Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Something lost in the translation?

In reference to a suit brought to return an allegedly stolen Tarbosaurus skeleton, we hear the following official statement:
"I thank and applaud the United States Attorney's office in this action to recover the Tyrannosaurus bataar, an important piece of the cultural heritage of the Mongolian people," Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj was quoted as saying...
Wait, uh, "cultural heritage"?

"...for our young men used to lasso them as a test of courage and proof of manhood, and we rode them into battle to conquer our neighbors and despoil their crops. Yea, even to carry off their women. And you can carry off a passel of women on a dinosaur, let me tell you.

The thundering herds of tyrannosaurs that used to darken the plains of my fair country served our people not only as mounts, but also food, shelter, and clothing. They prospered under our wise stewardship! Not until the coming of the White Eyes were these noble animals wiped out."

26 comments:

The Great and Powerful Oz said...

Behold the grandeur and majesty of the Snarkasaurous Tamarus....

Joel said...

You're so cynical.

Can you prove that the Mongolian people, while they may not have actually ridden dinosaurs themselves, are not descended from the first great Dinosaur-Riders of the Steppes? Intolerant, that's what you are. Where's your sense of diversity? Is this your idea of civil discourse?

Hey, cultural heritage is where you find it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go polish my eagle-feather headdress.

Erin Palette said...

I would read the hell out of any novel (or play the hell out of any game) that featured Mongols on T-Rexes.

Firehand said...

And scouts on big velociraptors!

Anonymous said...

When we bring home stuff its cultural looting.
When the Great Khan did it was just good clean fun!

Gerry

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

The snark is strong in this one.

Erin: Not cowboys riding T-Rexes, but try H. Beam Piper's Lone Star Planet some time :) One word: "Supercow".

And cowboys in tanks herding them. Not to mention that the assassination of "practicing politicans" for cause is perfectly legal.

RevolverRob - The Paleo Guy said...

Sorry, the paleontologist has to interject into the snarksville.

Mongolia, has a long a rich history of supporting paleontological expeditions and work in their country. Longer than many western countries have, as a matter of fact, and certainly longer than any of their Asian of Eurasian counterparts have. While we might thing of Mongolian hordes as riding into battle and slaying their enemies, before drinking fermented mare's milk in celebration. Paleontology as a field and a science holds a critical place in understanding the diverse and fascinating history of Mongolia and the government and their people have been working in the field since the formative periods of the early 20th century. It is as much a part of their modern culture as it is ours.

There's also enough evidence to convince me that this dinosaur was stolen from Mongolia within the last decade. It's not only a scientifically important specimen, but the rightful property of the government of Mongolia.

-Rob

Ancient Woodsman said...

If Obama had a dinosaur, it would look just like that one.

Ritchie said...

With due deference to RevolverRob- "And they've been our cultural heritage ever since you lot dug them up!" Earlier in my youth I spent a good bit of time reading about Roy Chapman Andrews motoring across the Gobi desert in touring cars, looking for the odd bit of skeletal remains.

docjim505 said...

I suppose I can see their point: if somebody made off with Pilot Mountain or Mt. Mitchell, it would be part of the "cultural heritage" of No. Carolina.

Sort of.

JD(not the one with the picture) said...

They may not have ridden dinosaurs to pillage the neighbors, but they do ride horses to hunt wolves with eagles.

Gewehr98 said...

I'm gonna have to agree with the Mongols this time. Somebody traipsing into the Badlands and exporting some of those dug-up Mesozoic goodies without our approval would most likely incur similar wrath.

Tam said...

Holy dogshit.

As someone who learned to read before she entered kindergarten because her mom was tired of reading dinosaur names, as someone who is an armchair paleontology geek who has had a real paleontologist near hump her leg over hearing the word "apatosaurus" in conversation, as someone who IN NO WAY IMPLIED that the Mongolian government didn't have a rock-solid case...

...there are a couple of commenters here that need to pull their panties out of their cracks.


(I am further traumatized because, in typing the word "apatosaurus" in my response, Firefox's spellchecker put a red squiggly line under it. When I right-clicked on it to see how Firefox suggested I spell it, it suggested "brontosaurus". Fuck you, Mozilla. Fuck you long, and fuck you hard.)

Living in Babylon said...

Google Broncosaurus Rex.

Think American Civil War on Alien Dinosaur Planet.

Ken said...

It's coming:

http://victormilan.com/blog/2011/02/26/the-dinosaur-lords-so-it-begins/

mustanger said...

Spellchecker can come inn handee, but it don't no it awl.

Anonymous said...

I just love that Tarbosaurus means "Alarming hero reptile"

Mike James

Justthisguy said...

I am drunkenly brave enough to venture to comment, but all I can think of to say, is that I concur and I applaud.

Old NFO said...

Well said...LOL

Anonymous said...

Stop it, your getting me excited; humping your leg? I can see a new "reality" show now, " Paleontologists gone wild". Woot! O:-). JohninMd(help!)

Anonymous said...

Alarming hero reptile - I like that; it has a Mongolian feel to it. Mongolians, until recently used only one name and that usually translated into something like "warrior of steel".

While my knowledge of Indianapolis comes only from Tam's writing I think it could consider arranging sister city status with Ulaan Baatur. UB as it is known by all and sundry has a number of microbreweries rejoicing in names like Kahn Brau and Chingis (Kenghis) beer. Has some not bad food too.

And best of all it has signs less than a mile from the centre of town alerting motorists to the possibility of elk on the roads. Elk are seen occasionally in winter wandering between apartment blocks.

Memories!

mike in oz

Jay G said...

Elizabeth Warren was heard to comment that her people used to use every part of the Tarbosaurus...

jbrock said...

I'm just waiting for Ken Ham to get hold of that genned-up 'quote' from the Mongolian President. It'll be nice to see your work reaching a more general audience.

Even if it is the Kentucky Creation Museum, and the humor gets lost in translation.

;)

Drang said...

And, as reported by Minimum Wage Historian, Larry Correia's ancestor Gaspar Correia relates that, at the Battle of Chalons « Aetius and Atli had at one another in single combat, mounted on velociraptors...

Jerry said...

Bison. And no, buffalo don't have wings. Why is it always the white guy's fault?

Windy Wilson said...

Maybe if they called them the Elgin Dinobones. . .