Monday, June 16, 2014

Unsafe Rock Area, and Unspeakable Sadness

Photo by Mrs. Geotripper
A bit of whimsy, but also a moment of unspeakable sadness. I was in Southern California for family matters, and we nailed a campsite, the last one available, at Doheny State Beach near Dana Point. Of course, I was looking at the rather fascinating geology exposed in the cliffs, but I was on the lookout for new bird species as well. I was photographing a Blue Heron along the San Juan Creek estuary when a disturbing thing happened nearby.

Boys were throwing rocks at something, though what it was did not register with me right away. When I heard one of them say "well, you got it, now you gotta deal with it", I started paying closer attention. I realized they had injured a large seabird, which I learned later was a Caspian Tern. The boys lost interest and rushed off before I could confront them (and I was pretty angry). It was unable to walk or move.

How can you explain the stupidity of people? I mean, sure, they're teenagers and that explains much, but how do you explain the cruelty that causes kids to throw rocks at birds until they injure it, stare at it for awhile, and then wander off and go swimming in the surf? It's not enough to say "boys will be boys". That's what they say about rape, too. There's something pathological here.
This isn't a rant about "what's wrong with kids today?". It's about the coarseness of a society that regards killing as a casual thing, whether it's in movies, video games, at the end of a trophy hunter's rifle, or a drone indiscriminately destroying people at a wedding who have been labeled as terrorists. It's a society that has had so many school shootings that most of them barely make the news anymore. It just made me sick.

I contacted the park authorities, and someone eventually came and took the bird to animal control, hopefully to be healed. As to what is needed in our society? I have no idea.
Photo by Mrs. Geotripper

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