Thursday, September 15, 2005


(Or, as it's known by its full title, Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gay Penguins.)

You see, two days ago, we read this in the New York Times:
On the conservative Web site, an opponent of abortion wrote that the movie "verified the beauty of life and the rightness of protecting it."

At a conference for young Republicans, the editor of National Review urged participants to see the movie because it promoted monogamy. A widely circulated Christian magazine said it made "a strong case for intelligent design."

The movie is "March of the Penguins," and of all the reactions it has evoked, perhaps the most surprising is its appeal to conservatives. They are hardly its only audience; the film is the second highest grossing documentary of all time, behind "Fahrenheit 9/11."...

"March of the Penguins," the conservative film critic and radio host Michael Medved said in an interview, is "the motion picture this summer that most passionately affirms traditional norms like monogamy, sacrifice and child rearing."

Speaking of audiences who feel that movies ignore or belittle such themes, he added: "This is the first movie they've enjoyed since 'The Passion of the Christ.' This is 'The 'Passion of the Penguins.' "
Passion, you say? Monogamy? Child rearing?

Yes, yes and yes, but I think Rich Lowry's going to be disappointed.
Wendell and Cass, two penguins at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island, Brooklyn, live in a soap opera world of seduction and intrigue. Among the 22 male and 10 female African black-footed penguins in the aquarium's exhibit, tales of love, lust and betrayal are the norm. These birds mate for life. But given the disproportionate male-female ratio at the aquarium, some of the females flirt profusely and dump their partners for single males with better nests.

Wendell and Cass, however, take no part in these cunning schemes. They have been completely devoted to each other for the last eight years. In fact, neither one of them has ever been with anyone else, says their keeper, Stephanie Mitchell.

But the partnership of Wendell and Cass adds drama in another way. They're both male. That is to say, they're gay penguins...

At the Central Park Zoo, Silo and Roy, two male Chinstrap penguins, have been in an exclusive relationship for four years. Last mating season, they even fostered an egg together.

"They got all excited when we gave them the egg," said Rob Gramzay, senior keeper for polar birds at the zoo. He took the egg from a young, inexperienced couple that hatched an extra and gave it to Silo and Roy. "And they did a really great job of taking care of the chick and feeding it."

Of the 53 penguins in the Central Park Zoo, Silo and Roy are not the only ones that are gay. In 1997, the park had four pairs of homosexual penguins. In an effort to increase breeding, zookeepers tried to separate them by force. They failed, said Gramzay.
God sure does seem to love to embarrass conservatives.

Update: Um, glad I could do your column research for you, Andrew. Don't mention it. Oh. You weren't going to...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen Carl Zimmer's list of suggested documentaries about other animals' reproductive and child-rearing practices?

3:22 PM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

Very funny.

6:21 AM  
Blogger Paul the Spud said...

Although the ex-gays have been getting their hidden panties in a twist, because apparently one of the penguins has left his male partner, and gone to a female. Therefore, homosexuality doesn't exist. Or at least, it can be cured.

Of course, the very concept of bisexuality completely escapes them. They also choose to ignore the fact that the other "gay penguin" has not taken a female partner since being scorned.

Nice blog! Glad I found you off Pandagon.

8:39 AM  
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