Michael McClure was an American poet and writer known for his association with the Beat Generation.
Here he can be seen reading poetry to the lions. Apparently the origin of this footage is from the USA: Poetry television series. Michael McClure reads some of his 99 Ghost Tantras in the lion house of the San Francisco Zoo.
“We still have a chance to be cruel. But if we are not cruel today, all is lost.”
What exactly does he mean by being cruel?:
“End Third World aid and asylum for refugees, so millions die. Try mandatory abortions for those with two children. And then find some way to get rid of the extra billions of people. With 2.5 times more humans than earth can support, another world war, he says, would be ‘a happy occasion for the planet.’ Living alone in primitive style here without running water or car, the fisherman likes to compare humanity to a sinking ship with 100 passengers and a lifeboat that can only hold 10. ‘Those who hate life try to pull more people on board and drown everybody. Those who love and respect life use axes to chop off the extra hands hanging on the gunwale.'”
“In His Solitude” (1994)
Next to this there is “Humanflood”, a four-page text of his hand featured in Apocalypse Culture II (2000) which I have been unable to identify.
And then there is his book Can Life Prevail? (2011), a translation of Voisiko elämä voittaa (2004), is still in print.
The metaphor of the lifeboat [above] was probably taken from the 1974 essay “Living on a Lifeboat” by Garrett Hardin, an essay which was the basis for what has become known as lifeboat ethics.