Wednesday, April 12, 2006

i don't care about seals

this is a stupid headline. it's not even news. thousands upon thousands of baby seals have been beaten to death yearly for years and years. for something to be news, i feel like it should be, above all, a relatively new occurrence, something whose status has changed recently. at the very least, that requirement should be satisfied if you're going to put it on the front page, where important stories are reported about. to me, this stupid headline is the same thing as a news report about the benefits of breathing air and drinking water. behold, the sun comes out during the day, and the moon comes out at nite! this isn't news! this baby seal shit sounds like someone at is anti-seal-clubbing and has commandeered the front page for their own purposes. it's not as if i want to stifle the voice of the protesters either, because i really don't care about it. if you want to make mention about a recent protest against the seal-killing, then that's news. but the bare listing of seal-killing statistics is not. it's just a number that tries to evoke some sort of emotional reaction from an audience. lemme give some more examples. iran's recent uranium enriching activities, that's news. secretary rice making a statement about it, news. peter sarsgaard and maggie gyllenhaal expecting a baby and getting married, news. "Seal hunters expected to kill 234,000 Wednesday," NOT NEWS. i'm not saying that web news is the pinnacle of news reporting, but i would like that it stay above the brain-dissolving blandness of televised news. i'm just asking that they keep the non-news out of the news.


JKB said...

Not news? When something is currently happening it is "news."

With more than 317,000 seals killed last winter’s hunt for their fur–98% of whom were under three months old–Canada’s harp seal hunt is the largest and cruelest commercial hunt of marine mammals on earth. Canadian citizens don’t support the seal hunt, but the fishing industry and the federal government have refused to end it. The main reason for this is the demand for their pelts.

It was twenty-five years ago that I first learned about this practice. I was ten years old at the time. It shocks me that a quarter of a century later, people continue in this barbaric and hateful practice. The pain suffered by these infant animals is redoubled by their mothers, left without their offspring, their bodies full of milk for their slaughtered young.

Andy said...

that's exactly my point. it was twenty-five years ago that you first learned about this practice. it's not news. the word news implies that something new has happened (i think we can all guess the etymology of the word). this isn't something new that has happened. i'm not saying it shouldn't be reported on. i'm just saying they need to frame this in a different context. like i said, if they wanted to report on the protests, that's great. that's news. if they wanted to do a seal interest story about one particular babyless, milk-filled mother seal, go rite ahead. but having a front page headline "Seal hunters expected to kill 234,000 Wednesday," that's not a news headline, and i don't like that someone is trying to pretend that it is.

yes, i'm being picky about semantics here, but i don't like people passing loaded statistics off as news.

i really have no stance on the baby seal clubbing, because seals don't affect my life. i don't have any seal relatives or seal neighbors, nor do i buy seal coats or eat seal soup, and thus am not supporting the seal-killing industry.

and really, come on, if you were ten 25 years ago, you should be more than aware of the capability of people to do horrible things to each other, let alone animals. none of this shocks me. i'm not saying it's the rite thing to do, but it sure doesn't shock me that it's being done.