Author Topic: Gorillas in Clown Suits  (Read 2912 times)

Hoopla!

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Gorillas in Clown Suits
« on: December 03, 2014, 01:18:27 pm »
So, as some might recall, RAW in one of his books talks about some nut going around tranquilizing gorillas, and then dressing them as clowns. 

I thought of that story this morning, and decided to dig around on the internet a bit.  Most references were back to RAW himself, except for one I found... in the Weekly World News.  Which, for those who are too young to remember, was a ridiculous tabloid: the one which invented Bat Boy.

So, now, my question is... did RAW use this story, not knowing it was likely 100% jive?  Did he use it, knowing it was 100% jive, but not anticipating search engines in the future?  Or, did he use this patently false story as a lesson in gullibility?

Or... none of the above?

Here's the link to the Weekly World News story, btw.
“Soon all of us will have special names” — Professor Brian O’Blivion

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Cain

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Re: Gorillas in Clown Suits
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2014, 04:00:14 pm »
What context did he talk about it in?  I can 100% see him mentioning it, knowing it was likely bullshit...on the other hand, I can also see him coming across it, forgetting the source, being reminded about it years later and treating it as legit.

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Re: Gorillas in Clown Suits
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2014, 04:15:48 pm »
On roughly the same topic, I remember RAW telling a story about a Floridian serial dog castrator who was dubbed "Castrato" by the media because he looked like Fidel Castro. I cant find sources anywhere, but I did read a HST article where he mentions it. Urban legend?

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Gorillas in Clown Suits
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2014, 04:16:13 pm »
It's probably good to keep in mind that while the internet is a fantastic database of information both real and false, by no means is all information on the internet.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Junkenstein

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Re: Gorillas in Clown Suits
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2014, 05:58:07 pm »
What context did he talk about it in?  I can 100% see him mentioning it, knowing it was likely bullshit...on the other hand, I can also see him coming across it, forgetting the source, being reminded about it years later and treating it as legit.

Pretty sure this was Cosmic Trigger 2/3? So I'd rate the idea of him knowing the source was famous for horseshit as reasonably good.


In the same vein there was also the UMMO (?) stuff, should check if that's continued.
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Re: Gorillas in Clown Suits
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2014, 11:44:37 pm »
It's probably good to keep in mind that while the internet is a fantastic database of information both real and false, by no means is all information on the internet.

Blasphemy.
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Hoopla!

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Re: Gorillas in Clown Suits
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2014, 11:36:07 pm »
What context did he talk about it in?  I can 100% see him mentioning it, knowing it was likely bullshit...on the other hand, I can also see him coming across it, forgetting the source, being reminded about it years later and treating it as legit.

Alright, I found which book he wrote about this.  It's a little embarrassing; especially after that goddam noun thing the other day, but I'm a big boy and can admit my mistakes.

It's from pages 84-86 of Cosmic Trigger Volume III, and he cites his source immediately. So, yeah.  But! his source ended up being Fortean Times, which isn't exactly the most reliable source.  Fortean Times allegedly cited the Coventry Evening Telegraph, from February 24 1994, for the story.  On top of this RAW says that in February 1995 he heard on KPIG 107.5 that the clowning was continuing.

However, as to how much he believed, or didn’t… I was thumbing through the rest of Cosmic Trigger Volume III, and he peppers the book with several stories throughout which strain credulity, clearly as an exercise in his favorite topic: “model agnosticism”.

And, Nigel was absolutely right, as usual, because none of that information came up to me when searching on the web for it.
“Soon all of us will have special names” — Professor Brian O’Blivion

"Now's not the time to get silly, so wear your big boots and jump on the garbage clowns." — Bob Dylan?

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes" — Walt Whitman

Doktor Howl

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Re: Gorillas in Clown Suits
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2014, 01:26:43 pm »
I am bitterly disappointed.   :cry:
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Hoopla!

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Re: Gorillas in Clown Suits
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2014, 03:55:33 pm »
The thing is... I wasn't aware the Weekly World News even bothered trying to report genuine news. So RAW effectively has me in a place where I'm now genuinely unsure if this event actually took place.

Checkmate, you sneaky old bastard.
“Soon all of us will have special names” — Professor Brian O’Blivion

"Now's not the time to get silly, so wear your big boots and jump on the garbage clowns." — Bob Dylan?

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes" — Walt Whitman

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Re: Gorillas in Clown Suits
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2014, 04:27:10 pm »
So, the thing is, although the Weekly World News is far from a credible source, the incident itself is far more plausible than may initially meet the eye, but not at all in any way that's funny. Consider the political situation in Kampala, Uganda in 1994 , and how the gorillas had come to symbolize Western interference thanks in large part to Dian Fossey. If it happened (and it's ringing a distant bell, one that has something to do with a book I read last year) it is not unlikely that the gorilla(s) in question were not tranquilized, but killed, and it is equally likely that it was not a joke, but a threatening message directed at Fossey... although I can find no records of gorilla poaching in Uganda between 1989 and 1999.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Hoopla!

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Re: Gorillas in Clown Suits
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2014, 04:40:33 pm »
Fossey was already dead by 1994, so it seems unlikely the message would be directed at her. And there is a huge difference between someone tranquilizing apes and killing them.

BUT.

That may be the key to the whole thing, because what you say makes sense... Uganda seems like it would be a dangerous place to start an art project, just for kicks. So it stands to reason that there is more to this story than was originally implied.

Perhaps, and this conjecture here, this is somehow pointing out that the actual killing of gorillas isn't newsworthy, but tranquilizing them and painting them like clowns somehow is.

It's also worth noting that RAW didn't really present the story as a joke, but simply bizarre.
“Soon all of us will have special names” — Professor Brian O’Blivion

"Now's not the time to get silly, so wear your big boots and jump on the garbage clowns." — Bob Dylan?

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes" — Walt Whitman

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Gorillas in Clown Suits
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2014, 04:42:17 pm »
Fossey was already dead by 1994, so it seems unlikely the message would be directed at her. And there is a huge difference between someone tranquilizing apes and killing them.

BUT.

That may be the key to the whole thing, because what you say makes sense... Uganda seems like it would be a dangerous place to start an art project, just for kicks. So it stands to reason that there is more to this story than was originally implied.

Perhaps, and this conjecture here, this is somehow pouting out that the actual killing of gorillas isn't newsworthy, but tranquilizing them and painting them like clowns somehow is.

It's also worth noting that RAW didn't really present the story as a joke, but simply bizarre.

I couldn't remember what year she died.

Nonetheless, if it happened it was probably a political message, especially considering the 1999 slaughter of 8 tourists who came to see the gorillas.

By 1994, killings of gorillas were pretty heavily covered, so I question my own suggestion that if it happened the gorilla was probably killed.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2014, 04:44:10 pm by Mesozoic Mister Nigel »
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Hoopla!

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Re: Gorillas in Clown Suits
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2014, 04:43:13 pm »
Fossey was already dead by 1994, so it seems unlikely the message would be directed at her. And there is a huge difference between someone tranquilizing apes and killing them.

BUT.

That may be the key to the whole thing, because what you say makes sense... Uganda seems like it would be a dangerous place to start an art project, just for kicks. So it stands to reason that there is more to this story than was originally implied.

Perhaps, and this conjecture here, this is somehow pouting out that the actual killing of gorillas isn't newsworthy, but tranquilizing them and painting them like clowns somehow is.

It's also worth noting that RAW didn't really present the story as a joke, but simply bizarre.

I couldn't remember what year she died.

Nonetheless, if it happened it was probably a political message, especially considering the 1999 slaughter of 8 tourists who came to see the gorillas.

I agree completely. It's the most economical answer.
“Soon all of us will have special names” — Professor Brian O’Blivion

"Now's not the time to get silly, so wear your big boots and jump on the garbage clowns." — Bob Dylan?

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes" — Walt Whitman