Nobody Here But Me and These Turkeys

Friday, November 21st, 2008


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26 Responses to “Nobody Here But Me and These Turkeys”

  1. #1 |  Brandon Bowers | 

    “reigning in the growth of government?” “Fiscally, we’re in a good position?” Does this mean Alaska is going to stop taking money from the federal government?

  2. #2 |  claude | 

    The guy in the background is what makes this video. I saw this video last night and i figured i would find it gruesome when msnbc ran the disclaimer, but with that guy in the background and her talking, i ended up laughing so hard i was shedding tears. When it got to the part where palin said she might even get criticized for this, i completely lost it. I had to pick myself up off the floor and wipe the tears away. I havent laughed that hard in a long time. It was gruesome tho. Poor turkeys.

  3. #3 |  MacGregory | 

    “I’ll be in charge of the turkey…” Does that mean she’s going to go give that a guy behind her a hand later?

  4. #4 |  Alaska | 

    Bizarre? For those outside Alaska. That kind of thing would not be abnormal up here. Most people hunt and/or fish and as such are much closer to processing of animals for food. Few people up here outside of Anchorage would think too much about it.

    As far as Palin’s comments, I don’t know what to say. I didn’t vote for her for governor. I didn’t for her for VP. I certainly don’t claim her.

    But, that farm produces excellent organic turkeys, chickens, etc. In fact, I’m getting my turkey from them. For whatever that’s worth.

  5. #5 |  Ben (the other one) | 

    I think that many of us in the Lower 48 know where our meat comes from, too. What’s bizarre about the video is the context: she was at the farm to “pardon” one bird for Thanksgiving. However pointless such a press ritual is (and I would say it’s pretty darn pointless), most politicians would at least perform it without doing something to utterly undermine the humane fiction they’re intending to create.

  6. #6 |  Alaska | 

    I guess I wasn’t too clear. Most of Alaska would not view that as undermining the message. I grant you that is bizarre, but that’s this state. Game management is a really big issue in this state – look at Palin’s political stance on aerial wolf culling. How many politicians in the Lower 48 make game management a part of their political platform? I haven’t see too many.

    So, most residents understand taking a certain number of animals so others live. Thus, they wouldn’t see the contradiction as much as those Outside.

    We are kind of different.

  7. #7 |  Ben (the other one) | 

    OK, Alaska, I guess I shouldn’t argue that you’re different.

    But please explain how pardoning one bird among, let’s say 100 others in order to create a fiction of mercy is really at all analogous to thinning a herd of game animals.

    (I’m a meat-eater, so this is really not a vegetarian rant– I just think that if you’re going to go to the trouble of staging a press event for the sake of pleasing, say, the four-year-olds out there, it really doesn’t make sense to then pose for an interview in front of upside-down birds twitching as their blood runs into a big trough.)

    Not to mention– why is aerial wolf culling “game management”? Aren’t wolves normally viewed as non-game animals, and wouldn’t wolves themselves cull game animals if one didn’t cull the wolves first?

  8. #8 |  JCoke | 

    I’m not from Alaska, so I am not certain, but I thought that aerial wolf culling counts as game management in the case that it is determined that wolfs are overpreying on local wildlife in certain areas.

  9. #9 |  Alaska | 

    I’m not arguing that the pardon is analogous per se. I’m arguing that since such is a basic part of our lives, the juxtaposition between pardoning one animal and killing lots of others is not likely to raise an eyebrow up here.

    I mean, everybody up here hunts. Residents plan their calendar around hunting season. Families, including small children, routinely butcher meat together. It is quite common to get a call from friends who have just gotten a moose and need help butchering it. The road kill list handles moose who have been hit by cars. Generally charities, such as churches, get on the list and when your name comes up on the list, you’re expected to go out to the scene and butcher the moose to carve up and distribute to friends/family/those who need it. In such an environment, people would not find this bizarre.

    As far as the wolf culling program being game management, wolves are hunted because the lower the wolf population, the higher the population of caribou and moose (or so the theory goes, anyway. Studies show that bears actually kill more game animals than wolves but nobody is going to suggest aerial bear hunting). Wolves are considered a game animal here for hide and fur (meaning they can be hunted and trapped), but the aerial culling program is to reduce the predation upon game animals that can be eaten.

  10. #10 |  PFJO | 

    I’m not sure what the fuss is about.

    Quite frankly, there are only three types of animals as I see it and three ways to treat them:

    1. Domesticated animals/work animals – care for them, respect them, etc.

    2. Food animals – plump up and slaughter when the time comes.

    3. Everything else (which I will call vermin) – ignore them unless they bother you or your property in which case, kill them swiftly and without remorse.

    Gov. Palin (and I live is Los Angeles and sure as hell didn’t vote for her) probably didn’t think that there was irony in what she was doing and neither do I. She was pardoning a turkey… what do you think she was pardoning it from? A pillow fight? NO! She was pardoning it from the fate of the turkey behind her… death. It seemed perfectly appropriate to me. What better way to illustrate the meaning of pardoning the turkey then to show other turkeys being bled out?

  11. #11 |  Frank |

  12. #12 |  Kwix | 

    Bizarre? For those outside Alaska. That kind of thing would not be abnormal up here. Most people hunt and/or fish and as such are much closer to processing of animals for food.

    Right you are! I’m in Los Anchorage so chickens & turkeys aren’t exactly an option in my (non-existent) backyard but bagging a moose in the fall is some good eats.

  13. #13 |  mdh | 

    JCoke, it does count as game management.

    The question is whether aerial wolf hunting is humane, some argue it is barbaric as the wolf often goes to cover wounded and dying.

  14. #14 |  parse | 

    Quite frankly, there are only three types of animals as I see it and three ways to treat them:

    1. Domesticated animals/work animals – care for them, respect them, etc.

    2. Food animals – plump up and slaughter when the time comes.

    3. Everything else (which I will call vermin) – ignore them unless they bother you or your property in which case, kill them swiftly and without remorse.

    Do humans fall under number one or number three? Your answer reveals whether you are a liberal or a libertarian!

  15. #15 |  Andrew | 

    I didn’t see anything shocking in that video but I also muted the sound since I didn’t care to listen to her prattle on about whatever. I might have actually been impressed enough to vote republican if she’d walked over and started help slaughter turkeys.

    I do know that were I ever president or governor there would no pardon of the White House turkey. On the contrary. At the press conference I’d proceed to butcher it right in front of the press corps. Not only would I kill the domestic one on national TV but I’d drag a gaggle of reporters out in the woods with me while I killed a wild one myself.

    In fact on general principle I’d go to the “petting zoo” where pardoned turkeys are taken and kill all of the living presidential turkeys and pass them out to needy families or the homeless.

    Oh and you just know there would be dead deer hanging from the trees on the white house lawn. The press would probably have a fit about the gut pile in the rose garden.

  16. #16 |  livingpre911still | 

    The stupidity of the urban america public never ceases to amaze me. Wow, turkeys are actually being slaughtered at a turkey processor. I give her kudos for not being too prissypants to visit a processor and pissing off the sanctamonious urbanites at the same time.

  17. #17 |  Luke Johnson | 

    The humor is derived from the bad framing of the shot, combined with the subject in the foreground’s perceived obliviousness to what’s going on the in the background. For another example see here:
    Taking a stab at the html, I’d kill for a preview button here. If that doesn’t work it’s the link in my name.

  18. #18 |  Jaybird | 

    You mean… when I am eating turkey… I’m eating *A* turkey???


  19. #19 |  josephdietrich | 

    Oh, come on livingpre. I’m from southwestern Indiana, where we have our fair share of deer hunting and turkey-head-lopping-offing. This has nothing to do with sanctimonious urbanites or PETA types, although it is a certain troll for them. Like Luke @ 17 wrote, it is the framing of the shot that is hilarious. The guy in the background, cutting the heads off of and bleeding out turkeys, hamming it up for the camera with a big ‘ol shit-eating grin, while Palin goes “blah blah blah.” What did she say? Who knows! There was a guy behind her cuttin’ the heads off turkeys!

    I mean, I know Alaskans like to shout “Look at us, we’re DIFFERENT!” while at the same time acting casual and saying “Yeah, but that’s just how we roll here,” but this is just over the top.

  20. #20 |  Elroy | 

    How horrible, one of these turkeys or their descendants may have figured out the cure for cancer or how to unite all of humanity in peace and harmony. Oh, wait…they are TURKEYS! This is the greatest contribution they can make to the world. We are carnivores. At least Palin does not go around trying to pretend we are not or feeling guilty about our nature. Humans are not animals. Killing a human does have a great impact on humanity. Aside from the inherent right of humans to exist (which can only be recognized by other humans), killing a human removes any contributions from that person to the world. It also potentially removes any contributions from that persons children from the future. Killing one human affects hundreds if not thousands of people. The greatest achievement a turkey can hope for is to be a good meal.

  21. #21 |  qwints | 

    Here’s the thing that bothers me about the criticism she took – the farm isn’t a CFO, but the kind of farm non-vegetarian liberals are supposed to enjoy.

    That said, the video’s funny regardless of the political implications.

  22. #22 |  Billy | 

    Speaking of Sarah Palin speak, here’s an excellent critique:

    The Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla – by Dick Cavett


  23. #23 |  livingpre911still | 

    Qwints hit it on the head… this facility is EXACTLY the type that the liberals go GAGA over… a very small time operation… I’ve witnessed many turkeys die at the worlds largest processor during multiple tours and the operation in the video is anything but a time and production facility.

    This is not over the top… One of the funniest things I ever saw was some shocked housewife in a high rent texas neighborhood on the evening news… she called Animal Control on an alligator… they bring out the kids to watch this modern day Crocodile Hunter come to take charge of the situation… Animal Control promptly shoots said gator square in the head to the horrified womans dismay… had this been some low rent neighborhhod in Louisiana… there’s no need to call animal control… only a need to call everyone for a gator tail fry… they already know how to shoot and skin the damn thing.

  24. #24 |  Stephen | 

    The whole video and response are kinda interesting. But what strikes me as most unusual is that whatever you might think of Palin, she has generally done a good job in creating an image for consumption by (a portion) of the general US population. IMHO, this is what is most responsible for her current popularity in those corners. However, this move seems to be a little bit careless of that carefully managed image. While it probably plays well in Alaska (and frankly shouldn’t be that significant one way or the other elsewhere), I think it will be off-putting to many people. But ultimately only in a trivial way.

  25. #25 |  Mike Healy | 

    “Do humans fall under number one or number three?”


  26. #26 |  Phelps | 

    As a (former) cameraman, this was a hit piece. There was nothing accidental about it. The real hilarity though is watching MSNBC beclown themselves with hysteria.

    What I can’t tell is whether or not the turkey processor was trying to hear the governor or whether or not he was trying to do his job and stay out of the shot. (I’ve seen people do both.)

    I heard them talking about it on the radio and they seemed to think that this was some sort of turkey grinding machine. It ain’t. It’s a metal cone that holds the turkey while it drains. It’s not spinning around or thrashing in agony, it’s just spasming (since it is already dead at that point.)