“All These Squawking Birds Won’t Quit”: About the Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla Incident

The title to this piece is a lyric from The Shins, who peaked in popularity in the early 2000’s.  I will admit, using the line to title a piece about those who condemn the mother of the recent Cincinnati Zoo tragedy is condescending and mildly incendiary.  Rest assured, I know at least logically that the human beings behind this tiring vitriol are, indeed, human beings with their own complex views and perspectives on life, and I don’t deny that many of them feel genuinely upset, even outraged, over what happened to the four-hundred-pound male gorilla a few days ago.  In some cases, I think raw emotion fuels the (often scathing) condemnation of a human being who made a mistake – no matter how unthinkable and unorthodox, how stupid, the mistake may seem to many out there, especially to mothers who care for children every day.   But after reading so many articles condemning the mother, so many articles about people condemning the mother, and so many caustic comments in the comment sections of various websites (yes, I have an unhealthy addiction to comment sections), this bit of song lyric has been nearly sputtering in my head on repeat.  These commenters, who weren’t present, who have (in most cases) no concrete knowledge of the Cincinnati Zoo, its layout, and the potential logistics behind the sad accident, start to sound like squawking birds to me. Continue reading