Episode 128: Dollop: Nim the Chimp

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Before we get started falling down the rabbit hole of ickiness, let me share some good people being nice and kind to these noble animals while studing primatology:


Take a breath of that nice, clean air, because the rest is funky and foul. Bestiality and abuse foul. Ready?

Want to know what Oklahoma was like for Nim Chimpsky? Watch the movie Project X. No bueno.

Now, Herbert friggin’ Terrace. Mr. Scientist. He is one of the (many) reasons that, as an undergrad in psychology, I had to undergo rigorous reviews by ethics boards simply to perform an experiment on freshmen using locus of control inventories. Simple questionnaires, and the review before permission was given was as painful as any tax audit. As it should be. And adult humans can consent. I’m looking at you, Terrace. Hard. Major stinkeye.

Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human * Elizabeth Hess, inspiration for the new documentary Project Nim.

128And then there was Stephanie LaFarge. Look, fellow Americans, can we stop have sex with and/or involving animals? Stop it. We have plenty of sex shops with all kinds of toys, if you are bored. There’s always the furry community. Use your imagination. Animals cannot consent. Stop this shit.

Besides, she lived in a brownstone, in the city, with a husband and enough children for a hearty kickball team. But she’s obsessed with getting high, breastfeeding, and masturbating a chimp. In her home. In their home. Try explaining this one to the Child Services worker. “No, I mean a real chimp. Yes, I said breastfeeding.”

Every time I look at this picture, I can’t help but see Squeaky Fromme. I think Nim would have been better off with the Manson Family. He would have at least been free-range. There would have likely still been sex and pot, but he would have not been cooped up, or experimented on–and hey, they probably would have taught him to drive one of their dune buggies.

How much does she look like Squeaky here? It isn’t just the hippie blouse and the bare feet. It’s a whole lot. (everything’s connected, remember) See?

Annnnd now you can’t unsee it. My work here is done.

generative grammar


Oh, and Nim only lived half his lifespan, thanks to all the mishandling, the bestiality, the experimental testing, etc. etc. But he doesn’t have a soul, right? Just an animal, right? Here’s a list of some of his four-word sentences from Terrence’s book:

  • Banana Nim banana Nim
  • Banana eat me Nim
  • Banana me Nim me
  • Banana me eat banana
  • Drink Nim drink Nim
  • Drink eat drink eat
  • Drink eat me Nim
  • Eat Nim eat Nim
  • Eat drink eat drink
  • Eat grape eat Nim
  • Eat me Nim drink
  • Grape eat Nim eat
  • Grape eat me Nim
  • Me Nim eat me
  • Me eat drink more
  • Me eat me eat
  • Me gum me gum
  • Nim eat Nim eat
  • Play me Nim play
  • Tickle me Nim play

‘scuse me while I go kick something inanimate.

Ending on a high note, thanks to pigeons (and because we can’t go out like that–a massive hit from my childhood, take it away, Bert!):

Bands from this episode:

  • Chimp Prison
  • Nim Chimpsky
  • Monkey Cop
  • Improv Monkey (one-hit wonder: “Yes And”)
  • Secret Chimp Release

Cultural references from this episode:

(and then there’s science:


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