The Fear of Monkeys - The Best E-Zine on the Web for Politically Conscious WritingRed-Shanked Douc - Issue Thirty-One
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Purple-faced Langur from  Bjørn Christian Tørrissen - Own work by uploader, The Red shanked Douc is a colourful Old World monkey which sports maroon-red "stockings" and white forearm length gloves above black hands and feet. The golden face is framed by a white ruff, which is considerably fluffier in males. The eyelids are a soft powder blue. The tail is white with a triangle of white hair at the base. Males of all ages have a white spot on both sides of the corners of the rump patch, and red and white genitals. The red-shanked douc is thought to be found only in north and central Vietnam and Laos. They are an arboreal and diurnal monkey that eats and sleeps in the trees of the forest and are found in a variety of habitats: from lowland to mountainous terrain up to 2,000 m, deciduous, primary and secondary rainforests, in the mid to upper levels of the canopy. Its diet consists mostly of leaves high in fibers and they prefer to eat small, young and tender leaves, but they will also eat fruit like figs, buds, petioles, flowers, bamboo shoots and seeds. A long, slender monkey, the male has an average head and body length of 61 cm, and the female averages 54.5 cm long, with a tail that measures 55.8-76.2 cm. Males weigh on average 11 kg, and females 8.44 kilograms. Females reach sexual maturity at about 4 years, while the males reach it at 4-5 years. They have a lifespan of about 25 years. Although noisy when untroubled, they can flee soundlessly through the trees and away from danger if startled. In contrast to their noisy travel, doucs spend most of their time quietly eating, digesting their bulky food, dozing and grooming each other's fur. Before mating, both genders give a sexual signal with the jaw forward, eyebrows raised and then lowered, and a head-shake. The female makes the first move, lying face-down on a branch, eyeing her chosen mate by looking over her shoulder. The male returns with a stare and may turn to look at another spot he considers more suitable for mating. Mating takes place from August to December. The pregnancy lasts between 165 and 190 days, resulting in the birth of a single offspring just before fruiting season of some favorite foods. Twins are very rare. The young are born with their eyes wide open and they cling to their mothers instinctively. In captivity, other group members may look after an infant, and other females may even suckle it. In one study, an orphaned infant was fed by two females in the group and also cared for by a male. They are threatened throughout their limited range by habitat destruction and hunting. Native people hunt it for food and body parts, which are used in traditional medicine. There is also a very lucrative and illegal wildlife trade for the red-shanked douc. During the Vietnam War, their habitat was heavily bombed and sprayed with defoliants like Agent Orange.


Did You Ever Wonder?


B. Craig Grafton

Did you ever wonder why all those TV commercials are reduced to slogans of just three to five words? Think about it. You see them all the time on TV, McDonald's 'I'm lovin it,' Arby's 'We have the meats,' and the classic that started it all Wendy's memorable 'Where's the beef?'' Fast food, fast commercials.

But it's not just fast food companies that use them. Car manufacturers especially rely on them, 'Let's go places,' and 'Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,' You can't get any simpler than zoom, zoom, zoom, one word three times. Genius. But what is really genius today is that car commercials mix politics into their slogans like 'Empower the Drive.' If we can empower women, then by God we can empower drivers too. And don't forget "Driving Matters.' Duh where'd the heck that one come from? Out of left field? Finally did you ever notice that car slogans always attach themselves to the upcoming holiday season. So at Christmas time we get, 'A December to Remember,' a rhyming slogan. That's good. Rhymes are good. For as we all know, "rhymes bind the mind from the ridiculous to the sublime." *

Which brings us up to an HNL, a Hole Nother Level, those rhyming catchy jingles like 'Nationwide is on your side.' A masterpiece of commercial musical composition if there ever was one. Five words, a rhyme, and a catchy tune all rolled into one nonstop song that plays over and over again on the broken record player of your mind so that you can't stop singing or humming that stupid song all day long.

Now sometimes slogans exceed the five word limit like, 'Better ingredients, better pizza, Papa John's.'' Six words but three phrases. Still not a good idea. Pushing the envelope. Gets one to thinking. Better ingredients? Better ingredients than what? Last week's, last year's, or the other guy's? And who in the hell is the other guy and what ingredients did he use? Too many words kills a commercial.

That's why politicians also use three word campaign slogans.They don't want the voters to stop and think. Heaven forbid! Think of Obama's slogans. Remember this man is a Harvard graduate and a lawyer. 'Yes We Can,' and 'Hope and Change.' The voters swallowed those sugar-coated concoctions hook, line, and sinker. No wonder he's the smartest man in America.

Well the list of slogans could go on and on and by now I'm sure you the reader are stopping to see how many you can come up with. But you can bet your sweet bippy, that is if you still have one. Don't know what a bippy is? Well look it up. That's what the internet is for. Just remember that it's another four word phrase. Anyway you can bet your sweet bippy that nothing will change. That's the way it always has been and the way it always will be 'world without end amen.' So really there's no reason at all to wonder about why three to five word slogans are used. It's simple. Simple like a commercial. The answer has always been with us. That great wit of a man H. L. Mencken gave it to us many years ago when he so brilliantly proclaimed, "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public." And if that's too long of a sentence for you to comprehend or understand just remember these four little words, that's right four, four words, 'keep it simple stupid.' KISS if you can't remember that. And above all else let us never forget, 'All Slogans Matter.'

*This is not a quote from a great writer, poet, or philosopher. I made it up and because it sounds so profound I thought it deserved its own footnote.

B. Craig Grafton is a retired attorney. His books, An Old West Texas Attorney and the 8:10 to Chicago and An Old West Texas Attorney: The Apache Custody Case, The Fort Davis Black Sox Scandal, Finding Jesus, Texas Roulette, and Cowhide have been published by Outlaws Publishing under his pen name Bryan Grafton and are available on Amazon.
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