Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"Guns and Monkeys" by Jason Spitz

For those of you who are illin' for a post on Science and Torah, R' Slifkin, Evolution, etc. — Bereishit is just around the corner! — as I was driving up on Sunday to visit MPMYF/Ághám and The Guy Cropped Out Of This Old Profile Picture, I thought of this song, by a young Jewish musician from [if I remember correctly] Texas.

Guns and Monkeys by Jason Spitz


I remember back in 7th grade
My teacher rained on my parade —
He told me something I could not believe.
Within the walls of that institution
He taught us all about Evolution;
He said that apes were Adam and that chimpanzees were Eve.
And he told me Darwin's word was like the law,
And that Australopithecus was my great-great-great-grandpa;
And he said, "Pay attention — there's a test next week."
I raised my hand and began to speak;
I said, "Excuse me, sir, with all due respect,
If you believe our little heads'll
Buy that crap that you just said, sir,
You're the biggest idiot that I have ever met —

'Cause monkeys don't have shotguns and gorillas don't make war;
If you gave an ape a dollar, he wouldn't know quite what it's for.
They don't have Jerry Springer, and they don't have World War II,
And it seems to me the chimpanzees are just one step ahead
Of me and you.
"

My intellectual dissension
Got me three days of detention
And I had to take the pop quiz anyway,
But from that day I knew for certain —
Biology was really hurtin'
For a revised explanation of how people got this way.
'Cause a primate is a peaceful, loving thing,
And I'm sure it has no interest in professional wrestling;
It don't care for Mercedes-Benz,
Just hanging out, making friends
With all the other monkeys of its kind.
It's never racist, hardly rude —
It ain't got no bad attitude —
A human being just like that is getting hard to find.

'Cause monkeys don't have shotguns and gorillas don't make war;
If you gave an ape a cell-phone, he wouldn't know quite what it's for.
They don't have Whoopi Goldberg, and they don't have drugs & booze,
And it seems to me the chimpanzees are just one step ahead
Of me and you.


This topic needs to be addressed,
And I'm sure Jane Goodall can attest
To what I'm sayin' 'bout humanity.
Respect is what these chimps deserve,
Cause it took an awful lot of nerve
To stick ourselves upon these friendly creatures' family tree.
There's a lot that we can learn from these little guys —
Like how to swing from treetops, and how to not tell lies.
And I think that it'd be pretty neat
To have some thumbs on both my feet;
Perhaps a tail for all my friends to see.
And maybe if we change our ways
And end our self-destructive days,
The human race can catch up to the chimps eventually.

'Cause monkeys don't have shotguns and gorillas don't make war;
If you gave an ape a crack-pipe, he wouldn't know quite what it's for.
And maybe we're the ones who need to be locked in the zoo,
'Cause it seems to me the chimpanzees are just one step ahead
Of me and you.




The claims made in this song about other primate species being "peaceful, loving thing"s are not quite accurate. In particular, chimpanzees have been known to kill each other as well as human babies.

11 Comments:

Blogger Knitter of shiny things said...

You're right about the chimps, but other species are innaccurately portrayed as being violent, such as gorillas (which eat fruit and leaves and are pretty peaceful.) Bonobos are a close species to chimps but they're not violent because they settle their issues in "other ways"...

If I wasn't lazy I could look up my slides from my class in Primate Behavior and Evolution.

~Your local Judeoblogging anthropology girl

8/22/2006 12:08 PM  
Blogger Lipman said...

Anyway, the physically stronger survives, which is not exactly my ideal. Nature isn't good, it's neutral at best.

8/23/2006 4:05 AM  
Blogger Kylopod said...

On one of the "Trials of Life" videos I saw footage of how gorillas settle fights. Two male gorillas go up to each other and then they stand there are roar in each other's faces, and the one who roars the loudest is the winner. I am not making this up.

8/23/2006 5:23 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Kylopod:

do you think that'd work in the blogosphere?

8/23/2006 5:28 PM  
Blogger Lipman said...

What do you mean by d?

8/24/2006 3:23 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

What did who mean by what?

8/24/2006 7:49 AM  
Blogger thanbo said...

Chimps, evolution, guns... so many associations, so little time...

I am evil
(friendslocked, but you should be friends. He's an old college friend, he got me into fandom and my wife into thinking about being observant. We both met him before we met each other)


Random musings on evolution.


Cows with Guns

8/24/2006 4:31 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Thanbo:

I amn't his friends, so i can't read that first one... the Evolution one is really interesting, though. And i discovered Cows with Guns years ago, it's brilliant :-D

8/24/2006 5:44 PM  
Blogger Lipman said...

What did who mean by what?

Glad you didn't ask why.


Kylopod Said…

On one of the "Trials of Life" videos I saw footage of how gorillas settle fights. Two male gorillas go up to each other and then they stand there are roar in each other's faces, and the one who roars the loudest is the winner. I am not making this up.


Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) Said…

Kylopod:

do you think that'd work in the blogosphere?


Lipman Said…

What do you mean by d?


I sillily meant: Isn't this what already happens and works in the blogosphere?

8/25/2006 4:24 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Ah!

No, it isn't what already happens, because although people roar loudly at each other, usually there is no winner.

8/25/2006 10:26 AM  
Blogger Knitter of shiny things said...

Everyone just gives up and thinks that they've won...

8/25/2006 12:16 PM  

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