God Damn It: Dolphin Dies Day After it Washed Up on Long Island

06/04/2010 1:23 PM |

dolphins love dogs

  • The author, with his pet dolphin.

Oh well that’s friggin’ great, just what I needed: another Friday-morning, in-office, at-my-desk crying jag (they’re starting to happen with alarming frequency). So yeah, the wee dolphin (just five and a half feet long) who washed up yesterday just east of Jones Beach with some pretty bad injuries around his tail, finally died this morning. Marine biologists rushed to the scene and did everything they could, but the little guy didn’t make it. And now I am sad and angry.

So look, I know I’m anthropomorphizing a bit here, and that nature’s inscrutable cycles appear cruel to us, but I’m pretty sick of that particular pose of “rational” young men who, Vulcan-like, accuse the rest of us of projecting our emotions into the animal kingdom, as if that’s some kind of weakness. Well fuck you. Of course I’m going to anthropomorphize the world around me, I’M A HUMAN BEING. I like my weak human feelings; I like my intense gut reaction to the death of a creature that symbolizes to me a certain category of wild and natural beauty; I need to feel sad at the loss of intelligent life, and let those emotions catalyze a deeper awareness of my existence in the universe. In fact, I feel bad for your impoverished view of the world, your materialist reductionism (which, in many ways, is even more anthrocentric than my “all animals have voices” inclinations). And so I mourn this dolphin.