Summary 1: Elderly Animals
It seems counterintuitive to believe that an animal is able to (and should be able to) control their own destiny. Domesticated animals (meaning, animals cared for by people) in particular provide us with a seriously detached portrayal of the human heart. This definitely seems counterintuitive, considering the only job a human has once taking in an animal is to love and care for them. But what happens when the animal becomes old? Well, if the animal wasn’t domesticated, not much. Life just kind of happens. Maybe the animal becomes weak and collapses. Maybe it becomes food for another animal. One thing is for certain: the animal will instinctually never give up, meaning the desire to live is always ever present. We can observe this for ourselves if we watch any nature documentary. Observing elderly animals in a domestic setting can make this seem like a sad reality. Isa Leshko, an American Photographer from New Jersey, helps bring the animal’s reality into our imagination through her piece “Elderly Animals”. Spending time at her relatives farm, the situation the animal’s find themselves in can be heartbreaking to witness. There is an old sheep, grey with dirt and with open lesions all along it’s legs. It’s eyes look as if they have been out of service for years, “glistening” yellow with mucus. The sheep hobbles from spot to spot within it’s enclosure, too weak to stay up for more than a few feet. Its back leg hitches differently with every step. There is a rooster, who looks like something created in a CGI crossover between The Walking Dead and Back at the Barnyard. The rooster took what I thought I knew about the “brink of death” and pushed it even further. It sat there, perched in it’s coop with a wing of bones. The feathers and skin surrounding it’s right wing had deteriorated completely, to the point where this bird was actually part skeleton. Comparing the condition of the sheep, for example, to an old man, unable to walk and on his death bed, I start to feel guilty. The old man, for example, will suffer. He will lay there in his hospital bed, defecating and urinating all over himself, coughing up mucus and blood, and dealing with the thought that this is all coming to an end. And at the same time, he may be in the comfort of his entire family. He may have flowers and cards coming in the mail from people states away. He gets to spend the last few days of his life basking in all that he helped create. And in the end, he calls his own shot. He will inevitably decide when he wants to die. Whether it’s him accepting the light when it comes upon him, or if it is some kind of “pull the plug” scenario, in any case where he is conscious, he is in control of his own destiny. The sheep, on the other hand, will one day wander out back with it’s caregiver, and take a bullet to the head. To know what is going on inside the mind of an animal is almost impossible. We can pick up on some emotions, or so we think, based on the body language of the animal. We have proven that we are more intelligent than a sheep, for example. But what we fail to recognize is that this doesn’t completely rule out the possibility for thought, or decisions. If we cannot decide when it is time for another person to stop living, then why do we make the choice for the animal? We observe animals fight for their lives in literally every ecosystem and environment on this earth. If it is their instinct to push on in the face of death, just as the rooster and the sheep do in Leshko’s collection, then how can we justify being their grim reaper?
Summary 2- Mormons Baptize Anne Frank
It may seem counterintuitive to Mormons to advocate against the widespread growth of their church, but that is exactly what should be done. Unbeknownst to much of the public, the Mormon Church has quietly been baptizing dead people of other religion’s into their Church. Since the Holocaust, the Mormons have been “recruiting” prominent Jews who fell victim to the events to their church without them even knowing. Jewish people of Mormon descent have been claimed by the church posthumously, for what could only seem like embarrassing attempts at growing the church’s brand and adding one more member. There is, perhaps, no more popular Jew in the history of the Earth (outside the Bible) than Anne Frank. The teenage Holocaust victim, whose diary shared with us all of the nooks and crannies of what living in hiding was like during World War II, has been baptized by a Mormon Church in the Dominican Republic in 2012, even though she passed away some 67 years before the ceremony took place. Jewish leaders and Mormon officials have discussed this problem multiple times in the past, but the practice remains. What makes this even more hideous is that it breaks even the laws the Mormons had set on their own ridiculous practice in the first place! Anne Frank had no lineage. She died at age 15. There are no Mormons coming from Anne Frank’s lineage. This should seriously make Mormon’s question their faith. What even is a religion to someone that never even believed in it? Isn’t faith about belief? Anne Frank was a devout Jew. To even associate her with a completely different faith altogether is disrespectful. To do so to anybody is insulting. This is the kind of thing that would make me step away from the institution I am a member of altogether. Stealing people and claiming they believed what you preach so that your ideas can become more widespread? Despicable. Religion in and of itself is becoming harder and harder to understand. Faith however, is forever. It is something we should never lose. But the more I see things like this, the more I question why people bother with institutions at all.
Summary 3: Pizza Hut at the Pyramids
It might seem counterintuitive to have two of the most popular American fast food chains within walking distance of one of the most visited tourist attractions by Americans in the world, but it’s not. It’s just simply smart business. If you’ve ever met anybody from Egypt, you will know just how passionate they are about where they are from. And with good reason. Egypt has it all. One of the richest cultures in the entire world, with roots connecting back to biblical times as well as the polytheistic cultures of Egypt’s past. This, coupled with the beautiful monuments left behind by said ancient Egyptians and the luscious countryside surrounding the Nile, make Egypt a huge tourist destination. And the United States is a huge provider of these tourists. The United States is obviously a very powerful and imposing country, because of it’s diverse population and its global outreach. The diverse population comes from a steady influx of immigrants from all parts of the world, giving us a versatile culture based off of people from all continents and corners of the world. The US is actually home to the most Egyptians in the world outside of the Middle East and Africa. This results in more travel to and from the country, whether it to visit home, or go sight-seeing. With more American travel dollars going into the Egyptian economy, it isn’t outrageous to think American Corporations like Pizza Hut and KFC didn’t realize there was an obvious opportunity to be had here. Of course, tourists did not go to Egypt to get a bucket of chicken. They’ll try the local food immediately, and try it again. But at some point, that tourist is going to be call it halftime on the whole Egyptian adventure, and settle down in his or her hotel room for a one night stand with some Pizza Hut.