Friday, March 28, 2014

Celebrity Apartheid Week: The Seventh Seal

See what I did there?

Ellen DeGeneres sold her famous Oscars group self-photo (selfies, as those crazy kids call them) and gave the proceeds to the Humane Society which has taken a harsh stance against Inuit seal hunting.

Not content to let a sheltered white liberal define them through the 'noble savage' prism, the Inuit of Canada's North have shot back with SEALfies:

Canadian Inuit are taking on Ellen DeGeneres’ famous selfie photo from the Oscars after the celebrity gave some of the money raised from the star-studded pic to a group that fights seal hunting.

DeGeneres donated $1.5-million of the money raised by the photo to the Humane Society of the United States, one of the loudest voices against the seal hunt.

In response, Inuit from across Nunavut are using social media sites to post “sealfies” — pictures of themselves wearing sealskin clothes, standing beside freshly killed seals or looking forward to enjoying a tasty seal meal.

One could have a discussion on the sustainability of any lifestyle, modern or not, but that is not the issue. The issue is the insularity of a celebrity who thinks he or she speaks with authority. I'll wager Miss DeGeneres had not been to Canada's North. I will also wager she does not know how hunting of seals or otherwise is how people feed and clothe themselves. It wouldn't be the first time a Hollywood celebrity made assumptions about the life of the little people who watch their movies and it won't be the last. Had Miss DeGeneres done five minutes of intellectual effort, she would know that hunting is how many people live, that animals are killed as quickly as possible and that people don't take kindly to someone way outside their sphere casting aspersions on them. But knowing breaks down barriers and when one has a stake in an ideological position, those barriers had better stay up. It's embarrassing otherwise.

That, surprisingly, is not good enough for the Inuit but good enough for people who don't live as they do.

It's a good thing the latter don't live where the Inuit do.

Happy hunting.

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