In the haze of my flu-symptoms of the past week,  I took notice of the execution style killing of Harambe, the gorilla shot dead at the Cincinnati zoo.

My take on the footage is below, a quick recap of the actual news coverage, my opinion, and space for your interpretation.

You can find other coverage here:

I don’t normally weigh in on hotbed news stories that don’t accrue to something I have on the wall which defines Project Sticky Note;  in this case, I think it perfectly illustrates our distraction from the things that matter most.

This is roughly covered in the spirit of these three stickies:


Here are the key distractions you might have noticed or may now that I’ve called them out:

  • MEDIA USE OF HYPERBOLE:  It isn’t quite inaccurate but it certain inflates the magnitude of the situation — “growing memorial” – we see exactly three examples of this growing memorial.  “protestors are outraged”  again, three people standing on a street, one of whom is seeking “justice” – what does that look like, I wonder?
  • REDIRECTION VIA SPIN: “Professional Dangerous Animal Response Team”????  This must be a well funded zoo to have such a team on call for just such issues capable of making such decisions.  In fact, the Cincinnati Zoo dropped nearly $2M in net contributions year over year, so I find it hard to believe that a highly qualified team was at the ready to support such a scenario. Why are we not speaking directly as to what happened here?  Zookeepers found themselves in crisis and reacted. No way they had time to have reviewed the circumstances here to truly make statements as to whether the right call had been made.
  • MISMATCHED FACTS FROM COMMENTARY:  Many newscasts have reported that there was “no time to allow a tranquilizer dart to effect the rescue” yet all reports  state the the child was in there for a full ten minutes before shots were fired.

We must get better at discerning the signal from the noise.  I hope we also see humans have done a pretty shit job managing things.

So killing an endangered gorilla via firing squad (I mean “dangerous animal response team”) to protect a four year old human ingenious enough to somehow circumvent all of the protections zoos have around these enclosures while carefully watched by his attentive guardians…only time will tell if Darwin was right in this case.

We need to learn to really evaluate the information that is presented to us via so many different channels and identifying what is real and what is not.

I won’t comment on my feelings about parents irresponsibility, the celebrity weigh ins, or the ongoing nurturing of this as a story during a slow news week.  I also won’t comment on how ridiculous the feelings are that we somehow stand above other living creatures based on our fire power and ability to make captive.  Interment and concentration camps might yield some idea, but we’re far too myopic to see the connection.

I have opinions on that but it’s not my focus.

For our society to evolve, for us to do better for each other, and for any unity across any group to come to fruition, it means we must take note of the many ways we’ve helped build profitable businesses around doing exactly the opposite.  Especially as this election  comes to its conclusion.

And who the fuck says the word “boy” like that.

Posted by Jason Krech

Faith, accountability, and dismissing any notion of being flawless are benchmarks of cool people. (Opinions are my own and represent no organization, corporation, or other entity I may be affiliated with.)

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