Sunday, May 25, 2014

To liberty, and not to banishment

Before I left to go hiking around Wales, I did some serious vegging out and overdosing on brain candy.

Because IP lawsuits will always pique my curiosity and The Legend of Sarila was on Netflix Instant Viewing, I watched it one late night/early morning. In general, it's a cute story about a group of Inuit teenagers trying to save their tribe from a curse of starvation by going to the ends of the earth. I wasn't sure how much was actually based on Inuit spiritual beliefs and how much was completely made up, but I liked the general storyline and characters. It was also nice to see indigenous characters front and center, in a non-Pocahontas embarrassing kind of way.

It was definitely better than The Emperor's New Groove, which I watched in my newest hare-brained endeavor to see all the Disney films I missed between Mulan and Brave. I didn't care much for any of the animated characters (I was, for better or worse, completely indifferent about the selfish emperor being turned into a llama). But the fact it takes place in the Andes kept reminding me that my next international hiking trip is likely to be Machu Picchu for a friend's 40th birthday next year.

Because The Thin Man was included in a Dashiell Hammett volume, I felt compelled to read it. Never having seen the film classics with Myrna Loy and William Powell, I had no idea what the storyline entailed. Like The Maltese Falcon, there's a lot of boozing (if the story took place now, Nick and Nora might have to check in to AlAnon). In general, I liked it better than Maltese if only because there's at least a female character who is somewhat an equal in the whole mystery-solving process. But by the end, I was just glad that most of the seminal aspects of the book have been left to the annals of history.

What hasn't been relegated to the list of arcane social practices is making animals perform in circuses or other forced entertainment facilities. I'd been reading about the Blackfish controversy so much on Twitter, that I decided to watch the documentary. (Years ago, La Otra Hermana dragged the entire family to watch Free Willy in theatres.) And the film definitely presented a compelling case to #FreeTilly (an orca involved in the deaths of three trainers) and all other orcas in captivity. What was even more interesting was SeaWorld's glammed-up video propaganda response, promoted as a Twitter ad to try and combat the claims in Blackfish. Except that SeaWorld's response was to try and paint the filmmakers as animal rights extremists and call their former animal trainers featured in it liars, rather than address the valid concerns about the treatment of captive orcas. Luckily, they got called on it by the Twitterverse.

Watching Blackfish did remind me that I've lived most of my life on Puget Sound and haven't seen an orca yet. But rather than go to SeaWorld or some other marine life theme park, I'd rather try and see a pod of whales out on the water.

Ooooh, I should put that on the bucket list...

No comments: