My dad would tell me that when we were little and people would say to him “wow, four daughters, that’s a lot of weddings to pay for” (because traditionally the bride’s family would pay for the wedding), my dad would respond with “well, we’re hoping at least one of them will be gay so we can split the cost with the other bride’s family”
He said people never knew how to respond
Since the release of Blackfish, a documentary which chronicled the troubled life of the orca Tilikum (above), in 2013, the percentage of Americans opposed to cetacean captivity has risen to 50% (up 11% from a 2012 poll). SeaWorld’s attendance has dropped 13% in the first quarter of 2014, with earnings down 11%. The Blackstone Group, which purchased SeaWorld in 2009, reduced their holdings of SeaWorld’s stock to 25%. The National Aquarium in Baltimore is now considering ending their practice of displaying dolphins and retiring their animals to a sea pen. The ‘Blackfish effect’ has changed so many lives, but what about its star, Tilikum?
Despite a year of SeaWorld’s costly PR campaigns, YouTube videos and commercials touting their exceptional animal care, Tilikum and the other orcas at SeaWorld’s parks haven’t seen any real improvement in their lives. Their tanks haven’t been expanded, broken family bonds have not been repaired and Tilikum the deadly 12,000 pound bull orca is still floating like a cork in the dank pool that made him famous. After a year of protests, reduced turnstile clicks and constant attacks on their social media platforms, SeaWorld still hasn’t gotten the message and Tilikum, the one being whose existence should have been impacted the most by the Blackfish effect, remains untouched by its message.
SeaWorld is never going to volunteer to do the right thing by Tilikum or any of their 28 other whales, it’s up to us to #emptythetanks.
Some advice for when you’re writing and find yourself stuck in the middle of a scene:
- kill someone
- ask this question: “What could go wrong?” and write exactly how it goes wrong
- switch the POV from your current character to another - a minor character, the antagonist, anyone
- stop writing whatever scene you’re struggling with and skip to the next one you want to write
- write the ending
- write a sex scene
- use a scene prompt
- use sentence starters
- read someone else’s writing
Never delete. Never read what you’ve already written. Pass Go, collect your $200, and keep going.
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