I know what you’re thinking and that’s not very nice. No it isn’t Mitch McConnell’s birthday, although I suppose it could be, if you wanted it to be. No, today we bring our short attention spans to turtles and extinction. With roughly half of all turtle species at risk of extinction, conservationists say now is a crucial time to stick out our necks for these ancient animals. Why is that a big deal? They cannot fend for themselves we must fend for them. I am not about to march to the Aquarium and occupy the fish tank. I just think we need to be aware of where our animals on this planet are going and what’s happening to them, all of them, four legged and two legged.
I had a turtle when I was young. It came with a sorta terrarium with a plastic palm tree and a plastic platform so the turtle could get out of the water and hang out on the plastic “beach.” I’m sure the turtle (I’m not sure if I gave it a name or not) thought it was in the South Seas rather than in the fog of San Francisco in the ’50’s. At that time in my life, I had heard of the Dodo bird being extinct but I had a hard time understanding what that meant. It was a funny name for a bird I thought. I knew extinction was bad, but I thought that not existing simply meant, “made-up” like a fairy tale. As a child, I was often called a “Dodo” by my siblings. I took it in stride as if I had been called Mordred. It was all a fairy tale.
Now, of course that I am nearing extinction I am keenly aware what that word means. When you are extinct, you are no more. So when I hear a preacher say that he thinks gays and lesbians ought to be rounded up and put in pens till they die, he’s talking about “extinction” isn’t he? Well in his terms it sounds like life would be better if gays and lesbians weren’t around. Well, better for him I suppose. I wonder what else needs to be “extinct” progressives? Non-christians? Atheists? More turtles?
There are a lot of things I wouldn’t miss if they were extinct, L.A. Dodgers, The Lakers, Los Angeles itself, Michele Bachmann, that crazy guy in Florida, birthers, the small gang along Santa Cruz Ave that have an Obama picture with a Hitler moustache. But I don’t think I would consciously gather them all up and put them in a pen together so they would cease to exist. Where’s the fun in that? Who would I write about?
So on this world turtle day, let us remember that we are all sharing this planet together, good guys and not so good guys, animals with fur and animals with shells on their backs. We have to find a way to somehow get on with life without extinct-ing (new word) everything we dislike or even hate. Remember there are people out there who really like egg-plant. For the life of me I cannot understand why they do, but they do.
and so it goes…