Monday, April 21, 2014

To Release a Dove, You First Have To Capture And Imprison It

This was the cover of Parade magazine yesterday.  The caption I cut off says:

"The Pontiff released a dove . . ."

Long ago, in Thailand, I participated in releasing little birds as a New Year's activity where you are supposed to gain merit for letting the birds free.

But I couldn't get past the fact that someone first had to catch and imprison the bird so that you could buy it and let it free.  Somehow that seemed to contradict the whole idea of giving it freedom. 

I thought about that when I saw this picture and the caption. 

1 comment:

  1. I can't speak to the anecdotal bird practices in Thailand, but in the case of the doves released by the pope, instead of their being recently captured birds, it's much more probable that the birds are simply purchased from live bird farms. You too can buy doves, all it takes is a trip to the nearest box store dealing in pet supplies.

    Symbolic gestures like releasing doves are well within your reach.

    In all likelihood, the birds the pope releases have never had a moment of freedom before being used as props for his symbolic gestures.

    In the pope's case, those birds are likely actually being freed, having never known any existence other than living as caged birds. The question one might ask is if those birds have the skills to survive outside of captivity.

    That's the trouble with mere symbolism, too much is left open to imperfect or inexact interpretation.


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