April 25, 2014

Hollywood should stop using real chimps

Martin Scorsese's Best Picture-nominated Wolf of Wall Street
For a some time I've been arguing that Jane Goodall is right: the media should stop using real chimpanzees in entertainment and advertising. The 2011 movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes starring the great Andy Serkis in a motion capture suit showed that the technology for digitally simulating chimps on screen is rapidly getting better and cheaper, so the demand for chimps for commercial entertainment purposes should be stopped, just as the NIH announced in late 2011 it was banning medical research on chimps. 

If medical researchers aren't allowed use chimps to save human lives, why should Martin Scorsese get to rent a baby one to lard on more overkill in The Wolf of Wall Street?

But not much seems to be happening on the front of shaming the entertainment industry into not demanding more infant chimps. For example, although a few animal rights groups protested The Wolf of Wall Street, I hadn't even heard of the tiny ruckus. Hollywood went on to honor the film with a Best Picture nomination, and give Oscar nominations to Scorsese, writer Terence Winter, and star Leonardo DiCaprio.

Chimps are extremely cute from birth to six years. 

But then they live a long, long time (nobody seems to know for sure how long: online estimates range from 40 to 60 years and seem to be going up over time as old TV chimps don't die). Chimps are extremely expensive to care for humanely and safely in captivity because, to be frank, the adult males are vicious brutes: they'll rip your face off.
During the behaviorist era it was widely assumed assumed that chimps could be raised to be better-behaved just by exposing them to human role models: see Ronald Reagan's impassioned speeches denouncing pseudo-scientific hereditarian bigotry in the 1951 Bedtime for Bonzo. Unfortunately, when a chimp was raised alongside a human infant in a remarkable experiment, it turned out that the human wound up acting more like the chimp than vice-versa.

Then, in the 1970s and 1980s it was universally assumed that chimps could be taught to converse in sign language. But the failure of the Nim Chimpsky Project (and others) showed Noam Chomsky was right about humans having some special knack for language.

The business of providing exotic animals for the entertainment industry is a low rent one. The people in it typically can't make enough money to fund a half-decent retirement for themselves, much less their animals.

But even though they are sons of bitches, by importing or breeding them for use in the American entertainment industry, but now the ones in America are our sons of bitches and thus we have a moral responsibility not to, as so often happens, just lock them up in some cage somewhere. We need a stronger sense of stewardship, and a better realization of when things just aren't working out.

When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging. Society should lean heavily against further breeding of chimpanzees in America. I doubt if it's practical to send them back to Africa, but laws against smuggling more in should be strictly enforced. 
       

99 comments:

Anonymous said...

whole = hole. Feel free to delete this comment.

Anonymous said...

Here's a just published NY Times article on whether chimps should be considered legal persons:

grey enlightenment said...

Chimps, lions, elephants ..wild animals belong in their environment.

Anonymous said...

Steve, isn't this the same article that John Derbyshire already got excoriated for, with a few word changes?

Anonymous said...

"they'll rip your face off"

Heh, I'd like to meet his tailor.

Oh shoot, that's werewolves.

DR said...

"The business of providing exotic animals for the entertainment industry is a low rent one. The people in it typically can't make enough money to fund a half-decent retirement for themselves, much less their animals."

Steve, the chimp in the Wolf of Wall Street comes from The Big Cat Habitat in Sarasota. They don't breed any animals, they take them as rescue. They train the animals to perform that revenue funds their rescue operations.

The animal nut jobs are always attacking the Habitat because they subscribe to radical vegan agenda where animals shouldn't be made to work for people at all. I've been many times, and the animals live in excellent conditions. Plus they actually seem to like performing. It gives them a sense of purpose and they enjoy the attention. The chimp appears very happy and his handler treats him like her own son.


If you're ever around Sarasota, I'd highly recommend you visit, if not just to see the goofiest 14 foot long liger up close and personal.

Oswald Spengler said...

"Chimpist!"

Anonymous said...

"I doubt if it's practical to send them back to Africa, but laws against smuggling more in should be strictly enforced."

I hope Steve is still talking about chimpanzees here.

Harry Baldwin said...

Unfortunately, when a chimp was raised alongside a human infant in remarkable experiment, it turned out that the human wound up acting more like the chimp than vice-versa.

Reminds me of the observation that immigrants often assimilate down, rather than up; to a a large extent Mexicans assimilate to that of the black ghetto rather than that of the white middle class.

Anonymous said...

"I doubt if it's practical to send them back to Africa, but laws against smuggling more in should be strictly enforced."

I see what you did there.

Anonymous said...

the failure of the Nim Chimpsky Project (and others) showed Noam Chomsky was right about humans having some special knack for language.


Meh. Humans have a special knack for human language. Which is very close to a tautology if it isn't actually one. The human knack for non-human languages seems fairly non-existent.

In other news, whales appear to have a special knack for communicating in whale language. Who'd have thunk it?

Gordon Bombay said...

Circa ten years ago I visited a state park in North Florida where a few hundred wild monkeys live, all of them descendants of a few movie monkeys that were part of a 1930s production of Tarzan, but escaped and somehow managed to fit into the local ecosystem.

I remember talking to a state employee at that time who said the monkeys were dying out, but according to this recent Daily Mail article this seems to not have happened:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2418549/Tarzan-monkeys-Florida-number-1-000-introduced-74-years-ago.html

Carol said...

I loathe all monkeys, chimps and apes. They're like little retarded humans. Ugh.

Carlos Slim's Poor Relation said...

Very droll. I wonder how many people will get the joke?

Anonymous said...

How Swiftian

Anonymous said...

Why do you have such Hate for chimps, Steve? Are you some kind of species-ist?

The more enlightened solution would be to breed them promiscuously, use them in every possible commercial setting, and then make other people care for them when they can no longer be profitably exploited.

Clearly you have a lot to learn about humanitarianism.

Anonymous said...

At least Hollywood actually employs some of our native chimps. Silicon Valley just wants to import a load of cheaper, more biddable rhesus macaques.

Wait, wrong article.

Anonymous said...

They just need to be given amnesty, affirmative action and public housing. The more ambitious among them could be Added to an expanded H1 B program and be given jobs working for Zuckerberg etc.

They should also have the rights of gay marriage and gender reassignment surgery.

No chimp is illegal.

-Enderby

Robert Jordan's house Trolloc said...

There wouldn't be a metaphor hiding in this story would there?

goatweed

Anonymous said...

funniest article you've written

E. Rekshun said...

The chimps are doing work that Americans just won' do.

Anonymous said...

"I loathe all monkeys, chimps and apes. They're like little retarded humans. Ugh."

Exactly. I've never understood the appeal of these disgusting creatures.

Corn said...

I think Steve actually makes a good point. With the advances in animation and computers you probably don't need to use chimps anymore. Really, we'll probably get to a point where you don't need to use humans anymore.

Steve Sailer said...

And I hope one day to see the end of human children employed in the entertainment industry: the record shows too much sexual abuse and long-term psychological problems. In the future, adult actors can act like children and be digitally rendered as young people.

reiner Tor said...

It's already past midnight here, and I'm sleepy. But... this post was not about chimps, was it?

Anonymous said...

"And I hope one day to see the end of human children employed in the entertainment industry: the record shows too much sexual abuse and long-term psychological problems."

Don't run from the blatant implications of your article, Steve. You're talking about Africans, bro, and you know it.

Anonymous said...

Tangentially, there is the current story about Brian Singer. Who knew? Apparently, pretty teenage boys in Hollywood give BJ's to powerful gays just to get a chance at stardom.

Can we just CGI all beautiful young people?

Steve Sailer said...

The links in my post will take you to the four Taki's columns I wrote about chimpanzees in 2011-2012.

Anonymous said...


The funny thing about apes is that each one is a chimp off the old block.

Anonymous said...

I doubt if it's practical to send them back to Africa

Okay, fess up, is this whole piece supposed to some sort of a metaphorical allegorical literary device thingamabob which is really about what to do with the likes of Aunt Zeituni?

Dave Pinsen said...

Why stop there? There's sexual abuse of adult actors too.

Anonymous said...

Why not just put a bullet into their head once the chimps become unmanageable?

pat said...

The current received wisdom is that the Chimpanzees who live on the northern shore of the Congo River are nasty and vicious. The Bonobos who live on the southern shore are however sweet, loving and life affirming.

I've always been a little skeptical because I can remember when anthropologists made the same distinction about the Aztecs and the Maya. They would admit that the Aztecs were a nation of cannibals who killed and ate their neighbors but the Maya they said were peaceful people who spent their days contemplating nature and indulging in philosophical inquiries.

I have been expecting a major revision in the characterization of the Bonobos along the lines of our re-thinking of the Maya.

But maybe I'm wrong. If so, if the present understanding holds, it's even more significant.

The Bonobo and the true Chimpanzee look a lot alike. That's because they are more closely related than are the human races. They are classified as separate species because they can't swim well and have become reproductively isolated. But they seem to behave very differently and that difference must derive from their genes because their habitats are nearly identical.

So could it be that blacks like the chimps are nasty and violent and Bonobos like East Asians are non-violent.

This must be at least second degree crime-think.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

"""""the NIH announced in late 2011 it was banning medical research on chimps."""""

Now, Steve, this post is the first one that I detected a little dander was getting up, and it's so unlike the calmly measured tone when dissecting various topics of the day.

The overall case is a good one, and it even makes sense up to a point.

HOWEVER.

I still do not understand why the NIH banned using chimps in medical research.

Some may not want to admit it, but where exactly are the lifesaving cures for various kinds of illnesses going to come from? (the big ones, not talking about the common cold)

For the serum and vaccines to work effectively they first have to be tested.

I remember few yrs ago when everyone was all up in arms that singer Mellissa Etheridge's dad had a babboon liver transplant. Well, it saved his life at the time! And that's a major reason she said she began to reconsider her PETAish stance on animal experimentation.

Bottom line: If its between our loved on or a chimp, well.....some difficult decisions will have to be made, but if we don't want to descend to the level of the lower primates in intention, then it really shouldn't even be a question on who's life takes priority and who's life needs to be saved.

EXAMPLE: Suppose Martin Scorcese needs a transplant one day to prolong his life. Perhaps he could live up to ten solid yrs with say a primate internal organ. A chance to not only make a few more films but to be with his family.

Anyone really think that Marty's gonna think twice about the procedure?

Really?

Seriously?

QED

Anonymous said...

"But not much seems to be happening on the front of shaming the entertainment industry..."

The entertainment industry is shameless.

"But the failure of the Nim Chimpsky Project (and others) showed Noam Chomsky was right about humans having some special knack for language."

Not as shameless as Chomsky though. If he can take credit for coming up with the idea that humans have a special knack for language, can I get something for inventing the color blue?

reiner Tor said...

I personally don't need human actors. CGI actors could participate in goodthinking campaigns like Brangelina but at least they won't adopt color-coded children.

Anonymous said...

"...singer Mellissa Etheridge's dad had a babboon liver transplant..."

Whoa. What?

Twenty years ago, I was involved in 2 baboon-to-human liver transplants. The operations were technically successful but the patients died, as the saying goes. As far as I know, no solid-organ cross-species transplants have been attempted since.

Ichabod Crane said...

"I doubt if it's practical to send them back to Africa, but laws against smuggling more in should be strictly enforced."

You obviously said it that way to bait the racist element among your readers.

Luke Lea said...

re: Wolf of Wall Street - How about Dwarf pitching? Shouldn't that be outlawed too? That was about the most decadent, disgusting movie I ever saw (the first 45 minutes of). It was what it pretended to satirize.

Anonymous said...

And I hope one day to see the end of human children employed in the entertainment industry: the record shows too much sexual abuse and long-term psychological problems.

Do you suppose there are Bryan Singer-esque Hollywood sex rings involving the chimps and other animals rather than teens?

Ichabod Crane said...

Carol said, "I loathe all monkeys, chimps and apes. They're like little retarded humans. Ugh."


I wonder what proportion of those who mostly agree with Steve are as heartless as liberals claim we are.

Anonymous said...

"""Whoa. What?""""

Yeah, what.



""""As far as I know, no solid-organ cross-species transplants have been attempted since.""""

Well her dad was one and it was about 10yrs ago or so. I grant it is rare but it did happen. Also, I KNOW that there were these types of cross-species liver transplants in the early 2000's, hence PETA and other animal rights groups loudly publicly protesting the procedures.

It's not their fathers or loved ones on that gurney needing a transplant.

I can't imagine why it isn't done more often. With human donors not readily as quickly/time factor always available (unless youre rich and can cut in front of the line).

See, a lot of pioneering procedures aren't successful at first. Remember how radical the pacemaker was some 40plus yrs ago? Or a quadruple bypass surgery?

IF more testing was performed on these primates and had not been stopped a few yrs back, we would be further along in having the first SUCCESSFUL cross-species transplant.
I think more and more should occur, but obviously first we need more testing to make sure.

But, the fact that they were attempted means that tests had been done and in some preliminary research indicated that it was possible to work.

In some ways, its really remarkable that we're seeing such medical possibilities in our time. That's why the NIH should re-institute the testing on primates for medical life-saving procedures.

Who wants to be the NIH bureaucrat and Secretary who has to say "Yeah, we could've found a treatment for strokes and cancer, BUT....we decided not to do submit our research to further testing on baboons. Had we done so earlier, there is a greater likelihood that the vaccines would've been on the market by now."

See, what's technically successful will in a couple decades be more successful and commonplace. It takes time. Also, I do remember at the time PETA and other animal rights groups were loudly protesting vs the practice, so that definitely had some cause on not continuing the procedure.

Wonder if there's anything that animal rights groups do not protest? Specially since most of them never grew up on farms or even owning the animals that they claim so much to care about.

Anonymous said...

Wow, talk about a chimp out!

Power Child said...

During my years in the film industry I noticed a general sense of being in a bubble, protected from the usual attacks and complaints, but still free to join in the attacking and complaining, as long as it was still about someone else.

Also, I can confirm the comment about providing animals being a low rent game. I worked on a couple projects with the trainer who supplied the dogs for I Am Legend, Paranormal Activity II, and a few others. Big Hollywood blockbusters. But this guy drove an old beat up pickup and was vocally worried about where his next paycheck was coming from.

Cail Corishev said...

I'm okay with using animals for medical purposes, as long as they aren't tortured needlessly. But this business of bringing monkeys halfway across the world, using them in movies for a few years while they're cute, and then putting them in cages for 50 years until they die does seem beyond the pale. Especially for an industry that has someone on the set to monitor you if you use cockroaches in a scene to make sure none of them is harmed. As much as Hollywood likes to pat itself on the back for its support of animal rights, this stands out as an exception.

I saw a documentary on this a few years back, and I seem to remember that there have been some efforts to return them to the wild; but though they're too vicious as adults to have around people, they get too soft to survive in the wild. So that's pretty much a death sentence; might as well use a humane bullet.

Some are lucky enough to end up in a nice private reserve where they have some room to move around, but that's expensive. You'd think movies would make enough money to cover it; but again, it seems as long as no animals are harmed during the making of a film, it doesn't matter what happens to them afterwards.

Anonymous said...

"it turned out that the human wound up acting more like the chimp than vice-versa."

Is this an example of regression to the mean?

JohnSmith said...

LOL. I thought the exact same thing. P.S. My very white, decidedly unprivileged niece just got accepted to Berkeley!

JohnSmith said...

I used to work the allegory of Planet of the Apes (even as a kid) thus: orangatans (wasps), chimps (Jews) and gorillas (blacks). In reality gorillas are quite gentle, wonderful creatures.

Anonymous said...

>>Power Child said:
"""Also, I can confirm the comment about providing animals being a low rent game. I worked on a couple projects with the trainer who supplied the dogs for I Am Legend, Paranormal Activity II, and a few others. Big Hollywood blockbusters. But this guy drove an old beat up pickup and was vocally worried about where his next paycheck was coming from.""""


That's pretty cool that you got to work with a trainer for Hollywood blockbuster projects.

Of course, one of the most famous dog trainers in hollywood still remains Rud Weatherwax and then later his son Rob.

Rud Weatherwax trained Toto (Wiz Oz), Old Yeller, and of course, Lassie. That was his dog. US's Collie ownership dramatically spiked due mainly to his well trained slew of dogs. And then his son took over and continued the long association with film and TV.

From what I read, Rud Weatherwax was greatly respected in the industry for humane treatment of his dogs and how well he trained them, he really put dogs as 'animal actors' on the map, so to speak. The family may still continue to train dogs for hollywood projects, hope so anyway.

Jack said...

We definitely need to do something about our chimp problem. Maybe neutering?

Harry Baldwin said...

EXAMPLE: Suppose Martin Scorcese needs a transplant one day to prolong his life. Perhaps he could live up to ten solid yrs with say a primate internal organ. A chance to not only make a few more films but to be with his family.

Make that: A chance to not only make a few more films but to be with Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Anonymous said...

"...Well her dad was one and it was about 10yrs ago or so. I grant it is rare but it did happen.."

BS . It never happened. There has not been a baboon-to-human transplant in the past 20 years. As I said, I was involved in the last two.

You are lying.

Anonymous said...

The reason that xenografts are not done in humans is because the amount of immunosuppresion drugs needed kill patients from bacteria/fungi.

I can guarantee that Melissa Etheridge's dad, or anyone else, did not get a baboon liver in the past 20 years. Period.

Why do people made up stories which are so easily refuted?


Oswald Spengler said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwWK9le2CD8

"I hate every ape I see...from chimpan-a to chimpan-z!"

Nanonymous said...

The Bonobo and the true Chimpanzee look a lot alike. That's because they are more closely related than are the human races.

Not true. Pairwise Fsts between bonobos and any chimp populations are solidly above 0.5 (see http://genepath.med.harvard.edu/~reich/2007_PLoS_Genetics_chimpanzees.pdf). Fsts between human populations almost never exceed 0.5, with an average being around 0.1 (see http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0049837&representation=PDF)

Rex Little said...

I read somewhere that chimps (and bonobos) are more closely related to humans (a more recent ancestor in common) than they are to other great apes such as gorillas and orangs.

Handle said...

I smile at the idea of various lefties trying to figure out whether this post is nothing more than what it appears to be or, in the alternative, which of the many possible Straussian readings in the correct one.

IfYou said...

Richard Nixon (8.9.74): Never get discouraged, never be petty. Always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then ...

Handle said...

In general, no creature - animal, child, mentally disabled, senile, etc. should be allowed anywhere near the entertainment industry if they wouldn't be competent to testify in court. It's an abusive, exploitative, and mind-warping world and it takes a high degree of maturity and experience to come out psychologically well-adjusted.

hardly said...

Steve, this is frankly the single best article of yours that I've read. In fact, it's one of the best articles I've ever read. Fk those morons at the New Yorker, you are the master of prose in America. I'm still laughing.
I got most of the zingers only when I read it in reverse, starting from the bottom. Anonymous at 2:23 pm seems to be one of the few others with good radar. The serious comments about chimps make it even funnier.
I myself am here on an H1b visa but I think this article needs to be in some sort of hall of fame.

"the technology for digitally simulating chimps on screen is rapidly getting better and cheaper, so the demand for chimps for commercial entertainment purposes should be stopped"

"Unfortunately, when a chimp was raised alongside a human infant in remarkable experiment, it turned out that the human wound up acting more like the chimp than vice-versa."

" see Ronald Reagan's impassioned speeches denouncing pseudo-scientific hereditarian bigotry against chimps"

"Then, in the 1970s and 1980s it was universally assumed that chimps could be taught to converse in sign language."

"But even though they are sons of bitches, by importing or breeding them for use in the American entertainment industry, but now the ones in America are our sons of bitches and thus we have a moral responsibility not to, as so often happens, just lock them up in some cage somewhere."

"Society should lean heavily against further breeding of chimpanzees in America. I doubt if it's practical to send them back to Africa, but laws against smuggling more in should be strictly enforced."

Tenfort Williams said...

Pat said ...
"The Bonobo and the true Chimpanzee look a lot alike. That's because they are more closely related than are the human races. They are classified as separate species because they can't swim well and have become reproductively isolated. But they seem to behave very differently and that difference must derive from their genes because their habitats are nearly identical."

Since I've gotten into HBD, I have had the thought that Humans are the descendents of a mix of Chimps and Bonobos that got geographically isolated somehow. It would certainly explain much.

ben tillman said...

Not as shameless as Chomsky though. If he can take credit for coming up with the idea that humans have a special knack for language, can I get something for inventing the color blue?

LOL!!! That was great.

Anonymous said...

I thought Clyde the Orangatan in those Clint Eastwood movies was pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

I'm generally a pretty large-hearted and tolerant person (really!) but I fucking loathe chimps. They creep the hell out of me and I would be happy if they were all killed. I don't feel that way about any other primates but I do feel that way about pelicans and raccoons.

Monkeys, lemurs, and those little monkeys with the big bushy beards (tamarins?) are delightful. Gorillas are noble and orangutangs are chill. I'm also a fan of foxes, especially the tiny Channel Islands foxes on display at the Santa Barbara Zoo. They remind me of my mini-dachshund.

Anonymous said...

You obviously said it that way to bait the racist element among your readers.


Or to tweak the element among his readers who are ever on the lookout for "racism".

Paul Rain said...

Power Child: Yeah.. One of those things one would hope the general masses would pick up from Carl Hiassen's novels. But they don't even read Tom Wolfe.. so.. the people who run Hollywood continue to be indifferent to whether the animal wranglers they hire are hard working, hard done by animal lovers (most of them, I'd imagine) or sociopathic shitbirds like themselves. Of course.. that's probably a little generous. The sociopaths are probably a lot cheaper.

Oswald Spengler said...


"it turned out that the human wound up acting more like the chimp than vice-versa."

"Is this an example of regression to the mean?"

--------------------------------------------------------------------

It's more like regression to the "si-mean."

Mr. Anon said...

I never liked chimps. They look like little people, and who the Hell needs more of those?

I don't mind dogs in movies, provided that they are well treated. Dogs are noble creatures, and I'd much prefer to see one on screen than, say, George Clooney or Sean Penn or Julia Roberts.

Uncle Peregrine said...

"the adult males are vicious brutes: they'll rip your face off."

We are so used to figurative language like this that it is hard to adjust to its being literally true.

Anonymous said...

http://www.buzzfeed.com/adambvary/inside-bryan-singers-wild-hollywood-world

Steve Sailer said...

Oswald, thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure this kind of post helps anything, as the metaphor is crude and obvious. But if anyone wants to see the full simpsons episode here it is:

http://smotri.com/video/view/?id=v165611168e5

McGillicuddy said...


Saw Charles Murray on Real Time. Racial issues were the topic du jour, but Murray was a pussy.

does not apply to newspapers or magazines said...

Everyone's got dirty minds it seems. Steve's got a wide-ranging mind. Here he takes a chance and bares his good heart about something he's picked up on and feels strongly about and everyone's snickering into their sleeves about 'back to Africa', which I don't believe Steve would stoop to. There may be parallels, but why eg create so much backstory (his earlier pieces about chimps where he says the same thing) for one sneaky bit of payoff 2, 3 years later? Nah, y'all are just dirty-minded. It must take a lot for him to approve those ugly insinuating comments, as they probably reflect on him to the wider world.

Anonymous said...

I hope that this article isn't some sort of deep-seated transference projection making itslef known to the world which is really camouflaging a completely taboo, (as in the unmentionable name that cannot be uttered), aspect of American life.

Enough said.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago there was bit of a kerfulle raised amongst the UK Sunday tabloid papers about so-called 'snap-shot chimps' that were said to infest the Spanish beach resorts popular with British tourists in the 1970s.
The story went that intinerant photographers would parade up and down the baecahes of Spain carrying a baby chimp on their shoulders which would 'pose' for a fee for a photograph with the tourist as some sort of grotesque memento. Apparently hundreds and hundreds of Spaniards made a lucrative living through this trade. But according to the tabloids chimps were routinely abused in the course of the trade.
Most had their teeth pulled with pliers. Burning with cigarettes and the use of cattle prods were par for the course, in fact the norm was for uttmost brutality in chimp handling - anything less was liable to result in facial scarring and finger loss. When the chimps ceased to be 'cute' and grow into the monster ape form of adult chimps, the photographers would purely and simply just kill them. There were many reports of throat cut chimps being dumped in trash cans over night.


On a realted note, in classical times it is realted that the ancient Phoencians, who had penetrated south of the Sahara, had encountered what they thought were the 'satyrs' of mythology in the African bush - almost certainly they had captured chimps. The Phoenicians tried to bring them home for exhibition. But, alas, the 'satyrs' proved to be so troublesome that they had to be salin with swords.

Anonymous said...

I feel almost ashamed to write this, in light of this article and the general climate of opinion, but the very best 'chimp footage' is o be found in the long running British PG Tips Tea series of TV commercials which lasted from 1958 right up to the mid 90s.
They are hiliarous and carefully crafted vignettes in which - mega taboo - juvenile chimps are portrayed as loveable clowns and buffers dressed in human clothing and dubbed with human voices in which chimps were the protagonists in familiar 'human' situations.
'The plumber', 'the piano-shifter' 'the road-mender' 'the Tour de France' etc, all fondly remembered from my childhood. Even in these resolutely PC times, all these clips are posted on Youtube. I heartily recommend you view.

Steve Sailer said...

There exists a huge amount of old footage of chimps -- e.g., Bonzo from the Ronald Reagan movie was an amazing performer -- that could be digitally reworked in the future for the needs of the entertainment industry.

melissa etheridge's dad died in 1993 said...

@Anonymous 4:37/5:28pm

1) People don't fact-check real life conversations w/their phones, since it'd be rude and dilatory...

...but why would you spout nonsense about animal organ transplants here?!

I'm already ONLINE, idiot;

2) Learn how to use Google, stupid.

You might learn what "QED" actually means & what it does....

(hint hint--it's not a triumphal, mic-dropping finish...especially not when you're spouting nonsense...)

Anonymous said...

Anon:

I thought Clyde the Orangatan in those Clint Eastwood movies was pretty cool.

That's because like all those who are cool, he wasn't trying to be cool.

Anonymous said...

MFKs (Major F#@king Kudos) for this one, Steve!

Taking the satire to its nth degree, isn't the whole country going to be peopled by some sort of chimp/human hybrid by 2065?

Anonymous said...

Stop using real kids

Anonymous said...

How about use bonobos? I hear they're nicer.

Or how about the dompanzee or domesticated chimpanzee?

If man domesticated wolves into dogs, how about breeding mildest chimps together over many generations to produce the nice chimpanzee or dompanzee. Or chimpansy.

Cail Corishev said...

I thought Clyde the Orangatan in those Clint Eastwood movies was pretty cool.

Great movies, and he was. (And incidentally, the first one is a great portrayal of how a man can be a bad-ass man among men and still be a white-knighting sap who pedestalizes women and gets rolled by a pretty face.)

But I don't know if I can enjoy them quite as much knowing that Clyde could still be waiting for death in a cage somewhere like a battery hen because no one knows what else to do with him. I don't think the point here is that we need to go back and beat up Clint Eastwood; it's that maybe we don't need to use them anymore -- especially in an industry that claims to lead the way about caring for all animals.

(According to Wikipedia, the two movies had two different orangutans. The one from the first movie appeared in a few more things over the next several years, and there's no info after that. The one from the second movie died soon after filming.)

Anonymous said...

Reading some of the leftist response to this article, I'm reminded of the way people on the left complained that the orcs in Lord Of The Rings were stand-ins for black people.

Which says nothing at all about Tolkien or Peter Jackson but a great deal about people on the left. They constantly project their own ingrained bigotry onto other people.

Just Another Guy With a1911 said...

I hope I can get me a chimp liver giving the amount of drinking I've been doing lately! Maybe Mellisa Etheridge can buy me one.

And, Steve, in some fairer, alternative universe you'd be the "Dean of American Political Commentary" or some such other honorific, pulling down serious ducats in a sinecure at a top tier university for teaching one course a semester entitled "Writing Awesome Stuff on the Internets, Bitches". But alas, until the wolf comes home here ya are. Oh, well.

This article reminds me of time, back in 1972, I was a member of a crack commando unit that was sent to prison by a military court for a crime we didn't commit. With the help of Melissa Etheridge's dad and a Chimp name Max, we promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, we survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem... if no one else can help... and if you can find us (much easier since we got a gmail).. maybe you can hire... The A-Team.

Anyway, Max was a great help ripping faces of bad guys, but back in 93, I think, we had to kill him for his organs to save Mellisa's dad. Didn't stick, though. Man, I miss that monkey, bad attitude and all.

We're getting older now, and sometimes Mellisa lends a hand on out on some of the harder mission.

She rocks the mini-14 in short skirt and a long jacket. Can't hit jack, though, so she fits right in.

Anonymous said...

"Suppose Martin Scorcese needs a transplant one day to prolong his life"

In the UK primates are frequently used as donors for kneecap replacement due to cost reasons. Apparently you can get two ape-knees for a penny.

Anonymous said...

The late unlamented Socialist government of Spain before the economic wheels came off. Not sure if it's been enshrined in law - or repealed.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/jun/26/humanrights.animalwelfare

"Great apes should have the right to life and freedom, according to a resolution passed in the Spanish parliament, in what could become landmark legislation to enshrine human rights for chimpanzees, gorillas, orang-utans and bonobos.

The environmental committee in the Spanish parliament has approved resolutions urging the country to comply with the Great Apes Project, founded in 1993, which argues that "non-human hominids" should enjoy the right to life, freedom and not to be tortured.

The project was started by the philosophers Peter Singer and Paola Cavalieri, who argued that the ape is the closest genetic relative to humans – that it displays emotions such as love, fear, anxiety and jealousy – and should be protected by similar laws.

The resolutions have cross-party support and it is thought they will become law, meaning that potential experiments on apes in Spain will be banned within a year, according to a Reuters report."

Paulie Boy said...

This article is why I am an avid reader. I am a proponent of returning them to their native habitat. They clearly are incapable of assimilating and indeed their mild attempts at assimilation have produced a cognitive dissonance which causes them to engage in various social pathologies such as violence, illegitimacy, crime, ect.,ect. Sir Steve, you are nothing if not a humanitarian.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they'll only rip your bloody arms off!

Anonymous said...

Oh BS. Patellar replacements (almost always part of a knee replacement) are plastic.

I don't know if you and the poster about Melissa's dad' baboon liver are just yucking it up or really believe this nonsense. Google is on your phone; use it.

Oswald Spengler said...


"Taking the satire to its nth degree, isn't the whole country going to be peopled by some sort of chimp/human hybrid by 2065?"


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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idsxgLjGXGI


pat said...

Nanonymous took me to task for saying - "The Bonobo and the true Chimpanzee look a lot alike. That's because they are more closely related than are the human races."

Maybe he's right and I was wrong. But if so it's not as if I just made it up.

For example: Sarich and Miele in "Is Homo sapiens polytypic? Human taxonomic diversity and its implications" by Michael A. Woodley argue for humans being further apart genetically among their subspecies than do chimps and bonobos which are supposed to be different species. I think that's where I first got the idea.

What I was trying to say was that the term species and sub-species are not as discrete as the language would suggest. Until really quite recently there were supposed to be four subspecies of chimps with bonobos being one. Then bonobos were promoted to being a full separate species and they added another subspecies. In the article Nanonymous cites, they wonder if there is yet another group that deserves being classified as a subspecies.

Different articles measure Genetic differences differently. Some rely on autosomal genes other on mitochondrial DNA.

I'm not an expert. I'm not qualified to adjudicate these disputes. I just wanted to point out that the species gap between bonobos and chimps is not much bigger than that between the human races in any of the three or more ways that gap may be measured.

The real issue is - do bonobos really behave radically differently from chimps?

Albertosaurus

Discard said...

I say that it's time we stopped using real Godzillas in movies.

Anonymous said...

I'm generally a pretty large-hearted and tolerant person (really!) but I fucking loathe chimps. They creep the hell out of me and I would be happy if they were all killed.

This.

Anonymous said...

Adult chimpanzees grow up to beome exceedingly grotesque and ugly with the appelation 'ape' more suitable to describe them than the cuddlesome word 'chimp'.

One incident I recall happened at one of John Aspinall's rather dangerous UK zoos in Kent, England. Aspinall exhibited a middel aged chimp called 'Buster' at the zoo. An exicted chils visitor to the zoo, a five year old boy, was so exhillareated by the ape encounter that he stuck his arm through Buster's cage to greet the chimp. Buster promptly responded by ripping the boy's arm clean off from the shoulder joint and running around, climbing high and exhibiting the severed arm like a trophy.
Buster was/is old and ugly. All UK TV reports described him as an 'ape' rather than a 'chimp'. It's a primal (primate) thing loaded into the word 'ape' it implies big, ugly, dangerous beast. 'Chimp' implies 'loveable clown'.

Anonymous said...

As every schoolboy knows, typically, an adult chimpanzee is roughly sven times stronger than adult male of peak physical condition.

To score some points for the human race - the males at least - that great British Oxford University scientist Desmond Morris, (whose many books incidentally I heartily recoomend to Stve and all iStevers a mines of inteseting and scinetific information related to HBD), once 'pointed out' that the chimp's penis was a "mere spike", as he put it, as compared to the tumescent member of even the least well-endowed human. This he attributed to the evolution of pair-bonding, recreational sex and woman-pleasing amongst our particular hominid line. In compensation, howver, Dr. Morris noted that the chimp's scrotum was several times the size of the human equivalent, essential for copious sperm production, he averred, to ensure reproductive success in the free for all multiple party orgy that constitutes chimp sex life. Tiny dick, huge balls, quite a combination, huh, I'd rather take the Sapien schwarnstucker, and be sven times weaker. As TH Huxley put it, "man is the winner in a competition settled not by bites, but by thoughts".

Anonymous said...

"so-called 'snap-shot chimps' that were said to infest the Spanish beach resorts popular with British tourists in the 1970s"

They existed in the UK in tourist locations at least up to the mid-60s. I was photographed with one as a child.

Aristippus said...

Great article Steve, I agree with you that chimps should be afforded greater protection from exploitation. Taking it a step further, I'd actually like to see all non-human primates removed from films and further laws preventing them from being kept as pets. These are intelligent wild animals that belong either in the wild or under the care of qualified specialists. Medical research, being necessary and important work, is the only justified exception that comes to mind.

A few anecdotes helped to shape my opinion on this matter, such as when a friend's mother briefly owned a pet monkey, but to lighten the moon I'll share a humorous little piece of history from my neighborhood that involve one of the Coca Cola heirs. From Asa G Candler Jr's wiki page, "Candler collected exotic birds and animals in a menagerie held at his estate... the collection included a Bengal tiger, four lions, a black leopard, a gorilla, baboons, and six elephants: Coca, Cola, Pause, Refreshes, Refreshing and Delicious... A neighbor sued and won a $10,000 settlement because 'a baboon jumped over the wall of the zoo and devoured $60 in currency out of her purse'"