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Friday, August 26, 2005

Who has to Shovel Their Poo?

A student from the youth group sent me this article. Sadly, someone thought this was brilliant.

I think in reality, there are two things going on here. What is the number one marketing technique (even ahead of puppies and babies)? Sex. Deep down, I think part of the motivation for this exhibit is that putting young, fit women dressed with fig leaf-like costumes in an animal exhibit is bound to sell tickets. Why else would they place these women in these outfits? Do they shave the bears that they exibit, or remove the covering of any other animals? No. Then why skimp on what the humans wear? Because it sells (and because it is an act of defiance toward God to ignore our shame and nakedness, but rather flaunt it around, which is our sinful flesh's natural reaction).

If you watch reality TV at all (which, after "The Mole" has gone down hill), you would think that the bikini is the new miniskirt. I'm amazed at how many scenarios "Big Brother, "Survivor," and "Fear Factor" just happen to require the women to be in bathing suits. Even shows like "Elimidate" (which has its own set of problems) always seem to end with a hot tub moment. (Really, wouldn't a lady be freaked out if the guy wanted to "just chill" in a hot tub with her on the first date?)

It also conveying the second issue, however. If we are nothing but animals, we're going to do some really stupid things. "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. A plague species? Basically, we are nothing but an accident. We all came from the same cell thousands of years ago. It's just the luck of the draw that we're at the "top of the food chain." Evolution doesn't just excuse adultery but justifies stupidity as well!

Do I think a human display at the zoo is a sign of absolute debauchery? Well, I do think if someone was honest, they'd have to admit there was an element of "sexing-up" the zoo. But ultimately, it's just foolish. If a person can't see that we are different from the animals around us, they need to examine humanity better...but not in an exibit, rather, see the true representation of man found in the Bible.


  • At 12:51 PM, Blogger jason said…

    Its funny I always thought the "human zoo" was King's Island...guess I was wrong.

  • At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Two questions:

    1) Why wasn't I contacted? Depending on the pay and the climate I might have been interested. Or does something about the exhibit change if it features middle aged out of shape specimens in "fig-leaf type" costumes.

    2) Why "fig leaf" type? Why not maple leaf or palm frond? Is there some kind of residual Biblical influence present? Are we trying to have evolution and Eden, too? The story of the Garden resonates deeply within our souls while the thought that we evolved as a product of mindless time, chance and nature fills us with an unease that is hard to explain. Are we perhaps attracted to the account of Adam and Eve because somewhere, deep down inside our souls, we know it's true?

  • At 4:25 PM, Blogger Jeremy Bear said…

    I don't think it's as calculated as all that.

    If Sex is the #1 seller (and I'm not completely sure it is), #2 isn't far behind, and that's Spectacle. And I think that's what's going on here.

    Carey and I watched a Sundance documentary several months ago on Julia Butterfly Hill, the woman who lived atop a Northern California redwood for more than two years straight, to protest deforestation by the Pacific Lumber Company. Was she a nut? Well, not so fast, her lunatic actions likely did more to raise consciousness of deforestation issues in America than anyone else had in decades. Admittedly, she was slightly loopy by the time she finally descended, but her mission was accomplished and then some.

    Carey's a member of PETA and it's safe to say that their antics are pretty screwball, but in the words of Ingrid Newkirk, PETA founder, "Everyone and everything is competing for attention. We have to turn heads and catch eyes if we want change. Silence is the environment's and the animals' worst enemy. We are compelled to have funny or sexy or gimmicky ads just to get a moment of attention."

    All that's to say... I was very jazzed to read what the point or desired outcome was for the people living like apes at the zoo. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be one. Maybe it's shoddy reporting, but the people participating don't even seem to know.

    But I really don't think there's anything sexy about it. It's spectacle. There is, as you say, a sex-tinged edge to many reality shows on TV these days, but it's a very specific flavor of sex: humiliation.

    Why are we fascinated by humiliation? You could say "it's our sin nature", but I think that's too easy. There's something very strange and very specific about humiliation, especially the humiliation of those that seem to be prettier, richer, or more accomplished and successful than ourselves.

    At it's base level, I think people like to have the opportunity to say to themselves, "ha! Look at those people at the London Zoo! They're acting like monkeys! I NEVER act like a monkey! They may be pretty, but they're beneath me!"

    Yikes, this comment is meandering everywhere. I'm going to hit "publish" before I reread this and embarrass myself.

  • At 9:00 AM, Blogger Jones said…

    Here is the link to the update of the zoo article. It sounds more like a publicity stunt to get more attention rather than a sex crazed scheme. Although the new article has more of the sex theme. As for the fig leaves, they are pinned on to their clothes which are slightly more modest than a bikini. I don't really think the "plague species" comment had anything to do with the idea of us being created by chance, it's more a statement of how we destroy the enviroment and how we change God's creation (the earth) into our creation. For example, God didn't create a world fueled by computers, cars, and phones that take place in gigantic cities, we did. But those are just my thoughts and are subject to be wrong most of the time.

  • At 9:04 AM, Blogger danny2 said…

    sure, we can say it isn't about sex. i don't think they had an actual meeting at the zoo to decide to sex up the place. however, i think when you decide to offer people as a spectacle, and you pick young, fit women to be in bikinis to be part of the show, you know you are using an element that will attract.

    consider the quotes in this article.

    "Visitors' reactions to the spectacle varied Friday. Pointing at one heavily muscled and gleaming body on the ledge, a visitor joked that the zoo should consider a breeding program."

    "Melissa Wecker, 21, was disappointed that the humans were wearing swimsuits beneath their fig leaves."

    Whether intentional or not, it becomes a factor.

    Now the evolutionary view is boldly displayed in this article:

    "A lot of people think humans are above other animals," he said. "When they see humans as animals, here, it kind of reminds us that we're not that special."

    "Seeing people in a different environment, among other animals ... teaches members of the public that the human is just another primate," Wills said. It also, she conceded, lets them "have a gawk at people."

    now, let's combine these two issues. what happens when pandas mate at the zoo. it's a spectacle. the media gathers around and it's science before us. now, what if these "other primates" decided to mate during their exhibit. would people watch? sadly, some would. but we would know there is something wrong, something deeply pornographic about it.

    see, even in a display like this, to show we are just like other animals, they just show how different we are. some of the display were looking forward to listening to the england-australia cricket match? huh, that's funny. what other animal in the exhibit has a) created an organized game, b) developed some form of communication like a radio c) cares a lick what other animals outside its immediate viewing radius are doing.

    we can chose to say it's just a publicity stunt. but the quotes of the organizers say they have an evolutionist agenda. and the quotes of the visitors coming to see the display suggest they had another agenda as well.


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