Listen Up, Fellow Liberals, It's Time to Lay Off the Boy Scouts
He'd kill you if he got the chance.
Every week, Managing Editor Patrick Williams disappears into his office and reemerges a cranky, anti-depressant-gobbling, third-person-referring superhero we like to call Buzz.
Listen up, fellow leftist members of the conspiracy to destroy America. It's time to lay off the Boy Scouts of America and other Scout-like groups. We had a good run there last year with the homophobic Scouts story, but if we focus too long at any one target, we eventually reach a point of diminishing returns.
When PETA joins the dog pile, you know we've reached that point.
The animal rights group this week released a letter it sent to Wayne Perry, president of the Irving-based BSA, demanding that the organization stop teaching Scouts how to kill animals. It was signed by former Scouts upset over a Florida Scout leader who demonstrated how to dress a pair of rabbits, which he then cooked and fed to the boys. By "dress," we mean "whacked on the head with a stick," which if done properly is an accepted method for humanely dispatching a bunny. (Another, the "broomstick method," does not involving conking Mr. Bun on the noggin. You can Google it and find many videos demonstrating the technique, but we don't advise that unless you have some spare rabbits cluttering up your apartment and need a nosh. Let's just say it sucks to be a bunny.)
Among the letter's signatories were a few who identified themselves as former Webelos, presumably to establish their bona fides as Scout critics. That's a title you don't often see used on business cards: "Dr. John Jones, M.D., Oncologist/Former Webelo."
"Scouts can and should be taught practical, nonviolent survival techniques, such as how to build shelter, summon help, find water, and forage for edible plants. ... Teaching kids to kill undermines their natural compassion ..." says PETA's letter, obviously written by someone who has never been in the company of a gaggle of preteen boys, who possess the natural compassion of a pack of hyenas.
Nevertheless, we suspect that the sight of a couple rabbits buying the hutch might have in fact encouraged at least one kid to consider the benefits of a meat-free diet. On the other hand, there's no doubt one kid who decided to hurry home and try the stick method on any rabbit-like animal he could get his grubby, thick fingers on -- the neighbor's cat, his little sister, etc. There's always that kid.
The rabbit butchery happened in February, but PETA is still milking it. (Not literally. Milking animals is cruel.) In truth, this is a perennial story: well-meaning Scoutmaster decides to show boys where their meat comes from, parents get upset, rinse, repeat. If the news is slow -- no missing airliners or prepping for Crimean War II -- it sometimes gets media traction. Then half the population wonders what the world is coming to when skinning a rabbit isn't considered a survival skill. Listen, when the apocalypse finally comes, a dandelion salad and handcrafted lanyard will not save you.
Buzz's point? Hmm ... pretty sure we had one. Oh, yeah: Any man who voluntarily puts on a long shorts and knee socks to lead a tribe of savages is probably, on balance, a decent enough guy. While we're at it, similar groups that split off from scouting because of religious objections to the BSA's new stance on homosexuality are not necessarily neo-Nazis, despite what you have might have read recently. Piling on makes us (the leftist cabal) sound shrill and only damages the credibility of our whole anti-American conspiracy, so we need to find a new target.
Red Cross, anyone?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.