do? Anything more important to film? And this piece of crap got an Oscar... .well, on second thought, it does deserve it... just think about it... Hollywood deciding what's important in the world... .it's just like another piece of crap, The Hurt Locker by Kathryn Bigelow, about a team of deminers in Irak. The whole of Irak, hell, most of the world is a hurt locker, and all K. Bigelow can do is make a film about a bunch of Yankees disposing of land mines in and around Baghdad that are there because of them in the first place!

How much longer will this deliberately misplaced Western concern go on? The majority of people in the world live in abject misery caused by the capitalist economic policies of the West and some dolphins, whales and a bunch of Yankee criminals turned into victims get more attention! Hello?! The West! Do you need more September 11ths, more trains blowing up in Madrid, more buses blowing up in London... to pay attention to the people that you slaughter and plunder around the world to preserve your comfort. Hello?! Louie Psihoyos! You, as an American, living in the country that has been the greatest purveyor of violence on Earth since its inception, shouldn't you be concerned with at least the misery in your own country if you don't give a damn about the misery in the world caused by your country??

Dolphins?? Who cares??

I don't! Eastern Europe doesn't! Africa doesn't! The Arab world doesn't! Asia doesn't! So, who is left to (pretend to) care about some dolphins in some Taiji? So, who is left?
Again the same people, the white Anglo-Saxon god-fearing middle class Christian with his/her lofty feelings of self-satisfying compassion.

Why don't you Louie Psihoyos with your secret, high-tech, waterproof, mini cameras film secretly the arrogance of war criminals such as Bush, Blair, Koizumi, Berlusconi, Aznar et al.? Or the daily oppression in the lives of the Chechens, Palestinians, Sudanese, Irakis, Kurds, the Indians in U.S. concentration camps, the 25 000 people dying daily of hunger, the child prostitutes, the child soldiers... .and so on and on and on. Don't tell me you didn't have a choice. You actually chose dolphins over millions of people literally dying to be heard and seen... ..you have the means, the time and obviously the dedication but all misplaced!

No one can imagine how much attention and space this whole dolphin and whale business got in the press here in The Japan Times. But what can we expect from the cowardly mainstream media? And, Louie, with that misplaced interest of yours in Japan, shouldn't you be focusing on the "peace loving" Japan, the Japan that has renounced war and yet taken part in the supreme international crime, the attack on Irak, led by your country, America? What is this obsession with dolphins? It's typical of the Western white man and woman. The most recent article, the one I mentioned here above, is about the annual dolphin hunt that's about to start in early September. It says that the waters of the cove in Taiji will turn blood red. The whole of Irak and a large part of the world has turned blood red or no color at all due to the savage capitalist economic policies of the sensitive West. It also says that, and this is a good one, while for the people in and around Taiji dolphins can be playmates, they are primarily seen as big game animals, a perception many foreigners find difficult to stomach.

Again, who are these foreigners? I am a foreigner. Who are these sensitive souls with sensitive stomachs who care more about dolphins than people? I am not one of them, my brothers are not among them, my friends here in Tokyo from Palestine, Irak, Burundi, Yugoslavia, Russia, Lebanon, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia... .are not among those foreigners with sensitive stomachs. The slaughter of dolphins in Taiji has been getting more attention than the Israelo-Western starving of Palestinians in Gaza or the 9 Turkish activists trying to enter Gaza to bring humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in Gaza who were killed by a demented Israeli commando.

I have eaten whale meat on several occasions. It is delicious. There is a very good restaurant in Shibuya-ward, Tokyo, that serves whale meat. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to try dolphin meat yet.

Hey, Louie Psihoyos, are you gonna show your pathetic little documentary to the U.S. troops in Irak to cheer them up? How about showing it in Chechnya, Gaza, Sudan, Srebrenica, Angola, Sierra Leone, the Congo, Cambodia, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Salvador, Kurdistan, Albania, Yemen, Somalia, East Timor, Pakistan, Haiti... or to all the slums and all the sweatshops all over the world, products of sensitive Western capitalism? Are you gonna send a copy to Aung San Suu Kyi, Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu Jamal, Abdullah Ocalan, Marwan Barghouti, Leila Zana... .? See if they care. And please, Louie Psihoyos, if you do show The Cove in one of these places say, Irak, after the viewing in Baghdad or Fallujah you should do the Q and A thing. I am sure the people of Irak have lots of questions about the little town of Taiji and its dark secret.

You, Louie Psihoyos, and the foreigners (Westerners) who "care", who are "shocked", who can't stomach the slaughter of poor little, cute, intelligent dolphins but who can stomach your governments' slaughter of poor little, cute, intelligent Iraki children and plunder of the whole world... you are a bunch of pretenders, the typical middle class empty Westerner, pseudo activist, in search of some spiritual connection, climbing Mount Everest, traveling to Nepal and Tibet to get wasted, in love with the Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi, Gandhi, M.L. King but not with Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the Hamas, the Iraki Resistance, the IRA, Chavez, Morales, the Maoists in Nepal... ... Playing it safe, aren't you? Hug a tree, hug a dolphin, join Amnesty, organize end poverty concerts, sing we are the world we are the children... ..do your best to avoid confronting the real problems in our world caused by your governments' criminal capitalist economic policies and your greed. You hypocrites!

To an Iraqi infant by Sinan Antoon

do you know
that your mother's nipples
are dry bones?
that her breasts
are bursting
with depleted uranium?

do you know
that the womb's window
a confiscated land?

do you know
that your tomorrow
has no tomorrow?
that your blood
is the ink
of new maps?

do you know
that your mother is weaving
the slowness of her moments
into an elegy?
And she is already
mourning you?

don't be shy!
your funeral is over
the tears are dry
everyone's gone

come forward!
it's only a short way
don't be late
your grave is looking
at its watch!

don't be afraid!
We'll arrange your bones
which ever way you want
and leave your skull
like a flower
on top

come forward!
your many friends await
there are more every day
. . .
your ghosts
will play together

come on!

Brkic Sulejman 2/9/2010

homepage: homepage: http://thinklearnact.blogspot.com/

A Rational Response 05.Sep.2010 12:09


Well, since no one else has said it yet, I'll say it.

1) many people learn compassion for humans by their natural compassion for animals first

2) humans, being the dominant species on the planet, cause their own problems and incredible suffering for animals as well

3) we have free choice--supposedly. most humans operate on the premise that we can improve our world or make ethical choices. (but maybe not)

4) when we protect the animals and environment we protect ourselves. this is the selfish reason to care. Until we elevate the animals and environment above ourselves, we will never have a buffer of safety from our own creations, such as DDT. The Gulf Oil Disaster is a perfect example of not elevating the environment, resulting in economic and health destruction of humans

5) most animal rights activists care more about humans than other humans do. they simply defend the animals because the animals have no way to defend themselves.

6) until humans start thinking about others instead of themselves, we will never move forward (of course, global warming will knock us back anyway). If the whites don't stand up for the blacks, the men for the women, the Israelis for the Palestinians, we will always spiral into war and destruction. As long as we are more concerned about our own children's welfare than the welfare of "other" children, we will be happy to kill and otherwise destroy each other. The ultimate standing up for the other is for humans to stand up for the animals.

In summary, if you can close your eyes to animal suffering, you can learn to close your eyes to anything. Wake up and stop as much suffering of others as possible. Becoming vegan is the simplest first step towards doing so. Not having children, or having only one child per human, is another important step. Keeping consumption down is a third. Donating money is good, if you know where it's going. What did you have in mind to ease the suffering of those you mentioned? Apparently voting doesn't work, but demonstrating is fun.