Monday, April 4, 2011

Revulsion spreading over GoDaddy founder Bob Parson's elephant snuff video

Wired's Madhumita Venkataramanan weighed in on the snowballing reaction to Bob Parson's elephant snuff video, in which the web hosting mogul plays the Great White American Savior of Zimbabwe villagers who apparently are unable to deal with "problem" elephants on their own by any of several means, including spreading a few bottles of Tabasco, which pachyderms can't stand and which multimillionaire Parsons evidently cannot afford to purchase for them.
     It gets interesting in the minute or so of absolute darkness before terrifying shots rent the silence and the hulking shape of an elephant is illuminated by gunfire.
     Possibly the most offensive scene of the video follows, with Parsons smiling cheekily next to the dead elephant, his gun placed casually on its hide. Its wide open eyes are looking straight at the camera, enough to give anybody the chills.
     There are no dialogues or voices, just some overly facile subtitles and the widely-decried AC/DC “Hells Bells” soundtrack. All in all, completely preposterous and more than slightly disturbing.
       ...It seems like the video has touched a universal chord, beyond the usual animal rights crowd. Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States wrote on his blog that he doesn’t “like doing business with a company with a leader like Parsons.” The society has found a new web host for its 650 domain names. Actress Cloris Leachman (who recently parodied the GoDaddy Girls in a commercial for a competitor) has lashed out against the video, encouraging her followers to switch to a different web service. A petition started by Laura Goldman of has more than 3000 signatures, expressing their anger towards Parsons.
     Rival companies like Network Solutions and are capitalizing quickly by offering domain transfers at discounts, and pledging profits to the Save the Elephants charity.

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