Tag Archives: interesting

Charlie Chaplin on Tragedy and Comedy

Chaplin, Charlie (A Dog's Life)_01“At the end of our street was a slaughterhouse, and sheep would pass our house on their way to be butchered. I remember one escaped and ran down the street, to the amusement of onlookers. Some tried to grab it and others tripped over themselves. I giggled with delight at its lambent capering and panic, it seemed so comic. But when it was caught and carried back into the slaughterhouse, the reality of the tragedy came over me and I ran indoors, screaming and weeping to Mother, “They’re going to kill it! They’re going to kill it!” That stark, spring afternoon and that comedy chase stayed with me for days; and I wonder if that episode did not establish the premise of my future films – the combination of the tragic and the comic.” 

– Charlie Chaplin (My Autobiography, p. 41)

An Animal Control Officer Rants…Twice

An Animal Control Officer Rants, Quits On Craigslist (via Buzzfeed)

This is almost certainly not real — in the sense that it is likely not written by a quitting animal control officer in Comox Valley, British Columbia, as an official grumbling rant, at least.  In fact, here it is in a prior (and not necessarily its original) form, as a “best of” Craigslist post from 2006.

Its sentiments certainly ring true, however, despite the dubious veracity of its origin, which is likely why it’s being passed on.  I’ve certainly had similar sentiments occasionally.

It is interesting that these sentiments most often crop up anonymously.  We forward this and repost it, agreeing with it implicitly — why are we not saying it ourselves?

Someone Else Can See It

It’s not that the scientists are lying, exactly, about what they’re doing.  It’s not that they’re hiding it, either, really.  Everything they do is written down as a proposal, approved by various subcommittees, recorded as results, and stored in case someone wants to look at it.  The problem is more one of communication:

“Yes, [I found it],” said Arthur.  “Yes, I did.  It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.”

Like the plans to demolish Arthur Dent’s house, the descriptions of what people are doing in laboratory experiments are there — just very, very difficult to find.  Most people don’t bother, or aren’t even aware that there are any descriptions out there to find.

For example, you can find, if you search online, some perfectly ordinary “rodent guillotines“.  You may be able to find a page, as well, explaining why some research animals might need to be euthanized via guillotine (it allows the researchers to collect samples uncontaminated by euthanasia chemicals).  Here’s a page describing research reassuring scientists that decapitation is painless (notice that it’s in response to research saying decapitation isn’t painless, and that it corroborates the original findings, but simply chooses to interpret them differently).  You can find masses of pages describing the euthanasia techniques, including decapitation, used by different facilities (look at all those colleges!  Did you know that your college tuition funded this kind of thing?  Would you have gone to that college if you’d known?)

…how would you know to look for this if you hadn’t worked in one of these facilities?  I wouldn’t have been able to come up with the search terms (“decapitation”, “euthanasia”, “rodent”, and “SOP”, if you’re wondering).  It wouldn’t have occurred to me that this even went on.  What other practices do we just need to know the search terms to find?  (Try “cervical dislocation”, “neonates” and “scissors”, “captive bolt”, “hog stunner”, and finish up with “AVMA guidelines euthanasia” to see the full list.)  It’s not like the information isn’t out there…it’s just that nobody is calling it to our attention.

What triggered this today was a random blog post from someone else mentioning that, hey, we’re not really saying a lot about this, are we?  Has anyone else noticed that people are being really quiet about this?  Why?