by RIP RENSE
Grand Old Penguin
(Sept. 21, 2005)
The new symbol of the
Figures that all the
suits would like an animal that looks like a suit.
The extreme right wing is
crowing over National Geographic’s “March of the Penguins”---the most
popular movie to feature lots of marching since “Triumph of the Will.”
wingers, really like uniform behavior, you see; really appreciate when
people get in “lock-step,” as they like to say. Ranch house, two SUV’s in
the garage, boat in the driveway, churchonsundee, tapered hair, Fox
on the tube, 9-to-five, flag in lapel, hate Hillary.
But who would have
thought they would adopt the fabulous flightless bird of the southern
hemisphere as a heroic figure?
Going enviro-wacko, are
No, just wacko.
so-called Christians have taken this Morgan Freeman-narrated film, the
highest-grossing documentary since “Farenheit 9:11," under their wing. The
New York Times reports that the Christian-influenced website, Bird---er,
World---Net Daily featured an abortion opponent columnist who wrote that
the penguin film “verified the beauty of life and the rightness of
Hmm. . .
Well, it verified that
giant emperor penguins can really march, that’s for sure. When they go out
to lunch, they really go out to lunch. I’m talking a 70-mile stroll to the
fish market, to stock up before the 70-mile waddle back to Penguinville,
where they vomit up goodies for their offspring. Mm-mm! A hot day is
probably 50 below, with gale force winds. The ones who get a bit tired drop
Er, not too picturesque.
And in order to
hatch their giant eggs, the poor creatures must balance them on their feet
to protect them from freezing on the permafrost. Some of the eggs don’t sit
so well, and crack, so the unborn chicks turn into penguinsickles. Oh, and
lots of beautiful seals and gulls come around to snack on the cute
newborns. Little pengie kids get pecked to death.
Beauty of life? I
don’t think so. . .
Chilly Willy and Jesus: More than meets the eye?
columnist, a strutting peacock in “pro-life” fanaticism, as well as flocks
of churchonsundee folk are giving the penguin the Good Housekeeping
Seal of Approval. (Pardon the expression, penguins.) Well, they probably
would if they could.
Pengies, they say, are
models of monogamy! Super-dedicated moms and dads! They heroically keep
those big eggs warm with a fat flap of belly skin, and then the community
huddles together to keep everybody warm. (Guess the columnist didn’t mind
the Hillary It takes a village implication.) Columnist stopped short
of saying that Pengie is opposed to abortion. Although she might have missed
a bet---there is no evidence of penguin abortion clinics in the film, and no
sign of flightless “pro-life” protestors. . .
Well, penguins are
unflappable monogamists, that’s true, for as long as one entire mating
season. Then they wife-swap like a Mormon on Viagra. Still, this seasonal
infatuation is remarkable because monogamy
is hard to find in nature, especially among professional basketball players.
Consider: only three percent of mammals are monogamous! What’s more,
sticking with one mate turns out to be a risk factor for extinction, as
Donald Trump and B.B. King probably suspect. Justin Brashares of the
University of British Columbia put it this way: "In avoiding extinction, it
pays to be promiscuous." Hell, Hollywood has known this for years.
Still, it’s a good thing
National Geographic chose the cute pengies, when you consider the other
animals that naturally pair up for life: vultures, termites, prairie voles.
(What the hell is a prairie vole?) Otherwise, the right-winged would have
had one ugly new mascot.
So the Christians are
chirping about penguins, and how they are doing Gawd’s
monogamistic will. To wit: Ohio minister Ben Hunt, the NYT reports, is not
only urging his flock to march right down to “March,” but to take a
flashlight and make notes “to write down what God speaks to you as He speaks
it to you.” (Note to Hunt: I like Morgan Freeman well enough, but if you
know something I don’t, please share as it would be good news for
What’s more, Hunt sees
strong theological links between Christians and penguins. Their lack of
“Some of the
circumstances they experienced,” he said, “seemed to parallel those of
Christians. The penguin is falling behind, is like (sic) some Christians
falling behind. The path changes every year, yet they find their way, is
like (sic) the Holy Spirit.”
I’m going to guess that
the Rev. had little or no exposure to animals before, let alone grammar, or
he might have known of the impressive migratory habits of thousands of
species all over the planet. But that’s the beauty of the
documentary---educating the ignorant!
FOR MORE ON PENGIE CULTURE WARS, CLICK
between penguins and Christianity sort of elude me, I admit. True,
Christians claim they will one day leave their clothes and fly buck-naked to
heaven, but Pengie’s wings were clipped long ago as he evolutionarily
adapted to a life spent largely in the water. Whoops---I didn’t mean to make
this an argument for Darwin, but then, I didn’t. They did.
right-winged creatures are claiming that the emperors in “March” are
evidence of The King of Kings---in the form of what is just hilariously
called “Intelligent Design.” This is a theory that rejects evolution on the
basis that Gawdallmightee (the “Intelligent Designer”) appeared and
waved his magic wing, er, wand, to suddenly introduce intelligence into the
mix. To wit:
“That any one of these
eggs survives is a remarkable feat,” said Andrew Coffin (real name), writing
in the Christian publication, World Magazine, adding, “and some might
suppose, a strong case for Intelligent Design.”
Coffin thinks he’s nailed
it down---that because penguin behavior is in some ways similar to human
behavior, the birdies are therefore an argument against evolution.
Tweet, tweet. I
think perhaps Coffin is an argument in favor of evolution.
Design? What is so intelligent about not giving wings to penguins, in
order that they have to walk 70 miles for a snack? About forcing them to
balance a damn egg on their feet for months on end? If there is a Designer,
sounds to me like He dealt the pengies a lousy reproductive/survival hand,
but they outsmarted Him with evolution!
Of course, they are not
outsmarting mankind these days, and that’s where the right-winged might find
themselves not so supportive of Chilly Willy, et. al. In
recent years, hundreds of thousands of the wonderful creatures have died.
Starved to death---you know, just like New Orleans citizens. Why? At least
in the vicinity of the Falkland Islands, because humans are stealing their
dinner. Fishing the place out.
No wonder the emperors
are walking 70 miles for lunch.
Wonder how many folks
like that World Net Daily “pro-lifer” columnist and Rev. Hunt will go out
and campaign to stop the overfishing and ensuing environmental havoc? Wonder
how many of them are involved in supporting environmentally protective
Or perhaps they are among
that humble “Christian” crowd that believes the planet is here to be usurped
by humans, no matter the extinctions and pollution, because the Intelligent
Designer is a-waitin’ for True Believers in the Great Fish Fry in the Sky.
But back to penguins.
In the Central Park
Zoo in Manhattan live two wonderful healthy specimens of the new
Repugnican mascot, named Roy and Silo. They have been married for six years,
devotedly monogamous. They dutifully took turns incubating an egg until it
hatched, then fed the chick in that inimitably loving penguin way: vomiting
up half-digested fish. They engage in typical “ecstatic” behavior, entwining
their necks, cooing to each other, and mating. They are a shining example of
everything that the World Net Daily columnist and the right-winged
Of course, the egg was
Roy and Silo are gay.
BACK TO PAGE ONE