PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

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Dr. Medulla
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PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

Post by Dr. Medulla » 09 Apr 2009, 9:49am

Given that renaming fish as sea kittens was so inspired, what else is PETA up to …?

Pet Shop Boys asked to change their name by PETA
How far would you go for charity? It used to be considered gallant to sit in a bath of baked beans to raise money, but Pet Shop Boys have been asked to go one step further. Animal rights group Peta have approached them, requesting that the band change their name to the Rescue Shelter Boys, as a protest against the cruel conditions of many pet shops.

"Dear Neil and Chris," begins the letter from Peta Europe, "You have many loyal fans of the Pet Shop Boys here at Peta. We have a request that may at first seem bizarre, but we hope that after considering the following facts, you will understand why we are asking this of you: will you please consider changing your name from the Pet Shop Boys to the Rescue Shelter Boys?" Well, it certainly makes those baked beans seem insignificant.

According to Peta representative Yvonne Taylor, the cuddly image of the pet shop is one that belies the often terrible conditions dogs, cats and even hamsters have to suffer while living in them. "With an emphasis on quantity rather than quality," Taylor writes, "unmonitored genetic defects and personality disorders pass from one generation of puppies and kittens to the next. Many animals end up with abnormalities that result in both heartbreak and high veterinary bills for the unsuspecting people who buy them."

The letter, posted on Pet Shop Boys' website, continues to paint a thoroughly bleak picture of the reality of pet shops before cunningly suggesting that "agreeing to change your name to the Rescue Shelter Boys, you would help raise awareness about the cruelty involved in the pet trade and encourage your millions of fans to consider giving a home to an abandoned or unwanted animal from an animal shelter. So, what do you say?"

Sadly, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe could not comply with Peta's request. But according to a post on their website, they do think the request "raises an issue worth thinking about".
How many people do they dissuade by their ridiculous ideas? We can probably all agree that what happens in pet stores is actually pretty hideous, but PETA consistently manages to make sensible positions seem the domain of the flaky.
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Re: PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

Post by BostonBeaneater » 09 Apr 2009, 10:06am

PETA is a classic case of being a detriment to your own cause. I feel the same way about many of the marijuana legalization people. The trick is to be somewhat subtle and convince people that your idea is good. If you look and act like a nutcase, well...
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Re: PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

Post by Flex » 09 Apr 2009, 10:09am

BostonBeaneater wrote:PETA is a classic case of being a detriment to your own cause. I feel the same way about many of the marijuana legalization people. The trick is to be somewhat subtle and convince people that your idea is good. If you look and act like a nutcase, well...
Definitely. If you're not gonna treat seriously your own cause you're advocating, why should anyone else?
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Re: PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

Post by Wolter » 09 Apr 2009, 10:14am

Flex wrote:
BostonBeaneater wrote:PETA is a classic case of being a detriment to your own cause. I feel the same way about many of the marijuana legalization people. The trick is to be somewhat subtle and convince people that your idea is good. If you look and act like a nutcase, well...
Definitely. If you're not gonna treat seriously your own cause you're advocating, why should anyone else?
Yeah. I just got into a discussion amongst the members of the Cubs blog I occasionally post at about the fact that, like it or not, the marijuana legalization groups NEED a soft-spoken white man in a suit to be taken seriously. And they need to shut the fucking stoner hippies up.
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Re: PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

Post by Still216 » 09 Apr 2009, 10:15am

BostonBeaneater wrote:PETA is a classic case of being a detriment to your own cause. I feel the same way about many of the marijuana legalization people. The trick is to be somewhat subtle and convince people that your idea is good. If you look and act like a nutcase, well...
The marijuana legalization people are the greatest argument for the continued criminalization of it. Something I read once that stuck with me, I think it was in Jon Savage's book England's Dreaming: "The hippies had no media awareness, but Punks did". The modern-day hippies have no fucking idea how moronic they look to people who aren't enlightened to their POV of burning themselves out and dropping out of civilization, and then putting a NORML bumper sticker on their SUV like it's doing anything to help people who are in prison for minor drug offenses.

In short, legalize pot, but ban hippies.
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Re: PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

Post by Flex » 09 Apr 2009, 10:21am

Still216 wrote:In short, legalize pot, but ban hippies.
Now here's some public policy I can get behind!
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Re: PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

Post by Dr. Medulla » 09 Apr 2009, 10:23am

The Green Party is another group that needs better PR. A couple elections ago, our riding's Green candidate looked like he never bathed, wore hemp clothing, and ate nothing but pine cones. Shit, man, that's great if you want to live that way, but if you want to go beyond people already in your camp, try not to look like a fucking stereotype to those on the fence or, especially, are leaning a bit against you. If you look fringe, the mainstream will treat you as fringe. It's a sad fact, perhaps, about how shallow we are and driven by appearances, but if you want to accomplish something, work with your target, not against it.

edit: Just remembered another weird campaign. Don't know if they still do it, but the Gay and Lesbian campus organization at the University of Saskatchewan used to designate Valentine's Day as Blue Jeans Day. If you supported homosexual rights, you were supposed to wear blue jeans that day. However, blue jeans weren't exactly an unusual fashion choice, so it was impossible to determine why someone was wearing jeans that day—for political reasons or just basic fashion choice? However, people from the more conservative colleges—agriculture and engineering—were almost guaranteed to not wear jeans on that day. If the point of the day was actually to single out the kneejerk bigots, it wasn't that bad an idea, but otherwise it was a pointless exercise.
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Re: PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

Post by Spiff » 09 Apr 2009, 12:19pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:it was a pointless exercise.
So true, and so sad ... especially since what was really needed was a futile gesture.
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Re: PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

Post by eumaas » 09 Apr 2009, 12:20pm

I have the same issue with New Age Buddhists, teen anarchists, and nerdy market anarchists.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

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Re: PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

Post by Dr. Medulla » 09 Apr 2009, 12:30pm

Spiff wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:it was a pointless exercise.
So true, and so sad ... especially since what was really needed was a futile gesture.
Like kidnapping all the agros and engineers, packing them in a semi trailer and abandoning them on an island on a northern Saskatchewan lake?
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Re: PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

Post by Flex » 09 Apr 2009, 12:33pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:edit: Just remembered another weird campaign. Don't know if they still do it, but the Gay and Lesbian campus organization at the University of Saskatchewan used to designate Valentine's Day as Blue Jeans Day. If you supported homosexual rights, you were supposed to wear blue jeans that day. However, blue jeans weren't exactly an unusual fashion choice, so it was impossible to determine why someone was wearing jeans that day—for political reasons or just basic fashion choice? However, people from the more conservative colleges—agriculture and engineering—were almost guaranteed to not wear jeans on that day. If the point of the day was actually to single out the kneejerk bigots, it wasn't that bad an idea, but otherwise it was a pointless exercise.
From the sound of it, that had to be the point. Sometimes it's effective to illustrate to folks that might not be super tuned in just how many bigoted scumbags are actually out there.
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Re: PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

Post by Dr. Medulla » 09 Apr 2009, 12:39pm

Flex wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:edit: Just remembered another weird campaign. Don't know if they still do it, but the Gay and Lesbian campus organization at the University of Saskatchewan used to designate Valentine's Day as Blue Jeans Day. If you supported homosexual rights, you were supposed to wear blue jeans that day. However, blue jeans weren't exactly an unusual fashion choice, so it was impossible to determine why someone was wearing jeans that day—for political reasons or just basic fashion choice? However, people from the more conservative colleges—agriculture and engineering—were almost guaranteed to not wear jeans on that day. If the point of the day was actually to single out the kneejerk bigots, it wasn't that bad an idea, but otherwise it was a pointless exercise.
From the sound of it, that had to be the point. Sometimes it's effective to illustrate to folks that might not be super tuned in just how many bigoted scumbags are actually out there.
Unfortunately, I don't think it was. The GLUS people were rather humourless and overly earnest when I was a student, and it didn't seem like they were working a smarter angle. Still, it was funny to see all the agros, who normally wore super tight Wranglers and cowboys shirts, suddenly show up in "going to court" suits just for that day. Ain't nobody gonna think they was faggots …
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Re: PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

Post by eumaas » 09 Apr 2009, 12:40pm

I'm friends with some PETA people. They're really not that bad usually and there are some moderates in the organization. A lot of them support the ALF, though.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

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Re: PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

Post by Flex » 09 Apr 2009, 1:00pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:Unfortunately, I don't think it was. The GLUS people were rather humourless and overly earnest when I was a student, and it didn't seem like they were working a smarter angle. Still, it was funny to see all the agros, who normally wore super tight Wranglers and cowboys shirts, suddenly show up in "going to court" suits just for that day. Ain't nobody gonna think they was faggots …
Here's the wikipedia article on the event: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_Blue_Jeans_Day

And from the wiki, a link to a marketer's analysis of the event: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog ... jeans.html

Eh, I see some value in this kind of thing. Effectiveness probably varies quite a bit, but I'd say this is a cut above asking the Pet Shop Boys to change their name.
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Re: PETA's great ideas keep a-rollin'

Post by Flex » 09 Apr 2009, 1:02pm

eumaas wrote:I'm friends with some PETA people. They're really not that bad usually and there are some moderates in the organization. A lot of them support the ALF, though.
I support Alf too:
Image

(P.S. I don't support the Animal Liberation Front so much, tho.

I'm neutral on the American Liver Foundation.)
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