[Cross-posted at Orcinus].
They held a nice protest out in front of SeaWorld Florida in Orlando on Saturday, and some uninvited guests showed up. Actually, they apparently were invited -- by someone associated with SeaWorld.
"Support Social Communism" the signs read. They featured both a Russian hammer and sickle and a Chinese star. Or something like that.
The invitations came with paychecks to go stand among the protesters with signs that would at once make the protesters look bad and simultaneously express the company's opinion of the dirty hippies marching out front.
Soooo .... does anyone know exactly what "Social Communism" is? Ever hear of it? Me neither.
And neither, apparently, had the people carrying the signs. Lincoln O'Barry, writing over at his dad's Dolphin Project website, and one of the people protesting, asked the guy carrying the sign if he actually knew of any communists:
When Dolphin Project spoke with one of them, the unnamed Communist admitted to “just doing this as a job to make so extra money.” When we asked him to actually name a communist, he “couldn’t.”
We also noted that the pre-made sign he was holding was manufactured in Texas. When we suggested that this might ”not look good to some,” should he try to get a job or decide to run for office in 10 years, he began to hide.
Hey, if I had worn black socks with shorts in public, I would try to hide too.
Mind you, the sign carriers never openly admitted to being paid by SeaWorld to stand there with those signs. But who else would do that -- with prefabricated signs made in Texas, no less? Certainly the other protesters had their opinion about whose work the "Social Communists" were engaging.
So, let's check the scoreboard on SeaWorld's continuing attempts to push back against the "Blackfish Effect," the rising tide of anger over the clearing understanding that orca and dolphin captivity constitutes animal cruelty.
-- The response website, "The Truth About Blackfish": Epic fail.
-- The proposal to make their sterile pools bigger: Epic fail.
-- The "Ask SeaWorld" Twitter campaign to change their image. Epic, hilarious, profoundly embarrassing fail.
-- Their attempts to push back against ex-trainer John Hargrove with a cheap video smear: Epic and disgusting fail that makes them appear stupidly evil.
I think I'm detecting a pattern here.
Now SeaWorld and its defenders are making clear that the fight over orca and dolphin captivity is becoming your classic Culture War battleground. They're casting their critics into the same basket as LGBT and civil-rights defenders and themselves upon the same pedestal as the geniuses who run Indiana.
Yeah, that should do wonders for their stock price.