Ready, Set, Slaughter: Dolphin Killings to Begin in Infamous Cove

Sunday, September 1 marks the start of Taiji, Japan’s annual dolphin slaughter, made famous by the Oscar-winning documentary ‘The Cove.’

 

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Former Guns ’N Roses drummer Matt Sorum (L) and dolphin activist Ric O’Barry (R) protest Taiji, Japan’s annual dolphin slaughter by holding iPads that depict footage of the bloody killings during a flash-mob appearance on Friday, August 29, in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo: Lincoln O’Barry)

It’s that wretched time of year again.

The killing season opens Sunday, September 1 in Taiji, heralding a six-month orgy of mass terror, suffering, kidnapping, bloodshed and slaughter inflicted upon hapless pods of whales and dolphins unlucky enough to swim near the coast of Japan’s Kuman-nada Sea.

Herded by boats and terrifying banger poles into an inlet popularized by the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, the stressed-out animals will be separated: younger, cuter ones will be sold to theme parks to spend a life in “show business.” The rest will be impaled, speared, sliced, and gutted in the crimson-red waters, destined for East-Asian dining tables.

For ten years, Ric O’Barry, star of The Cove, and his wife Helene have journeyed to Taiji every September 1 to kick off a long, often depressing and chilly season of volunteers witnessing, monitoring, protesting, and—something that gets more difficult each year—trying to attract media attention.

After the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, most Japanese and international media have focused on urgent issues far to the north. “One journalist at AP told us she’s not coming back until we find radiation in the cove,” O’Barry says, with sadness, before boarding a Tokyo flight. “It gets harder and harder when Fukushima is really the only issue over there right now.”

If The Cove pointed a world spotlight on the slaughter, Fukushima turned it away. Now activists around the world are coming up with new, attention-grabbing events the media simply cannot ignore, including simultaneous global demonstrations, Japanese flash mobs, and a healthy heaping of rock ’n’ roll.

“Anything we can do” will be done, O’Barry vows. “We have to keep coming up with creative ways to keep the issue alive.”

That’s why on this trip, “Ric will be accompanied by Matt Sorum, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a founding member and drummer of Guns N’ Roses and founder of the supergroup Kings of Chaos,” says Mark Palmer, Associate Director at Earth Island Institute.

“Matt is also the Musical Director for ‘Tokyo Celebrates the Dolphin,’ an upcoming event to generate much-needed positive international publicity regarding Japan’s relationship with dolphins,” Palmer continues. “The concert and celebration will be about the relationship the people of the Tokyo islands have with wild and free dolphins. The local people have adopted dolphins and given them names.” One island even made their dolphins official citizens.

“We’re trying to balance this publicity out, so it’s not all negative,” says O’Barry. Most people in Japan “are the opposite of Taiji,” he says, “We want to celebrate the relations they have with dolphins.” Meanwhile, the Kings of Chaos, “can fill stadiums around the world. A concert in Tokyo with 40,000-to-60 000 young people in the same building (in protest of killing dolphins) is hopefully going to get a lot of attention, and keep attention on the cove.”

A concert date has not been set, but September 1 will be a red-letter day in Taiji, and around the globe. “We have about 50 people who will show up at the cove, but we also have 100 cities around the world where people will be protesting at Japanese embassies and consular offices,” O’Barry says. “People can go to Save Japan Dolphins to get the information and show up at one of these demonstrations.”

Activists will also be showing up, spontaneously, at freshly planned “flash mob actions,” over the coming weekend,” says Palmer. “We’ve been invited by a Japanese activist group called Flippers Japan” to a flash mob in Tokyo on Friday and a similar Taiji event on Sunday.

Credit for much of the ongoing action belongs to The Cove, which “had an enormous influence on many issues,” says the film’s director Louie Psihoyos. “In Japan we’ve helped reduce demand for dolphin meat by about two-thirds, saving thousands of dolphins and porpoises each year. When our team arrived in Japan the government was force-feeding dolphin meat with toxic loads of mercury to thousands of schoolchildren, and had a plan to expand this scheme to unsuspecting communities all over the country. That’s not happening anymore.”

The company distributed thousands of pamphlets “to the primary dolphin hunting communities warning them of toxic dolphin meat,” he adds. “and sent suitcases of translated DVDs of The Cove all over the country.” Today, several countries “are banning the import of wild dolphins and many airlines (refuse) their planes for trafficking dolphins,” Psihoyos says. “Watching a good documentary can be more than $10 and some popcorn; it can be a weapon of mass construction.”

Greater awareness, about mercury and about what happens at the cove, has driven down demand, and thus the total number of animals killed annually. “In 2004, when our Save Japan Dolphins Campaign began, about 1,600 dolphins were killed that season. Last season about 900 were killed,” Palmer says. The government authorizes about 2,000 animals annually, “so the hunt itself is not doing well.”

But this silver lining has a very dark cloud: As demand for dead dolphins dropped, demand for live ones skyrocketed, with each fetching $150,000 or more. This, critics say, is the economic underpinning of the entire enterprise. Remove it, and the business collapses.

According to Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), although numbers killed each season fluctuate, last season saw the lowest number of animals killed in 10 years, but a record high number of animals, 247, captured for public display. In the prior season, only 68 were taken alive.

And there is more bad news. Whale-and-dolphin drives are still thriving in other countries, especially the Solomon Islands, in the south Pacific and the Faroe Islands, in the north Atlantic.

“I don’t think anyone has a handle on total numbers in the Solomon’s,” says WDC’s Courtney Vail. “The average take there is around 700 dolphins.” And though there was “a brief cessation” brokered by Earth Island officials, this year “nearly 1,700 dolphins were taken, many more than are killed in Taiji annually.”

“We’ve had some success funding (villages) for alternatives to killing dolphins,” Palmer explains. “One of the tribes got greedy and threw out our agreement and began killing dolphins again. But other villages are sticking by the agreement.” Unconfirmed reports claim the animals are suffocated with mud stuffed down their blowholes.

In the Faroes, meanwhile, people have survived for centuries through hunting whales. But in the 21st century, “the tradition persists, not only because some people there like to eat whales, but because they enjoy killing them,” Helene O’Barry recently wrote.

Here, “the hunts involve the larger community that participate in the round-up and killing in full view of observers, bystanders, and the Internet,” says Vail. “Whales are dispatched in large groups, as they are herded to shore en-masse, in a chaotic scramble to kill.” So far this year, more than 1,000 animals have perished.

Despite all the protests, media scrutiny, legal challenges, diplomatic force and simple attempts at friendly dissuasion, the killing goes on, in Japan and elsewhere. It seems as though no amount of outside pressure can stop it.

“It has yet to change the resolve of the hunters and the governments that support them. Diplomacy and friendship have not yet succeeded,” laments Vail, who then adds: “All cruel customs, no matter how deeply rooted in tradition, should be exposed.”

O’Barry agrees. “We are trying to get the Japanese people to take ownership of this issue; they are the only ones who can stop this dolphin slaughter. Westerners can’t do it,” he says. “That’s why we’ve been looking for the past ten years for ways to work with them, not against them.”

Like any nationality, Japanese dislike foreigners telling them how to behave. “Many Japanese react with defiance,” says Palmer, “but many more secretly agree with us.” Still, standing up against this issue “is very hard for Japanese,” who risk their jobs, and get harassed and investigated “in a very heavy-handed way.” But, he adds, “word is getting around, slowly.”

O’Barry predicts the slaughter, though probably not live captures, will end soon. The killing is unsustainable, he says, morally and economically. After all, “The vast majority of people in Taiji are not involved in killing dolphins,” he notes, “less than 50 men are giving the entire country a bad name.”

Source: http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/08/30/cove-slaughter-2013-begins-ric-obarry-taiji-japan


Ric O'Barry to return to the Cove backed by more than 100 events

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/357023

Taiji - With little more than a week to the start of the Taiji dolphin drive season, dolphin advocate Ric O'Barry will return to the Cove backed by more than 100 individual events around the globe.
As he does every year on Sept. 1, the star of The Cove movie will be heading to Japan with volunteer Cove Monitors and international supporters from six continents. Once there, they will join-up with Japanese activists in Tokyo and Taiji, and will be on the Cove beach Sept. 1, calling for an end to the dolphin drive hunts and slaughters.

 

Matt Sorum  Guns & Roses singer and drummer will be at The Cove in Taiji  Japan  with Ric O Barry on...

Accompanying the dolphin advocate and his team this year, will be drummer and singer Matt Sorum, from the rock group Guns N Roses and the supergroup: Kings of Chaos. Backing them from afar will be more than 100 global events hosted by a consortium of dolphin lovers as part of an annual event called Japan Dolphins Day (JDD).

Boasting 102 listed events at its new website: Japan Dolphins Day.net, none is perhaps more poignant than the protest being planned in Tokyo. It is being organized and hosted by Japanese activist group: Action for Marine Mammals.

Taiji's dolphin drives

Japan's dolphin crisis inevitably centers on the small coastal whaling village of Taiji in the Wakayama Prefecture of Japan. Every year between Sept. 1 and March 31, dolphins across several species are driven into a tiny cove by fishermen and either slaughtered for their meat or sold (at great profit), to the captive marine industry.

Last season, according to Ceta Base.com, "1,486 dolphins from six species," were driven into the cove. "Of this total," the database said, "899 were killed, 340 were released and 247 were live-captures."

Ric O Barry displays dolphin meat for sale in Japan.

O'Barry, who is the campaign manager for both Save Japan Dolphins and the Dolphin Project, documented and questioned Japan's dolphin hunting culture in the Academy Award-winning documentary, The Cove.

Directed by Louie Psihoyos, the 2009 film is still inspiring activists today after it took the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Planned events

The Save Japan Dolphins Campaign which operates under the umbrella of the Earth Island Institute, has once again partnered with the social media campaign Save Misty the Dolphin, to facilitate and coordinate events.

Japan Dolphins Day (JDD) has attracted more events this year than any other. The majority of events begin towards the end next week with many timed to coincide with O'Barry's visit to Taiji on Sept. 1. The dolphin advocate is also planning to report live from the Cove via live-stream.

Further details on all scheduled events are available through the Save Japan Dolphins Facebook page and Japan Dolphins Day.net.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/357023#ixzz2dW77NOYn


Adopt the Arts Event Sunday September 15, 2013

Please save the date for this historic evening as two organizations, separated by over 8,000 miles, pull together for the singular goal of improving the education of underprivileged students from Los Angeles and Pakistan.
Sunday
September 15, 2013
5:00PM–11:00PM
Ray Dolby Ballroom at the Loews Hollywood Hotel
1755 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Red carpet, catering by Wolfgang Puck, live auction and performances by Matt Sorum, Shehzad Roy, and guests
Tickets
Gold $1,000, Silver $500, Bronze $200
Please purchase tickets at adoptthearts.org/peacethroughmusic
Adopt the Arts Advisory Committee
Shepard Fairey, John Stamos, Slash, Gina Gershon, Juliette Lewis, Danny Masterson, Steve Stevens, Billy Bob Thornton, Michael Wincott, Adrian Young, Antonio Pelayo
Event contacts
Abby Berman, [email protected], (310) 801-9235
Sadia Ashraf, [email protected], (630) 926-7711

Washington Post: Yo-Yo Ma joins rocker Matt Sorum on Capitol Hill to call on Congress to fund arts

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By Associated Press, Published: April 9

WASHINGTON — Former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum joined cellist Yo-Yo Ma on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to urge lawmakers to increase funding for the arts in a year of deep federal budget cuts.

The rocker and classical musician played a jam session briefly together for a gathering of legislators and arts advocates from across the country who planned to visit congressional offices. They performed with bagpiper Cristina Pato and dancing star Lil Buck.

Sorum said his mother was a music teacher and that his high school classes in orchestra, jazz and marching band were critical in launching his career in music and in business. More recently he has started a charity to support arts education in Los Angeles. Guns N’ Roses was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland last year.

Sorum said he was excited to visit Washington to press Congress for funding.

“This is the coolest thing I’ve done since Madison Square Garden, I’ve got to say. Slash is going to be really jealous,” he said, referring to the lead guitarist from Guns N’ Roses and now the group Velvet Revolver. “If I can navigate the music business, I’m going to have fun navigating Congress.”

The group Americans for the Arts is pushing for funding to be restored to $155 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Last year each agency received about $146 million and lost about $7 million of that due to Congress’ automatic budget cuts.

House Republican budget leaders have called for eliminating the two agencies altogether.

Still, Republican Rep. Leonard Lance of New Jersey joined advocates Tuesday, saying the arts benefit the entire nation.

Arts programs face a daunting budget environment. With the $7 million in automatic budget cuts, each endowment stands at $139 million for the current fiscal year. Overall, each has lost about $30 million in annual funding since 2010. It’s an even bigger drop since the endowments’ high point of $176 million in arts funding in 1992.

Ma has pressed for greater focus and funding for the arts in education, joining a White House initiative to help turn around failing schools with arts programs. He also called for including the arts with the educational emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math. Creativity connects the other subjects, Ma said, and helps students become self-motivated and innovative.

“It seems to me that many of the skills in terms of what children need in order to succeed ... are actually best modeled through the arts,” Ma said.

___

Americans for the Arts: http://www.artsusa.org/

Adopt The Arts: http://adoptthearts.org


Uber Rock UK: MATT SORUM reveals details of new solo album

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Matt Sorum, famed for his work on the drum stool with Guns N' Roses, The Cult and Velvet Revolver, has revealed that he is working on a new solo album.

Sorum commented:

"My new solo record will not be a rock record and I am not playing drums on it. [I am] singing and [playing] acoustic [guitar] mainly, [and] using another drummer [for the recording sessions]."

Sorum has revealed that the material to be featured on this new album is "a cross between The Doors, Pink Floyd, Wilco, David Gray, Peter Murphy and Portishead." Sounds thrilling.

Songtitles set to appear on the album are 'The Sea', 'What Ziggy Says', 'Blue Josephine', 'Gone', 'Lady Of The Stone', 'Killers N' Lovers', 'Ode To Nick Drake' and 'Land Of The Pure', the latter of which is "about children of Pakistan," says Sorum.

Sorum's new CD will be the follow-up to 2004's 'Hollywood Zen', his previous solo effort which featured his GN'R/VR bandmates Slash and Duff alongside Giuffria legends Chuck Wright and Lanny Cordola, the latter co-producing with the veteran sticksman.

complete article: http://www.uberrock.co.uk/news-updates/91-january-news-updates/6894-matt-sorum-reveals-details-of-new-solo-album.html


Diamond Baby at the Viper Room 9/5/12 Wednesday 9PM

Come Support Diamond Baby at
Viper Room this Wed Sept. 5th 9pm

www.diamondbabyband.com


New Matt Sorum T-shirts

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