Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 10/11/2011

Hell is….*

Beardy Pig, originally uploaded by

For all my musings on Music, the one place where I can listen to my favourite tunes uninterrupted, in the car, is the one place I don’t actually listen tunes. I prefer instead to listen to the various radio shows on Radio 4, whether starting out with The Today Programme, PM, Afternoon Play, I even got hooked on the Archers at one point but could never recognise the characters from their voices! I may well stop listening to it, however, after hearing a rather disturbing piece of news on there first thing. The Western Black Rhino has now been classed as extinct, despite efforts such as reintroductions to preserve the animal in the wild.

This doesn’t mean that the Black Rhino is on the brink of extinction, just the Western subspecies and whilst this doesn’t make it any better it does mean that for the moment the species is relatively safe. However without fiscal development in the local economies, people will hunt these magnificent creatures – I saw one analogy that said it’s like the animal’s horn is made of solid gold in our terms, such is the high price paid by the Oriental herbal medicine markets.

If only we could change attitudes to such usages in the same way we did with Ivory; since the band and policing of ivory trafficking there has been a recovery of elephant numbers in the wild, which is heartening.

When man (or woman**) puts his collective heads together it seems that we really can make a difference. The unassuming Przewalski’s horse, which I’ve always bypassed when visiting Zoos (mainly so I’m not asked to pronounce their name… anti-distinctly-minty), were listed as extinct in the wild in 2006 but with careful reintroduction and protection there are now 300 individuals roaming their homelands.

Obviously all this costs money, and people’s time, but with greater awareness to the plight of such creatures we are seeing some very positive moves. However, this isn’t the time to sit back and pat ourselves on the back, we need to keep up the pressure where we can, even if it’s only visiting zoos who are involved in the co-ordinated conservation of their menageries. The only song I know (or will reference.. there’s an obvious one I will never, EVER link to) to do with Pressure (yes, you know the one now don’t you! Still not playing it) is by the punk band Conflict – “Increase the Pressure”. As this band is loud, shouty (as well as quite sweary as well) I won’t subject you to listening to it – instead, here’s a link to one of the songs I can’t stop listening to at the moment.

*HMHB’s song today is called “L’Enfer C’est Les Autres” – and is a quote from the french existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre***
**Especially one called Lorretta
*** To do is to be – Sartre, To be is to do – Rousseau, Do be do be do – Frank Sinatra.


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