Rude Thoughts about Australian Fauna

From a letter to Jonafhan Hanson;

 That was me talking, not Tim Flannery (who found a big one full of personalty and ideas in his marvelous Throwim Away Leg, which i discovered Tim  in when I reviewed him, when i was first- string reviewer for the Minneapolis Star Trib,  under Chris Waddington, one of the best editors I have ever worked with..

 just a  wild idea, and your platypus relative thang is probably right, though an intelligent small egg- laying burrower could have had the ‘credentials’  I have no feeling for Platys- like weird little otters with misplaced venom fangs— gaah!  and I never thought of them as brains. but I find most marsupials dauntingly stupid and affect—deprived, in real life AND theory;   I worked with some— kangaroos do have wonderful way of going over the ground,efficient and new to the earth, but they are the only Aussie that does well outside of their protected home, and dingos decimate them).That is why northern Australia is full of aliens (BTW, the ones Tommy McIntyre used to shoot, like feral Eurasian water buffalo and yes, donkeys, are among the most destructive, thriving in numbers they attain nowhere else today . 

The whole  damn continent has smarter snakes and birds (Bell Magpies! the astonishing Noisy miner, which might yet take over the world! even the Cassowary, which is dumb but magnificent and can kill you!  The snakes are fine, as they are, but they, and the spider, and the jellyfish, and the stonefish , and the OCTOPUS( and isn’t that toxic- skinned bird from New Guinea?) It makes me  wonder whether the ORIGINAL ‘Jurassic Park’ was so fucking toxic; actually i think so, probably in things you dont think about-—midsize dinos ? Some say EVERYTHING might have been venomous. i I  would go for the experience but not take hounds- well, maybe Ataika, who had the salukoid snake killing near-genetic program. 


But Marsups; What, for instance,  is ‘Cute’ about a fucking KOALA for the living Christ’s sake? The stupid thing  reeks of marinated eucalyptus- ie smells like Vick’s Vapo rub—and-it has no facial expression  whatsoever- like a block of hastily carved wood.

(And the only thing that sounds worse than a domestic pig (if they were  not so good when French or Italian cooks got hold of them, i think i would execute them all, in favor of the excellent warthog, just to shut them up! ) is the malfuck Tasmanian devil (yeah, yeah=, REALLY I’d save a few, if i didn’t have to listen to them,, but we’re talking esthetics here!!! i) as i said, the malfuck ZTasmanian devil., which also has its own SPECIAL transmissible cancer, which is carried by, natch, BITING- which is the only thing they do more than squall. Truly, the malfuck of creation..   The Thylacine? He has preserved his dignity and secrets of his intelligence in extinction.  But i do wonder if anything can have that many teeth like that and also have a brain.

On Jan 1, 2023, at 10:33 PM, Jonathan Hanson <> wrote:

My notes on them (can’t remember the source) say they split from a platypus-ish ancestor only around 50 million years ago. Is there new data? Or was flannery just musing?

1 comment

  1. By all means be rude about them.

    But you’ll have to get in line. Those of us who live in the “bush” and have to deal with them are rarely complimentary. It has long been said that Australia is the only nation on earth that would select its two greatest pests for its coat-of-arms.

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