Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bug love

There was an advertisement on the tram this morning that read:

Drink Dilmah to save an elephant

Now I rather liked that idea. Saving an elephant sounded fine and grand and heroic, just the same sort of a thing a big game hunter would do, but in reverse. I envisaged myself, a house husband, ensconced in a chair by the table, proudly drinking Dilmah, sip by valorous sip, while my wife (it's amazing what you can imagine on a tram journey) stomped gloomily around and about, finally sticking her head around the corner and asking what on earth I was doing.

"Oh, nothing," I would reply, magnanimously. "Just saving an elephant."

But then, I reflected, it's all about the elephants, isn't it? Or if it's not the elephants, it's the whales, or the dolphins, or the glorious wilderbeest. Humans like having big compassion for big things. Can you imagine extending that compassion to the fungal rash on your finger that has caused you to slather the dermal-cream equivalent of Agent Orange all over your hands, every morning, and every night? Or what about the plight of the parasitical bug that is so epically titchy it spends its entire life living up a mosquito bum, and has become endangered due to a tragic shortage of mosquito bums? It must be hard to extend our God-like compassion for all things living to those things which we don't know about yet.

We humans, all things considered, really are rather pragmatic about our sympathies. It's easy to feel sorry for an elephant. Oversized, overweight, but most importantly, over there. Not so much smallpox, which has an unpleasant habit of forming over you: and which we've been conducting nothing short of a genocidal war of extermination on for the last few centuries. We couldn't contract elephants like we contract bacterial infections or viruses, either: it's geo-spatially a rather difficult proposition. No, it's easy to love an elephant from afar. They don't give us anything to worry about, really. 

But still, just this once, I'd like to see an ad like this:

Buy our marvellous product! Save the endangered mosquito-bum dwelling exotic-bug-thing from extinction!


Dan the VespaMan said...

I do hope that one day we can find harmony with the micro-organisms. Oh yes there is the odd H1N1 virus that has a bad attitude, but many of them just want to be our friends.

TimT said...

Nah, H1N1 is just a rascally little scamp. Doesn't mean any harm at all.

On the other hand, that ebola psychopath ought to be locked up forever. It's just *no good*.

Maria said...

And the pandas. Don't forget the pandas.

It's usually about some animal that people can go on about being grand and magnificent or at least cuddly. And intelligent. Every time whale-harpooning comes up it's about "those magnificent beasts" and also about how intelligent and wonderful whales are. They aren't too hot on mosquitoes, fleas and amoeba.

Funnily enough, when it comes ot humans people can be quite scathing about smart businessmen or smart lawyers or whatever and try to convince you to put your money towards the uneducated, the intellectually disabled and so forth.

HUH? The shift???

I think we should start a protection foundation for Amoeba, Fleas, Parasites and Extremely 'Smart' CEOs and Lawyers. Some people would say that putting them under the same umbrella would actually make sense.

TimT said...

Won't someone think of the lawyers????

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of an old song by Tom Paxton about saving the vegetables. Nobody is interested in saving the potato because it isn't cute and cuddly. And we heartless beasts pull carrots out of their homes by their hair! Something should be done to save the veggies.


Steve Burri said...

Tim T,

Oversized, overweight, but most importantly, over there.

Veiled snark on us Americans, eh?

What the heck is Dilmah?

Well, I say shoot all the elephants and we won't have to worry about 'em any more.

Ya gotta be careful. You never know who Paco will send over here. There are some real odd ducks on the internet.

TimT said...

Good point Retread, I'll make sure to eat only non-vegetable foods in future, such as steak and meatballs, out of consideration for all those suffering potatos and soyabeans.

Steve, it's some Indian or faux-Indian brand of tea. They had an ad a few years ago with someone with an Apu (from the Simpsons) accent extolling the virtues of Dilmah tea. It sounds more like the combination of 'Dildo' and 'Elmer' though.

TimT said...

Hmmm Steve...

I had no idea the elephants in this blog post were repressed symbols of Americaness, though then again considering their association with the GOP, I guess I see your point. Did I have a traumatic encounter with an American-bearing-Dilmah when I was a child? Time to undertake past-life-regression-therapy while listening to the songs of whales, or I'll never learn to confront my inner demons.

I thank you for setting me off on this new and exciting journey. Today is the first day for the rest of my day, and all that.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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