Moving through the fog of perma-war, pestilence, puritanism and greed into the bright, blinding light of a brand new year that’s looking to be worse—much worse!—I will fear no evil, as I continue along the Bonobo Way of peace, love, equality, ecology and good sex.
It’s another year, another revolution ‘round the sun and another resolution to go bonobos.
Party Like a Bonobo!
Why bonobos? That’s a good question which I take a whole book to answer, but here’s the gist: As humanity’s closest great ape cousins (over 98% genetically similar to us), bonobos hold the key to peace on earth. Unlike so-called “killer apes”— common chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and humans (especially humans)—bonobos (Latin classification: Pan paniscus) have never been seen killing each other in the wild or captivity.
What’s their secret? Can we crack the code?
You may have heard bonobos called the “Make Love Not War” chimpanzees who swing from the trees as well as with each other. It’s party time in “Bonoboville” (my term for bonobo communities, as well as human groups inspired by bonobos) almost every day, and the mature females run the party. That is, MILFs rule Bonoboville gently but firmly, keeping the males gentle and firm. Male well-being complements female empowerment, and everybody shares, more or less, everything… even each other!
Bonobos show us that lust is natural for apes like us, and greed is not. Moreover, lust can be satisfied. Greed is never satisfied. Bonobos value the lusty, sustainable pleasures of life, from eating and playing to teaching and learning to sexual activity. Bonobo sex is not just for procreation, but also for recreation, good relations and negotiation, which includes keeping the peace.
Bonobos have sex in a variety of combinations (male-female, female-female, male-male, threesomes, group and solo sex), in a Bonobo Sutra of positions (including the so-called “human” style of face-to-face), and for multiple purposes—to relieve stress, trade for food, engage in politics, express lust, establish trust, convey affection, negotiate deals, resolve conflicts and reduce violence, to name a few.
As Dr. Frans De Waal so aptly puts it, “Common chimps use violence to get sex. Bonobos use sex to avoid violence.”
Can we do that too?
Maybe. Bonobos aren’t people. Though they tend to be more humane than most humans, Pan paniscus culture isn’t a blueprint for a new Homo sapiens civilization. After all, bonobos sleep in trees and eat bugs, and most of us can’t or won’t live like that. However, their remarkable ability to make peace through sharing pleasures is an inspiration, perhaps even a “missing link” in our evolution and the heart of my New Year’s resolution.
More Perma War
So, it’s on my fridge: #GoBonobos in 2023! Save the Humans.
Not that my New Year’s Resolution for 2023 is actually new. In fact, it’s pretty much the same as my 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 resolutions, making 2023, aka MMXXIII (Imperial Roman drum roll please)… the ninth great Year of the Bonobo!
After almost a decade, why aren’t we there yet? I’d like to say that we’re *almost there,* but in many ways, 2022 drove us farther off the path of peace through pleasure than ever.
Why can’t we be more bonobo? Most of us could “be bonobo,” and many of us really want to. Unfortunately, our rulers—or, as George Carlin would say, our “owners”—and the ultra-capitalist systems that serve them, stop us from taking The Bonobo Way. Lately, they seem to literally push us—actively kicking, screaming and protesting or passively shopping, surfing and gaming—in the opposite direction.
Many of these games are war games. And right out the gate into 2023, we’re at war, and it’s a popular war.
Actually, we’re in a couple of popular wars. First, there’s Ukraine. After finally pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq(remember when those were “popular wars”?) and even maybe Yemen, another damn war literally exploded in the mystical, star-crossed land of the Baal Shem Tov, boosting the devastating cycle of perma war, just when us hopeless romantic peaceniks hoped it might wind down.
Doubtless, Putin the Pillager started this disastrous War on Ukraine—winning himself the 2022 SUZY Award Boobie Prize for “War Criminal of the Year”—plunging the country into a most unbonobo state of military murder and heartbreaking mayhem.
But now what? Are we going to just keep billions of dollars’ worth of arms flowing into this war like dirty water down a raging river until the dam bursts and we all drown in the tide of WWIII?
There’s also the war at home. Like any domestic problem, it’s complicated, but so far, the new American Civil War is a War on Being Civil. It’s being fought on various battlegrounds—in Congress, state assemblies, the courts, hospitals, school board meetings, libraries and on the street. And let’s not forget the Confederate flag-festooned Rape of the Capitol, aka Coup Anon. The Insurrection took place on 1/6/2021 but, thanks to endless hearings throughout 2022, it was eyeballed-on-repeat more than 9/11, as if to warn us: Batten down the hatches, fellow Americans, there’s a Civil War on!
The biggest Civil War battleground (so far) is the Internet, where the Right screams bloody murder, and the Left gets censored. Whoever gets the most attention wins. Of course, whoever has the most money gets the most attention, and that’s almost always the Rightwing, the war wing, which isn’t even a wing anymore; it’s the whole damn eagle, especially when it comes to wars.
Who’s winning these wars? The Ukraine war has already been won by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, BAE and Raytheon, the war profiteering barons of the new Gilded Age on Steroids, and they just keep winning with each bomb, each deadly drone strike.
War-at-Home winners include the NRA, the guns and ammo industry and it’s greedy little whores… with apologies to real whores, aka sex workers, who are much more honest and less greedy, not to mention more bonoboësque than these slimy politicians in bed with the Merchants of Death.
Our current state of Perma Civil War is made up of all these so-called “culture wars,” which rage through the polluted social media air we breathe and occasionally flare into real death and immeasurable tragedy.
Why do we fight? For one thing, internet algorithms reward violence. Whether you like it or not, murder and mayhem get your attention. So does sex, but that’s censored, for the most part, as is socialism. Which brings us to the capitalism angle: Fighting each other keeps us from joining together to fight a class war against the super-rich who bribe our so-called representatives to cut their taxes and preach “austerity” for the rest of us.
Or does pleasure help us to thrive?
By pleasure, I don’t mean Elon Musk’s maniacal pleasure in shattering Twitter, Jeff Bezos’ unsustainable pleasure in flying phallic rockets, Ron DeSantis’ sadistic pleasure in forced feeding or Samuel Alito’s misogynistic pleasure in forced breeding. I mean the bonoboësque pleasures of sharing warmth, food, intimacy, consensual sex, sensuous culture, healing touch, genuine care, teaching, learning, communicating, foraging, playing, maybe making a little art and music because we’re human—though bonobos play music too.
One reason bonobos can make peace through sharing pleasures like these is that they live in a lush jungle of natural abundance. Sound out of reach for us? Well, it isn’t. Humanity—despite our ridiculously huge numbers—still has the resources to feed everyone (at least, for now); it’s just that almost all of our “abundance” is in the tiny handsof the rich.
Meanwhile, these same rich bitches and corporate owners of ours are very busy prosecuting the worst perma war of all, the War to End All Wars, the War on Our Mother the Earth, a war we are already losing as we choke on the air their corporations have fouled and drown in the floods they’ve unleashed.
Well, at least, the War on Drugs let up a bit in 2022. Welcome home Brittney Griner!
But another deadly perma war flared this year—a very unbonobo “War on Sex” that has been raging since the beginning of human civilization when women were first enslaved—and now even forced breeding is back. Women and LGBTQ people are under attack verbally and physically, mostly from the unhinged neo-Puritanical Right, but attacks on natural, healing, consenting-adult sexuality in all its many-splendored diversity may also emanate from the quick-to-judge, politically correct Left. Not that I’m trying to be even-handed. Attacks on consenting adult sexual expression are much more likely to emanate from the Religious Right wherever they hold power, from the Supreme Court Injustices on high to the Proud Boys on the streets down below to the Lords of the Internet in the middle.
Ironically and disturbingly, as Americans get progressively less religious, our leaders are acting regressively more religious, making religio-fascist rulings, spouting pious “thoughts and prayers” for the dead and deprived, and dripping disdain for the poor and “degenerate.”
Not that religious myths and rituals can’t be fun, helpful, inspiring and very sexy, but taking them too seriously puts gas in the tank of the Civil War machine. It also makes you lose your marbles. The Religious Right, MAGAts and other neofascists shriek about “freedom,” turning it into “just another word with nothing left to lose” (with apologies to Kris Kristofferson and Janis Joplin) or win, rendering it meaningless, redefining this word that so many have cherished, fought for and thought we understood, twisting it into something else entirely—the “freedom” to open-carry an AR-15 and refuse to mask up in a supermarket? Freedom to shoot and/or infect your neighbors and local shopkeepers is as unbonobo as you can go.
What’s the source? Back to money, of course. The more unfair and brutally capitalist our so-called civilization gets, the more the billionaires, with their slick PR flacks, bought-and-paid-for judges and pet politicians, tell us that our greatest “freedom” is the freedom to arm ourselves, make war and kill each other, as they rake in the blood money. They’d much rather we direct our rage to our Left or Right, as opposed to looking *up* to see their own ruling class corruption, nepotism, theft, mendacity and horrific, tragic failure.
Here’s where sex comes in, except it’s not very sexy. It’s an extremely anti-sex message that exploits our natural curiosity and interest in sex. That is, one of our rulers’ trusty tools to divide and conquer us is to make *the problem* out to be our fellow citizens’ sexuality—whether “rapist” immigrants, “groomer” drag queens, “sadistic” Slavs, “feminazi” women or “sex addict” men.
The mainstream media (MSM) gossip wing joined the War on Sex while simultaneously exploiting sexy people having sex this year. Most prominently pummeled in 2022 was director, actress and bon vivant, Olivia Wilde, not just because she is the niece of late great Counterpunch publisher (and bon vivant) Alexander Cockburn, but because she happened to be leading a spicy but perfectly legal (so far), consenting-adult sex life while directing a big wonderful film, “Don’t Worry Darling,” with feminist themes and incel-ish bad guys. Wilde laughed it off with the poise of a “Most Bonobo” female, but such clickbait gossip daggers injure our brains. Yes, we all know the MSM loves to serve up sex with a side dish of neo-Puritanical shame, but it hurts all the same.
Chiming in with the MSM hymns to sanctimony is the chorus of anti-porn crusaders, harmonizing with Rightwing policies even as they sing songs of fear into Leftwing ears. Sure, porn can be harmful. So can food, which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat. Likewise, the existence of bad porn doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek out and enjoy good porn, or maybe you prefer the term “erotica” when it’s something you like. Porn might be lousy sometimes (okay, much of the time), but almost any porn is less harmful than the *harmless* gun porn and shameless military propaganda that mainstream Hollywood and JROTC recruiters feed kids of all ages like candy every day.
Adding erotic insult to sexual injury, there’s another “War on Sex” that’s not even human, though it’s caused by the pollution of human activity. Yes indeed, Brothers and Sisters, our gonads are under attack from our own environment, from the air we breathe and the water we drink, hitting us in our libidos in multiple ways, from spermcount to Covid damage to climate collapse.
Ammosexual Incels on the March
Does this mean the “End of Sex,” as Francis Fukayama once opined that the fall of the Soviet Union spelled the “End of History”?
Not exactly. Our sexuality, which the ancient Greeks and Sigmund Freud called Eros—the “life force”—always *finds a way,* maybe even a bonobo way, when under assault from Thanatos—the “death wish” that stalks us all. When our sexual desire is attacked, repressed, denigrated, coerced, shamed and punished, it doesn’t just disappear. Under such pressures, the force of the libido is channeled into something else, maybe religion, art or just basic survival… but unfortunately, very often, our thwarted erotic desires flow into violence, aggression and making war.
It’s not just for the sake of optimal aerodynamics that guns, missiles and other instruments of mass death are shaped like the big dicks their operators wish they had.
This brings us to one of the more unbonobo watchwords of our times, “ammosexual,” referring to erotic arousal from handling, gazing upon and using guns and other weapons, being sexually excited by the phallic shape of the firearm, its looks and feel, its massive power and the immeasurable pain and destruction it can inflict with a mere pull of the trigger.
In its fervor to show it can be more anti-porn than the crusaders, YouTube censors sex toys, especially if they’re *realistic,* but realistic war toys are fine, as are war games, both simulated and the kind that kill real people.
Even as sexual porn is demonized, eroticism ghettoized, vibrators covered up, sex education censored and women come under “Handmaid’s Tale” attacks, “war porn” is on full display, from guns to missiles to supersonic jets operated by charismatic, fierce-looking heroes—and some hot heroines—toting deadly weapons, as enormous aircraft carriers move inexorably through the sea, leaving foamy waves in their wake.
Guns, guns, guns! Does America love guns? Not really, said Michael Moore in 2022, despite the mass murders splattering our news feeds pretty much daily. According to a 2016 Harvard-Northeastern study, 78% of Americans do not even own guns. Only 22% of Americans own any guns at all. Half the guns in America are owned by only 3% of Americans, but that 3% is wreaking havoc.
Why? Because those who want guns can easily get guns, and the ammosexual thrill that so many firearms fetishistsderive from their guns and ammo is praised, honored and displayed on social media, while consenting-adult sex and kinks are denigrated, despised and censored even more in 2022 than 2021.
No wonder we are morphing into a nation of ammosexual incels!
We can fight back (without the guns, Babe)—we are the 78%! Though we need to balance gun-controlling these poor guys’ penis substitutes with a little kink-positive bonobo love. It’s the ultimate gun control anyway. Just shoot the gun between your legs; it’s okay. Make Kink Not War!
Unfortunately, it’s not *just* our lawmakers and religious leaders that lead us away from the Bonobo Way; Hollywood encourages us to make war, not kink—unless you have a kink for making war. Will Smith’s Oscars 2022 Slap Heard Round the World was pretty disturbing, though the Academy’s standing ovation for The Slapper afterwards was worse. And all of that is nothing compared to Smith’s own violence-glorifying blockbusters, along with Tom Cruise’s shot-from the-cockpit 2022 “Top Gun” and Hollywood films in general—so often embedded with (and in bed with) the U.S. Military, gifting us with cool pro-war special effects that burn our eyes, blast our ears and poison our souls for profit.
In Hollywood, on the Internet, it’s all about the attention, and that Slap did grab our attention. Violence is exciting. But so is sex. Remember Janet Jackson‘s Superbowl 2004 Nipplegate or the Madonna/Britney Spears kiss at the 2003 MTV-VMAs? Again and again, sexual expression—though exploited—is denigrated by Hollywood, the MSM and most of modern capitalist society, while acts of violence (from The Slap to the Perma Wars) are elevated, applauded and fetishized.
Sometimes the weaponized phallus is not a gun, but a high carbon-emitting Bugatti with “a w16 8.0L quad turbo” like the one with which incel darling Andrew Tate tried to blow exhaust in climate activist Greta Thunberg’s face. Then the teen knocked the misogynistic boxer out of the ring with a super sweet tweet suggesting he email her at “email@example.com.”
Yes, we can fight back (without guns)! #GoBonobos for Greta!
Mostly Toxic 2022
Unfortunately, much of 2022 was not so joyous. Many media sexperts criticized Will and Jada’s toxic-couple power, but it was nothing compared to that of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his Karen-in-Chief wife, Ginni Thomas, passionate tRump supporter, raging 2020 election denier and MAGAt organizer of the Rape of the Capitol. The entire Rightwing of the U.S. Supreme Court wreaked havoc on sex and life in general in 2022 and promises more of the same in 2023, unless some brave Dominatrix pulls them over her knee, black robes up, and spanks their lace-pantied asses… figuratively, of course.
Meanwhile, apartheid Israel’s perma war on Palestine worsened through 2022 (and looks to get even worse in 2023), even as Cuckold Con Ye declared his love for “Hitttlllllerrrrrrr” which, as the year turns, squeezes us Jews for Palestine into a very tight spot between deadly Zionism and disgusting anti-Semitism. Oy Ye! It hurts, though I can’t help but resonate to Holocaust survivor and Hebrew University chemistry professor Israel Shahak’s words, “The Nazis made me afraid to be a Jew and the Israelis make me ashamed to be a Jew… You cannot have humane Zionism. It is a contradiction in terms.”
Also meanwhile, as the perma wars rage here, there and pretty much everywhere, Julian Assange, the world’s most celebrated living antiwar journalist, continues to be prosecuted (read persecuted) by the U.S. and U.K. governments… though there’s hope! Mainstream publications and political leaders around the world vocally supported him in 2022. Here in Bonoboville, we have supported Assange and Wikileaks since 2010, but let’s not quibble about who arrived first at this party. Freeing Assange is one of the few things about “freedom” that Left and Rightwing activists can agree on these days. Nevertheless, Democratic and Republican leaders, whether corrupted by cash or cowardice, continued to fail us through 2022 by neglecting to uphold the basic journalistic freedom that is embodied by Julian Assange, now being tortured in an 8 by 12 foot concrete cell in the bowels of Belmarsh Prison for daring to publish the truth about perma war and its inevitable, insidious, Collateral Murder.
C’mon Joe, let Assange go! You as President have the power; use it for the sake of the “free” speech you’ve claimed to defend.
Save the Bonobos!
And let’s “Go Bonobos” in 2023! That’s my resolution anyway, and the resolution—as well as The Revolution—starts with me… and you. Since you’re reading this new year’s plea for bonobo awareness (possibly for the ninth time, in which case, my apologies for any repetition, though it’s a little different with each year’s special lunacies), I hope you’ll join me in helping save the bonobos through helping:
+ Lola ya Bonobo (Bonobo Paradise) is a bonobo “refugee” sanctuary outside Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Operated by the luminous, tireless Claudine André, Lola rescues “orphans” of the devastating “bushmeat” trade, cares for these little refugees like “family” and eventually releases them back into the wild. Donations are administered by Friends of Bonobos, including our amazing friends, Vanessa Woods and Brian Hare, authors of Survival of the Friendliest. Check out our 2022 correspondence about how important nonreproductive sexual pleasure is to bonobo “beta males.” And help Lola keep studying and saving bonobos!
+ The Bonobo Conservation Initiative (BCI), founded by another amazing friend, Sally Coxe, is developing a Bonobo Peace Forest, providing much-needed food, medical care, school supplies and jobs to indigenous villagers who live in the bonobos’ native habitat in the Congolese Rainforest (the world’s second largest rainforest after the Amazon) and who protect their precious and vulnerable wild populations from the ruthless or uninformed poachers who shoot them for bushmeat. BCI saves many bonobos, often giving the orphans to Lola ya Bonobo.
If there’s any hope for us humans going bonobos—even if our chances are slimmer than a blade of rainforest grass—we must do all we can to prevent the real bonobos from going extinct. Thus, in 2023, I resolve to do what I can to help save the bonobos, as well as release my inner bonobo and help others release theirs, putting lust before greed and love before hate, like the bonobos do, and I hope you do too. It’s getting tougher by the algorithm, but let’s try to be “free”—bonobo-free as we can be—in 2023.
Amen. AWOMEN. Happy Nude Rear, Brothers and Sisters, Lovers and Sinners! #GoBonobos in 2023!