Lion T-shirt via pricerator.com
In thinking about a possible worthwhile angle to take on this story I took a bakers dozen and whittled it down to a hat trick.
- You don’t give a shit about Cecil the lion, or animals in general. You spend most of your time eating and wearing them and have some lingering anxiety about how you manage to sleep at night, on your feather pillow.
- You don’t give a shit about Cecil the lion, or Zimbabwe. You don’t know who Robert Mugabe (who eats exotic animals, by the way) is, or what Rhodesia was. You do infer there is something about this story and western/African relationships at stake. What’s the deal with sanctions anyway? You infer that since America is imperialist and imperialism means bad then there is an opportunity for a chuckle-fuck of righteousness to be had in decrying anything that rhymes with “sploitation.”
- You don’t give a shit about Cecil the lion, or white privilege. How about that white minority population in Zimbabwe? You forgot, if you ever knew, that black slavery was wrong because slavery was wrong – not because it over-represented black people in the slave population.
I’d be tempted to simply say “Let’s just leave it at that.” But there is at least one other devil in the dark. (…puts on tinfoil top-hat and twirls mustachio…)
Cecil is no victim, he is an animal sacrifice, the story jumped upon with a hunger, sought out for it’s role as anxiety-reducing catharsis, a juicy bit of hatred and grist for a personal mill.
The neo-liberal, this paleo-flunky, this wretched mongrel, lives on a leash and longs for a whip, traversing a chains-length of trodden earth . All things are permitted save acting without permission – then the cronies will turn on you in the belly of the ship and the dark of the night. The masses have decided everyone is and should be equal with neither shame nor aspersion cast. As I’ve said elsewhere, this means you can hate (1) haters, and (2) yourself. Thanks to projection, this still means everybody.
The hatred this story has unleashed, the delightful lust for punishment is…unsurprising. Beware the shameful pining for control, the turgid rage of un-entitled footmen, and the righteous asceticism of the celebrities, the nobles!
You must understand that the masters have offered you Barabbas in the guise of Walter Palmer. But he is also Christ in the same man. You are offered the choice to crucify him or set him free.
Choose not! Tell them you don’t give a shit about Cecil the lion, and let us begin the trial of the masters.
(…removes tinfoil hat…)
Now, let’s just leave it at that!