Thursday, April 14, 2005

National Museum of Animal Cruelty

In horror news, I've been to busy to go to the theaters. Last time I went was Easter Sunday where I caught the Korean smash Oldboy. It might still be playing at the university theaters around the country, not sure. Everyone is in love with this movie, except for the LA Weekly/OC Weekly critic who wrote an anti-Oldboy review in the form of a letter to Quentin Tarantino(!?!?!). Don't ask why.

Also read
this blog which has recently changed from raves about Franz Ferdinand and Interpol to the tale of a zombie epidemic.

I wrote a paper for school and did the assignment totally wrong. I don't know what I was I thinking, didn't skip class or anything, just went and did my own thing. We were supposed to use all sort of techniques learned from the text, I did not use a single one. Worse yet, it did not meet the five page requirement and that means it went unread by the Prof. I've got to write a new paper, but here is an excerpt from my proposal for building a National Museum of Animal Cruelty, weird stuff you could read.

Once inside the lobby, the crowds are still massive, but not festive. Large murals of cows and pigs making pained faces on their way to slaughter will hang from the walls and set a very somber tone. No one should be going into this place laughing or chattering about the latest celebrity gossip.

The tunnel into the exhibit hall is long and dark and is strictly an auditory experience. Actual recordings of animals moaning during slaughter are pumped in from overhead speakers at rock concert volume. Occasionally lighted signs flicker on the left and right. They are miniature versions of the McDonald's and Burger King signs that we see outside of these restaurants on nearly every street in America. Of course these companies won't authorize the use of their logo's in an exhibit that criticizes everything that they stand for. In order to avoid lawsuits the lettering on these smaller signs will be deliberately misspelled, but none the less, everyone will be familiar with the icons.

Everything that happens on the slaughter house's killing floor must be shown in this museum and I see no reason for the gory details not to be the first bit of visual stimulation the visitors will encounter among the exhibits. The dark tunnel exits into a large room that is a replica of a factory farm, only with wax animals filling the cages. I have seen wax figures and life like prosthetics, made for use in movie special effects, that even at a distance of just a few feet could pass for the real things. Our museum's animals will be sculpted by the finest artisans from Madame Tussauds London Wax Museum. Hollywood prop effects people, probably out of work due the industries recent use of computer generated images, can put lots of time into making some human figures move to operate bolt guns and chainsaws. A series of pumps and drains can allow for blood to continuously poor from the wounds of the dying creatures. I thought perhaps that so much blood could squirt from the animals that museum goers would have to protect their clothes with plastic ponchos, as real slaughter house workers have to do in order not to be soaked by the red precious fluids. Though it would be impressive for the exhibit to interact with more senses than those of the eyes and ears, the slaughter house replica ought not to be turned into anything resembling a splish-splash type of amusement park ride.

After witnessing the simulated slaughter of cows and pigs, a catwalk takes visitors to yet another factory themed room, this one full of cages packed with animatronic chickens. Once again there will be a loud soundtrack, since chicken farms are known to be deafening due to the insane amount of the squawking animals per square foot. Visitors will have the option of wearing earplugs. At the far end of the room, actual footage of real mechanical chicken slaughter is shown. The animals are hung alive by their feet and then dipped in electrified water that is supposed to kill them, but sometimes does not. Then they are suspended over a spinning fan blade that beheads perhaps one chicken per second. If museum goers have not had enough images of killing burned into their brains, then complimentary tickets to the Museum of Animal Cruelty's Omni Theater are available. "The Butchering of Bessy" will be shown on a fifteen story screen.

The next part of the exhibit could prove to be even more controversial, as it will focus on the men behind the murders of the animals. Slaughterhouse workers are not the target, rather it's meat companies and fast food executives and CEOs who are getting rich off of animal exploitation who are at fault. Real people will be profiled, such as the late Dave Thomas of Wendy's fame. The TV commercials where he came off as cute and fatherly will look absurd after just having witnessed the death and misery that his company promotes. An Animal Exploitation Hall of Scum will be decorated with photos of the industry's top dogs smiling. Pictures of their mansions and expensive cars will be on display as well. A special section can focus on local millionaires, whose children might see pictures of their own parents when their school brings them to the museum for a field trip. They will be ashamed when the other kids whisper "Isn't that Lisa's Dad in that picture? Is he one of the murdering scum?!"

Of course the board of directors at our museum don't hate everyone. After all, they are former animal exploiters themselves. Almost nobody I've ever met was born vegan and most had to witness or learn about unpleasant atrocities before they changed. The people they are fighting, the meat eaters and consumers of animal products, are in many cases their own family and friends. It is easy to feel sympathy for museum goers who are upset about the exhibits or are even outright angry about them, after all, many of us have probably put up similar defense mechanisms in the past when we first were approached about the horrors of animal exploitation. For this reason the museum ends on a positive note, with monitors showing happy farm animals allowed to live out their natural lives' at a sanctuary. Tips on how to reduce animal suffering in your personal life will scroll underneath the screen. Every little bit helps, even if it only mean substituting a few animal products with vegan alternatives. Certainly their will be a vegan cafe and a gift shop where the crowds can start making cruelty-free choices with their money. Museum workers dressed in soft, oversized cow and pig costumes will give great big hugs to everyone on their way out to the busy New York City streets. The last thing visitors see is a smiling pig waving good-bye, as they walk out the gates into the meat eating world.


Anonymous Larry said...

Jesus Christ, Warren! What was the assignment?

3:51 PM  

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