Dear Male/Female of your wretched insignificant species (delete as applicable),
I am the Mighty Tyrannosaurus rex. Perhaps you have heard of me, as upon my debut to the pitiful public of bipedal prey, the estimable New York Times deigned to deem me, among other things, “the royal man-eater of the jungle,” “the most formidable fighting animal of which there is any record whatever,” “king of all kings in the domain of animal life,” “the absolute warlord of the earth,” “the prize fighter of antiquity,” and, most notably, the “Last of the Great Reptiles and the King of Them All.” The insignificant creature who discovered me proclaimed me “the ne plus ultra of the evolution of the large carnivorous dinosaurs.” As such, I’m sure you shall consider my humble and subtle opinion to be superlative in the dominion of life on this planet.
I am therefore writing to you – no mean feat, given the skill and precision required in typing with non-pronated arms with but two digits upon your minuscule typewriters – to register my savage and primordial disgust at the comparison your newpaper makes between my mighty clade, and that of your puny political party known erroneously as the UK Labour Party.
First of all, the headline, “Inside the Jurassic Party.” While it would be obvious to point out that we Terrible Lizards reigned for far longer than the mere 56 million years of the Jurassic Period, what I would have thought even more obvious would be to choose a dinosaur from said period for illustrative purposes. Flattered as I may be to be chosen as representative of the Dinosauria clade, even one of your imperceptible in-utero hatchlings would note the discrepancy in choosing an animal from the glorious Cretaceous period to represent the “Jurassic” party. I’m sure Oxfordshire’s own Megalosaurus, the first of our grand tribe to be formally named by your impudent rabble of supposed “scientists,” would have been thrilled. Have we learned nothing from Michael Crichton’s blockbuster?
Secondly, and more irritatingly, is the perpetuation of the insidious correlation of dinosaurs to anything which is a) very old; b) has very old-fashioned views; c) is not willing to change and adapt. This usage is deeply and gravely offensive to me and my kind. It is a cruel reminder of a very dark and bleak part of our history, when dinosaurs’ perceived failure to survive an extinction which wiped out three quarters of all life on earth was used to “prove” our clades’ evolutionary “inferiority,” to suggest that it was our inability to change which caused our doom. We dinosaurs were viewed as evolutionary failures, too slow, too stubborn, too stupid, and too primitive to survive. While such descriptions may apply perfectly appropriately to the New Labour Party, it cannot be applied to what is actually one of the most successful and dynamic clades in the prehistory of the planet Earth.
For every year of the 135 million we dinosaurs ruled the Earth, we evolved and changed with the times, into myriad new forms and roles in the ecosystem. We survived the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event, the Toarcian Turnover, the Aptian Extinction, and the Bonarelli Event. Far from slowing to a halt, our diversity only increased as the Cretaceous period came to a close. We ranged from the size of tiny birds to the largest creatures known to shake the ground. I’m sure the New Labour Party would love to claim equivalent feats, but it is difficult to convince when the greatest morphological (and political) variance within their members ranges from Jim Murphy to John Prescott.
In future, I hope that the thousand apes scrambling over your typewriters will learn to better distinguish between the two groups. One group is an obsolete failure whose halcyon days are long gone, known by their dominance by withered geriatric ectothermic elders, their propensity for tearing each other apart to the point of mutual destruction, their complete lack of self-awareness and higher mental functions, and their woeful inadequacy and resistance to adapt in a changing world.
The other group are dinosaurs.
I trust this has been educational.
The Mighty Tyrannosaurus rex