In containment in the kingdom of the wild with the “Tiger King”

En confinement au royaume des fauves avec le «Tiger King»

If you believe that you have already seen this, and if you have a few hours of free time to sell (and who doesn’t these days?), the documentary series “Tiger King” on Netflix is for you. This series irresistible offers a portrait stripper of the kind of stories weird that only our amazing american neighbours seem to have the secret.

Did you know that there are more tigers living in captivity in the United States than there are in the wild in the asian jungles? Me neither. Did you also know that a documentary on these tigers and their owners we can learn a lot about our friends the yanks in the era of Trump? Ditto. So, why not a small ticket?

The kingdom of the beasts Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness

I’m going to make two confessions: I’m curious of everything that is happening in the United States (that, you guessed it), and I’m a big fan of the documentary series on the wildlife. When my son told me about a series on Netflix, which combined these two passions in a way too strange so that we can explain it, I told myself that I needed to give him a chance. Late the other night, so I clicked on “Tiger King” (The kingdom of the wild) to see what everyone was talking about. From the point of view of sleep, it was a serious mistake.

I love so much to warn you, this series focused on the existence fantastic Joe Schreibvogel, better known as Joe Exotic, an owner of a private zoo in Oklahoma which is self-proclaimed “Tiger King”, will take you hostage. There is little chance that you’d come out before having seen seven episodes, all of them more implausible than others. It’s just as well. Rather, it is the standard of being confined to the house by the time that run.


Joe Exotic is a homosexual polygamous flamboyant to colorful language, profusely tattooed with the blonde mane, avid collector and user of firearms, libertarian, and addicted to a cocktail little common various drugs, we can’t help but admire the charism in its good moments. The word “weird” does not adequately describe the set of characters that we offer this series, which focuses on the adventures wild of the conflict between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, an ex-hippie activist for animal rights, who thought that his involvement in this documentary makes it pass for a saint. It is far from being the case.

In fact, apart from the sheriff of the county of Wynnewood, where is the zoo of Joe, who has watched this tragicomedy for years without being able to intervene legally, the character who seems the most “normal” in this distribution that no author of fiction would not have dared to assemble is a drug addict transgender who lives in a mobile home and which is returned to work as if nothing had happened a few days after being made to eat a arm by a tiger. Seriously.

Anything goes: a case of grim’s mysterious disappearance, attempted murder, ordered, drugs of all kinds, sexual perversions, polygamy, reality television, suicide, prosecution ruinous, shenanigans of little crooks, animals, and workers outrageously exploited (including by the well-wishing of the gaugauche imbued with a mission to save the wildlife), and I’m not telling you all, far from it. After each episode, even if you have already done a hundred times in the day, the taste will take you to wash vigorously the hands.

Cult and political

There are also two things that are particularly relevant to those who seek to understand this strange country that has entrusted its destiny three years ago already at a enfirouapeur which carries out the policy of the greatest superpower in the world as a show of reality tv. First, the bizarre world described in this series puts in scene three microsociétés fully focused on personality cults are unhealthy, that remind us how american culture is vulnerable to this type of sorcerers. I had already written above about the excellent historical essay by Kurt Andersen, Fantasyland.

What could be more charming than to live in the middle of the wild and take selfie with a baby tiger, or, for the more daring, with his dad of 250 pounds. This series shows us how the pursuit of this kind of dreams, skillfully marketed by personalities as charismatic as twisted, can inspire countless ordinary people in the illusion of a dreamed world where everything is fabulous, or, to coin a phrase by you-know-who, tremendous.

Finally, I won’t deny that there are also a few lessons in politics. To the right as to the left, we see the attractiveness of the sellers of illusions about a people always in search of illusions and fantasies, whether it be the illusion to do good or a fantasy of power, there is nothing to the test of the merchants of dream. To the right, the owners of the zoos we lead in a world that is authoritarian, where they sell the illusion of power and greatness, as much for personal benefit as to satisfy the need for attention and glorification of their ego disproportionate or needs for vengeance that exceeds all rationality (all parallel with the world of great politics is accidental). To the left, it operates without a lot less scruples, the desire of well to do people of good will who are shocked by the cruelty against animals. No one comes out unscathed.

Warning divulgâcheur: if you hold to the total surprise when you watch the series, do not read this paragraph. In an episode of the series, in the obvious purpose of promoting the zoo and to satisfy his insatiable need for self-promotion (and a bit also for the sake of revenge; it’s starting to remind me of someone…), Joe Exotic launches in the policy. He made a phony campaign for the presidency in 2016, and a real campaign for the office of governor of Oklahoma in 2018, under the banner of the Party libertarian. You already know enough about the character to understand that if an individual of this caliber is capable of collecting a significant number of votes in an election for the position of governor, everything is not bad as possible… It also helps to better understand some of the other election results in the past or—and this is not excluded—to come.

As noted by the political scientist american Seth Masket, who has often just the word on Twitter, his fellow countrymen are recently mounted the barricades to lay blame, the report unhealthy than the Chinese have with the wild animals for the outbreak of the COVID-19, but these are the same Americans who allow Joe Exotic of this world to thrive. _(ツ)_/

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