October 2, 2018

"There's really no point in risking injury, if the result of a fight is predictable."

I'm quoting Sir David Attenborough, transcribed from a video at "When a hippo is angry, even other hippos get out of the way/Hippos are huge and possess powerful teeth, so real fights are rare because the risk of injury is so great" (BBC).

I stumbled into that after beginning the day posting about the death of Peggy Sue Gerron, which felt off because I'd received the clear impression — as I scanned the news on my iPhone while still in bed and listened to the NYT podcast as I made my coffee and toast — that the theme of the day was anger. Why angry hippos? I had the idea that there was an old children's game called "Angry, Angry Hippos," and the rest is blogging happenstance. I can't embed the Attenborough video, so here are some children, viewing hippos, noticing the teeth — which Attenborough says are for threatening violence — and receiving the fake news from a woman that the hippos are smiling:



• Here's the NYT podcast. The episode is "Kavanaugh's Classmates Speak Out." It's not mostly about anger, but drinking. I learned the jocular phrase "holding up the wall." It means so drunk you need to lean against the wall.

• Here's the main article that influenced me to believe the subject of the day is anger: "'The trauma for a man': Male fury and fear rises in GOP in defense of Kavanaugh" (WaPo). I'm going to do a separate post about that. I'm just warming up. I have an aversion to anger, and I have a sense of how that can be used to manipulate me — me, a microcosm of women. Don't make me angry!, smiles the hippo.

• And here's the real children's game that became more ominous in my imperfect memory: Hungry, Hungry Hippos:

81 comments:

Sydney said...

A woman from my medical school was killed by a hippo while doing medical mission work in Africa. She had gone swimming in a river.

Kevin said...

The media is shifting from sexual assault and rape to drinking and anger, because the sexual asssult and rape meme is falling apart.

The odds can never be in Kavanaugh’s favor.

traditionalguy said...

Fear the angry Hippo striking back. Especially if he has the swing vote on the U. S. Constitution. Kid Kavenaugh started a bar fight just because he was dissed by a stranger, but he did it so the blame went to his friend helping him. The Dems really do seem to be in fear him after they drew first blood.

Darrell said...

Drag a microphone through a Lefty's home and he'll give you the sound bite you need for the acquisition of power.

Darrell said...

True or not.

SayAahh said...

Hippos do not have "powerful teeth". They have powerful jaw muscles.
Wisdom teeth are not wise and eye teeth do not see.

Laslo Spatula said...

According to Ford's testimony, the assault was “indelible in the hippocampus.”

Yep.

I am Laslo.

rehajm said...

Spend any time in Africa it becomes obvious outside of mating scraps and hunting for prey , animals just want to avoid confrontation. The false charges the animal shows like to present as anger are only warnings and fitness displays. With hippos you mostly get eyes and ears staring at you from the water.

rehajm said...

Where my head went-

The most dangerous place to stand in Africa is between a hippo and the water.

The most dangerous place to stand in DC is between Chuck Schumer and a TV camera.

rehajm said...

Hungry Hungry Hippos teaches kids greed and gluttony.

SayAahh said...

The most dangerous place to stand in DC is between to Soros funded survivors in an elevator.

rhhardin said...

Angrrrr

Fernandistein said...

I heard a rumor that Kavanaugh was so drunk that he actually played Hungry, Hungry Hippos, and played it aggressively.

Humperdink said...

"First do no harm."

Fernandistein said...

Hungry Hungry Hippos teaches kids greed and gluttony.

And hippocrisy.

Darrell said...

The hippocampus is between the female campus and the male campus in universities of the future.

traditionalguy said...

Beware the Boyars. The Hungarians are coming.

rhhardin said...

The hippopotamus (hippo=horse potamus=river) has no zebra relative.

Rob said...

The Hungry Hungry Hippos players are as diverse as anyone could demand, with black and white males and a white female (though no apparent transsexuals—it was early days), but notice that it’s a white male who wins. The Patriarchy endures and prevails.

tim maguire said...

Thanks WaPo for that bit of evolution. Just when we started to see through your "liberals are passionate, conservatives are angry" trope, you throw us a curveball. Now women are passionate and men are angry.

Are conservative men doubly angry? Or are they as they always were but are now joined by liberal men? And what about conservative women? Will liberal women explode from all this passion?

tim maguire said...

rehajm said...Hungry Hungry Hippos teaches kids greed and gluttony.

It teaches them to push a button as quickly as they can.

Andrew said...

Do a Google search for "Hippo charge" or "Hippo chasing boat." Some scary stuff. It's weird that such huge animals can move so fast underwater.

I come to Althouse for nature as well as political commentary. - Andrew the Commenter

David Begley said...

Can we all agree that Kavanaugh’s former Yale classmate - the ex-basketball player and now history prof at NC State - is a really terrible person? According to him, Kavanaugh didn’t give enough detail about how much Brett got drunk in college. Kavanaugh put it in the best light. Duh. This guy is angling for a job at Harvard or Yale. What a low life.

And here’s a question: What does femsle anger look like in these circumstances? Screaming?

This War Between Men and Woman that the Dems are starting is simply crazy. I love all the women of the world except for the insane tribal lunatics.

Fernandistein said...

it’s a white male who wins.

His unbridled fury, fear, anger and anxiety sparked howls of white male outrage[1] so the others let him win. Because serial cheater anyway.

[1] Arrroooooo!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Hangry Hangry Hippos...

SayAahh said...

Michael Moore is a Hippocritical.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

gilbar said...

Andrew said...
Do a Google search for "Hippo charge" or "Hippo chasing boat." Some scary stuff.

So, the guides drive around in their boats, antagonizing hippos for their clients?
If you did that to a grizzly bear, you'd be in jail.

rhhardin said...

Feminist anger is nagging. Every situation is a domestic situation to a feminist, and they're entitled to the slack they get there.

Fernandistein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fernandistein said...

It's weird that such huge animals can move so fast underwater.

A lot of angry older white male hippos don’t know what it’s like to feel threatened, powerless and frustrated, so they lash out at the passionate teen-aged hippos of color they're in such a hurry to molest while howling.

Can I haz wapo job to? Nature reporter!

MadTownGuy said...

What, No "animal politics" tag?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I'm angrier about Kavanaugh than I have been about anything political in a very long time and I'm a woman. One of the things that angers me is the never ending presumption about which side I'm on due to the presence of female genitalia in my pants.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Does Attenborough say anything about adult male hippos killing babies? I saw a gruesome piece of video on this once. Females go away from the herd to give birth, and then bring the babies in, being extremely careful. Sometimes without warning, the adult males all turn on a baby. Maybe especially a male baby?
I did a tour of the Minneapolis zoo once and a similar theme came up with dolphins. For a while those nice Minnesotans had all the dolphins pretty much in one tank. Then it was found that the males would commit something that looked like rape, and perhaps even more commonly would kill the babies. Not exactly Flipper or Disney.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

But I'm mostly angry about the dishonesty and the mindless tribal behavior.

EDH said...

As Laslo alluded, Dr. Ford suffered from an angry hippocampus.

Fernandistein said...

Does Attenborough say anything about adult male hippos killing babies?

I'm guessing they were new members of the group ("pod"?), killing the offspring of the previous males, as with lions and some other cats.

Fun fact! Female lions are "turned on" when their cubs are killed by their new boyfriend, and they go into heat.

iowan2 said...

I saw a clip of a panel of female talking heads critiquing Kavanaughs last Hearing testimony. They said he was mad (angry?) and confrontational. They identified specifically is interactions with Feinstein and Klobochar. The talking heads were aghast that he treated the women so roughly. I actually screamed at the TV. "HE TREATED THEM ALL AS SENATORS!"
To understand. The women on the panel were upset that Kananaugh did not demur to the females on the panel, did not change his demeanor when addressing the women.
Here's a clue to the feminist. Learn to work out in the world, or not, but don't demand special accommodations, then wonder why you are stopped by the glass ceiling.

iowan2 said...

Yes male cats regularly kill the young. I guess growing up on a farm, we didn't anthropomorphize the animals. Dad explained that the moms went away to raise the kittens, protecting them from the Tom. "Why," I asked. "Well because in order for the mom to come into heat, she has to stop nursing the kittens, then she is ready for the Tom to settle her."

Yes even 8 year olds understand this stuff.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Misplaced Pants: I'm angrier about Kavanaugh than I have been about anything political in a very long time and I'm a woman. One of the things that angers me is the never ending presumption about which side I'm on due to the presence of female genitalia in my pants.

Thank you for putting my thoughts into words. I too am furious at the double standard for Kavanaugh versus Democrat nominated candidates.

I am more furious about the idea that because I am a woman I should be on Ford's side.

I feel the need to reiterate the quote that struck me yesterday.

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis
Dante Alighieri Born: 1265 Died: 1321

It is one thing to try to stay out of the fray when it is meaningless and harmless. To stand above and watch the ants below in their antics.

However..... This moral crisis has been a long time coming, building up to a crescendo, and is more than serious. If we allow the public pillorying and raping of a man (or woman) for imagined wrongs, for trivial things (now how much beer he drank) and stand by in a neutral pose, we are opening up society to chaos and worse than just chaos.

The sheer level of immoral evil of this action, which will be repeated over and over again throughout society, should rock everyone to the core. Pick a side or be complicit. If you do pick a side, at least we know where you stand and what kind of a person you are.

Lucid-ides said...

Fact:

"Hippos are actually the most dangerous animal in Africa. Although not part of the Big 5, they routinely kill more people per year on the continent than crocodiles, lions, wild dogs or even Cape Buffalo (notoriously bad tempered) combined. Also they are notoriously impervious to rifle fire in the body, and you should take care to strike the head for you initial shot and all succeeding shots"

- Zane Van Merwe, Namibia Safari Corp.

Infinite Monkeys said...

you mostly get eyes and ears staring at you from the water

I hate when their ears stare at me.

Saint Croix said...

I have an aversion to anger

I have a theory that when the Bible talks about "demons," what they are really talking about are emotions. So if you want to name some demons, you might try Hate, or Anger or Fear.

The positive emotions are things like Love or Hope or Courage. That's the battle that every human being has to fight.

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

Behold the hippopotamus!
We laugh to how he looks to us
And yet in moments darks and grim,
I wonder how we look tohim.

Peace,peace thou hippopotamus
We really look all right to us
As you no doubt delight the eye
Of other hippopotamus

Ogden Nash

William said...

Mistakes were made in the transcription of that poem.

William said...

The hippopotamus has not inspired much poetry.

Darrell said...

I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a hippopotamus

narciso said...

Look at this hot take:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/legalinsurrection.com/2018/10/democrat-sen-sheldon-whitehouse-man-who-falsely-accused-kavanaugh-of-1985-assault-being-treated-unfairly/amp/

Howard said...

Kerowhack and Burroughs Long Poem on Hippos

rehajm said...

I hate when their ears stare at me.

Me, too.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Little Known Fact: If you could peel a hippopotamus like an potato, its skin would go around the Earth 3.216 times!

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.”

Augustine of Hippo

Sebastian said...

"I have an aversion to anger, and I have a sense of how that can be used to manipulate me — me, a microcosm of women."

The question is whether your aversion is strong enough to reject the loco anger that has been directed at K for weeks.

So far, it seems you are happy to side with your sisters, no manipulation required. Because, I gather, you think the attacks and the anger are not actually loco, but justified: to preserve Roe, to believe the woman, to resist the privileged choir boy with the dark side.

Andrew said...

I'm surprised no one has mentioned T.S. Eliot's poem.

THE BROAD-BACKED hippopotamus
Rests on his belly in the mud;
Although he seems so firm to us
He is merely flesh and blood.

Flesh and blood is weak and frail,
Susceptible to nervous shock;
While the True Church can never fail
For it is based upon a rock.

Etc.

William said...

Due to scheduling difficulties, both the hippo and the unicorn were unable to book passage on the ark. The unicorn was unable to survive the inundation and subsequently became a mythic, tragic figure. The unicorn is over represented in art and literature. The hippo, because it takes to inundations as a duck to water, was able to survive and, indeed, prosper during the Flood. The plight of the hippo has never inspired much art or literature because, despite its fearsome body count, the hippo is not blessed with a countenance that inspires admiration or terror......The unicorn is like James Dean. The hippo is more like Montgomery Clift.

EDH said...

Brett Kavanaugh: Big Man on Hippocampus.

Defenseman Emeritus said...

There's really no point in risking injury, if the result of a fight is predictable.

This feels like another reference to the Kavanaugh fight, but I for one have no confidence in predicting the outcome. I can imagine each one of Murkowski, Collins and Flake voting either way.

Carter Wood said...

Official video by Sparks for Hippopotamus.

Rhymes with Titus Andronicus.

Kylos said...

I’ve only ever heard “holding up the wall” used to refer generically to someone leaning against a wall. It might be said of a drunk leaning against the wall but could be said of anyone. I’m a natural-born wall-leaner so I’ve heard it many time though I’ve never drunk alcoholic drinks.

Urban dictionary mentions nothing about alcohol in its entry for holding up the wall.

Andrew said...

@Dust Bunny Queen,
"Pick a side or be complicit. If you do pick a side, at least we know where you stand and what kind of a person you are."

Well said.

I can't recall where I read this quote (and Google doesn't help), but it rings true for me under the circumstances. I think many people are realizing it:

"At some point you have to join the side that you're already on."

Andrew said...

"Little Known Fact: If you could peel a hippopotamus like an potato, its skin would go around the Earth 3.216 times!"

Yes, but who would do such a thing? Besides, the hippo would kill you first.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Rhymes with Titus Andronicus.

"tear 'em top-to-bottomus" ??

Fernandistein said...

Though we accept her
obese hippopotamus
is not one of us.

Bay Area Guy said...

"I learned the jocular phrase "holding up the wall." It means so drunk you need to lean against the wall. "

Hmm. "Holding up the wall" in my teenage world, was when you went to a dance, but were too afraid to ask any girls to dance. So you were "holding up the wall."

Static Ping said...

Yeah, "holding up the wall" is not specifically a "drunk" term. It covers leaning against the wall for any reason. Now once we start discussing the floor, then it leans heavily toward alcohol.

“You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.”
-- Dean Martin

I remember T-shirts taking this a bit further to the effect "You are not too drunk if you can hold onto the floor."

rhhardin said...

I'm angrier about Kavanaugh than I have been about anything political in a very long time and I'm a woman. One of the things that angers me is the never ending presumption about which side I'm on due to the presence of female genitalia in my pants.

The market for news is women who are offended by Kavanaugh, and there are enough of them to pay the bills for the news biz. You'll hear no story that contradicts their view.

Achilles said...

This is an excellent thread. The river of history flows:

""There's really no point in risking injury, if the result of a fight is predictable.""

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...
“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.”

Augustine of Hippo


I Have Misplaced My Pants said...
I'm angrier about Kavanaugh than I have been about anything political in a very long time and I'm a woman. One of the things that angers me is the never ending presumption about which side I'm on due to the presence of female genitalia in my pants.

Defenseman Emeritus said...
There's really no point in risking injury, if the result of a fight is predictable.

This feels like another reference to the Kavanaugh fight, but I for one have no confidence in predicting the outcome. I can imagine each one of Murkowski, Collins and Flake voting either way.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis
Dante Alighieri Born: 1265 Died: 1321

It is one thing to try to stay out of the fray when it is meaningless and harmless. To stand above and watch the ants below in their antics.

However..... This moral crisis has been a long time coming, building up to a crescendo, and is more than serious. If we allow the public pillorying and raping of a man (or woman) for imagined wrongs, for trivial things (now how much beer he drank) and stand by in a neutral pose, we are opening up society to chaos and worse than just chaos.

The sheer level of immoral evil of this action, which will be repeated over and over again throughout society, should rock everyone to the core. Pick a side or be complicit. If you do pick a side, at least we know where you stand and what kind of a person you are.

Darrell said...

I'm pissed that you didn't cite my original poem as a thread highlight.

Achilles said...

Darrell said...
I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a hippopotamus


This poem covers a lot of ground.

DavidD said...

" ‘At some point you have to join the side that you're already on.’ "

“If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.”

Openidname said...

"Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Pick a side or be complicit."

I've picked a side, all right. But I feel sickeningly unable to affect events in Washington.

n.n said...

NYT is projecting with a purpose. Warlock hunts are unconstitutional without the Twilight Amendment. #HateLovesAbortion

ALP said...

Dust Bunny Queen & I Have Misplaced My Pants:

Never change you two! You gals, along with Althouse, MAKE this place for this woman here.
What DBQ & IHMMP said - 1000x over. I am always thrilled to read your posts.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Holding up the wall reminds me of one of my favorite drinks back in the day....late 70's.

Harvey Wallbangers. Vodka, Orange Juice and a floating of Galliano Liqueur on top. Slice of orange or a maraschino cherry. Forget the cherry, though. They are sickly sweet, plus they are a dead giveaway of how many drinks you have unless you throw the damned things away.

Good thing I never aspired to public office or the Supreme Court. I would be sunk :-D

mikee said...

I put out Hungry Hungry Hippos at the drunken graduation party we held for my daughter and many of her Mechanical Engineering classmates a few years back. The styles of play were wildly varied, from soberly technical to very, very non-soberly emotional modes, and yet style of play wasn't predictive of the winners. It is a good party game.

Also, these college grads had no idea that Margaritas could be made without a diluting mixer, using only Tequila, Triple Sec and lime juice. Their education came at their expense, based on after-party reports.

mikee said...

As to drunken support from sofas, walls and floors, a young woman once told me that it was safer to neck on a sofa than on the rug in front of the fire, because "I can't fall off the floor if I need to escape." She never felt the need to escape me, but it was comforting, I guess, her knowing the floor was there if the sofa and I became too difficult.

walter said...

The hippo campus is no place for a lady.

Lost My Cookies said...

The first Pharo of Egypt was carried off by a hippopotamus

Rick67 said...

I had a "reading friend" at a nearby elementary school, he usually wanted to read books about dangerous animals. Lions, tigers, sharks, you name it. At one point we read a book about hippos. Wow. Good gravy, you do not want to mess with hippos.

Speaking of ancient Egypt, there are reliefs of pharaohs going hippo hunting. Nothing quite communicates the king of Egypt is a tough guy like going after hippos with spears and arrows.

Kirk Parker said...

rehajm,

So how much time have *you* spent in close proximity to hippos? My own experience is they show far more than just eyes and ears if you get too close.