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While the WGA strike continues there's a much more serious problem in another corner of our world.
Recently, I came across this video (links below). Not sure who to alert to this, but thought it deserved immediate attention. I will be sending this info to several news agencies, our US and Chinese Embassies and as many UN members as I can.
The You Tube link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjdyufjAnal The website I initially found it on is www.peta.org (on their home page).
The subject is on Chinese fur farms -- and the footage is quite graphic. If China wants to be a key player on the world stage, then this, sadly, is going to take a lot of new, strict policy, enforcement and PR work on their part.
We are all writers and artists here. I have written a few horror scripts myself -- and thought I'd seen it all in terms of graphic violence. When I saw this footage I felt crippled and helpless, and wondered what I could do about it. I'm reaching out to the screenwriting community to ask you to learn more about this. If you feel so moved as I did at the images you see on the video links (listed above), maybe this will fire you up to start a new script idea, or at the very least, reach out and lend a hand, a heart, your mind, your talent. Whatever it is you can offer.
What is wrong with our world?
What can we do about it? For anyone who might feel compelled to write to the UN, here's a link to their agencies and members.
Our writing can change the world. Never forget that you have that kind of power.
I'm not going to watch it because I can't stand anyone hurting animals and looking at the link that's what it seems to be about.
Most people aren't buying anything Chinese because of all the contamination issues. The best way to stop something is through loss of financial support.
Boycott anything and everything from Chinese manufacturing...that is the main priority!!!
But we also have ourselves to blame...
Cheaper, lowest prices for everything from Jeans to toys to feed the buying machines we are is the sickness we have created!!!
Do you think Wal-Mart would be around today with out the FED's deals abroad without any consideration for our futures.
The ever loving BUCK and the power of profit for the EXECS of all the Forture 500 have driven Chinese to be inhumane to their own people and animals just to supply the world market with what...a cute cheap fur collar for a jacket or some appetizer at your dinner party!!!
No one can help until we stop buying the products from China and those North American Companies who put them in our houses and with our kids.
I'm outraged and I look at the country of origin on everything I buy!!! To bad they don't always have to put it on the packaging.
I have to agree with Steven. China's grasp on the sale of their uncontrolled and no quality control is out of control. The Chinese gov't doesn't care about QC or ethics when it comes to harming animals or, humans for that matter.
The Chinese do not have the morals that most North Americans and many Europeans have. We do need to step up to the plate and use our $ to vote, so to speak, and boycott all Chinese goods and protest their means and methods of abusing the planet and the inhabitants, both animal and human.
Looks like another place politics can be ignored and we can pull together.
Randy, you wrote: "The Chinese do not have the morals that most North Americans and many Europeans have." What's the basis for your assertion?
You really like making this personal, don't you? Perhaps a review of the Chinese history of the past 100-200 years.
Why is it so many people here want to find some excuse to personally attack me and ignore the subject.
Terry, if you want to try and change an important topic as a way to personally attack me, forget it. I'm finished.
Randy, so defensive! It wasn't an attack. Notice there are no hostile words in the question posed. I didn't say, "Where in the world did you....?" I'm not suggesting that the Chinese are good guys or that we're bad guys, or vice versa. I'm just curious as to what forms the basis of your opinion. I always thought of morality as an individual issue, not a nationalistic one. I don't feel personally at risk for the decisions our politicians make and I'd guess (only guess, I have no expertise here or experience in China) that individual Chinese people feel the same way about their government.
I would guess (again, guess) that the average Chinese mother loves her children as much as the average American mother loves her children, and that the average Chinese person lives as moral a life within the context of Chinese culture as we live within the context of our culture. There are good guys and scumbags on both sides of the Pacific.
So, again, what is the basis of your assertion that we are a morally superior people?
I think it's important, when someone offers criticism, to reflect upon it even if if we feel attacked--it may have some merit, after all.
"The Chinese do not have the morals that most North Americans and many Europeans have."
Most North Americans have good morals? Many Europeans, too, but apparently not most, in your view.
I realize that the Chinese government has a poor record in regard to human rights. But why do the Chinese people fight against that? Because it's morally objectionable to them.
What started this flood of poor quality goods coming to us from China? Could it be that your average American cares less about quality and more about paying the least possible price?
I have to go. I'm on my way to Wal-Mart, where my dollar goes further and I can buy twice as much crap as I need. Then I'll come home and try to figure out what I'm going to do with the crap it replaces. Then I'll read the Bible, and congratulate myself on my high morals.
I thought Terry showed tremendous restraint, in an effort to teach rather than to piss off. I'm in a hurry.
Here is an MSNBC article that could provide a little perspective....http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20163110/
Not all Chinese people eat dogs. Not all animal farms house animals exclusively for the purpose furring or eating.
Not all US Kennels house dogs for the purpose of killing them and not all Americans train their dogs to kill each other for sport.
Broad assertions against a people such as "Chinese are immoral", "Jews are greedy", "American soldiers are baby killers", "Humans are responsible for killing the planet" are wholy inaccurate. Such statements serve more to propogandize an agenda by villifying the "enemy" than seek actual resolution.
An interesting link from Martin -- which poses a whole new thread about pet overpopulation and specialty breeding kennels and puppy mills.
But that's another topic.
China is going through their industrial revolution just as America did. We were able to reap the benefits, and now it's their time to enjoy their wealth. But at what cost?
We have made mistakes along the way and are trying to share that info.
I understand that fur farms exist. I understand that people who work in fur farms need an income. But I am completely against the method they use (in the video). In fact, it would be better to abolish the fur trade and employ those people into the manufacturing of faux (or fake), synthetic furs. That seems like a doable transition. That way they can earn a living and no animals have to go through any of those painful and horrific conditions.
Oh the things we come across while doing research.
If you want to write to your state representatives about this, but not sure who they are, just go here: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
We all must have learned the phrase related to "supply and demand." The supply won't stop until demand isn't there. Convince the public not to buy from Burlington Coat Factory, WalMart, JLo, or whoever else sells animal fur. You'll see morality suddenly appear.
Government representatives don't give a shit about anything but their paycheck and assuring they are reelected to continue to receive that paycheck.
You have a better chance of stopping it by telling the public they can get MRSA from these coats than by pleading for their kindness.
I don’t mean to sound flippant, but there is something I’ve always wanted to ask the PETA folk:
Since your goal is to stop the harming and killing of animals, what do you plan to do about all of the animals that are being harmed and killed by other animals? Educate them? Convert them to vegetarians?
I haven’t seen the Chinese fur factor video, but I assume it shows some animals being hurt or killed in a brutal way.
Have you ever seen the National Geographic Channel? Have you ever seen a gazelle being killed by a lion? Or a pack of hyenas eating anything? Talk about brutal.
By comparison, slaughter houses are humane.
PETA’s mission statement states that it wants to focus attention “on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in laboratories, in the clothing trade, and in the entertainment industry.”
They left out the area where animals have suffered and died for the longest period in the history of the world- nature.
I don’t doubt that animals are being harmed in fur farms, but thousands more are having their throats cut, limbs pulled apart, skin ripped off, and guts spilled out every day in the wild.
If God didn't want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.
"If God didn't want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep." That's a good point! Also, if He didn't want us to make asses of ourselves, he wouldn't have given us fingers to type with.
"If God didn't want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep."
Actually,that was a line from "The Magnificent Seven" where Eli Wallach (the bad guy) was quoted.
I think you guys have been had.
I gave up two years ago trying to figure out who is real and who's playing a game. It was making me crazy.
I didn't think I'd ever post here, again. I've been lurking for about a month, because I have a new story percolating that I think can make a good screenplay. My new Movie Magic Screenwriter should arrive tomorrow, and I can hardly wait.
I guess I don't mind if people want to come here and use a fake name--hell, it might even be prudent, considering all the crazies out there. I do wish the fakers would all use obviously made up names, though, like Mr. Lanyc, named after two towns he will probably never work in.
My favorite was Hugh Jardon. What was his mama thinkin'?
I don't even mind, anymore, if one person wants to come here and be several people, all slapping each other on the back and pointing out each others' accomplishments, real and imagined. I have missed all of you.
All I can hope for is that nobody comes here, again, and pretends to be dying of cancer when he is not, or feigns living out of a cardboard box next to a coffee shop with wireless access.
The rest of you, welcome. Entertain me.
"Have you ever seen the National Geographic Channel? Have you ever seen a gazelle being killed by a lion? Or a pack of hyenas eating anything? Talk about brutal."
You're right, Gary. Nature is brutal. We are no different than the animals who tear apart other animals.
Or are we?
This has got me thinking about the nature of humans in general. We claim that we're advanced and above all other animals. We express ourselves through stories and songs. We strive to become enlightened. We seek truths to tough questions.
But we have a horribly dark side. I think we're closer to being animal than human sometimes. I would even venture to say that I think we can be worse than animals when it comes to the cruelty part of this thread.
Consider that a Great White Shark will strip the skin right off a seal or penguin. But that's not a case of cruelty for the sake of being mean. That's a Great White out hunting for dinner.
Consider that the people in the Chinese fur farm video are doing something similar as the Great White -- stripping animals of their fur and skins while still alive. But the difference here is that the laborers are not sharks. They are not hunting for dinner. They are filling the needs of the fur industry. And the methods they use are extremely mean and torturous. There are alternatives to this kind of treatment and methods. We are advanced enough to have discovered them.
These particular fur laborers are not animals. They are humans with some form of advanced intelligence (as intelligence goes). So when we talk about nature being brutal, I do agree. It can be horribly brutal.
But what about that side of us that strives to know and understand the world we live in? If we call ourselves advanced or higher life forms, and strive to be above animals -- but then turn around and torture another being just because it's easy or feels great to be mean (powerful?), then we are no more advanced than a flatworm. In fact, we are worse. We are numb to violence.
Thank goodness our words can lift us out of the all the hate and misunderstanding that seems to be going on the world today.
Off on a tangent ...
Imagine you're hanging upside down from a tree. You can't get down. Someone takes a knife and slices your calf open. Then they draw the knife over the other side of your leg, up past your knee. Then they grab the skin and pull it off. Imagine all those blood vessels open in the air -- and the intense pain in your leg. Now imagine that happening to your other leg, then your genitalia -- all the up way to your face. Imagine the skin on your neck being grabbed and pulled over your head, the skin from your jaws, your cheeks, your lips, all being stripped away from your muscles. Imagine being scalped.
Then imagine being cut down and thrown in a bloody heap with your muscles and organs exposed. But you do not die. The blood stings one of your eyes that's still intact. You are confused with pain. Every cell on your open body stings like a barbed ray. You lift your head and the blood pulses through your open wounds where your lips used to be. You writhe like this for another fifteen minutes before you finally lose consciousness.
That is unacceptable treatment from a human -- whom supposedly is above the lowly animal.
If this kind of pain is hard to imagine, then just imagine a paper cut between your fingers. Then imagine alcohol being rubbed into it.
Now imagine that over your entire body and face.
It is with a mixed measure of amusement and despair that I read threads such as this, wherein people shout at each other in entirely different languages how best to build the Tower of Babel that is mankind.
Every so often, someone hears an opponent utter a word derived from a similar root but having sprouted quite a different meaning in their own peculiar dialect, and desperate efforts to sew understanding result merely in the fruiting fungus of further confusion and acrimony. Words do not lift us out of hate or misunderstanding; they are the source of them.
Thus it is inevitable that my words will be misunderstood by most and misconstrued as the vilest of lies by many, for such is the way of speech. But for the sake of those who will hear, I'll utter them:
The purpose of writers is not to tell people what to think. It's to tell people what to think about.
Ask questions? Yes. Provide answers? No.
Truth is the province of the priest, not the writer. A writer is no more equipped to provide truth than a mathmatician is to perform surgery.
Would the fur trade make a good subject for a screenplay? Since the conflict and drama surrounding the topic is patently apparent, clearly the answer is yes. Would a screenplay meant to enlighten people about the horrors of the fur trade be a good screenplay?
No. It would suck, and suck hard.
Why? Because you might as well be writing it in Swahili or Esperanto or Klingon or beetle pheromones. You'll only be communicating with people who already speak the language. That audience might swoon over the profundity of your work, but you won't have enlightened a single new individual -- more likely, you'll have alienated them further with your self-righteousness.
If you think it will turn out otherwise -- that somehow you'll create a work so brilliant that its truth is undeniable -- know that better men (and deities) have tried and failed.
Speaking of such better men, for any who truly dare to seek an exploration of truth on this topic, I'd recommend C.S. Lewis' "The Problem of Pain." You can read an excerpt here: http://www.cslewisclassics.com/books/problem_of_pain-excerpt.html
As for lesser men, being one of them I doubtless have failed to persuade anyone. Therefore, let the bitter recriminations begin.
Perhaps, at least, I'll have provided something to think about.
I wouldn't want to see a screenplay that involved this topic, no. But then, I haven't seen a horror movie since 1981. Much less would I want to see real horror, as this video apparently shows.
But certainly it IS the job of the writer to make people feel something, to help them understand what is true and real, to spur people to action, and to help people think more deeply about the real costs of everyday things.
I agree that, most of the time, each side preaches to the choir, and doesn't realize that they're just annoying the hell out of the very people they'd like to reach.
I'm fascinated by this very phenomenon--two sides of an issue believing first and collecting facts second--and THAT'S the screenplay I'm writing.
I don't agree that truth is for the priests to parse out. I don't believe they've got the corner on any more truth than anyone else. We desperately want to believe they do, and some of us stake our lives on what they tell us that is, but that doesn't make it truth. That makes it hope.
But to get back to the point of this thread, a writer here learned something that shocked and saddened her, and she wrote eloquently about it, and I would not be surprised if more than one person was moved by what she said.
That's what writers do.
Now I have to agree with Shell on this.
Truth is the province of the priest, not the writer.
Priests are men, just like the ones doing the slaughtering. Priests have made deadly mistakes, just like, you know. To trust any man/woman to know the whole truth is just a hope. They are just human. Same as the writers.
And about writers not knowing the truth. Where do you think the Priests are getting their truth from? The words written by writers, the Bible. We know Jesus didn't sit down and write it, so I guess that means the bible isn't the truth in that poster's logic.
As for the fur atrocity problem. Simple put your money where your mouth is. Don't buy it. Because it's not just China that has this problem. They just happen to be the latest to get caught at it. I've never even looked up PETA and I know this. Known it for decades. It's nothing new.
While we're all at it we might as well walk right on by any store that sells leather, be it belts, shoes, designer purses, boots, jackets, hats, craft supplies, etc... Due to the cruelty to cows and the conditions they are put through before slaughter.
Where do you draw the line? What's next, the colored feathers used in crafts? There must be a lot of naked birds running around out there. How about trees, they are alive. Storms knock them down all the time, so hey, why not us. Oh, but then we couldn't build houses. OH NO. Or print our scripts, no books either. So now we're back to living in caves and daub shacks. Or cement/stone that requires tons more wood to heat. But at least we won't need good light to read by. But that's not going to work. Plus, of course, vegetables and fruits are alive, too. Hmmmmmm. Well if we can't pluck them from their life's blood, we'd have to turn back to the animals or starve. So that's not going to work either.
What it really boils down to is quanitity and location. Does someone in California need a fur coat? No. Does someone in the North West Territories need one? Yes. But it won't be from the pelts raised in balmy China. That would be less use than going out in -40 in a sweatshirt. I don't shop for fur. Not because someone preached at me about it. That would likely push me to buy it jsut on general principle. But, I don't 'need' any. I have my fur lined mitts, made from my grandmothers 100 year old fur coat, and the rest of the coat went to the mitt maker so as not to have to cause more animals to be slaughtered. The extra mitts even went to charity a good 20 years ago.
I don't shop at WalMart, Dollarama and other dollar/discount because I don't like their policies, and that includes how they treat their employees in North America and abroad. You do realize that also means the people who are paid next to nothing because of how little our companies are willing to pay for the goods to be made or supplied.
So if you want this problem to stop the gov't is going to have to disallow outsoursing and ban all incoming goods from countries that don't have our quality standards and/or humane controls. No demand, no supply needed.
Okay, I've likely said too much, so that's that. This is a screenwriter's board after all. If you hear of some poor scriptwiter being abused, I want to hear about it. Oh, we are, it's called the writer's strike.
But that's just my take on things. And everyone is allowed their opinion.
All good points. Good that a dialogue has been started here.
"Would the fur trade make a good subject for a screenplay? Since the conflict and drama surrounding the topic is patently apparent, clearly the answer is yes. Would a screenplay meant to enlighten people about the horrors of the fur trade be a good screenplay?
No. It would suck, and suck hard."
I agree. Any story that preaches or hits the audience over the head with a moral issue would suck.
On the other hand, it depends on how that message is woven into the script. Consider "Children of Men" -- clearly a statement about the future of mankind re: our need to muck up the world we live in. But message aside, that was a riveting movie.
Message movies can be compelling and give you a real charge -- as long as the theme-mongering is kept to a very low minimum.
It's in the way the story is told. If you can weave a message in it, in good craftsmanship (i.e., so we don't see the seams), then you've just given depth to your story.
As for myself, almost everything I have written has some kind of statement or message hidden in it somewhere with one character or another. Just things that inspire me to write them in the first place.
The irony is that the only things I've gotten produced are horror flicks with no message intended ...
www.thelodgemovie.com (to see trailer, skip intro -- but this was a writer-for-hire)
I believe screenwriter and script consultant Chris Keane spoke about writning a similar story.
He had apparently started work on one years ago on about the fur trade in the U.S.
From his perspective, he seemed to give it as an example of what not to write. Here's his link if you want to get in contact with him about it.
With respect to Steve's thoughts:
"Boycott anything and everything from Chinese manufacturing...that is the main priority!!!"
I thought I might throw out some similar ideas on the subject.
While a boycott sounds great in theory, isn't it practically impossible for the average consumer to boycott everything made in China?
Virtually all of our manufacturig has been shipped overseas. What common goods can you buy today that aren't made in China -- or some other developing nation?
So even if we try to "vote with our dollars" how can we? How much choice are we given by the retailers to begin with?
And even if a manufacturing company wanted to stay in the U.S., how difficult is it going to be for them trying to compete with companies that flee?
It may end up that manufacturers are left with but one of two choices -- if you can't beat them join them, or close shop altogether.
The same goes for retailers. I don't know if you remember, but Wal-Mart was one of the few companies that still tried stocking "Made In USA" goods back in the late 80's/early '90s. With sagging profits, though, they followed suit with many other retailers once the floodgates were opened.
And as far as the "cheap" goods go, have costs really fallen that dramatically since China was let into the WTO?
Retailers to some extent know what a consumer is willing to pay for a given item. Why not just charge you the percieved value and pocket the profits?
Sure they could sell it to us cheaper. But do they have to if we're still willing to pay the same price? "Free trade" may be more mutually beneficial when countries are on relative economic parity. But how do we remain competitve against countries practicing virtual slave labor?
I guess what I'm getting at is that we have very little -- if any choice --in the goods that are offered to us.
Aside from petitioning our government for stronger tarriffs what can we do that will really work?
The government was the one that opened the floodgates. For all practical purposes, isn't that body the only ones that can close or restrict it?
With respect to "...have driven Chinese to be inhumane to their own people and animals."
Hasn't the Chinese regime been doing inhumane things to their people well before the western companies moved in?
I thought it was called Communism. It would be akin to us doing business with Russia during the Cold War.
Good points Deb:
"This has got me thinking about the nature of humans in general. We claim that we're advanced and above all other animals. We express ourselves through stories and songs. We strive to become enlightened. We seek truths to tough questions.
But we have a horribly dark side. I think we're closer to being animal than human sometimes. I would even venture to say that I think we can be worse than animals when it comes to the cruelty part of this thread."
I've heard it said that man is the only creature that can lower himself to a level below than their base nature.
For instance, we may say to a person -- quit acting like a monkey or quit horsing around. But why are we not shocked when these animals behave this way?
We don't say to the monkey, quit acting like a monkey.
Aside from "intelligence" what makes us so different?
With respect to:
-- stripping animals of their fur and skins while still alive. But the difference here is that the laborers are not sharks. They are not hunting for dinner.
Is it really any different though? Couldn't one argue that these fur laboreres are indeed "hunting" in a sense. Even if we're working at a regular ol' 9 to 5 job at the office, isn't that "hunting" of a sort? Why work, if not to get paid? And why care about being paid, if not to provide for basics such as food (hunting) and shelter.
I am not endorsing being cruel to animals, I am not. But isn't there more to it than that?
And if we are no better than animals, as some may suggest, why should we even care to begin with? Survival of the fittest right?
Ten years ago I wrote a screenplay about the senseless slaughter of African elephants titled "Tears Of Ivory". It was a solid action adventure but a bit too preachy to be marketable. When I heard Japan recently sent a whaling fleet to sea with plans to slaughter 50 humpback whales this year, I was enraged and seriously tempted to write a script about it but immediately realized how commercially futile that would be.
I save my preaching for the magazine articles I write but if I can't help myself, which is quite often the case, I try to be as subtle as possible about it.
All I can say about movies with messages is this. If you can find a way to get your point across without being too preachy -- and write something that moves you, then good for you. Consider movies like "Gattaca" (cloning), "Gorillas in the Mist" (animal welfare), "Happy Feet" (environmental/animal welfare), "Mississippi Burning" (civil rights), "Cider House Rules" (abortion), and so on. Message movies can go either way; preachy and boring, or riveting and/or entertaining. Don't know if these scripts are up at Drew's script-o-rama or not, but they might be worth a look for anyone who wants to write about an issue they're passionate about.
And for those of you who are interested to know, I received several letters back from government officials and furriers, most recently from Senator Sherrod Brown, who was outraged by the situation.
In addition, www.fabulousfurs.com assured me that every fur they sell is a faux fur. The woman who created this line was en route to buy a fur when she heard a radio story about cats being used for furs. Her driver took her home immediately and she took action in her own way by creating a faux line.
Sadly, Neiman Marcus plans to keep selling furs. They prefer to keep a quality line of real furs available for their customers.
Guess where I won't be shopping?
The Chinese people don't fight for human right -- well very few do. As long as they are making money, they're happy.
I was in a rural town in China once and saw these kittens in a cage. I asked my Chinese companion to find out if this was because they intended to eat them, so he ask the owners. No, they were in a cage to prevent the neighbors from eating them.
The Guangzhou farmer's market was worse than any horror movie I've ever seen. I'll spare u the details.
If the morals of western society are no better than Chinese, please tell me one that is so I can move there.
Mind you, even they wouldn't elect Bush.
“I think it's important, when someone offers criticism, to reflect upon it even if we feel attacked--it may have some merit, after all.”
Nice words, Mr. Hackman. Why don’t you apply them to yourself?
I offered my two cents. I didn’t attack anyone or call someone names. I didn’t belittle anyone or accuse someone of deception. Yet, as soon as I posted my comments, you called me an ass and suggested that I’m using a fake name.
The fact is, I grew up among outdoorsmen. My father was a hunting and fishing guide. I’ve shot and killed and skinned and gutted all sorts of animals. Where I come from, it’s no big deal. That’s how we ate. That’s how we made a living. Maybe you think that makes me cruel or inhumane. That’s fine, but at least I’m not a hypocrite.
If you're going to judge the morals of Chinese society by what you see in a rural farmers' market, then, to be fair, you should judge American morals by what you see on a visit to Michael Vick's estate.
You quoted me, and that makes my day. No one ever quotes me. I take it personally.
Let me assure you that my little rant about people using fake names was not about you. I have no reason to believe you are using a fake name, and couldn’t care less if you are. That post was a response to the one previously above it. I realize I should have started off with the salutation, “Dear Randy,” and then you would have known that.
I used to care about such things. It infuriated me. It was a puzzle I couldn’t solve. I didn’t want to be made a fool of, and so I made a fool of myself quickly, before anyone else could do it for me.
I accused Terri Dickey and Ellum McCurdy-Devins of being one and the same. Since “Ellum” died quite publicly a couple of years ago, and Terri is still posting, I can reasonably ascertain that they were, at least, two people.
You know, when Ellum died, he took a lot of people with him. It's tragic, really.
I’m sorry, Terri, that I accused you of deceiving us, and I’m sorry I haven’t apologized before this. Please accept my apology.
If someone is using a fake name, there may be a good reason. Anyone who lurks here a while will see that things can get hot, fast. Maybe people want to remain anonymous while testing the waters. Can anyone blame them?
Certainly, there are fakers on the board who are here simply to light fires and run. Arsonists, I call them. But if we get too vigilant about trying to unmask them, we run the risk of hurting people who have no intention to harm, only a desire for privacy.
Gary, I certainly do not think you are inhumane for hunting. Hunting is necessary to keep things in balance. The hunters I know, personally, are kind-hearted and decent people. I don’t think I said otherwise; maybe you have me confused with another poster.
Also, I do eat meat. It would be ridiculous for me to condemn hunting, in between bites of my Quarter-Pounder. If God didn’t want us to eat animals, He wouldn’t have made them so juicy and delicious.
Mmmm . . . yummy. So what was it I said that pissed you off?
“Also, if [God] didn’t want us to make asses of ourselves, He wouldn’t have given us fingers to type with.”
Okay. First of all, you know that’s true. I mean, using your logic. I didn’t know you were quoting from the movies. I don’t care for movies. Two hours is an awful long time to sit and watch something. So, forgive me that.
But getting back to your logic. Here’s your quote:
“If God didn’t want them sheared, He would not have made them sheep.” Cripe, I could use that sort of argument on anything! Let me try.
“If God didn’t want me to pick my nose in public, he wouldn’t have given me fingers. And a nose. And public.” That’s my latest quote. You can pick it apart, if you wish. Go ahead, nobody’s watching.
Listen, Gary. When you hunt, you don’t dive onto the deer--once you’ve rendered him defenseless--and rip off his hide while he’s alive and tear him apart with your teeth. You abide by certain rules of conduct, which are meant to cause the least amount of fear and suffering to your prey.
Slaughterhouses should be, at least, as humane. You and I agree on that, so let’s call it a day.
No, wait! One more thing. No one has called me Mr. Hackman since the surgery. Except Grandma. I’ll always be her little man, and nothing can change that.
What an entertaining piece of writing. No...I really mean that. That was thoroughly entertaining. Loved the part of "when Ellum died he took a lot of people with him." Very true. No wonder you aspire to be a good writer. You certainly have the chops.
I love the arsonist description. Very observant. Funny how the internet has spawned such terms like poser, etc. Arsonist may be my newest fav.
Funny how one day I read the quote "If God had not made them sheep..." and the next day I'm flipping through the cable and see Eli Wallach say the line verbatim on "The Magnificent Seven." Serendipitous on my part.
As for Terry's quote about comparing the Chinese mores to Michael Vick, remember; Michael Vick was convicted and sentenced to 23 months for his crimes. Not only will he pay by going to prison, but he will probably never play football again and loose out something like $100M in endorsements and salary in the time he spends in prison. I know it's en vogue to hate America by many, but at least we do punish the guilty when we can get a jury to listen. Not always, but it sure beats out the Chinese for of government. Since my suggestions for researching China's history of human rights abuse in places like Tibet and Burma fall on deaf ears, I will drop this subject and move on. Maybe we can actually talk about screenwriting again soon on another thread.
Michele, I did man what I wrote about your last post. You made it fun to revisit this thread.
Let me quote you: "It would be ridiculous for me to condemn hunting, in between bites of my Quarter-Pounder. If God didn’t want us to eat animals, He wouldn’t have made them so juicy and delicious." Then, she peels off the pickles, the lettuce, the tomatoes, the bun, holds the nearly raw meat in her fingers and bites into it, making a show of savoring the dead flesh while red juice drips off her chin. Randy gnaws on his neurotically-peeled carrot stick in disgust.
C'mon, guys, we have drama! And comedy! Vegan Randy versus bloodthirsty Michele. Everything else in their relationship is going swimmingly, but the food issue threatens to drive a cheese wedge between them. But then, after a visit to a slaughter house, Michele can no longer stomach even the idea of biting into meat, so she turns vegan. Now, they're on a path to wedded bliss, until Randy gets bitten by a vampire. Now, he can no longer stomach to idea of biting into vegetable matter. Oh, the irony!
I have been called many names on this MB before, but no one has stooped so low as to call me a vegan.
Good thing Terry writes fiction.
I knew someone would try to bring this board back to screenplays. But sorry, Terry. Writem Cowboy as a vegan? Can belief be suspended that far? The man eats buffalo and rattlesnakes. For breakfast.
I don't hate America. But I do hate that we keep making wrong choices and that we are squandering opportunities to live up to the ideals which we claim to hold dear to our hearts.
For example, the number of people living in poverty in the U.S. steadily grows while the filthy rich get obscenely rich. In China, rural poverty has been reduced from 40 percent to 5 percent since 1978, when the gov't initiated programs to assist rural farmers. And I don't recall any wars the Chinese have started in the last century, but we started two wars in the last fifty years, costing the lives of up to three million innocent civilians in Southeast Asia and a million innocent civilians in Iraq. Both were wars of choice and both were half a planet away, against countries which posed no threat whatsoever to us. In the U.S., the second most lucrative criminal activity is human trafficking, second only to drug trafficking. We produce most of the world's pornography and we are the leading arms supplier to the world. So, though there are many things wonderful about America, I'm not going to stick my head up my ass and ignore the tragic hypocrisies of our words versus our deeds.
Can't really afford buffalo meat. It's in the upper crust section at the butchers. As for rattlesnake, I once tried "pemican" when I was a boy scout. Pretty well cured me of that.
As for breakfast........ don't forget the hot sauce on my breakfast burrito.
Cold here, so pot roast tonight in the slow cooker. The veggies in it are gratuitous. Meat and taters, ya'll.
Yes, we do have a lot of problems in the U.S., but I, for one, am not looking to immigrate to China. I'd rather work hard to make the system better here and help those less fortunate in the U.S., including the working poor and homeless. I'm sure you don't believe me, but that isn't important to me or anyone else for that matter.
Talk is cheap. It's what you do in your community that counts and it isn't important for anyone here to know how I help my own community. It is also not my business to know how anyone else here is helping their community. Knowing some of the nice folks here, I rest assured that they are helping others who are less fortunate.
On that note, I'd like to say that I am very proud of Brad Pitt and his helping to build 150 homes in New Orleans for less fortunate people whom Katrina devastated. He is putting his money where his mouth is. He is someone within the entertainment community to admire and respect.
I think Randy thinks I hate him. Or dislike him. I do argue with him a lot on this board on political issues, but that doesn't mean I hate him. I certainly don't want to eat a rattlesnake scramble with him at breakfast, but that doesn't mean I hate him. So, in the spirit of the season, I'm going to list three things I like about Randy:
1. Energy. The guy has an abundance of energy, like a seventeen-year-old virgin in a Laredo brothel. Whether he's pursuing other people's money to make one of his scripts into a movie or ferreting out posers on this board, he goes after it with an energy and confidence you just have to admire, if not envy. Like Brandan Fraser in THE MUMMY, face-first into a hail of bullets.
2. Integrity. I don't agree with some of what he says, but I like that he says what he thinks and he doesn't care whether you like it or not. That makes him unfit to be a politician, obviously.
3. Optimism. It's refreshing to see someone who is driven by unflagging optimism. I'm a cynic myself, always whining about my glass being half empty. If Randy's glass is half full, he just grabs a bottle of Wild Turkey, takes a long, hard swig, then fills the glass back up. No ice.
I thought pemican was beef jerky! Or some sort of beef by-product of unmentionable origin.
Yeah, I like Randy, too. Because he's a character. You could write dialogue for him, and you'd probably not be far off.
But that idea of him also makes it easy to think I know what makes him tick, and that's not fair when you're dealing with human beings.
I imagine him driving a four-by-four with a gun rack and a WWJD? bumper sticker, on the way to the Baptist Church, nursing a Jack Daniels hangover and listening to Country Western music. The Dixie Chicks come on, and he turns the radio off with a snap.
He votes Republican. He thinks the way you support the troops is by sending more troops. He doesn't think there's anything wrong with spanking, as long as you do it with love. He thinks God keeps a hot coal-fire going to roast people who aren't smart enough to avoid it.
I don't know if he reads this and thinks, "Damn. How does she know this shit?" Or if he reads this and thinks, "How judgmental. She doesn't know me at all."
Anyway, I like Randy, too. Randy is like a box of pemican. You don't want to think about it too much.
Terry's pretty well got me pegged.
"Damn. How does she know all this shit?"
As an actor, I'd love to recite any dialog written by either of these two aforementioned writers for an interesting character.
I'd love to have a pick up truck. I have to borrow one this afternoon to pick up some bicycles to deliver to the Marines. Sorry to bust your bubble, but I have a red Mustang convertible, something similar to the one I had 40 years ago in college. Mid-life crisis solved.
All the rest of your assessments hit pretty close to home. I'm sure some people are saying "ah-ha! I knew it."
Me, I'm just glad I wasn't drinking any milk when reading Terry and Shell's comments. I hate it when it squirts out your nose like that.
Great post. Wish I had something to ad but I've been up to my earlobes in crap today and I'm totally exhausted.
I did have polenta and spinach for lunch. I'm a bleeding heart liberal and drive a mini-van. I drink white wine. And, I'm disgusted with so much that's going on in this country.
Don't tell Terry I'm an oenophile. It'll really upset him. He thinks I drink beer and Wild Turkey.
Guess what? I, too, am disgusted with the way the country is being run. Yes, for the record, I regret my voting for Bush. I'm sure I won't support any Democrat who is running, but I don't want another Bush type. That's all I'll say so as to not turn this into a political argument, but I'm not happy about the way the country is run either, or even the war as it is and has been.
We may actually have more to agree on than any of us like to think.
Oh, and I should warn all of you; I plan to wish a lot of people here Merry Christmas sometime soon, so you'd best be ready. I don't do the politically correct "happy holidays" generic stuff.
For those of you who are Jewish, Happy Channukah. I hope you and your family have had a good holiday.
Group hug. (jk)
Never kid about the group hug. We bleeding-heart liberals are suckers for the group hug.
Okay, what did I miss?
For once the drama didn't circle around something I posted...LOL
Go back to the post where Michelle called me a vegan. It gets juicy from there.
Get back in the fray, bud!
I certainly did not call you a vegan, Randy Roberts! I called you a Baptist. And a Republican.
Somebody get me the transcript. As I recall, Terry wrote that bit of fiction.
This reminds me of my daughter's suite mate in college. She and my daughter were standing in front of a still life of a half-eaten breakfast: most of a hard-boiled egg, orange peels, remnants of toast.
They gazed upon it for a few moments and the girl says, in all seriousness, "You know, I actually like this, even if it isn't vegan."
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