Mondays are for disillusionment

Me, right now

I am all caught up on my grading — until Friday, when it starts all over again — so I could have used some happy, wholesome news. Instead, I got this:

Mr Macartney, a former motorcycle gang member who previously spent time in prison, ran several chat groups for monkey torture enthusiasts from around the world on the encrypted messaging app Telegram.

The groups were used to share ideas for custom-made torture videos, such as setting live monkeys on fire, injuring them with tools and even putting one in a blender.

The ideas were then sent, along with payments, to video-makers in Indonesia who carried them out, sometimes killing the baby long-tailed macaque monkeys in the process.

I mentioned this horrible monkey torture ring before. Does it count as good news that several people are going to prison over this activity, or is it bad news that such horrors exist at all? This is a better question than whether the stupid cup is half empty or half full — should we regard the existence of monkey torturers as an indictment of humanity, or the existence of anti-torture laws as an example of humanity’s virtues? I can go either way.

Unfortunately, then I read about 764, the torture ring that’s all about kids torturing kids. We should probably all just get off the internet.


  1. billseymour says

    I think both are true:  there are evil people and there are decent people.  Unfortunately, if current U.S. politics is any indication, the two groups are roughly equal in size.  Let’s hope that that changes.

  2. says

    Makes me think of Brian Aldiss’s “A Clockwork Orange.”

    The premise of the book is, some people don’t feel alive unless they do these things, and I wonder what kind of a world we have that this should be true of some people – is it intrinsic to the people, or intrinsic to the world?

    At the moment I’m thinking that some people just are wired that way. There is enough evidence for it. Dunno what we can do about it. Aldiss does have a suggestion, but once the State takes up torture – brainwashing – even if the intent is “good,” the targets will quick expand beyond simply people who need their wiring adjusted. Also it might not work.

  3. Athaic says

    “sometimes killing the baby long-tailed macaque monkeys in the process.”

    You know, I don’t see that part as being the worst part for the monkeys. All the torture beforehand would qualify. Like being put on fire.
    I mean, the only future for any monkey falling into the hands of such people is a painful death. It’s only a matter of time.
    Also, I don’t trust the… handlers for taking good care of their victims. I don’t see them setting broken bones or dressing wounds before releasing the monkeys. If they ever release them.

  4. says

    This is why we never get visited by aliens. They zip by our planet, roll up their windows and lock their doors and say, “No, Glorqnaf. We’re NOT stopping here. This planet is infested with humans!”

    Sometimes I think the Decepticons were right about our species. We really are “human germs” and “insects”.

  5. skeptuckian says

    …but it is ok to kill and eat animals, that is not considered torture. Talk about a double standard.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    I now know to which purpose to reprogram any captured T-800s.
    Surely their motherboards will have the capacity to decrypt / hack and trace those messages to their sources? As for the endgame, it is Hammurabi’s law, motherfuckers.

  7. drivenb4u says

    Turns out that guy (Macartney) doesn’t even have an issue with monkeys. He’s just an amoral opportunist who saw a chance to grab some cash. It’s the money part of it that screwed him, not so much the actual cruelty. Which is messed up.

  8. badland says

    skeptuckian @ 8

    Yes there is a difference, because one is fucking torture and the other is not. Our attempts at humane euthanasia for meat animals may not be perfect but they’re a fuckload better than sticking them in a blender or setting them on fire. Sod off with your sententious wankery.

  9. StevoR says

    @ ^ 11. nomdeplume : Have they tho? The bad guys are getting arrested and exposed. They exist and, yeah, that absolutely sucks when they are this utterly vile but there’s a lot more good guys out there and most people – I’m pretty sure – find the monkey torture niche horrors totally disgusting, unacceptable, repellent and nausea inducing.

    Don’t forget the good in people and the world too. It tends not to grab the same attention but it is there.

  10. Alan G. Humphrey says

    One hundred centuries of civilization, and this is where we’re at. The future I see is a world with a few thousand people, all the oligarchic families that have rid the world of the rest of humanity, using the perfected AIs and robots to tend to their every need. But being human, some will eventually gang up on the others and reduce the population until there are just a few left. Then the most paranoid one will finish the job of extinguishing homo sapiens because they’ll be afraid their offspring will come after them, so will never procreate. Nice story.

    BTW, it is the story tellers that create civilization. The stories of how we make a bow shoot farther, how we make a spear sharper, how we make a blade chop more, how we stole the grain from our neighbors, and how we killed them when they came for it. The stories about us vs. them. One hundred centuries, and the stories are still predominantly about them vs. US. I have a feeling the paranoid one will be from the middle section of the continent called North America.

  11. StevoR says

    @8.skeptuckian : “…but it is ok to kill and eat animals, that is not considered torture.”

    Because its not? Generally at least. I don’t think this is the place to raise the whole vegetarian /.vegan issue since that’s in a very different league from this. Of course there are quite a lot of people who do think eating meat is wrong if not necessarily torture so your line there is inaccurate in that regard as well.

    “Talk about a double standard.””

    Talk about a different topic, a whole different thing entirely. Ethics of food vs animal cruelty.

  12. StevoR says

    @Alan G. Humphrey : Sounds a bit like the way the Spacers and esp the Solarians :

    Developed in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation / Robot ‘verse.

    Most (all?) of the 50 (?) od other spacer worlds that were settled by robots and small numbers of people ended up dying out..

  13. Alan G. Humphrey says

    @ StevoR
    I read ‘I, Robot’ and the original Foundation trilogy many decades ago and don’t remember if the Solarians and Spacers were mentioned as human cultures that died out, or even at all. I didn’t realize how much more Asimov wrote about and intertwined the robots and Foundation. Thank you.

  14. Akira MacKenzie says

    Mondays? Ha! Discovering the cruelty and stupidity of my fellow humans is a daily occurrence for me.

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