SLACKJAW by JIM KNIPFEL
March 8, 2009

The Threat isn’t Going Away

 

Two weeks ago, following a super-intelligent, 200-pound chimpanzee’s attack upon a fifty-five year old woman in Stamford, (as well as the chimp’s supposed “death” at the hands of police), I wrote a column in which I tried to warn people about the impending Ape Revolution.

            This was a potentially dangerous move on my part. Not only would it make me a possible target for simian assassins determined to keep their insidious plans a secret as long as possible—it also opened me up to potential ridicule by an ignorant public, determined to cling tight to their ignorance.

            It’s happened before. In the early days of 2003, I publicly urged NASA to prevent the space shuttle Columbia from returning to Earth, given the nature of the mission’s experimental cargo. The Columbia’s crew, if you recall, carried several Australian Golden Orb spiders into space, intending to study the effects of weightlessness and other unearthly conditions upon the creatures. It was clear to me even before the mission left the ground that this was a dangerous idea.

            It seems NASA agreed with me (eventually), and the Columbia disintegrated in the skies over Texas. Unfortunately, they waited too long, and the shuttle was much too close to the Earth at the time of the “accident” to guarantee the destruction of the spiders.

            For weeks afterward in the pages of a New York-based weekly newspaper, I tried to warn the people of Earth about the imminent threat posed by Giant Radioactive Space Spiders.

            At the time, my warnings were met with derision or dismissed by most readers. People said that I was “crazy” and “annoying,” and appealed to the paper’s editors to make me stop writing such “crazy, annoying” stories. As a result, we all see what’s happened—the government cover-up of the Giant Radioactive Space Spider trouble in east Texas has been allowed to roll merrily along, with nary a soul raising a single question or dissenting voice.

            This time, however, things seem to be different. Rarely have I seen such a flood of enthusiastic responses to my dire warnings. This time, people from across the country knew the threat was real, and they were worried. Some had uncovered more evidence of the ape rebellion—including a few who themselves had been the victim of insulting and downright rude chimp behavior. Others had questions and theories, and a few recommended other renegade chimp films from years past. A man in Chicago, for instance, reminded me of A Cold Night’s Death, a made for-TV film in which scientists at a research lab in the Arctic find themselves fighting for their lives against a group of revenge-seeking experimental apes. (It seems filmmakers, more than any other single group, have been trying to warn us about the possibility of an ape revolution since the early ‘70s).

            Speaking of ‘70s films, one also has to wonder about the recent airing—for the first time anywhere—of the original director’s cut of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Unlike the heavily-edited theatrical version released in 1972, the original version was a nasty and brutal film. While in the theatrical version the apes take a step back at the end and opt for a more peaceful resolution to their troubles with humans, in the director’s cut they just chop and shoot and burn and stomp every human they find.

            Why would that version be shown mere weeks before Travis attacked that woman? Was it another warning—or conversely, did it set the wheels turning in Travis’ head?

            (A friend was kind enough to tape the ultra-violent version of the film off the television for me, but another friend who offered to make a few copies for me now says he’s having trouble—that the tape is encrypted or some such. Which leads me to wonder if maybe he might not be another Ape Collaborator.)

            The question of whether or not Travis faked his own death (perhaps by wearing a bulletproof vest under his fur) has been raised by more than one reader. “Where’s the body?” a man from Queens asked. “Did his owner bury him in the backyard?”

            The answer to that, of course is a simple “we don’t know.” Oh, sure, on the twenty-fifth it was reported that Travis had been cremated, conveniently leaving no provable evidence behind. But I don’t buy it for a second. That could’ve been any chimp—remember there was a little switcheroo at the end of Escape From the Planet of the Apes, too—and the chimp who survived that switch went on to lead the revolution in Conquest.

            Coincidence? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

            Perhaps most telling that we’re facing a terrible threat to the future of mankind arose last week, when it was reported that the government publicly admitted as much with “The Captive Primate Safety Act.” Ostensibly, the act would prevent purchasing or transporting monkeys and apes across state lines for use as pets—but we know better.

            The Los Angeles Times quotes the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) as saying, “When we treat animals properly, and respect the fact that they are not like us -- that their needs are not met by being dressed up in tutus or taught to drink wine from wine glasses -- we make our communities and our families safer.”

            In other words, if you humiliate your chimp by making him or her do a bunch of silly tricks for your own amusement, look out—because they’re gonna get you for it in the end.

            It’s a fair and logical conclusion. But when you think of all those generations of trike-riding, cigar smoking, fez-wearing primates in our circuses and carnivals—as well as all those imprisoned in zoos—it soon becomes apparent that we are looking at hundreds of thousands—perhaps even millions—of monkeys and apes the world over seeking revenge. And my god, I don’t even want to think about what the cast of Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp might have in mind.

            As one reader put it:

            Although I am happy to hear about the seriousness given this subject, [I] am concerned about the ineptitude of the response. Face it, whatever we do now is too little, too late; especially when the bumbling fools in Washington attempt something this sweeping.

            Under any other circumstances, I would find the legislation an absurd waste of time. You compare the number of people mauled by dogs every year with the number mauled by, you know, chimps, and there’s no comparison. Yet you don’t see anybody trying to put national controls on dog ownership.

            No, there’s something else behind the Primate Control Act. They’re clearly trying to keep a close eye on the movements of the nation’s non-human primate population. You let too many of them get together, and there’s going to be trouble.

            Control measures like that didn’t work in Conquest, and they won’t work now. Besides, what do the authorities plan to do if they catch an orangutan trying to cross state lines illegally? Are they going to lock him up, or put him out on the street where he can do lord knows what?

            There are so many other questions—for instance, where is Travis now, and how many apes does he have with him?

            I’m sure various security and intelligence officials are asking themselves those same questions. As for the rest of us, until the revolutionary apes begin to reveal themselves, all I can offer is the same exhortation my friend John offered recently: keep vigilant.

            And keep your eyes peeled for giant spiders, too.

 

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