Join 3,441 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


who could be?
July 2, 2006 10:50 AM   Subscribe

Against Pandas: "Pandas are endangered because they are utterly incompetent... Pandas are badly designed, undersexed, overpaid and overprotected. They went up an evolutionary cul-de-sac and it is too late to reverse."
posted by kliuless (57 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow. That was worthy of a 10th grade English essay by a bored, "clever" teenager. Immature and sophomoric.
posted by graymouser at 11:00 AM on July 2, 2006


At least they have one big advantage, namely their symbiotic relationship with humans. They provide cuteness, and we give them everything they need.
posted by obvious at 11:01 AM on July 2, 2006


Self-link: Why pandas are the stupidest creatures on earth.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:10 AM on July 2, 2006


Three cheers for journalistic insight! The author's opinion of why we should "let them (pandas) go" equally applies to Ann Coulter.

Except pandas are much cuter and aren't such savages.
posted by unwordy at 11:16 AM on July 2, 2006


Also, Coulter could only benefit from sixteen hours a day of stuffing her face with bamboo.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:21 AM on July 2, 2006


How does the author feel about vegetarianism?
posted by boo_radley at 11:22 AM on July 2, 2006


Who wrote this, Brent Sienna? :)
posted by kaemaril at 11:25 AM on July 2, 2006


Well that's not the case for the pandas: by pop out, I actually mean pop out. They showed the video of stanButterstick's birth; here's how it went down: momma panda started acting listless and groggy. She started rolling over in her pen and groaning. Then, and I am not making this up, she fired a baby panda out of her vagina.
Okay, that cracked me up.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go aim my musket at some dodo eggs some crazy Dutchman showed me.
posted by icosahedral at 11:26 AM on July 2, 2006


Oh... oh, oh... shit. The bamboo. Let's talk about the damn bamboo. You want a perfect example of how Intelligent Design is bupkus? This is a gigantic animal "designed" to favor as a food staple a plant that has almost no nutritional value whatsoever. Bamboo has a nutrient level somewhere along the lines of celery, therefore instead of turning to meat, or other sources, pandas have to eat tons of it daily just to get enough nutrients. Remember those stupid Total cereal ads where they show the douchebag at the hotel or something the pyramid of cornflakes he'd have to eat to get all the nutrition from one bowl of Total? That's bamboo for pandas. Except they won't eat the fucking Total, they get to work on their twenty-seven bowls of cornflakes. And if you try to argue with them, I'm guessing that because they're giant pandas they'll simply club you in the face until you die.

From XQUZYPHYR (above)


That's gold. Gold.
posted by ninjew at 11:26 AM on July 2, 2006


Metafilter: she fired a baby panda out of her vagina
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:26 AM on July 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


This is parody right? The author is purposely using 'panda' instead of -insert hated minority here- to show us the ugliness of racism and social darwinism.

The real problems pandas face is loss of the huge lands they need to feed by human encroachment. This leads to population decline which leads to a lack of gene diversity. In the wild the giant panda is an efficient breeder. Females usually give birth to twins and keep one as a 'backup.' If the favored son is healthy the second one is left to die. Not the best strategy but it does guarantee one cub per mother per breeding season. The breeding horror stories are from pandas in captivity. The problems of captive breeding are not the problems of wild breeding.

fwiw, panda populations are up 40% from the 1980s.

Oh well, this would be hiliarious if I was in 4th grade.
posted by skallas at 11:54 AM on July 2, 2006


Okay so Pandas are playing us because they are so damn cute, how do you explain Daddy Long Legs spiders? Go to step on one of those in public, and at least 20 people spring to task of putting it outside.

I think it was mentioned in one of the "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" movies that such spiders must have a public relations firm cranking out propaganda full time.
posted by BillyElmore at 12:02 PM on July 2, 2006


Didn't read the article.
But is it an elaboration of this Fight Club quote?
I felt like putting a bullet between the eyes of every Panda that wouldn't screw to save its species. I wanted to open the dump valves on oil tankers and smother all those French beaches I'd never see. I wanted to breathe smoke. I wanted to destroy something beautiful
posted by jouke at 12:52 PM on July 2, 2006


kliuless: "They went up an evolutionary cul-de-sac and it is too late to reverse."

Ah. I get it! Just like vegetarians!

boo_radley: "How does the author feel about vegetarianism?"

Dammit! You stole my joke.

unwordy: "...equally applies to Ann Coulter."

Actually, depending on how kind the camera is to her on any given day, I find Ann Coulter occasionally almost as attractive as your average panda, until she opens her big fat yapper. She is a poster child for beauty only being skin deep.

jouke: "I wanted to destroy something beautiful.."

* points at Ann Coulter *
posted by ZachsMind at 1:08 PM on July 2, 2006


Reminds me of this.
posted by thirteenkiller at 1:10 PM on July 2, 2006


I was just about to say that next they'd be coming for the koalas, and then I clicked on thirteenkiller's link.

"Koalas aren't hard they some little bitches."
posted by amro at 1:35 PM on July 2, 2006


"Every week, the worldwide panda industry strikes another blow for soft-headed sentiment over rational cost-benefit analysis."


"Cost-benefit analysis"? Some criteria for deciding who should live and who should die. Our Financial Times world trade editor guy overshot his mark and has blown way past rational. I'm with the little man on this one. "The greatness of a nation and its morals can be judged by the way its animals are treated". ~ Mahatma Gandhi
posted by chance at 1:44 PM on July 2, 2006


"Every week, the worldwide panda industry strikes another blow for soft-headed sentiment over rational cost-benefit analysis."


"Cost-benefit analysis"? Some criteria for deciding who should live and who should die. Our Financial Times world trade editor guy overshot his mark and has blown way past rational. I'm with the little man on this one. "The greatness of a nation and its morals can be judged by the way its animals are treated". ~ Mahatma Gandhi
posted by chance at 1:44 PM on July 2, 2006


Sorry for the double post.
posted by chance at 1:46 PM on July 2, 2006


Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
posted by NationalKato at 1:50 PM on July 2, 2006


I have it on good authority that the International Panda Conspiracy is also behind the attacks on 9/11.

THINK, PEOPLE!
posted by lumpenprole at 2:01 PM on July 2, 2006


OK, even though the essays may not be sterling examples of the rhetorical arts, I have to wonder: are species never allowed to become extinct? Is every creature out there supposed to be preserved in amber? Extinction occurred before we arrived on the scene. One day, it will happen to us, homo not-always-very-sapiens.

And after we're gone, the process will continue.
posted by jason's_planet at 2:06 PM on July 2, 2006


The male keeps falling over, he goes in backwards, at one point he decides to try mounting her head.

Typical.
posted by horsewithnoname at 2:09 PM on July 2, 2006


Yeah, there is a distinction to be made between saving species that we've caused to become endangered and saving species that are just hopeless at surviving. It's nice to do and everything, but hardly a moral obligation.
posted by reklaw at 2:46 PM on July 2, 2006


As one college professor said about an animal that seemed utterly useless: "the best thing it can do is to become extinct."

I surely hope all the panda-hype stops its insanity. I visited the Mexico City's zoo where they have a couple of Pandas, and it was awful to see a beautiful, glass covered, exhibition area for the pandas whereas the rest of the other animals lived in pretty conventional and ugly habitats.

Pandas suck.
posted by dov3 at 3:29 PM on July 2, 2006


Yet the money the zoos pay for the a panda actually goes to preserving them. Here in the US, congress passed a law to stop China from just selling them to american zoos. Zoos must show they are doing research to benefit the panda population in some way, instead of just showing them to the public. These monies have done a great deal of good. In fact the Chinese have 130 or so pandas at one of their facilities and when that number reaches 300 they're going to slowly reintroduce them to the wild. I doubt this would have been possible without help from the west.

As one college professor said about an animal that seemed utterly useless: "the best thing it can do is to become extinct."

Thats defeatist and ignorant. You could have said the same thing about the condor and the american eagle. I also question the "uselessness" of the giant panda. Who exactly gets to say what is useless? Overfed loudmouth professors? Yeah, that's the ticket. Like I wrote earlier, there's nothing wrong with the panda population that isnt 100% related to humans encroaching on their habitats.
posted by skallas at 3:45 PM on July 2, 2006


"As one college professor said about an animal that seemed utterly useless: the best thing it can do is to become extinct."

Please. Stop talking about us humans like we can't understand you. HELLOOO, WE ARE RIGHT HERE.
posted by naomi at 3:56 PM on July 2, 2006


Yeah, there is a distinction to be made between saving species that we've caused to become endangered and saving species that are just hopeless at surviving.

I agree, but where is that line drawn? Can anyone name an endangered/recently extinct species that reached that point through being maladapted and without the "help" of human-type persons? I assume there have to be some. In those cases, did we stand back and let them die off?
posted by brundlefly at 3:58 PM on July 2, 2006


Yeah, there is a distinction to be made between saving species that we've caused to become endangered and saving species that are just hopeless at surviving. It's nice to do and everything, but hardly a moral obligation.

Now, I'm all for ecological triage, but pandas are only "hopeless" at surviving because of human habitat destruction. The exact problem faced by, say, tigers. Big animals need big areas to supply them with resources. Humans come along and take away those areas, and we blame the animals?
posted by Jimbob at 4:19 PM on July 2, 2006


But concepts like "blame" are pointless when it comes to ecology. Evolution is about adapting to one's environment, and environments change. Making a distinction between human-caused extinction and "normal" extinction is meaningless. What is "normal" extinction? It's a species no longer being able to survive in changing conditions. It doesn't matter if it's a new Ice Age, an asteroid, etc. Species have risen and died for billions of years as their environment changed, and it's the same with what we're doing. We have evolved with the intelligence neccessary to build tools that allow us to alter our environment, and those species that can't survive those alterations, like pandas and tigers, die. It's no different than a foreign species being introduced to a new ecosystem and destroying it. The difference is, we humans can choose to help the species we destroy if we want to. But make no mistake, no species has inherent value, not even us, f you take an objective view. Species live and die and that's how things are. There is no reason to save pandas other than that we like them, or feel sorry for them. There's no inherent reason to save pandas, or tigers, or anything. The Earth will move on, just as it did when the millions of other species died throughout the ages. The fact that the extinctions are man-made is completely irrelevant, as the cause does not matter. So yes, save the pandas, but just acknowledge that we're only doing it because they're cute enough to earn our pity.
posted by Sangermaine at 4:51 PM on July 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


We're big animals too.
posted by flabdablet at 4:56 PM on July 2, 2006


When they came for the pandas, I did not protest, for I was not a panda.
posted by flabdablet at 4:58 PM on July 2, 2006


Yeah, there is a distinction to be made between saving species that we've caused to become endangered and saving species that are just hopeless at surviving.

Except that, in fact, there is no such distinction to be drawn, unless you subscribe to the fallacy of human exceptionalism. A species that is vulnerable to human activity is a species that is hopeless at surviving. (The overwhelming majority of species, it should be noted, are insects and bacteria and are excellent at surviving human encroachment.)
posted by IshmaelGraves at 5:03 PM on July 2, 2006


The panda-bias on Mefi is really showing.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 5:04 PM on July 2, 2006


The view that "humans are nothing but another selective force" is a nhilistic one, and often one that is intended to encourage continued environmental destruction. By claiming that humans are no different than any other environmental influence, one ignores the fact that, whether we like it or not, humans depend on the environment just like any other animal. Mass species extinctions thanks to us aren't going to be a zero-sum issue. Complaining that animals unable to change quickly enough in the face of human influence are "evolutionary dead ends" ignores the fact that those dead ends may serve a purpose, and we might be the next evolutionary dead end. And if you're okay with that as well, then you're a nhilist.

But that's okay. I'm a bit of a nhilist as well. Just pointing it out.

(The overwhelming majority of species, it should be noted, are insects and bacteria and are excellent at surviving human encroachment.)

Once again, have you noticed something unique about those species? Hint: Size and generation time. Of course they're good at adapting. Larger animals aren't. Hell, larger plants aren't. And it's larger animlas and plants that we often directly rely on directly for our food intake.
posted by Jimbob at 5:14 PM on July 2, 2006


And, as I said above, I support the idea of ecological triage, but if we're judging organisms on their ability to survive human-driven change, we are simply going to be selecting for the small, the ephemerals and generalists, at the expense of everything else potentially more interesting and more important.
posted by Jimbob at 5:17 PM on July 2, 2006


Too little, too late. Pandas have been laying low and cleaning up their image ever since they shot JFK. I doubt you could find a court in the world who would try them.

Koalas, on the other hand, you could make a case against. How they got into the cockpits on that fateful day in September, we'll never know. All we can do now is continue the global fight against Al Qoala.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:30 PM on July 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


The view that "humans are nothing but another selective force" is a nhilistic one, and often one that is intended to encourage continued environmental destruction.

From the vantagepoint of the animal, at least, humans are nothing more than another selective force. However, what seperates us from the other selective forces out there is that we're aware of our status as such, and can take action (or not) accordingly.

I'm all for preserving the environment as much as possible, but I think that we're all too lazy and selfish for it to be anything but a losing battle for most species (admittedly, there's more insect species than all other animal groups combined, and they seem to be making out okay, but I'm sure you get my point). I don't understand why there isn't a massive effort to preserve the genetics of endangered animals based on the pragmatic notion that most of them probably will go extinct in the near future. Something like the Human Genome Project meets the Sierra Club that I could contribute to, and feel my money was going to something that would have an actual impact.

Maybe that's fatalist, but it might do more good in the end than most environmental initiatives.
posted by Ryvar at 7:49 PM on July 2, 2006


As long as the Coelacanth is hanging on, I have no sympathy for pandas.

...not that I'd kick one out of bed.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:00 PM on July 2, 2006


Get real folks.

Pandas are no more real than a platypus.

Anything that ridiculous is some concoction by some taxidermist and make-up/costume artist.
posted by HTuttle at 8:05 PM on July 2, 2006


Even the zoo in Washington DC, famous for its pandas, does not own them but rents them from China for about $1 million a year apiece. Now there's a trade deficit to get het up about. For $1 million you could rent a senator.

yes, but it costs more to clean up after them
posted by pyramid termite at 8:40 PM on July 2, 2006


Sorry for the lack of funnies, but Koalas are NOT endangered. It is only a matter of desperate publicity and fund raising by some fairly corrupt individuals at the Australian Koala Foundation that keeps this myth going. (And it's been quite successful - they're now listed on the US Endangered Species Act!)

Koalas are some little bitches though.
posted by wilful at 8:41 PM on July 2, 2006


Yeah, well, when was the last time you saw a wild koala in the US? I rest my case.
posted by brundlefly at 8:54 PM on July 2, 2006


I don't understand why there isn't a massive effort to preserve the genetics of endangered animals based on the pragmatic notion that most of them probably will go extinct in the near future.

I think that's what zoos are intended to be, these days ;)

Oh, and wilful speaks the truth. Koalas are definately not endangered, and are in plague proportions in some places. Unfortunately, Australia's reliance on international tourism means we can't shoot the bastards. Also, most of them have chlamydia.
posted by Jimbob at 9:10 PM on July 2, 2006


dov3: "it was awful to see a beautiful, glass covered, exhibition area for the pandas whereas the rest of the other animals lived in pretty conventional and ugly habitats."

At the Dallas zoo, this happens too. There's some habitats that are decades behind and other habitats that are state of the art. It's a matter of economics, sadly enough. The Dallas Zoological Society has been raising money over the years to improve the enclosures of all their animals, and some animals appeal to rich people more than others. The lemurs were among the first to get a new home. The lions apparently are the last. When last I was there the lions were still lethargically lounging behind bars.

Rather than bars and close quarters, other habitats use distance and levels to keep the animals from escaping, and they're roofless to allow more sunlight and an illusion that these captured creatures are free. This was and perhaps will be again, an "award-winning, two-acre exhibit" designed to look like the natural habitat of Africa, for lowland gorillas. It was beautiful. Despite their efforts however, the inhabitants of this habitat still knew they were in capitivity.

A couple years ago, despite all these efforts, a lowland gorilla did manage to escape, and hospitalized a few humans in the process. The police rushed in and gunned the poor thing down. You can make the prison as pretty as you please. Doesn't change the fact that it's a gilded cage, and any bird wants to do more than just sing.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:38 PM on July 2, 2006


Yeah, well, when was the last time you saw a wild koala in the US?

it's been a long time ... our hunters should have known that leaving trampolines with scarecrows on them under trees was unsportsmanlike

the poor things would bounce themselves to death trying to drop on the scarecrows ... even after they were skinned, sometimes their eyes would be still be moving up and down

it just wasn't right
posted by pyramid termite at 10:19 PM on July 2, 2006


On Animal Planet- American zoos tried for years to get this panda mamma pregnant- and failed. FINALLY they 'resorted' to artificial insemination, which the chinese do standard. It worked first try.

And the mamma layed on her side facing a wall about two feet away, and FIRED a butter-stick-sized cub out of her and AT THE WALL so fast and hard it had to be slowed down to see it actually air-borne, then *thud* as it hit the wall, and then *thud* again as it hit the ground. I agree, stupid.
posted by ackeber at 10:20 PM on July 2, 2006


Hmm, I should have read xqu...'s link.
posted by ackeber at 10:23 PM on July 2, 2006


XQUZYPHYR: Isn't it "tab A, slot B" not "slot A goes in slot B." Unless you were talking about Lesbian Panda Spank Inferno or something...
posted by shoepal at 12:08 AM on July 3, 2006


"most of them (koalas) have chlamydia."
I can see it now:
"honest, honey I didn't cheat on you, I was attacked by angry koalas!!"
posted by Megafly at 11:10 AM on July 3, 2006


More sinister than Opus Dei; more money than the US National Rifle Association; more lobbying power than French farmers

I, for one, welcome our new Panda overlords.
posted by magpie68 at 1:24 PM on July 3, 2006


Those baby panda bears are fucking cute.
posted by nanojath at 9:43 PM on July 3, 2006


Furthermore: Lesbian Panda Spank Inferno.
posted by nanojath at 10:27 PM on July 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


nanojath, that rules! Do I get a writing credit?! (though, technically, I suppose credit goes to Stephen Moffet since Lesbian Spank Inferno is a reference from the show Coupling).
posted by shoepal at 12:29 AM on July 4, 2006


When it makes me into a millionaire, shoepal, I swear by God and all that is Holy I will do right by you (writing credit added to song's information page). I must warn you, shoepal, that you're probably going to become very famous now that you've become casually connected to my sprawling, secret media empire. Oh, at first it's all fun and wonder, the champagne baths with supermodels and chocolate limosines and J-Lo texting you all the time. But it is hollow, shoepal. It is a hollow, hollow, lying shell of a life. God help you.
posted by nanojath at 12:56 AM on July 4, 2006


I'm totally donating my share of the millions to the WWF!
posted by shoepal at 1:21 AM on July 4, 2006


Kind of reminds me of this...
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 8:57 AM on July 5, 2006


« Older Net neutrality hurts consumers, and Senator Ted St...  |  A collection of YouTube videos... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments