Recently, we looked at James Barham’s “The Apotheosis of Richard Dawkins in the Age of Bunga Bunga” (The Best Schools, September 28, 2011). One interesting point he raises is the curious case of the gay squid:
What are gay squid? They are small creatures, less than six inches long, that live half a mile down in the Pacific Ocean. Belonging to the species Octopoteuthis deletron, these diminutive molluscs lead a solitary existence in the dark.
One consequence is that the males shoot packets of sperm against any member of their species, make or female, hoping, one supposes, for the best. Hence the “gay” label.
A more thoughtful person than feature writer James Gorman might wonder whether it will turn out (the vast majority of the ocean being unexplored) that – in addition to its other troubles – the squid is plagued by a predator that mimics a receptive female? Predatory fireflies have been known to play this “fast date = last date” trick on the males of prey firefly species … If so, shoot first and ask questions later would seem wise, not wasteful. In any event, Barham asks,
But what is this article doing on page one? Why was it given more prominence than the incomparably more consequential article on Friday about the apparent evidence that neutrinos may—in direct contradiction to one of the hitherto best confirmed scientific theories überhaupt, i.e., Einsteinian relativity—be capable of traveling faster than the speed of light, which was relegated to page six? (The longer feature article on Saturday on the same subject—similar in scope to the O. deletron article—was buried on page 10.)
Well, as he notes, the author of the article more or less tells us:
. . . [O. deletron] is the latest addition to the hundreds of species that are know to engage in same-sex sex. Over the years, scientists have added one creature after another to the list, making it clear that although Nature may abhor a vacuum, it seems to be fine with just about everything else.
In other words, the purpose of the article is explicitly to promote the gay lifestyle (even thought the scientist interviewed didn’t like the term “gay squid” – because, of course, they aren’t, really.
Does anyone really believe that the O. deletron story would have appeared on the front page of the Times if we were not intended to understand that it was about gay squid?
No, and that’s part of the reason that the Times’ circulation has been tanking for years.
And there is a realistic concern that they – along with similar media – will want a government bailout, and control over the Internet – for social justice reasons, of course. (We tell people what they ought to hear.) What other motive could there be?
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