Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Evil Leopard Seal, Bane of Penguin

So if you've seen March of the Penguins you'll most likely remember when our heroic peguins after overcoming many challenges in egg swapping, multi-mile trekking, and epic fasting, return to the sea to stock up on food before heading back to their egg/chicks once more. And lurking, waiting, stalking in the water is... the evil leopard seal. They show a clip where the bitey teeth are given lots of attention. And these leopard seals are portrayed as the villian. I find this amusing; very amusing. The bias and manipulation of media. Yes it furthers their story. Just like the "evil" birds that come and eat the young penguins. Of course if the movie were made from the perspective of the birds who were trying to get food for their young would the cute fluffy penguins be represented as just food? Who laments the plight of the many fish just trying to make a go of it in the ocean where they are relentlessly pursued by penguins, other birdies, and the leopard seal? Are they not the true victim!! Of course not. These are all animals; wonderful, amazing animals surviving in difficult circumstances.. well at least the animals who have to spend time above the water. In the water, other than the predators, it's actually not so bad, seeing as it supports a range of species. March of the Penguins is a beautiful movie that sheds light on another of this worlds amazing stories and I think it's great that this story was spread all around the world. But I still don't feel great with the one-sided representation of the leopard seal and other birdy to forward the cause of penguin empathy. Is it too narrow to focus on one species and forward it as more important than the others? Yeah I like penguins. But the other animals need to eat. They need to feed their young too. That's kinda the way it goes isn't it? What are the ramifications of this message? Does it further an understanding of a complex inter-related universe and the mulitplicitous ways of interaction in it? Does it encourage a narrowing of view point and reinforce an "us and them mentality"? What else does it do?

All in all, I liked the movie and hoped that it, much like all in life, spurs people on to discussion and understanding.

Gotta go,

1 comment:

t.j. said...

maybe not quite the same, but if god didnt want us to eat animals, he wouldn have made them out of meat