Not My Tiger King

Though reluctant at first, I, not unlike you reading this, sought distraction from the bleak state of affairs (we’re all gonna die) by indulging in a half-dozen hours of Netflix’s true crime documentary series, Tiger King. It is non-fiction, though it perhaps could be better described as a soap opera, if it weren’t so goddamned dirty. I found myself wanting to shower between episodes.

At first, I was like

But then, I was like

Speaking of dirty, our story’s protagonist, Joe Exotic, is a version of Joe Dirt that enjoys getting the poo on himself. Exotic is like if poppers were a person. He’s Andy (with a padlock hanging from his) Dick, channeling an emo Garth Brooks persona.

Joe Exotic wasn’t conceived as much as he was sprouted from the seeds of life that were spilled onto the floor of the theater Pee Wee Herman was arrested in. Some say Joe is a timeless being, that he was present at the creation of Adam, leaning into the ear of God at the last minute to whisper “you should put the g spot in his butt.” Yep, that was all Joe.

Joe seemingly balances effeminate homosexuality with toxic masculinity. I picture him slapping a hole in the drywall when he gets angry. The straightest thing about him is his innate disdain for women. He is an overt narcissist who smothers anyone that gets close enough with selfish intentions, to the point of suffocattion. Rest easy, Travis. Joe drove that kid to suicide and didn’t even need to stop for directions. He made the funeral about himself and his shitty country music, which are three words that feel redundant as I type them.

All sleaze aside, Joe’s most egregious atrocities are his crimes against Tigers. Anyone tweeting in support of freeing this abuser should have to do so from a tiger cage. Fuck. Outta. Here.

Not to downplay the severity of hiring a crackhead to kill Carole Baskin, that was definitely not chill and possibly even problematic. However, if you’ve made it this far, you probably accept the idea presented in the documentary that Carole killed her millionaire husband and fed him to a tiger. Why not believe that? We’re stuck inside, what else are we supposed to do? If I valued rich people the same way I do tigers, perhaps my brow would be raised a little higher to the issue, but it’s gonna be a “meh” from me, dog. As far as I’m concerned, cats can have little a Carole’s husband, as a treat.

This clown lady and her sporadic Joker laughter aren’t as devious as the animal-killing men who plotted against her. She is probably only the fifth worst person in this story and hearing her be called bitch so gratuitously was a bit cringe, murderer or not. I do think her current husband should find a spine and some individuality, but he most likely doesn’t want any trouble.

Jeff Lowe answers the question “what if a Godsmack song became a real boy?” and exudes big “did you cum, babe?” energy. No, Jeff, babe didn’t cum. You tricked her into loving you by exploiting baby animals, like the other cultish, polygamist lowlifes highlighted in this shit-show of humanity. 

Doc Antle was more worthy of murder-by-crackhead based on his cub euthanizing practices alone. He is a predator and a pervert. Imagine being a teenaged girl who just wants to help animals, only to be manipulated and conned out of your virginity by fat Marlon Brando from The Island of Dr. Moreau. Hey Siri, remind me in 10 minutes to throw up in my mouth a little.

Adding to the garbage heap is ginger Chumlee, who just seems to pop up in the story to fill the role of snitch. 

There were a few solid humans that genuinely cared for the animals and didn’t make me root for Coronavirus. I think Saff was one of the only real men interviewed. I also enjoyed Ed Hardy legs; he’s like if Lieutenant Dan bought his limbs at Hot Topic. 

I offer my gratitude and appreciation for the downplayed bystanders that protected and loved the cats. It’s relieving to see some light amid all the darkness this tale is shrouded in. Overall, however, I still walk away feeling like a majority of the people in this story deserved to be murdered. This series is reminiscent of Shameless- a polished production focusing on the type of people in my family I avoid having political discussions with because they aren’t allowed to vote- made for normies to enjoy from a safe distance, as if these type of toxic people are the wild animals that warrant distance and caution. 

I think the summation of this is that we enjoy watching Tiger King for the same reason we enjoy eating McDonald’s: because we’re stupid pieces of shit, but that’s just me, an optomist. I’m joking, mostly. God bless America and all the cool cats and kittens that call it home. It is definitely a champagne and brie kind of evening.

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