Wednesday, September 21, 2005

More penguins!

Sure enough, the point I made about the Central Park did not go unmentioned. In yesterday's Science Times (which, it turns out, is likely the last time I will get a Times for some time- perhaps ever), after an idiotic (and, of course, politicized- it's OK if you're a liberal) piece on the history of foul language, there were letters about the penguins and conservatives. Said letters ranged from the inane to...the more inane. Samples:
...after all the clearly documented (easily Google-able) cases worldwide of
long-term monogamous gay pair bonding and child rearing that occur among
penguins.
Animals aren't "gay." People weren't "gay," or even "homosexual," until recently. There were people who engaged in homosexual acts*; there were no homosexuals. To take a concept so recently created for humans and apply it to animals that have no concept of it is ridiculous. And, of course, a long-term male relationship may well have nothing to do with sex. I strongly suspect that's the case with these penguins. As to "clearly documented"...really? One story, repeated over and over, can make it big on Google.
If those penguins huddle collectively to keep warm and survive a storm, does it
mean that Americans should support the welfare state and a well-financed FEMA?
Welfare and mutual cooperation are two different things. I hope to post a bit on this later.
...perhaps they will also embrace gay partnerships, since penguins around the
world have been observed living in monogamous, long-term same-sex
relationships.
and
They will perhaps be surprised to read about gay male penguins of Central Park
Zoo, who happily set up home (fittingly) in Manhattan, though one couple
apparently ended their relationship recently.
Honesty! Make that, of course, "the one couple." And see above.

Then there's this from a "Dr.":
They are opportunistically pair bonded in the extremes of the Arctic winter to
maximize their reproductive success.
There are no penguins in the Arctic.

I used to think the non-news sections were one of the main reasons to read the Times. No more! Goodbye, Pinch!

Oh, before I do say a final goodbye: Clyde Haberman has joined the crowd that jokes about prison rape. You can't link to it, so here it is: In talking about Kozlowski, he says, "For one thing, Attica or wherever else he winds up may not be the best place for jokes about shower curtains." Even Eliot Spitzer's made some remarks in that direction. ("Oh, he's going to state prison.") Absolutely disgusting.

*Or none at all. Both an increased acceptance of homosexuality and a hypersexualizing of society (i.e., "You must have sex with someone. Not interested in women? Then you're gay!") has led to forced identifications, including self-indentifications, and situations such as we've just seen at the Catholic Church (on the seminaries issue) and at the Yeshiva of Flatbush.

1 comment:

Penny said...

There is certainly quite a bit of what humans would view as homosexual behaviour in the animal kingdom, and some of that behaviour is actually associated with heterosexual mating behaviour. For instance, cows will mount each other when they go into estrus, a behaviour that attracts the bulls. However, there are also animals who are actually homosexual. They only engage in sexual acts with animals of the same sex.

There is plenty of sexual ambiguity among humans and the rest of the animal kingdom -- probably more than we like to admit. However, there are also legitimately homosexual people and animals who only enjoy engaging in sexual behaviour with members of the same sex. And yes, there are also those who do not enjoy sex at all.

And Nachum, you know I know what I'm talking about.