Thursday, March 20, 2008

The medium is the message

Rosa felt the spring fever in the air and demanded that we visit the Memphis Zoo today. She's in that almost-two-year-old stage where she loves being around other bambinos but doesn't actually want to touch them.

The Memphis Zoo was bustling with stir-crazy schoolkids on spring break, so -- the train ride was divine, but leaving the train was tragic -- and the panda movie was riveting, but the end of the movie melted down straight into "WHY DO YOU HATE ME, MAMA, WHY?!?"

I can only take so much of that emotional pendulum before I'm overcome with the desire to lie down in a dark room for the rest of the day.

I figured my best chance of that would be to expose my innocent babe to enough of the zoo's hypocrisy that she'd beg to go home. We started with the global warming placard adjacent to the Teton Clearcut:

Ready for your closeup?

In case you didn't get the message that you need to "PLANT TREES" because "Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air," here's another educational opportunity right across the way, urging you to protect our "VANISHING WOODLANDS":

Here's a photo I took way back on February 19 -- the same day I first noticed that a 20-ton trackhoe was knocking down trees on the other side of that reassuringly green fence:

And here's what the zoo has accomplished (behind the fence) as of today:

This might not look too bad, until you see it spread out across four acres.

Go take a look for yourself if you have the spare time and, ideally, a ladder so you can see over that fence. Before we leave the Memphis Zoo, let's go back to that totem pole you glimpsed in my first photo.

I'm really glad my daughter isn't old enough to ask why the hell this hapless Old Forest Druid is impaled on a pole with a chainsaw bar stuck in the center of its forehead. But it won't be long before she starts asking awkward questions.

Will it, Mr. Brady?


Anonymous said...

I'm sure that the Mouth of Sauron would say that those placards/signs were part of the Zoos Master Plan since the 1980s.

..Don't know about the tear running down the cheek of the totem though.