Dawn of the Planet of the apes

The sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes1 and if you’ll recall at the end of Rise the apes had escaped to the forest and the human world was beginning to feel the effects of the so-called simian flu. Created by Mr Franco in an attempt to cure Alzheimer’s. Dawn is set after […]

The chimps of Fauna Sanctuary

chimps of fauna sanctuary

A true story of resilience and recovery

In Fauna Sanctuary Gloria Grow rescues animals. There are dogs, horses, swans, a donkey, and of course the chimpanzees. Most were retired from research facilities where they were the subjects of medical research into Hepatitis, HIV, and the like. There are a few who were circus chimps. Some of them started life as pets, cute little chimps to dress up and play with, until they grew too big and strong and dangerous. Anyone who heard of Travis and his attack on Charla Nash knows that a chimp is not to be taken lightly. And yet people continue to try and keep them as domestic pets.

In this book Westoll spent a year working in the Fauna Sanctuary. He gets to know not only the people who work there but also the chimpanzees themselves, and their horrific lives spent as test subjects, being knocked out, biopsied, infected, and isolated.

Me Cheeta: the autobiography

ISBN: 9780007280162

On my last day in motion pictures I found myself at the top of a monkey-puzzle tree in England, helping to settle a wager between that marvellous light comedian and wit Rex Harrison and his wife, the actress Rachel Roberts, and thinking, This is gonna look great in the obituaries, isn’t it? Fell out of a fucking tree.

I should have known from that opening paragraph that I wasn’t going to enjoy this book. It has that “amn’t I amusing and witty” narration style that, for me, simply fell flat. Perhaps it is just that I don’t know enough about the stars of the 1940s & 50s to get all the hilarious references and anecdotes. Or maybe it was just written in a style that left me uncaring. Who can say.

Read more about Me Cheeta: the autobiography

Contrast

Today I direct you to go read this post, it is from Joss Whedon, but rather than being about any tv or film, as you may have suspected, it is about Dua Khalil.

If you haven’t heard of her then you can go read about her, you can even watch her die. Though I won’t be clicking on that link; reading about her stoning is more than enough.

Women’ inferiority -“ in fact, their malevolence — is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they’re sporting burkhas. I find it in movies, I hear it in the jokes of colleagues, I see it plastered on billboards, and not just the ones for horror movies. Women are weak. Women are manipulative. Women are somehow morally unfinished. (Objectification: another tangential rant avoided.) And the logical extension of this line of thinking is that women are, at the very least, expendable. […] Womb Envy. Biology: women are generally smaller and weaker than men. But they’re also much tougher. Put simply, men are strong enough to overpower a woman and propagate. Women are tough enough to have and nurture children, with or without the aid of a man. Oh, and they’ve also got the equipment to do that, to be part of the life cycle, to create and bond in a way no man ever really will. Somewhere a long time ago a bunch of men got together and said, “If all we do is hunt and gather, let’ make hunting and gathering the awesomest achievement, and let’s make childbirth kinda weak and shameful.” It’s a rather silly simplification, but I believe on a mass, unconscious level, it’s entirely true. How else to explain the fact that cultures who would die to eradicate each other have always agreed on one issue? That every popular religion puts restrictions on women’s behavior that are practically untenable? That the act of being a free, attractive, self-assertive woman is punishable by torture and death? In the case of this upcoming torture-porn, fictional. In the case of Dua Khalil, mundanely, unthinkably real. And both available for your viewing pleasure.

I was watching Nat Geo Wild last night, and they had a programme called Why Chimps Kill showing chimpanzees hunting monkeys, launching raids and killing other chimps, and, killing and eating human babies. And was I ever greatful that I live in a country where I don’t have to worry about the effect human encroachment on animal habitat has. We don’t have this problem because 1) All our major predators were killed off hundreds of years ago and 2) there isn’t any animal habitat in Ireland. Not really.

I know, you are wondering how the chimps come into this horrific story about this 17 year old girl who was stoned to death because of religion and patriarchy. Well, they don’t really. The only things they share is that I can watch them, or read about them, and be horrified but thankful that I don’t have to deal with any of that. That I don’t have to think about watching for a predator to come into my house. That distance separates me, protects me, and lets me ignore the horrible things that happen, and instead can write blog entries on how yesterday was Talk Like A Pilot and I missed it.

I don’t mean that in a negative way. Well, I do, in one way,because ignoring problems like this is wrong, but at the same time we can’t live out lives decrying the violence that happens all over the world. We have to live our own lives, we have to have the ability to switch off and ignore them, otherwise we would be paralysed by horror. We all should enjoy the light and the froth that is the silliness of talking like a pirate or a pilot, and enjoy the fun of internet memes. And we should never feel guilty at enjoying life. But we should try to do something, however that little that may be. As Joss says

Do something. Try something. Speaking out, showing up, writing a letter, a check, a strongly worded e-mail. Pick a cause – there are few unworthy ones. And nudge yourself past the brink of tacit support to action. Once a month, once a year, or just once. If you can’t think of what to do, there is this handy link. Even just learning enough about a subject so you can speak against an opponent eloquently makes you an unusual personage. Start with that. Any one of you would have cried out, would have intervened, had you been in that crowd in Bashiqa. Well thanks to digital technology, you’re all in it now.

and then join in with week 224

  1. Coastguard ::
  2. Buddies ::
  3. Nap ::
  4. Groan ::
  5. Sitcom ::
  6. Reader ::
  7. Heroes ::
  8. Amazing ::
  9. Woman ::
  10. Don’t! ::

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