Monday, February 21, 2005

Shrink Blog

Psychology in the news!
Psychologists at Washington University in St. Louis have just published a study in SCIENCE Magazine, suggesting – the way scientists do – that human beings might actually have a sixth sense, warning us of trouble. Of course, being scientists, they do not attribute this sixth sense to a higher power, or a mystical process, but to the anterior cingulate cortex, which is apparently part of the brain. Who knew? Speaking personally, you had me at medulla oblongata.

And there’s a new book out, called The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (a Little) Craziness and (a Lot of) Success in America, by John D. Gartner, a psychotherapist and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University Medical School.

Crazy Rich
Its thesis is that the rich are indeed different from you and me: they’re nuts. Specifically, they’re hypomanics. Gartner writes, "Hypomanics are brimming with infectious energy, irrational confidence, and really big ideas. They think, talk, move, and make decisions quickly. Anyone who slows them down with questions 'just doesn't get it.' " Sounds like a White House Press Conference.

According to Slate Magazine, Gartner posits that we all be crazy. Perhaps “this nation of immigrants has a gene pool of hypomanics.” Americans may be "culturally and genetically predisposed to economic risk." That’s why I’m broke. It’s not my fault!

Meanwhile back at the zoo…
In the “Bad gorilla, no banana” department, it has come over the wires that two women are suing the foundation that cares for the famous gorilla Koko. According to Reuters, their lawyers claim “they were fired for refusing to show the animal their breasts.”

Yes, the lawsuit claims that "Through sign language… Koko 'demanded' plaintiffs remove their clothing and show Koko their breasts."

The mediary for this demand was president of the Gorilla Foundation, Francine Patterson, who interpreted Koko’s sign language, and – according to the lawsuit – “often discussed her employees' breasts with Koko.”

As I understand it, Koko’s vocabulary consists of roughly 1,000 words, which may be massive for a gorilla, but kind of skimpy if you’re going to have a breast discussion. At least that’s been my experience.

The suit also alleges that "On one ,,, occasion, Patterson said, 'Koko, you see my nipples all the time. You are probably bored with my nipples. You need to see new nipples. I will turn my back so Kendra can show you her nipples.’"

Poor bored Koko. Now, there was a restored scene in the original KING KONG, in which the Fay Wray-obsessed giant gorilla holds her in the palm of his hand, and gently removes her clothing, while gazing at at her lovingly. Has Koko seen this movie? You know, monkey see, monkey do.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ohh tell us some more bad gorilla no banana department stories please

10:27 AM  

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