Photo by jtriefen (Wikimedia CC)
Apparently this week, many fans of Knut have been paying tribute to the poor dead blighter, who died of a "brain disorder" last weekend. That's right, "fans". Knut had fans. That's because he was an authentic superstar.
Knut never did anything very much. That was his genius. Unlike Paul the Octopus, who entertained the masses channelling other dimensions to predict football scores, or Heidi the fame-whore Opossum, who has an amusing disability, but clearly did not have Paul's psychic prowess and consequently made a hash of her Oscar tips, Knut never debased himself like this – he won over the masses just by his mother Tosca's rejection, and his ability to hold a toilet brush in a particularly charming way.
And now he's dead, and everyone wants to know why. There were suspicious circumstances. His wobbly leg, for one thing. And him being only four.
And now we hear that Knut had epilepsy! How very convenient. Why did no-one notice this before? Surely the world's most famous bear would not be able to hide such fits from his fans? Or perhaps the zoo management knew of his condition, and did not want to reveal it, in case it affected merchandise sales. A bear in a seizure is not as cuddly.
Frankly, I think we need to look back a lot further. How do we know if Knut was really Knut, and not just some other cub the federal government kidnapped from a block of ice at the North Pole, and flew in the dead of one winter night to distract the people from domestic toils. What else happened in 2006? Germany's abject failure in the home World Cup. People needed cheering up. No wonder Tosca, that tough bitch, rejected him.
Zoos are, obviously, amusing places. Though some people think they are just animal concentration camps, I prefer to imagine animals in zoos idly wondering why they don't have to do anything at all to survive while they're playing with their poo. I can identify with that.