“Black Fish” & “The Armstrong Lie”

I watched both of these documentaries last night.

“Black Fish” was by far the more disturbing of the two.

I recognize it was a slanted viewpoint but even if you ignore everything the participants say, watching such magnificent animals being trapped in their equivalent of your bathtub is heartbreaking.

Proponents of orcas in captivity say their programs are important for conservation and study. I could agree with that to a small extent. But there’s no need for the performances. And if you need study them in captivity, large open water enclosures would be more humane.

I’m in favour of this proposed law that would ban keeping killer whales in captivity for purposes of human entertainment.

“The Armstrong Lie” just made me sad. I was one of those who have zero interest in long distance cycling (I love velodrome cycling) but watch The Tour de France every year, if only for the amazing cinematography (the best in all of televised sports).

I didn’t exactly cheer on Armstrong but I did think he was being unfairly persecuted.

If you ever need to find a visual definition of “moral relativism”, watch this movie. It’s amazing to watch so many people say, “Well, everyone else is doing this bad thing so I should do this bad thing”.

We forget that all of Armstrong’s contemporaries have also been either accused or convicted of the same crimes he was at the same time. Armstrong just had better doctors and held on to the lie longer.

Regardless of the rules Armstrong broke, I still have some small admiration for him if only because not only did he beat cancer (like so many), but watching him race you had the sense that he was very much like other athletes at the top of their game – he would push himself beyond what anyone else would. He wanted to not only beat other riders, he wanted to crush them. He needed to dominant.

And that was his downfall.

Both are very good if very sad movies. I don’t recommend watching them back to back like I did. Your faith in humanity won’t exactly be uplifted.

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