He’s Fine and He Thinks You’re Dumb
On May 28th, 2016, a silverback gorilla named Harambe was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo after a four-year-old boy fell into his enclosure. Animal rights activists immediately cried for justice and the internet turned him into wildly popular meme. “It becomes a farcical way to skewer social media activism rather than actually going after social media advocacy,” Ryan Milner, an assistant professor at the College of Charleston, told the New York Times. “It’s a little bit of a subtle shade whether it’s intentional or not.” Milner is also the author of the forthcoming book, The World Made Meme.
Three months later the memes show no signs of abating, so I called a bunch of animal psychics to check in with Harambe. One told me Harambe didn’t want to talk to me, two pulled out after they looked at The Awl (“What kind of website IS this??), and one of them turned out to be a run-of-the-mill psychic who could not talk to gorillas. She did tell me my love chakra was blocked, though.
Linda Clayton, of animalstalk2me.wordpress.com
I get brief…they’re not sentences, from the animals or the souls, I get little bursts of words. So the first thing that I heard, well actually it was an image — him being still strong and beating his chest. He brings…oh! He is not upset because he feels like this highlights the gorilla’s plight. He’s happier on the other side. You — I think you asked if he’s alright? I mean, every living thing is happier on the other side. It’s like hell on this side and fabulous over there. It is! So, yes he forgives us. He thinks we’re not that smart. They — all animals think we’re not that smart. Um…he does not care about [his newfound] celebrity, he cares about all apes. He doesn’t care for himself, he’s like a representative. Um, and here’s the thing that’s controversial…he said ‘I was never gonna hurt him.’ But [Harambe’s] done, he’s happy, he’s out of here.
Kristina Wium, Certified equine massage therapy & animal communication
So, his big message that he’s sharing to me today is compassion. And in that there is nothing to forgive, he’s getting to that sort of question. Forgiveness is not necessary. And compassion…that’s — how do I explain this — that’s the space he’s occupying and sort of the energy that he’s holding for all of this. And because he’s aware — he’s still very much observing what’s happening because there’s so much attention to this still going on. Normally from my experience he would’ve moved on, would’ve left the body and sort of been clear to go where he needs to go. But because so much is still going on he’s still paying very much attention, so that’s sort of an answer to that other question — how does he feel about this internet celebrity. So when I tune in with him, as with a lot of animals, I can connect with the individual but a lot of times because we’re — his energy’s also connected with the gorillas in general? So like, with dogs you might have a golden retriever dog but you also have the essence or spirit of golden retrievers in general to which many people would give very common attributes. And with him there’s this collective consciousness around the gorilla, so he’s helping to hopefully move this attention across the world, hoping to bring compassion energy to this situation through the collective consciousness of all gorilla. So that’s what he’s doing, that’s how and what he’s doing right now.
Shirley Scott, Animal Communicator and Psychic
Okay um, I got in touch with him while this whole thing was going on and um when we cross to the other side? We all forgive. Because we see what the lessons are and you know, what we have to do. When he was in his body he was doing what his DNA told him to do and that’s where humans sometimes don’t understand. You know, he was protecting himself and his little tribe there. From something that he did not know what was gonna happen because kids’ energy is really wild and out of control anyway and most animals don’t like it. And that’s why dogs bite kids sometimes too, because they’re you know they’re just kind of out of control. So yeah, he does forgive and he sees the celebrity or the stories about him as learning lessons for humans if they will accept it that way.
Harambe is a saint, please leave him alone now.
Rebecca McCarthy is an Awl intern and a bookseller.