Frass vs. Grass vs. Rupi vs. Thayer

Yesterday during class we were asked to write about the “frass”. It got me think about why we got the frass. Reasons like the cost of maintenance and practicality came to mind. I wondered what the decision to get “frass” said about Menlo. It seems to me that the frass was chosen because it is easier to control. The last thing Menlo wants is to have to shell out thousands of dollars for maintaining a huge lawn in the quad. The frass is lifeless: it doesn’t grow, doesn’t get muddy when it rains, and doesn’t have worms crawling around in it. Grass, on the other hand, is all of these things. It is fertile and beaming with life. So why wouldn’t Menlo choose frass over grass, it’s practically perfect right? I began to think that Menlo had made a huge mistake getting frass. How typical! Grass would have been the honorable choice. But then I wondered if it would in fact be any different if we had real grass. If we did indeed have real grass growing all over our quad would we not cut it? And would this not make us just the same as the Frassian Menloites? There’s no way we would just let the grass grow as it pleases, we would have to maintain it. This realization was quite dreary. Do we, as humans, inevitably have to control/maintain/domesticate everything we encounter or is there some place or instance where humans and nature can co-exist harmoniously? Better yet is there a place or instance where Humans are willingly controlled by nature? Thayer Walker’s Hello Kitty is an article about a Bolivian animal-rehab center and the animals and volunteers who spend time there. What makes the center Outside magazine special worthy is the fact that un-trained volunteers are responsible for walking some of the worlds most skilled predators on a leash for 3 and a half hours a day. Walker spent 10 days at the center and was lucky enough to take of Rupi, a 260-pound alpha male leopard. During his ten days there Walker realizes first hand the sheer preditorial dominance these animals posses. As an alpha male Rupi wished this dominance to be known by his new walking partner, Thayer. Walker describes how he was tackled and nearly eaten by Rupi. Rupi is able to control Walker with such ease, but what makes Rupi’s dominance even more scary is that he was merely teasing Walker and showing him who was boss. I can’t even imagine what would happen if Rupi’s killer instincts took over. This is a perfect example of an instance where nature is completely dominant over man. Unlike Menlo and the frass it is Rupi, nature, that is doing the controlling and maintaining. However Thayer complicates this idea of roll reversals by mentioning the controversy surrounding the rehab center. He questions whether the center is “a black hole of rational thought, a crazy patch of jungle where common sense goes to die? Or is this a center of enlightenment, where compassionate people care for animals with tortured pasts and repent for the sins of humanity?” Will Humans ever be able to accept nature’s dominance? Or will we continue to cut the grass and buy frass? TO BE CONTINUED… btw mama puggs is Thayer  single? Hes only 30…. and your like 24ish… haaaalooowwww!!!

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