Rainbow sheep and kickboxing apes

People never cease to amaze me. They do such incredibly stupid things, so often belying their ability for remarkable things. I say “they” as I’m obviously beyond reproach.

Sometimes, however, people can redeem themselves. Take, for example, the recent rainbow sheep debacle. Political correctness is taking on a newfound level of absurdity every day, overseas and at home. You know where this is going already, I’m sure. A nursery school in England, that shall remain nameless (it’s in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire) started forcing the children to change the words of the classic nursery rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep. For those of you that have been nursery rhyme deprived, it goes like this:

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.

One for the master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

Fairly straightforward. The nursery school in question decided that this might be seen as discriminatory. The centre’s manager, Stuart Chamberlain, said, “Basically, we have taken the equal opportunities approach to everything we do… No one should feel pointed out because of their race, gender or anything else.” Even sheep, apparently.

The centre’s project co-ordinator, Felicity Dick, seemed to have a slightly better handle on things. She said, “What is ridiculous is that we were actually singing black sheep, white sheep, occasionally rainbow sheep… We haven’t often sung rainbow sheep as that is not their actual colour.” Thank goodness she’s there to make sure kids realise that they are not weird because they have never seen a sheep like a Gay Pride flag.

So a victory for common sense over ridiculous levels of political correctness. Similar outrage has accompanied stories such as Manchester Police telling its officers not to use the term ‘accident blackspot’ and Mothercare trying to rewrite then ending of Humpty Dumpty in order to avoid upsetting children. People power can overcome stupidity!

Only today I read about fifty seven Orang Utans that were seized in a raid in Bangkok two years ago. They are finally due to be returned to their home countries. They had been smuggled in from other countries, most likely Malaysia and Indonesia, where there are thought to be only around twenty thousand of these proud animals left in the wild.

Why were these fifty seven smuggled into Thailand two years ago? For a conservation breeding program? For pets? No. They were to be trained to fight each other in kickboxing bouts for the entertainment of zoo patrons. And chimpanzees in bikinis would carry large cards announcing each round. Seriously. I may be a novelist, but I’m not making this up. The practice was suspended after considerable outrage and pressure from both police and the public, even though it wasn’t actually illegal.

So there could be hope for humanity yet. Do your bit – stand up against stupidity wherever you see it. If you say and do nothing, the stupid people win. Just look at the US government.

(Sources: Daily Express, BBC, Ananova, Sydney Morning Herald)

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One thought on “Rainbow sheep and kickboxing apes

  1. How depressing.

    The problem is, you take an action like that and suddenly the rhyme *is* racist. I mean, talk about subversive, suddenly centuries of schoolground children have been singing racist chants instead of nursey rhymes. Ridiculous.

    In my internet social life (ha ha ha ha ha) I occasionally use the expression ‘hey ho’, meaning ‘oh well’, ‘ho hum’ etc… A Texan friend pulled me up lately…

    Texan: Did you mean to be that insulting?

    Me: Eh?

    Texan: It’s just that ‘ho’… in certain contexts…

    Weeeelll, suffice to say I’m determined to say ‘hey ho’ as often as I can – I will not abandon a perfectly good phrase to be tarnished in this way!!

    Of course, chances are I won’t succeed.

    Hey ho. 😉

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