Russian vacationers were left aghast last weekend after the owners of a private beach attached a parasail harness to a donkey and launched the beast into the sky. Caught on video, the bizarre promotional stunt quickly became a viral YouTube hit — prompting Russian authorities to investigate the organizers for animal cruelty. Although the airborne ass crashed to earth after roughly 30 minutes, it apparently survived the ordeal. Way to go, "resourceful businessmen," says Megan Gibson in Time. Everyone knows that "animal cruelty just screams 'fun day at the beach.'" Why, asks Archie Bland at The Independent, did almost every news outlet in the world cover this story? Is it because our animal-loving media is outraged at the evident abuse? Do the "geopolitical ramifications of the animal's ordeal" merit analysis? Of course not. Look, someone has to say it: "It is just quite a funny video." Watch a news report on the incident:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 4 simple steaks you can cook in a pan
- Why does Fareed Zakaria still have a job?
- Does solar energy have a battery problem?
- Save the world... by changing how you pee
Subscribe to the Week