Many years ago a friend of mine was telling me about her abusive mother, and about an incident where her little brother got into something poisonous (a cleaning chemical or somesuch). She proceeded to praise her mother for calling poison control. I remember looking at her, stunned, that she was praising her mother for doing something any mother should do. But my friend’s frame of reference was so distorted by the abuses her mother had heaped upon her children that it seemed like a noble act.
That’s about how I feel about Ricky Gervais’ latest condemnation of the hunter who killed a lion. Or more accurately, how I feel about people trumpeting his condemnation. That’s great that he is condeming a murderer. But isn’t that what any halfway decent person would do? Is our frame of reference so skewed by the countless killings, both human and non-human, taking place every day that it takes a particularily sadistic, senseless killing for us to hear it above the noise?