Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Pity the Poor Penguins

Since when did the penguin become a political football? Since conservatives fell in love with the documentary March of the Penguins.

Today Jonathan Miller (New York Times) described neocons' new love affair -- figurative only, of course -- with the blubbery bird. What's the attraction? Simply that penguins are monogamous. Maggie Gallagher, for example, said: "it is hard not to see the theological overtones in [March of the Penguins]. Beauty, goodness, love and devotion are all part of nature, built into the DNA of the universe." Ok, I agree.

But wait a minute. Isn't this the same Maggie Gallagher that, in column after column, has railed against gay marriage?

So what does Maggie make of Wendell and Cass, the celebrated -- and very monogamous -- gay penguin pair at the New York Aquarium? Or the other pairs of gay -- and monogamous -- penguins that have graced zoos through the years? What would she say about the failed efforts to separate the pairs and make them mate with females? Would she acknowledge, with the same enthusiasm, the "love and devotion" that these pairs showed?

But what am I doing??? I'm politicizing penguins myself (sounds like a Tom Lehrer song: "Politicizing Penquins in the Park"). Surely, Wendell and Cass wouldn't approve. After all, they just want to be left alone.

So here's to W and C and all the rest, gay and straight -- who are quite capable of carrying G-d's message of love, devotion, and monogamy without any help from us humans.

Links:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/13/science/13peng.html
http://www.jrn.columbia.edu/studentwork/cns/2002-06-10/591.asp
http://www.jrn.columbia.edu/studentwork/cns/2002-06-10/591.asp
http://guide.real.com/dir/news/entertainment/7590781_'march_of_the_penguins'_and_homosexuality.html

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  4. Interesting post. I consider myself a neocon and a fan of the movie, but I'm not quite sure what the two have to do with one another. I think neocon in this case is being mixed up with right-wing religious fundamentalist nutjob. They're two very different things. In fact, traditionally, neocons were former liberals and typically are fairly liberal when it comes to gay rights, abortion, etc.
    The religious fundamentalist nutjobs on the other hand... well, we all know about Pat frickin Robertson and the idiot brigade.
    Any rate, good post and looks like you might want to turn on that Word Verification for comments so you don't end up with so much comment spam.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks, Ken -- I stand corrected about neocons. And thanks for the tip about the spams! Lynne

    ReplyDelete
  6. Bernice Stelle Autumn Drake2:57 AM

    Read by Bea.

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