I watched again--for the third or fourth time--a great movie: Seabiscuit. If you have not seen this, I can highly recommend taking the time to savor the story, the acting, the script, and the cinematography. Few films are better, few stories are more inspiring, and few experiences are able to rekindle belief in man and beast. (The book is also worth reading.) Secretariat is also a good movie, but does not approach the greatness of Seabiscuit...even if some might say the former was a greater horse.
Regardless of you interest or lack thereof in horses or horse racing, these are interesting stories with lessons to be learned. I know almost nothing about either subject, but enjoyed both movies. I will watch them again, once some more water has flowed down the Rhine to the sea...
One man’s offal is another man’s awfully good. This becomes evident by merely comparing menu items in different countries around the world.
Americans react with horror, when they learn that their favorite pets would end up on the table in many Asian countries. Animals, which dwell in zoos in Western lands, are seen as delicacies...and, often, necessities to survival in less-developed countries. Although rare in the United States, internal bits of animals are enjoyed daily in Europe, and can be very pricey in better French restaurants. All this leads me to the a controversy raging in England. Someone discovered that cheap, supermarket hamburger patties contain bits of horse meat. Supermarket chains have been forced to issue apologies and run newspaper ads.
People wanting cheap meat should not ask about its origin or content. Who wants to know what’s in a sausage, as long as it tastes good? Americans would surely be as horrified as some English folks seem to be about eating horse meat, but Europeans do not understand the ruckus. A butcher in my town hangs a sign in his window advertising horse meat. A major supermarket I patronize on each visit to France offers cheval in the meat display between beef and lamb. I have not knowingly consumed horse or dog, but bit might have been in food bought at public events or even rare supermarket purchases. I suspect any meat handled in the back and wrapped in plastic. We buy most meat at our local butcher (who does not sell horse meat), where we watch him grind the hamburger in front of our eyes.
Hungry people--and gourmets--do not attach romantic visions about pets to the food they eat. One man’s trusty stead is another man’s mmm, mmm, good, just as one man’s best friend in the United States would be someone’s bulgogi in Korea.
The following Guardian headline caught my eye:
'Horses are 100% better than people'
These words were spouted by a “singer” named Leona Lewis (never heard of her, so I don’t know if she’s famous, but must be or would not be interviewed by the Guardian). Only her words interest me, because they made me consider their veracity.
Here’s what I think. Horses are worthless at conversation. As easy as it is to obtain a taxi license in New York City, no horse could drive a cab. Despite the endless need for low-paid workers, no fast food chain would hire a horse to flip burgers or even clean tables. And, these wonderful creatures have never--not once--ever cleaned up a mess they made.
If given the chance, I would advise Ms. Lewis to reconsider her opinion. I wonder if she’s blond...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.