Notes to Bob Parsons

Bob Parsons, Mack Daddy of the web hosting company Go Daddy, recently generated a bit of a firestorm when he posted a video clip of himself executing a “musth bull problem elephant” in Zimbabwe. According to Parsons, the elephant was destroying crops, and the farmers were in desperate need of his assistance. Apparently, this is the second year in succession that Parsons has visited Africa to “help” the agrarian community in this way.

There are instances — more each day, sadly – when elephant and human contact results in tragedy in one direction or the other. I won’t pass judgment on the abjectly poor farmers who depend on their crops for their livelihood and survival. But I don’t mind passing a little judgment on Parsons. In the spirit of good will and friendship I offer him the following hints.

Notes to Bob:

– Don’t cast yourself as heroic. You’re precisely the opposite of that. There’s no glory whatsoever in killing an elephant. Hell, anyone who can lift a weapon could do it. You were well-armed … the elephant just wanted to eat. There may be people in this world who are ignorant enough to be impressed by what you did, but I doubt that anyone who’s reading this post would be among that number.

– Don’t claim that your motive for the destruction of the animal was in any way altruistic. You did not travel all the way to Zim at great personal expense to “help” anybody. If you actually wanted to benefit humanity there are quite literally countless ways to do this that don’t involve firearms. The fact is, nobody … I mean NOBODY … believes that your purpose and intent was to rid the farmers of a menace to their crops. The reality is … you wanted very badly to kill an elephant, so that’s what you did. To frame it any other way is a flat out lie.

– Be honest about what you shot. This is a cautionary admonition, because there’s just a little room for doubt about the gender of your “Bull” elephant. Based on the video you very generously shared with us, it’s doubtful that there’s enough physically remaining of the animal to ascertain its sex with 100% accuracy. But elephant researcher Joyce Poole has examined your video and stills, and she deems it highly likely that your “Bull” was a young female. I have considerably more faith in her best guess than I do in your integrity.

– If you want to perform an act that’s simultaneously destructive, dishonest, selfish and mindless, I recommend very strongly that you don’t videotape it and then post it for display like a badge of honor. Only a jackass would do that.

I’m always ready to help, Bob. If you’re ever again in need of my mentorship and guidance, by all means let me know.

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