Attack at Sea World

Dan Drezner writes for Foreign Policy that an apple needs to be called an apple, and a Killer Whale needs to be called what it really is: a terrorist.

Believing that this killer whale acted alone is a fool’s errand.  This is clearly a harbinger of future killer whale attacks … Negotiating with killer whales will accomplish nothing …

But I wonder why Drezner has not considered the conditions under which the animal’s trainers practically forced it to express frustration, which will necessarily be violent, according to the Frustration-Aggression hypothesis.

Really, the issue isn’t whether we can trust the whales, but whether we can trust ourselves. In general, our species-ist anthropomorphisms have only projected the shadows of our own self-image onto the cetacean subalterns. I mean, “Killer” whale? In an expiatory act of designation, we absolve ourselves from the shame of our own homicide, and repaint our canvas with a more celestial and metaphysical title: homo sapiens, “man the knower.” For, what crime can the mere beholder commit? The answer is clear: the hegemonizing of value-designation under the auspices of linguistic moralizing.


  • February 25, 2010


    I think the score should be Wandel 0 : Drezner 0 because you both are equally silly!

  • February 25, 2010

    Brian Brown

    Sea World’s website tells us this:

    “For more than 40 years, the Worlds of Discovery – better known as
    SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Discovery Cove – have initiated and supported
    wildlife conservation, research and education at home and around the world. Upon visiting a Worlds of Discovery park, many guests are inspired to help protect the animals they encounter and get involved with wildlife conservation.”

    Some spectators have called for the whale to be euthanized, comparing the situation to that of a dog that viciously bites its owner. But if Sea World’s conservation activities are any indication, what the spectators are really saying is that we should kill the whale…to save the whales.