So my heart goes out to them. Figuratively. I would never actually entrust my heart to scientists-they'd probably implant it in a baboon. And a baboon with my heart would be practically unstoppable. Baboon strength and agility combined with my determination and media savvy? It would be a threat to all of humanity.
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 by each other.
Robert M. Sapolsky
Summertime in Montana, I become a monosyllabic baboon. I want to ride with the cowboys, go to brandings, doctor cattle, and train my horses. But in a few months, the snow starts to fly. The days become shorter; the yellow color of interior light becomes delicious. I look at my shelves, and every book just glows, and I want to be inside of that.
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.
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state as we may hope, than the Caucasian and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.
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 pleasure: it is human nature, the world over.
Physics, my friend, is a narrow path drawn across a gulf that the human imagination cannot grasp. It is a set of answers to certain questions that we put to the world, and the world supplies the answers on the condition that we will not then ask it other questions, questions shouted out by common sense. And common sense? It is that which is understood by an intelligence using senses no different from those of a baboon. Such an intelligence wishes to know the world in terms that apply to its terrestrial, biological niche. But the world-outside that niche, that incubator of sapient apes-has properties that one cannot take in hand, see, sniff, gnaw, listen to, and in this way appropriate.
YO, PARAGRAPH INDENT, I MAKE INTENSE SENSE NIGGAZ ON THAT GIL SCOTT DOPE AT AGE FIFTEEN THEY START SMOKIN BILLY CLINT' NOW HE'S TWENTY-ONE AND WANTS TO KNOW WHERE THE TIME WENT HEY HEY HEY WHAT'S THE HAPS?WELL SEE YOUR TIME ELAPSED HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF THE MEANING OF THE WORD TRAPPED BABOON ON YOUR BACK, BUT WHAT'S SAD IS THAT CRACK WAS INTRODUCED TO HISPANIC COMMUNITIES AND BLACKS BUT THEN IT SPREAD TO WHITE AND GOT EVERYONE'S UNDIVIDED ATTENTION CAUSE YOUR DAUGHTER IS ON IT AND YOU CAN'T HIDE IT MAYBE YOUR SON TRIED IT, REHAB TOO CROWDED YOU SCARED, SHE SCARED, THEY SCARED, I SAID THEY SCARED THEY SCARED TO TALK ABOUT IT BOUT IT BOUT IT BOUT IT BOUT IT BOUT IT
Whitepeople believed that whatever the manners, under every dark skin was a jungle. Swift unnavigable waters, swinging screaming baboons, sleeping snakes, red gums ready for their sweet white blood. In a way, he thought, they were right. The more coloredpeople spent their strength trying to convince them how gentle they were, how clever and loving, how human, the more they used themselves up to persuade whites of something Negroes believed could not be questioned, the deeper and more tangled the jungle grew inside. But it wasn't the jungle blacks brought with them to this place from the other (livable) place. It was the jungle whitefolks planted in them. And it grew. It spread. In, through and after life, it spread, until it invaded the whites who had made it. Touched them every one. Changed and altered them. Made them bloody, silly, worse than even they wanted to be, so scared were they of the jungle they had made. The screaming baboon lived under their own white skin; the red gums were their own.