Friday, April 07, 2006

How to fight like a pacifist

Does anyone remember Kung Fu, the 1970s TV series starring David Carradine? The DVDs arrived at the safari camp last week and it’s inspiring stuff. It’s about a Shaolin monk touring the old American West in search of his redneck half-brother. Obnoxious yahoos accost him during his travels, and he initially responds to their provocations with a soft-spoken discourse on the value of philanthropy. He continues in this vein until they overstep the limits of tolerable conduct, when he furthers their education with a well-aimed foot in the face. The yahoos then repent of their sins and accept his message of pacifism and humility, allowing the monk to move onto the next town of cowboy-hatted hicks.

There’s a lot in that Shaolin monk that reminds me of the better sort of gorilla. Like him, we’re mild-mannered vegetarians, although we prefer the odd insect or two to the powdered ginseng he takes with his tea. We also share the same philosophy on the use of violence: start off by preaching the virtues of pacifism; but if that doesn’t work, knock some sense into the lummox by the use of overpowering force. There are few things more contemptible to a well-bred gorilla than a creature that goes looking for a fight to win the approval of the rabble or to prove he’s a mean and moody character. Perhaps the worst example of this sort of pugilism occurs in the boxing ring, where two ungainly louts try to knock each other senseless with unending blows to the head.

I’ll never forget the time when Mike Tyson arrived at the safari camp, fresh from his ear-biting exploits in the ring. The trip was supposedly for his rest and recuperation, but he didn’t look in the mood for it – the trademark tick of the head and menacing scowl were fully evident. What particularly got on his nerves were the antics of Bonzo, the camp chimpanzee, whose job was to keep the visitors entertained between their excursions. The other guests found the cavorting chimp highly amusing, but Tyson frowned and muttered, perhaps incorrectly believing that he was being mocked in some way.

Things came to a head when Tyson attempted to face down the chimpanzee and give it a piece of his mind. As Iron Mike swaggered over, Bonzo turned his back on him, squatted, and laid a perfectly-formed turd at the feet of the former heavyweight champion of the world. Momentarily stunned, Tyson soon found his voice:

“Goddam monkey took a dump right in front of my face!” he thundered. “Hey, come here mo’fucker, I’m gonna whip yo’ hairy ass!”

It is always a cardinal error for a two-legged creature to engage in unarmed combat with an animal that can move about on all fours. As Tyson lunged at Bonzo with his hands, the chimp ducked underneath him, scuttled between his legs, and jumped onto his back. The enraged human tried to shake off the chimp and prize its hairy arms from his chest, but to no avail. Humans often underestimate the strength of chimpanzees, who are far more powerful than their hairless cousins. Bonzo soon got bored of the game and relaxed his grip to make good his escape. But before he bounded away, he tore off a substantial part of Tyson’s trousers, which he retained as a souvenir. The remaining rags dropped to the boxer’s ankles and were quickly discarded.

The one-time Lord of the Ring then strode furiously to the manager’s lodge, cursing obscenely in his briefs, where he remonstrated with the staff:

“Look what dat monkey did to me, man!” he wailed. “I’m gonna sue your asses for this!”

After taking legal advice, the brawny bruiser accepted the following out-of-court settlement:

(i) the safari business would fully reimburse Mr Tyson for the loss of his trousers;

(ii) no member of the safari company would ever mention Mr Tyson’s name in connection with any incident that may or may not have occurred in the Republic of Congo, or confirm or deny any statement relating to any such incident or alleged incident.

I should add that I am not a party to this agreement.

Tyson would have difficulty giving anything a 'piece of his mind', since the latter possession has had the bejesus knocked out of it over the years. And I'm surprised he didn't try to rape Bonzo.
Har Har, GB - Lord of the Ring! You have a devious way of stitching stuff together!
They had repeats of that series on Sky. The picture is a scene from one of his flashbacks to the temple in China, where the the master with the cataracts called him "grasshopper". However much grasshopper preached and meditated in the first half hour, you always knew he'd be doing some some kung fu before the end. All the pacifist stuff was just throat-clearing before he gave someone a good kicking.
Pacifist shamfifist. Only people who know they can kick the living shit out of you are true pacifists. People who have something to prove are aways rattling the cage. Back in the days when I worked in a night club it was always twats who couldn't fight for toffee that went looking for a row after a few drinks.
Oh yeah Napolean, have a few drinks first, then hitch yer pants up and call the six foot five bouncer with arms as big as your torso a wanker.
Sure bro' that proves you de man, it also proves you gonna be flyin' back down dem steps on yo fat head.Nayone see shit? No, gud.(our bouncer spoke like that)
Baboons have really bloody big teeth GB don't they?
It's 3.20am and I've just being up dealing with one of my wee girls' accidents (#2). I can't sleep and looked in to Blogland to see what was what and, what with my recent dealings with poo, I want to ask you, what shape is a "perfectly-formed turd"? In waht way is its form perfect? I'm sorry if that question disgusts any of you; I am a mother and have seen a lot and therefore nothing scatological can shock me any more.

Do you remember a show called "Monkey Magic" of the same era, Mr. Nanas? I thought you might have been a fan of that one too. The second-delay in dubbing was hilarious.
Didn't Tyson say he liked to hurt women when he "made love" to them, Foot Eater? That chimp would have bitten his dick off.

The bouncer can give the idiot a well-deserved thrashing, FMC, but unlike Kwai Chang Caine he doesn't provide the spiritual aftercare. Tarzan, you obviously didn't understand the deeper message of the show.

Sam, I'm really worried about your lack of sleep. I'd feel much better chatting with you after you'd slept well. Not only did I watch the Monkey TV show, I recently read the book on which it was based. I think you know what a "perfectly formed turd" is, but if you press the point I'll find some pictures with a heavy heart.
GB, loved "Kung Fu." T'was the rage when I was in elementary school. We kids glossed over the non-violent part and went straight to the kicking/chopping bits on the school playground, much to the dismay of our teachers.


P.S. Turd pics are definitely not necessary.
FMC, I got preached to pacifascimimness all my early years, and now I can kill any cunt from the south pacific with but a glance.

GB: I went to wellington zoo in wellington NZ once (Where your favoured LOTR was filmed) and we teased the babboons erotically with the shrubs they craved to taste yet could not reach with hands nor mouths. The pity fell upon us as we broke the nutrience from the stalks. Their long reaches drew out and plucked the plants but then they started Jacking off everywhere. yes, even the females (Who seemed to have penises of their own). Disgusting creatures. Making Bonobo look like civilised individuals.

But not as good as Richard Dawkins.

Ooooh! Do Leakey. Do Leakey.
Oh, you did.


Jane Goodall?
"Tyson outsmarted by chimp shock!" Not much of a headline really, is it?

That Jane Goodall was a tramp, or so I hear.
Have you ever noticed it appears to be only women (Goodall, Fossey, Galdikas etc) who end up stuck in a jungle for years on end with the brief that they should never leave until either they 1)die or 2)find out everything that needs to be known. Perhaps it is because either 1)men cannot be trusted to behave or 2)women have the correct genes for sustained observational studies of complex social groups. Or maybe it is reason number 3 - some mysogynist bastard put them there.
Sheesh, McCrumble, it's much simpler than that.

Reason 4. Women study apes because we're trying to understand men.
I'm not sure about your logic there, Marianne. Men are rather simple characters when their component parts are delineated. We need to eat, sleep, crap and have sex. Everything we do is geared to fulfilling one of those needs. You don't have to spend ten years in the jungle watching chimpanzees to work that out. Two nights in a student hall of residence should give you all the information you need.
Men are not that simple, Dr McCrumble, they just like to pretend they are, which annoys women. Apes, on the other hand, really are that simple. Some women prefer the society of real apes to imitation ones.
It's not only men that can relate to the great apes Mr. Nanas. On a recent trip to Minnesota we took our daughters to the zoo where we spent a lot of time in the ape exhibit. The gorilla silverback showed us his bottom quite a lot which my husband enjoyed a lot, but at the orangutangs what struck me was the mummy orang. We'd been watching her for a while, and she us. Then she just put a big bucket over her head and sat there with it on her for some 10 minutes or more. There are times when I know just how that lady orangutang felt and wish we humans had evolved to the point where it was socially fine to put buckets on our heads.

I told this to a friend from Germany whose mother took her as a toddler to the primate exhibit at the zoo to keep her occupied while she breastfed her sister ina nice warm place. She was sitting in a corner right by the glass when the mother orangutang sat down with her baby, right by the glass on the other side. Both mothers nursed their babies, just looking at each other. Well, of course, that was it for my friend's mum. They got a family pass and went to the zoo to feed the baby almost every day, after that. How beautiful is that?
GB, I have consulted the complex soul that is my aromatic wife Mrs Dr McC. Having patiently heard my argument she smiled and patted me on the shoulder. 'Let me break it down for you Joseph' she said. I transcribe her words here....

'If men are intelligent, complex beings, why is it that everything they do - exclusive of eating, working, sleeping, violence and the toilet - is generated by the need to comply with the wishes of womankind. Now I'm generalising here Joseph, but for example - why do men keep themselves clean? - for their women. Why do they shave? - for women. Why do they hang around after the baby is born? - for their women. It is the women who make men appear complex, Joseph, because your actions are simply the mechanical manifestations of our desires. Do you not see that?'

'Er,' I said, 'that's crystal dear. I'll go put the kettle on.'

Sometimes I'm a little scared by my wife, but I know she means well.
Sam, I believe humans put bags over their heads rather than buckets. I suppose watching another mother suckling a child might help the milk flow.

Dr Joe, I've observed that the happiest human marriages function as "petticoat admininstrations". It wouldn't really work with gorillas, but your wife seems to know what's best for both of you.
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