It’s permiciously easy and lazy journalism to lift a single incident of internet infamy and segue into ‘what about ism’ in regards to the average American.

You’ll notice journalists use the deliberately asinine verb ‘collecting’ as a necessary euphemism of obfuscation.

It’s incredible to me how someone can write on scientific methods, and totally ignore the long patterns of historic injustice enactes by colonial agents in the name of ‘knowledge’. Surely this is a context worth considering, since most rampant forms of species lost are connected to European imperialism? A context that camera-vain Christopher Filardi is an immanent inception of.

This university professor sashayed into a foreign country, killed a critically endangered bird for publication, and was shocked the general populace didn’t find his Ornithology Jones antics. He may have a heart of conservationalist gold; but if he can’t manage his media stunts nor offer a compelling rational to the public, perhaps he should think twice before livetweeting images of a rare species being photographed for a triumphant neck snap and brown-bagging of a beautiful creature. The murderer-collector doesn’t make for good optics, as Dr Filardi discovered in a bid for internet fame.

This is extremely chauvinistic 20thC scientific thinking: “I’ll kill this thing, pocket it, because there’s a chance 100 years the tech will be ready, and the ethical and legal issues will be sorted, and best of all I’ll be famous as The Moustached Kingfisher Messiah”.

Yet the author of the above cited op-ed,  tellingly, is more interested in finger pointing than solution positing.  Perhaps he’s afraid of the real issue here; the colapse in trust for American scientists treating the world as a giant specimen for personal harvesting. You bet people are furious.

 

It’s possible to care about endangered species and general animal welfare simultaneously. It is possible to want to save the orcas — and reduce the overall waste of populace fish species. It’s possible to comprehend the meaningfulness of one dead bird at the same time as witnessing millions of others die in torment every day.

So instead of the broad analogies, stick to the issue at hand, dear author: what is this scientist’s presumptive right to destroy — that maybe in the long run things will work out?

Why write on this extremely minor incident of internet bullying — to use the author’s favorite rhetorical gear shift  … do you know how many thousands of black women get death threats every day just for existencing?

Because some academic wanted internet attention desperately and got more than he bargained for?

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Five seconds before murder — he was posting selfies

What i really hate is this faux centrist analogism — ‘well if we dont care about a million chickens dying every day for 7-11 burritos, i aint gonna care about extinct species of any kind.’

 

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