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Response to Evolve Dammit (Original post)

Fri Jun 12, 2020, 08:43 PM

3. If I am being picky and pedantic, I apologize

But I am going to level one criticism against that movie's associations.

Despite their large size, gorillas are actually fairly peaceable animals. Chimpanzees can actually be quite aggressive.

The idea of something large being dumb and belligerent is kind of ingrained into our cultural thinking process. In college-themed movies, there is always that one guy at the fraternity or on the team who is portrayed that way, right?

Then, of course, there is the ugly racism layered underneath the imagery. I was working one of my many phone jobs when a sweet, sweet (sounding) lady started to tell me about some minister that she knew. She spoke about him dropping her off at her house in his car and I tensed up, expecting her to tell me of some sort of abuse she had suffered. The way that she lowered her voice as she began to share the story really had me expecting such a revelation.

Instead, she told me that her minister--who apparently was willing to accept the general idea of evolution--told her that white people are descended from chimps, black people are descended from gorillas and asian people are descended from orangutans. I really did not know what to say to her after that. Since I was working, I was able to steer the conversation back to the task that I needed to complete and get off the phone, but I was troubled and a little sickened by her comments.

She honestly believed in such nonsense. And the movie could be viewed as supporting some of those notions.

The fact is, gorillas do have darker skin, and chimpanzees are lighter. Orangutans are basically redheads, I know, but their habitat is further east, hence the asian association.

To be honest, I really can't recall that much about The Planet of the Apes, right this moment, so maybe I am pushing this idea out too far.

I would like to add that in the novel, Congo, the male protagonist muses to himself about the tendency of people to see chimpanzees as cute and harmless because they are more gracile, while gorillas are automatically seen as aggressive. Again, I have to admit that it has been a while since I read the novel, but I think that the scientist working with the sign-language speaking gorilla also noted people's tendency to judge her as more dangerous because of her darker skin.

Before I shut up, I do want to emphasize that I am not trying to judge or correct the OP. It was just that mention of the Planet of the Apes that got me thinking. I completely understand if there are others who do not see the movie that way.

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Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Evolve Dammit Jun 2020 OP
Harker Jun 2020 #1
BootinUp Jun 2020 #2
LineNew Reply If I am being picky and pedantic, I apologize
Collimator Jun 2020 #3
Evolve Dammit Jun 2020 #4
Initech Jun 2020 #5
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