"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Friday, August 26, 2005

London's Human Zoo


The Times of London reports that the London Zoo has begun a new exhibit called the Human Zoo, in which eight people wearing scanty costumes lounge around in the institution's Bear Mountain enclosure and attempt to act like apes—rather amateurishly if the photos accompanying the article are any indication.

This is the kind of thing that seems like a pathetically silly gimmick on the face of it, but of course the zookeepers have a suitably serious and intensely political explanation, according to the Times article:

"We have set up this exhibit to highlight the spread of man as a plague species and to communicate the importance of man's place in the planet's ecosystem," London Zoo said.

I can certainly agree that some human beings are a plague. Fortunately, if we can lure the London zookeepers into the Bear Mountain exhibit, we can isolate a major strain of it.

3 comments:

Tlaloc said...

"Plague species" refers to an organism which multiplies rapidly until it exceeds the capacity of the environment to support it. It's typified by a population curve which spikes, i.e. rises rapidly and then declines rapidly.

Tom Van Dyke said...

STK, my thoughts ran not to plagues, but to parasites.

Any self-respecting utilitarian anthill that had a portion of its population that would not open (or close) a mandible to defend it, only to subvert it, that saw thriving as a negative, that cannot lead, follow or even get out of the way, that, come to think of it, sees itself as some sort of noble antibody and its own kind as a plague, destroying fertilized eggs...

Well, that anthill would turn that sad excuse of an organism, that offense against nature, that parasite, into some sort of Soylent Green.

We humans, however, for religious, philosophical or sentimental reasons, indulge ours instead. Sometimes we even give them government grants, as they could obviously never make it on their own.

We're never going to compete with plagues and anthills at this rate.

Tlaloc said...

"Any self-respecting utilitarian anthill that had a portion of its population that would not open (or close) a mandible to defend it"

An entymologist you are not. Many ants have a specific caste that defends the hive, they are called soldiers. Drones, the queen, and (sometimes) workers do not in fact fight.



"that cannot lead, follow or even get out of the way,"

Drones do not lead, follow, or get out of the way. In fact all they do is eat and breed.