Lighter Moment: Pushing the Boundaries of Public Awareness
I thought I should share some of the more amusing efforts at promoting public awareness (in America) about human rights issues. This was sparked by the “˜Save Darfur petfood bowl‘ which has the slogan, “˜If we don’t speak up we become accomplices.’ Are dogs and cats part of the caring public? and what, one wonders, will they have to say about human rights–and will we understand it when they do?
But at least this awareness raising–while crossing the species barrier–remains earthbound. A couple of years ago Burma was threatened with an onslaught of Star Trek fans (we should be grateful that Angelina Jolie has campaigned as herself and not as a video-game animated character). But the best of all was last month, when the UN hosted an event with the stars of Battleship Galactica to promote understanding of human rights and armed conflict. Does this mean that the United Nations is proposing to extend membership beyond this planet? And do rights extend to extraterrestrial species as well?
Very amusing post, Alex.
Please check out the Save Darfur Accountability Project’s response to your post at: http://savedarfuraccountabilityproject.wordpress.com/2009/04/28/response-to-dewaals-lighter-side/.
You got the anti-genocide petfood bowls, but forgot the thongs…and rights do, in fact, extend to extraterrestrials…we think.
In fac the influence of extraterrestrials is even more pervasive. Check out Gareth Evans, the President of ICG, who admits on page 5 of his book â€œThe Responsibility to Protectâ€ that the phrase â€œR2Pâ€ was coined â€œno doubt under the universal cultural influence of Star Wars and its engagingly determined little droid R2-D2.”
I hate to be the party spoiler here and point out that the only extraterrestrials involved in Battlestar are humans born on other planet and their sophisticated and rebellious robots (fighting for equal rights and respect for their religion).
But how is extraterrestriallity to be defined–by species or by residence? Any supra-global norm must not become a pretext for exclusivist speciesism.