Sunday, August 14, 2005

Sealed With A Hiss

A lot of you probably no longer have the ability to conceive of a world before Gumby Fresh. And that's OK, since such expressions of cognitive dissonance would not serve our purposes one bit. But we'll let you into a secret - there once was.

In the bad old days before this omniscient, pansexual gas-like culture-being took up a laptop (how does a gas have hands? SHUT UP you cheeky agringist!) there were only two blogs that mattered: Luke Donnellan's World Of Leopard Seals and Death To False Seals. The results of this struggle are well known - the elephant seals of Southern California beat the leopard seals of the Antarctic hands down. Luke, despite his courageous decision to blog under a real name is no more.

(By way of a digression, there are signs of a renewed offensive, as this tempting nugget suggests. And the site appears to have a very hardcore comment spam filter, so not only can you not find the latest information on 'erbal poker-playing enhancements, but you cannot read the Warriors-esque taunt we wanted to leave there.)

Anyway, the message that the world of leopard seals wanted to leave with us was that seals are magical and mischievous animals that are also a little bit dodgy, but occasionally very cute. Sort of like the cockneys of the sea. What was required was proof of something not only cuter, but that makes seals look bad. And we found it, walking one sweltering afternoon through the Slope.

Indeed, probably the only thing one should do in 95-degree weather is go and watch a documentary about penguins. So we went to see March Of The Penguins, to see if it really was possible for a creature to be comic and stoic at the same time. It was during this movie that we saw shocking footage of a leopard seal biting a lady penguin to bits. We know that Luke warned us, but at the time we were too interested in leaving comments like 'I eat your face' on the site.

Still, go and watch the nature filum. It's not too sentimental, and it provides a much-needed boost to the French film industry (have you seen Asterix. Don't). It does at moments make them seem almost human, but more worrying is the Morgan Freeman narration, which makes it easy for us to conflate the struggle of the penguins to stay alive with the struggle of Andy Dufresne for freedom. That's our bad, though.


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