This Man is My New Hero
Meet Milo, he’s 5 and has Down syndrome. his family went to a restaurant to eat, a group of people were seated next to them and proceeded to make comments about Milo. This is how the waiter, Michael Garcia responded: “I heard the man say, ‘Special needs children need to be special somewhere else’? My personal feelings took over, and I told him, ‘I’m not going to be able to serve you, Sir? How could you say that?? How could you say that about a beautiful 5 year old angel?'” Michael kicked out the bullies, and the best part is the restaurant, Laurenzo’s is standing behind Michael’s choice to refuse to serve them…….
One of the reasons I’m glad never to have to walk into the game Chat is having to sit through players trying to impress each other by who can best bully another player and/or come up with the “cleverest” or “coolest” joke that demeans disabled people particularly cognitively disabled people . It’s mostly three or four players with occasionally others serving as the “laugh track” or even the cheer leading squad. I think the whole “Simple Jack” narrowly beat out the “retard times” links that were helpfully posted by a male player who thought up the idea of using “Simple Jack” to harass and trash a player named “Jack”.
Nothing clever or innovative about it to most grown ups. Just a group of people showing off in front of each other as to how cruel they can be, nothing real special about that. Just another ordinary routine day in Chat which simply serves as the venue for bullying and bashing when a certain crew is there. What mystified me is how if not sanctioned by the game, it certainly seemed more than tolerated.
But not everyone in the world is like that. Some people are the opposite. They speak up against bigoted behavior including against developmentally disabled people. Here’s one of them.
This is a story about one such person who took a stand risking his job to refuse to serve customers bullying and making fun of a “special needs” child with Down’s Syndrome. Thankfully his employer stood by him and supported his courageous act. That doesn’t always happen.
This story is dedicated to two not so very special players (the same ones who tried to use the “Simple Jack” name) who were most passionate about making it clear that “retard” was an appropriate type of stereotype and label to use not only as fodder for humor but to bully and trash another player. It’s nice to know that for every two of you who joke and denigrate people, there’s someone willing to risk their job and livelihood to stand up to people just like you.
This story which is from Houston is what happens when someone stands up to people who are just bigots. It’s nice to know that there are decent people out there who’ll stand up against it and do what’s right. And I’m pretty sure Mr. Garcia wouldn’t be welcome at the game either. That makes two of us! But I think we’re both doing just fine and the better off for it.
Cool Bird Alert
A friend sent this who has the coolest house ever and coolest backward. Now she has a cool red tailed hawk living there as well.
What’s Up with Sea World?
Orca Meets Man
Catching up in news, I caught this article the dropoff in attendance at Sea World during its last quarter. Sea World blame the nearly $54 million loss on bad weather during Easter weekend but the lower attendance also coincided with the release of the controversial but critically acclaimed documentary Blackfish that explored the darker side of displaying and training Orcas to live and perform in captivity. Partial root canals and daily flushing to preserve broken teeth (and close up, their teeth are all uniform and conical not separated into different types like most mammals) and preventing dehydration (from a diet of dead fish) by feeding them gelatin which ulcerates their digestive tract. Two reasons among others why none of Sea World’s whales could ever be released or rereleased into the wild.
Mixing residential whales with transits and creating “hybrids” in captivity. Mixing Icelandic pod members with those from Puget Sound/B.C. waters in the same tank, creating artificial “pods” and calling it natural. Centering a breeding program around an aggressive male, Tilikum through A.I. who’s got a history of siring unhealthy offspring.
The documentary covers most of the issues that arise from Orcas in captivity and also addresses the capture of young Orcas in the wild. I wondered for ages if someone would actually go there and expose what really happens in the marine parks including Sea World’s in the captive Orca programs. Having a family member who knows two Orca trainers out of one of their parks including one that quit after suffering injuries in an attack, it seemed there were quite a few accounts of incidents happening. Not surprising given their immense size but Orcas don’t maim and kill people in their natural habitats even when their paths cross with them.
After all what happened with Tilikum wasn’t isolated not even to Tilikum who killed a female trainer in Sealand and a transient in Orlando before he attacked, dismembered and partially consumed a female trainer in front of an audience in 2010. His history was such that it shouldn’t have been surprising that he did that and the film spends a lot of its time building the case as to why he did it.
He was a member of a pod off of Iceland and captured between the ages of 2-3. He was kept in Iceland with two dominant female Orcas (and residential Orca pods are matriarchal in social structure with males on the fringes) who beat him up. He grew to be the largest size Orca in captivity at six tons in weight.
He was sold to the now defunct Sealand in captivity and killed a trainer there. Tilikum was never exposed to humans in his tanks because he had a “no water training” restriction on him even when arriving at Sealand purportedly because of his massive size. If you’ve ever been real close to an Orca, you can see how huge they are (down to their tongues), well magnify that two or three times and you get Tilikum.
But after killing the female trainer after she fell partially into a tank he shared with two female Orcas, he and the entire Orca collection was put up for sale. In fairness, it’s not known which Orca initially attacked the female trainer though video and eyewitnesses showed that the Orca who initially dragged her beneath the water had collapsed dorsal fin syndrome which only Tilikum exhibited as it impacts 100% of male Orcas in captivity.
The film depicts other incidents involving trainers and Orcas who for some reason decide that day or that moment to turn on them.
This is just before Orky 2 lands on trainer John Sillick who was severely injured suffering multiple fractures including back, hips and both legs leading to multiple surgeries. They said his wetsuit literally kept his body together in one piece. This incident cost four employees of Sea World including the president at the time their jobs. The video taken of this incident is included in Blackfish and Sea World initially called it bad training and worse timing of a stunt. But Sea World also allegedly knew that several of its Orcas were intentionally breaching on top of trainers injuring them so in this case it’s not quite clear.
Ken Peters getting dragged by his foot over a six minute attack which he was very lucky to literally limp away from. Peters was attacked several times during his career training Orcas including incidents apparently not reported to OSHA. The above videotaped incident is also included in Blackfish and involved Kasatka who was separated from her calf who was vocalizing to her at the time of the performance. But given that Orcas pretty routinely drag trainers to the bottom of the tanks hardly surprising that occasionally they’d do it during shows.
Three Orca trainers out of Sea World Orlando quit before Blackfish was made including both John Jett and Jeffrey Ventre who are both interviewed in the film. Three more would quit after Brancheau’s death. I read about all of them in Death of Sea World too.
They all started out thrilled at what they were doing, loved their jobs but over time became disillusioned. None were fired, they were just “pushed” out or “demoted” as the Shamu Arena as it’s called is the top level and most coveted assignment at Sea World. One for refusing to um, handle the collection of Tilikum’s semen for A.I. purposes.
Branchaeu’s death made it clear that if it happened to her, it could happen to any one of them. None of the trainers had ever been briefed on Tilikum’s history before his arrival at Sea World Orlando or on any of the other Orcas involved in nonfatal incidents.
Two trainers together at a Canary Islands Park, both would be dead within six months from separate Orca attacks.
Dawn Brancheau with her killer, Tilikum
Putting words in the mouth of a dead person?
Thad Lacinak, former head of Orca Training for Sea World who blamed Dawn Brancheau for her own death by Tilikum, saying if she were alive she’d do the same thing. What a PR rat!
OSHA sued Sea World successfully in court and the parks are prohibited from using “water training” with their Orcas unless they put barriers in place. The company is appealing that decision.
Then one of the best phrases in the English language:
“I was just instructed to get rid of the tape.”
Personally I love it, never failed to make me do a happy dance to hear it.
For one thing, tapes somehow never wind up getting destroyed. Though sometimes you do have to act quickly.
For another, it’s like putting chum in front of a shark. 😉
Someone really ran this ad in a newspaper?
Tough choice isn’t it?
Labor Day’s for barbecuing and it’s certainly been yummy. Enjoyed that after putting in some work time this morning. Writing, some moderation and um, some interesting tweets. Yes, it’s hot and humid out here too (heat index 111 degrees) and no, it’s not unusual for your show to air repeats on holidays like Labor Day though I think this guy’s and last week’s “chem test” responsible for a lot of the board traffic that blew it up last week. How do you feel about my crab sculpture…uh don’t quit your day job. I love this gig! With the extra writing, it’s starting to take up quite a bit of time. I have no idea what I’m doing but it’s a lot of fun and it’s work. Chat’s winding down since it’s no longer Lord of the Flies and putting Chat on the newer site is tabled indefinitely until the logistics including preventing a future Lord of the Flies can be sorted out. It’s actually funner to moderate a Lord of the Flies situation and throw “kids” out rather than have to be a captive audience because moderation doesn’t want to offend its friendship base.
The forum’s crashed twice for short periods due to the heavy traffic generated this past week. So that has to be fixed but people haven’t really complained about it so far.
Apparently not tough to make and very tasty.
More Zucchini….this time chippies!
I needed to post the brownies again…they were yummy!
Didn’t make it to a game this year but someone did and sent a photo.
And in another athletic event, the ocean swim & splash
Shirt what shirt?
We all know that the media doesn’t care as much about missing Black girls as they do White girls but Tiara Moore, 13 is missing and has been since mid March.
Brought to you by Black and Missing Foundation
Fifty Shades of…eh…
I think I’ll wait until it comes out on Netflix or DVD. I thought the book was poorly written, obviously originating from Twilight (fan fiction as it turned out).
Party Patrol (if it gets out of hand)
Heads Will Explode on the latest episode…(actually a rerun)
As the FB Turns (Your Stomach)…
(sync organ music)
I’ve seen a lot of bizarre and crazy things on FB but this one truly takes it. It’s like a real soap opera, no actually it’s a reality show. It’s a bash session that apparently was not done in Chat but on FB about Kay O. Johnson, the game’s designated Anti-Christ. I think I was the game AntiChrist second to her by the same people but who cares. What’s funny is that no one here ever called people directly on their “shit” as they call it, certainly never the person who made that claim. They just bitched about in Chat ad nausea and had Ms Brass Knuckles go to the forum and try to start something as if she were entirely clueless about what was going on so they could bitch about it more in Chat, more along the lines of being passive aggressive. Not exactly the most direct, in your face approach. But maybe another passive-aggressive person will “get it”. Most people thought it just go so old after a while.
Most of its just a bashing session par for the course for some of this crew anyway.
(and no, Bay dear my head did not really explode…it’s really just a game to most of us but I watched yours explode more than once when your QH didn’t get QH of the Year. Twice. Very attractive.)
Thankfully I drop off topic really fast because I’m not the subject of this FB bitchfest after all. At least not that one but I’d already seen others. I don’t mind because people were kind enough to forward over 25 screenshots of myself getting and heads exploding by certain folks. I never really played to “win” I just played to have fun and enjoy socializing with other people having fun. Who’s to envy who takes advantage of other player’s medical conditions to try to get their hands on their best horses? What’s to envy with people who get such tremendous joy over hurting people? When it was no longer fun, I left.
But anyway, some of the parties were surprising others not so much. That’s usually the nature of cyber bashing episodes. This one’s from late last year it appears or early this year.
Most of the hate fest is that kind of funny. It’s just a bitchfest. But then some poster who also posted on this forum starts talking about physically harming the players who’s the target of this particular FB bitchest.
My favorite part?
When it comes to some FB conversations you better bring them…
Well at some point one female player decides to talk “tough” and bring out the artillery.
“I just want to make it CLEAR. Seriously Fuck her up-Brass Knuckles, bashing her head into the pavement or a hard floor etc.”
This was actually done to clarify her original post threatening physical violence in case anyone missed it or misunderstood it. After all it bore repeating because it was so profound of course.
“OMFG, I’m going to fuck up Kay O. Johnson if I ever meet her in person.”
That was the title and subject of the thread of the entire FB conversation which was the author of it to another player’s who can’t go 10 minutes in Chat without starting a bashfest of the player so if there’s hate involved, it’s definitely mutual. The only difference is that when this player hates, it’s sanctioned. But hate is hate to those outside of a feud so it’s all just very unpleasant to witness for those who don’t really take sides. It’s kind of nice that this conversation wasn’t spewed in game Chat but you can’t control your audience there.
It got five likes including the player who started the initial “flame” chat that is still posted on the forum to this day which has to be the most amazing of coincidences except it’s not. The more specific comment after only got three likes.
Bummer that must have been.
Obviously these folks don’t understand FB posting rules any better than on the game itself. . For the most part, I can only guess who’s who though it’s not hard to guess that the player who bashed me out of the blue is the same player that does it a kazillion times in Chat. There’s always going to be people you don’t like or hate. I had players including who I heard had perpetual boners involving their hate of me but you really do a disservice to themselves even giving them the time of day. I had to grieve against one who was especially cruel to who the thread was addressed and the person doing the “grieving” also just happened to have “liked” the thread.
That explains a lot too unfortunately as to the integrity of any grieving process meaning there’s really none. If a mod “likes” a comment or thread that advocates harming a player on his or her game no matter who it is, then that’s obviously not a good thing for that game. I just wish I knew that before I even bothered to use the “griefing” at all. It’s always nice to not to trust something before you’re foolish enough to trust it on its face.
But wait it gets even better.
Then later this same female player prattles on about how the player she’s just threatened to harm in specific detail if she “meets” her didn’t list her location on the forum. More stupidity. So she’s stupid and then basically outsmarts herself. Absolutely brilliant.
I don’t really know Kay Johnson and less of the history of why the same folks who hate most folks hate her too, but I would so love to be her right now in comparison to being any of these folks. I’d thank these kind and very helpful folks and head straight to my lawyer if I saw this kind of trash spewed on FB including threats. It’s just beyond disgusting and it would be if anyone was the target of it. It’s stupid because you’ve just given a person you despise the a whole lot of power.
These people are supposed to be smart right? This is just about the stupidest thing you could ever talk about on a public Web site. Some of them pride themselves on their brilliance certainly over the “Simple Jacks” of the world and yet this is just so stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
Making criminal threats on FB, how stupid can you get? What are you frigging nuts? You had a Chat room on the game to do that in much more discreetly. Why FB? I guess maybe Chat’s still too “nice” an environment for going this far in threatening to harm people.
This is just stupidity. These people all need to just grow up. It’s a game folks. It’s not real life so at the end of the day, none of it really matters. It’s certainly not worth ranting over someone and “liking” it.
Anyway, if I had any regret in leaving left which I don’t, this conversation definitely would erase it. I had a lot of feelings when I read it, none good. I was saddened that even the admins of the game are clearly engaging in it and yet trying to make it appear that they’re impartial and “friends” to anyone. Some of the participants do this all the time. Others less involved in it somewhat disappointing. Mostly it’s just disgusting and mostly it just explains a lot.
It is what it is.
Pretty fake horses. Ugly acting people.
If my head explodes it’s not over what happens to a binary coded horse in a binary coded race in a binary coded world, it’s from the thought of people acting like that on FB essentially over the same ultimately meaningless binary codes.
Would you want to stay?
God enough of this crap, now I got to find me some way to detox just from reading six pages of it. At least you don’t have to worry about this nonsense on Derby Fever.
Thank god for Twitter. I won the bet! It was jockey briefs under those pants! I’m glad that he tweeted a warning first!
Yummy indeed! But alas, the forum crashed. Just the forums right now. Definitely need a new and better server if certain people taking their clothes off. 6,000 hits before the closing credits…that’s just insane.