Monday, June 15, 2009

Monkey Epistemology

Dear Liberal Artists (aka Stupid Club)
& Dialecticians, & Colleagues Across
the Curriculum,

Monkey Epistemology, continued

I'm slowly reading a massive biography
on Jane Goodall prodded by my in-class
use/abuse of her & her relationship with
monkeys as heuristic—a FRAME of
Minding for separating and relating
incommensurate categories, “classes”
and levels of logical type.

(I call them monkeys as a generic term,
but they're primates: her chimps; it'd be
like calling horses donkeys just because
they resemble. So I confess to blurring
distinctions even as I attempt to clarify.
I claim it's ok if I admit it.
Need we argue?).

Idealized Jane represents (for me) an
all-loving, non-judgmental scientific
point of view, studying monkey business
going on and it's ALL interesting, and
so: all good.

The monkeys, of course, might be said
to not share her detachment; A lot, for
a monkey (we can't help imagine) is not
so good. As with my own self: I like
a little; dis-like a lot.

In this sense, me and the monkeys
resemble—whatever our ancestral

ME and Idealized Jane: no resemblance.
She is a “god” figure—more & less watching,
observing, taking notes, collecting data for
further research, say. Accepting & even
embracing what happens among the monkeys.
How could she do decent science other wise?

That leaves the task of representing the
hermes …
(the more representation the better) so as to
sustain the separation & simultaneously
(yin-yanger-like) relate realms: the distinct
territories, in this case called goodall-hood &
monkey-dom, without collapsing, conflating,
or confusing the distinction as monkeys see
monkeys do: easily making a Goodall in their
own monkey-image, say. Or Goodall
Goodall-izing the monkeys: that's
possible, too. .

You might imagine how easy & tempting it is to
blur these 2 incommensurate sets or classes
(Gary Hawkins would call them Economies) and
reduce one or other to the one or the other doing
the reducing & representing.

(Can you imagine the monkey version of Jane?
If Jane's “jane” and the monkeys' “jane” passed
each other on the bridge, do you think they'd
recognize each other? No way, I say.)

And as far as Actual Jane is concerned: our
Olympian and objective scientist detached
and observant—cool as a cucumber behind
her binoculars and Bic pen..


I expect you heard about Passion seizing,
killing and eating Gilka's adorable little infant?
Oh, dear.
writes Jane , to a friend.

Four powerful adult males—Figan, Jomeo, Satan
and Sherry—murderously assault[ed] the older
female who had been crippled by polio. Jomeo was
dragging Madame Bee down a slope before turning
to jump on her and strike her with an open palm.
Then Figan stomped on her and dragged her.

Madame Bee, trembling severely, attempted to
stand up, but Satan tossed her back down to the
ground, stomped on her and dragged her.

...Screaming she weakly attempted to escape,
whereupon Satan knocked her to the ground
and pummeled her with his hands and feet....

so Jane is “only human” & must human-ize
what she sees—like King My Dust whose touch
turns everything gold which amounts to the same
deal, need we argue? Perspectival Hegemonizing
call it.Cultural Colonization, Bias-Bending, Belief-
Conforming: a natural depravity, actually--twisting
& turning what I observe to suit my procrustean
beds, automatic if not autonomic. Sam-I-zing I am.

I admit it, keep my eye on it.
It's the denial and cover-up that generates my
psychic toxic waste, know what I mean?
Thickens the bozone layer.

xxxooo, JGMT (JaneGoodall&aMonkeytoo)
I'm not like those other guys.
I'm like those other guys.

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