Self-contempt masquerading as Other-contempt

Just watched the original Planet of the Apes on Comcast HD. (It looks great and sounds decent, by the way).

I loved the dated hippie-liberal-cynical take on American culture. Man, they thought they were really saying something with this movie. Getting in their digs at racism and Christian orthodoxy and how fucked-up-in-general Western civilization is.

Of course, this movie came out a few years before feminism got put on the list of dorky ideological cliches that Shall Not Be Questioned, and so Charlton Heston spent most of the movie trying to keep the apes from taking away his right to party on this hot devolved human chick with the brain of a cocker-spaniel.

For the ’60’s this is big budget Deep stuff. The ape masks were state of the art (I think they got an Academy Award). And the movie is chock full of naive loathing of everything we are and that the producers think they’re not.

Heston, in the movie, is a cynical obnoxious prick, whose primary reason for surviving against all odds is to get into the pants of a hot devolved chick who’s as smart as a cocker spaniel (I might have mentioned that before, but it’s so central to the plot that it needs to be mentioned again). By ’60’s pseudo-intellectual standards, Heston is world weary and wise and his constant annoying pretentious lectures to his fellow stranded astronauts as they trudge through the desert in search of water are foreboding and prophetic and portentious. Personally, If I’d been that tired, scared, cranky and thirsty, I’d have clocked him in the back of the head with a rock, and trudged on in blessed silence.

Heston, disgusted by the loveless farce of the The Dick Van Dyke Show and everything else about ’60’s America that was plastic and horrible, trained to be an astronaut just so he could get to relativistic speeds that would ensure that Mary Tyler Moore would be dead and unable to doppler off her last, “Rooooobbbbbbb….” in time to reach him. Christ, the hell he was running from.

At the end of the movie, Heston realizes he’s not on some distant planet where apes evolved instead of man, but on earth, and there’s been nuclear holocaust, and somehow that made apes smart, and the Statue of Liberty was blown all the way from New York into the desert southwest, and thank god it landed rightside up, or he wouldn’ have been able to so dramatically vent his If-you’d-all-only-listened-to-me rage against the machine.

Planet of the Apes is really cool. The pretentious subtext just makes it better. Like Reefer Madness, but unlike RM, but you still know people who think this kind of thing is Deep.

All you punks who profit from and are protected by Western civilization and feel nothing but contempt for it are spoiled teenagers. That douche who did the Nixon movie and Platoon–his name escapes me at the moment–he’s just Planet of the Apes with better special effects. Oh, Oliver Stone. Still spouting his weird conspiracy theories, still not a clue how the world works, still resentful and still living, in his own mind, in his parents’ basement, even if it’s now a mansion in Malibu.

You all shit where you eat. You hate what you depend upon.

Like all bratty teenagers, who know deep down they can’t survive without mom and dad, you are hostile dependent and arrogant and you think you’re the smartest people on the planet.

Your parents, unfortunately, were pussies. So that’s what you are now. You’re just like your parents, except less productive and sane.


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