For my own part I would as soon be descended from that heroic little monkey, who braved his dreaded enemy in order to save the life of his keeper; or from that old baboon, who, descending from the mountains, carried away in triumph his young comrade from a crowd of astonished dogs-as from a savage who delights to torture his enemies, offers up bloody sacrifices, practices infanticide without remorse, treats his wives like slaves, knows no decency, and is haunted by the grossest superstitions.
If you live in a baboon troop in the Serengeti, you only have to work three hours a day for your calories, and predators don't mess with you much. What that means is you've got nine hours of free time every day to devote to generating psychological stress toward other animals in your troop. So the baboon is a wonderful model for living well enough and long enough to pay the price for all the social-stressor nonsense that they create for each other. They're just like us: They're not getting done in by predators and famines, they're getting done in... Read more »
It is the assumption of this book that there is a typical human nature. It is the aim of this book to seek it. Just like a surgeon, a psychiatrist can make all sorts of basic assumptions when a patient lies down upon the couch. He can assume that the patient knows what it means to love, to envy, to trust, to think, to speak, to fear, to smile, to bargain, to covet, to dream, to remember, to sing, to quarrel, to lie. The 'smile' of a baboon is a threat; the smile of a man is a sign of... Read more »
And besides, look at elder flowers and bluebells-they are a sign that pure creation takes place - even the butterfly. But humanity never gets beyond the caterpillar stage -it rots in the chrysalis, it never will have wings.It is anti-creation, like monkeys and baboons.
It had always been a notion of mine that sanity is like a clearing in the jungle where the humans agree to meet from time to time and behave in certain fixed ways that even a baboon could master, like Englishmen dressing for dinner in the tropics.
Amos clapped his hands. “Khufu!” I thought he’d sneezed, because Khufu is a weird name, but then a little dude about three feet tall with gold fur and a purple shirt came clambering down the stairs. It took me a second to realize it was a baboon wearing an L.A. Lakers jersey.
The French are sawed-off sissies who eat snails and slugs and cheese that smells like people's feet. Utter cowards who force their own children to drink wine, they gibber like baboons even when you try to speak to them in their own wimpy language.