Saturday, March 31, 2012

The homosexual panda - a threat or a blessing?

Sichuan forests, Southwestern China. Two black-and-white pandas sharing a bamboo leaf whilst exchanging love-soaked glances. A few sprinkles of the setting sun penetrate the thick, wild jungle, caressing the two animals' shiny black-and-white furs. One panda - somewhat older, his rugged, slightly upturned snout expressing that will-to-life quality shaped by years of fighting for survival in the panda's rapidly diminishing habitat - gently whisks away a lone mosquito perched on his lover's spotless black ear. The younger panda blushes coyly. His eyes dizzy with infatuation, he reaches for another bamboo leaf to feed his soulmate. Two pandas. In love. And yes, gayer than Elton John's wardrobe.
Believe it or not, but as election time approaches in the jungle the life-choice of those two pandas is becoming the hottest potato in the fight for the panda vote. Panda 2928 and panda 9290 caused a stir when they announced to the jungle community their decision to chose a same-sex relationship over a more convential family life. The Green Party in particular voiced their concern that this could have an adverse effect on panda fertility rates. But General Secretary of the Green Party, Panda 4921 (known among friends as Montgomery Mao) completely rejects the accusations that he and his party are a bunch of homophobic bigots.
"We in the Green Party are as tolerant as you can get, and in any other era we would regard the sight of homosexual pandas as a welcome addition to the junglescape. But in a situation where the global panda population hovers around 1000, we cannot let the anti-procreationary lifestyle of panda poofs jeopardize the future of our species. It is the civic duty of every panda - even including those sickening sissy same-sex pseudo-panda deviants - to wave decadence goodbye and start producing some offspring."

The simple joys of a family-oriented lifestyle.

Spokespanda for The Inter-Species Alliance for a Queerful Jungle, Panda 0467 (known among his friends as Chang-Kai Stenshjemmet ) is not convinced. "The Green Party are not motivated by any genuine concern for the panda species. All research shows conclusively that the biggest threat to the panda community is our diminishing habitat. Humans are eradicating our jungle for industrial purposes, leaving us with less and less land on which to live. The adequate response is not to produce more pandas, making it even more crowded here. The Green Party are nothing but a bunch of gay-hating hetero imbeciles furthering their populist agenda."

Montgomery Mao is not impressed. "Ah yeah, the lack-of-space argument. Well, if these blissful bum-brothers were so concerned about lack of space, why did they just erect a 3000 square meter disco - that cesspool of fairy filth otherwise known as 'The Lewd Liana' - right in the middle of the jungle? Estimates from the Southern Sichuan School of Home Economics show that the space of the dance floor alone could have hosted 6 healthy, happy panda families, each producing 2 children per year."

The head of The Inter-Species Alliance for a Queerful Jungle shakes his head in disbelief. "What a nerve! So what? 6 panda families and their screaming offspring. That's still less than the 800 gay pandas we cram onto this dancefloor every weekend! And as anybody familiar with the gay panda lifestyle knows perfectly well, we only leave the disco when we have to go to work on Monday. Whatever free time we have, we spend on the dancefloor or in the baths. Most of us don't even remember where we actually live. I had to google my address last week when I needed to go home for a change of clothes after I left my underwear somewhere in the darkroom. When I came home, I found that a bunch of house-occupying monkeys had already been living there for 4 months. At first I was a little bit pissed off, but then I thought, what the hell, after they opened a bamboo shoot diner outside 'The Lewd Liana' I figured I got everything I need there. Can get crowded, of course, but us gays unlike those stuck up family freaks don't shy away from panda and other-species contact."

The spokespanda for the Green Party is not amused. "The so-called darkrooms are an affront to the collective panda experience. Darkness is the enemy of the Panda nation. Pandas have always celebrated light, since so little of it seeps through the dense jungle vegetation. Darkness also makes us easy prey for leopards as well as human panda-hunters. Not to mention the countless pandas that have ended up in wheelchairs after stumbling on liana branches in low-visibility settings."
Liana.

Chang-Kai Stenshjemmet is not buying the Green Party's arguments. "Our darkrooms are laboratories of inter-species love. A recent study conducted by The East Asia Gloria Gaynor Fanclub shows that if the entire panda habitat had the population density of 'The Lewd Liana' it could host a population of 4 million pandas, as well as millions of individuals from other species. The panda fur provides a soft and cosy setting for flirtatious encounters among members of the more minute species. For instance, the other morning when I left the dark-room I found two small bamboo rats sleeping in my ear. I'd been so busy shaking my butt to Kylie the whole night that I hadn't noticed the two little love rodents rendez-vousing in my fur."
Montgomery Mao can hardly contain his fury. "The bamboo rat is our biggest enemy, bigger than the snow leopard, bigger than humans! The devious little beast eats the roots of the bamboo tree, on which our diet completely depends."

The bamboo rat - collateral damage of a heated conflict?

Stenshjemmet scoffs at the fellow panda's outburst. "Same old story, using the bamboo rat as a scapegoat. Why dont't we take a look at ourselves and our own kind instead? Bamboo shoots make up 99% of the Panda's diet, yet has limited nutritional value. Instead of pointing paws at the helpless little bamboo rat, why don't we modify our diet a little? The Inter-Species Initiative for a Queerful Jungle has devised a plan that aims to reduce the percentage of bamboo shoots in our diet from 99 to 98,5%. This might seem like a trifling amount, but given that 9 to 14 kilos of bamboo shoots flush through an average panda's digestion system every day, it will make a vital difference."

Montgomery Mao's finger is trembling with moral outrage. "Questioning the universal benevolence and the infinite nutritional richness of the bamboo shoot!?! This is conclusive proof that you and your degenerate kind are not genuine pandas, because for a real panda nothing is more sacred than the bamboo-shoot, that divine plant which has nourished our kind since God created the first panda 6000 years ago. And by the way, if God had wanted us to be decadent Cher-worshipping disco-daises, why did he give us a black-and-white fur and not a rainbow-coloured one?"

The Queer activist struggles to stay calm. "That is the authentic voice of a certified black-and-white-supremacist bigot. But you will be proven wrong, you sorry piece of heteronormative jungle-junk! Look at the dinosaurs. Straighter than Jehova's Witnesses. Didn't help them much, did it?"

Finally, back to the two lovers who unwittingly set off this controversy. How do they feel about it all? Says Panda 2928: "All we're asking for is just to go on with our lives. But if the situation gets out of control, we might consider leaving the panda habitat for a more friendly environment. I'm thinking about Romania, read somewhere that Bucharest has more than 100.000 gay dogs!"
Panda 9290 responds to his lover's youthful enthusiasm with an overbearing yet affectionate smile: "I believe that's stray dogs, darling. But no option should be off the table. What about converting to a more rainbow-coloured, gay-friendly species, like the peacock or a flamboyant parrot? One thing is certain, Gloria Gaynor didn't sing "I will survive" for nothing. The gay panda is here to stay!"

The peacock - inherently gay.