Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Worthy, Clever and Useful, Banana-Eating Monkey. The Maligned Epithetee.

Examining our Epithets.
The Unsung Virtues of the Maligned.

The Epitheter vs. the Epithetee.
The Epithetee Often Wins.

Jungle Monkeys?  
Hold. Your. Tongue.

One culture's brunt.  Another culture's example of a virtue. For example, what is at the root of our evolution-challenged disparagement of monkeys. And our deeply flawed obsession with likening the habitual walkers (us) as superior to those who locomote in different ways. Yet, Curious George is a monkey of many virtues; including a white face, see://;  and this proud reddish fellow is the patron of a medieval trade guild for stonemasons and bricklayers, statue in Bern, Switzerland, see Switzerland Road Ways, Bern Statues.

Here, follow an investigation of sorts, into the nature of the put-down, the assertion of superiority that then falls apart if examined. Stereotypes. And find a surprising role of serotonin in leadership among leaders in monkey societies, and where it is lacking, belligerence.  Can we solve some problems by fostering serotonin in our bullies? Rush, is your belligerence because you simply don't feel good?  Ask the monkeys.

Here, see examples of the denigrated: issues here are in this sequence - including topics related to bananas, those who eat them (monkeys), and where they eat them (in jungles perhaps). And our forced uniformity, reducing their varieties for our economic gain.

1) Monkeys are key in banana variations.  Do not disparage.
2)  Monkeys and bananas grow in the greatest variation where commerce and corporations are controlled.
3)  Harnessing and limiting variation in animals and food for our own use, regardless of what is good for them, works against our best interest.
4)  Dietary wisdom.  Banana-eaters in variation (eat different kinds) are not obese.
5)  Monkeys know how to eat a banana.  Start from the bottom tip, not the stem.
6)  Monkeys teach us about hierarchies.  The lead monkey has the most serotonin.  Add serotonin to a low-status monkey, and it starts to lead - and the ladies notice, but the guys just look confused at the change in the order of things.  The most belligerent have the least serotonin.  Shall we feed serotonin to the far right? Bananas in the House?
7) In Spider Monkeys, females take the leadership role.
8)  Monkeys, people, and skin color.  Do monkeys have white skin.  Curious George has a white face. Some monkeys have black faces, but look at the overall skin color beneath the hair - is it white?  You go check. Examine stereotypes.
9) Theology.  Is there a Hindu connection with stonemasons, perhaps secret knowledge from the east, you experts are alerted. 

1. Monkeys are key in banana variations.

Are we superior because we bury the variations, and let ourselves eat only the kind that industry bred so they could profit most. What we get ro eat are one type. The familiar yellow hand.

See the many varieties of bananas that have managed to survive despite us, from the Yucatan to the Himalayas. See Nature Products, at :// Look up that Musa Itinerans.
See full size image
Here is a fair use thumbnail from Wikipedia.

For most bananas, the seeds mature during the summer, and it is mainly the monkeys that distribute them. There are red bananas, cold-tolerant bananas, ornate and dwarf ones. The musella lasiocarpa golden lotus banana is sacred in Buddhism.
See full size image
This thumbnail is from ://
2.  Monkeys and bananas grow best where corporations and commerce are controlled.

Commercial focus is fine to a degree: it enables a floor to survival. Efficiency, knowledge, how things grow, distribution, good use. But past that mythical tipping point, profit takes over and variation suffers. It takes a conscious effort to sustain the variety, or it will be gone. And before, perhaps, we knew its contribution to our own well-being.

Varieties of bananas grow where people, if giant corporations have not taken over, sustain biodiversity- friendly lifestyles Is that also true of people:  our varieties die off when corporations move in, commerce takes over. This thumbnail (thumbnails also violate nothing, so we sing their praises as well) is from  Do an images search for Xishangbanna and it will appear. 
See full size image
Visit Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China, see ://, where no less than 14 different cultures, with linguistic differences from each other and from the surrounding Chinese, live in a biodiverse area and harvest bananas - but not our ordinary, uniform, cultivated and bland bananas. Will China let this diverse population thrive? Another topic.

3. Harnessing fruits and animals for our own use works against our own best interest.

 So: bananas. Our history, as Americans, with the banana, is not honorable. See :// We have invaded, taken control, capitalism amok, all that, and weakened the once strong banana strain, so that now it is susceptible to disease and the one basic type we have reduced to boredom and fostered - the Bright Yellow Stop and Shop type - may well be in jeopardy. We have ourselves to thank. And our engendered Banana Republics are angry. Justifiably so. The United Fruit Company and the US - joined at the hand, see ://  Think Curious George.

Dull man, yellow hat,
Little monkey having fun
Monkey smartest one.

4.  Dietary Wisdom

 Monkeys are not obese, fat. We are. They are in shape. See Health and Wellness; The Banana Diet, at :// The site lists "bananas, berries, oranges, seeds, herbs, roots, ants and meat". Hey. Where's the beer? The pasta. The chips. "Don't monkey around with your health," says the article.

Eat like a monkey. Sounds like a new dance. Eat,,, like...  a...  Mon-key....

5.  Eat like a monkey.  How monkeys eat bananas.

Monkeys know how to eat bananas. Bananas grow up, from the stem at the bottom forming the hand for all the growing bananas upwards. So, hold the stem at the bottom, folks, and peel by starting with a pinch at the top. That is how monkeys eat bananas. Very wise, and leaves you with a little handle at the end.   See Instructables, at ://

6. Learn from monkeys in establishing hierarchies, if you need to have one.

The highest status monkey is the one who turns out to have the highest serotonin levels, that hormone leading to feelings of well-being - and, interesting here, the highest status monkey, the one who feels best, enjoys the most well-being fights the least.  He doesn't have to fight. He gets the lieutenants to fight if the need arises.

Does that mean that the belligerent among us are so because they don't feel good.  Bring on the couches.  Rush? We are ready.

Lower status monkeys are the risk-takers, the ones making most noise, and often get smacked down, or make bad judgment calls. Overdoing the posturing, like leaping big chasms on their own.

Now, take the status monkey out of the troupe, and give serotonin (prozac, to us) to a low status monkey, and over time, he gains in status.

Who realizes it first?  The ladies - heightened sensitivity here. But the guys don't get it. They are confused at the change.

Serotonin turns out to be important in status and the more secure monkeys don't have to go out on the limbs like the lower status ones do.  See the video at ://

So, the least secure make the worst judgment calls. 

7.  In spider monkeys, however, the female takes the leadership role.

Why isn't this in our text books? See ://  "It was also observed that males were not able to plan an economic and varied food route like the leading females; therefore they have a less varied diet." See the Honolulu Zoo site. Spider monkeys are banana-eaters, among other fruits, nuts, etc.

8.  People and Skin color.

How do we get the way we look.  Skin color apparently follows a gene for it.  There is no gene for "race".  See Researchers Discover Skin Color Gene, at :// Race is a social idea, dependent on many factors important to you, but perhaps not someone else.

Now look at the Monkey House.  Scroll down to the "Animations."  How different is the monkey, how it can move,  from us? See :// monkey skin cells programmed to become stem cells?  See ://

Do monkeys mostly have white skin? Except for the ones that got color vision early, and developed a yen for red skin and hair? See ://

Jungle behavior is reasonable and ecosystem syntonic.  What on earth is this? The wisdom of monkeys.  Worthy of emulation.

9.  Theology.  See the Hindu monkey god, Hanuman, who aided Lord Rama against evil, at ://  Is there a bricklayer, stonemason, masonic connection, secret knowledge, etc.  Beyond us, but the Bern monkey is no slouch.

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