The Fear of Monkeys - The Best E-Zine on the Web for Politically Conscious WritingThe Yellow Baboon - Issue Forty-Four
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Vervet Monkey  from Christiano Artuso The Yellow Baboon is an old world monkey which inhabits savannas and light forests in eastern Africa, from Kenya and Tanzania to Zimbabwe and Botswana. Like other baboons, they are omnivorous, with a preference for fruits; they also eat plants, leaves, seeds, grasses, bulbs, bark, blossoms and fungi, as well as worms, grubs, insects, spiders, scorpions, birds, rodents and small mammals. All species of baboons are highly opportunistic feeders and will eat virtually any food they can find. They have slim bodies with long arms and legs, and yellowish-brown hair. Their hairless faces are black, framed with white sideburns. Males can grow to about 84 cm, females to about 60 cm. They have long tails which grow to be nearly as long as their bodies. The average life span of the yellow baboon in the wild is roughly 15-20 years; some may live up to 30 years. They are diurnal, terrestrial, and live in complex, mixed-gender social groups of 8 to 200 individuals per troop. They use at least ten different vocalizations to communicate. When traveling as a group, males will lead, females and young stay safely in the middle, and less-dominant males bring up the rear. A baboon group's hierarchy is a serious matter, and some subspecies have developed behaviours intended to avoid confrontation and retaliation. For example, males may use infants as a kind of "passport" or shield for safe approach toward another male. One male will pick up the infant and hold it up as it nears the other male. This action often calms the other male and allows the first male to approach safely. They fulfill several functions in their ecosystem, not only serving as food for larger predators, but also dispersing seeds in their waste and through their messy foraging habits. They have been able to fill a variety of ecological niches, including places inhospitable to other animals, such as regions taken over by human settlement. Thus, they are one of the most successful African primates. However, their tendency to live near people also means they are considered pests. Raids on farmers' crops and livestock and other such intrusions into human settlements have made most baboons species subject to many organized extermination projects. Continued habitat loss forces more and more baboons to migrate toward areas of human settlement.


What George Floyd's Death Means - Or Should Mean - In Bangladesh


Iftekhar Sayeed

When Biswajit Das was murdered in broad daylight by ruling party student thugs, before cameras and journalists and TV crews who broadcast the images, the result was--INDIFFERENCE.

Fair enough.

He wasn't one of us. A tailor. He worked with his hands, not his brain.


When engineering student Abrar Farhad was beaten to death, again by ruling party student thugs, BUET (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology) students went on strike--then returned to their textbooks and classes.

We had two--at least two--golden opportunities to take the mask off our society, and expose the evil that it is. We could, and should, have gone back to our murderous founding fathers, like the Americans did, exposing how George Washington and his wife had 300 slaves, and that the father of the nation had had his rotten teeth replaced by teeth pulled from his slaves.

One comment from Washington Post: "There are those who say that Western civilization itself ought to be undone--that monuments to people such as these ought to be destroyed because of their participation in an endeavor that included global colonialism and racism.”

Our students are supposed to have a heroic record of truth-telling and fighting for the truth. HOGWASH.

The BUET students, like their parents, are interested in only one thing: money. They’re the cream of the crop, the IQ-wallahs, the child prodigies, the envy of us retards: Envy not the money-grubbers and knowledge-hucksters. The young are as corrupt as the elders. They never study useless subjects like philosophy or history because there's no money in it--even though the subjects are essential for understanding our time and our nation (not a single private university offers these courses).

These students, fresh out of high school, should have set a bonfire to the lying textbooks they had had to disgorge in school exams: the whole nation was behind them.

But it's not too late: We can learn from the American and Western experience of navel-gazing and soul-searching. We have a lot to be guilty of, there are too many facts we have ignored. Last week WaPo published the number of congressmen who owned slaves in the Great Republic. This will not stop. If we take a frank look at our present and past and communicate the ugliness that we see, stop glorifying our crimes and mistakes, one person at a time, quit following the herd...then we stand a chance.

Iftekhar Sayeed teaches English. He was born and lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He has contributed to The Danforth Review, Axis of Logic, Enter Text, Postcolonial Text, Southern Cross Review,, Left Curve, Mobius, Erbacce, Down In The Dirt, The Fear of Monkeys and other publications. Somewhat influenced by DHL, he likes to write about the pong of society, as well as its deodorant: He’s tempted at times to describe himself as, and feels himself to be, a pongographer. He is also a freelance journalist. He and his wife love to travel.


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