Pandas! There are bears in Canada hopping rides on dustbin trucks they are so hungry! The least you can do is try a little something other than bamboo.
Like dolphins (oh, don’t even get me started) pandas have somehow just managed to get great PR. This has always been my suspicion and the latest BBC magazine’s Faces of the year women’s list has confirmed this with a panda taking the much coveted December spot. Everyone’s after the December spot. Sweetie’s PR has done well.
John Prescott tweeted: “So the BBC couldn't find a woman for Sports Personality of the Year but they could find a panda for a female face of 2011”
MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy, a rising star in the Labour camp, has risked a lot protesting the choice to feature a panda in the list. The Independent’s Tom Peck informed Creasy yesterday that due to her “pop” at the BBC she would be losing votes on the site sexymp.co.uk. Sometimes you just have to risk such things.
Of course we are well aware what the real problem is here. This is a silly little end of year list. It is, essentially, as much of a cop out as all the radio, TV and Newspaper pieces that are reflecting upon the past year. All the analysis has actually been done, the outcome has happened and little to no work has to be invested in such things.
Peppa-Pig was in last year’s list but there was no #peppagate. It isn’t, or it shouldn’t be, the panda that is the problem. Looking at the men’s list I’d expect a little uproar about Herman Cain being on the list.
The problem is that some of those selected for the women’s list have been passive and fame was thrust upon them this year.
On the understanding that this list is not meant to be any kind of Brit contender for the Time Faces of the year list, just some Christmas cracker style equivalent, then this is a very odd list. In the same list as the undeniably impressive US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is the sad near-runaway bride Charlene Wittstock.
The defence of ‘we use a joke cartoon or animal every year, it’s all in jest’ doesn’t sit well on a list that includes the wretched story of a grown woman forced to marry in order to save face. Nor does a light-hearted list traditionally include women involved in rape cases. It is not that these women’s stories don’t need to be told, so much as they can’t be summarised in a short paragraph.
As Stella Creasy MP points out there were other women with more triumphant stories who made the headlines.
I’m nominating this newly discovered brainless fish for the face of 2011.