Prindle Of The Apes
June 7, 2007
Prindle Of The Apes
This is a snapshot of the world as it appeared to one man c. 1960. This was all before the technological advances of the late 70s wiped the old world off the map.
If the reader was born after 1955 it may seem that I am describing a foreign country which in many ways I am.
But, as the wise man said, an unexamined life is not worth living. I hope you like my little memoir such as it is.
Prindle Of The Apes
…he dreams of the sight
of Zulu impis
breaking on their foes
like surf upon the rocks
and his heart rises in rebellion
against the strict limits
of the civilized life.
H. Rider Haggard
from Allan Quatermain
It was the Big Bwana.
Tarzan And The Ant Men
The layers of Prindle’s education as he began his adult life were many. As with no other earlier generation his nervous system had to be organized to differentiate many different forms of experience. Primal of course was the living of his own life: what may be called objective reality. Mixing with his real live memories into a subjective reality in a manner in which they had to be compartmentalized were many forms of pseudo-experience. There was radio which in Prindle’s early life in the forties and fifties was composed of real life news and current events, fictional radio dramas by night, soap operas by day and the fantasy world of pop music. After the advent of Top 40 music radio his listening world converted to the psycho-sexual wailings of the psychologically wounded who made pop music.
The fiction of movies, animated films and the real life portrayals of the news reels entered his mind where they had to be stored and differentiated from his real life experiences as well as categorized as truth or fiction or a combination of the two.
Television added another several dimensions of experience to his young mind. For the first time he could watch actual events as they happened in far off locations like New York or Washington and after the introduction of the coaxial cable about 1950 he could watch or listen to real time events on the West Coast a full three times zones away. What was happening in daylight on the West Coast was relayed to the nighttime Eastern Standard Time.
Thus he could watch an LA Rams game live or view the Kefauver organized crime investigations and the demise of the demigod, Joe McCarthy in the Army hearings.
He watched the Bill Paley/Edward R. Murrow character assassination of McCarthy from which Big Joe had no defense or recourse.
And then there was the printed word. Newspapers and magazines poured out an endless stream of matter of which so much seemed of such timeless quality that he swore he would never forget it. He read the daily poem of Edgar A. Guest which entranced him by the seeming facility of composition while he was disgusted by the maudlin content. Yet day after day, month after month, year after year a new poem of creditable quality appeared.
There were the comic strips of the papers and the comic books of super heroes that stood in large stacks until his mother threw them away. What did any mother ever know? He didn’t understand why but then how much ephemera can one boy, let alone a family, accumulate.
And then there was that great body of literature called Juvenilia. Some was truly drivel like the beloved Hardy Boys written as mere enterainment for immature minds. Yet much of it was great literature which had been degraded over the decades to be considered suitable for juveniles. Not least of these were Dumas’ Three Musketeers and Scott’s Ivanhoe both among the greatest creations of literature. Not that Prindle understood these complex works except on the action level but he was to return to them more than once in the succeeding years.
He read the pulps regularly, magazines printed on the cheapest pulp paper. He read them all: Westerns, Science Fiction (lots and lots of Science Fiction), Detective and True Romance as well as Argosy and True Magazines. His mind was well stocked with the incredible and fantastic yet he never confused fiction with reality. His intellectual life was a feast. The wonder of it all.
The greatest of all his early reading was the stuff that was the staple of B movies. L. Frank Baum, Conan Doyle’s great detective hero Sherlock Holmes who actually exists in most people’s minds on the cusp between fiction and reality. And of course, the one, the only, the most incredible hero of all times: Tarzan Of The Apes.
Around the figure of Tarzan formed the immense and important psychological complex of the Dark Continent. The very heart of darkness, the Africa of both fact and fiction.
He imbibed the mystery of Africa that was no longer believable after the watershed year of 1960 when what was over ended and what would be began. A whole aspect of the education of Prindle became obsolete and slid to the ground like one of the towers of the World Trade Center. There was no better obituary for the European past in Africa than Alan Moorehead’s fine recapitulation issued in that year under the title of ‘The White Nile.’
One associates the history of White rule in Africa as being several hundreds of years in duration so Prindle was astonished to learn that central Africa only came under European dominion between 1860 and 1900. The Scramble For Africa. In fact two life spans of sixty years each bridged the entire era. The whole period could be encompassed by the memories passed down to no more than three generations. In 1960 one man could have remembered the whole history of European discovery and annexation from the Scramble till then.
One of the natives standing in one of those National Geographic photos of 1920 could tell the whole story. At least from his point of view. He would be unable to tell of the impact of Africa on the White Man.
The Heart Of Darkness.
The savage primitiveness of Africa and its art made a deep impression on the European psyche ripping asunder several layers of civilized overburden to reveal the primitive origins of its naked self. At the time this was called ‘the thin veneer of civilization.’ The primal call of the wild beckoned to White men with irresistibility.
The bizarre untutored art of African tribes invaded the European subconscious to call forth wondrous responses. The crude wooden images, the strong primal masks, the scrawled designs all roused the subliminal imagination of Europeans.
About 1960 a recording of a mass by Blacks titled: The Missa Luba, performed by the Luba people of the Lower Congo took White Bohemia by storm. The combination of the primitive Luba recitation and the sophistication of the Catholic Mass was a stunning performance that seemed to unite the subconscious mind of Africa with the conscious mind of the White man. The power of the Missa Luba is undeniable. It is as moving today as it was in 1960.
Beginning in 1959 the Nigerian Ibo writer, Chinua Achebe, writing from the African point of view describes the designs drawn on the bodies of women as beautiful. To a Western eye they merely appear as rude but interesting squiggles. Go through some Geographics of the twenties.
The great explorers wrote the books describing the discovery or rediscovery of the source of the White Nile from which Moorehead drew his account. the great books by Burton, Speke and H.M. Stanley had appealed strongly to an earlier generation of writers. At the fount of imaginative novels of the mysteries of the Dark Continent stood the fantastic H. Rider Haggard. Himself a onetime resident of Natal, South Africa for several years, Haggard’s triumverate of African novels, King Solomon’s Mines, She and Allan Quatermain set the trend of an Africa full of undiscovered valleys, deserts and moutain ranges that could only be reached, even if only in your imagination, by the most intrepid or desperate of travelers. Strange places that time forgot still lived according to the ways of some distant epoch often prehistoric.
Africa was still mysterious and unknown when Haggard began to write in 1885. Central Africa had not yet been explored. General Gordon was making his last stand at Khartoum. Explorers outfitted themselves for treks into Africa at the then legendary Abercrombie and Fitch store in New York City as they sat around explorer’s clubs just before setting out. After his terms as President ending in 1908 Teddy Roosevelt trekked across Africa shooting at anything that moved, big game or small.
I don’t know whether his trek fired the imagination of the greatest of the novelists of Africa but in 1912 Edgar Rice Burroughs began the series chronicling the adventures of the Big Bwana himself, Tarzan Of The Apes.
Tarzan Of The Apes found a place in the imagination of every American male from the series’ inception to the watershed year of 1960 when he was replaced by the Lord Of The Flies. That was a significant transition from what was to what was to be.
Burroughs himself has never had his place in American literature and psychology recognized. From 1912 to his death in 1950 thirty-eight years later Burroughs turned out a total of 22 Tarzan books as well as dozens of other titles.
His creation Tarzan created a life for Burroughs as incredible as the Big Bwana’s. Tarzan’s success in books and movies was such a bonanza for Burroughs that he was able to found a city named after his hero in the San Fernando Valley of California named Tarzana.
In the light of racial events after 1960 the name is ironic, for Tarzan in Burroughs’ invented lingo means White from Tar and skin from from Zan. Must be a joke in Tar meaning White. Tarzan is named White Skin while Tarzana would therefore mean White Skin City. An amusing fact.
Burroughs was very fortunate to begin writing just as the movies came into prominence. Tarzan was a natural for the screen. Many silent movies featuring various Tarzans were made.
The movies incidentally rescued Rider Haggard who had fallen on hard times of destitution.
Burroughs had a marvelous facility for incorporating current developments into his novels. While Rider Haggard relied on time worn themes of Esoterica for his stories Burroughs was very up to date on the latest scientific discoveries. This was sometimes woven into the story completely unawares to the reader such as his answer to the Freudian interpretation of dreams in 1919’s Jungle Tales Of Tarzan. Only after finishing the passage does one realize what one has just read.
This was often done in fantastic juxtapositions. In Tarzan Lord Of The Jungle of 1928 Jim Blake a contemporary New york executive on a photo shoot safari gets lost somewhere North of Victoria Falls where he enters a hidden valley populated by descendants of the Third Crusade of Richard I who became lost ending up in this hidden valley. Finding them dressed in Templar chain mail Blake asks them to lead him to their Director. He has confused an authentic seven hundred year old Knight Templar society with extras from a movie set.
Of course by 1928 Burroughs was very familiar with movie sets of Tarzan. With the advent of sound in 1927 the Tarzan that Prindle’s generation knew was about to hit the screen. The great Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller assumed the role as sound came into existence. This truly Tarzanic figure epitomized the great Tarmangani. Mangani- ape in Burroughs’ talk, Tar= White, Tarmangani, white ape. The role was adapted to feature Weissmuller’s swimming acrobatics. Crocodile fights became much more common.
Weissmuller perfected the triumphant victory cry of the Great Bull Ape which every boy tried to emulate and perfect. Even today the icon of victory is that the victor puts his right foot on the body of his dead victim, beats his breasts with both fists and yodels out the cry of the great bull ape. The jungle was relatively quiet until Tarzan arrived.
Many hours were spent in basements and attics as boys practiced the famous yell. Many were the discussions and arguments over who had mastered it and who hadn’t.
Even movie heroes grow old so it became necessary for Weissmuller to retire. The fierce competition for the job went to a guy named Lex Barker who nobody had ever heard of. Most of us turned our backs on Barker. His own successors in the fifties never had a chance. I didn’t even know there were successors at the time. The role is still assumed but it is just not the same.
The age of exploration was over; social conditions prevented the notion of the Great White Ape ruling over a Black Africa and living on. Dracula, Frankenstein, the Phantom Of The Opera and Sherlock Holmes had long successful careers before them but the Great White Ape vanished like the legendary Africa of old. (Revived on Broadway since I wrote this essay.)
Still, Edgar Rice Burroughs succeeded in creating a mythic character who could take his place alongside the timeless emanations of the subconscious. Few creations have. Homer hit the groove sharp as a knife in the Iliad. The knights of Arthur’s Round Table fill the need. Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes gratifies the itch in spades. Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolf Man and The Mummy rank with H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man. They fill specific but limited areas of the subconscious but Tarzan Of The Apes encapsulates the psychic needs of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth. A new or improved expositor of the faith is needed now.
No matter that so much of Tarzan is implausible not counting finding Crusaders in contemporary Africa. If one looks closely at Tarzan swinging through ‘the middle terraces’ of the trees of the jungle faster than you and I can sprint a hundred one wonders why no branches impede his swings on his trusty grass rope. While monkeys chatter in the ‘upper terraces’ Tarzan swings through the ‘middle terraces’ to escape an arboreal panther.
But to examine the problem of ‘the middle terraces’ is to miss the point. It is like searching for the historical Arthur and the locations of his twelve battles or trying to find Sherlock Holmes address at 221B Baker Street.
Perhaps Arthur and his twelve battles did exist but they have no bearing on the story. Prindle has stood across the street from the approximate address of Holmes on Baker Street but the reality bears no relationship to the fiction. Prindle looked at the windows across the street for Dr. Moriarty and his air gun but could find no evidence the arch villain had ever been there.
So Prindle disregarded the difficulties of the middle terrace and all other difficulties. He just allowed Burroughs to amaze him. Prindle only read seven of the earliest novels. Over the years the stories and plot lines faded from his mind. He remembered only a few details of the stories and often those inaccurately.
What did stick with him was a vision of Africa. What affected him although the notions had slipped through his conscious mind into the subconscious were the beliefs and ideals of Burroughs as placed in the Tarzan stories.
Tarzan was a very scrupulous man of high ideals. While others might stoop to skullduggery to achieve their ends Tarzan never did. He faced every problem squarely, solved it and acted on the highest principles.
Prindle ‘remembered’ many maxims which he was able to repeat verbatim although he had no idea not only where he got them but that they weren’t his own original thoughts. There were half a dozen from Sherlock Holmes that were actual guidelines for his life. Chief among them was Holmes dictum that whenever you eliminate the impossible whatever remains must be the truth no matter how improbable. Prindle repeated the dictum constantly as his own not knowing where it came from. In rereading Holmes in later life he was startled to come across these dicta word for word.
One of the most astonishing remembrances not from Tarzan but from the movie ‘The Incredible Shrinking Man’ which he saw in 1957 almost shattered him. Prindle had had a dream in which a spectacular image had occurred to him which seemed so original that he was amazed at himself. In the dream the detail was that he was standing before two men holding up a huge Gordian Knot on a large dowel. Standing in front of them Prindle’s only way to cut the knot was to manipulate a huge pair of scissors. The scissors were so large that he could barely raise the handles from the ground let alone open them to cut the knot.
He asked for help from the two men but all they did was hold the knot higher and shake it. Dream Prindle put the scissors under his right arm and leaned on them like a crutch.
This unusual image struck him as something entirely original of which he was very proud. However on reviewing the Incredible Shrinking Man he came across a scene in which The Shrinking Man is battling a spider. The Man is of the size where a needle is an appropriately sized means of defense. On the table beside him is a spool of thread and a pair of small child’s scissors. He drops the needle off the edge dangling from the string. He then tries to use these now huge scissors to cut the string which he cannot do.
Thus this image worked away in Trueman’s subconscious to emerge transformed as an impossible solution to his own psychological problem twenty-five years later. Prindle was forced to ask himself; Is anything truly of one’s own making?
Tarzan in any size, and in Tarzan And The Ant Men he was shrunk to minature, or situation would have been superior to anyone and ever triumphant. He was always magnanimous. Having experienced the entire range of existence from beast to civilized man he never ill treated the African natives or even the prehistoric men and women he met along the way. The Blacks or Gomangani (Go = Black, Mangani = apes) may have been primitive savages but they were worthy of respect as men in every way. The same attitude was true of Rider Haggard. Neither he himself nor his heroes ever referred to Blacks as Niggers.
Haggard’s hero, Henry Curtis, in King Soloman’s Mines even goes native in battle donning the Black’s headdress and gear to take his place in the Black army’s ranks where of course he proved that with or without the veneer of civilization the Englishman was best of all warriors.
The Blacks may have been almost another species but they were always thought of and treated as men among men. This was quite in contrast to Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness in which the Blacks were seen as sub-human.
In Burroughs’ fantastic Africa the Black natives were only one of many species of hominids. Burroughs himself was very widely read, educated on the up to the minute scientific theories. He was well versed in evolution. He seemed to intuit that there were many vanished varieties of hominids and he peopled his Africa with them back in those hidden valleys.
In Tarzan The Terrible Burroughs has a cave man riding a Tricertops like Alley Oop of the Funnies plus two varieties of tailed monkey-like hominids that undoubtedly came before the cave man but were more highly developed. Of course there is the crown of creation Tarzan himself. As is habitual with Burroughs he introduces the present into the prehistoric past bringing World War I into it with a struggle between a German officer and Tarzan for Jane. Son Jack and his rifle are also on the way. All this going on in a land that time not only forgot but never imagined.
Prindle recalled none of these details but they prepared his mind to deal with scientific realities when it became necessary for him to resolve the issues in his own mind.
The balance tipped in the watershed year of 1960.
Whites and Blacks presented an insoluble problem to any thinking person coming of age in 1960. That there was and had been racial inequality was an undeniable fact. Prior to 1960 however the general consensus was and had been that racial equality was based on fact and not prejudice. Tarzan had, of course, treated all people of good will well regardless of race as deserving of respect. Underlying his feelings as well as those of American society was the notion that White people were the crown of creation while the yellow and Black peoples, poor fellows, were in fact evolutionarily inferior. The Whites were Bwanas to the lower races and Tarzan in Burroughs’ words was the Big Bwana.
Not their fault so no reason to condemn them but rather to pity them. They were, in fact, ‘the White Man’s burden.’
Prindle never took anyone’s word for anything so he neither sided with those who said all men were in fact created equal or those who said White men were created superior. The question was one to be decided at some future time. The two avenues open to him were personal observation and experience and study.
Of the Negroes with which he came into contact he saw that they were quick at learning manual skills like football and basketball but when it came to perceiving general principles and applying them there seemed to be something lacking in their minds that prevented them from making connections. Not that Blacks couldn’t take an item and perceive different uses for it than that for which it was intended but they failed to understand the underlying principle.
This was true in all fields of endeavor, they seemed unable to move from the specific to the general on their own initiative.
When, looking at Blacks in their home environment of Africa it was obvious that from the moment Homo Sapiens evolved from the Last Hominid Predecessor to the beginning of the nineteenth century when Africa fell under the White Man’s dominion that Blacks had made no advances from the Stone Age. They had merely matured as Stone Age peoples.
They had never discovered the wheel, they had no writing, they had no metallurgy, no plow had broken the African plain, they had nothing but the most primitive social organization. They were in fact untutored savages.
This fact was somewhat puzzling to Prindle as everwhere else in the world with the exception of the aborigines of Australia and the various tribes in backward areas every people had advanced up the ladder of civilization. In fact the most advanced was the White civilization of Euroamerica; regretable to many but undeniable to all.
Whether White guilt prevented acknowledging the fact or not, it was so. The Peace Corps of 1961 created by Kennedy tacitly observed that truth. White superiority was so in every field of endeavor from art and literature to science and mathematics. There was no other people that competed with the White race most especially they of Africa.
Prindle could offer no explanation in 1960 at the age of twenty-two so we will have to use the year 1960 as a fulcrum balancing the past with the future.
A Nigerian Ibo writer began his literary career in 1959 when he published a book entitled ‘Things Fall Apart.’ Chinua Achebe began to explain the Black point of view of what happened when Black and White culture collided in his part of Africa. He directed his polemics at the West as he was from Southern Christian Nigeria and not the Moslem North.
He is not very explicit as to time, dates and location but it gradually emerges from his corpus that his home was on the coast in Eastern Nigeria. The times he describes seem to be between 1910 and 1930. As was Prindle’s experiences with the American Blacks Achebe doesn’t seem to be able to relate the specific to the general; in other words, he has no science. He has a wealth of carefully selected detail but no penetration.
Insofar as the details he does use they appear to be the same as those noted by White observers but seen from the other side. The photos of Africa taken in the 1920s and 1930s which portray a completely primitive people with bizarre body piercing, strange ornaments and squiggly designs on their bodies, strange scars and tattoos are seen as beautiful and exquisite by Achebe. Truly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
While reading Achebe late in life Prindle’s ideas
formed in his early life were merely reinforced. He could see no reason to change opinions of Africans so eloquently expressed in Mooerhead’s White Nile. Those opinions were edited out in later editions to conform to subsequent notions. Nevertheless subsequent events in Zimbabwe, South Africa and elsewhere merely reconfirmed Prindle’s earlier opinions.
Nor were contacts with Europeans of the nineteenth century the first outside contacts Africans had made. As Moorehead pointed out a map prepared by the Greek geographer Ptolemy in 150 AD clearly and with very reasonable accuracy depicted sub-Saharan Africa from West Africa to Central and East Africa. The course of the Niger in West Africa was accurately shown minus the effluent which remained a mystery until the nineteenth century when the Niger was related to the Oil Rivers at the Bight of Benin. The true course of the White Nile was also depicted although the strong arrogance of academic European scholars forbade their acknowledging the accuracy of any of the ancient writers.
Ptolemy’s information came from Greek traders who penetrated Central Africa from the area of future Zanzibar so we may assume that ancient intercourse with Central Africa had been going on for centuries. Yet African developed little or technology.
The same is true with West Africa for Herodotus records a Libyan expedition which occurred well before his time of c. 450 BC.
The Romans built roads across the Sahara that were well trafficked.
After the ancients the Arab slave traders made descents on Africa continually for perhaps two thousand years or more. Black slaves are common in the Arabian Nights depicting a time of 700-800 AD. By the time Europeans came into conflict with the Arab slavers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the slavers were all Moslems.
This fact gave Trueman matter to wrestle with as American Blacks decried the slave trade as something peculiarly American. In fact slavery had been endemic to Africa from time immemorial. In Chinua Achebe’s story ‘Things Fall Apart’ he makes no mention of Moslem slavers or indigenous slavery dealing only with European slavers.
Yet from c1500 to 1830 African slave raiders abducted untold numbers of Europeans from Mediterranean shores who disappeared into the Dark Continent never to be seen again.
The European slave trade was in existence only a couple hundred years after which shame made them abandon the trade. By the time Europeans came into contact with Moslems in Africa they had abolished the slave trade amongst themselves now taking what must have appeared as a hypocritical stance to Moslems in attempting to force them to desist from slaving.
As inhumane as the European slave trade may have been it was peanuts compared to the inhuman attitude of the Moslems. Anyone who has read The Arabian Nights must be struck by the contemptuous attitude of the Moslems toward Blacks. This was certainly reflected in their methods of capture and transportation.
Moorehead quotes Stanley’s account of the great slave roundup he witnessed after he met Livingstone. The Moslem slavers opened fire on the Blacks like Teddy Roosevelt opening fire on the fauna of Africa slaughtering many while dozens of others who took to the river to escape drowned. Once captured the Blacks were marched yoked together hands tied behind their backs for a thousand miles to the coast.
Once there they were packed into decks only eighteen inches apart for the long torrid voyage to Arabia, Persia and India. The torture of being unable to roll over or change your position must have been exquisite not to mention the stench and filth. If it doesn’t kill you as they say it makes you stronger.
There was nothing in the Koran to forbid such practices although there was in the Christian bible. However the very humanity of the New Testament may have placed Christianity at a disadvantage compared to Moslemism.
Moslemism did not call for any changes in social conduct or the organization of society. The introduction of Moslemism left the African social structure intact calling only for a belief in Allah and his prophet Muhammed. Slavery was already endemic to African society so that, strangely, while the Arab slavers annually corralled tens of thousands of Black Africans into slavery or death there was an acceptance rather than a rejection of Arab religion.
Christianity clashed with nearly every tenet of African religion including slavery, polygamy, native medicine men and nearly the whole fabric of African society. Therefore while Moslemism shared most native beliefs the issue of slavery was a man to man thing and not a moral problem.
The European invaders placed themselves in opposition to both. The enslaved Blacks and the enslaving Moslems. While Europeans were successful in eliminating the Moslem slave trade centered from Zanzibar they were never successful in eliminating the slave trade above Victoria Falls. Even today the slavers are active in the Sudan and the Horn of Africa.
At the present time several thousand Somalian female slaves and their masters are transported to Portland, Oregon every year as immigrants to the United States. It is indeed a strange world.
Christianity also tended to destroy the social order of African tribes. The tribes were all small organizations located in specific geographical locales. There was no such thing as nations or countries such as Kenya or what was then Tanganyika now Tanzania. These agglomerations were artificial administrative units set up for the convenience of Europeans.
Thus the natives no longer were able to look to their old center for the resolution of their problems but to White men located in an administrative center far from their own tribal boundaries.
As Christianity made no allowance for native customs the established order had no incentive to adopt the religion unlike Moslemism which required no change of conduct. The appeal of Christianity and the White Man’s Power then was to the disenfranchised and outcast classes. As Achebe’s Thing Fall Apart clearly shows the ‘untouchables’ were the first to respond. Christianity in which all men are equal then made the ‘untouchables’ discard the trapping of their class making them visual equals of the ‘big men’ of their tribes.
As the representatives of the White Christians these native outcasts became the political superiors of the former upper classes. That was the meaning of Achebe’s title: Things Fall Apart.
While the Moslem areas of Black Africa were relatively complacent a huge antagonistic split existed in the Christian areas. The antagonism did not take long to surface. Within less than sixty years from their actual annexation the Central and West Africans had thrown off their White colonial rulers.
The French and English had no real liking for West Africa with its oppressive heat and humidity but the English were more desirous of holding on to the more equable Central and Southern Africa. While it can’t be said that civilian English settlers moved into West Africa they did in Central and Southern Africa. In these areas the Whites resisted Black independence movements more staunchly.
The Europeans bequeathed a national state to men like Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta who was himself merely a member of a small tribe. He now posed as a national ruler over both diverse Black tribesmen and a unified civilized English population.
The fearsome Mau Mau, a group of natives straight out of Tarzan erupted on the world consciousness in the early fifties as they terrorized and murdered the English settlers in the most primitive manner.
Alan Moorehead didn’t concentrate on the Mau Mau which he obviously found distasteful but the Mau Mau showed the obvious difference between Europeans and Black Africans.
Fifty or sixty years is a very short time to convert stone age peoples to a level of civilization that took many thousands of years to achieve even if the two peoples had been of equal mental abilities.
Edgar Rice Burroughs who was a fairly astute student of evolution seems to have captured the general feel of the evolutionary process. He has his hero Tarzan experience each level of development from animal to Homo Sapiens. Thus Tarzan on one level is a pure beast raised among the great apes of Africa in the tribe of Kerchak by Kala his ape mother. Following Freudian theory Tarzan kills his father Kerchak although he mourns his mother’s death rather than following in his father’s wake.
At the age of twenty he leaves Africa for Europe and America where within the short space of two years he takes on the ‘thin veneer of civilization.’ Well, it was thin, you know.
Returning to the jungle he becomes the chief of a Black African tribe named the Waziri. While for Burroughs the Black Africans are by no means despicable they nevertheless appear to be an evolutionary way station between the pure beasts and the civilized Whites.
Tarzan, of course, inherits the English title Viscount Lord Greystoke so as John Clayton he stands at the apex of civilization as well as evolution as an English gentleman entitled to sit in the House of Lords.
Although the current genetic information wasn’t available to him Burroughs intuited, or accepted, the obvious evolution of the hominid from beast to Homo Sapiens.
While it may be controversial to place the White species at the top of the evolutionary scale there is evidence that such may be actually so. All men may not, in fact, be created equal. Perhaps an unpleasant fact but then nature is not concerned with pleasantness.
It is generally assumed by scientists that because 97% of Homo Sapiens genes are shared by the Great Mountain Ape while the Chimpanzee shares 98% that those two species of anthropoids are evolutionary predecessors of Homo Sapiens. In other words that the earliest hominid predecessor of Homo Sapiens mutated from the Chimpanzee. I don’t know what the actual percentage is but I am sure that fifty percent or more of the genes of the fruit fly are shared by Homo Sapiens. All species most likely utilize fifty percent or more of the same genes as why not if evolution is indeed a fact.Are all the product of evolution? You bet. So what are you going to make of that?
One may assume that if evolution is progressing from the less intelligent to the more intelligent that the process need not necessarily stop at the apex of Homo Sapiens. In fact, there are three obvious main species of Homo Sapiens as well as two or more at the upper end of the scale not so obvious and a couple at the lower end of the scale also going unnoticed.
In coventional parlance if race is admitted as a fact those three divisions are known as races although they may be differentiating species. Scientists tell us that there is only four tenths of one percent genetic difference between the races as though a mere four tenths disproves something. Recent genetic discoveries indicate that genetic mutation is still occurring so that differences are accruing rather than remaining static or decreasing.
If we are going to accept and apply scientific evidence this then raises the issue of which race or sub-species in actuality is the most evolved and bears the evolutionarily active gene line.
It is assumed that the first hominid came into existence in Africa somewhere about two million years ago because the earliest traces of hominids yet found have been found there. Many unwarranted assumptions based on this notion have been made for racist reasons. For instance, because only Blacks were found in modern sub-Saharan Africa it is assumed that this early hominid was also Black or Negro as though there were some distinction in being possibly the same color as the Last Hominid predecessor. In fact no one knows what color the Last Hominid Predecessor was nor is there any way of ascertaining the fact.
The distance between this early hominid who must have been much more closely related to the Chimpanzee following the logic is unknown. Perhaps it was merely half of one percent genetic difference. Perhaps the visual relationship between this hominid and the Chimp and Ape was approximately that as now exists between the Homo-Sapiens sub-species. No one knows.
Homo Sapiens is said to have appeared in sub-Saharan Africa only one hundred fifty thousand years ago.
So far as I know there are no remains existing of the hominid from which Homo Sapiens evolved. Nor is there much of a record for extinct hominids between the remains found in Olduvai Gorge and the evolution of Homo Sapiens. All earlier forms have disappeared. The various forms of another anthropoid, Homo Erectus, all existed alongside Homo Sapiens. Whether they preceded him is not clear but that they became extinct possibly with the passing of the last ice age.
Everyone agrees that the sub-Saharan Homo Sapiens was in fact Black and that the Whites and Mongolids evolved from this Black predecessor. This may be proven true if it is allowed to examine genetics objectively rather than impose subjective hopes on the facts.
However objectivity may be denied because reason suggests that the first species evolved from the Last Hominid Predecessor is probably the least evolved Homo Sapiens intellectually. It is possible that the first evolved Homo Sapiens is physically superior in the animal sense to subsequent mutations.
There may be some physical law that a sub-species once manifested is no longer capable of further evololution. Thus the Great Mountain Ape probably is little different than its two million year old predecessor. The same would apply to the Chimp. Once having attained perfection for its specific limitations a species is as it were fossilized in form. Thus the Black as the earliest Homo Sapiens sub-species is probably as developed intellectually as it was, is and ever will be. Further Homo Sapiens evolution will be carried to conclusion by the Whites. Each step in the evolutionary scale however leaves the others behind as the Chimp left the ape behind and Homo Sapiens left the Chimp behind. Whatever color predecessors may be they must become predecessors and hence less evolved. This is a fact that if you can’t accept then you merely refuse to accept it for ideological reasons and your reasoning is invalid.
One must assume that at some point another evolutionary step will occur creating an entire new species leaving Homo Sapiens behind in the same relation to it as the Chimp is to Homo Sapiens. You must be able to grasp this point.
Politically and socially this conclusion must be unpopular but one either adheres to scientific truth no matter how unpopular or falsehood is allowed to reign.
If one goes from mere appearances it would seem that a hierarchy of intellectual ability leads upwards from the Blacks to the Mongolids to the Whites.
While all scientific achievement may not be attributable to Whites yet all scientific achievment is based on methods introduced by Whites. In an age where all scientific information is shared almost instantaneously Black and Mongolid contributions are miniscule compare to that of Whites. Further no people in the world have made scientific contributions which were not based on White science. Nothing has come from the Orient, nothing has come from the Semitic lands and nothing has come from Africa.
While today Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness is dismissed for racial and political reasons yet the novel has its basis in fact. The contrast between the European invaders and native Blacks throughout Africa was too pronounced to dismiss. Nor was the difference merely quantative but qualitative too.
There is an ancientness to the Africans. There is the sense that they were and are incapable of rising above the stone age mental processes that characterize them. The Africans seem to have developed stone age thinking to a logical and stultifying conclusion by the time the Whites arrived.
The Uganda described by the earliest explorers was organized in such a sophisticated stone age way that terrifying customs abandoned by Europeans over two thousand years before had fossilized into a permanent and unchangeable way of looking at things.
When Moorehead describes the king of Uganda killing thirty people for the entertainment of a visiting dignitary one has to recoil in horror. Yet in one form or another such was the case throughout Africa.
The delicacy of Europeans prevents their acknowledging certain facts primarily because if they did they would have to accept the truth. Cannibalism was a norm nor did the Africans give up such customs. In addition to the Mau Mau Leopard Men in Kenya in the fifties Moorehead reluctantly concedes that medicine men still donned the skins of the great cats to ritually murder infants at the time of his writing in 1960. Chinua Achebe admits that humans were still sacrificed in times of great need in Nigeria in his time.
Sekou Toure who was the Prime Minister of Guinea after 1960 famed as a poet in France still kept human flesh in his refrigerator like the American madman Jeffrey Dahmer. He explained that there were certain things White Men couldn’t understand. Well, apparently Dahmer could. With that explanation the ‘poet’ was excused while Jeffrey Dahmer who wrote no poetry was sentenced to life imprisonment.
In general the Black nations of Africa have rejected an uplifting Christianity which would force them to change their ways for a more tolerant Moslemism which makes no such demands on them.
Thus the Africa of Tarzan, the National Geographic and the Explorers Clubs passed away by 1960. Moorehead’s interesting book was the epitaph of the period.
Not all Blacks remained in Africa. The forced diaspora of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had spread the species throughout the New World from Brazil through the Caribbean to the United States.
The predominant slave populations of the Caribbean quickly politically dominated their areas reducing the White population to an ancillary status without any real rights. Whites lived apologetically on the islands barely tolerated by the Blacks.
There even after extended contact with Whites and White science the Blacks made no advances over their Black brethren in Africa. They remained on the same intellectual level. Anyone who would deny that would deny the Holocaust.
In the United States the story was no different. It is true that from the seventeenth century to emanicipation in 1863 the Blacks were slaves. Still, there were ‘house niggers’ and ‘field niggers’. If the field Black was given no opportunities for education this could not have been true of the household help. Yet by 1960 as Prindle was entering young manhood there was no indication to him that Blacks had made any intellectual advance.
The Black situation was not a small problem to him while as the Black rebellion then in progress developed the problem became of the first magnitude.
The practical effect was a barbarian assault on the institutions of the United States hitorically unparalleled since the incursion of the Roman Empire by the German barbarians which culminated in the fifth century AD.
The result of the invasions in both cases will be the same although the Germans bearing the higher genetic development were able to develop civilization over time. The same will not be true of the Blacks who can only bring civilization down to their stone age level. Sad but true.
Were the Germans capable of intellectual development while Blacks are not? This was a burning question of Prindle’s youth. Were Blacks genetically inferior to Whites or was it merely a question of educational opportunities?
At the time the only means of determining racial intellectual abilities was testing. This was in the form of the IQ test. Whites invariably scored higher on the average than Blacks and not just by a point or two either but the gap ws significant enough to raise wonder.
The Blacks countered that the tests were racially weighted in favor of the Whites. It was suggested that if tests were written in Black patois Whites wouldn’t do quite so well.
But classes were not taught in either Black or White patois but in a good clean English which was the language of the people, land and literature. People from educated families probably had a few points advantage over those from families where intellectual prowess was not quite so demanded but such a fact could not be avoided.
Barring these natural variations in opportunity the playing field was level for all. The Blacks also advanced the notion that more money was spent per White student than for a Black student. While well received and even believed against clearly visible evidence to the contrary by Whites this argument too proved fallacious.
By 1970 every school district in America was fully integrated. Those in the North and West had been for decades. In fact the same amount of money was spent on every student White or Black. While this fact should have been clear yet Whites and Blacks advanced the opposite notion as fact.
It was also true that all White schools had a better record than integrated schools where the levels were brought down by the Blacks.
Prindle was an independent thinker. He looked beyond the rhetoric at the true facts of education. Beyond education he drew from his personal experience. He noted that no matter how clever or how adaptive a Black might be his intelligence seemed to stop at the training level. They seemed to lack the ability to associate ideas and take the next step forward. This fact was noted by even such a sympathetic observor as Rider Haggard.
There were many, although out of favor and ostracized, who believed that Blacks inherently lacked intellectual ability. Prindle silently concurred with them yet he thought there was insufficient proof to commit himself one way or the other.
Edgar Rice Burroughs had come to definite conclusions as early as 1919. Burroughs was very well read while being absolutely up to date. Most of what he believed was still being put forth by Time/Life books in their series on prehistory although recent advances have invalidated some of Burroughs’ thought while he would have been eager in updating himself.
As Burroughs named it in 1919 the quality to be sought was ‘imagination.’ As he noted the beasts had none at all. He attributed to Blacks a modicum. He thought that only Whites were capable of imaginative flights and this as he judged it was only one in a hundred thousand. That would have been more or less evolutionarily correct.
Since Burroughs time and especially since 1950 the bounds of human knowledge have been moved forward incredibly in all areas. Most importantly for my argument in the field of genetics. With the discovery of DNA in the forties science has progressed to the point where the ‘human’ genome can be read entirely. All twenty-three chromosomes have been completely mapped or soon will be.
The mechanism of mutation or evolution can be understood. And evolution is going on constantly; a mutation that seems to leading to a species of astounding ‘imagination’ or intelligence.
Genetic findings allowed Prindle to put his mind at rest concerning the relative abilities of the three sub-species. It was clear to him that as the first species of Homo Sapiens to evolve from the Last Hominid Predecessor, the Black species stagnated while the Mongolids and Whites contintued to mutate adding intellectual capabilities to their Homo Sapiens shells.
Whatever the genetic difference between Whites and Blacks that difference was expressed in scientific intelligence in Whites while Blacks remained metally lethargic.
It does no good to say that many Whites are mentally lethargic while some Blacks seem to express scientific aptitude. Even if true on an individual basis that has no effect on the general proposition. As of this writing nearly all scientific advancement is coming from Whites. Contributions by Chinese and Japanese are slight involving mainly improvements to existing models and not leaps forward.
The Black species is notably absent in the ranks of scientists.
End of Essay