aired Aug. 1, 2015 on Dave’s Gone By. Youtube clip: http://youtu.be/44sQ6T8v98w
Shalom, Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of August 2, 2015.
As if there weren’t already enough reasons to hate dentists, last week brought us Walter Palmer. Wally, who obviously makes a good living from his crowns and extractions, paid $50,000 to go on a hunting expedition. More specifically, he wanted to take his little bow and arrow and bring down a mighty king of the jungle. Which he did.
In early July, Palmer trekked to a nature preserve in Zimbabwe and lured a mighty lion to a spot where he could shoot him in the ass and kill him. Palmer only wounded the beast, which then had to be tracked down and shot in the head. Isn’t hunting a fair and noble sport?
The sad part isn’t just that African lions are endangered, but this was Cecil, a beloved 13-year-old jungle cat who brought in millions of tourists dollars to the preserve. Nobody wanted to slaughter him; they just wanted to drive by slowly, be frightened a little, and get the hell out of there and buy a stuffed panda at the gift shop. And yet, poor Cecil the lion spent much of his adult life in captivity only to die by assassination. Hell, even JFK left the White House to shtup Marilyn once in awhile.
Now this sadistic dentist—which Little Shop of Horrors reminded us is a redundant phrase—this Walter Palmer was not some lunatic running around like Cupid with a bow and arrow and a “George of the Jungle” fixation. This trophy hoarder is a life-long big-game blaster who used legal permits and guides for his latest expedition. Which means there were people who allowed this man to lure a fish out of a barrel . . . and give it both barrels.
What’s funny and marvelously ironic is that in the days after this yutz posted his victory spoils on social media, public outrage has been so vituperative that Palmer has gone into hiding. Faced with death threats, protests, cancelled cavities, Walter Palmer is crouching behind the high grass until the public cools off or gets bored or find another Bill Cosby victim to wonder about.
I say, what we need to do about Palmer in hiding is find the motel he’s staying at, and have two guys knock on the door and say they’re from Publisher’s Clearing House, and he’s won a million dollars. Then, when you’ve coaxed him to the parking lot – BAM! – turns out the guys are really Jehovah’s Witnesses, and boy, is he in for a miserable afternoon!
Seriously, though, I am not against hunting per se. I love steak and duck and venison and the occasional kosher muskrat. And if you are using the inside for beef and the outside for clothing, I believe you are abiding by the natural order of things. I’m not some Birkenstock-wearing vegan shouting “meat is murder” and making believe tofu actually tastes like something edible. Also, there are legitimate times when you need to thin the herd and stop a breed from over-multiplying. I wish we could do with the Kardashians.
But when you are killing just for sport, and you take the sport out of it, what’s left is bloodlust and murder. Walter Palmer may not have broken the law, but his ethics are lower than a Republican’s IQ. Remember, this is not about gun control; it’s not about the NRA; it’s not about ditching the second amendment. It’s about the rich getting away with murder. In this case, it’s literal, but you could say the same about some company that pays hush money to dump chemicals in a lake, or oil companies that bribe politicians for fracking rights, it’s about paid-off scientists who’ll fudge numbers that show Antarctica isn’t melting, it’s about the teenager next door who’ll show you her boobs for $20. All right, not all of these are bad, we can’t keep allowing millionaires to stick pricetags on everything they want, or, in other words, money must never dictate morality.
This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon. And, if you would like me to come speak at your next corporate event, my fee is $30,000. $50,000 if you want me to endorse Palestinian statehood. Hey, I’m only human. And you can find me at Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York.
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