18 September 2010

Day 175: Ape House

Ape House by Sara Gruen. ISBN: 9780385523219 (ARC - published Sept. 7, 2010).

As fascinating as the bonobos were in this novel, the human reaction to them was almost more fascinating.  Once they were put on television, it was like people couldn't stop watching the hot ape on ape action, even as they were somewhat "mortified" by it.  I use quotations, because I doubt they were really mortified with the actual acts, but more the realization that they enjoyed the simian exhibitionist sexploitation.

We're human.  We are naturally curious about sex.  And we have the severe misfortune of also being nosy.  It's why I think we're moving away from being social creatures in-person.  It's easier to snoop and stalk and potentially offend online than it is to go through someone's trash unobserved.  And really, the observation is where we get in trouble with the other primates on our block.  You can pretty much be rude to or about anyone in private, but as soon as you bring that in to a public sphere (regardless of whether it's true), everyone is all, "Ohmygod, did you just fling poo?"  Even the people who participated in the behind the scenes poo flinging with you only moments before.  It's as if we can engage in honest behavior and conversations, regardless of how terrible they are, but they don't actually become terrible up until they are brought into the public or to the person in question.

Anyway, here's my theory.  I don't think we would be as vicious towards each other behind closed doors if we were more open about how we felt about each other.  Honestly, our cage has gotten mighty cramped in the past 50 years.  We are bound to exhibit stress behavior as resources (if you view jobs and social security, etc. as such) become more scarce and we're competing less with people and more with hordes of people.  So yeah, we're going to start flinging poo like crazy and participate in "catty" behavior as a response to territorial defense of perceived threats.

At least with monkeys and apes flinging poo you know when it's flying and it can only be a certain level of disgusting.  Some of the things I've heard out of other people's mouths about my coworkers...and even some of the things I've said myself, definitely worse than any turds I could have thrown at them.  You can wash that shit off, but it's hard to get rid of the taint of a tarnished reputation when you can't even defend yourself from unknown allegations.  It may be more hurtful... but at least we'll know where the stink is coming from and we can avoid the poo flingers instead of having lunch with them every day.

Also, I totally expect my search stats to go up after using the term "poo flinging" so many times.

My review can be found on Goodreads.

*On a side note, by 200th post is only 25 posts away.  Would you like me to do something special for it?  For those of you who missed it, my 100th ...er 102nd post was glorious.  Do we want more Rupert? Or something else...an interview of me? Of one of my guest bloggers?  My first foray into t-shirts perhaps?


  1. "Ohmygod, did you just fling poo?"


    More Rupert! Also maybe you could do a Very Special Video Post. Technology is crazy these days!

  2. Dayna,
    There are some days I feel like I write posts just for you. I'm afraid I don't have a webcam, otherwise I might consider a Video Post.. If you're the only one who votes, it will definitely be Rupert.

  3. I've been wanting to read this one since I first heard about it! Nice review and I agree that Gruen is great at bringing humanity to non-human characters. I remember being rather attached to the elephant in Water for Elephants.

    And congrats on approaching 200 posts! I wasn't following when you hit 100, but I did go back to read the Rupert post and heartily enjoyed it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...