Let me begin this post by admitting a heavy amount of bias. Let me also begin this post by apologizing for even covering this topic, I tried hard not to, not only because choosing to write on this would only exacerbate a societal epidemic, but it would also worsen my already astronomical hypocrisy not only by acknowledging something I’ve tried hard to avoid an opinion on, but also by engaging in basically the same activity I’m about to rant over. But, I wouldn’t be a true hypocrite if I didn’t do hypocritical things, so allow me to indulge my guilty pleasure by climbing atop my highest horse and lambasting all you laymen.
Regarding the bias. Some people hate clowns, some don’t like snakes, or heights, or spiders, or dolls, or what have you. Everybody has that one thing that freaks them out way more than it should for no real founded reason. Mine is primates. Doesn’t matter what form they come in. Monkeys, orangutans, apes, chimpanzees, gorillas, hell even those big nosed probiscus monkeys that just want to mate and hang out in Himalayan hot springs give me the heeby jeebies. Christopher Walken’s King Louie in the most recent ” Jungle Book?” I hated that character, thought he was way spookier than some one eyed tiger. I can’t explain why, I think it might have something to do with me not buying into all that, “they’re gentle creatures, they’re so intelligent, they’re so familial, they share such a close bond with humans.” Bull. Dogs share a bond with humans, horses to a lesser extent. Apes? I’m 99% sure they’re constantly plotting against us and the only reason there aren’t more documented attacks is because they’re still in the covert stage of their plan for domination (see, this guy —->).
They’re still trying to earn our trust, work their way into our homes so eventually you wake up at 3am to the sound of your pet monkey breaking into your gun safe and loading your rifle. But I digress. The point is, when I was absentmindedly scrolling FB and saw a clickbait about a gorilla dragging around a kid at a zoo, I clicked on it more for confirmation that one of their ape agents had in fact lost his temper and jumped the gun on Operation Be Like You than out of concern for this “majestic creature.”
After sitting through the 57 pop up ads and getting to watch the video and read the article, I was awed by how fast and strong Harambe was, and surprised that the zoo reacted the way they did, not because I was angry that Harambe was killed, but because reason and common sense had won out and a child that should have died was able to live. I thought this would go the way of every other clickbait and that I’d never see it again. Oh how wrong I was.
It has been several days now, and #Harambe2016 is still going strong. To my disgust just about everyone has weighed in regardless of expertise or topic relevancy; so here’s where
Here too, is where I really get into the depths of my ape antagonism. After all the “mourning,” all the tweeting and retweeting and posting and commenting and sharing and arguing and Monday morning quarterbacking, what has actually been accomplished? Have we retweeted enough to rise Harambe from the dead? Have millions been raised from all the “likes” so that lowland silverback gorillas aren’t endangered any more? Are the child’s parents suddenly bastions of child development thanks to all the online hate being sent their direction? Or, have we fallen prey to another mindless media distraction and further divided ourselves over a topic that never concerned us to begin with. Because for all the outrage I’ve seen, here’s what’s so crazy. Do you know how many articles, photos, videos, statues or tweets about silverback gorillas I saw before Harambe? None. Not one. Not a single person crying anger over this ever bothered to make a single mention about how much they cared before this incident. Much like Bane, nobody cared who Harambe was until he grabbed a little boy and drug him all over an enclosure. But ever since, many of us have become like divorced parents, warring over who can make the easiest most public display asserting the amount of care they want to project. Because ultimately that’s all these efforts do. No gorillas will be saved, but by God everybody on your friend’s list will know how sad you are that a monkey got shot. Or, to put it bluntly, how many of you are upset at the manner in which someone chose to save a child’s life #sorryboutyourbadluck.
That’s what I’m so upset about here. It’s not the gorilla, it’s the social frenzy over the gorilla. Anybody remember Kony? I do, because whenever all of FB was retweeting #stopKony I got accosted for suggesting that a hash tag social media frenzy wasn’t going to do jack against an African war monger and his child soldiers. I was the cruel one, I wanted those little Kenyan boys to get kidnapped because I refused to let my couple hundred friends located in Midland, Texas know that I was committed to the cause, so long as the commitment only required a couple keyboard clicks.
Whether it’s Kony, Harambe, Sea World, Cecil the Lion, GMO’s, Pink Slime, climate change, Paris terror attacks, Belgium terror attacks, marriage equality, BLM, Boko Haram, ISIS, Caitlyn Jenner, Veterans, Police Officers, or whatever the latest social injustice may be, they all have one thing in common, their majority collective effort exists solely on the Internet. Look at the response from members of our government when Boko Haram kidnapped a couple hundred Nigerian school girls. What did they do? They hash tagged, because in 2016 it’s not about what you did, it’s about what you convince other’s you’re doing, be it staged or genuine. A better example of this? Look at Donald Trump. Nothing at all about this man suggests sincerity. He was Kim Kardashian before Kim came along. I would say it seems as if Donald brought Kil aboard as a special advisor to his campaign, but he was doing this long before her, Kim stole Donald’s get famous quick strategies. Someone rich well before they began their own business ventures, who is ultimately more famous for the persona they’ve created than any of their actions. Am I seriously to believe that a man with a fake tan worse than a 16yr old the night before her prom has a genuine heart of character? Should I really be convinced that a man who strives to keep close relationships with tabloid magazines isn’t making every move perfectly choreographed for maximum publicity and societal manipulation? Donald Trump is the personification of a French flag profile picture. He’s hashtag come to life, Frankenstein’s monster of media publicity pandering.
Ultimately, all the Harambe outrage does is detract from real effort, from real motions to enact change, and from real issues. Much of Texas is experiencing severe flooding, with dozens and dozens of homes being lost, and the latest death toll at six lives. Can any of you name those six people? Do you know about the relief effort? I don’t. I know more about a dead gorilla than I do about any of the disaster occurring in my own state. So the next time a monkey gets shot, or a lion gets poached, or somebody asks “how many likes can this guy get,” let’s remember where this is occurring, and remember that 1,000 likes is not a thousand amens, and it’s especially not 1,000 volunteer hours or 1,000 relief efforts.