I am trying to adapt the old adage about the one-eyed man in the land of the blind, as quoted by Tom Waits on Singapore. But I am finding it increaingly difficult. How does: "In the land of the mad, the bipolar bloke who only hallucinates some of the time, seems relatively sane"? No, it doesn't grab you by the short and curlies does it?
I have never made any secret of the fact that I have mental health problems. Like a large proportion of the human race, especially in the increasingly complicated and stressful society of the Western World, my faculties ain't what they should be. No, let's stop pussyfooting around. Some of the time I am as mad as a bagful of cheese, and I am sure that my leadership of the CFZ has reflected that sad fact on occasions through the years.
However, at least as far as our activities with animal welfare are concerned, we behaving reasonably normally. Reasonably normally, that is, compared to PETA.
What the hell is happening to animnal welfare organisations? As shown in these pages, the RSPCA has mutated from a benign organisation that gave out information leaflets about tortoises with shell rot, and helped old ladies who could not afford to spay their pussy. But PETA, these days at least, are just barnpots.
They were formed in 1980, and combated the fur trade, vivisection and cruel sports by litigation and high profile demonstrations, which often involved a pretty female celebrity taking her clothes off. Woo Hoo!!! There should be more public nudity in animal rights. But recently, like so many other organisations, they have started to become victims of their own dogma and have started making such ridiculous public statements that it is hard to take them seriously.
In october last year they started a campaign to rename all members of the petromyzontidae, chondrichthyes, or the superclass osteichthyes as "sea-kittens" rather than "fish". Hmmmmmm.
"If everyone started calling fish 'sea kittens,' they'd be a lot less likely to violently kill them for food, painfully hook them for 'sport,' or cruelly confine them to aquariums," a spokeswoman said.
Christ on a Bike!!!
(By the way, at the point may I digress? The last time my brother heard me come out with that expression, he solemnly pointed out that there was no tradition of two wheeled transport in the Holy Land 2,000 years ago. He should know; being a vicar he is an expert. However, if there is any archaeological evidence to the contrary please let me know).
But back to PETA. Their latest idiocy is even more of an own-goal. It has been 25 years since a synthesiser pop duo consiting of a dour northerner who had once edited the Captain Britain comics, and a bloke wearing shades who always stood still, first hit the public consciousness. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Pet Shop Boys hit the British consciousness. Since it has been proved that the band are NOT named after an unpleasant activity involving gerbils and vaseline, what have they got to do with animal rights? Neil Tennant is after all a national treasure.
Well not to PETA. BBC news this morning reads:
Pop group Pet Shop Boys have revealed they have turned down a request by animal rights group Peta to rename themselves the Rescue Shelter Boys. "Peta Europe has written to Pet Shop Boys with a request they are unable to agree to," reads a post on the band's official website. But the band admits the request "raises an issue worth thinking about".
Peta's letter requests the name change due to the cruelty which they allege takes place in the pet trade. If the band were to agree to the name change, it continues, it would "encourage your millions of fans to consider giving a home to an abandoned or unwanted animal from an animal shelter".
PETA have done one of two things here. They are either bonkers, or they have been very subtle, and by making a deliberately stupid request, got publicity from all sorts of people (like me, for example) who would not normally have covered their campaign.
Now that is clever.
PS The Pet Shop Boys 10th studio album Yes has just been released, and it certainly has its moments