Daily Archives: February 10, 2012

Understanding the pro-caps

I’ve been writing about dolphin captivity and the Georgia Aquarium for around a year now.  It probably seems longer to you.

As a thank you, I thought I’d try to bring you something fresh, something I haven’t reworked half a dozen times.  It’s not as if I mean to.  It’s just a knack I have, this repeating myself thing.  But, in my attempt to reverse that repetitive trend, and give you, dear reader, a new thought, I’ve being doing some thinking, some research, some interviewing.

You’ve written papers before.  Done your research.  You’ve done the assembling of articles and the reading, highlighting, cataloging, indexing and cross-indexing, tabbing in color schemes, getting excited about manila folders and your project outline notebook.  Some of you may not be the word nerd that I am (yes, I’m just a dilettante in the word nerd department; you don’t have to be mean), but lots of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Most of the time in that process, you just feel like a robot.  Or at least I do.  I feel mostly not up to the task of actually taking the miles and piles of information in  front of me, and distilling it into even one coherent thought, much less a thesis, with supporting evidence.  But there’s nothing to do but to, zombie-like, put my arms straight out in front of me and walk stiff-legged and slow, one article at a time.

But then.

Then comes the breakthrough.

That moment when you find the one nugget.  The one paragraph on one page in one article that acts like a thought sink, and other facts rush in to support that one idea.

Well, I had a moment like that today.  When I found a piece of evidence about the captivity industry that will probably shake you off your foundation.  Well, if you’re like me.  Trying to understand the other’s view in the world of dolphin captivity is something that I can’t say I’ve been truly interested in.  I didn’t really want to understand the perspective of someone who wants to keep dolphins and whales in a small concrete tank and who wants (or, more accurately, needs) to convince people that there is any aspect of that that is not despicable.  I just think they’re too clueless or blinded by the dollar signs to bother with truly trying to engage and understand.  Quite frankly.

But then.

The breakthrough.

I’ll never feel that they are shallow again.  Here is what I found, tucked into a design portfolio of aquarium drawings, clearly a hearkening back to earlier days of the project when brainstorming was the order of the day:

Georgia Aquarium marketing plan back of the envelope

Super Top Secret Plan for Successful Aquarium

Nope.  Not shallow.

Folks, that basin is dry as a bone.  And it’s just as horrid in there as I imagined.  Nope.  No interest in going there.

C’mon, pro-caps.  Have a sense of humor.

And sign a pledge, Just Say No to the Dolphin Show.