Folding, spindeling, and mutilating lauguage for fun since Aug, 2004
Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Here's a blast from the past for me and my friends, Sue and Barb.

Wade Pilloud graduated with us from Bemidji High School.  He was also in my Confirmation class and attended our church.  He was also one of the small group of students that I went with on a trip to Germany my Senior year.  I didn't know him well, and I don't have any opinions of him that would be of any particular use or interest to the general public.

Wade is the K-12 principal of a school in Indus, MN (close to International Falls) who resigned after being put on administrative leave for shooting two kittens on school grounds.  They were orphaned, and Mr. Pilloud says he wanted to prevent them from suffering from a death by starvation.

Anyone who grew up n the country knows that it's not uncommon to find burlap sacks full of drowned kittens or puppies along the road, or to hear of people shooting, gassing, or otherwise "doing in" unwanted animal offspring that they can't or won't care for to "prevent suffering".

It is a common and wholly unremarkable attitude from the time and place that we were raised.  The fact that he thought this was the best thing to do is unsurprising to me.  The fact that he seemed to think it was natural, acceptable, and right to bring a gun onto school grounds and dispatch the animals himself (rather than call animal control to have them rescued by animal welfare professionals) is also unsurprising to me, as it is a natural outgrowth of the mentality and worldview commonly held by the majority of people in the place and time that we grew up.

I happen to disagree with it, which is perhaps a hint as to why I no longer live in rural Northern Minnesota.

I guess that's all I have to say about that.

[Update:  I just heard from an extended family member that her husband was going out to "put down" their ancient family dog, who has stopped eating.  She wanted to take the dog to the vet to be put down, but as her husband has recently been laid off, and they don't know when he will get a job, they don't have the funds to do it humanely.  So he is going to shoot the dog...the most "humane" alternative.  Luckily, her husband is quite competent with firearms, and is unlikely to botch the job.  Like I said.  Pervasive attitude.]   

Tuesday, 24 October 2006 12:20:29 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [2] |  |  | #
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 11:19:27 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Aletia brought this article to my attention Teresa, turns out an associate brought it up in an argument concerning "disposable animals".

I saw Wade just last Aug in Bemidji, and I have to say the thing I find sad is how disposable people find him, along with their willingness to judge him w/o knowledge of context or real fact. He made an error in judgment, as all people do at times throughout their lives. I would hope that people reflect on this before they prejudice him or call for action that would destroy his and his family’s lives as someday they may find that their error has been splashed across the tabloid headlines.
G. Droba
Monday, 06 November 2006 09:55:51 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
G. Droba,

Hey, It's good to hear from you again! Long time no hear.

I have tried not to judge Wade too harshly due to his lack of judgement in this case while disagreeing with his actions. It's difficult because of my personal feelings toward him, (which are not based on this incident) but they are, after all, my personal feelings and opinions and not appropriate or germaine to this topic.

I'm also biased by my feelings toward animals and how society treats them...which are complicated, and many people find contradictory (though obviously, I don't).

The problem is that the nature of Wade's error in judgement happens to cut across several hot button topics: animal welfare, firearm control, school safety.

These are issues where the ideological lines are quite heavily drawn, with people on one side singing Wade's praises and calling him a hero and a martyr (the NRA crowd seem to love him), and people on the other side (anti-gun zelots, for instance) calling him a villian and a sicko.

Both positions are wrong, of course, but how can you expect better of people who see the world in black-and-white?

That said, I am trying to have compassion, and I thought I was being fairly balanced and neutral. Anything in my entry that appears to be harsh, judgemental, or dismissive of Wade's humanity is likely the result of my personal feelings, and I apologize for that if that is the case.

I merely wanted to point out that his actions don't take place in a vaccum and should be understood in context.
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