Up-to-date analysis of the local political landscape
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
The Corporation and the Captive Fish
Greenwashing (a compound word modelled on "whitewash") -- a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization's products, aims, or policies are environmentally friendly.
Sea World's announcement that it will discontinue its killer whale shows in San Diego is classic greenwashing. The corporation still intends to continue breeding killer whales in captivity. The corporation still intends to continue keeping those highly intelligent and family-oriented animals in concrete troughs, isolated from their natural family units. The corporation still intends to continue exploiting them for profit. The corporation is an unreconstructed dick.
The corporation makes its supposed "reform" under severe pressure. The 2013 documentary Black Fish moved the public against Sea World's cruelty, which has ended in death and injury for some Orca trainers because the conditions of captivity actually make some killer whales psychotic.
Sea World stock has plummeted. Ticket sales at San Diego have flat-lined. The paying public has decided they don't like this corporation and the way it's making money.
What gives away the greenwashing is that while the company announced no more Orca shows at Sea World San Diego (by 2017, mind you), the company remained mute about identical Orca shows at Sea World San Antonio and Sea World Orlando, where protests have been more muted. No more Orca "shows," the company told its investors; now they're gonna have an "orca experience."
Seriously? If there ever was a distinction free of any actual difference, it's that promise.
J.W. Williamson was the founding editor in 1972 of the Appalachian Journal: A Regional Studies Review, which he edited until July of 2000. He has taught college classes in Appalachian history, cultural politics, and literature, and he has lectured widely on the pop-culture history of "Appalachia" in the American consciousness. His books include Interviewing Appalachia, Southern Mountaineers in Silent Films, and Hillbillyland: What the Mountains Did to the Movies and What the Movies Did to the Mountains. He has won the Thomas Wolfe Award given by the Western North Carolina Historical Society, the Laurel Leaves Award given by the Appalachian Consortium, a special Weatherford Award given by Berea College, and the Cratis Williams-James Brown Award given by the Appalachian Studies Association.
The views expressed on WataugaWatch are solely those of J.W. Williamson or individual contributors and are not necessarily shared nor endorsed by the Watauga County Democratic Party nor by any other adults of sound mind in this or any other universe.