|I felt a compelling desire to photograph the ducks for my blog...they, too, felt a compelling desire...|
|...they made directly for me as soon as they saw me stop, expectantly, and hauled out onto the bank...|
|Right about here I recognized a coordinated duck handout assault in progress...|
|Closer they approached, seemingly fearless, driven by hunger and strong conditioning...|
|...and when I didn't feed them, which was not my plan, they began pecking at my shoe. So I left.|
We watched Blackfish this week, and yes, it's certainly about the morality of the operant conditioning of large wild animals in captivity for profit, but isn't it also about the conditioning by profit of the owners, the conditioning of the audience by the thrill of the show, and the motivation of desire of all the humans in different roles and different perspectives by money, or other motivations, of other minds? In layers, in mutual reinforcing networks of mediation, motivation, scapegoating, desire, action, and cultural scaffolding?
Pointing to a single connection in that vastness and saying there! that's it! seems a bit short-sighted. It may be proximate, but it's certainly not ultimate, or singular, or non-mediated, or innocent/guilty.
I don't think it's a good idea to feed ducks at the canal, lest they make a habit of doing rather stupid things like this. I wish the world were safe so that they could always act thusly without danger, but of course, the world is opposite of that. On the other hand, the pattern is already set in this crew. Nothing I do will make it worse, and perhaps I can make their lives, now, a bit better by taking some duck chow down there tomorrow morning and spreading it liberally. Their eager quacking conditioning me to repeat again, and again. Here, have a blog photo.
|I do pray for that world where these gentle ones can quack without fear of cruel violence.|