This is going to become a regular feature of our Sunday Rants. I’ve starting clipping articles that strike me as exceptionally stupid, and the rate at which my pile is growing tells me there is much to cover.
I don’t know if it’s the fact I take The Oregonian, what we loosely refer to as a “newspaper” around these parts, or if it’s just that I’m cranky because of my cycle, but as I read the paper Friday I was even more annoyed with it than I usually am. Most notably ire-inducing was an article about the Oregon Zoo calling for a public vote to name the three lion cubs born here September 7.
I am living in a region that has spent approximately $175 million on a new bridge crossing between Oregon and Washington, and yet nothing has been built or even drawn up. It took $175 million for everyone to decide, “fuck it, this is too complicated. Let’s go home, smoke a bowl, order Thai food and marathon-watch Breaking Bad.”
Between the bicyclists, cars, dog walkers, weekly protests against genetically modified grain and the trucks ferrying mass amounts of weed from Oregon to Washington because Washington was smart enough to legalize it, nobody could agree on what to build and how to fund it. So they decided not to. And now our Governor has decided to re-open the discussion. I guess he found an extra $175 million burning a hole in his pocket so we could go through this exercise again.
While I understand the newspaper can’t cover the CRC (“Columbia River Crossing” or “Cursed Reality Check”) project every day, I think that devoting a third of the front page of Metro to a rigged election for naming these poor bastards is a waste of news space.
Wondering why I used the phrase “rigged election?” Because the zoo’s keepers, also known by the animals as “The First Few Assholes I’ll Eat Once I Break Free,” have already picked two names for each cub. This “public vote,” is a sham election. There wasn’t even an open primary!
The as-yet-unnamed cubs are presently called 7, 8 and 9. That makes sense. Calling them 1, 2 and 3 would be complicated.
Here are the names we have to choose from for Cub No. 7, the runt:
Kamali: the name of a spirit believed to protect babies from death. That’s kind of harsh, isn’t it? This poor little cub has been struggling since birth and we are going to saddle her with a name that reminds her for the rest of her life what a weak and pathetic start she had? Also, she will be teased mercilessly. “Ha ha, you were named after a designer irrelevant since the 1980s!”
The other choice is:
Mara: the name of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Even better. Let’s name her after a place she should have been born, where she would be much happier, where her kindred animal spirits live and which she will never see in her lifetime.
That would be like my parents naming me Paris.
Cub No. 8 has a mild temperament, or so say the zoo’s keepers. They may disagree once she matures and they find themselves on the wrong side of the fence. Here are her choices:
Zalika: Swahili for “well-born.” Let’s see. She was born in a cage in Portland, Oregon, lives in a cage in Portland, Oregon and will die in that same cage. In other words: Zalika may not be the best choice for her.
No. 8 could also be called
Jelani: Swahili for “mighty” or “powerful.” While this cub may very well turn out to be mighty or powerful, she will never be able to realize those strengths while she languishes in a zoo. You may have a baby that the doctor predicts will be 7 feet tall, but if you plan to keep him far away from basketballs, don’t name him Kobe. Unless you are naming him after Kobe beef, which is so awesome.
Mmm…look at those tasty little sliders.
Last, we have Cub. No. 9. She is a big girl, likes to eat and is “outspoken and feisty.” Seriously, why aren’t they naming her Robin?
Mashavu: Swahili for “chubby cheeked.” OK, that’s kind of cute. I got nothing. That would have been a good name for Jake.
Angalia: Swahili for “look out” or “be careful.” Jesus, what a paranoid and depressing name.
Also, unlike living in the Serengeti, there isn’t much for a lion to worry about at the zoo, unless you count crushing boredom and the extreme depression and anxiety brought on by crying children, being pointed at all day and not being able to take a shit in private.
Here’s my choices for the cubs:
Fucked, Screwed and Hopeless.
And now you know how I feel about zoos. Happy Sunday, everyone.