Pandodyssey™ Panda Blog

This is a blog devoted to Giant Panda enthusiasts, environmental wanna-bes and peace loving funimals, world-wide.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's Cool to Be Anti-Panda

Panda: International symbol of peace and hope, or easy scapebear? Discuss.

Hot on the heels of the most recent 'when pandas attack' news, come two op-ed pieces, one rife with anti-panda analogies and the other, bitter environmental irony.

The first piece, Finally. A panda shows its teeth, pontificates whether China, once exporter of pandas as symbols of diplomacy, is now exporting panda fear, and what could this mean? That China wants a "tougher" reputation around the world? That China is not to be messed with? That if you crawl into China's den, drunk and demanding affection, it will bite?

The author never quite resolves the China question, choosing instead to spend the better part of the editorial hilariously discussing the reasons why the panda is his least favorite bear: "I’m not fooled by his face, spray-painted into that perpetual, plaintive simper. He’s a loser. He’s on the way out. This isn’t some beleaguered Yangtze dolphin we are talking about. They have been given every chance. Nature just doesn’t want to make pandas. Pandas don’t even want to make pandas, even when there is nothing else to do. Why? Who knows. Newborn, they look like the crime that sticks out of a flasher’s raincoat. " (I didn't know flashers used sticks of butter to intimidate their victims!)

The second piece, "It's not easy being green" explores one columnist's frustration with the strident overzealousness of neo-enviro-nazis. The author, Jim Schembri, is no dubya-lovin', environment hating, CO2-spewin' RePub - he's actually an environmentalist himself and has been his whole life. He merely disagrees with the vehicle in which "being green" sometimes rides around, judging and talking, more so than doing. "(T)he environment and I were getting along just fine before all these people started barking at me to do things I'd already been doing all my life. I kind of resent it." So in protest, the author wonders what a panda burger tastes like and if "it tastes better if you shoot the panda yourself"? He also ponders "Is it wrong to want a doona made from the fur of baby seals? Of course it is. Baby seal furs make much better car seat covers. For the doona, use tiger pelts."

Admittedly this article - like pandodyssey - is only tangentially panda-related. But your point has been made, Mr. Schembri. I, for one, pledge to be less strident and more informed about my views. I vow to be less judgmental and more forgiving of others whose (erroneous) view points may differ. I promise to be a ... consensus bringer, and not a divider. Happy? Now can you come on back to the right side?

Pictured above: Simper? Moi??

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