It is the perfect illusion of a highly civilized society.
The wabi-sabi of imperfect, impermanent perfection found everywhere from paving stones and the patina on temple bells to the way that water is directed to rain chains and through bamboo drains. Vistas as shadowed places that stun us visually the way hundreds of thousands of plants of exactly the same botanical genus cascade across a tiered parkscape, and tiny smooth stones of all the same colour are found underfoot. The rice powders used for paper to protect skin from the sunlight in a parasol, to write upon, for brightening complexions, and for nourishing her people (and so many of the rest of us as well).
Elaborate tea ceremonies, the confetti of pale pink cherry blossoms, exquisitely adorned Geisha and Zen gardens. Yes, Japan. Its modernity and reverence for ancient customs, and programmes designed to honor and preserve its most precious national treasures set an example that mayhap be too late for far too many cultures to embrace. Japan, in so many ways, leaves the rest of the world breathless and stunned.
So in this land of perfect facades of ritual and decorum it should come as no surprise that an America has stunned the Japanese ~ US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy has done the unthinkable in diplomatic circles, she has challenged the status quo of the local culture.
Her words of 17 January, found on Twitter and across the faster-than-the-speed-of-sound media globe, carry the resonance of an ancient gong being sounded and have brought credence to the outrage of eco-warriors, animal rights activists and ordinary citizens alike. The killing cove of Taiji, the massacre of the sentient beings so close to our humanity in its highest form of love talking to babies in utero – the dolphin. When I saw the first pictures my stomach lurched into my throat, my heart clenched, the pain seized me as a cellular level and my words got stuck.
Yes, I Tweeted, yes I signed petitions (here’s a list to provide vent to your outrage). It’s taken a week for me to be able to process and frame the barbarity of this annual event – barbarity that can be found in every society, not just Japan’s (before any of you reading this get all righteous and smug). Senseless slaughter that even as I write these words, type in search terms and select images and hyperlinks, have bile rising into my throat and tears streaming down my face – these are not tears of gratitude, nor humbled tears, these are tears of anger and outrage and disgust.
WE ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN THIS … ) please consider watching the 2010 Oscar-winning feature film documentary The Cove.)
Man’s inhumanity. DEAR GOD WHEN WILL WE STOP?
Not just to each other but all other sentient beings.
In the midst of this bloody carnage of waste, panic and horror a pure albino dolphin calf emerged ~ named Angel.
The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is primarily responsible for the cultivation of this massacre – in fact each and everyone of us that has ever gone into an aquarium to marvel at the antics and charm of a bottlenose dolphin “show” owns a piece of the responsibility. And finally, the Indian government has said ENOUGH! “Whereas cetaceans in general are highly intelligent and sensitive, and various scientists who have researched dolphin behavior have suggested that the unusually high intelligence; as compared to other animals means that dolphins should be seen as ‘non-human persons’ and as such should have their own specific rights and is morally unacceptable to keep them captive for entertainment purpose,” the Ministry of Environment and Forests has decided to forbid the keeping of captive dolphins for public entertainment anywhere in the country.
Though I have never swum with them, I have stood on the decks of sailboats accompanied by pods of dolphins, growing up with Flipper made the magic of my personal encounters that much ‘more’. The Japanese are indignant over the growing global outrage – I am only sick.
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