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Largely the Truth

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A Bullet for Dumbo

01 Apr 2011  ·  by Brennan Storr  ·  Be the first to comment!

Tagged under GoDaddy hunting elephants ranting

Recently, Bob Parsons, founder & CEO of GoDaddy.com shot an elephant in the village of Labola, Zimbabwe and then posted a video of the kill online. Now the interwebs are afire with cries of "1-2-3-4! When our domain comes up for renewal we won't renew with you...anymore!" Animal rights group PETA have branded Parsons "Scummiest CEO of the Year", canceled their GoDaddy account and said they won't be his friend anymore. All over the world groups of white-collar workers have emerged from their fallout shelter to find themselves shocked at the possible existence of a morally bankrupt CEO.

The idea that Bob Parsons is the sleaziest CEO of the year seems a bit of a stretch, too. Far be it for me to accuse PETA (motto “It’s not fair, man”) of naiveté but I thought that the 2008 economic crash put to bed any lingering notions we had that corporate executives are anything but avatars of Satan who devour innocent children while watching Mad Men.

Parsons has tried to explain the context of the video, which shows his hunting party laying in wait for, firing on and eventually killing one of the elephants which had been ravaging a farmer's sorghum field. The next day villagers butcher the animal and dispense the meat. Says Parsons, "The people there have very little, many die each year from starvation and one of the problems they have is the elephants...that trash many of their fields destroying the crops." He forgets to add that he was also doing the elephants a favor by saving them from a life lived in constant fear of mice and being cast in Robert Pattinson films.

PETA countered by saying, "Instead of coming up with flimsy excuses for killing these highly intelligent and social animals, Parsons should use his wealth to fund humane solutions to human/elephant conflicts,". They conveniently sidestep the question of who tells a starving farmer that the issue of his ruined livelihood is being looked into by an advisory committee. They also miss the real point of this or any hunt, which is to allow soft western men like Bob Parsons to act out scenes from "White Hunter, Black Heart".

Said one outraged Twitter user: "People in power need to remember they don't have carte blanche to behave...in this way. Not in this day & age." People in power? He is the CEO of a popular web hosting service, not the chairman of the Bilderberg Group. In fact, if he were a regular at Davos this story would never have broken in the first place. Old money knows that the only way they can continue to spend their vacations hunting the homeless on tropical islands is if the hoi polloi remain ignorant.

My real problem with this issue is that big-game hunting and poaching are every day occurrences in Africa and other parts of the world where prosperity is in short supply yet cries of outrage are few and far between. Why? Because poachers are frightening men, usually armed and unreceptive to criticism. Bob Parsons on the other hand is a computer geek who looks a bit like Chunk from The Goonies launched into middle age, making him a soft target for the furious mouse clicks and Facebook groups of armchair activists. With their stores of self-satisfaction running low and Movember still eight months away these people will huff and puff about animal rights until they get bored and retreat back into their cubicles.

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