Best of Bweinh: The Dinosaur Clash

January 25, 2008, 12:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Debate, Djere, MC-B  | No Comments

Originally ran on July 3!

In this corner, claiming the superiority of the tyrannosaurus rex, is Djere!

And in this corner, backing the apatosaurus (nee brontosarus), is MC-B!

It’s good to be the king.

The Tyrant King of the Lizards, that is.

T. rex is the epitome of dinosaur. Weighing four to six tons, 40 feet long, 20 feet tall, and with a four-foot jaw filled with razor-sharp teeth upwards of 12 inches, T. rex was not built for play dates. He was a killing machine that ate meat.

The image of dinosaur conjured up in every mind is of an enormous Tyrannosaurus, standing over the body of a lame dinosaur like a Triceratops, Stegosaurus, or an Apatosaurus, roaring in delight. Oh, I’m sorry, did I say Apatosaurus? Perhaps I meant Brontosaurus.

While the incorrectly named Brontosaurus would passively graze, staring around with its vacant, cow-like eyes and walnut-sized brain, Tyrannosaurus stalked the primordial jungles of Laurasia, with a brain over twice the size of herbivorous dinos. That’s right, Laurasia, or present-day America. If America were a dinosaur, it would totally be T. rex.

Broadly speaking, the only lame thing about the T. rex is the disproportionate size of its teeny forearms. But recent discoveries show that the arms, while small, were incredibly muscular, designed to hold its prey in place while it was devoured.

So who’s it going to be? The Tyrant Lizard King, with his gigantic brain, or the dim-witted, hopelessly lame, salad-eating “thunder lizard”?

Today is “July 4th Eve,” the day before we celebrate the birth of our wonderful nation. The story involves a small group of poorly-armed militiamen successfully fighting off the forces of a terrible king and rising to become a mighty colossus. It would be nigh on sacrilegious if, on today of all days, the readers of Bweinh! selected a tyrant as their favorite dinosaur.

Once you get past the hype surrounding the T-Rex, what is it? For what does it use its kingship over the other dinosaurs? According to Calvin and Hobbes (a reliable source if there ever was one), T-Rex was either a fearsome predator or a loathsome scavenger. Regardless of Calvin’s answer, we should be unwilling, as Americans or Christians, to accept a dinosaur fitting either description as our favorite. There are better paths than predator or scavenger.

Enter the brontosaurus. Simple- minded and simple-living? Probably. Defenseless? Hardly. Strength has always been a prerequisite to peace and the brontosaurus is built to last. No teeth or claws to speak of: just pure size and a willingness to group together with others when necessary. Its name means “thunder lizard,” and it is indeed mighty, a force of nature — at least 23 metric tons to the T-Rex’s 6.8.

With this in mind, the brontosaurus now seems more like the mighty United States (its fossils have also been found here). And the T-Rex is placed squarely with the North Koreas and Irans of the world: noisy and fussed over for weaponry, but in the end unable to match the sheer size and power of its mighty adversary in a fair fight.

Do not reject America’s proud heritage of reluctant heroism and unmatched power in exchange for tyranny and a set of shiny teeth.



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