Friday, March 4, 2016

Parables of Today

Darwin and Survival of the Fittest

Apparently, Chimpanzees are sometimes the neighbours of Rhesus monkeys.  Rhesus monkeys are relatively friendly easy going and tolerant of the Chimpanzees. The chimpanzees are a bit rambunctious but equally easy going.

Until one day.  Chimpanzees are predominantly vegetarian.  One day one of the chimpanzees gets the idea that he'd like to eat monkey brains.  There are theories that this compulsive desire is related to pica wherein anemic pregnant women suddenly start eating their living rooms walls for the iron in the paint, without knowing why they've suddenly taken an interest in paint bits regardless of the colour.  It's thought that monkey brains have some essential fatty acid that the chimpanzee suddenly craves.  But it follows that this dominant chimpanzee suddenly attacks his friendly Rhesus monkey neighbour.

Now this dominant chimpanzee male is accompanied by a couple of other chimpanzee males when he sets out to murder the unsuspecting Rhesus monkey who no doubt was thinking at this time, "I thought you were a vegetarian.  I thought you were my neighbour " and all sorts of other muck." 

The next thought or perhaps the first thought the Rhesus monkey has is to escape.  And this is where the chimpanzee confederates come into play.  The two subordinate chimpanzee males block the escape of the Rhesus monkey holding him or her until the primary Chimpanzee can get hold and bite the monkey's throat.

There's a lot of thrashing going about here. This is a fight to the survival and while three to one , the Rhesus monkey is not about to easily give up it's brain to the cannibalistic tendency inherent in the wild.  Consequently these three chimpanzees though not having their brains immediately threatened do have a lot of skin in the game.  It's a deadly conquest with lots of biting and clawing and blood loss.

The women and children chimpanzees are loudest in their cheers and criticism whooping and jumping up and down like the cheerleader activist critics groups they are.

All the while the rest of the chimpanzee pack become a Greek chorus of advice and criticism.  They don't object with the killing of a Rhesus monkey. Being vegetarian is quickly forgotten and they do want him dead but they believe that they know best how to achieve this so are quite free with their consultative advice while staying well back of the action.  They are particularly critical of the primary chimpanzee celebrating every good blow or bite he makes while condemning every feint and loss of ground.  All the while the confederates don't actually go for the bite because that's clearly the most dangerous but they are in the scrum helping keep the monkey from escaping.

Finally if all goes well, the prime chimpanzee and his confederates subdue and kill the rhesus monkey tearing apart the body and cracking open the skull to get at the brain.  While they are doing this though , the whole crowd of spectator chimpanzees has moved in and are attacking them with a view to getting the brain now that the heavy lifting is done.  If the prime chimpanzee and his confederates are still capable of standing they hold them off till they get the first bites of Rhesus monkey brain. However the scent of Rhesus monkey brain and the view of other chimpanzees eating this succulent feast throws the spectators into a frenzy so that they overpower the primary chimpanzee and his confederates and get some of the brain.

If the kill hasn't been too tough the prime chimpanzee and his confederates eat their fill and leave the rest to the pack that they are able to keep back till they've had what they want, eating the brain and meat and drinking the blood of their victim. 

As anyone on the frontlines with skin in the game and risk involved knows, life hasn't changed.

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