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I recently had sushi in Little Tokyo with a
longtime friend frenemy person I know, who was in LA from NY for one night. After a few tantalizing rounds of chef’s choice, we started to gaze at the specials. Aloud, pained, I lamented the listing for toro sashimi–which I love almost as much as football–on the board, having not ordered the fatty belly of the endangered bluefin for almost two years. We quickly, maybe even passionately chatted about the awful projections that the world stands to be bluefin-free by the next U.S. presidential election.
She sighed. And then brightly ordered the toro.
I tried not to judge. I tried not to preach. It’s not my duty. I merely looked at her quizzically.
“Jesus, Diana, it’s not like I invented toro or anything,” she huffed. And I actually haven’t heard from her since that night.
But that moment has stuck with me. I find myself wondering why it’s so easy to dismiss the peril of the bluefin, to literally mouth the words “endangered” while allowing that endangered flesh to cross one’s lips (with some tart rice and a little bit of salt). I’m not angry at my friend–she’s certainly not alone. I just wonder.
Is it because bluefin are *just* fish? They’re cold, slick, emotionless–not cute, cuddly, loving, furry, and adorable. And although it’s a bummer to most when species are endangered and all… at the end of the day, we can’t really be expected to modify our behavior, nor bothered to deny our tastebuds and cravings, for a bunch of cold, dead fish. They’re just fish, right? Like the saying goes, there are plenty of fish in the sea. At least for the next fifty years.
It’s not like bluefin are pandas or anything. Then–THEN we’d have all the right conservation slogans, tees, and–er, sexy costumes. Pandas are endangered CUTE animals that we can all (save for a few dissenters) get behind. We dare not imagine a bunch of dead pandas on wooden pallets. It would hurt t0o much.
But in fact, that’s exactly what the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society wants you to do. They just launched this new campaign: “When you see tuna, think Panda.”
Filed under: Bluefin Tuna, Dead Panda Ads, Effective Ads, Endangered Bluefin, Endangered Species, Fish, Northern Bluefin Tuna, Operation Blue Rage, Pandas, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Sushi, Toro
Pandas are sickeningly cute. But they’re also dumb as fuck. They survive almost entirely on bamboo, which poses all kinds of problems; they frequently kill their young by accident or neglect; and they seem to have something against sex and reproducing more sickeningly-cute-but-dumb-as-fuck panda spawn.
Researchers at the famed Hetaoping Research and Conservation Centre in Sichuan Province, China, have been working their asses off to keep these adorable dummies from disappearing off the face of the planet, and one of their innovations is dressing themselves up in panda suits when it comes time to introduce the real pandas into the wild. To, presumably, get those pandas raised in captivity used to being around other pandas, or something like that?
No idea if it’ll work–the last panda the Hetaoping researchers introduced into the wild, Continue reading AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! The People In The Panda Suits
Filed under: Adorable, Awwwwwww, baby pandas, Bear Hugs, China, Dumb Animals, Endangered Species, FUZZY TUMMY FEELINGS, Giant Pandas, Hetaoping Research and Conservation Centre, Into the Wild, Panda Hugs, Panda People, Panda Suits, Pandas, Pandas Are Dumb As Fuck But We Love Them Anyway, Pandas Are Sickeningly Cute, People in Panda Suits
Aw, look, a panda kindergarten! Let’s watch the video:
Waitaminute, what the heck kind of kindergarten is this? Where are the books and the pencils? Where is the discipline? Where are the uncomfortable desks? Why aren’t the pandas queueing up in perfect lines, reciting memorized poems and literary selections? Where are the abacuses? Where are the violins?
[via NY Post]
Tai Shan, the panda Americans have watched with awe since his 2005 birth at the National Zoo in Washington D.C., is going home. On loan from China, Tai Shan was allowed to stay at the Zoo for two and a half years longer than originally agreed upon–but now he must head to his native soil to enter into the main breeding program at the Beifengxia base in Sichuan.
Sad, but neccesary. Let’s just hope that China doesn’t call in any of our other debts. [quivers]
Filed under: Breeding Program, China, Goodbyes, Homecomings, Little Bears, Loans, National Zoo, Pandas, Pandas Are Sickeningly Cute, Sadness, Sichuan, Tai Shan, U.S. Marines, U.S. Public Debt, Washington D.C.
Meet Jialing Chen. He’s 62 years old and works on Wall Street. He’s not an investment banker, however; he’s Sad Panda (and SpongeBob SquarePants some days). The Guangzhou-native-turned-permanent-U.S.-resident–who lost his Chinese restaurant waiter job in 2007 because his mother died and, as the eldest son, had to return to China to make funeral arrangements–makes $30 on a good day as Sad Panda. His wife works 7 days a week as a private nurse so that they can afford health care. Nevertheless, at the end of this month, Chen will lose his health insurance.
(interview/video by Columbia J-School student Michelle Tay)
When people talk about the recession being over, think of Sad Panda (and the other 15 million unemployed Americans). When people drag their feet on health care reform, think of Sad Panda. Shoot, when you think your life sucks or your job blows, think of Sad Panda.
Filed under: Forgotten People, Health Care, Health Care Bill, Health Care Reform, Immigrants, Jialing Chen, Michelle Tay, Pandas, Sad Panda, The Recession, The Recession Over, The Working Poor, Unemployment
You may recall how, in 2003, before Shaquille O’Neal and Yao Ming’s first meeting on the NBA hardwood, Shaq attempted to reach across cultural lines and communicate with the then-rookie from China, saying on a FOX Sports show: “Tell Yao Ming, ‘ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh.’”
To which Yao responded, “Chinese is hard to learn. I had trouble with it when I was little.”
Ive been alotta place but being at the shaolin temple n china has brouhht a tear to my eye buddha blessed
After that, he vowed to bring this mysterious, mystical martial art known as kung fu back to his motherland.
This may still sound like ching-chong to you, but there’s no denying Shaq’s conversational tone has improved. And Mandarin, as everyone knows, is all about tone. So Shaq must be one cunning linguist. (That, or he has some sneakers to shill.)
Something tells me this is what Tila Tequila would be up to if she REALLY LET HERSELF GO.
Pandas don’t like to share toys. Zhang Jiao, of Anhui province, China, had to learn that the hard way this week when he entered a panda enclosure at the Beijing Zoo to retrieve a toy that his 5 year-old son had dropped in and got his ass tore up by Gu Gu, an 8 year-old, 240 lb. male panda (pictured left). Well, technically, it was Zhang’s legs that got chewed, and the Beijing News reported major ligaments were torn and Zhang (pictured below) required surgery.
This attack was the third of its kind perpetrated by Gu Gu in two years. The first occurred in 2007, when a drunk tourist went inside Gu Gu’s pen to try and hug the giant panda. When Gu Gu bit the man, the man bit him back. The second attack occurred in October, when a teenager entered what the AP called Gu Gu’s “exercise area” and was also bitten in the legs.
Now, we could come to one of two conclusions here. The first is that Gu Gu is one sickeningly cute but violent motherfucker with a really bad case of Zoo Rage. The second is that three different people entered the habitat of a large wild animal, threatened the big guy’s territory, and kinda got what was coming to them. Harsh, we know, and since we don’t like to kick a person when he’s down–and has both of his legs in casts–let’s just go with the former and call it a day, shall we?
Bad Panda! Bad, bad boy!
*slaps Panda on the wrists and then runs like hell*
It’s taken awhile for us to get moving again after four days of turkey-stuffing-mashed potatoes-stuffing-nap-US Weekly Magazine-stuffing-red wine-turkey-pizza-Rock Band-stuffing-gravy-dog park-cookies-pie-ice cream-Contemporary Adult Fiction-mashed potatoes-white wine-aunts’n'uncles-brunch-scotch-Star Magazine-Facebook-gravy-tequila-cashmere throw blankets-stuffing-PayPerView movies-gratitude-turkey.
Fortunately, our pen pal Margie kicked off the morning with a photo of exactly how Jen and I are looking at DISGRASIAN HQ today:
Click here to kill yourself with cuteness.
Happy birthday to Zhen Zhen and Su Lin, two panda bear sisters at the San Diego Zoo who turned 1 and 3 on Sunday. Here’s footage of them playing with their birthday cake:
If only we could bottle the magical cuteness of pandas–we’d be filthy rich!
You may or may not remember the Poodle Exercise Video (aka “FITNESS VIDEO for being appraised as an ‘EX-FAT GIRL’”). If you don’t, take a look; I guarantee it will soon be the coolest thing about your Monday morning. Nagi Noda, the creator of the poodle video, is a trippy Japanese artist who has directed music videos, commercials (for Nike and Coca-Cola), and short films, as well as created many interesting art objects, like the “Hanpanda” (half-Panda, half-other animal) and–her most recent creation–”Hair Hats”:
To view more Hair Hats and other weirdly awesome stuff by Nagi Noda, go to her official website. Girlfriend even has a fashion label, too.