Gorilla warfare

War has broken out among gorillas. This should upset anyone who recognises the animals as our simian siblings.

If we believe the Darwinists’ frank self-assessment, chimpanzees, gorillas and other primates are basically like us. They share most of our genetic material and, since genetic material is all there is to a human being, they’re human.

Therefore we expect the same moral standards to apply to our simian siblings, holding them to account whenever they embark on unprovoked military…

Oops, sorry. My wife has just looked over my shoulder and said I was going soft in the head. I should read, not just scan, newspapers. The article that set me on the wrong track talked about guerrilla, not gorilla, war.

Mea culpa. But the bloody words are pronounced the same way, so that’s an easy mistake to make, especially for a person using English second-hand.

But not only for such an outlander. Apparently, millions of native-born, mum-and-apple-pie Americans can make the same error. Tennis commentator Doug Adler found that out the hard way, by receiving a sacking notice from the broadcaster ESPN.

The former player was commentating on a match involving Venus Williams, who was thrashing her opponent. Taking creampuff second serves on the rise, Venus would chip them deep and charge the net to put away a volley.

This ‘chip and charge’ tennis is also known as ‘guerrilla effect’, which was how poor Doug put it. Not only is the term precise, but it’s also widespread, having been first popularised by a 1995 Nike commercial. For example, Tennis magazine has used the word to describe Agnieszka Radwanska’s playing.

However, there’s a chromatic difference between Radwanska and Williams. The former is white, while the latter, well, isn’t.

Obviously, every decent person must vigilantly watch out for the slightest affront to the dignity of black… sorry, Afro-American persons. Short of murder, a Euro-American (is that the correct term? one gets so terribly confused) can commit no worse crime than uttering a racist word.

Or one that can be construed as such by the most ignorant listener. That’s the nature of egalitarianism, isn’t it? Catering to the lowest possible denominator?

Of course it is. If a battalion marches at the pace of the slowest soldier, language should advance at the pace of its slowest user.

Why, a few years ago a New York councillor had to grovel publicly for having used the word ‘niggardly’ in a speech. House-trained victims of mandatory free education cried foul. They didn’t know the word ‘niggardly’, but they did know – and deplore! – the racial insult that has nothing to do with it outside some vague phonetic similarity.

As the councillor was tearfully pledging to expurgate that unfortunate word from his provocatively large vocabulary, libraries all over America were tossing out copies of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn, from which, according to Hemingway, all American literature had come.

Henceforth American literature can come from elsewhere. For the explicitly and emphatically anti-racist novel features a character called Nigger Jim, Huck’s friend and a runaway slave.

Twain was depicting the way people spoke in those days. He would have happily called his protagonist Afro-American Jim, but unfortunately the term didn’t exist then. And even if it had, the people inhabiting Twain’s pages wouldn’t have used it.

If an American classic and a respected NY politician are treated that way, what chance did poor Doug have? The words ‘snowball’ and ‘hell’ spring to mind.

Thus, when poor Doug referred to Venus’s guerrilla tactics, the racially aware, educationally challenged citizens screamed bloody murder. The word they heard wasn’t ‘guerrilla’. It was ‘gorilla’, the yob insult levelled at blacks by the kind of white trash who, in England, toss bananas onto the pitch when a black footballer touches the ball.

Now let’s assume that poor Doug is such a man. Let’s further assume that, on his days off, he stuffs his pockets full of bananas and goes out to harass blacks, calling them what Twain’s characters called the runaway slave Jim.

Even then he’d never use a simian slur on air, unless of course he decided to commit professional suicide – at best. At worst he’d be charged with inciting racial hatred or some such. It would have taken a madman to do that, which poor Doug isn’t.

This he proved by trying to mollify the care-share-be-aware mob braying for his blood. Please forgive me, pleaded poor Doug, though there’s really nothing to forgive.

For all I know, he might have undertaken never again to use, in any context, such racially insensitive words as ape, black, yellow, brown, Nigeria, niggle, muzzle or chink in the armour. Just to be on the safe side, he might have foresworn the word ‘neglect’ too.

In any case it didn’t help. ESPN summarily sacked poor Doug for his subliminal insensitivity. He’s now suing the broadcaster, claiming that the capital charge of racism has caused him “emotional distress”.

This whole affair causes me distress too, of the moral and cultural kind. Is there any Western country that shows courage in the face of ‘diversity’ by eschewing such monkey business? Can one emigrate there?

5 thoughts on “Gorilla warfare”

  1. “a New York councillor had to grovel publicly for having used the word ‘niggardly’ in a speech. House-trained victims of mandatory free education cried foul. They didn’t know the word ‘niggardly’,”

    Cheap and stingy. A word of Norse origin. But they THOUGHT the word was directed at them.

    Cumberbatch too just recently used the word colored. Meaning as the British might use the English word and American blacks were highly offended. Cumberbatch had to make mea culpa and quick too damnit!

    The New Zealand All Blacks. New Zealand national rugby team. Called the All Blacks because they wear all black uniforms. When touring [or going on a tour] South Africa during the apartheid era American blacks too thought the designation of All Blacks was an insult directed specifically at them.

    The beat goes on and on and always will so. “It is not so much reality that counts but the perception of reality that counts.” – J. Jackson. And walk on eggs constantly and do so carefully.

    1. Things have been made worse recently by the ease of perpetrating uninformed and intolerant emotional twaddle on the social media and in comments to news articles. Participation is made even easier for the really gormless because they are usually provided with a ‘like’ box to tick.

  2. “Is there any Western country that shows courage in the face of ‘diversity’ by eschewing such monkey business?” The scary thing, Mr.Boot, is that the U.S. is probably the country where freedom of speech matters more than anywhere else. I think you’d best remain in England for the moment.

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