Sticking Up For The Stick

Buttersticktees.jpgAs many of you know, Wonkette got awkwardly served last weekend by a Su Lin fundamentalist who asserted, with only malice as a guiding principle, that Su Lin was "younger" and "cuter" than Butterstick ("or whatever you're calling him," the mailer chirped dismissively) and that the National Zoo was acting as if they "invented baby pandas."

Clearly, these words could not stand unchallenged, and we're pleased to report that the good people who bask in the glow of the Stick have responded to these slurs in kind. As one writer puts it: "Butterstick is Godzilla and San Diego is Tokyo. They shall be crushed."

But we hate to be too flippant about this matter. Remember, we did not seek this panda battle. It was thrust upon us. It is a matter of self-defense, and the only way to defend against Butterstick haters is to take the battle to them. It was thrust upon us, and we love Butterstick, and we need to do whatever it will take to defend him.

The first thing at which many of you scoffed at loudly was the name Su Lin itself, which literally translated, means "a little bit of something very cute." Talk about trying too hard! This name comes from that same insecure, narcissistic place that leads people to name their children Precious or Heavenly or Apple or Pilot Inspektor. The Stick doesn't need to whip out his drivers licence to drive home his cuteness. As one reader puts it: "He's impossibly cute! With a kind of cuteness that's so far above and beyond the kind of common, hussy-type cuteness of that strumpet Su-Lin." Better still, Clare Kelley offers: "It's a hick name with vaguely Asian orthography to make it seem original. Secretly, her name is Suelynn, and I bet she ends up in the back woods of Montana, living in a shack and writing manifestos against the government."

Lots of people pointed out the vast superiority of the National Zoo's pandacam as well. Augusta Devine says, "Yet another reason why the Stick's people rule. They know the meaning of multicamera shot, and keeping the focus on the action, even if it's sleeping."

sulin.jpgAnd people don't like the look of Su Lin either. One reader was very quick to offer: "As one on the few people in the world who has been up close and personal with both cubs (saw the Stick on Dec 8th and Su Lin on Dec 19th), I can tell you on the cuteness scale, Butterball is a 10 and Su Lin is a -3!!!" We have to agree. Check out that picture of Su Lin, at the left. What's she got to be so pissed off about?

Other descriptives offered included: "misshapen head", "vaguely retarded", "glassy" eyed -- like a "crack cub"

And for everyone who thinks we're overselling Butterstick as a slam-dunk Nobel candidate, we offer this testimonial:

Let me tell you how the Stick has changed my life- I have a large, blended family. We are rarely under the same roof at the same time and when we are, we rarely get along. Enter Butterstick. I went to see the Stick in person over the holidays and brought back non-retch-worthy Stick mementos back for my family. Each present was opened with a joyful, unanimous cry of "Butterstick!" The kids are especially fond of him. The Stick has brought my family together in his rol-poli-holiness. I'd like to see some West Coast panda cub pull off that feat.

Still lots of people were able to make their defense by sticking to the facts:

Butterstick is older and wiser.

Butterstick is the "people's panda." Free to see, and Metro accessible!

The National Zoo has fifteen more years of experience caring for pandas than the San Diego Zoo and offers the little fuzzyheads a more typical climate.

Butterstick is all climby and explorey while Su Lin is a big wuss.

More people willingly provided hand jobs to get a Stick-peek than to get a Lin-job.

And, "if Su Lin is so fucking great, why are they trying to give him up for adoption?"

Finally, we leave it to Tom Gleason: "This, from the place that gave us Duke Fucking Cunningham?" True dat, Tom. Double true.


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