Gus: The Polar Bear From Central Park references


Gus was an actual Polar Bear who lived in the Central Park Zoo. Ol' Gus became famous when the Zoo's curators and specialists noticed that their once jovial bear had become lackadaisical, complacent and locked in an unhealthy routine. An animal psychologist was brought in to decipher just what was wrong with the 1000lb beast. Researchers studying Gus' case discovered that bears could indeed display psychotic tendencies and suffer from depression. A book, called "What's Worrying Gus?" and a dramatic play both chronicled the story of Gus.

"...Is that what's troubling ya Gus, the mere mention of the name
used to be enough to make every bird stop singing
Is that what's troubling ya Gus? No one is afraid enough?"

If you substitute the name Gus for that of a certain American president, a subtle message may emerge from the song. As George W. Bush's credibility and approval rating plummeted in 2003 amidst the Iraq war and economic mismanagement, he was often accused of cultivating a culture of fear. Machiavelli knew that if you keep 'em scared and make yourself out to be their only protector, they'd have hard time voting against you. Although this strategy was openly criticized, the critique didn't hurt Bush, as he went on to win the 2004 US presidential election.

During their troubled periods, both Gus and George lost some of their standing, reputation and ability to instill fear/respect along their respective social ladders. But not to worry, as both bounced back to share a place in popular culture as lovable, loutish and incredibly accomplished guys. Not bad for a pair of dudes with limited mental capacity.

"...whip-poor-will at dusk"

The whip-poor-will is a species of bird named after the sound of its song.

Play Song