Confessions of a hoarder

August 11th, 2014

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I have a confession to make, and this has nothing to do with sex or sexuality.  It has to do with another obsession, one that started in my childhood.  You might not know it to look at me, but I seem to be a hoarder of a sort.  I first began to realize this when I was preparing and cleaning up the trailer for a visit from my daughter a couple of months ago.  If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ll know I used to write for Harbor Style magazine, a local “slick” (so called because they are printed on coated paper for the best image reproduction).  Like any good writer, proud of his or her work, I kept copies of my articles both to show off my abilities as a writer and for future reference.   The articles were clipped from the magazine and filed by general subject.  At some point, I got behind on keeping up with this (procrastination), and the magazines began to accumulate in cardboard boxes, three or four scattered around the trailer.

I kept telling myself to sit down in front of the TV, turn on something mildly interesting and clip the rest of the goddamn articles, but it never got done.  Then, three years ago, the magazine dropped me due to advertisers’ protests, because I did an interview on “Bubba the Love Sponge” that was apparently heard by millions, if not zillions of people.  After that, I not only lost an income stream (one I could desperately use right now), but also any incentive to keep filing the articles that had accumulated.  They just sat in their cardboard boxes, cluttering up my trailer a little.

All that changed with my daughter’s impending visit.  I wish I could say I sprang into action and got the trailer spick and span, but I don’t seem to work that way any more.  I got it a little cleaned-up, removed the worst of the mess, and took the junk boxes of old magazines and threw them in the recycling.  I think I’d already gotten most of the articles out of them anyway, although perhaps not the multiple copies I’d like to have.

That was when I noticed the photographs.

I’ve been trying to make a living off my photographs for decades.  For a long while I aspired to be a “stock photographer,” that is, a freelance photographer who makes his or her living shooting pictures for stock agencies.  A stock agency is a repository for high-quality photographs that can be used commercially or editorially.  These can be photos of anything, but usually the subject is people doing something – playing tennis, counting money, driving a car, etc.  Since I seem to have innate problems dealing with people, or them with me, I have a deficit of people photos, and the ones I do have are usually casual snapshots of my family and friends, un-model-released, which do not qualify qualitatively or legally as stock photos.  (If you want to see some of the photos I have managed to place with a stock agency, you can do so here.)  Trying, I should add, unsuccessfully.  A few of my photos have sold through stock agencies, but most of them have sold through personal connections.  Just like in any other business, it’s not what you know, it’s who.  Or, as they say, who knows you.

When I had cleared out the boxes of magazines, I noticed the piles of photos, negatives and old 8mm. videotapes cluttering the trailer.  Some of my photos, particularly the slides (color transparencies), which were intended for stock, are filed by subject in hanging files.  The negatives, however, are a mess, and many of the prints have never been put in albums.  I literally had piles of negatives in plastic pages that were several inches high.  I could have sold them by the pound, had I wanted to.

As a result, at 63, I have a gross mess on my hands, one I don’t want to pass on to my daughter when I die.  I am trying to pair up the photos with the appropriate “proof sheets” (a proof sheet, for the uninitiated or young, being the negatives printed directly in strips onto a sheet of photo paper, without enlargement) so I can catalogue them in 3-ring notebooks.  At one time, it seems, I had them in notebooks, but I don’t know what became of them.

The impetus for this is a filmmaker, Kareem Tabsch, who wants to make a documentary about my experience with Dolly the dolphin.  He wants to be able to use some of the photos I shot, and used in the book, as visuals in his film, so I decided I needed to get them together for him.  The files, needless to say, are a mess. At one point, all the photos I had scanned and used in the book were in a single, over-long envelope, to accommodate the 9″ strips of 35mm negatives, but a couple of months ago I scrapped my oldest filing system, because the glassine pages were falling apart, and replaced the files with modern, plastic pages.  At some point in that process, I believe I moved all the “Wet Goddess” negatives out of the long envelope and back into plastic pages.  But which pages?  I am trying to correlate the filed negative pages with the proof sheets so Tabsch’s editor can see what he’s got to work with.  I THINK I’ve got all the negatives together, but I’m not altogether sure.  If not, where are they hiding?  I am working my way through a pile of old negatives to see if I can find any that might have been misplaced.  Needless to say this sloppiness on my part troubles me, and I hope my efforts pay off.  I’ll be filing these old negatives in another three-ring binder… as soon as I can afford to buy one. That would be Wednesday, when my next SS check comes in, but it’s going to be stretched very thin by the necessity of publishing Orgone Box, which will take up about half my payment, if not a little more.  I am probably looking at another usurious loan from Check-&-Go to make it through the month, but without credit, what other options do I have?

BTW, is anybody reading this blog?  My e-mail showed recently that about 100 new people had signed up for it, but I have no idea who any of them are.  Do search engines just go out and sweep up people on the Internet at random, or did a couple of classes of English majors just sign up?  If so, I’m honored.  Please drop me a line or make a comment.  Right now, I have no idea if anybody is reading these words or not.

 

Happiness, elusive

August 10th, 2014

Depression

Whoever “they” are, they say the secret to happiness is to think happy thoughts.  Good luck, I’m having lots of trouble with that right now.

This is nothing new for me.  It appears to be a chronic condition, because I remember frequently feeling depressed as a child and teenager.  I took the picture, above, when I was about 15 in an effort to try to express my feelings.  I felt like I was trapped, imprisoned, separated from the world by a sheet of glass.  I could see the rest of the world and the people in it enjoying themselves, but I couldn’t get out and join them.  Now, in my later years, retired, living on Social Security, I often feel that way again.

I don’t want to feel this way!  I try to tell myself to think about the good things I have right now, but the realities of my situation keep intruding.  I have a roof over my head, but it’s bug-eaten and parts of it leak.  I have a steady source of income, but it’s not much, and I am not going out and trying to supplement it by getting a “regular,” 9 to 5 job, because those have proven disastrous to me when I’m fired or forced to quit.  I do find the occasional odd job, and so far I’ve managed to make a little money and supplement my income somewhat with this self-employment.  The last one was drafting a letter for a woman trying to help her brother on Death Row in Missouri, believe it or not.  Going over the details of the case as they were provided to me, it was hard to see how the guy got convicted, but convict him the jury did.

At least I’m not in his place.  Something to be happy about, true?

I am only a few days away from the publication of my next book, Growing Up In The Orgone Box: Secrets Of A Reichian Childhood.  This should make me happy, but it doesn’t; having to shell out hundreds of dollars to publish my own work puts a severe strain on those Social Security checks, and the money from book sales comes back in a trickle.  Admittedly, it often shows up when most needed.  Money from sales of Wet Goddess has saved my ass several times now.

I’m hoping that publication of Orgone Box may relieve some of the psychological pressure on me.  I know publishing Wet Goddess did.  The need to tell that story was intense.  Has it made a difference?  Well, maybe to the 1,000 or so people who bought it, it did.  Friends of mine who bought the book and loaned it out never got their copies back. The book keeps getting borrowed by other, curious people and never makes it back to the original owner.  That’s what happened to my author’s proof copy.  I’ll never see it again.

My brother and sister will be celebrating their birthdays next month.  Both are changing decades, by brother turning 60 and my sister 70.  They invited me, and when I told them I couldn’t make it because I’m broke, they both chipped in the money for an airline ticket.  I’d love to go, and I’m going.  The down side for me is my old dog, Pixel, who turned 13 herself this month.  She’s a big dog, about 70 pounds, so that’s old for her.  You must understand, she’s a little more than a dog to me; for an all-too-brief time in 2003-2004, she was also my mate, and when she was in heat we had a lot of good sex.  I’m grateful to any female who will let me penetrate her.  Since I’m no longer friends with Cay, I face a challenge of how to care for Pixel when I’m gone for a week visiting my siblings.  A couple of my friends volunteered, but one of them pulled out (he’s a “cat person”) and I don’t trust the other one because he’s a chronic alcoholic, and I’ve already seen what they do when you put your trust in them.  It seems all too likely I would come back to find Pixel in bad shape, or even, at her age, dead.  So I’m going to have to put her in a kennel for a week, which is going to cost me $150 I don’t really have, especially only one month after publication, when I know I’ll be broke.

Is all this too much for you, dear reader?  I’m so sorry.  Go read somebody else’s blog, I’m sure you’ll find something happier there.  Maybe next time.

Summer whine

July 6th, 2014

I just try to do the right thing, but I feel like everything is slipping away from me.  Outside, the air is as thick as molasses, and hotter.  Inside, I sense impending doom.  Everything I love is being struck down by a great wave of ignorance and hatred washing over America.  The other day I went to get a haircut.  “All these kids from Central America, they just ought to stick ‘em on a plane and send them right back where they came from,” the barber said.  I wanted to throw up, and I practically walked out.  I’m sort of ashamed that I didn’t.  Send barefoot children back 1,000 miles to violence and starvation?   I wanted to say “What kind of selfish fuckwad are you?”  But I didn’t.  I just tried to make a joke out of it.  “Good thing the Indians didn’t feel that way, huh?” or something like that.  He didn’t find it funny.  Neither did I.

I feel like I’m in a fight every day, and I keep losing.  I am exhausted, compassion exhaustion.  There’s nothing left to work with any more.  Even words fail me.  Simple acts, like sorting an enormous pile of old negatives currently covering my kitchen counter, is an onerous chore, even though I have to do it.  Old pictures from happier times are spread all over the dining room table.  I have no albums in which to put them.  Time drizzles through my fingers like sand.  I’m not going to live forever.  I want to write, but this blog is the best I can do.  I feel desperate and trapped with no way out, and on top of it all I am profoundly lonely.  It seems like there’s no one out there to care for me or understand me.

I know things aren’t going to get any better just lying here on the couch, but sometimes that feels like all I can do.  I’m discouraged that I haven’t been able to publish Growing Up In The Orgone Box yet, after almost a year of delays.  I hope to have it out next month, but who knows what kind of unforeseen disasters await around the next corner?  There is no pillow, no extra work, nothing to fall back on, and my Social Security check is a slim lifeline indeed.

I keep on fighting nevertheless, but without any hope of success.  The gods know how I’ll feel when the dolphin killing starts again.  Don’t know if I can stand it.  Let me amend that: I know I can’t, but what can I do?

Madness. Madness.

The girl and the news trash

June 25th, 2014

I don’t know how director Chris Riley found out about John Lilly’s 1966 experiment with Margaret Howe and Peter Dolphin, but he made a BBC documentary about it, “The Girl Who Talked To Dolphins,” that got quite a lot of coverage in the English press, most of it not good.

The Fleet Street papers of London were all over the story in their usual snarky, smutty manner, trying to make something dirty and titillating out of the fact that Margaret used to masturbate Peter when it was necessary to keep him focused on the task at hand, which was trying to learn English.  Never mind the absurdity of that quest, it had nothing to do with Margaret’s predilections.  Unlike me, she is not a zoophile, she’s simply someone who found it necessary to engage in zoophilic behavior.  The papers sensationalized it because, you know, that sells papers, in spite of the fact that the experiment was almost 50 years old.

Frankly I was glad to finally see Margaret Howe Lovatt talk about her relationship with Peter, but a little disappointed that she didn’t show more emotion about his suicide, which occurred when the experiment ended and he was removed from the open-air dolphin house in the Virgin Islands to a miserable little tank in a renovated bank vault in Miami.  What was Lilly thinking?  Maybe he wasn’t.  I don’t know his motivations, and he’s not around any more to ask.  Maybe his astral “guides” told him to do it.

The same thing happened to my dolphin lover, Dolly, when she was moved from a large, open-air pool with other dolphins to isolation in a small, dark, almost-enclosed tank.

I took advantage of the papers’ interest, I’ll admit.  When the Mirror misspelled my name, I corrected them, which resulted in an article, which you can read here.  As a result, book sales have taken off again, averaging one per day for the past two weeks.  It’s great, as I really, really need the income, but having to pay for another press run of Wet Goddess has delayed publication of Growing Up In The Orgone Box.  But that book is also beginning to attract some attention, starting with a recent inquiry from England on my Facebook page, Victims of Dr. Duvall and their supporters.  Please stay tuned, and I’ll try to write more frequently.

Losing a friend

May 23rd, 2014

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Well I guess it’s over between Cay Small and me, following receipt of this painful e-mail from her: “Do not step foot on this property. Do not attempt to harm me, my dogs, or anything on this property or I will have you arrested. Your lame attempt to drive a wedge between Deino and me was sad and sick. I advise you to take your pouty little evil eye you have been pointing at me, look in the mirror and think about what you have done. I sincerely hope you seek professional help for all the rage and hatred that has been eating you up for so many years. This is my final communication with you. Good by.”

Mind you, the accusation about my “attempt to drive a wedge” between her and our mutual friend Dieno, who owns the property she’s living on, is almost funny, because Dieno spent two weeks of his vacation dealing with a nasty, drunken Cay who couldn’t even walk her dogs and destroyed Dieno’s computer equipment in her rage.  Dieno, poor guy, was very hard pressed to deal with her, especially when he’d come home to find her naked, lying in her own vomit and ranting about wanting to go back to the fishing boat she lost 30 years ago.  Which is what I had to deal with when she lived with me.

Cay and I have done a lot for each other over the years.  She was always there when I needed help repairing my truck, most recently only a few months ago.  And in 2005, I spent my own money from an inheritance to take her to the Bahamas so we could dive with wild dolphins.

Weak, insecure, neurotic women don’t like me, it seems.  I frighten and disturb them.  It’s been a recurrent pattern in my life, beginning with my own mother, who coveted my masculinity for herself.  So good-bye, Cay, it was nice knowing you… sometimes.

Rage

May 22nd, 2014

I can’t eat, I want to throw up. There’s no food in the house, anyway.  Bitter rage fills my waking hours, and my sleep is haunted with bad dreams.  Vision of death and destruction rise before my eyes, and I am not talking about dolphins, I am talking about those who kill and imprison them.

Sometimes the haze clears and I can think clearly for a little while. Then I break down in tears.  Anything can make me cry.  A beautiful sunset that I will never see again.  The fate of the dinosaurs.  The misery much of the world’s population endures.  The thought of war, any war, and brave innocent men dying so fat cats can inevitably get fatter.  Then, I want to tear someone’s throat out.

I’m trying a new medication for mood control, actually one I’ve used successfully before.  But it doesn’t seem to be helping.  Perhaps the dose is too low, or I haven’t given it enough time.

Money is tight.  There’s little food.  Every time I eat meat I feel guilty, but I cannot bring myself around to full vegetarianism, much less veganism.  I look for jobs on Craigslist.  I found a couple of good gigs, one photographing condominiums and houses for a rental company in Colorado, but after a couple of shoots the work seems to have dried up.

Like last  year, I dread the onrushing summer.  I lie on my thin futon mattress, sometimes for hours.  As long as I am immobilized, I cannot get into trouble or do anything bad.  Outside, the grass is growing longer, and vines wrap themselves around the trees and bushes.

A month ago, I had an episode of racing heartbeat. I tried to “convert” it, that is, make it return to normal, by myself, but nothing I did helped.  My friend – my then-friend – Cay drove me to the hospital.  My heart was doing 180 beats per minute when they admitted me to the emergency room, and my left shoulder felt like some giant animal had seized it in its jaws.  They administered some medication, which made the tachycardia stop, but soon after they moved me upstairs to recovery it started again and I spent the night in intensive care, surrounded by strange machines, noises and blinking lights.  I was so tired, I slept anyway.  They kept me for two days and left me with about $8,000 in bills I cannot pay because our wonderful governor, Rick Scott, decided not to involve the state in the Affordable Care Act.  Just before this happened, I had checked how much it would cost me to get health insurance the way things are set up: $418 a month, more than half of what Social Security pays me.

I hate Republicans and everything they stand for.  They all seem to be liars, racists, sucking off the middle class and reducing us to poverty.  Just look at the last pair we had in high office, W. and The Torturer.

And then this happened:  My friend Dieno, a 65-year-old man who works as a doorman for a posh apartment building in New York City, came down to visit for his annual vacation.  Dieno had purchased the house one down and across the street from me, where he plans to retire.  He introduced me to Cay 10 years ago, and she lived with me for five or six years before I threw her out for her horrible bouts of alcoholism.  Now Cay lives in Dieno’s house.  Well, when Dieno arrived, Cay went on a bender that lasted two weeks.  It was horrible.  She lay around naked in her own vomit and let her dogs shit everywhere, just like she used to do when she lived here.  She cursed Dieno and raged at him for no reason. This man has given her a car and a place to live, and this is how she treats him?  So as a result Dieno’s vacation went to hell, and he had a miserable time playing nursemaid and bartender.  I would have let Cay suffer, let her get into her car to try to get some beer all by herself.  See how far she would have gotten, dead drunk.  I don’t know why Dieno enabled her the way he did, he believes in a god he has to answer to, but I don’t.

As a result, I can’t even talk to Cay any more.  My number of friends seems to be dwindling, and I am so afraid of being alone.

“Go fuck yourself, Mr. Brenner!”

May 2nd, 2014

(This is what happened when I took my petition to the Taiji Dolphin Action Group on Facebook.)

Thank you for allowing me to join the group! I have put a lot of thought into how to end the dolphin massacres, and as a result I have created this petition to end my home state of Florida’s official relationship with Wakayama Prefecture. I think this is the ONLY way to send a clear and persuasive message that the Japanese government cannot ignore! Please read the petition, sign and share, and thanks for all your concern and efforts on behalf of the dolphins. NOTE: You do not have to be from Florida to sign the petition! Anyone can sign.http://www.change.org/petitions/brad-piepenbrink-executive-office-of-the-governor-of-florida-end-florida-s-sister-state-relationship-with-wakayama-prefecture-japan

  • Steven Thompson The FACT that Florida and Wakayama (where Taiji is) have an official Sister State relationship is extraordinary! I had no idea. 

    This is a pressure point that could flow badly to encourage the Taiji hunt…

    This is what happened about 5 years ago when a major Dolphin organization encouraged the town of Broome Australia to break the Sister City relationship with Taiji, Wakayama. In my opinion, the plan was not thought out clearly, and the Broome City council members ended up losing their jobs with pro-Taiji people being voted in. 

    Or this pressure point could flow positively in terms of just making Floridians aware that they have more to say about the future of Dolphins than perhaps they knew. 

    The current governor’s race in Tallahassee, Florida will culminate on Nov 4th. There is ample time to focus an issue in this race to be about Taiji. 

    For example:

    <<<Should Florida help to end the Dolphin hunt in their Sister State, Wakayama in Japan?>>>

    If the challenger to incumbent Gov. Rick Scott (maybe (Charlie Crist) took issue with this, it would influence awareness of the Dolphin issues and maybe the election.
  • Malcolm J. Brenner Now you’re seeing it the way I do. I intend to put both candidates on record about this, one way or the other!
  • Malcolm J. Brenner Now at least I know what I’m up against! “Mission Impossible,” anyone?
  • Jeremy Olson we dont believe in the word impossible. Great job thinking outside the box. There are a good group of Floridians that stand against the dolphin slaughter that are in this group. I am working with a political campaign manager that is assisting me with a website. I would love to put him in touch with you. He may be able to give you some great advice on how to handle this from a political prospective.
  • Malcolm J. Brenner Thanks, Jeremy Olson, I will take any advice I can get, especially from political experts!
  • Jeremy Olson no problem Malcolm. Im in So Cal but I will support you in anyway possible. I’ll share your petition around as well. Lets get em!!!
  • Milla de Villiers When I first saw this petition I really thought it a novel approach so clicked it to read. Unfortunately I found some contradictions which could cause a lack of credibility if not rephrased. It says: 
    “In Florida, we like to see our dolphins swimming wild and free in our harbors and offshore waters. We do not harass them, capture them for entertainment purposes (…)” and then again “ Floridians do not support the brutal, cruel and lethal exploitation of dolphins for profit and do not support their capture for display in marine attractions. “
    I initially thought it a good approach to speak as a sister state, but in trying to find a travel agent that does not somehow support SeaWorld in its event programmes, I found some information proving that the wording in the petition is not strictly correct, since it says Floridians are anti captivity. They are not. By far. Here are the Floridian Captive Dolphin Facilities: 

    1. Aquatica
    2. Clearwater Marine Aquarium
    3. Discovery Cove
    4. Dolphin Connection
    5. Dolphin Cove
    6. Dolphin Research Center
    7. Dolphin’s Plus
    8. EPCOT: The Seas
    9. Gulfarium Marine Adv Park
    10. Gulf World Marine Park
    11. Marineland Dolphin Adv.
    12. Mote Marine Lab
    13. Miami Seaquarium
    14. SeaWorld Orlando
    15. Theater of the Sea

    Furthermore, there are many dolphins, killer whales/orcas/ belugas and pilot whales. Some of whom are wild caught not just ’rehabbed’, or coming from dubious origins. You can look at these official lists:

    Captive dolphins Us & Canada – Note that there are still wild captures in 2004. If you want Florida only – Fl stands for Florida, so one can pick them from the list. http://www.ceta-base.com/phinventory/us-canada.html 
    Captive Belugas – Almost all are wild caught: http://www.ceta-base.com/lugalogue/dl-northamerica.html
    Captive Orcas/ killer whales Most here are artificially inseminated and forced to breed: http://www.ceta-base.com/orcensus/kw-northamerica.html 
    And this page shows that all the pilot whales in SeaWorld Orlanda, Florida, come from the wild: http://www.ceta-base.com/phinventory/ph_swf.html

    www.ceta-base.com

    As of 05 April 2014 there are a total of 509 captive dolphins, excluding belugasSee More
  • Malcolm J. Brenner I will happily re-draft the petition if people want. However, I know one of these places — Mote Marine Lab — is a purely scientific facility studying dolphins who cannot be re-released to the wild. On the other hand, if you can come up with a better idea, let’s hear it!
  • Milla de Villiers One out of !5. And the ‘scientific’ aspect is heavily debated by the experts who, for instance, just fought for Morgan. Also, if you will only change the petition ‘if people want’ then politics are a good field. If however you want the petition to have veracity, credibility, dignity and the ability to persuade without purely emotional pressure built on illusion, then perhaps you may redraft. It is each one’s choice how he acts, and I do accept we all want change. Namaste
  • Gaye Hunter I’ve never actually counted them but Florida then has the most captive facilities in the US, three times more than any other state? Malcolm, were you maybe unaware of that when you wrote that Floridians do not support the brutal, cruel and lethal exploitation of dolphins for profit and do not support their capture for display in marine attractions?
  • Malcolm J. Brenner @Gaye Hunter: if you think there’s any equivalency between the two places, Florida and Taiji, perhaps you should visit both firsthand. I think my petition is a novel and creative way to approach the problem. I never said it represented the absolute solution or couldn’t be improved upon. I dislike these accusations of hypocrisy, feel like I’m being attacked for not being politically correct enough and wonder why I’m not being encouraged instead of discouraged?
  • Gaye Hunter Malcolm, I agree the petition is very creative, but petitions need to be factual and honest. You asked if anyone had a better idea. Bearing in mind that no demand = no supply, and that Florida would appear to be the captivity centre of the world, how about taking action to close some of those 15 facilities? It takes determination and perseverance as was found here in the UK, but our last dolphinarium closed over 20 years ago now. Some people were working on that while you were having sex with a captive dolphin in another Florida facility:~ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/malcolm-brenner-dolphin…
  • Steven Thompson Hmmm…huge tangent opening there…it’s an ad hominem attack on Malcolm…just because you really may disagree with Malcolm’s novel doesn’t mean the fact that an official relationship exists between Florida and Wakaya where Taiji is cannot be used in some way to motivate Floridians to connect more deeply to end the Taiji hunt or even captivity at their nearest Dolphin slave show. 

    The person who inspired virtually every Dolphin researcher, John C. Lilly, had his researchers in St. Thomas not discourage dolphin sexual behavior…even encourage it with Dolphins while both humans and dolphins were on LSD!! While it sounds bat-shit crazy to most of us then AND now, it got people thinking WAY WAY outside the lines to find out how to communicate inter-species. 

    I hope this petition idea motivates people to reach a point…not necessarily agreeing with it but, like has been suggested, maybe just motivating Floridians to be responsible for living in the biggest US Dolphin slave state. 

    It’s a big thing I just learned…I had no idea how popular and “normal” Dolphin slaving is in Florida.
  • Malcolm J. Brenner @ Gaye Hunter: I’d say what I feel about you, but I’d get thrown off this group, and I am more concerned with finding a solution to this problem than I am in casting my uninformed judgment on another person’s life experience, especially when it was so long ago.
  • Gaye Hunter I haven’t cast judgement on you at all Malcolm, I have simply presented facts including a suggestion for helping to save dolphins, since you asked if anyone had a better idea. I believe it was 2011 that you wrote your book about your sexual experiences with the captive, so presumably it isn’t a secret.
  • Malcolm J. Brenner @ Gaye Hunter: I have no love for any for captive facility in this state, with the exception of the aforementioned Mote Marine Lab run by my long-time friend Dr. Randall Wells. I would cheerfully see them all closed down and the dolphins rehabbed to a life in the wild if possible. My thoughts on one of these “Swim with Dolphins” places, the Dolphin Research Center, may be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq12juI4MDo

    An informal look at the culture of the swim-with-dolphins program at the non-profit Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key, Florida.
  • Malcolm J. Brenner I am sorry that this has stopped being about saving dolphins and become about me. I did not come here to be abused and disparaged. I will leave now, and let you all get back to your important work of bickering, backstabbing, and name-calling. Sorry I interrupted, and don’t worry, i won’t let the door hit my ass on the way out. @ Jodie: It wasn’t back in 1971 honey, and for the record I have been smoking pot since 1969, and that happens to be illegal too.
  • Milla de Villiers Malcolm you ARE being encouraged. Encouraged to act in an informed, rational, dignified, credible way. This is VERY important to the cause. Anything with inflated claims that are so easily refuted will be seen as egotistical, inflated self-righteousness – whacktivism instead of activism, it does TREMENDOUS harm. What is wrong with having your facts straight? How can that work against the cause? Can it be of value…YES. It is encouragement to point out the weaknesses here among those who are working for change rather than letting a bomb of totally justifiable criticism burst later from outside. I won’t even go into the supposed ‘purely scientific’ sexual or hallucinogenic experiences that whoever may have had with dolphins, for whatever reason they used as justification, and however justified they may they have thought this to be, and however long ago that was. Gaye Hunter is not being nasty: she is doing you a favour. These ‘personal experiences’ are going to be mentioned by anyone who queries or refutes the petition as it stands, and it WILL be queried and refuted by anyone who really cares and who has the integrity to check the facts before they sign, ….because of the errors. However, had the Japanese in Taiji conducted the same at the Whale museum, it still would be used against them today. Point being: we cannot throw stones from glass houses. 
    So, does that mean we cannot work for change? Not at all. But we must come from a place based on understanding and facts. Therefore we encourage you to by all means work for change, but will point out where there are discrepancies, and points that can harm rather than help. . 
    I cannot ‘tell’ you what to do. You have choices. Along with these comes responsibility. One choice would be to still work on the Sister state thing, but in a positive, credible way. You can for instance point out to the governor that there is a global outcry at the drive hunts, and that these are fuelled by the captivity industry. As the Sister state, and given the facts that Florida is the state where dolphin captures happened throughout the 1980’s, where there were all sorts of experiments with them even sexual, and where even today there are more captivity centres than anywhere else in the US , and where many of the cetaceans are still wild caught or otherwise force-bred, Floridians can set an example to their Sister state by showing them that change is possible. Therefore close down these centres, and thereby show the world that there is no need to drive the demand. 
    It won’t be an easy petition to rewrite, but can be done.
  • Gaye Hunter My thoughts too Milla. It seems to me that Wakayama Prefecture is the perfect place for Florida to have a relationship with anyway, since it was from there that reps (SeaWorld) were sent to encourage Taiji to capture dolphins for them in the first place. Demonstrating to them now that change is possible by closing down their own captive facilities, seems to me a far better option than cutting ties. Too many people are looking for a quick fix but there isn’t one, it takes dedication and perseverance. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3fZ2dMdtu8
  • Mark Bamberry “”””Malcolm J. Brenner
    18 minutes ago
    Just got run off the Taiji Dolphin Action Group. Because we still have some captive dolphins here in Florida, they didn’t support my petition, and oh yeah, that whole sex-with-dolphins thing is just so totally WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS, ya know? Well I for one do not need the abuse any more. So glad to get out of there.””””

    He left
  • Milla de Villiers It is a huge pity when ego gets in the way of common senseMark. He did not want to hear or rethink, he wanted to be seen as a hero and have his ego stroked. I honestly think there is scope to work on the sister state thing, but that it has to be done based on facts, and incorporating these’….
  • Jodie Hillier I won’t say what I think because it will get deleted lol
  • Milla de Villiers It is also interesting to note yet another ‘gloss – his spin on reality “because we still have SOME captive dolphins…” Quite a few, I’d say. Most in the States. 15 facilities, wild caught too. Noooo that is not the reason. The reason is that the so-called ‘facts’ are fallacies. Since when has truth become a swear word in activism?
  • Mark Bamberry Sometimes it’s not the message but the messenger (ie Malcolm)
  • Milla de Villiers Sorry – had to dash, am snowed. Well I hope he nontheless gets over the ‘messenger’ block, as well as anything concerning any kind of interspecies communication or sexuality which is not in the petition as it stand for signing- that is another huge topic Hope he realises: that is not what is wrong on the petition…Florida is the Captivity Capital of the Us. So in some or other way the petition must be rephrased. Even if he just specifies that the people who sign the petition are against captivity, and drops the claim that Florida does not support it in any way. Enough said, let;s leave it up to him. Thank you for your understanding Mark & Steven.
  • Gaye Hunter Reflecting here because I’m very uncomfortable with some of what’s been written both here and elsewhere as a result. Given that Mr Brenner has no regrets about his sexual relationship with a captive dolphin, and has in fact stated he might consider another relationship with a dolphin in the future, “Under the right circumstances I would if I had the energy for it,” Brenner said. “I’m 40 years older now” ~ and yet Dr Denise Herzing commented “Glorifying human sexual interactions with other species is inappropriate for the health and well being of any animal, it puts the dolphin’s own health and social behavioural settings at risk” ~ is he the type of person who should be given any credence at all with any petition relating to dolphin welfare? This is an action group for used and abused dolphins, is it acceptable for a self-proclaimed zoophiliac to even be here?
    17 hours ago · Like · 8
  • Jodie Hillier Well said Gaye!!
    17 hours ago · Like · 3
  • Jeremy Olson he left the group. I will admit, i like the idea behind the petition though. I didnt know that Florida had #1 such a high captivity market and #2 such ties with Wakayama. id like to find a way to put some legs behind that petition, even if it needs to be rewritten by someone else
    17 hours ago · Like · 2
  • Jodie Hillier I was called a stuck up woman because i said it was wrong on every level to have sex with a Dolphin. Then all my comments were deleted.
    17 hours ago · Like · 3
  • Gaye Hunter I saw that Jodie… 

    I can’t agree Jeremy, people need to be acting in their own backyards. The major power of Floridians is in Florida not Wakayama. How can they have anything at all to currently say to Wakayama Prefecture, unless it’s to work together with them to end captivity as Milla said, rather than making an enemy of them?
    17 hours ago · Like · 3
  • Jodie Hillier And can i just point out this…..how can we take a man who is a part of this seriously? https://www.facebook.com/…/Make…/547708628659683

    Zoophilia is a person that loves and cares and respects animals but also has sexSee More
    Community: 179 like this
    17 hours ago · Like · 4
  • Lindsey Tornay Graves Gaye Hunter - thank you….just thank you!
    17 hours ago · Like · 4
  • Jeremy Olson Gaye, i agree, i think this is just the first ive heard of a US state having a sister relationship in Wakayama. Seems like we can tie this into the captivity market that Florida seems to have as well.
    17 hours ago · Like · 3
  • Milla de Villiers I think he is trying to get himself identified with John C Lilly, who is of course famous for his work with dolphins under what remains very controversial circumstances…sort of reflected glory, if you will. In the poorly made little video to which he gave the link higher up on this thread, he actually claims that Lilly offered him a job which he turned down as he thought Lilly was too ‘normal’…this may be true but the vid has only 2 likes and 1 comment and anyone watching it can get his perspective..so look and see. Interspecies communication is a very wide, interesting field. Sexuality is definitely part of communication, and interspecies sexuality is nothing new, even though seen as taboo, unacceptable and also illegal in most countries. Does that, together with a complete ignorance of facts as to what is happening in the real world, i.e. in Florida with captivity inspire confidence in someone as a protector of these beings? And the videos are all of swim with dolphins: the ones in the video above are in captivity. His conclusion on that one is that he does not know if the dolphins are not happy: as far as he could see they are, and the people are having a great time. So he has nothing against interspecies sexual communication with dolphins for scientific reasons because dolphins are polymorphous sexually, and seem to enjoy it. Well apparently so do goats. What would we say and how would we react if someone from Taiji said stop killing dolphins because I would like to put them in a swim with facility and explore sexual communications.?
    17 hours ago · Edited · Like · 3
  • Milla de Villiers The petition, if used, should actually retain ONLY the fact that there is this sisterhood thing. Using that as a point of departure, use it to build rather than to break. For instance, urge the governor to extend a hand in working out alternatives to captivity for both places. Set a time limit. Get international attention on this. Inform the public. Work out how to use existing facilities as rehab or how to give them make-overs..the possibilities are endless…and both sides retain honour, peace is achieved, and the CETACEANS win. Yes, this is going to be bloody hard. but easier than getting anywhere on lies
    17 hours ago · Edited · Like · 4
  • Gaye Hunter The petition as it stands is one of the most dishonest I’ve ever seen. The fact a zoophiliac is writing about how Floridians like to see their dolphins free is ludicrous given they’re currently supporting 15 facilities. Are there any protestors at these places? And I don’t mean one off protests, I mean weekly, week after week, educating the public and standing up to be counted. It doesn’t need to be hundreds of people either, half a dozen dedicated people at each facility can achieve a lot. Lobbying the authorities and government, is that being done? Attending council meetings? Challenging their regulations and laws? That’s how we ended captivity in the UK. I don’t understand whatsoever why any dolphin advocate in Florida would even have time to be thinking about writing a petition to Japan on any subject, when there’s so much work to do on their home turf. Think globally, act locally. Unless people do that, Florida and other states too, will have captives for decades to come.
    16 hours ago · Like · 5
  • Jeremy Olson I agree Milla de Villiers. I like your thoughts on how to go about this. It’s a big task indeed.
    16 hours ago · Like · 3
  • Jodie Hillier Im with you Gaye.
    16 hours ago · Like · 3
  • Jeremy Olson I never knew Florida had 15 facilities. Lots of work to be done there.
    16 hours ago · Like · 3
  • Jodie Hillier Can i make a suggestion….considering we have a petition floating around from a zoophiliac that has cause for concern. Wouldnt it be easier for someone to make another petition with all the points that have been made here. That way everyone would be happy with what is in it. That way we know that it comes from a true activist. Not from someone who has sex with animals!
    16 hours ago · Like · 5
  • Milla de Villiers Gaye the petition must be to the Governor to change locally, then the hand can be extended, not before…the people of Florida need to buy into change
    16 hours ago · Edited · Like · 4
  • Gaye Hunter It’d be better not to have a petition at all I feel, and for the authorities of Florida and Wakayama to be discussing the issues. Perhaps a well informed Floridian advocate/activist could talk to their authorities. Even with social media now, it’s still the case that most achievements for dolphins happen behind the scenes, not on here.
    16 hours ago · Like · 3
  • Milla de Villiers Hear you loud and clear.
    16 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Kathleen McGarr I stupidly signed it… I didn’t realize… 
    16 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Gaye Hunter Don’t worry Kathleen, I doubt it’s going anywhere.
    15 hours ago · Like · 3
  • Sarah Del Vecchio why is this post not deleted?
  • Steven Thompson TDAG members are now advising activists in San Antonio and in Tenerife about doing protests there. It looks like it’s time to encourage and support protests at each Dolphin slave location in the States, especially Florida, the Birthplace of Worldwide DSee More
    15 hours ago · Like · 4
  • Steven Thompson This post is now closed. Please share Florida action or petition ideas in the new post above on the UK model.
    15 hours ago · Like · 3

 

Anti-Taiji petition update

April 30th, 2014

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release, 4/28/14

Updated 4/30/14

Eyes Open Media

(address deleted)

Punta Gorda, FL 33982

(phone number deleted)

Author’s petition to end Japanese dolphin kill nets 500 signatures

(PUNTA GORDA, Fla.) – A Florida writer’s Change.org petition aimed at ending Japan’s annual dolphin hunt has reached the 500-signature mark and is still growing. “I’m waiting, and hoping, for it to go viral,” the writer, Malcolm J. Brenner, said. “It’s the only real chance we have of sending a message the Japanese government cannot ignore.”

The petition urges Brad Piepenbrink, an executive officer in Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s international affairs office, to end Florida’s “sister state” relationship with Wakayama, the Japanese prefecture where the town of Taiji is located. Taiji is the site of the annual, six-month-long “dolphin drive hunts” in which hundreds of dolphin families are brutally corralled by local fishermen in a small cove. The best specimens are sold to the international marine aquarium trade for upwards of $150,000 each, and the rest are slaughtered for their meat in a revolting spectacle that turns the cove’s waters scarlet.

The dolphin hunts were the subject of the 2009 Louie Psihoyos film “The Cove,” which won an Academy Award for best feature-length documentary. They are also broadcast live by the international anti-poaching organization Sea Shepherd.

A decade of such peaceful protests in Taiji and around the world have failed to end the barbaric practice, Brenner said, and one particular incident in last season’s drive hunt inspired him to create the petition. “The Japanese fishermen captured a year-old, female albino dolphin calf and separated her from her mother,” he recalled. “The press dubbed her ‘Angel.’ The fishermen butchered the mother and stuck Angel in a grubby tank at the Taiji Whale Museum. When I saw that, I got sick, and something inside me snapped. I wanted to do violence to those fishermen in return, and to the Japanese state and national governments that issue permits for this horrific practice. My petition on Change.org is a rational response to that unacceptable emotional need.”

(http://www.change.org/petitions/brad-piepenbrink-executive-office-of-the-governor-of-florida-end-florida-s-sister-state-relationship-with-wakayama-prefecture-japan)

Brenner, 62, is the author of the 2010 novel “Wet Goddess: Recollections Of A Dolphin Lover,” based on his emotional, physical and sexual relationship with a female dolphin while attending New College of Florida in the early 1970’s. The novel has sold more than 1,000 copies in 17 countries, Brenner said, but so far only one in Japan.

(Brad Piepenbrink’s e-mail address is brad.piepenbrink@eog.myflorida.com)

CEWKsm

 

 

Newsweek blows Taiji

April 27th, 2014

When I was a kid I used to read Newsweek all the time.  My parents, as good Kennedy-era liberals, subscribed to it. I couldn’t interpret the political articles at all, so I tended to ignore them, except of course for the cartoons, especially Herblock.  But I religiously read two sections of the magazine: Science and Movies.  And for a long while, those two subjects, one concerned with determining the limits of reality, the other with fabricating them, competed for my attention.  From a 1971 article in Newsweek, “Pity the Poor Porpoise,” I first learned that tropical Pacific dolphins (misnamed “porpoises,” apparently for the sake of alliteration) were being slaughtered in large numbers in tuna nets.  It was one of those early events that around my environmental activism.  My unsuccessful response, mediated by the politics of New College, is recounted in “Wet Goddess.”

So it was with considerable disgust that I read this article in Newsweek last week… in fact, it was the cover story!  My disgust was both as a former professional journalist as well as a dolphin lover.

Author Bill Powell has written what we in the newsroom referred to as a “hatchet job,” only his primary victims, in this case, turn out to be the dolphins themselves. Secondarily, he tackles the big, bad, non-governmental environmental organizations such as Sea Shepherd and Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project that have been relentlessly exposing this revolting horror to the world.

Now, don’t get me wrong, reporters of all political stripes tend to favor the underdog in a given story.  In this case, however, Powell has chosen the wrong underdog, the “poor, starving” fishermen of Taiji, who are in fact rolling in dough from selling their prime, captive dolphins for upwards of $150,000 each.


 

Too much time has passed and I am slowly losing it.  In conclusion, just let me say that if Mr. Powell had been a reporter for a Nazi paper assigned to report on Auschwitz, he would have written about how hard the poor guards had it.  I think that about sums it up as well as Mr. Powell’s article does.

 

 

Video: Swimming with wild dolphins

April 1st, 2014

Some people apparently think I’m “pro-captivity,” just because I published a video on YouTube about swimming with dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center in 2004, even though the video made it clear I feel quite equivocal about the place.  So in rebuttal, and in my own defense, here’s something you might find more appealing, an impressionistic video documenting my swim with wild dolphins in April, 2005: Swimming With Dolphins, Part 2: Bimini.

Why, you ask, did it take me 9 years to finally sit down and edit 90 minutes of footage down into a 10 minute film? Out of 7 days in Bimini, we only got to dive with the dolphins once.  Weather conditions hampered our dives on other days.  I had grandiose notions of making a documentary about why people want to swim with dolphins, so I shot a lot of footage of the other people in the group.  They were not always happy with me.  When I got home and saw what an ass I’d made of myself, I got discouraged and put the footage away.  I was not the great documentary filmmaker I thought I was.

Recently, I pulled the footage out to look at it again and see if my initial impression was justified.  Sadly, it was – but I realized nobody would care about the people on the trip; it was all about the dolphins, anyway!  So I decided to dispense with 90% of what I shot, and edit the remaining 10%, throwing away about 80% of that.

I will let the results speak for themselves. Coming next: How Bill Powell got Taiji wrong for Newsweek!