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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Beatle battle

Could someone point me to the bathroom, I think I'm going to be sick. This feeling of nausea seems to come over me when I see another celebrity heading out to protest - of all the things in the world which need protesting - the seal hunt in the gulf of

Posted on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 at 4:59 PM

Published March 23, 2006.Beatle battle

Could someone point me to the bathroom, I think I'm going to be sick.

This feeling of nausea seems to come over me when I see another celebrity heading out to protest - of all the things in the world which need protesting - the seal hunt in the gulf of St. Lawrence.

As they set out for the ice flows in search of a photo opportunity with the cute, cuddly animals, Paul and Heather McCartney became the latest in a line of deep thinkers such as Bridgette Bardot and Paris Hilton who have made termination of the seal hunt their cause du jour.

It seems to me a certain amount of healthy skepticism is appropriate when considering the motives of celebrities who choose to promote causes, especially those who choose those which are already popular and which most tend to pull at our heart strings. But what ever cause they choose, celebrities always have something to gain from such activity in terms of recognition, whether it be for the purpose of boosting their careers or simply of boosting their egos.

While "Sir Paul" must have gotten enough international recognition through his involvement with the Beatles to last several lifetimes, I have a suspicion his wife hasn't gotten her fill yet, although I'm not sure what she has done to deserve it apart from marrying a former Beatle.

I didn’t catch their appearance on The Larry King show, unfortunately, but from various reports I gather Mr. McCartney conducted himself in a civil manner during a debate with Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams while his abrasive wife kept interrupting the premier as he tried to outline certain facts she didn’t want to hear.

I don’t know how many hard questions Mr. King asked during the appearance by the McCartneys but I’ve noticed he’s more in the habit of stroking the egos of celebrities than he is of asking questions which might make them uncomfortable.

If I could ask a few questions myself I would direct them toward Mrs. McCartney because have a feeling the anti-sealing campaign is mostly her project while her husband tags along looking for something to do since he forgot how to write songs.

My first question would be why she chose to support the already highly-publicized anti-sealing campaign, in particular, when the plight of so many other threatened species goes virtually unnoticed.

Apart from the highly questionable assertion that cruelties continue to happen during the hunt, despite long-standing government regulations to ensure they do not, what argument do they put forward that seals are anywhere in the top thousand of animals whose plight puts them in need of a celebrity advocate.

In a world in which the environment is under so much pressure from human activity there must be a virtually endless list of threatened species one could cite but I will briefly mention only the one I have heard about most recently.

As described in a recent edition of CBC radio’s science show Quirks and Quarks five species of fish, including two types of grenadier, have been pushed to the brink of extinction by new, deep-sea fishing operations off the East coast of Canada.

While Mrs. McCartney may complain about seals being killed only to made into fur garments, these threatened deep sea fish species are being devastated for no reason whatsoever except that they happen to live in the same environment as more marketable species. The fish are scooped up and their environment damaged as trawlers capture such commercial species as the Greenland Halibut.

The threatened species have been reduced by nearly 90 per cent in some cases as trawlers, having depleted many species on the traditional fishing grounds of the continental shelf, have begun moving their operations to focus on the deep sea fishery. (Speaking of disasters in the fisheries, I’m not sure Mrs. McCartney is old enough to have been around at the time, but I didn’t hear her husband’s voice of protest when Canada’s East Coast fishery was being devastated by poor management and foreign trawlers to the point where it may never recover. We’re talking about entire animal populations here, not a limited number of a type of seal which has grown in numbers in recent decades to a total of nearly six million animals.)

There is no bigger admirer of Paul McCartney and The Beatles than myself but I am beginning to wonder if the composer of “Silly Love Songs” is trying to convince us he is getting silly himself as he gets older.

One of his more recent undertakings was to do a tour in which he tried to pass his song lyrics off as poetry. He did a reading on one TV show I watched as audience members tittered in the background.

His recent appearance on the Larry King show does not enhance his reputation as someone who should be taken seriously for anything except the amazing work he did in the sixties.

If the only thing he can do at this stage of his life is to follow his do-gooder wife around as she promotes whatever popular cause she is promoting at a given moment, he would be better off staying at home and resting on his laurels as he continues his inner journey to silliness, senility or whatever such place he’s been drifting toward in recent years.

Healthy skeptic

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