This is a story about ducks.
May 17, 2017 10:56 AM   Subscribe

The Architect of the Capitol teamed up with the non-profit City Wildlife and recently installed two duck ramps for ducklings to get in and out of the Capitol Reflecting Pool. Of course, this being DC, not everyone is pleased.

The best Twitter response to Rep. Mark Walker that was too long to be the post title: "Imagine being so devoid of joy that your response to a duck ramp is anything other than delight."
posted by numaner (39 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Mark Walker, currently running for president of the Douche Society...
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 11:00 AM on May 17 [4 favorites]


"Some say the ducks went to Canada, others say Toronto. And some people think Joe used to sit down there, near those ducks. But it could be that there's just no room in this modern world for an old man ... and his ducks. I'm Bart Simpson."
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:02 AM on May 17 [9 favorites]


Have the ducks been named yet? Might I suggest "Mallard Fillmore?"
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:09 AM on May 17 [4 favorites]


Mark Walker you are fowl.
posted by clavdivs at 11:27 AM on May 17 [5 favorites]




First time I've seen a lame duck complain about a duck ramp.
posted by w0mbat at 11:29 AM on May 17 [6 favorites]


Have the ducks been named yet? Might I suggest "Mallard Fillmore?"

What did those ducklings do to you to merit being associated with that execrable piece of printed garbage?
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:30 AM on May 17 [22 favorites]


Hey, I've got family in that district (Reidsville). I wish I were surprised by this turn of events, I really do.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:32 AM on May 17 [2 favorites]


Of course, this being DC, not everyone is pleased.

"This is distracting us from the difficult work of studiously ignoring our insane President's treason!"
posted by leotrotsky at 11:33 AM on May 17 [11 favorites]


"Imagine being so devoid of joy that your response to a duck ramp is anything other than delight."

Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. -H. L. Mencken
posted by leotrotsky at 11:34 AM on May 17 [18 favorites]


"Imagine being so devoid of joy" would be a good counter-campaign slogan.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:38 AM on May 17


Ducks don't have bootstraps, Mark.
posted by davejay at 11:45 AM on May 17 [3 favorites]




Think of how many duck ramps we could build if we didn't have to pay Mark Walker.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:50 AM on May 17 [9 favorites]


What did those ducklings do to you to merit being associated with that execrable piece of printed garbage?

Just trying to make a pun. Thought it fit the bill.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:51 AM on May 17 [13 favorites]


I am a little surprised that birds right activist hasn't spoken up about this.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:58 AM on May 17 [2 favorites]


First time I've seen a lame duck complain about a duck ramp.

What a delightful burn. Good work!
posted by asperity at 12:01 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]


Next thing you know, these millennial ducks are going to want iPhones and avocado toasts.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 12:05 PM on May 17 [6 favorites]


They're good ducks, Mork.
posted by misskaz at 12:06 PM on May 17 [25 favorites]


Of course, this being DC, not everyone is pleased.

Very well, ducklings on a ramp for some, miniature American flags for others.
posted by Mayor West at 12:07 PM on May 17 [4 favorites]


What Mark Walker is really complaining about is the socialist nanny state trying to tell ducks what they're allowed to eat.
posted by cardboard at 12:07 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]






davejay: Ducks don't have bootstraps, Mark.

Until you give them boots, dave! Jeez, do I have to spell it out for you?

Step 1. Give boots to ducks, including laces (aka straps, unless you actually mean the strap at the back of the boot, then laces are optional)
Step 2. Make ducks pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:17 PM on May 17


Good. God. Damn.

How in the name of all that is holy, can you wake up in this world today, KNOWING the things that are going on, because you are right in the middle of it, you are playing the game, you are INVOLVED, and then look around and say THIS. THIS IS THE THING ABOUT WHICH I AM GOING TO FIND FAULT.
posted by nushustu at 12:20 PM on May 17 [17 favorites]


Did anyone make the "they're good ducks Murk" joke yet?

[checks Twitter]

Of course they have.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:29 PM on May 17


Was anyone else as surprised as I was to find out Rep. Walker is a Democrat? Just kidding, of course he's a Republican. Probably still pissed about the duck hassling him at his childhood lemonade stand. I bet he wouldn't be whining about this if he were from Boston, where I understand ducklings have law enforcement looking out for them, just like Whitey Bulger.
posted by TedW at 12:35 PM on May 17 [5 favorites]


Representative Mark Walker, Republican of North Carolina,

is revealed as a terrible man.

Only three of the ducklings made it up the ramp, but ducklings are birds, and walking up ramps is not something birds do every day.

I like the cut of Liam Stack's jib.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:45 PM on May 17 [3 favorites]


I still remember my first trip to DC, in the winter of '96, during the period where Newt Gingrich and cohort were shutting down the government every couple weeks to coerce passage of their execrable "Contract for America" agenda. This made it a pretty crappy time to visit as almost everything was closed. The Washington Monument was closed, the Smithsonian and National Gallery were closed. The Lincoln Memorial was closed, but... they "closed" it by placing a bunch of police barricades at the bottom of the stairs. People had moved these aside and were climbing up and down the stairs, visiting the monument as normal. It's like they were saying "fuck you, and fuck your short-sighted and crass power grab, this monument belongs to the people, and the people shall not be deterred." This made a powerful impression on me at the time.

I wish I could say I don't like ducks. Truth is, I think most people like ducks. But if I didn't like ducks, I think I'd still appreciate the fact that we have something like an Architect of the Capitol, mowing the grass and managing wildlife and performing architectural upkeep on what is, fundamentally, the physical manifestation of the American State. Lots of problems with this country, but I live here, dammit. We've let our public services go to shit. We've let our public infrastructure go to shit. I know the congressman probably doesn't have much experience in facilities management, but I'd expect him to express at least a passing interest in the maintenance and upkeep of the trappings of his power. But if "government waste" is truly the alternative to letting the National Mall descend into a weeded and overgrown Ozymandian wasteland studded with crumbling marble and surrounding a reflecting pool filled with algal sludge and duckling carcasses, I guess so be it.
posted by 7segment at 12:54 PM on May 17 [14 favorites]


What the duck?!
posted by I-Write-Essays at 12:54 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]


Might I suggest "Mallard Fillmore?"

Flight D. Eiderdowner
posted by rh at 1:09 PM on May 17 [15 favorites]


Remember, the duckroll predates the rickroll.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:22 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]


They're good ducks, Mork.

In fairness, Robin Williams struck me as the sort of person who would be 100% behind duck ramps. Or, being Robin Williams, about 1400% behind them.
posted by Quindar Beep at 1:39 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't even name the most disagreeable of ducks Andrew Quackson, but I feel as if I should at least put the name out there.
posted by Elly Vortex at 1:42 PM on May 17 [4 favorites]


J. G. Mallard, perhaps? Or, more topically, Duck Schumer?
posted by thomas j wise at 2:53 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]


This story provides both delightful video ducklings and an insightful microcosm of capitalist versus conservationist perceptions of the natural world.

The Capitol Reflecting Pool was designed for display to humans. It's not even meant to be used by humans, for swimming or drinking or fishing. The pool shall be admired as a shimmering centerpiece and giant Keep Out border for crowd control and reducing pedestrian traffic. The ducks that moved in are meant to serve as live entertainment on the water for people to watch.

The Reflecting Pool was not designed for the ducks that use it. It was not intended to be an ecosystem, even though a large body of fresh water left to the open air will turn into an ecosystem in less than a day. The pool's designers likely expected decorative duck visitors. But the designers didn't think about ducks making a home at the pool, nesting there and bringing their babies into the water. So ducklings die because the designers made the pool look beautiful and imposing and never considered making it easy for small animals to navigate.

The capitalist view of this problem is: It isn't a problem. Why are we throwing good money away to retrofit for a ducks an artificial structure that was never meant for ducks? There are so many more important problems than ducks that need money. Ducks are not rare, special, or valuable, and they profit no one. Keep the ducks out of the pool, which is a human space ducks shouldn't even be in, polluting the water with duck waste that costs even more money to remove.

The conservationist view of this problem is: We are causing harm with the pool. We changed our environment to better benefit ourselves and in the process unintentionally changed the ecosystem in a way that hurts the living things in it. How do we reintegrate our structure into the environment, and reintegrate ducklings into the pool? How do we help present ducklings and reduce the harm to future ducklings?

Ducklings, and climate change, and #NoDAPL, and reflecting pools. Is the world's environment a space for humans to use, to look at and change to give people the most profit and entertainment? Or are humans part of the environment, trying to navigate the space we found with consideration to the other organisms beside us?
posted by nicebookrack at 3:45 PM on May 17 [16 favorites]


Is this a duck fad or are we seeing the beginnings of a new internet phase? We've all watched the Cat -> Dog transition, but eventually we will move on to some other creature.
posted by macrael at 6:19 PM on May 17


Is this a duck fad or are we seeing the beginnings of a new internet phase?

Duck phase
.
.
.
.
woo-ooh...
posted by pykrete jungle at 6:54 PM on May 17 [11 favorites]


It sounds like ducks die if they can't get out. So I guess, do you want a ramp, or duck corpses floating in the reflecting pool that need to be removed? Seems like a one time expense that reduces ongoing expenditures is arguably a better idea.
posted by gryftir at 11:05 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


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