Saturday, February 21, 2009

Good Monkeys Gone Bad

     So, the other day we were talking around the office about this chimpanzee thing. You know, out in Connecticut, because the rich NYC socialites aren't messed up enough, a woman who was unfortunate enough to lose both her daughter AND her husband had a relationship with her pet chimpanzee named Travis that was "closer than of some married couples" and that this chimp went bat-shit crazy and attacked the hell out of the owners friend. I was taking this at pretty much face value until everyone at the office stared freaking out about how the chimp and the lady were, you know, going to the Humpolympics together, and even making movies, and that the chimp attacked the friend as part of a jealous lovers spat. But that's not the worst part. The worst part was the first thing that popped into my mind when I hear all this. I though: Where the hell is PETA in all this?
     I hate PETA, mostly because they are STUPID and have never ever made a bit of difference ever in the history of anything. Running around throwing red paint on peoples fur coats doesn't solve anything except to piss everyone off and make them hate you. It's actually counter-productive if you think about it, because now you've got one mink that has died in vain, and now another one is going to get skinned because, oh wait, the people have obviously got some scratch and they are just going to go out and replace the fur coat with ANOTHER fur coat. The only good thing that PETA has ever done is send its hot young activists out into the community. Because, I for one, like seeing naked twenty-something girls and most of the girls I know like seeing young, attractive, naked twenty-something boys. So way to go on that one PETA. But I really think that PETA dropped the ball on this one and I am going to tell you why.
     Now, I can hear you getting all confused by this, Company. Your brain is spinning like an out of control car driven on an icy road by a Southerner who is not used to not having traction. Note to silly Southerner: the four-wheel drive on your truck isn't going to help you much when you stomp on the braked on that icy road, buddy. Just a hint. So anyway, I know that you are thinking that PETA should be all happy about this business. Lady treats an animal the same way she would treat a person. Good health care, sleeps in the bed, fakes like it is reading the newspaper at the breakfast table while it eats its poached eggs, orange juice, and toast with strawberry jam. Sounds pretty good. But here's the deal. PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They are not People for the Human Treatment of Animals. And there is nothing ethical about the way that she treated the chimp. NOTHING.
     Oh yeah. I said it. First of all, what this lady did to the chimp is basically mental abuse. Yeah, she wasn't physically harming the thing, but she sure as hell was fucking with its head. Because a chimp has the internal programming for one thing: to be a chimp. Bananas, dancing with toothbrushes, flinging poo. There it is. But it also comes with all the software up in the chimp's brain for like, you know, keeping tabs on its mate and it territory, and fighting off invaders, and literally going ape-shit on the beings that are threatening it. Are you beginning to see the problem here? This lady has been impressing human feelings and emotions and social norms onto this chimpanzee, eventually, no matter how much schooling she gave the thing, it was going to snap back into chimpanzee mode. When it couldn't figure anything out, when it got all confused and conflicted about the different signals coming from its brain, which was bound to happen, it was going to happen, there was no way to stop it from happening, it was going to occur, this poor chimpanzee was going to follow it's instinct. Because the part of ones brain that screams "INSTINCT, INSTINCT, INSTINCT!" is always doing to be more persuasive and persistent than the part that shouts "LEARNING, LEARNING, LEARNING!" The learning part is kind of like your new friends when you move off to college. You are around them more, you see them every day, you are going to do what they do and they are going to have more influence on you and control your actions and reactions on a daily basis. The instinct part is like your family once you go away to college. Sure, your friends at school might influence you more now that they are around you, but the basis of the whole thing is how you were raised, where you came from, the ideas and concepts that were pressed into you during your formative years. Sure, your friends might win out time and time again, let's go get hammered, why don't you get a tattoo of Tweety Bird on your ass cheek, it's fine to sleep with a different person every night for a week. But when you end up holding a Molotov cocktail, standing outside the rival sororities house with all of them chanting "Burn, burn, burn!" nine out of ten times you mother's voice going "This is not right, you are going to get in so much trouble for this business." is going to win out. And so it went with the chimpanzee. When he saw the blonde haired lady sitting in her car waving around a stuffed animal and interfering with what he had going on with his owner and he had no idea what was going on the mother chimp voice calling out from his DNA screamed "KILL, KILL KILL! BITE, ATTACK!" And so it went. And now he's a criminal. And you are going to tell me that is not mental torture? You are going to tell me that's ethical treatment? NO way, PETA, I'm not buying.
     You know what else is not ethical? If you wanted to treat the chimpanzee ethically he would have had his own legal representation in this whole deal. Oh yeah. Since Connecticut isn't a community property state Travis, had he not gone ballistic and started attacking people, could have been left with nothing in the event of a tragic death of his owner or perhaps a particularly ugly breakup. Maybe he started a new relationship with an overly friendly volunteer at the veterinary clinic. Perhaps she fell for a stronger and harrier baboon with a redder ass. Who knows? But without proper legal representation Travis could have been left with nothing. Not even his playtoys or favorite set of super adorable suspender pants. You know, the kind like Stewie wears on Family Guy. He could have lost his most prized possession, his beanie. And what happens to all his stuff now? The police were forced to shoot Travis to make him stop attacking the lady. Who is going to mandate that there is an investigation into this horrible incident? He has no legal representation to settle his affairs. Funny the once he isn't so cute and wonderful now he's just treated like any common pet. Where is the ethics in that? Why isn't PETA hiring a defense attorney here? Why aren't they making more of a stink about this? Shouldn't they be throwing paint on this lady? Someone help me out here.
     You know what else? If this lady was making videos with the chimp, that some have claimed, then it's unethical that the chimp isn't getting any of the proceeds. Seriously. He's providing the motion and the muscle in this whole thing. All she's doing is providing is the capital to buy the camera and hire the crew. Oh, and doing half of the dirty work. The point is that this chimp is being taken advantage of for perverted means and receiving no compensation for any of it. ANY OF IT! So where is PETA protecting his rights? Why aren't they up in arms about this? No way is it ethical. He's got to be making a certain percentage for every video sold and he's got to have an agent and a lawyer and he has to have some to help him sign his "X" on the dotted line. That's the only way this works for me. If you are going to make him do human things then you have to afford him human rights. Sorry. Just because he's having an awful lot of fun in front of a camera doesn't mean that he shouldn't have a trust fund somewhere for some proceeds to flow into. If PETA wants to live up to their name then they should have had a representative, preferably a naked one, in a bankers office signing papers and opening a checking account. Bottom line. Sorry PETA. Seeing as how you did not make sure Travis was getting his fair cut you have failed miserably in your mission. You can paint the hell out of all the fur coats in the world and it's will not recoup the financial losses that this chimpanzee has incurred. He might was well have invested all his bananas with Bernie Madoff. That's how he got screwed here. Oh, and the other way too be we're not talking about that. If you didn't help him control his potential income then you were not making sure he was treated ethically. That all there is to it.
In the end of this sad tale, nobody won. PETA failed. The one lady got attacked. The other lady lost the love of her life. The chimpanzee is dead and has no estate to leave to anyone. And Dr. J didn't even get to see the videos. So what this ultimately tells us is that if you are going to have a pet you have to treat it like a pet. And if you are PETA you have to make sure that they treat it like a pet. Basically lady, this is what you have to do: Spank your monkey.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Big Dave:


Signed sincerely yours,

All the Chimpanzees in the World