Friday, June 09, 2006



As my steady readers will recall, I was MOST favorably impressed with two articles I spotted in U.S. News And World Report, specifically Volume 134, #20, June 9, 2003. The first I reviewed in the previous edition, and here comes the other, a review of "Fished Out" by Thomas Hayden (pg. 38). This one is crucial reading for every operative. It gets harder by the year for fully aquatic operatives to reach the plates of new contacts, in spite of the tremendous worldwide demand for seafood, whether fresh, frozen, canned, or salted. This is what happens when you allow the Naked Apes to run any sort of major industry. Having decimated the Swordfish, Shrimp, Cod and Roughy populations, the fools are now talking blithely about finding new ways to eat the "trash" they used to throw over the side of the trawlers, like Jellyfish and Barnacles. Our only option to preserve biodiversity is to withdraw whole species beyond the reach of the Naked Apes, and introduce others. We have to bear in mind that not all of the species in hiding will make it. Living underground (as the landscum call it) is tough, and there’s nothing tougher to hide from than a monkey in a submersible. Some of our operative divisions have simply outlasted their usefulness anyway, like the species commonly called "mermaids," but that doesn’t excuse what the idiots on dry land are doing to wipe out their own food supplies AND YOUR RELATIVES.

What I want to point out here is that we are making use of the benefits in this crisis. Until now, for instance, only Far Eastern landscum knew how to interact with a jellyfish, but the word is spreading at long, long last. This does nothing but benefit us. The wholesale closing of cod fisheries is going to give a much-needed rest to many other species as well, giving us the opportunity to multiply…and make some plans. Read between the lines and notice which species are NOT mentioned. These will be the next major players in our world-takeover scheme. Stay tuned!

CLIFFIE’S NOTES ON Revenge Of The Creature

This is the second installment in the Creature From The Black Lagoon series, and I can recommend it just as highly as I do the first one. This movie shows the worst-case scenario of an operative who penetrates into the world of the landscum, unsupported by his Pod. Plot summary: a second expedition to the Amazon succeeds in bringing the Gill Man back to Naked Ape civilization, specifically the Ocean Harbor seaquarium in Florida. Another pretty girl in a white, one-piece bathing suit, working in tandem with her love interest, set themselves to the task of studying the kidnap victim who is chained to the bottom of a large display tank. They go to work on him with drugged food, a ball-and-chain apparatus (how symbolic) and a cattle prod. They say they’re trying to assess his intelligence, but get real, they just want him to do whatever they say. He takes this for just so long and no longer. Eventually he frees himself, beards his tormentors in their love nest at the Star Motel, makes off with the girl, and the hunt is on. This film ends badly for the Gill Man, but worse for the apes, who lose another excellent chance to open negotiations with our people.

>> They used slightly different star power in this film, casting Tom Hennesy to play the Gill Man in the dry-land scenes. Good old Ricou Browning plays him underwater as before. Hennesy plays the role quite differently from Ben Chapman, whom you saw in the land scenes of the original film. This new Gill Man is a tougher customer, well fed, well rested, thoroughly out of patience with the ways of the landscum and ready to kick some Pink Monkey keester. You would be, too, in his place.

>> Again, the Gill Man in this movie does not come across as a trained operative to me. If he knew what he was up against he would simply get the hell out of Dodge. Instead, he tries as well as he can, as long as he can, to be nice to the landscum doing experiments on him, but finally he just can’t take it anymore. I don’t see this as a failure on his part. He had no back-up at all and hey, he was being tortured.

>> If you ask me it’s hard to miss the way the Gill Man – having been treated with rather less than the average respect accorded a newly-arrived ambassador – STILL maintains an incredible level of decency. The humans can’t detect decency when they see it, though. Notice the way his pursuers hold their fire at the Gill Man because they don’t want to hit the girl he’s carrying. NOT because he hasn’t hurt her and doesn’t deserve to take a bullet. It astonishes me that he would even attempt to get her alive to the Pod for debriefing, after she kidnapped him from his home and practiced monkey psychology on him. We could have gotten a good deal of information (plus a tasty snack) from her dismembered, waterlogged body. THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE WITH ME.

>> Of course, we now have it arranged so things never get this out of hand and we don’t have to worry about exacting a bloody revenge. But next time you chafe at one of our security precautions, Constant Reader, remember the Gill Man. THIS COULD BE YOU.

>> Now that I think of it, he could have just taken her by the hair and dragged her wherever he wanted in the water, instead of carrying her above the surface and depositing her on the beach when he had to go down for a breath of air. Now show me one place in this movie where they showed HIM half as much consideration. That is one hell of a nice guy.

>> Not to mention gorgeous. This guy is so gorgeous.

>> Notice also the sympathy the Gill Man has for his fellow captives at Ocean Harbor. Even the humans comment on the way he doesn’t eat his tankmates. And they certainly are more appetizing than the Purina Dolphin Chow they feed him. You and I know they were all working together on the escape plan.

>> Several operatives viewing this film have asked me about the fact that they kidnapped the Gill Man from the Amazon Basin and slung him into a tank that was obviously filled with saltwater species – sea turtles, sawfish and the odd barracuda. I cannot see this as a security breach, only as a typical example of B-movie scientific accuracy.

>> To give you another example of the moviemakers’ attention to detail: where did they get a cattle prod that works underwater?

>> I can never get over how humans go into a situation shooting, stabbing, clubbing, spraying poison gas, then get all upset when the species they’ve assaulted doesn’t LIKE them. The movie starts right out with a nasty confrontation and gets worse from there. What do they really expect from us? Free pork chops? This is precisely what makes all human entertainment so nightmarish for another species to watch.

>> Speaking of species prejudice -- is it just me, or is there ANYTHING more unsettling than watching humans blow the crap out of aliens, giant sharks, rabid vampire bats, unfriendly robots, ferocious packs of squid, killer morning-glory vines, irascible demons, and EACH OTHER for every minute of a two-hour movie and then see that disclaimer appear on the screen as the credits roll? ‘NO ACTUAL HARM CAME TO THE CHIHUAHUAS USED IN THIS PICTURE.’

>> I’ll tell you what, only a Naked Ape audience, that claims to share such a sympathy and spritual kinship with the cetaceans, could watch that scene featuring "Flippy, The Educated Porpoise" and not see what was really going on there. Check out the hatefilled sneer on poor Flippy’s face as he slides up to his human tormentor to accept his gross, slimy dead fish in payment for that last trick. They could just as well have added subtitles: "OK, I rang the goddamn bell and hoisted the goddamn flag. NOW WILL YOU PLEASE KILL ME?"

>> In spite of the aqua-hating action in this movie, there are a good many lines in the script that suggest SOMEONE involved knew what they were talking about. Captain Lucas, now piloting the trim new Rita II into danger because his original boat was clobbered in the first movie, asks: "It doesn’t belong in our world. It should have died out long before Man was born. Still it exists…Why?" Well, Chumly, you aren’t handling things too well, are you? Somebody has to keep the situation straight. If not us, who? If not now, when?

>> Same ending, different movie. The Gill Man cannot ultimately escape the wrath of the Naked Apes but he manages to keep his bullet-riddled body out of their hands. There is a message for all of us in this repeating motif. NEVER LET THEM TAKE YOU ALIVE. AND NEVER, NEVER LET THEM DO AN AUTOPSY.


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