There are two related stories this week of some scientific interest. It turns out that lemmings do not commit mass suicide by blindly following other lemmings over cliffs, as discussed in the article below. However, it also appears that 64 percent of Republicans want Gov. Sarah Palin to run for president in 2012 despite her disastrous impact on independent and moderate voters this election.
First the real lemmings. An article this week disclosed that, not only is the mass suicide habit a myth, but it was created by Disney by throwing some lemmings off a cliff.
Apparently, the myth took hold with the 1958 Disney documentary “White Wilderness.” Instead of shooting an actual migration, the filmmakers took it upon themselves to transport a few dozen lemmings to a riverbank in Alberta, Canada, a landlocked province where the animals are not native. They then tossed the rodents off a cliff into the “sea” and filmed them as they drowned, thus propagating a persistent urban legend.
You can see the original 1958 documentary on this YouTube clip here or here. They do not show the Disney men throwing the creatures off the cliff (though the film says the myth is “true and false.”). This makes the award-winning documentary something of a Disney Snuff film. For an article on the story, click here.
Now onto Gopers. It seems out that they do commit mass political suicide. As an independent, I have witnessed the same conduct in prior years among democrats, but this is the first scientifically based study. In a new Rasmussen poll out today, sixty-four percent of GOP respondents said that Palin would be their top choice in 2012 (presumably if polled 100% of Democrats would want Palin as their standard bearer also):
When asked to choose among some of the GOP’s top names for their choice for the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, 64% say Palin. The next closest contenders are two former governors and unsuccessful challengers for the presidential nomination this year — Mike Huckabee of Arkansas with 12% support and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts with 11%.
This true urban story is based on the fact that 69 percent of Republicans said that Palin “helped John McCain’s bid for the presidency,” despite exit polls found that 60 percent of voters felt that she was “not qualified to be president if necessary.” Of course, with the lemmings now distinguishable from modern Republicans, political science may have to rely on the mass sheep suicide in Turkey.
Notably, the Disney film says that “it is not given to man to understand all of nature’s mystery,” which seems more appropriate to the study of herding GOPers in the political wild. Disney’s alarm over “the destruction of a species” assures that these creates will simply be replenished by new animals, which will gather again for another “rendevouz with death.” So true, and yet so tragic. And so the cycle of political life continues.
[Thank you Patty C for the mass sheep suicide link!]