Friday, August 7, 2015

From Plesiosaur Machinations to - Grand-Guignol Theropoda!!

As I have done several times in the past - intentionally I might add to spite what I perceive as a decidedly anti-sports/athletics sentiment in much of paleontology/academia/intellectual community - is start this post off with an analogy to sports. Now my favorite sport to watch is North American NBA basketball. And in the NBA there is a bit of a throwback team called the Memphis Grizzlies. They are a throwback team because they play a defensively themed, decidedly slower paced, inside-outside game based on their two low post players Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Although this style of big man dominant basketball characterized much of the earlier decades in the NBA much of the league has since evolved into a small ball, penetrate and dish, three point shooting league. Despite the entire league moving away from the "grit and grind" big man ball of the Grizzlies during this summer's offseason the head coach of the Grizzlies, Dave Joerger, has expressed a willingness not to move away from this style of basketball but double-down on it.

Grizzlie's Tony Allen tackles Warrior's Clay Thompson credit Brandon Dill AP
Head coach Dave Joerger expressed (Via Memphis Daily News):

"I think nasty is the word that is going to come up a lot as we go to training camp. We're gonna be nasty. You come in the paint, things are not going to be happy for you."

And I think this is as good of a hint as I can provide right now as to what you can expect here in the immediate future as I delve deeper into theropoda. Things are going to get a bit nasty here in the upcoming months. I don't think that there is any way to express what I want to about theropods without pulling punches. And, if I can toot my own horn a bit, I think I am uniquely equipped to do so. So yeah, overly violent and carnage ridden depictions of theropods has rightly been lambasted - but I will be taking the nasty to a whole other level.

I do intend to make these carnage laden posts scientifically, artistically, and emotionally interesting. I am not doing this just for carnage for carnage's sake. And hence the deliberate reference to Grand-Guignol theatre. Grand Guignol was a French theatre of horror (1897-1962) that featured on stage special effects, streams of blood, and audience members fainting. But it was also recognized for it's performances, intellectual and artistic merit.

"Without an element of cruelty at the root of every spectacle, the theatre is not possible" Artaud

Grand Guignol theatre 1937 wiki
Now just as my plesiosaur machinations series (which is not done yet and if you have not read it from start to finish gtfo and do so) has expressed a lot of new thought, ideas, and context to the long-necked sauropoterygians (that was overdue in my opinion because they needed a bit of a reboot) my series unofficially titled Grand-Guignol theropoda  (which essentially started with the last post Bonesaw Theropods) will do much the same for theropods. It is my honest sentiment that once people (lay, amateur, and professional alike) start reading these upcoming posts, they will not look at theropods - and extant birds as well - in the same light.

credit Brocken Inaglory Giant Petrel South Georgia. wiki

If excessive animal violence/carnage is past your threshold you might want to steel yourself for upcoming posts or just go elsewhere.

Consider yourself put on notice.


Iris-Katyayani said...

YES! BRING THE (scientifically accurate) CARNAGE! I can't wait to see what bone sawing and flesh ripping Theropods could do.

Robert Haan said...

I'm stoked !

davidmaas said...

palaeo splatter
we wants!

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