Recently, I picked up an old (2003?) computer game, and haven't been able to turn it off at times. It's called "Zoo Tycoon," where you manage your own animal showcase, adding exhibits, customizing them for whatever creatures you want to find comfort in them. Include staff, shops, stands and some games, and it's a nice little test in proper management.
Certain facets of life could accurately be described as a zoo. I'd put the McCain-Obama campaigns (and coverage of them) in that category. Can you believe we're only three months from the election? Conventions are around the corner, but after that, it's about time these two senators debate. They recently agreed to three between them and one between their eventual veep selections. As an independent, undecided voter, I need a few more than that, though I'm not sure about one town hall meeting a week that McCain has proposed. That might be a bit much...how many barbs can they really trade?
Visitors to the story at KBTX.com would likely use "zoo" to sum up the Bryan city council meeting the other day. The majority opinion seems to be that there was a lack of proper governing etiquette on the part of everyone on that elected body. They were described as "kids" and "jokes" in a meeting that devolved into mudslinging and sometimes off-topic arguments. I don't think any employed person can say they enjoy working with each of their colleagues equally. I would also hazard a guess that for the sake of the employer, they don't show it in public. Debate is healthy...when done right.
One commenter on that story, Nancy from Bryan, wrote the following about another can-be "zoo":
"KBTX only requires a first name and you whiners write all these hateful notes as 'Anonymous?' You don't bother to do anything to make the city a better place but you sure can sit behind your computer screen and throw stones at those who try."
While Nancy does proceed to provide her strong opinion on certain council members, she does raise an interesting point about anonymity here at .com. Of the 40+ comments on that story, I counted 22 who wrote in as "Anonymous," while others used non-identifying names. Yes, we only require a first name, but that shield of invisibility sometimes turns the forum we provide here at .com (and indeed, so many other online boards) into the same thing Bryan's council became: mudslinging and off-topic arguments. Is it really debate when we don't know who we're debating, or when the debate strays?
So my question to you (and feel free to comment in the form above, anonymously or not), is this: what's the biggest "zoo" in your world today? Maybe it's a national or international issue, or something close to home. Maybe it's in your home or your office. Let me know.