November 4, 2012

"A rising tide of outrage is forming after pictures emerged of a 20-year-old diver who dragged a giant Pacific octopus from its watery home..."

"... and then killed and ate it for his friends art project."
[Dylan Mayer] now is in the position of having to justify to the diving community why he hunted the gentle and intelligent animal....
'I eat it for meat. It's no different than fishing. It's just a different animal,' said Mayer...
So what is it — meat or art? Let's not overdo the denunciations. Portraying him as an artist....

ADDED: Octopus art should relate to "The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife."

50 comments:

Mitchell the Bat said...

I think maybe it would count as performance art if he kept it alive and wore it as a codpiece.

Erika said...

We're not allowed to eat gentle and intelligent animals.

rhhardin said...

It's all dark meat.

Erika said...

Indeed, Mayer told Komo News that he has now been banned from several diver shops in the Seattle area because of the octopus hunt.

Ain't no fascists like Seattle fascists. Trust me, I grew up there.

Maguro said...

Hope that none of those sensitive souls ever go to a Detroit Red Wings game, should the NHL ever start playing again.

kcom said...

Octopus is very prominent on the menu in Mexico. I'm sure they eat it by the ton. I've had it in Phoenix, too. Those people might want to look around before blaming one guy for eating one octopus.

tiger said...

If 'everything' is art then can it be that 'nothing' is art?

This is little more than fishing for seafood rather than some pretentious, bullshiate 'art' installation.

At least it's better than a photo of a bullwhip inserted 'rectelly'(sp)

chickelit said...

Fleisch für die Kunst

EDH said...

They're all suckers for a pretty tentacle.

Big Mike said...

I've eaten octopus in the Mediterranean countries. And if we're not supposed to kill and eat large, gentle creatures then there goes my hamburger.

BarryD said...

How is eating something that is common fare in most coastal regions throughout the world, "art"?

Cultural chauvinism at its most extreme.

J Scott said...

Here in Boston we get octopus all the time at various venues. Not sure what the fuss is all about.

Phil 3:14 said...

Like the word racist, the word "art" has been drained of all meaning.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

He said that his dream of becoming a rescue-diver is in jeopardy because he has been banned from several diving schools because of his actions.

Actions have consequences. Like it or not.

As an aspiring diver, who would be putting himself and others into precarious situations, his total lack of respect and his showboating attitude make him a very very poor candidate for a serious occupation.

Octopus is very prominent on the menu in Mexico

Yes it is and I have eaten octopus. It really isn't all that great. Tough and rubbery. HOWEVER, the edible versions in Mexican cuisine are usually smaller, juveniles of the species, not mature breeding individuals.

As to ART. He is as much an artist as I am when I shoot a goose or catch a bass to eat. My grandmother must have been a great artist because she chopped the heads off of many chickens for stew.

Panachronic said...

Read your own post, Althouse. The diver isn't the artist; his friend is an artist. The diver is the hunter.

The Seattle Times story emphasizes that the kill was 100% legal in every way.

Unfortunately, Seattle's famous liberal "tolerance" has kicked in. It's too bad for the diver he isn't an Asian refugee who was gathering ingredients for a gay wedding feast. Then everything would be all coolio and stuff.

Sam Hall said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yes it is and I have eaten octopus. It really isn't all that great. Tough and rubbery.

The way I learned to cook it when I lived in Samoa is to freeze it first, that helps break it up. Then boil it until tender, then transfer to a pan and fry in the sauce of your choice.

Paddy O said...

communities have rules for participation.

I don't see the reason for the backlash. It's legal, that's fine. But it's not accepted. So, the community enforces its standards, the government stays out of it.

Giant octopus is, apparently, in the moral category of dolphin, sea lion, otter, or other aquatic mammal. Not many other non-mammals in that category of moral protection.

Shame is the non-governmental way of enforcing community ethos. Don't like that ethos, that's fine. It's still legal to do the act, but it's also legal to not be liked.

David said...

Octopus was on the menu where I ate last night and it was delicious.

But it was a small octopus, perhaps a merely a "blob" in the moral calculus of octopus hunting.

I love it when lefties get dizzy and protective over the gentle and helpless.

edutcher said...

Calling it art is what makes this ridiculous.

Goju said...

You don't have to go to Seattle to run into this kind of moral arrogance. Just keep a couple of Brook Trout from a N. wISC. stream. Or worse, keep a largemouth bass.

Marshal said...

"Gentle" animal? I've seen Octopi eat sharks. Have the nuts redefined "gentle" to mean "anything we think we have a shot at shaming someone into not eating"?

BarryD said...

"But it's not accepted."

By the White Hipster community in Seattle...

Not necessarily the whole community, particularly the non-white community. How many of Seattle's substantial Asian population gave a crap?

BarryD said...

BTW I wouldn't have done it, nor do I think eating seafood is art. But "community opinion" is almost always BS.

Jason said...

Mmmm. Tako Poki.

john said...

He also reportedly punched a porcupine. Are we going to continue to allow this outrageous behavior from him? What's next?

Paddy O said...

"particularly the non-white community. How many of Seattle's substantial Asian population gave a crap?"

So, white people can't have communities of their own? Everything white people do must be judged by the moral benchmark of non-white communities?

I suspect those Asian populations have their own standards and guidelines that the white community doesn't give a crap about.

Presumably, the man in question, however is white and not Asian.

And white hipsters, despite our moral outrage against them, can define for themselves what they think is important and freely choose to associate or not associate with people based on those standards.

Paddy O said...

Community opinion is rarely BS, as it is the opinions of our actual community that allows us to maintain order and decorum and interaction without insisting the government be an overarching authority in every instance.

Most community opinion, of course, is so ingrained in what we see as common sense, that we wouldn't think of it as inviting any sort of disagreement.

BarryD said...

Samples of past community opinion...

Witch burning, lynching, extermination of Jews, gypsies, etc., beating up homosexuals, racial segregation, obligatory dueling...

One refuge of the scoundrel is collective "opinion". If a number of Seattle divers don't approve, they are welcome to hold that opinion and act on it, as individuals.

Hiding behind the "community" has scary results, however, and is incompatible with liberty or justice -- even when you are "right" about something.

Hagar said...

And that was just an octopus.

"Giant octopus" is quite another species that most likely would have eaten the diver, if he had been able to get down to the depths where they live.

Isn't there a common Italian dish that translates as "octopus something?"

Zach said...

Killing gamefish can be very controversial among people who make their living guiding or observing the live animal. Try telling a trout guide that you want to take a trophy home for dinner and see how far you get.

A giant octopus isn't even a gamefish, really. It's a tourism fish. People travel from out of state to see them in the wild. So, yeah, harvesting one without a good reason is probably going to get people mad at you.

SGT Ted said...

They serve octopus in sushi restaurants. PC Liberals are idiots.

bagoh20 said...

It's on the menus of at least half the restaurants in L.A., and most other west coast cities. That one creature is a drop in the ocean of Octopus death, even if you only count the very small fraction killed by humans. Many of us have lost all perspective about what our lifestyles really involve, and what nature is almost entirely about: reproduction, death and consumption. I think unless you are a vegan you got no right to bitch about this. I'm a hypocrite myself, because I love octopus meat, but I would not kill one, and would have probably stopped him, so I have no right to judge.

Methadras said...

Shit, if a white guy can't hunt down and eat an octopus in this display of utter outrage, then I wonder what sort of incensed rage leftards feel whenever the japanese fishing fleets go on their hunts.

PETER V. BELLA said...

oods

Ann Althouse said...

"Read your own post, Althouse. The diver isn't the artist; his friend is an artist. The diver is the hunter."

Seems to me if you are doing something "for" an art project you are a participant in the project.

Ann Althouse said...

I just think if you're going to say it was for an art project, you ought to explain what the art project was.

Eustace Chilke said...

Phil 3:14 said...
Like the word racist, the word "art" has been drained of all meaning.

Art got drained first.

What was drained could be revived. So many important words have been desicated that there is much valuable salvage work to be done. I do a little work along these lines when I find the chance. It's amusing if nothing else.

mtrobertsattorney said...

This should come as no surprise. When there is no accepted definition of the word "art" coupled with a movement to "democratize" art, this is what you get. In our high brow culture today, "art" is defined as ...(just fill in the blank).

mtrobertsattorney said...

This should come as no surprise. When there is no accepted definition of the word "art" coupled with a movement to "democratize" art, this is what you get. In our high brow culture today, "art" is defined as ...(just fill in the blank).

wyo sis said...

Slaughterhouses just became art galleries?

Steven said...

Is this the typical manner of hunting an octopus? I refuse to eat them, but I also wouldn't rule someone else out of polite society for doing so.

When my relatives go deer hunting, though, the goal isn't just to kill it, it's to kill it quickly. The point is to fill the freezer, not to torture an animal. I guess it's standard to let fish suffocate in the air, but fish are less developed neurologically than octopodes; it seems to me that someone hunting an octopus should be able to kill it quickly in the water rather than pull it out and let it suffocate to death in a buoyancy-free environment.

bagoh20 said...

"...you ought to explain what the art project was."

That's part of the artist's expression: his not explaining. The outrage, this blog post, all the comments and the sandwich I'm eating are all part of his project, dontcha know.

Maguro said...

Octopus sashimi is good, but you should try takoyaki too, if you get the chance to visit Japan. Highly recommended.

Rebecca said...

Apparently, the guy took a breeding female that was taking care of eggs. So he not only killed the octopus but also her eggs because without her tending them they will die. He also decided to brag about the killing and got pissy when people called him on it. Frankly, the private dive shop owners have ever right to refuse him service. Serves him right for acting like a putz.

creeley23 said...

The octopus is an intelligent, curious creature.

A couple years ago an octopus in the Santa Monica aquarium was fooling around with the recycling unit in its tank and inadvertently disassembled the recycler. Employees came to work the next day and discovered two hundred gallons of water spilled out onto the floor.

In Indonesia there are octopuses who stack coconut shells discarded by humans and use them as portable armor against predators.

Steven @1:55 gets it right:

...it seems to me that someone hunting an octopus should be able to kill it quickly in the water rather than pull it out and let it suffocate to death in a buoyancy-free environment.

Eliaj said...

This octopus was known to the dive community; often fed by the divers it was friendly and responsive to humans. This 'hunter' basically 'hunted' a tamed swan in a public park. The guy reminds me of the 'hunter' that shot our neighbors pet deer; so tamed it would nuzzle your pockets looking for treats. When a creature comes to you in trust, it's not a hunt and he's not a hunter.

Carnifex said...

@Eliaj

If your friends did not actually have the deer penned up to protect it from hunters then they did the deer no favors by teaching it people are sources of food. Was the animal penned? If so, boo on the shooter. If not, boo on your friends.

Octopi and squid are very smart and curious creatures that have the disadvantage of not being at the top of the food chain. It's good to be the king, baby!

For any other intelligent but tasty critters out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together. But to be the man, you got to beat the man.

(Hey! I'm just Darwinowing here!)

William said...

I'm not sure of the difference between squid and octopi. At any rate, fried calamari is not such an exotic dish. It's sort of like fish flavored chewing gum.....I have only just now become aware that an octopus is a gentle, intelligent creature. They always seemed to me to be needy and insistent what with their hands out all the time.

Largo said...

@Rebecca,

Why does it appear to you that "the guy took a breeding female that was taking care of eggs"?

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