How A Lone Journalist Stumbled Into the 
Middle of a Heated Political Battle by Marco Mannone



Clearly, the Zoo has a relationship with Billy that is so obviously special, this “representative” of Tom LaBonge did not want to be mentioned by name. Not since the 2008 Presidential Election have two political sides been so diametrically opposed to each other. And, as usual with any Shit Storm, the Facts get buried under tons of feces while the Opinions reign supreme. All I can make out of this mess is that just as we don’t blame the troops fighting in Iraq for following orders, we can’t point fingers at the Zoo’s diligent staff for this whole elephant debacle. No sir. As usual, the problem lies within Management. Access to too much money with not enough oversight is a tune we’ve been forced to listen to for a while now — and I don’t know about you, but my ears are bleeding. Has greed permanently infected the very last fibers of this great nation’s DNA? Is there no cure to this chronic corruption?

Jesus. Listen to me ramble. Here I was going to the Zoo to find out how “Green” they are, and I come back with the elephant-equivalent of Chinatown. What’s next? Elephant incest? This much is clear: Asian Elephants are fucked. They apparently have two choices in this world: lose their minds in a cage, or get hunted for ivory in their quickly-dwindling natural habitat. Come to think of it, us humans pretty much face the same dilemma every day. It turns out, Zoochosis ain’t just for animals. Herded along highways and crowded into cubicles, are we really any better off than Billy or his fallen comrades? When you take a step back (and it’s any two-bit journalist’s job to do just that) the entire Modern Condition is so utterly insane it’s hard to take sides any more.

That the City of Los Angeles is spending $36 million for elephants that we shouldn’t even have in the first place… while 82,000 human beings are left starving and sick on its very own streets on a nightly basis… is too depressing to fathom. Tell you what, L.A. — the next time us taxpayers have to cough up $36 million, it sure as shit better be for a state-of-the-art homeless shelter on 6th Street in downtown, where the nightmare of the human soul knows no end. Otherwise, you run the risk of a good, old fashioned riot — the kind where man and elephant alike can stand together in the righteous conviction… that basic moral decency is still worth fighting for… even in this unfair city we call our home.

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