Saturday, August 1, 2015

Shit on a shingle and shitstorms.

This morning, Bill and I were enjoying our usual Saturday breakfast and talking about food.  Our conversation started on the subject of grits, but then progressed to other hearty southern breakfast staples.  Then he started talking about mess hall food.  If there's one menu item that consistently shows up in a mess hall, it's shit on a shingle, more politely known as SOS.

I grew up eating shit on a shingle.  My parents used to make it.  It's basically white sauce with chipped beef or hamburger, served on toast.  It's pretty gross looking.  In fact, I'd say it bears a striking resemblance to vomit.

This is creamed, chipped beef on toast, otherwise known as shit on a shingle.  Photo courtesy of Oanabay04 on Wikipedia.  This looks more appetizing than some of the other photos I've seen.

I prefer my shit on a shingle made with ground beef rather than chipped beef.  Chipped beef is very salty.  I'm usually pretty affected by what food looks like.  For some reason, SOS never bothered me that much.  Interestingly enough, this particular dish is popular in the northeast.  I thought it was more of a southern thing, but I guess not.

Anyway, while we were discussing shit on a shingle, Bill started talking about German disc jockeys and their love of the word "shitstorm".  He was listening to the news on the way to work and they were discussing Dr. Walter Palmer and the merciless way he dispatched Cecil the Lion.  There was a lot of rapid fire German being spoken until the word "shitstorm" came up.  This is not the first time Bill's heard them say it, either.  It's pretty funny.  I guess you could describe the furor over Palmer's hunting proclivities as a "shitstorm" of some proportions.  Perhaps even epic proportions.

Yesterday, I got into a discussion with some Facebook friends about Palmer.  I think he's an asshole and he was wrong to kill Cecil the Lion.  However, I am also pretty disturbed by the mob justice mentality some people have.  I shared an article I read about this and how people are taking it upon themselves to harass Palmer and ruin his business.  I think it's wrong to do that.

Several of my friends piped up and defended the vigilante justice actions.  They think it's totally fine that Palmer is getting death threats and people are leaving hateful signs and stuffed animals at his office.  My guess is that they haven't really thought too hard about it.  While I can totally understand outrage people feel over the lion's death and trophy hunting in general, harassment is also wrong.  Palmer is not the only one affected by the harassment, either.  His employees and family members are also affected by this shit.  So are his patients.

Aside from that, I think people forget that they, too, could someday do something deemed inappropriate by the public and wind up on the receiving end of this kind of "justice".  While sometimes people take despicable actions that cause outrage, other times, the media and the public get it wrong.  Sometimes innocent people end up being targeted by mob justice and real damage occurs.

I don't know about you, but before Cecil was killed, I didn't even know he existed.  The plight of lions in Africa never once crossed my mind.  Nor did the plight of countless other animals being raised for slaughter, who no doubt have endured lives far less enjoyable than Cecil did.  I think it's horrible the way the lion was lured from his safe environs, wounded, and hunted down.  But is that any worse than the plight of cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs, sheep, and other animals that are kept in inhumane conditions for the sake of our stomachs?

I am a meat eater.  I doubt I will become a vegetarian.  I admire and respect vegetarians for not eating meat, but I don't choose to join them at this point.  Because I eat meat, I support the suffering of animals, which grieves me somewhat.  It doesn't cause me enough grief to stop eating meat, though... at least not at this point in my life.  I could change my mind at some point.  Anyway, I didn't hunt down Cecil the Lion or any other animal.  But I think I'd be a hypocrite if I got on a moral high horse about Walter Palmer and his trophy hunting.  I do think he's an asshole, but I don't feel the need to harass him.  I think the law should handle this.  I think they will.

It amazes me how easy it is to become famous or infamous these days.  Smelly shitstorms are delivered daily... like shit on a shingle in a mess hall.  And they blow over just as fast.

ETA:  I had totally forgotten that today marks what would have been the 25th anniversary between Bill and twatbag.  Maybe it's time I wrote a post about that.

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