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Jane Goodall Welcomes You to the Monkeyhouse!

11 Jun 2009

We listened to chimp expert Jane Goodall speak at the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong earlier tonight: about chimps, about our genetic and behavioral closeness to them, and about the inevitable link between the future of primates, of the environment, and of mankind.

Did you know that a chimp’s DNA only varies from a human’s by slightly more than 1%? We can receive blood transfusions from the cheeky little things; to be fair, some are hardly little — take the case of Frodo, who mauled a baby infant to death, and proceeded to eat it. He also boned his mom and had a kid, but we’ll leave that Oedipal tale for another day.

It being a hotel-provided buffet, we also drank our faces off. Gasping and bleary-eyed, we contemplated the irony of sitting in the glorious hotel to promote awareness of problems caused by large carbon footprints. What’s more, the charity auctions were, in essence, amusing moments of dick-measuring. Needless to say, sizable shlongs were waved about in the room.

This comes back to the Hong Kong style we saw during the June 4 Victoria Park protests: an odd, sometimes uncomfortable mixture of big money and small humanitarian steps. Is this the right way to go about things? Leader in the field of microfinance Muhammed Yunnus suggests in Creating a World Without Poverty that we can in fact do business and save the world at the same time. They aren’t mutually exclusive, right?

The champagne was good, there’s no denying it. What a life we lead!

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