Tuesday, August 10, 2010
A Museum of Natural Art?
Today, I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. They did not have some of the truly special stuff that made me 'wow' the first time around, like a gigantic light chamber and a hall of iridescent mirrors. They had some neat tricks with mirrors with an interesting thesis behind them, but most of the things made me tilt my head in WTF. Looking at the crap that people turn into art made me wonder:
Why the hell isn't there a museum for natural art?
To clarify: I am not only talking about all that is beautiful in nature, but also all that was created from life itself. That means morphs, hybrids, things with two heads, and so on. Collies, sphynxes, bubble-eye goldfish, scaleless rattlesnakes and Chinese Cresteds all deserve their own pedestals. Breeds can go extinct, too. Credit must be given where credit is due.
Don't think it would work? Check out how many zoos are pimping white tigers - as I have said before, white tigers are just about the least natural animals there are (after dogs and cats). Freaks mean big money, which is why Siegfried and Roy can get away with pimping their white cats in Vegas.
Despite everything I have said about white tigers, I do admit that they are on their way to becoming a solid breed. If people can breed crossed eyes out of Siamese cats, they can probably do the same with white tigers. Call this a double standard if you like, but I am cool with white tigers being part of an actual show. They should not be representatives of real, wild tigers any more than German Shepherds should speak for wolves.
Zoos should not make ligers, white tigers, black panthers, and so forth just to attract customers. As I said before, ligers do not happen in nature, and white tigers are about as inbred as European royalty - they are far from pristine natural specimens. Going to a zoo just because it has a white tiger is a scam; you are not helping the problems associated with the morph, and more and more regular tigers will suffer for the attention given to their inbred cousins.
That is not promoting conservation. That is conservation mixed with a veritable freakshow. It misrepresents and skews what people really want to save. Do you want to save an animal that could never survive in its natural habitat?
Speaking of black and white attention whores...
This does not mean that all white tigers should be eradicated - just keep them out of conservation arguments. They are the rough equivalent of using advertisements in a scholarly paper; that is, they are clutter that should not be used when trying to make a serious point. Ditto with ligers. Black wildcats can slide, but they too suffer from inbreeding (and several misconceptions). By the way, support Lady Gaga!
I swear she's a rare specimen from Pandora.
Let's give the freaks a place to stay. Zoos should not have them. Get a bunch of taxidermists and exotic pet owners together and make it happen. There are also plenty of glowing microbes and stones to pick from, so we could really go nuts.