Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want To Get Off! (Joe Stalin Edition)

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Here's the ultimate tie-in to King Kong:

The Scotsman–a paper named after a peoples whose national sports include tossing telephone poles, lifting hernia-inducing blocks of stone, and going into beserker-rages at international sporting events–reports that Stalin had big big plans to create an army of ape-men whou would be "invincible…insensitive to pain, resistant and indifferent about the quality of food they eat." To this end, he enlisted Ilya Ivanov, Russia's top animal breeder in the 1920s.

As with most Soviet science experiments, this one ended badly:

Mr Ivanov's experiments, unsurprisingly from what we now know, were a total failure. He returned to the Soviet Union, only to see experiments in Georgia to use monkey sperm in human volunteers similarly fail.

A final attempt to persuade a Cuban heiress to lend some of her monkeys for further experiments reached American ears, with the New York Times reporting on the story, and she dropped the idea amid the uproar.

Mr Ivanov was now in disgrace. His were not the only experiments going wrong: [Stalin's] plan to collectivise farms ended in the 1932 famine in which at least four million died.

For his expensive failure, he was sentenced to five years' jail, which was later commuted to five years' exile in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan in 1931. A year later he died, reportedly after falling sick while standing on a freezing railway platform.

Whole thing here.

Who mourns for Gorilla Grodd, the Flash's mortal enemy?

And for Stalin's human victims? In Reason, Charles Paul Freund reviewed Martin Amis's searing indictment of the left's dismissal of Soviet butchery, Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million. As we ponder the insanity of Stalin, Freund manages to eke out bitter, existentialist laugh:

Some of the things Stalin did can indeed force you to laugh. For example, he'd frequently screen a Hollywood film for himself, commanding the presence of a translator. For years, Stalin watched his favorite movies—especially Tarzan epics—as the translator babbled away. Yet in all that time, the translator was so afraid of saying anything that might displease Stalin that he avoided translating anything. Instead, he limited himself to describing the visual action that Stalin could see for himself.

How long do you suppose it was before Stalin caught on? Yet he let it continue. Perhaps even he was laughing.

The whole review, which evokes "'the whispering of the stars,' a last breath frozen in midair, the icy cloud breaking audibly on the frozen ground" of a Siberian gulag, is here.

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  1. On the Superfriends ABC Saturday-morning cartoon why did Grodd always sound like he was on a respirator?

  2. Actually this smacks more of Red Ghost’s Super Apes than Grodd.

  3. “The Scotsman–a paper named after a peoples whose national sports include tossing telephone poles, lifting hernia-inducing blocks of stone, and going into beserker-rages at international sporting events–“

    And Haggis. Don’t forget about the Haggis.

  4. For his expensive failure, he was sentenced to five years’ jail, which was later commuted to five years’ exile in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan in 1931. A year later he died, reportedly after falling sick while standing on a freezing railway platform.

    There must be an Ali-G skit in there somewhere, no ?

  5. “For his expensive failure, he was sentenced to five years’ jail, which was later commuted to five years’ exile in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan in 1931. A year later he died, reportedly after falling sick while standing on a freezing railway platform.”

    Hmm… Jail time for failing to prove the government’s ideas are right. That would make future research a bit less objective. Kind of contradicts the utopian statist idea that the government can run society better because government officials listen to experts.

  6. Oh, imagine the books we could have had:

    “The Man-Apes of Moscow!”
    “The Peoples’ Primates of Petrograd”
    “The Gorilla-Men of Gorky Park”

  7. I pity the fool who had to jack off all those monkeys.

  8. experiments in Georgia to use monkey sperm in human volunteers

    Volunteers? Are you telling me women volunteered to be squirted with monkey sperm, in hopes of delivering a half-gorilla hybrid?

    Sure they did.

  9. I was thinking the same thing, RC. Should have had scare quotes around that one.

  10. I think they were “Russian volunteers”, also known as “you, you and you!”

  11. Shouldn’t this thread be combined with the evolution thread?

  12. Stalin had big big plans to create an army of ape-men whou would be “invincible…insensitive to pain, resistant and indifferent about the quality of food they eat.”

    HA HA HA What a more-une, what an ignore-a-mouse. Everybody knows you use corupted elves for that, not apes.

  13. Does this mean the cold war might actually have resembled Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp?

  14. Damn your anti-Scottish rhetoric, Gillespie, damn it to Hell!

  15. How can you mention Grodd and forget his most famous grandson? Though I wouldn’t call Sam “insensitive to pain,” exactly.

  16. Volunteers? Are you telling me women volunteered to be squirted with monkey sperm, in hopes of delivering a half-gorilla hybrid?

    Sure they did.

    Only a woman of true virtue would willingly allow her uterus to stretch and eventually es-plode carrying an oversized ape-man fetus.

    I never thought I would type that sentence.

  17. What’s sad is that Stalin 2100 could get true volunteers to actively mate with said gorillas. Things have changed a bit, if the Internet is any indication.

  18. You have not witnessed horror until you have seen “COMMIE APE MEN FROM RUSSIA.” Scream as they attack! Hide as they eat substandard food products! Be afraid, be very afraid.

  19. No, the Commie Gorilla Menace is no menace at all. Just offer each (male) gorilla a minature woman. See? Movies are educational.

  20. “Only a woman of true virtue would willingly allow her uterus to stretch and eventually es-plode carrying an oversized ape-man fetus.”

    Years ago, I read a fanfic story that involved just this scenario. Except instead of ape-man hybrids, they were Barney-man hybrids.

  21. Ah, Warren beat me to the Saruman reference. The nerd factor is high in these here parts…

  22. Ape-men who eat substandard food? I hate to tell you this guys, but someone succeeded. I see those guys around all the time.

  23. Ah, Warren beat me to the Saruman reference. The nerd factor is high in these here parts…

  24. I thought Eastern Europeans were already resistant, and used to eating substandard food products.

  25. Gotta love the scotsman: With the selective use of one famine, they keep that number below 6 million, because anything above 6 million invites the reader to compare Stalin to Hitler.

    And we mustn’t have that, because the traditional liberal/MSM caricature of conservatives as nazis is undermined by comparisons to Mao/Stalin, who wiped out 6 to 10 times more people in the 20thc. And, incidentally, M/S are the results of the collectivist fantasy in the driver’s seat.

    Don’t you wish the Ukranians would just chill? I mean, it’s not like Walter Duranty licked Hitler’s boots or anything.

  26. I’m told that we succeeded where the Russians failed.

  27. Don’t forget Michael Crichton’s Congo:

    “The mines were guarded by an unknown species distantly related to the gorilla called the kakundakari. They have gray fur and light yellow eyes, and stand roughly four feet six inches tall. The animals were trained by the people of Zinj to use stone paddles to crush the skulls of trespassers, a skill passed down through the generations among the wild kakundakari living in the area.”

    Taken from this site

  28. But “who supervises the supersimians”? What if this mad scheme had worked? What if, with the Free World conquered, the super-apes then turned on their former Soviet masters, leaving … a planet where apes evolved from men?

  29. Actually this smacks more of Red Ghost’s Super Apes than Grodd.

    I just happened to stumbled upon this image last night.

  30. Grood Grodd.

  31. “…ape-men whou would be insensitive to pain, resistant and indifferent about the quality of food they eat.”

    In other words, the Cincinnati Bengals.

  32. Science, already oppressive with its shocking revelations, will perhaps be the ultimate exterminator of our human species?if separate species we be?for its reserve of unguessed horrors could never be borne by mortal brains if loosed upon the world. If we knew what we are, we should do as Sir Arthur Jermyn did; and Arthur Jermyn soaked himself in oil and set fire to his clothing one night.

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Facts_Concerning_the_Late_Arthur_Jermyn_and_His_Family

  33. Something tells me the NFL would pay a lot of money for the rights to this research. Perhaps in the future instead of NFL pre-season training camps in Florida and Arizona, they have pre-season breeding camps in Uzbekistan and other, more unpronouncable “stans”. Perhaps this would explain the sudden, unexpected resurgence of the Colts’ defense…

  34. Chuck, don’t worry about the apes taking over. They’re safe so long as you feed them a green, “soy”-based product.

  35. Kind of contradicts the utopian statist idea that the government can run society better because government officials listen to experts.

    I’m hesistant to defend statist utopianism of course, but where Koba is concerned, everything goes out the window. He, along with der Fuehrer, were the two despots in all history who couldn’t stand to hear bad news about anything. If he commanded that a bridge be built from the Kremlin the moon, gods help you if you were the project manager assigned. You may as well start to learn how to survive on one runny bowl of barley gruel a day, because you were definitely going on vacation in Siberia for a long, long time.

  36. Kind of contradicts the utopian statist idea that the government can run society better because government officials listen to experts.

    I’m hesistant to defend statist utopianism of course, but where Koba is concerned, everything goes out the window. He, along with der Fuehrer, were the two despots in all history who couldn’t stand to hear bad news about anything. If he commanded that a bridge be built from the Kremlin to the moon, gods help you if you were the project manager assigned. You may as well start to learn how to survive on one runny bowl of barley gruel a day, because you were definitely going on vacation in Siberia for a long, long time.

  37. Get your stinking paws off of me, you damn dirty Commie!!

  38. Superboy,
    Can’t we agree that Hitler AND Stalin were bad?

    As an aside, Hitler’s numbers might have been a bit worse if he had survived and won WWII.

  39. For the best rant on the Superfriends version of Gorilla Grodd, go here:
    http://www.seanbaby.com/superfriends/grodd.htm
    (Warning–sophomoric humor)

  40. Gotta love the scotsman: With the selective use of one famine, they keep that number below 6 million, because anything above 6 million invites the reader to compare Stalin to Hitler.

    Well put, but I don’t think anyone’s going to forget that another 2 million were slaves in the gulag system, and that untold thousands were just shot between 1923-1956.

    Then, of course, Stalin bears some responsibility for the 20 million dead during the War; he neither allowed civilians to evacuate (dooming them either to death or Nazi slavery) nor soldiers to retreat or surrender, nor did he recognize the Red Cross, so another million soldiers died either in hopeless fighting or starved to death in POW camps. Finally, if a POW survived until 1945, after liberation they would be tried as deserters (because they surrendered) and the usual sentence was ten years’ hard labor in Siberia. There was a strong case for the Vlasov Brigade and other German proxies; after the seemingly inevitable German victory, they might let you live in peace, and they had at that point killed many fewer people than Stalin.

    In short, I don’t think anyone’s really going to give Uncle Joe a pass, superboy.

  41. So my personal anecdote-

    Back in my colleged days, I dated a girl whose family had fled Ceaucescu’s Romania. She was having difficulty choosing a major, and got so frusted, she told me:
    “You know, the nice thing about the Communists was that you didn’t have to choose anything. They told you what to do, and you just did it.”

    -Natebrau

  42. natebrau, I dated a Romanian girl last year (who, of course, shall remain nameless; suffice it to say that my brother called her “The Spy Who Loved You”), and she was surprisingly conservative for someone raised under communism. It was a really weird juxtaposition, too, because she’s a conservative artist. Whoa.

  43. I don’t think anyone’s really going to give Uncle Joe a pass

    Oh, but so many have, and will, starting with Walter [spit] Duranty.

  44. Pro-

    …dated a conservative Romanian artist? Do you live in Chicago?

  45. No, Tampa. She lives here, too.

    I did go to law school in Chicago, though, if short-term residence there influences the political beliefs of any Eastern European women you happen to date 🙂

  46. theCoach, I heartily agree.

    I just try to use any opp. to challenge the linear concept of the political spectrum. In reality, Stalinism and Naziism were nearly mirror images of each other.

    But I have heard/read quite a bit of horseshit about how Lenin’s experiment was noble and later corrupted by power hungry madmen, when actually Stalin was the logical conclusion of the whole excercise.

    It’s the defense of the pristine concept of Bolshevism that’s disgusting, and it still goes on today.

  47. ChrisO:

    With Simeon Rice on the field, we may have noticed too late …

  48. Today, we know that chimp sperm lacks the enzyme that will make a human egg permiable for a sperm to enter. Bath the egg in the right enzyme, then let the chimp sperm at it. The same technique should allow human sperm to fertilize a chimp egg.

    But what to call these hybrids?

    Chimp sperm + human egg = Chumans

    Human sperm + chimp egg = Humpanzees

    Gorilla sperm + human egg = Gorumans

    Human sperm + gorilla egg = Hurillas

    Well, those are my suggestions. Naming rights for the offspring of humans with Orangatans and Bonobos are still up for grabs.

  49. John, you see the freedom to teach ID as a freedom of expression issue?

    …How do you feel about perjury? …fraud? …How do you feel about slander? Aren’t these freedom of expression issues too?

    Your freedom of speech ends where other people’s rights and freedoms being. …Same as it ever was.

  50. “I dated a Romanian girl last year (who, of course, shall remain nameless; suffice it to say that my brother called her “The Spy Who Loved You”), and she was surprisingly conservative for someone raised under communism. It was a really weird juxtaposition, too, because she’s a conservative artist. Whoa.”

    She sounds like Ayn Rand, but probably a lot better looking!

  51. rob, I’m not sure how Randroid she was, but she was a fine specimen of Homo Sapiens Romanicus Babe-a-ensis. My brother’s label was based on his opinion of Mrs. Ringo Starr, so I’d say she was a mite better looking than Ms. Rand. I hasten to add that my relationship with her was entirely fortuitous and had nothing to do with any virtues on my part 🙂

  52. she was surprisingly conservative for someone raised under communism

    Why surprisingly? I would expect being raised under communism to make you a rabid anti-communist, and pretty damn suspicious of all things lefty.

  53. RC Dean, I just threw in the “surprisingly” as artistic license. I actually thought her views made sense, too. She told me a bunch of horror stories about growing up under a dictatorship, which I’m sure helped shape her political opinions.

  54. Volunteers? Are you telling me women volunteered to be squirted with monkey sperm, in hopes of delivering a half-gorilla hybrid?

    I’m not suprised. Surely you’ve seen or heard about some of the more bizarre sexual fetish sites out there. That there were some simian bukkake fetishists around back then shouldn’t be so surprising.

    Also i’m not entirely convinced that the experiments were unsuccessful.

  55. Naming rights for the offspring of humans with Orangatans and Bonobos are still up for grabs.

    Orangutan sperm + human egg = Oranguman

    Human sperm + orangutan egg = Androtan

    Bonobo sperm + human egg = Bono. Just “Bono.”

    Human sperm + bonobo egg = Homobo

    Gibbon sperm + human egg = Gimman

    Human sperm + gibbon egg = Huban

  56. Soylent Banana is made of chumans! CHUUUUMMMMMAAAAAANNNNNNSSSSSS!

  57. A year later he died, reportedly after falling sick while standing on a freezing railway platform.

    So, what you’re saying is, he died the way all people in the Soviet Union die.

  58. “A year later he died, reportedly after falling sick while standing on a freezing railway platform.”

    after reading ann applebaums book “Gulag” i have gained the ability to translate this as…”he was tied naked to a post on the railway platform until he froze to dead.”

  59. Orangutan sperm + human egg = Oranguman…

    All this reminds me of that bad 80s horror anthology movie “Monster Club” where vampire Vincent Price explains the various hybrids of monsters (e.g. Human+Ghoul=Hugho, Vampire+Human=Vamhu, etc.) to John Carradine.

    Of course, to a total role-playing game gobber like myself, this peice of obscure history is just gold for any pulp adventure campaign! It’s the Ahnenerbe SS Zombies vs. the Atomic Communist Ape-men! That’s something I’d love to play around with.

  60. God how I want to be a dictator.

  61. Smithers, continue the experiments…

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