Sunday, December 18, 2005

March of the Penguins

Went to see the film “March of the Penguins” yesterday. I was sort of avoiding it because of the way it has been appropriated by the religious right in America for their own purposes. I thought it was an amazing piece of work, the film itself and also its subject. I knew nothing about the life of the Emperor Penguin and its harsh strange life. The creatures themselves are so strange to look at, so alien and so lifelike at the same time. Their existence and reproductive cycle seems so harsh and impractical and yet at the end of it all I would have to agree with the filmmaker and say that the emotion that comes through is something akin to what we call love. I know they are birds and that it can be dangerous and foolish to attribute human feelings to other species, but I suppose that’s the only way our own species can begin to make sense of the universe. I looked in awe at the whole thing, couldn’t even begin to find reasons. What Bertrand Russell once wrote comes to mind: “The universe may have a purpose, but nothing we know suggests that, if so, this purpose has any similarity to ours.”

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