Victoria Jelinek


Is There Nothing Hallowed?
November 18, 2017, 2:22 pm
Filed under: From the Soap Box | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

imagesThe manifestation of all of the rotten elements of US society that have been growing over the last 50 or so years is terribly overwhelming and heart-wrenching.

The FCC ruling today is a big blow to its last semblance of democracy (and its cut to subsidies for the poor to have internet access is simply mean). The looming tax cuts for the very wealthy, including write-offs for private jets and other corporate expenditures, as well as inheritance tax avoidance is blatant avarice. Meanwhile, teachers, fire fighters, police officers lose itemized deductions, and the opportunity to own a home, put their children through university, and to receive healthcare without a lifetime of debt. The hypocrisy of the Trump regime regarding sexual assault is sickening, as is the public’s preoccupation with it in the face of the larger atrocities being committed daily by this administration while the public’s attention is averted. Those who are excessively wealthy and who run the government must be laughing at the stupidity of ordinary people. In a complex and insidious way, we are all complicit in what has happened.

However, all of the aforementioned doesn’t matter in the long-run if there are no more forests, or natural lands, or safe drinking water, or the air can’t be safely breathed. Nor does any of it matter when wildlife has been eradicated. The Trump regime had already lifted a ban on the hunting of wolves and bears (and their young), made deals with oil companies to build pipelines & drill for oil in protected territories to undermine the welfare of our planet, its animals and ourselves. Only today a pipeline spilled hundreds of thousands of oil in South Dakota and a steel corporation was discovered dumping tons of toxins into Lake Michigan.

And if this wasn’t enough, the Trump regime reversed legislation that protected elephants and lions in Africa. Today, the wealthy donors to this administration received some ‘payback’ because they can now ‘hunt’ down these animals and bring “trophies” in the form of their body parts back to the US in order to display and, ostensibly, impress guests (?!). Let that sink in – the body parts of a lion or an elephant as a ‘trophy’ to be mounted somewhere in their house. Imagine how these elephant’s babies will feel when some soul-less white man fells their mother or father or brother or sister. They will suffer fear and loss. They will grieve. They are sympathetic, smart, wise, and loving creatures that are family-oriented. They mourn for those members who die, and they remember them long after they are shot, dismembered, and carried back on an airplane by a savage.

***Addendum: Trump says the elephant ban is “on hold.” Outrage, thank goodness, must have been enough. However, this administration will ‘slip it in’ when no one’s looking, so to speak. Also, this still leaves the issue of lions as trophies & wolves being hunted down in their dens…

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Dearest Tori–This is the first email I’ve read this morning (Sat.) and makes me so sad; I read something

in some newspaper or magazine which is especially poignant: the baby elephants suck their trunks when

they are upset, uneasy, as do human babies suck their fingers. We humans can be cruel, callous, self-focused,

but you take time to write a passionate essay about our overlooking animal cruelties.. I praise you for your

generous, loving self and feel chagrin because I don’t contribute money or time to a very worthy cause; I am

satisfied to live my little life low, at this point. I can praise you and tell you how much I cherish you for being

the rare person who takes effort to notice and protest injustices and cruelty, finding a way to do this.

Well-written, passionately written. I love you for being as you are, even as I regret my own passiveness and

inability to equal that passion.I confess that I look forward to our discussions about our own private, family

lives, our own little elephant herd, as I head for the kitchen and make morning coffee in order to start another

day. (I’m slower-moving in the little herd, these days of journalism and theater past. . .)

I’ll end this curious letter with that, for now settling for the mundane. . .

Love, always,

Mom

________________________________

Comment by Barbara Jelinek

Oh, what a fine letter Mom – thank you for reading the piece.
The idea of the baby elephants sucking their trunks brought tears to my eyes…ah, as you say, many of we humans are vicious and unthinking. But, as EB White once wrote in a letter responding to someone lamenting the ‘darkness’ of the world, we must lean on the single (and singular) people who are trying to be good, thoughtful, and collective oriented…
Much love, Tori

Comment by victoriakjelinek




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