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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Space World Skating On Thin Ice - And Dead Fish

Wait… that’s no manta, that’s a skate.

Would you want to skate on a frozen pond filled with dead fish?

Even as a Canadian who loves his hockey (and got a chance for the first time to coach his own son as goaltender in a game this past weekend  - he stole the show in a 4-1 victory), I wouldn’t feel comfortable skating atop a bunch of dead fish - no matter how life-like it seemed.

Space World in Kitakyushi-shi (Kitakyushu City) in Fukuoka-ken (Fukuoka prefecture), recently decided it would be a good idea to create an ice skating rink for people to use… and purchased already dead fish some 5,000 mackerel, sprats and others) and and frozen them under the surface of the rink, so it would look like skaters were gliding atop the ocean.

There was initially some concern that the aquarium had killed all of these fish as they froze the arena—especially when they spied manta rays and whale sharks beneath the ice—but those ones turned out to be enlarged photos placed within the ice.

But the fish… oh, my Buddha… the fish…

People skating at Space World did not seem to have much of an issue skating atop the arena of death… either not caring or assuming it was all fake… but after a local Japanese television news report showed the scene, outrage followed.
Life's a beach and then you dive.
People called it cruel, immoral and just plain weird… but let’s look at it from the Space World point of view.

All of the fish are dead. They are embedded below the ice, so no one will come in contact with the fish… and, I repeat, the fish were already dead.

What’s the difference between buying a dead fish and eating it? Is that cruel? Is that immoral? Vegetarians might think so.

It was used to create art… because ultimately, that’s what the dead fish became… art. Is that weird or immoral or cruel? 

Some Japanese guy once cut off his own wiener and had it cooked up and charged people to eat it. Performance art to the max. Is this worse or not as bad as using dead fish as part of a frozen exhibit/skating rink.

I know… I know… I thought like everyone else initially - like WTF Japan? But is it really gross or immoral?

It is true that Space World could have created the entire exhibit using the same photographs of the rays and whale sharks under the frozen water to give skaters the illusion they are gliding atop the ocean…

Or, they could have used fake fish in place of dead fish and placed them under the ice…



I think the most disturbing thing about the whole ice rink, was that Space World had to use English… to use dead fish to spell out in English, the word “HELLO”, supposedly to direct skaters in the proper direction to skate.

I’m thinking an arrow painted at a couple of spots along the rink’s boards could have done the same thing.

Why English? Was that just a nod at us puck-swatting, maple syrup sucking Canucklehead Canadians who like to skate?

"HELLO, we are a grouper of dead fish… who want to say hello… every time you skate over us…. and we want to eat your brains, just like we did to the people who organized the skating rink at Space World."

Skate or die…. it’s too bad that saying was for skateboarding… maybe initially from an old video  game I recall some 30 years ago…

Space World quickly bowed deeply to the outrage brought against it via the media, and closed the facility. It had been scheduled to stay open until the Spring of 2017.

The owners of the facility say they are considering holding a memorial for the dead fish at some point next year…

Now that’s guilt.

“We come here today, to offer our deepest prayers for the soles of these fish. Despite them being dead when we bought them at the fish market, we accept blame for skating atop the skates, for flexing our mussels, for not seeing that the whole set-up was a double-edged swordfish.

We feel like hammerheads, and continue to show our remorse by being koi about our guilt.

Oh, and we hope that the spirits of these dead fish don't come and haunt Space World. We didn't kill you... the fishermen did. Go haunt them.

Okay… that’s all we have to say - Fin.”

Space World didn’t kill the fish. They were already dead and were more than likely scheduled to become someone’s meal and ultimately someone’s poop.

Space World was just going to take these dead creatures and turn them into art.

Of course… the whole thing could be seen as a waste of food.

I could go either way in this one.

I wouldn’t have used real fish to begin with because I can see that there might be some sort of public uproar… but now that it’s done, Space World didn’t really do anything evil to the fish… though that’s just my opinion.

I still think there was a better way to create the ocean ice rink, and would have done my best to convince Space World to do anything but use real fish…

No… I don’t think it was wrong, but I could see how others would. And that’s what matters. I would not have created a public display that could cause such outcry.

Have your say…

Oh... and here's the link to Space World - HERE.

Thanks, Julien!

Late breaking revelation! Apparently the frozen fish aren't necessarily UNDER the ice... they are sort of breaking the surface - in many places... why would you need to do that?

Couldn't the bumps trip up the skaters? Couldn't the skates rip up the frozen fish causing unnecessary carnage?

Aren't there going to be unruly teenagers and kids and adults who might actually kick at the kish visible above the ice? I might. Just to see if I can do it?   

Okay... a so-so idea gone bad.

Itadakimasu,
Andrew Joseph
PS: A joke:
Q: How many existentialists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: The fish.   

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