Later this month, The Mammalian Daily’s editors will reveal their choice of Animal of the Year.
In the meantime, we are inviting readers to voice their own opinions. Participate in our poll below:
As the fourth day of Chef Tab Tricolore’s absence brings no clues as to his whereabouts, many have begun asking what might in the past have been a forbidden question: is it possible that Tricolore’s “tabbiness” is somehow connected to his abrupt disappearance?
Increasingly, there have been whispers about a theory that is at once unpalatable and believable.
The celebrated chef and award-winning author went missing on December 2, after he left The Park to source ingredients for that night’s service at his fine dining restaurant, Klo.
There are few who have seen him since and yesterday’s update from Park Police left much to be desired. They are at a loss, it seems, to understand what might have happened to him or where he might be.
Increasingly, though, there have been whispers about a theory that is at once unpalatable and believable. Could it be, as many Park Animals are beginning to wonder, that Tricolore is the victim of anti-stripe prejudice?
“The timing makes me suspicious,” says Blandine Okapi. Okapi, who recently resigned from the Archon Transition Team, is acting president of Sisters and Brothers of the Narrow Band, a Park organization that offers assistance to striped Animals.
“After all, wasn’t it just the day before his disappearance that [Rodent Commoner reporter Gunnar Espen} Rotte published that despicable editorial?”
Rotte’s article expressed his lack of sympathy with striped and spotted Animals and the difficulties they encounter.
“I come from a species that is universally hated,” he wrote, implying that striped and spotted Animals were not the only ones who suffer prejudice.
Okapi is one of many who say they are worried that some Park Animals such as Rotte may have ties to anti-stripe “elements” outside The Park.
“It’s possible that some Animals who feel the same way as he does may have called in a few favours,” she says.
Park Police, however, say they have no evidence of such a situation.
“At this time, we have no reason to suspect any Park Animal of any wrongdoing,” says Chief Inspector Maurice Addax of the Park Police’s Specist and Hate Crimes Unit (SHCU).
Park Finance Officer Milton Struts has not made any public appearances since last Wednesday, when he allegedly made a number of specist remarks during a massive budget protest.
“We need new blood, that’s for sure. – Oliver S.P. Franklin, head, Confederation of Ground Squirrels
As a result, a number of Park citizen groups are calling for his resignation, saying he has “lost his way” and become “too entrenched” in the budget process.
“We need new blood, that’s for sure,” says Oliver S.P. Franklin, head of the Confederation of Ground Squirrels (CGS) and a long-time critic of Struts.
Small Animal Reform Group (SARG) head Mason L. Tortoise agrees.
“If he can’t face us and defend what he calls a budget, then it’s time for him to go and for us to have an Animal who understands Park life,” he says.
Meanwhile, Sylvana Rana, president of the pro-sortition group Save Our Political System (SOPS) calls the budget “a threat to our way of life.”
“I don’t know what Struts was thinking when he put this thing together,” she says. “It’s as if he was panic-stricken and couldn’t make a decision.”
Rana says Struts’s seeming indecisiveness and what she calls the “total inappropriateness” of the budget might serve as fodder for those who advocate moving to an elected system of government. Presently, the lottery system known as sortition is used annually to select the 35 Animals who serve as our government. The Archons, who are the de facto heads of the Park Finance Office, have not as yet made any statement regarding the 2015 budget.
“To say that I’m disappointed in their silence is a gross understatement,” Rana says. “If they can’t defend our political system by supporting their choice of budget head, they are effectively handing us over to the other side.”
The Shakeoff (formerly known as the “Shake for Charity”) is in full swing in The Park today.
The semi-annual charity event “is all about Animals helping Animals” in the lead-up to Winter, says organizing committee head Andras Yak.
“Our goal is to enable those who cannot grow an adequate coat, for whatever reason, to be protected from the harsh elements of the seasons.”
Last September, the event yielded one tonne (yes, you read that correctly!) of hair, all of which came in handy during the unusually cold Winter.
“Our senior residents, in particular, were very grateful for the yield,” Yak says. “And we’re hoping to surpass that this year.”
Also making a return appearance are the on-site groomers who are offering free, new hairstyles to participants and, of course, lots and lots of refreshments courtesy of Florette’s Fine Edibles, The Nut Bar, Ants in Your Pantry, and Clowder.
So, remember: “If you have a coat, share it with those who don’t.”
The Shakeoff runs today from 10:00 a.m. to 8 p.m. at locations across The Park
The hacking in April of one of The Park’s largest data Trees was likely the result of “Human error,” rather than malicious intent, Noreen says.
The Mammalian Daily advice columnist and University of West Terrier adjunct professor of Human Studies was participating in a panel discussion on Toro Talk Radio when she made the comment.
“Humans act as much out of ignorance as they do out of self-interest,” she said.
“And, often, the two go hand-in-hand. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to discover that the Humans who did the hacking had no idea whatsoever that the Tree was being used to store precious data.”
In fact, the Tree had been used for years by Sierpinski Squirrel, Chief Financial Officer of A. Corn and Partners. The company’s long-term lease allowed the Squirrel to store his raw data in the Tree. Much of that data was recovered during the investigation into the hacking, but a significant amount was lost.
“I would bet the Humans thought that the Tree was ill or interfering with other vegetation,” she said. “I can’t imagine any other reason that they would deliberately hack the Tree.”
Noreen also cautioned the panel to remember the limitations of Humans’ senses.
“There are many things that Humans are not able to see and often they misinterpret the things they do see. And we shouldn’t forget, either, that the majority of them lean toward taking a negative view of things they do not understand,” she said.
Noreen’s book, Lovely To Look At, will be published in October.
For more information or to place a pre-publication order, please use this email address: email@example.com
Director-turned-producer Ulla Kojootti’s engaging collage film, 32 Short Films About Zoocracy, has been selected to open the 10th annual Park Interspecial Film Festival (PIFF) on October 1.
PIFF Communications President Leola Ocelot made the announcement at a brief press conference this morning.
“We screened the film about a month ago and thought it would be perfect for the opening,” Ocelot said.
“It is a fine celebration of our struggle to establish and maintain Animal self-rule and it fits nicely with our own celebration of a decade of showcasing the work of Park filmmakers.”
The film is an unusual project for Kojootti, who is better known as a “lone Wolf” in the industry than as a collaborator. Her best known films, such as Coexistence, were written, directed and produced by her with no assistance from any other Animal.
Even so, Kojootti said in an interview recently, she was drawn to the subject “because I had been thinking about our life here in The Park and I wanted to know what others thought about it.”
She invited The Park’s film community to a discussion and, she says, “the idea began there.”
Kojootti invited 32 directors (one for each year of zoocracy in The Park) to make a short film about the subject either from their personal point of view or from that of their species. The result is what those who have seen it call a “brilliant, maddening, engaging, thought-provoking” film.
Ironically, Kojootti produced the work but did not direct any of the films. She has no regrets, though.
“Maybe we’ll do it again in a few years,” she says. “Then I will definitely save one [film] for myself.”
The Park is a busy place in the Autumn, so The Mammalian Daily is giving you a heads-up on what’s planned for September 2014.
Ready, set, mark your calendars!
Official end of estivation
It’s time to welcome back our friends and fellow Park residents!
Let the celebrations begin on September 14!
The Beats of Burden Music Festival
The 2nd annual Beats of Burden Music Festival promises three days and three nights of continuous music-making, with all our great bands and singers performing in aid of The Park’s refugees. Expect some surprises (as well as surprise appearances) along with the great sounds. And don’t forget the fabulous food and all sorts of other fun. September 13-15.
The Park’s Semi-Annual “Shakeoff”
It’s all about Animals helping Animals at The Park’s semi-annual “Shakeoff.” The event encourages Animals to donate their hair in aid of those whose coats can’t protect them from the harsh elements. In addition to helping others, you can also partake of free refreshments and get a new hairstyle from our on-site groomers (gratis, of course!). September 27
“If you have a coat, share it with those who don’t.”
The Park ART Walk is a one-day, juried art exhibition that showcases the artistic expression of Park residents. Showings will take place at participating art galleries, shops, theatres and cinemas. This year’s jury will include curators from the Park Museum of Contemporary Art and the Kipos Gallery.
The 2014 Park ART Walk will focus on the art of The Park’s refugees.
Noreen is on the move!
The longtime Mammalian Daily advice columnist and Adjunct Professor of Human Studies at the University of West Terrier will take to the road this Autumn to promote her book as well as the causes she’s passionate about.
Don’t miss a moment of her journey!
Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/talkswithnoreen and join our email list at firstname.lastname@example.org for updates on her book. And keep your eyes open for contests, draws, auctions and more.
The more things change, the more Humans stay the same.
While Human tenacity is admirable, in the end we had to conclude that it is a barrier to necessary change. — Noreen
So concludes Noreen in her second academic article due to be published in the November issue of the prestigious Journal of Human Behaviour (JHB).
In the article, which is entitled, How Dubious Wisdom Leads to Human Folly, the Adjunct Professor of Human Studies at the University of West Terrier and Mammalian Daily advice columnist shares new insights into “what makes the Human world go around.”
“Around is the key word here, my research showed me,” says Noreen.
“After spending the better part of two years studying Human history, I had to conclude that their [Humans’] tendency to end up where they started is the fault of their inability to learn from their predecessors. They cannot seem to incorporate lessons from previous generations,” she says.
“They are a tenacious species and there is much to be admired in that. But they appear to be true catalysts. They change the world, but they remain unchanged. And, as we have seen, that can lead to long-term problems for all species.”
Noreen said she found the research very difficult to do, “because there were so many places along the way that cried out for a change of course, but that change of course was never taken.”
Noreen’s book, Lovely to Look At: What Animals Should Know About Humans, will be available this Autumn. For updates on publication and distribution, join our email list at: email@example.com