Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Monkey as metaphor

I'll admit it right up front, I'm obsessed with this story...

Twice-tranquilized monkey remains on the lam in Pinellas - Tampa Tribune /

"...Even after being hit twice with tranquilizer darts, the rhesus macaque that has been on the loose for months in the Tampa Bay area managed to escape again Wednesday afternoon."

My reaction to this latest news: YAY!!!
Now, how about we leave him alone? After all, wildlife rehabilitator Vernon Yates says in the article that The Monkey presents no threat to humans. If he isn't hurting anyone, why are they chasing him? To protect him? "The drugs just don't seem to affect him for whatever reason," said Yates. "We've increased the dosage every time that we've shot him. What we're really doing is turning him into a drug addict." That, or dazed and weakened him so he won't be able to defend himself against other wild animals. Fantastic.
See, The Monkey has come to represent, to me anyway, something more than...well, a runaway monkey. No, to me The Monkey represents freedom. Actually, more like the individual's perpetual-yet-all-too-often-futile pursuit of freedom. Oh sure, we're all mostly free. Very few of us are confined in our homes. We can choose what and when to eat and watch on tv. We get to vote. All that stuff is great, really. And much appreciated. We're fortunate to have it and in debt to everyone who sacrificed for us to have it. But there are a lot of sourpusses out there who like to be pissed off about people who do things differently. And a lot of stuff we want to do, stuff that is utterly harmless to others, is discouraged or at least frowned upon by them. As a result, we don't all have complete freedom when it comes to things that are important to us and shouldn't really matter to other people. In some cases, basic things like expressing love for people with whom we choose to share our lives. And I know we'll never really have that. For everybody who wants to shave half their head and color what's left purple, there will be people who will go out of their way to wrinkle up their faces and call them stupid and ugly without making the slightest attempt to understand. That's part of freedom too. But as long as The Monkey remains free, or rather as long as officials acting in the interest of some sort of vaguely (if at all) defined Greater Good are unable to capture and constrain an individual who is not harming anyone else, there's hope that we can all shake off the tranquilizer darts and be truly free. And also that maybe he'll get around to biting some of those other people in the ass one day.


Anonymous said...

Yeah bite em all in their tranquilizin carrying asses! tranquilizer

Anonymous said...

Yes! Leave the monkey alone!