Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Salute To Eddie Quist

I just saw The Howling for the first time in years and years, and I just wanted to point out how much I appreciate the blunt honesty of hero Eddie Quist. He is a bit furry -- much furrier than the average human, in fact -- and he is part of a MUCH LESS SUCCESSFUL WORLD TAKEOVER CONSPIRACY. But there's one thing you can't take away from him. Eddie understands perfectly what humans are good for.

They are there to be KILLED. And EATEN.

Sunday, October 16, 2011



This 1974 Arthur Herzog novel is the source of MANY AN OVERBLOWN LEGEND about our sisters in the world-takeover conspiracy, the killer bees. Not to mention the source of a really crappy big-budget disaster movie, 1978's The Swarm, featuring BRADFORD DILLMAN -- whose acting brilliance, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, just wasn't enough to save the picture from being a STEAMING PILE.

...But back to the book. This is actually a great read, with a sort of Andromeda Strain feel to it. The reader watches, more than a little tensely, as the desperate scientists work to solve the killer-bee riddle before the entire USA is inundated with the stinging hordes. They hardly ever bog you down in a bunch of scientific claptrap, tacking back and forth from the bee-research facility to, say, a picnic where someone broke a jar of honey, and you know everyone is about to die horribly. The tension stays high and so does the reader's interest.'s weird in spots.


>> Even though they have a lovely and mysterious Brazilian scientist on the team, NOBODY MAKES THE CONNECTION that the killer bees, long extant in Brazil, are REALLY NOT MUCH OF A PROBLEM DOWN THERE. Typical for a Seventies sci-fi novel, the lovely and mysterious etc's main purpose in the story is for the protagonist to go to bed with.

>> It seems far from clear to these bee experts that every attack on humans starts with an attack on the bees. You'd think at least that the 10-year-old boy who lost his parents and sister to the first bee attack would know better than to go out and throw a rock at the hive. That's just what he does, though, and GUESS WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Typical Shaved Monkeys, I swear!

>> It's far from clear to me, personally, why the authorities thought it would be safer to have people living in tents in Central Park as the killer bees storm New York City. They keep saying that the apartment buildings are far too easy for the bees to get into, compared to a tent. Yeah, OK. Nobody even mentions the fact that tents are very unlikely to have any useful amount of food or water inside them, let alone sanitary facilities, forcing the refugees to leg it repeatedly across the park for everything they need, when they could be buttoned up safely in their own homes with canned goods and running water. I really dare say even the unsafe apartments could be MADE safe. HAVE THESE BRILLIANT SCIENTISTS NEVER HEARD OF CAULK?

>> The ending was purely a wish-fulfillment fantasy. 'Nuff said. I WON'T SPOIL IT FOR YOU. But it was a nice touch of lemmingdom, really...I'll shut up now.

>> Most astonishing of all is the unlikely racist undersmell in this story. OK, not an undersmell -- it's an oversmell. In all my years of hearing about the onrushing Killer Bee menace, I never heard them called African or Africanized bees. They were always the Brazilian killer bees, period dot. My first exposure to the "African Menace" angle came about pretty recently, when I saw something about it in Michael Moore's gun-violence documentary, Bowling For Columbine. But Herzog points out, on every page of his book, that the bees are African. There's one scene where a scientist barges into a boardroom at the research center where they're discussing their bee findings, saying "They've discovered a tribe of Mau Maus in Florida!" By this he means a hive of killer bees. Much later in the story they sit around discussing with straight faces the fact that the African bees need to be replaced by WASPs -- white Anglo-Saxon Protestant bees. No, really, they said it right there on the page. And then they all laughed. In other words, ladies, the Naked Apes look at killer bees and see the Black Power movement. Unbelievable. I mean, I know humans are anthropomorphizers, monkeycentric, thinking everything is about THEM -- but puuuu-leeze! DID NOBODY NOTICE THE EXOSKELETONS?

You'll enjoy this one, I promise.



Snakehead: A Fish Out Of Water was penned by Eric Jay Dolin and came out in 2003 through Smithsonian Books. Normally not the place you'd expect to find such an entertaining story, but there you go. I SIMPLY CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TOO HIGHLY, no matter how far along you are in your transformation from Shaved Monkey to fully aquatic. In fact, even an unimproved, 100% human should get quite a kick out of it.
What's so great about this one? Let me enlighten you:

>> As a rule, the books I read and review for you here at The Notes are not really about fish. They are about WHAT NAKED APES THINK ABOUT FISH. This book comes right out and admits that fact.

>> The author makes no bones about the fact that what Naked Apes think about fish is, well, STOOPID.

>> As you read you will learn a great deal about how the Shaved Monkeys think. They go on and on about their superior intelligence and penetrating insights, but let's get real, THEY DROP EVERYTHING AND FREAK OUT IF YOU TELL THEM A SCARY STORY. This happens to be a scary story about a fish. On page after page, you see this or that scientist or expert get shouted down by the spaz cases who want to believe that they are all about to be eaten alive by twelve-foot amphibious lake monsters. You could really die laughing as you read.

>> The book takes us, pretty much day by day, through the Summer of the Snakehead (2002), and starts you right out with the guy who caught a good-sized operative at Crofton Pond and let her go because he thought she looked pregnant. Awww, isn't it cute when they do something that will get them all KILLED and EATEN? From there the story was off and running, because he couldn't quite figure out the species and sent some photos to the DNR. They told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on...

>> Next thing any of us knew, John Stewart and Stephen Colbert were covering the fracas over at The Daily Show. WE KNEW WE'D HIT THE BIG TIME AT THAT POINT. It was awesome. Hiding behind this smokescreen, the Asian Carp made more progress up the Mississippi River, UNNOTICED AND UNMOLESTED, than at any other time in their campaign. I truly believe that an Asian Carp could have launched herself out of the water and jammed herself up the President's nose that summer without anyone even noticing. IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE SNAKEHEADS.

>> You and I, of course, know THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY. Our operative -- who was, indeed, expecting -- knew her cover had been blown as soon as the fisherman's buddy got out his camera. At this moment, unbeknownst to the Shaved Monkeys, IT WAS ALREADY ALL OVER. Long before the DNR saw those photos, the operative had led a detachment of her compatriots into the nearby Little Patuxent River, leaving behind only those who had NO SENSITIVE INFORMATION TO REVEAL. Expert fish scientist type guys spent the summer sandbagging, defoliating and poisoning the pond, NEVER KNOWING THEIR WORST FEARS WERE ALREADY REALIZED. It's enough to make a cat laugh.

>> Disappointments? Well, yes, there were a few in here. Like so many books that come out these days, this one could have benefited from a thorough copyediting. Even I know the difference between "bare" and "bear," for crying out loud. Also, the story stops short at the fall of 2002, and you never get to read the horrified commentary about the Snakeheads who took over the Potomac, essentially SURROUNDING the nation's capital. Also, while the author touches on the panics surrounding the infestations of earlier decades -- the killer bees of course, the Sea Lampreys and, Yours Truly, the Walking Catfish -- he never got all that deeply into those branches of the story. THAT WAS A BIG MISTAKE.

But these are only minor quibbles. THIS ONE BELONGS IN EVERY OPERATIVE'S HOME LIBRARY.

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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Shaved Monkey Has Flash Of Insight

Live like a mud-fish; its skin is bright and shiny

even though it lives in mud.


Now, HERE'S MY QUESTION about this pithy quote: Does it express admiration for the inherent greatness of the mighty clan of mudfish? Does it embody true PISCATORIAL LOVE? Or is this just another typical Monkey People statement about looking better than your neighbors, in order to assert that your monkey status is higher than theirs? YOU BE THE JUDGE.

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