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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Monday, September 18, 2006
Grisly, Man.
Mrs. R and I started watching Grizzly Man last night. This is a documentary about a man who lived every summer for 13 years in Alaska among Grizzly bears. 13 turned out to be his unlucky number, as he (and his girlfriend) got ate up.

One of the helicopter pilots who assisted in the post-mauling cleanup is interviewed on camera ("I must have hauled four bags of... people"). He said the obvious - that as much as some people feel a kinship with the bears, as much as they want to make them into something spiritual or something else that they are not, the bears remain bears. And they will eat you, no matter how much you like them or want to understand them.

I turned to Mrs. R and said, "That sounds exactly like a description of terrorist sympathizers*." She replied, "I was going to say the same thing." I love that woman.

On a very related note: When I was a kid, my favorite animal was the Giant Panda. I had a stuffed animal collection and several books about these animals (I didn't say I was a popular kid). And what any Panda expert could tell you back then was, Pandas aren't bears. They're actually a relative of the raccoon. We Panda lovers scoffed at the term "Panda Bear." They were nothing of the sort!

In the early 2000s, I took my own kids to the National Zoo in D.C. to see the pandas. A zookeeper stood outside the exhibit with some education items, such as a skull and some, um, panda poop. I asked the zookeeper, for the benefit of the kids, "Isn't it true that the panda is not a bear, and is actually related to the raccoon?" "Actually," she replied, "recent DNA analysis shows that they are bears, after all."

Imagine that! This big creature, that looked like a regular old bear except for its coloring... turns out to be a bear! I felt like quite an idiot. And then I thought, hey, sounds just like Arafat... the experts keep saying he's a statesman, he's a diplomat... but in the end he's still just a terrorist.

*Or, as I like to call them, the Terrorati
Bears are just oppressed and misunderstood. Why are you always applying your Eurocentric heteronormative standards to these uneducated and impoverished creatures? Is it because of your connections to the oil industry? Sure, it’s easy to blame the bears for everything the bears do, but we’ll never make any progress without looking at the root causes: the unjust distribution of opposable thumbs, credit cards, and indoor toilets. Only when there is justice can we all live with marginal hygene eating organic free-range lima beans and making our own clothes from hemp.
Pandas are bears after all? We'll what do you know?

The older I get, the less I seem to know. When I was growing up, the panda was a raccoon relative, there were nine planets in the solar system, three kingdoms of life, and two Vietnams. Those were basic facts. Then somebody changed the rules and forgot to tell me.
That grizzly-lover made the mistake of anthropomorphizing the bears. It's the same mistake liberals make with Islamo-terrorists. Anthropomorphizing beasts. "What do they want, why are they unhappy?" Ask Little Red Riding Hood what the wolf wanted.

"The unjust distribution of opposable thumbs" -- thumbs up to the best line of the day!
Toby - thanks for sticking with us during this posting drought. Chatima tova to you and yours.
The difference between this and a drought is that droughts are temporary.
I actually kind of like the quiet, as long as a few congenial fokls are here.

I really hope the drought WON'T be permanent though.
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