Friday, September 5, 2008

Hook, Line And Inane Protest

Look, I realize that those of you who feel the need to protest things in public think that the more dramatic your protest method, the better your chances are of "succeeding" with your protest. And most protests don't actually have a specific stated goal that is anywhere near realistic in mind (This is important to remember because it bolsters my theory of "most public protesters are nuts".) and that makes it rather difficult to determine if the protest has, in fact, "succeeded". (It makes it difficult only in the sense that you can't prove anything scientifically or with concrete evidence. In reality, since most public protests accomplish nothing except for the ability to draw a crowd, it's not difficult at all to say that the protest did not succeed. But I'm never above or below pandering to protesters.)

See, but there's a flaw in that so-called logic. The more bizarre and weird your protest is does not draw more attention to your alleged cause. No, the more bizarre and weird your protest is can be directly correlated to how bizarre and weird people think that YOU are. Let me give you an example. Behold! A bizarre and weird protester who is protesting something I have no clue about because all I can focus on is that she is painted some silvery color, is wearing purple earrings and is hanging from meat hooks! (There's a sentence I never thought I'd write.)

Holy crap! Make it stop! What the hell?!

Meet Alice Newstead. Alice is protesting something. I guessed sanity. Technically, I was wrong. She is protesting the practicing of "finning". Finning is "where sharks are impaled on hooks, before their fins are sliced off to harvest meat for shark fin soup.....then thrown back into the ocean still alive" according to our mates across the pond at The Telegraph. Now, granted, that doesn't sound good. But it also doesn't sound like something that would make me want to hang myself from meat hooks to protest it either.

When asked why she was doing this, Alice replied, "I am doing this because the demand for shark fin soup and other shark products is wiping out the shark population." OK, see, that's not true. It's not the demand for the soup that's wiping out the shark population. It's those who are participating in the finning that is wiping out the shark population. Would it matter if everyone had a hankerin' for some baby harp seal chowder? Would that cause people to go out and start clubbing baby harp seals in order to satisfy the public's demand for the seal stew? No. Again, my point about the protesters not having a specific goal in mind. She has just done wonders to blame the soup instead of the finners. Excellent.

Seriously though, is this really the best way to go about being against the practice of finning? (How come it's not "de-finning"? Is it because if it impliees that they can be taken off that it would have to be assumed that the opposite would be to put the fin on, as opposed to just leaving it on?) What about a little sign like the one over there? You're telling me that wouldn't suffice? I think it would. At least try it and see how it goes first. No need to get all drastic and meat hook-y on us right away.

Alice also said, "I have had my torso, legs, arms, stomach and knees pierced before so that I could hang from them, so this is no big deal." See, there she goes again. Leaving out some vital information. "This is no big deal" if you're insane. To sane people, it's a huge deal to be hung from a meat hook.

She felt the need to add, "Being hung from the chest is more painful than the back because it restricts your breathing, but as long as the piercer knows what they are doing then it is completely safe." OH, good! As long as the piercer of human flesh with meat hooks knows what they are doing then and ONLY THEN it is completely safe! I don't know if I'm going to totally buy off on the "completely safe" label there. Does that seem completely safe? Do you not need that blood that is trickling down your back, ma'am? Seriously, what is wrong with you?

Apparently, Alice "left her job as a Lush sales assistant in June, so she could work full-time as an artist. (Lush is the name of a hand-made cosmetics store chain. It was outside of a Lush store where Hooky McHang-Around "performed".) She performs with a group called Constant Elevation, whose members specialise in hanging from hooks pierced through their skin." Um, wait. WTF?

"Whose members specialise in hanging from hooks pierced through their skin"? HOW is that a "specialty"? They specialize in it for the purpose of WHAT exactly? Who says it's a "specialty"? Are they in the Yellow Pages? Is there some sort of college degree involved? (From somewhere OTHER than clown college!) If that is their "specialty", then what in the hell are their hobbies? Self tasering on the weekends, perhaps? Hanging oneself from a meathook whilst painted a greenish-silvery color is NOT a "specialty". It IS, on the other hand, crazy.

Where did she get that particular color to spray all over her skin? Wait, let me guess. Another specialty, perhaps? Full body spray painting for public protests? Spare me. She looks like the alien in that Lost In Space episode "The Girl From The Green Dimension". (Ooohh....that little comparison just set off geek alarms everywhere.) (Why is she wearing a giant contact lens on her head, is what I want to know.) Her unnatural hue also bears a striking resemblance to that of the Statue of Liberty...regardless as to whether or not that Statue of Liberty is hanging from a couple of meathooks.

A spokesperson for Lush said that the firm had recently launched a new soap which they called "Shark Fin Soap". (Clever?) It is a blue soap that is made out of seaweed and sea salt and has a cardboard shark fin sticking out of the top of it. Well, now, that's very cute. Is the name "Shark Fin Soap" supposed to encourage those who would have normally purchased "Shark Fin Soup" until they saw a person looking like an alien from a 1960s campy TV space show hanging from hooks in front of the store and thought, "I'm not so hungry after seeing that. Maybe I'll just go home and take a shower instead. I wonder if there's any soap around here! Hey! Look at that!" It's not going to do that. I don't care what they say or think. It won't. It's not magic soap.

After seeing this, about the only "cause" that I would feel compelled to donate money to would be some sort of psychiatric organization that gives free treatment to those that are in the most need of therapy. That would include, but (unfortunately) not be limited to those who are painted a shiny greenish-silver color and those who are hanging from meathooks pierced through their backs. THAT is what this chick's protest does to me. It makes me realize how many mentally unstable individuals are actually out there and that they need help. Soon.

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