Sunday Rant: Stupid Shit I Read in the Paper

Dear Readers:

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?

First choice:

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.


This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. John Meaney

    Hi Robin –

    I would like to suggest that The Oregonian may, in and of itself, qualify as “stupid shit I read in the paper.” I think you intimate the same in your blog… It is, quite possibly, the worst “larger city” publication in the United States.



    1. askdescamp

      That right there is a damn fine point, John Boy.

    2. echinachea

      That’s why they call it the “Boregonian.”

  2. John DesCamp

    They say a cynic is a romantic who has been paying too much attention. If you wouldn’t pay so much attention and would stop expecting intelligent thought where it can’t possibly be found, you could achieve inner peace. Otherwise, not so much. ☺

    1. Echinachea

      Inner peace is overrated, unless one is old like moi:)

  3. Your Ancient Auntie

    Thanks a lot, Robin. I’m at the coast enjoying a terrific weekend with my book group, and I pulled up your blog THINKING YOU WOULD MAKE ME LAUGH, and now I need to go stick my head under a stream of cold water because I am so fucking depressed thinking about those animals.

    1. askdescamp

      Ancient Auntie:
      In rebuttal, I proffer:
      1. You’re welcome. Despite your sarcasm it is clear I have moved you.
      2. I can only assume your book group is made up entirely of women, therefore it is impossible you are actually “enjoying a terrific weekend.” We have met the enemy, and she is us.
      3. If you indeed were enjoying a terrific weekend, you would not need a laugh and therefore access my blog.
      4. “Thinking” I would make you laugh? Are you trying to hurt my feelings or is it just inadvertent thoughtlessness in word choice? Damn. You KNOW I am always good for at least a chortle.
      5. Since when does cold water cure depression? I think you mean cold vodka.
      6. Yes, zoos are depressing. Almost as depressing as a hen party.

  4. Your Ancient Auntie

    You must have the wrong women friends, honey. Mine are funny and smart, and I end up laughing so hard my abs hurt…almost as good as a family party. I pulled up the blog so I could read it out loud and make people laugh, but then I had to go cry (thus the cold water on the face). Don’t diss the auntie.

    1. askdescamp

      Perhaps I was saying something about the women in my life in a call for help…but nobody cares…
      Also, you know I was kidding, right? Don’t be mad. I can be depressing AND funny at the same time, like a really bad highway accident that happens to include a clown car.

      1. Your Ancient Auntie

        I wasn’t mad, you dope. Especially not after reading about the clown car, because really, could someone make that happen, please?

  5. Hillary Frank Aubin

    I once, 1 time only, went to Sea World in Orlando. My children were young and I thought it would be a good animal experience. It was horrific. The dolphins were so depressed their dorsal fin was flopped over and they swam slowly around the cement pool, that was 5 feet deep, bumping a rubber ball with their nose. I think they were driven insane having to live this way. I have spent my life on the water and there are certain things you know when you know. Sea World is disgusting and most zoos are too!!!!

  6. Katie

    Oregonian has a lot of idiots as writers, but I am pretty sure that the zoo article was to free your mind from the mind-numbing amount of money you have paid for that bridge. So, I am a zoo fan- but I won’t go into how they give me a paycheck, and oh yeah, teach stewardship, conservation blah blah I have already bored myself. But, as far as those lil f’ers names, I will say that without the initial names being selected by keepers (hey- those keepers move into the zoo and care for those lil hopeless fuckers, 24/7) your choices for names would be: Kanye, Hermione, Kardashian, Katniss, and Simba. Then I would drink all that vodka, run my head under the cold water before jumping into the lion exhibit and giving them something to do.

  7. bojack

    “Stupid shit I read in The Oregonian” would be totally redundant.

    The zoo is cruel and ugly and ought to be phased out — especially with the elephant puppy mill stuff they’re involved in. But like the lion cubs, the taxpayers of Portlandia and all the other prisoners of the inane “Metro” government are “Fucked, Screwed, and Hopeless.”

  8. Slow Down 217

    In reference to the clown car accident…..please don’t wish that shit on the 217!

    Keep the Sunday Rant’s coming!

  9. echinachea

    Love the Sunday rants! Love this blog because, unlike most others, the spelling and grammar are perfect. Even the profanity part! My mother was an English teacher (rest her soul.) When my youngest brother was suspended from Catholic school for writing the “F-word” on another kid’s crayon box, she asked the nun: “did he spell it correctly?”

Comments are closed.