The Final Word

By Jeff Girod

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Posted December 26, 2013 in News
http://ieweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/JeffGirod2.jpgSavor the whales! That’s SeaWorld’s new national ad campaign which brands its staff as “true animal advocates” and tries to counteract claims of animal abuse in the critically acclaimed documentary Blackfish, which debuted in theaters earlier this year and is available on Netflix and CNN.

“It’s time to set the record straight,” SeaWorld writes in an open letter that was published in full-page ads in newspapers across the country.  It lists several “important facts,” including how SeaWorld’s whales are raised, whale lifespans and how much money SeaWorld spends on habitats.

SeaWorld probably feels like it’s wearing shark bait underwear after PETA launched an effort to have its float removed from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a Malibu elementary school cancelled its field trip and musicians have refused to perform or even allow their songs to be played during animal performances—all due to animal rights concerns.

But one person who still loves SeaWorld? This guy. (If I had fins, I’d be patting the water and begging for sardines.)

And I have no intention of seeing Blackfish, even though it was just shortlisted for an Academy Award—which makes me even more determined to never see it.

Blackfish is probably a fantastic movie—97 percent of critics on rottentomatoes.com gave it a positive review. I’m sure it presents a compelling, reasoned argument why whales should never be kept in captivity. One person told me he’s never going back to SeaWorld because the documentary kept him up at night.

Me? I’m going to SeaWorld again tomorrow and tonight I plan to sleep like a baby orca.

Oh believe me, I’m under no misconceptions. I’m a whale-sized hypocrite. I want everything to be one way until it serves my porpoise, er, make that “purpose” to be another way.

I think everyone should be kind to animals until my 2-year-old wants to see one in a cage or inside a glass tank. I would probably put your grandma in a zoo if my son wanted to see it.

Then again, who are we kidding? Your grandma can’t grow up to 26 feet, eat 500 pounds of chum salmon per day, or thrust her entire glistening body out of the water and majestically balance a beach ball on her nose.

That’s why killer whales are so awesome. You’re not supposed to be able to see something that raw and enormous up close without it being the last thing you ever set eyes upon.

And I get it. You can’t keep anything in a cage forever and convince me that it’s not somehow being mistreated. Just look at Lindsay Lohan. Then again, I prefer my “killer” anything behind 20 feet of tempered glass.

It’s why we love places like SeaWorld. They’re a guilty pleasure. They’re unnatural. Something like a dolphin show should never exist in civil society.

SeaWorld can talk all it wants about its “true animal advocates.” Normal people don’t wear winged sherbet wetsuits attached to tripwire while a Celine Dion-like song plays and a school of dazed, brainwashed dolphins gleefully pirouette 40 feet below like a row of smiling, coked-out Rockettes.

Oh and a corndog. I’m usually eating one, 14th row, just out of the splash zone.

When I was younger, I used to go to great lengths not to kill bugs in my apartment. If I found a spider in the bathtub, I would push him onto an envelope and gently release him outside, like the world’s boringest National Geographic TV special.

Then I had kids.

Now when I see so much as an ant crawling, I smash it with my fist. I still believe everything deserves a right to live. I just believe whatever it takes to protect or entertain my kids supersede that right.

I would kill Shamu, too, if I thought she was going to lay eggs in my son’s mouth.

I could give you some line about striving to be a better person, but I have no intention of ever quitting Sea World. With the AAA discount, an annual membership is less than $80! Kids under three are free!

Did I mention SeaWorld has an entire area devoted to Sesame Street? They may be torturing Cookie Monster, but who can tell with his googley eyes?

Contact Jeff Girod at finalword@ieweekly.comf


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