This past week there were a couple of incidents that viewed independently appear to be random, inexplicable acts of stupidity/cruelty. Viewed in tandem they raise some interesting questions about priorities and values.

The first was a YouTube video of a young girl standing on a remote riverbed tossing a half dozen puppies into the fast moving water. She turns out to have been a minor, from Bosnia, who was told by her grandmother to get rid of the three-day-old pups by throwing them in the nearby river. Why anyone who carried out such a task would be stupid enough to a) videotape the incident and b) post the video on YouTube is beyond me, but she did.

Of course, wantonly killing innocent puppies isn’t something that I would do. But the fact is that there are thousands of unwanted animals born every day. Hell, there are hundreds of unwanted human babies exterminated every day. So I’m not going to come out and call the girl a monster. What she did was stupid and arguably cruel. Monstrous though? Different cultures have different mores and views toward how animals should be treated. That might be the only way they know how to deal with unwanted pets in Bosnia for all I know.

If she took them to a vet and had them put down they’d be just as dead. The fact she was able to casually toss them in a river just tells me she doesn’t give a shit about dogs and if her Grandmother tells her to toss a litter of them into the river she’ll do it.

Now understandably a whole bunch of people were outraged. Almost instantly animal rights groups mobilized to identify her – launching Facebook pages dedicated to the task and posting rewards for anyone who could identify her. Director Michael Bay stepped in and pledged a $50,000 reward for her prosecution. All the attention and furor paid off as the girl was identified today.

It goes to show that an Internet community can really get results when an incident pushes the right buttons.

In other news, twenty-eight year old human female Bethany Storro was innocently minding her own business on a public street during broad daylight in Vancouver, Washington when an as yet unidentified female walked up and threw a strong acid into her face. Luckily, she had just purchased and was wearing a new pair of sunglasses which helped spare her eyesight. Bethany will probably have to undergo multiple surgeries and likely will bear the scars of the attack for the rest of her life.

The initial round of stories only described her assailant as a “young female”. It took a day or two for a full description “black woman in her 20s who was wearing a ponytail, green shirt and khaki shorts” to appear. Many stories still leave out that seemingly relevant information. Today, a sketch has been released.

I don’t know why a news organization would omit very relevant information like a suspect’s description, but I’d hate to think the fact it was a black suspect attacking a non-black victim caused some editors to hold back information that could help lead to an arrest.

Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is that unlike puppy girl no one has come forward and offered big reward money for information leading to the arrest of someone who maliciously and knowingly tortured and disfigured a human female in broad daylight on a busy street.

For some reason that strikes me as a case of very misplaced priorities. I don’t condone animal abuse, but disposing of unwanted puppies in an admittedly shocking and unorthodox manner in Bosnia is far less worthy of Internet sleuthing than random, disfiguring attacks on women in the US. Bethany’s plight has drawn enough attention that we can be sure the local and state police will do all the can to find the suspect, but a $50,000 reward just might help convince someone to rat out the miserable acid-throwing bitch.

Misadventures in labeling
A Confluence Of Effluence