June 12, 2008

June Quotes: Washoe & Terrorist Fist Jabs

I just finished Roger Fout's memoirs of his years training Washoe the Chimpanzee & her family to speak with American Sign Language. This is an intense book that chronicles Fout's years of sacrificing his own academic career for the humane sake of his extended chimp family. (He turned down a professorship at Yale when he saw their research center, & on & on.) There was a quote at the end I wanted to post here, but Miss Jenny Ruth returned the book to the library (I had spilled coffee all over it.) He said that thirty years into working with Washoe, he learned what her name meant: "people". She had been named for the county in Nevada where Allen & Beatrix Gardner began Project Washoe, & where I also grew up. Read that book, people! The subtitle of the original hardback, "What chimpanzees have taught me about who we are" may sound corny at first, but the book is one startling insight after another. I emerge from it subtly realigned.

I'm traveling Eastward soon; - some quotes to inaugurate the summer:

Oh, now you love the Ten Commandments.
And yet you’re the one who so conveniently forgot:

"Thou shalt protect thy father, and honor no one above him
unless it beith me, Thy Sweet Lord."

- Gob to Michael, in "Arrested Development", Season One

A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab?
The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently!

We’ll show you some interesting body communication and find out what it really says.

-E.D. Hill, on Barack & Michelle Obama's fist bump.
Her Fox News show, America's Pulse, was canceled right away!

"You make it sound as tho this is the first time we've had a black president...
Warren G. Harding was a negro!"

-John Mclaughlin, apparently in earnest, on The Mclaughlin Group

A robin redbreast in a cage,
Puts all heaven in a rage.
-William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence"

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