The Elephant in The Living Room | Gamerillaz

The Elephant in The Living Room

The Elephant in The Living Room

I’ve never understood the urge to own a potentially dangerous animal. I have a small, ancient dog of indeterminate sex with halitosis that could paralyze a gorilla. I know it probably dreams about eating me when it sleeps and like all dogs is never more than 48 hungry hours from going feral…but ultimately, I know that if it ever gets bitten by a rabid bat and goes Cujo on me I could probably pummel it into a greasy stain with nothing more than a rolled up copy of Readers Wives. Having something else in the house than could potentially swallow a baby or eat a grown man’s face? Well…no. I’m not an idiot. But I do like to watch idiots and study their behaviour, and thus TEITLR dropped into my inbox. It’s a bizarre documentary about ugly, socially off-kilter humans and their obsession with “exotic pets” ie things that are either incredibly dangerous, massive or endangered, or all three. Its set mostly around the day-to-day life of Ned-Flanders-meets-Robocop Tom Harrington, who works in animal control in Ohio. He’s a genuinely admirable protagonist who whirls across the inbred landscape attempting to explain to imbeciles that keeping a family of African Lions in your back garden is probably not in the best interests of any party involved, or attempting to capture rogue alligators and abandoned burmese pythons.
Brilliantly, in several states of the US, you need a licence to keep a dog, but you don’t need one to keep a tiger. So if you’re a tattooed slack-jawed yokel with a giant-carnivore-shaped hole in your life, you pop along to an exotic animals fair, pick up a cub, play with it for a couple of weeks, notice dimly that its getting larger and more aggressive, and eventually shoot it 5 times in the face with a handgun and dump in on the side of the road. It’s a film that will make you depressed, and angry, and frustrated. I’m not a big animal lover…dogs smell, cats are reincarnated serial killers, rabbits have even less purpose than the lettuce they consume…but the people in this documentary made my fists itch. They are without exception sociopathic, aesthetically challenged and dimly selfish.
Everyone knows that a pet gives you a unrivalled window into their owners personality…if you see a man walking down the road with a slavering rottweiller on a lead, he’s not out for a walk with a “companion” or even a “pet”…he’s basically shouting “Fear me and my giant hairy growling manhood extension, can you smell the testosterone? I am well-endowed, and this powerful animal is surely proof of that. And I cant afford a sportscar.” He mightn’t actually say all that…but he is saying it. What he REALLY wants though is a massive tiger. Or a grizzly. It will ultimately turn into some kind of futuristic animal-based arms race which will end up with some twat pushing a giant fishtank around with a Great White in it. But I digress (and have to admit having a pet shark would be ace, although it would obviously require some kind of custom muzzle for swimming pool japes) Anyway, “The Elephant…” is well worth a watch, but it will make you feel sad, then superior, then just sad again. Bonus points for Sun Kil Moon on the soundtrack too.
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