Thursday, April 19, 2007


Does this make me a bad person?

The other day, the New York Times "Science Times" section ran a photo of a young Dr. Jane Goodall, and all I could think was, "what a babe! I had no idea!"

It may suggest a slight cultural-literacy deficit [*], but the thought that arguably could signify that you were a less good person -- given the iconic picture reproduced by the NYT -- would be "Wish I were that chimp."

[*] I kid because I love, Oscar, you know that eh?
In a bizarre bout of synchronicity, I was reading Volume 2 of the Complete Far Side, which contained this cartoon , and some of the controversy the cartoon elicited.

(OK, wikipedia has this to say about it: One cartoon shows two chimpanzees grooming. One finds a human hair on the other and inquires, "Conducting a little more 'research' with that Jane Goodall tramp?" The Jane Goodall Institute thought this was in bad taste, and had their lawyers draft a letter to Larson and his distribution syndicate, in which they described the cartoon as an "atrocity." They were stymied, however, by Goodall herself, who revealed that she found the cartoon amusing. Since then, all profits from sales of a shirt featuring this cartoon go to the Goodall Institute.)

Of course, the letter and the commentary that followed was more clever than that Wikipedia paragraph... Goodall apparently was quite happy that she was now famous enough to be immortalized in a Far Side cartoon, and Larsen went out to Gombe to visit with her.

And I remember seeing films of her when she was quite young in Elementary school. So there.
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