March of the Questions

This one goes out to my roomie (Hi Roomie!).

So my Roomie (who can be identified by the beeping and screaming coming from my car when she lets me drop her off "smartest student at Cal Western coming through! BEEP BEEP! Make way!) and her boyfriend just saw March of the Penguins. I've had mixed feelings about this movie, but given our conversations about it, I thought I'd parlay my thoughts, hopes, and confusions into a post.

When I saw this movie, I left the theater very depressed. The storyline: penguins march across God's frozen earth to hatch an egg that they then roll back and forth in a painstakingly fragile ballet, during which the egg may just, well, die. And sometimes the moms die. And sometimes the dads get sad. And sometimes baby penguins get eaten by seals. The way I saw it, the movie might as well have been titled "God Hates Penguins". What a difficult life. I couldn't see the point.

If you rebut my thoughts with "that's part of the circle of life", please pass me the nearest barf bag.

Don't get me wrong -- the film was beautifully done. In fact, it was such a touching portrayal of the little things that I obviously took it to heart and felt the anguish of their little journey and the toils of their lifestyle.

But this afternoon a few questions came up that I think we need to address, effective immediately. I'm plagiarizing them from my conversation with Roomie. Please respond to us IMMEDIATELY if you have insight into this (yes, Susie, our avian specialist, this means you.)

--> So when the couples all find each other, what do the SINGLE penguins do? Today we bounced around a few scenarios- so do the single penguins hang around and help with anything? Moral support? Someone call Hillary -- does it take a village to raise a baby penguin too? Why would the singles go with the couples on this pain-in-the-ass-ful journey? I can't recall if the pairing happened before or after the trek. I venture to say before, in which case, why do they have to go too? Why can't they be left alone -- like their human corollaries -- to rot in single purgatory? A lil' Valentines spirit for ya ;)

--> What are the possibilities that a penguin would accidentally mate with a sibling? I mean, how do they know who their parents were or that they are related one year later?

Roomie suggested this and I would like to feign disgust, but the truth is, I wondered the same thing when I watched it.

--> Part B to the above: what would an incest penguin look like? (that's all mine)

--> Why do they go so far? We felt this was a stretch, a little dramatic flair.

Sheesh. Hollywood can't even leave the penguins alone.


Anonymous said...

dr. susie, avian vet in the house:
1. i think the penguins will pair up with a member of the same sex - there was a news article about the gay penguins in boston or something a year or two ago. any penguin that doesn't pair up probably just sits around in the huddle wondering what the hourly penguin-sitting rate will be.
2. definitely a possibility.
3. you are really weird
4. they go where lillys won't bother them.
poor penguins.
i loved that movie. it made me depressed also, but also grateful we get a glimpse into their crazy, sad fate. they can't be raised in captivity, so it's likely they will become extinct quite soon. i think they're cool, i think i'll put one in my backpack then bring it home to swim around in the bathtub.

Anonymous said...

p.s. these 'word verification' words to post a comment are getting longer and longer. safihfoahfosiixiiixxknak.

police and thieves said...

1. i had some pithy answer about lonely penguins but not it don't seem all that funny. ah wish ah could quit ya.

2. they give off a penguin pheromone that says, "look out we're related". seriously. but in a pinch they might do the deed anyways.

3. no flipper-penguin babies, just weaker and they tend to get the chills.

4. the penguins have been looking at each other and asking that question for eons. probably the whole 'survival of the fittest' thing, or maybe it was intelligent design. yeah that's it.

the cruelties of real life are so cuuuute.

Anonymous said...

i didn't see the movie. i just love you. that is all. over and out. roger ten four. -gene

Wil C said...

2. It's the about the same way you wouldn't mate with your brother. Most mammals can tell who's related to them by smell. They'll reject mates that smell like themselves.