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Song(s) of the Week: "Orca," by deadmau5, "Orca," by Wintersleep

Orcas at East Point Saturna Island, July 19, 2008, working against a strong flooding rip current, going slow.
Orcas at East Point Saturna Island, July 19, 2008, working against a strong flooding rip current, going slow.
Photo via mrmritter via Flickr Creative Commons

I'm not entirely comfortable with anybody's position about the rights of animals in the lawsuit PETA has brought on behalf of 5 orcas. So I picked two songs I'm not entirely comfortable with to represent that. 

The first is deadmou5's "Orca."

The second is Wintersleep's "Orca." 

Only the Canadian band's song has words:

I'll be a killer whale, when I grow up,

I'll be a vulture

I'll be an animal, a carnivore, 

I'll be a monster

Clenching my jagged jaws over the captured

I'll be a killer whale when I grow up

I'll be a monster

deadmau5 has the sort of speed I imagine of a deadly pod of orcas. But the thing that's intriguing about the lyrics of Wintersleep's song is that they've got the menace. Dolphins are outstanding pack hunters, after all. 

Both of these songs imagine, in their way, what it's like to be an orca. But the imagining is done by people. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that. It's making for interesting law, and legal theory, and ethical discussions. There's something valuable in trying to see the world from someone else's point of view than your own; why not some other species? I guess I'm doubtful about what we're hearing straight from the orca's mouth, as it were. 

I do still have a soft spot for this bit from Douglas Adams, which, though it appeals to the juvenile, 11-year-old-me, still appeals: "Man has always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much...the wheel, New York, wars and so on...while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man...for precisely the same reason." (Nerds may recall that the dolphins leave before earth is blown up to make way for hyperspace bypass.)

So long, and thanks for all the fish. 

Listen to all of the songs of the week.