The Wrong Trousers

Drowning in an ocean of folly

Allan Milne Lees

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US Republican Leaders discussing mandatory extermination of lesser races. Image Credit: Wikipedia

Back in 1993 a small British company called Aardman Animations released a short film by Nick Park called The Wrong Trousers. In the film, a hapless inventor called Wallace orders some TechnoTrousers from NASA so that he can program them to take his dog Gromit for walks. As this is a comedy of errors, it goes without saying that the TechnoTrousers end up being used for all manner of unintended purposes, with mayhem resulting — including a jewelry heist carried out by a nefarious penguin disguised as a chicken by means of wearing a rubber glove on its head.

Image credit: Aardman Animations

The essence of the film is that an ingenious machine made by a few clever people ends up in the hands of someone who is, to put it politely, not up to the challenge of utilizing the technology adequately. The Wrong Trousers is therefore a perfect summary of the human condition.

We humans have sacrificed strong muscles, sharp claws, and powerful jaws in favor of our brains. Being able to solve simple puzzles was, over long eons of evolution, useful enough that our ingeniousness enabled us to compensate for more obvious physical traits. Using jawbones of dead animals and sharpened sticks…

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Allan Milne Lees

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.