Trannysaurus Rex: The Activist Academics ‘Queering’ Dinosaurs
Recently, I wrote about North Hertfordshire Museum’s pathetic attempts to imply the ancient (male, moustachioed) Roman Emperor Elagabalus was actually a transgender woman. If you thought this was ridiculous, there is a museum in the United States which possesses a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton which came out as nonbinary back in 2017, proudly announcing it was now a user of they/them pronouns on Twitter:
The Chicago Field Museum, where the T. rex lives and tweets, justified this lunacy on the spurious grounds that it is quite difficult to determine the sex of old dinosaur specimens (it’s not even certain if such creatures had true external genitalia at all). Therefore, as curators did not know for sure whether the specimen was a boy-lizard or a girl-lizard, they made the insane leap in logic that it was actually a trans one.
Do please further note from the above tweet that, although museum staff profess not to know whether their T. rex is male or female, they have somehow managed to accurately determine its star sign.
A Boy Named SUE?
The Tyrannosaurus Sexless in question goes by two names, depending upon which museum toilets it feels like using to drop a coprolite into on any given day. Behind closed doors, dem bones go by the label Specimen FMNH PR2081, like one of Elon Musk’s children. In public, the skeleton prefers the more flamboyant moniker of SUE (capitalisation is compulsory, for some obscure reason), reflecting how it was first discovered in South Dakota in August 1990 by amateur palaeontologist Sue Hendrikson, and therefore spoken of as if it was female, using traditional she/her pronouns.
So, how did SUE transition from she/her to they/them? The suggestively named U.S. queer website ‘Them’ tells the story in adulatory detail, acclaiming SUE as “a Nonbinary [sic] icon”. In our infantile, dumbed-down age, even inanimate museum exhibits now have to ‘engage’ with the general public, so SUE was given her own Twitter account, operated by an in-house electronic ventriloquist. One female fan jokily tweeted that the dinosaur was her “girlfriend”, leading SUE’s operator to reply: “Um, science is still out on that ‘girl’ title… but I’m still your friend.” Another follower then asked SUE what its pronouns were, leading the fossil to reply that, naturally, it used impeccably right-on gender-neutral ones.
A few months later, SUE was being moved to another exhibition space, which online activists realised meant it would need all its labels rewritten. Queer lobbyists contacted the museum demanding the T. rex now adopt gender-neutral pronouns permanently on the grounds that “Misgendering SUE didn’t just misrepresent the dinosaur, it risked invalidating the credibility SUE’s pronouns had given to nonbinary individuals.”
One such nonbinary individual e-mailed (or e-femailed, we shouldn’t just automatically presume) the museum to wail needily that its signs publicly referring to a dinosaur as they/them in print “gives me another piece of data that I can hold up to” all those cruel sceptics who stubbornly refuse to accept men can miraculously become women. What, precisely, is this individual’s definition of the word “data” here?
External activists were pushing at an open door, as internal activists on the museum’s own staff quickly became “excited”, asking management to let them begin showily stating their own pronouns in their official documents too, just like SUE. From hereon in, SUE would become “an ambassador for science”, widening participation in the sphere for all, not just privileged ‘cishetero’ scum. For Kate Golembiewski, the museum’s chief PR führer, “Science is for everyone. If [using gender-neutral pronouns] makes one person more comfortable in our museum… then it’s worth it.”
But what about all those people whom it makes feel uncomfortable? According to Katie Slivovsky, founder of CAMP (Chicago Alliance for Museums with Pride), who held a workshop at the museum informing recalcitrant staff members why it was now suddenly compulsory to refer to a dead dinosaur as if it was a drag queen:
At the Children’s Museum [where Katie also works] we handle a complaint about our rainbow sign or all-gender bathroom sign the same way we handle somebody who doesn’t like that they can’t bring a balloon into the museum… There’s no need for debate or agreement or disagreement by any staff. [Gender-neutral pronouns are] just museum policy. We want everyone to feel welcome here.
Yes. If by “everyone”, you actually mean “only a small proportion of politically motivated malcontents and mentally ill people”. All those much larger number of normal individuals who don’t agree that a T. rex can be trans can just leave immediately and dig up their own fossils to stare at. That’s ‘inclusivity’ for you – an inverted synonym for the systematic exclusion of the sane majority.
SUE’s case is no aberrant one-off, there now being an entire movement afoot to ‘queer’ palaeontology. There is even some research out there suggesting the dinosaurs originally became extinct not due to giant meteorite impact or their gradual evolution into bird-life, but from an early variant of the AIDS virus.
Disappointingly, if you look at the original scientific papers, this is not really what actual researchers into prehistoric retroviruses are claiming, as such deadly bugs only appear to infect mammals. Yet this hasn’t stopped other commentators, like HIVPlusMag (there’s a publication I hope never to subscribe to), from suggesting that “it’s more fun to imagine that it [AIDS] caused the demise of the dinosaurs” because, somehow, this idea will “lead to innovative new research” which will help cure it amongst homosexual humans.
Just as self-obsessed is U.S. social media activist ‘Fossil Daddy’ (not his real name), who argues palaeontology can be legitimately transformed into an entire new pseudo-discipline named “gay-leontology”, a pun which only works if you say the real word using its American pronunciation (i.e., pay-leontology).
Fossil Daddy poses topless whilst talking evolution online, pushing a “unique blend of science and queerness” via his “cheeky and informative videos”. These propagate the message that the field as a whole is “dominated by old white men”, who are probably also raging homophobes. By being outrageously gay in the close proximity of trilobites online, Fossil Daddy hopes to declare to these stale, pale, cishetero paleo-patriarchs that “We exist. We’re going to take over the space someday,” which sounds uncomfortably settler-colonialist to me. Even worse, “We’re going to turn palaeontology into gay-leontology.”
Meaning what, exactly? Meaning “being visibly queer, refusing to stay quiet and insisting on taking up space”. In other words, acting like a complete narcissist. Fossil Daddy “traces his love of fossils” back to Nintendo’s original 1998 Game Boy Pokémon Red/Blue games, which featured a rare fossilised Pokémon named Omanyte, based on genuine non-eight-bit fossils called ammonites. As Poké-players have to capture said critters in special spheres named PokéBalls, today Fossil Daddy pays tribute to his childhood obsession by selling fans some rather alarming-sounding products named ‘Daddy’s Balls’, which apparently “contain artifacts from his fossil hunts”, which has to be the strangest euphemism I have ever heard.
Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary – To All Known Historical Fact
Not only are contemporary bone-diggers evolving rapidly into full-blown gay-leontologists – so are long-dead historical ones. Enter Mary Anning (1799-1847), early female fossil-hunter and discoverer of the 200 million-year-old fish-like marine reptile Ichthyosaurus, whose very name means ‘fish-lizard’, a highly nonbinary concept in itself. Much more significant than her boring old discoveries, however, is the newly unearthed ‘fact’ she was a lesbian – hooray!
Mary never married. Obviously, this meant she must actually have been in a secret girl-on-girl relationship with her good friend and fellow fossil-fondler Charlotte Murchison. That, at least, was the theory of the 2020 film Ammonite, starring Kate Winslet as Mary and with a probable script by Fossil Daddy. You can tell this because at one point, after mating with Charlotte in a sheltered cave somewhere on the Jurassic Coast, Mary surprisingly discovers a fossilised Bulbasaur femur.
Even more anachronistic, however, is the film’s depiction of her alleged sapphic leanings – a total invention which annoyed modern-day descendants of Mary’s wider family, such as her distant niece Barbara Anning, who complained as follows:
I do not believe that there is any evidence to back up portraying her as a gay woman. Do the filmmakers have to resort to using unconfirmed aspects to somebody’s sexuality to make an already remarkable story sensational? This adds nothing to her story.
Ammonite’s “working class and queer” director Francis Lee (who self-identifies as a former Manchester City footballer) disagreed, asking why:
Or, to put it another way, “Why can’t I just make it all up?” I look forward to seeing Mr. Lee’s follow-up sexually revisionist masterpiece, a remake of Wilde in which Oscar turns out to be as straight as a spirit-level.
Queens of the Stone Age
In a curious assessment of the case for Exeter University’s OutAndAboutExeter project, aimed at pointlessly ‘queering the curriculum’ with your tax money, recent English Literature graduate Emma Wallace drew an exceedingly laboured parallel between Lee’s ahistorical fabulism and the very process of palaeontology itself:
Why is it, Lee asks, that we view absence of evidence for any sexuality as confirmation of Mary Anning’s heterosexuality? … The fossils that Mary discovered over the course of her life lay physically and metaphorically beneath the surface; they needed to be literally dug up and examined in order to be understood. In light of how queer lives are often buried or erased over the course of history… we must think beyond conventional ideas about the past and open our minds to what lies hidden beneath the surface. To queer the past is not to compromise its veracity, but to recognise that the past is a shifting, dynamic variable which can continue to yield revelations and thereby influence the present.
Furthermore, argues Emma, in very pink prose indeed:
Within the film itself… the process of physically digging up silt and dirt for these fossilised remains ultimately parallels Mary and Charlotte’s attempts to interrogate their own sexual desire; the unearthing of the literal ammonite precipitating the more metaphoric discovery of their love for one another. Geology and palaeontology, in other words, becomes a metaphor for their queerness… Queer love, the film proposes, is as ancient and worthy of excavation – or engagement and memorialisation – as the fossils that Mary discovers.
Well, why don’t we just dig Mary herself up, shove her bones into a display cabinet in the Natural Made-Up-History Museum, and give the corpse its own twee little Twitter account, complete with all the correct approved neo-pronouns?
There is a strange, forgotten historical parallel for spying blatant ahistorical falsehoods in fossils. The Lügensteine, or ‘Lying Stones’, of Professor Johann Beringer (1667-1740) were a series of fossils far too good to be true found around the German university-town of Würzburg in 1725 – the reason being they were all fakes. Beringer was not a believer in early proto-evolutionary ideas, dismissing the notion fossils were the preserved remains of extinct prehistoric organisms. Consequently, the cruel hoaxers carved some of their creations with the name of God signed proudly in Hebrew, as though they were the Deity’s early practice creatures from the first days of Creation.
Publishing a book proudly announcing his findings, Beringer’s reputation was soon shattered once it became clear the religiously convenient fossils were all invented. This fact should have been abundantly apparent – some depicted ‘fossilised’ comets, bees pollinating flowers or spiders sitting plumply on their webs, whilst others contained tell-tale chisel-marks.
However, Professor Beringer allowed his own pre-existing belief-systems (in this case religious, not woke ones) to colour his vision. His comically deluded explanation was simply that the give-away marks were the result not of human chisels, but of God’s:
The figures… are so exactly fitted to the dimensions of the stones, that one would swear that they are the work of a very meticulous sculptor… [and they] seem to bear unmistakable indications of the [Divine] sculptor’s knife.
Some of the fake fossils were of fauna that had supposedly been frozen forever in time during the act of carnal union – particularly common were carvings of toads playing leapfrog onto one another’s backs (go here and gawp open-mouthed like Kermit at figure seven). I bet if certain modern-day queer Professor Beringers amongst the gay-leontology crowd were shown such appealingly sexualised images of carved dinosaurs who died whilst supposedly hard at it with members of the same sex they’d fall for it every bit as much as their unwitting 18th-century ancestor once did.
Whilst specific moral fads and fashions may shift dramatically down the centuries, the sad underlying fact of mankind’s capacity for willing self-deception never does evolve very much, it would seem.
Sat, 12/02/2023 – 07:00
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/kBMYtxU Tyler Durden