Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Planet of the Jackanapes

I got an email from someone asking me to comment on a new movie called Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

“Why are you asking me? – I’m not a film critic,” I wrote in reply.

The answer came back swiftly:

“No, but as one who claims to be a gorilla you ought to have an opinion on the way your species is portrayed in popular entertainment, given the subtle influence of such perceptions on public support for conservation and other related projects.”

This erudite statement deserved a carefully-worded response:

“Fiddlesticks and tiddlywinks!” I wrote, ending the debate decisively.

At the time, I thought it was a suitable riposte to a snooty lecture from someone whose email address was But on later reflection, I had to admit that Mr Godzilla’s argument was sound. Gorilla Bananas must not be silent when humans invent stories about their hairy cousins. The gullible masses will believe any old tosh presented to them on a cinema screen, even if it involves three-legged orang-utans juggling dwarves between their feet.

It will be many moons before the film is screened in the Congo, so I had a look at the official trailer to get a flavour. It was utter bunkum and farce. The “apes” in it are walking in upright postures, making grumpy faces and speaking American English in throaty, menacing voices. In short, they are surly humans wearing furry costumes, under which they must be sweating like horses.

This suggests the movie is a classic example of what psychologists call “projection”. Humans put their own dark side in another species so they can externalise the evil and struggle against it without having to purge their own souls. Admittedly, a trailer can only tell you so much. There may also be tender scenes of apes feeding humans berries by hand, but that won’t put bums on seats. People will go to this movie to see the Big Bad Ape, so they can enjoy the exhilarating fear that humans feel when there is zero risk of getting a hunk of flesh bitten out of them.

On the subject of humans pretending to be apes, I recently overheard an American tourist call Justin Bieber “a despicable little chimp”. The uncouth youth has been fined $80,000 for throwing eggs at his neighbour’s house, which is an unwise prank for a stage performer to play. He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword, and Bieber’s devoted fans may now have to endure the agony of seeing their idol get a facial omelette while he’s warbling away on stage.

Bieber’s growing band of beraters have sent a petition to the White House, demanding that he is deported to his Canadian motherland. The Obama administration has wisely declined to get involved. If Bieber were sent back to Canada, he could buy a house on the border and throw eggs at his neighbours in Michigan, while mooning at an American flag. Much better to keep him in the USA, where there’s a good chance some angry redneck guy will kick his ass.

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Good points, as always, GB. Some angry redneck girl, like Honey Boo Boo, might kick Bieb's ass.

His days of fame are numbered. I scores of screaming tweens on TV today, awaiting the arrival of a new boy band from Australia. They have talent, and nobody cares about this loser any more. Not even Selena.
It's a pity that Bieber is not a primate; I'm sure he'd be appropriately admonished for his typical human misbehaviour.
What the hell is Bieber wearing? If he's trying to look badass, he's failing. He looks like one of santa's little helpers. Maybe he is also "projecting" and secretly wants to be a an egg flipper at a breakfast holiday resort.
Fiddlesticks and tiddleywinks, that's what I say.
That ape movie is suppose to be quite good. It made a boatload of $$$$ so you can expect many, many more. It'd be nice if you could get a paid consulting gig.

I can't believe Bieber is Canadian! Between him and Rob Ford my opinion of that friendly, frozen land to the north has changed completely. They seemed so sane!

I love saying "fiddlesticks and tiddlywinks" over and over very fast. I'll try it again after I've been drinking.
But...isn't Caesar a chimpanzee and not a gorilla?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, they don't talk either.
But, I'd still rather have him hanging about than the Beebs.
I guess the land of the obese can't relate to a slim, trim, god fearing canadian having a little fun.

maybe if he put on 100 pounds and developed diabetes, the yanks would welcome him with open arms.
I have not seen the movie but know of its "connection" to Planet of the Apes. It all started with humans "playing with" genetics of other animals. Seems that no matter what the problem-weather, environment, bees, animals--the problems that happen are always caused by the humans experimenting or their lack of care.
Maybe apes would do better.
Robyn: You're right about Selena, Robyn, I recently saw a photo of her with some other guy. I don't know much about Honey Boo Boo, but isn't she a victim rather than an abuser?

Steve: Yes, indeed: he'd never get away with wasting eggs in a primate community. My females would rub his face into their armpits.

Jules: Yes, he looks like an elf! Noddy and Big Ears would make mincemeat of him!

Exile: People say it's good because the apes are scary. No other reason. I suppose Canadians could argue that Bieber didn't go off the rails until after he moved to the US. Is that a good argument for sending him back to Canada?

Al: Caesar was the dictator perpetuo of ancient Rome, but he might have been related to a chimp. There must have been gorillas and orang-utans too, otherwise it's not a proper ape movie. Bieber belongs with the baboons.

Billy: It might have kept him out of trouble, because fat people prefer eating eggs to throwing them. The risk he faces now is that some fat ass American will sit on him.

Rose: That makes a lot of sense, Rose, because the "apes" do look genetically modified. They've definitely got the human gene for giving people dirty looks.
I can't see the sense in another 'planet of the apes' film. The originals were silly enough. If I were an ape I'd object. Besides, by the time apes evolve speech they'll discard all their excess fur and walk upright - like some present-day humans -
I've heard that it's a good film too... apparently the apes are easier to sympathise with than the humans.
Hopefully you will like it, Mr Bananas.
Is that film like a social commentary or something. I'm going to pretend it is. Makes me feel more cultured.
I am sick of all the remakes and new planet of the apes movies. it's been done and not too well and it's time to move on...seriously.

As for Bieber..while I don't like him because he's a little punk and he thinks he can do whatever..I heard a song when a neighbor was playing it and I have to say..he can sing. I don't like his music but he can sing.
It is not a favorable portrayal of apes in that movie, but I have to say, it is a bit more favorable to how Bieber is portrayed in the media. Though he was just voted hottest celebrity of 2014. I wish I could make the cover of all the hot magazines just by throwing eggs at people and causing trouble. Or maybe I don't.
The talking apes in the movie didn't bother me as much as when they rode in on horses. As for Mrs. Ceasar, Kim Hunter's version was more of a girly gorilla type. Wasn't Charlton Heston smitten with her?

As an apology for the unrealistic portrayal of your species, please allow me, as a representative of the United States, to send Justin Bieber to the Congo. You can do with him as you please. I'm sure the jungle environment will be good for the boy.
Joe: They claim the apes are more "realistic" in the new films. They are actually more like resentful humans.

Ms Scarlet: Hello, Ms Scarlet, how nice to see you! I hope you're not intending to see the film yourself. Because if you are, I may have to give you a spanking!

Fred: There's probably some message along the lines of "This is what will happen if we humans keep on cocking it up." Am I right in thinking that you intend to see it?

Mary: That's a very generous comment to make about a little punk, Mary. Strangely enough, I don't think I've ever heard him sing.

Jimmy: Have you considered the possibility that girls found him more sexy after he started misbehaving, Jimmy? Another episode of South Park is relevant here - the one where Satan is torn between Saddam Hussein and his wimpy boyfriend Chris. Satan isn't a girl, but the principle is the same.

Julie: There's a Mrs Caesar? So you must have seen it, Julie. Chuck Heston was smitten with Zira, the chimp wife of Cornelius. She reluctantly allowed him to give her a farewell kiss on the cheek. I think he wanted to put his tongue in her mouth.

Scott: We wouldn't mind having him, Scott. I'd give him to the pre-pubescent females to play with. If he's lucky they'll chew his nuts for him.
Wait, what do you mean it's not true? I thought Planet of the Apes was a documentary.
No doubt, Mr. Gorilla. Humans in general have always been enamored by the misbehavin' Bart Simpsons of the world. How about your fellow gorillas?
Now I want to see the movie about a marauding army of three-legged orangutans wreaking havoc by throwing bloodthirsty dwarves around with their feet.

I was about to write that you could replace the orangutans with Biebers and get an even more terrifying film, but somehow I suspect a movie about a bunch of tripod Biebers would attract a different sort of audience.
I think the White House has far better things to do than deport Justin Bieber back here to the Great White North, however I do agree with the 1st comment in regards to Honey Boo-Boo!!

Hollywood should use you as an official expert should they make another Ape movie.
Reviews are good. I might just go, Mr Bananas.
And of course talented apes are being passed up, their jobs being given to white American actors. Hollywood really needs to get their act together.
Michael: It was a documentary for jackasses and baboons, Michael. You have to watch it with your arse to learn something.

Jimmy: The badass gorilla is rare in the wild, Jimmy. He has too many enemies who want to drop a coconut on his head.

Ninja: Bieber's legs are too weak for such stunts, Ms Ninja. You need to be a regular tree-climber to have the required muscle strength. He might be suitable for a sex scene with a chimp, though.

Cocaine Princess: So is Bieber losing his popularity in Canada too, Miss Princess? If Hollywood asked me for advice, I'd tell them to send their actors to me for training.

Fredulous: You might enjoy it more if you get drunk first.

Drake: True enough, but did you know that most apes have white skin underneath the fur?
Bieber does suck. Everyone in this comment field today should fling their poo at him!
You guys can keep Bieber. So glad that Obama doesn't want to deal with this.

It just means you guys can keep him for longer.
Dr Ken: Yes, you're right! Bieber can dish it out, but can he take it?

DWei: He doesn't seem very homesick, so I think your wish will be granted.
GB, Honey Boo Boob's just a kid - but a big, thick-skinned one with a mouth that could slice brick. I'd like to see her kick Bieber's ass.
PS I'm on a roll with typos (always). I love kids, but not that one. Maybe that's why I added a 'b' to Boo.
Thanks for the info, Robyn. She's a spoiled girl with her own TV show, right? But should we blame her or bad parenting?
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