The Talking Lion

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Panda Babies!

So, I pull up WashingtonPost.com this morning to get a quick glimpse at the news before lunch and I'm greeted by this as the lead story:

National Zoo's Giant Panda Gives Birth
Mei Xiang and her single cub are being monitored and are doing well, a zoo spokeswoman said.

So, I think this means we've officially returned to the typical news cycle after a couple of days of great coverage of the attacks in London. I mean, there was also this story about the deatils that are emerging from the investigation of Thursday morning's attacks, but none of that stuff really matters anyway, right? The most important thing going on right now is pandas.

Granted, I was pretty excited over this past winter break when I learned that my time home in Norther Virginia corresponded with the three-day period during the year in which pandas can mate. But just as I was finalizing my plans to head to the National Zoo with a lawn chair, a picnic lunch and some binoculars to watch some hot panda action, I found out that the Zoo closed the panda exhibit during that period to give the pandas more privacy or something. I say its not even worth it having pandas if you can't see them while their in heat. So, Arun had to put his homemade sign that read "Put it in the butt, Tian Tian" away and we had to settle for watching a movie or something instead to kill time in Funfax between semesters. It turned out we didn't miss much, anyway, since there was no successful mating and Mei Xiang was impregnated through artificial insemination.

So I admit, I'm at least somewhat interested in the procreation plight of our pandas. And I'm happy for Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, really I am. I think Double T is going to make a great father. But the birth of this panda is a sign of the imminent death of the somewhat substantive news coverage that the American public enjoyed over the past 48 hours or so. With two days past since the attacks, apparently its time for us to move on and go about our everyday lives as if nothing ever happened. Forget about the fact that Bush has been ineffective in fighting the war on terror and the policies of his administration are continuing to put not just the American people, but our allies in danger. Instead, think about panda babies. So cute.

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