Friday, December 16, 2011

Monkey Business

Like all men of a certain age, I’ve seen the classic post-apocalyptic film, The Planet of the Apes, and deemed the entire premise to be plausible.  Apes developing a superior intellect and taking over the planet with their warrior philosophy – could happen, and even Charlton Heston armed with the 2nd Amendment would be powerless to stop it.  Even if at first you were incredulous about the underlying scientific probability, you were eventually convinced by watching Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, and Battle for the Planet of the Apes.  The greatest skeptics of my day held out until finally won over by the 2001 Marky Mark remake of The Planet of the Apes and the recent sequel (prequel?), The Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  If 7 movies and one day of following events on Capitol Hill can’t convince you that apes could one day rule the world, then nothing will.

Today I read an article that would have Dr. Zaius swinging from the trees with joy and anticipation:

Wild monkeys fitted with collars containing detectors and GPS transmitters will help researchers at Fukushima University measure radiation in the forests surrounding a nuclear power plant crippled last March by a powerful earthquake and tsunami.

The monkeys will wear the collars for a month and they will be remotely detached, says a team of scientists led by Professor Takayuki Takahashi.

The power of radiation mixed with apes in the wilds of Japan.  What could possibly go wrong?  Too bad the movie rights are already spoken for.  I see a fortune to be made – Godzilla Versus Cornelius and Zira, if we survive long enough.  I am pretty certain that Professor Takayuki Takahashi starred in Mothra Against the World (RKO, 1957).

Life is imitating art, and we haven’t much time.  Once, little monkeys rode bicycles at birthday parties and spit streams of water at fat comedians on stage and screen.  Now, we’re actively creating the conditions to mutate our own breed of King Kongs in the Far East.  Today, it’s Japan.  Tomorrow, will it be Los Angeles?  “Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto” indeed!

This is serious monkey business, and I hope I am not the first to sound the alarm bells.  When citizens are having their faces ripped off by their pet monkeys, it’s past time to start paying attention and keeping your bananas under wraps (fully sheathed, as it were).  Poor Charla Nash owned what she thought was a harmless little chimpanzee until the day it decided that her face was removable.  She might have tempted fate, but we should not.  Let’s face facts!

I recognize that the Far Right wing of the GOP is vehemently anti-science, but in this case, isn’t the evidence of the coming ape domination too damning to ignore?  I can almost appreciate their dismissive attitude about climate change in the face of melting glaciers and rising global temperatures.  They need more proof than their own eyes and minds.  That’s makes sense.  Never trust your physical senses or reasoned scientific study.  That’s nothing but alchemy in a lab coat!  Here, however, we have apes turning violent, and the Japanese releasing the creatures to play with radiation.  The question is no longer when, but how soon will be rounded up for experimentation by the likes of Dr. Maximus and his hairy band of primates?
My dear friends on the Right, can’t we at least temporarily accept the science and join together to combat the coming gorilla menace?  If not for me, do it for the children.  If we aren't careful, one day Curious George might get a little less curious and a tad more violent.  No one wins when nuclear fueled chimpanzees goes ape shit.

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