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The Boston Globe

Opinion

Opinion | Jennifer Graham

The devolution of man

Amid viral outrage, aren’t we getting a bit too humorless and fragile?

As the rioting subsided in Libya, I felt that faint flush of superiority that comes from living in an enlightened, progressive country where the population can handle absurd Internet postings. It lasted for all of a day, until humor-impaired creationists started rampaging on Dr Pepper’s Facebook page.

The genesis of their indignity was a sketch called “Evolution of Flavor.” A parody of Rudolph Zallinger’s famous illustration “The March of Progress,” it shows an ape (“pre-Pepper”), a Cro-Magnon man (“Pepper discovery”) and modern man (“post-Pepper”), the latter a carbonation-based life form striding upright, fully evolved and full of caffeine. “Now that’s progress,” the caption says.

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