steepholm (steepholm) wrote,
steepholm
steepholm

Reversed Polarity

I only have Frozen Planet on because Jessie likes it. She sits on my lap, fascinated by the picture of birds on the screen, and I'm fascinated by her watching.

I do quite like wildlife programmes, but I find myself increasing squeamish. I squirmed last night when two musk oxen spent half an hour head-butting each other (with the force of a car at 30mph, so Attenborough told us). I was afraid one of their heads would crack open on the Arctic ice like an egg. I also squirmed at the "cute" music that came on whenever a juvenile bird or animal did something ungainly. I mean, this is the BBC, not Disney! Though, without the malagauche (which is the proper term in the southern hemisphere) antics of baby penguins, where would trombone and bassoon players be? If I met them busking in the Tube, I wouldn't be able to look them in the eye.

But I feel very uncomfortable when a female reindeer flees the attentions of a group of randy male reindeer for several miles (all of whom are, it seems, intent on raping her) and David A describes her as "playing hard to get". Now, by all means say that human morality doesn't apply to the animal kingdom, and that "rape" is a word I shouldn't apply to reindeer. I'm certainly not calling for the arrest of the Arctic fox who killed a guillemot chick later in the programme. But then, don't anthropomorphize the female by attributing coy motives to her like some 1960s judge.

Don't you know that metaphors work in both directions, David? You're better than that.
Tags: maunderings, real life
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