Monday, April 30, 2007

Pandas and a new Twist on the "Obscene Machine"

Graduate Teaching Assistant, mensch, House of Blues musician Mark Young sends a posting that marries our blogs recent interest in animal reproduction with our concurrent interest in media of an erotic/prosthetic nature:

From: "Mark Young"
Subject: Panda Porn
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 20:13:23 +0000

Hi Bill!

Here's the link to the mating hijinx! As we've fretted over the problems of human representations of ethnicity and gender all semester, here's a glib and madcap reminder from our Chinese scientific colleagues that not all species seem to share these issues. Take porn for instance. And pandas. It seems these cuddly, masked males, notorious for their indifference to the coital tango, get a measurable lift from the videotaped romps and amplified aural pleasures of their more virile brethren! The result has been a panda baby boom large enough to bring the species from the brink of extinction. Sounds good, right? But do the lady-panda's know the secret to this newfound friskiness? I'm doubtful that an ethics committee has, of yet, discussed the implications for importing human vices into the kingdom of animal behavior (I'm having eerie visions of Yosemite bears: they've already learned how to breaking into cars for toothpaste and peanut butter...what might a sex-crazed bear epidemic look like?!).

Watch the video for some strange interspecies hijinx!



  1. Anonymous9:10 PM

    I found this really interesting because although my zoo experience with animal sexuality was slightly different, it is definitely related. It was not pandas, but gorillas, and although they were not being put on television, as they began physically expressing their arousal toward one another, a larger and larger crowd began forming. Just minutes earlier when children were on the ground level, watching them through glass, the animals were getting angry. I remember thinking that it was so inhumane to keep these animals in cages where we can just stare at their every move. What if we were in a cage for them to see? The I thought to myself, that's ridiculous, they probably don't know any better. However, they proved me wrong. As soon as they were on their own terms of what attention they wanted from humans (attention from sex) they were all about the crowd. People began taking pictures, laughing, and responding positively to their actions, and they were eating up the attention. It makes me think that they may have "I-gene" issues as much as we do. They craved the attention and it almost seemed like they wanted to be accepted as a human. We identified with the way they were feeling and acting toward one another, and they enjoyed it.
    -Gina Hornung

  2. Angela S.12:44 PM

    Sex is everywhere, even when it comes to pandas! I must agree the increase in the panda species is a great accomplishment on the part of zoologists, however have they overstepped their boundaries in an attempt to save the libido of the huge bear? I'm not sure how to react to the panda porn. It makes me laugh but it is twisted in a way. Now that the panda popultion has instrucutional videos for performance I can't even fathom whats next.