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Posted 05/07/2007

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Chimps Get Tough, Drop 'Panzee' from Name, Image

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Los Angeles, CA-- By using a calculated public relations campaign, chimp activists hope to change public perception of chimpanzees from fun-loving and cuddly creatures to forces with which to be reckoned. This move by a powerful group of Common Chimps (aka Pan troglodyte) deepens the divide between themselves and their less-prominent brothers the Pigmy Chimps (aka Pan paniscus). By distancing themselves from their smaller brethren, Common Chimps hope to gain more respect from humans.

"There are many key differences between Common Chimps and Pygmy Chimps," said Scientist John H. Crabtree. "Common Chimps are omnivorous and hunt as a pack of beta males which are led by an alpha male. That is a much more macho reality than the Pygmy Chimp culture, which is matriarchal in nature and mostly herbivorous."

By officially changing their name to "chimps" the primates hope to de-emphasize the elements of their image that show weakness and emphasize the parts of Common Chimp culture that exude strength.

The group behind this publicity campaign calls itself Common Chimps Countering Panzee Image (CCCP Image). CCCP Image is lead by an alpha male chimp who goes by the name of Casanova Stalin.

Casanova Stalin spoke to Generally Awesome through a chimp interpreter who translated his words into chimp sign language. The message was then translated by a human researcher from chimp sign language into English.

"Some people ask why we care to be different than our pygmy chimp relatives," Stalin explained. "Most people don’t realize that this group also goes by the name Bonobo. That is a name that exudes weakness. Therefore we want to create a high level of separation between Common Chimps and these Pan paniscus wimps, a greater level of demarcation than the Congo River alone can provide."

The CCCP Image leader also pointed out that Pygmy chimps tended to walk more upright than Common Chimps. The brutish image of the hunched over male, he said was a desirable symbol of male toughness that his own group embraces.

"Through films, television and print media, as well advertising, chimps have come to be seen as fun-loving and carefree," Stalin told GA. "The fact is we can be fun-loving, but we can also be totally deadly. In that way we are much like ninjas. Additionally, we are 10 times as strong as the average human male."

The group plans to use the internet and web 2.0 technology to try and counteract the damage to their image that has been perpetrated by use of traditional mass media.

Here are some specifics plans: Spread a video footage of championship chimps trained in the martial arts. Produce more films with chimps practicing extreme sports. Set-up social networking site profiles and list only the most tough and extreme activities as interests and points of discussion. Form heavy metal band where all members are chimps. Create on-line dating services to match the most tough chimps from each gender to produce even tougher next-generation chimps.

CHIMP Image points to Jane Goodall as the culprit behind the move to put a soft and cuddly face onto chimp culture. Motivated by a desire to increase funding and awareness, the group says, Goodall omitted the more tough elements of the culture and focused only on the gentle side of chimp life. By putting a cute face on the chimp, Goodall was able to persuade the public that these majestic animals are worthy of preservation and research.

"We are offend by the preposterous notion that chimps need the protection of humans. We have fended for ourselves for thousands of year without man’s help," said Stalin.


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