The Camp Vamp: Katrina Fox

Commentary on GLBTIQ issues, social justice and some of life's quirks.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Good news

News. It’s such a loaded word, especially for a journalist. Unlike other people who can decide to opt out of reading, listening to or watching the news because it’s all just too bloody depressing, we are obliged at the very least to trawl through the headlines of the daily newspapers online to keep abreast of what’s going on in the world.

Most of the time the news induces feelings of irritation, sadness, anger or despair – murders, rapes, wars, moronic world leaders doing nothing about global warming, multi-national corporations getting away with all kinds of hideous abuses of human and non-human rights, blah blah blah. Last week, however, it was a pleasure to hear some really good news – not just one piece either, but two: Bush and his fascist … sorry, Republican party took a major thrashing in the US midterm elections, and a contestant on America’s Next Model announced she wasn’t sure if she was straight, thereby giving me licence as a lesbian journo to watch the rest of the series under the guise of ‘research’.

Come Monday morning, though, and the news is back to bordering on the sublime to the ridiculous. Take the piece in The Sydney Morning Herald, about a Thai zoo, which has hosted a couple of pandas for four years. According to the report, the male and female pair who have been living together platonically will now be separated but remain close enough for occasional glimpses of each other. The six-year-old male panda, Chuang Chuang, will then be played … wait for it … porn videos on a large screen in an attempt to encourage the animals to breed in captivity. “They don’t know how to mate so we need to show the male how, through videos,” the zoo’s panda project chief Prasertsak Buntrakoonpoontawee told Reuters on Saturday. “We’ll play the video at the most comfortable and intimate time for him, perhaps after dinner,” he added, hoping Chuang Chuang would then use the techniques on Lin Hui, a five-year-old female.

It obviously hasn’t occurred to Mr Buntrakoonpoontawee that the pandas probably know exactly how to mate, but just don’t fancy each other. Or that one or both of them might be gay. If he thinks showing them human porn films will change things, he’s seriously mistaken. For one thing, no panda in her right mind is going to don six-inch stilettos, a fake tan and long blonde hair just to please her man. And if Mr Buntrakoonpoontawee believes that humans and pandas are really so similar, he surely won’t mind being taken out of his natural habitat where he’s perfectly happy, free to roam and mix with others of his own kind at will, to be locked up in a tiny prison close enough to catch glimpses of another male zoo worker, and shown XXX-rated gay male porn, in an attempt to get the two men to fuck themselves silly. Now that’s what I call good news.

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