Joe Exotic. The man, the myth, the criminal? No doubt by now you will all be familiar with the utterly gobsmacking, meth-fuelled mystery surprise that is Tiger King – perhaps the most intriguing documentary ever to grace the proverbial shelves of Netflix.
Now, for those who have not yet completed these annals, look away! But if you have – and lord knows if you’ve started it’ll happen quickly – you will be utterly confounded with what you have just witnessed, desperately attempting to reconcile the world you live in, with the universe you have just encountered.
Having seen the title of this article, some of you will be shouting through your screens – what could we possibly learn from that sociopath?? However, as I sat stewing, I stumbled upon the realisation that our dear Mr Exotic had actually imparted some truly valuable life lessons, in an amongst his debauchery.
So, I share with you today: Joe Exotic’s 5 lessons to live by.*
1) Supermarket sell by dates are complete bullshit. With his tigers (and indeed, his staff) fed with t truckloads of ‘off’ meat produce from Walmart, it makes ABUNDANTLY clear a fact that is near and dear to my heart – we need to stop wasting food, and accept that food does not have a hard and fast expiration. Food waste is shameful, save the planet people! Although maybe don’t take it soooo far…
2) The Mullet was never, and will never be, in fashion. Take note, all you quarantined ket boys, I’m talking to you here.
3) Looks really aren’t everything. It can’t be denied that Joe is no looker – and yet, with multiple partners throughout the series, he proves there is hope for even the clappedest of us out there. However, if you’re actually planning to take this inspiration into your dating life, make sure to exclude the psychological manipulation and cult associations.
4) Sexuality is a spectrum. As an openly gay, flaming polygamist, can’t be said that he conforms to society’s expectations, and he’s far from sorry.
5) Dream Big. Was he qualified to be President? Absolutely not. Did it stop him from running? Never. If Trump can do it, anyone can – including you!
So, there you have it; Guru Exotic’s valuable teachings.
However, to finish on a more genuine note, what the show truly reveals is the abominable continuation of exotic animal trade in the US. A cause that (as seen in the show’s final clip) used to be near and dear to Joe’s heart, animal abuse at this magnitude is genuinely shocking, and anyone participating in it deserves to be locked up, just like their animals. Tigers are not pets, people! and THAT is the show’s true lesson.
*all to be taken with a whopping pinch of salt x
By Camy Sandford