My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, July 23

Dualities & Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Tiger, Tuffy, and Charlie woke me up in the wee small hours, apparently wanting me to join them on the back patio. So I did, always willing to obey my three masters. It was pre-dawn gray, the cats on their cat condos peering out in the darkness at our tall arbor vitae trees. Then a hulking shape appeared near the trees, a huge coyote come to mark his territory with a few urinary squirts. The boys were mesmerized, as was I. Dark shape in the darkness, our only separation the flimsy screening between that shape and us. It struck me then how little separates us from evil, how the universe and mankind are so much influenced by dualities: day and night, good and evil, heaven and hell, angels and devils, yin and yang, peace and war, female and male (although this last duality isn’t nearly as clear today as it once was).

It’s almost as though without this balance between positives and negatives, we couldn’t exist. But how frightening it is to think of the balance tipping toward the dark side. Wars all over the Middle East, atrocities against women in Nigeria, and Iraq and Iran, senseless killings in our schools, pedophiles in our churches, and drug cartels butchering people to our south.

After the coyote finished marking his territory, he went on his way and I returned to my bed to dream uneasily about dark shapes and imbalanced teeter-totters.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the eighth in this film franchise, got generally good reviews. So we went. We sat for nearly two hours, both inwardly chuckling at some of the more stupid moments, and there were plenty, both of us agreeing after the credits that it wasn’t a very good film. The costuming and makeup and special effects were impressive, but the plot sort of reeked of ape feces (simian shit, or bull shit with a bovine borrowing). A post-apocalyptic setting only ten years later could not look as rusty and devastated as this one did. And the apes could not leap as high or as far as these apes did. Caesar, the leader of the apes, is one moment near death from a gunshot wound and the next moment is engaged in violent battle with Koba, the villainous ape who wanted to usurp Caesar’s leadership. The violence of the battles between ape and human was almost laughable in its absurdity. We were thankful that we hadn’t chosen to see it in 3D, because we’d have had to leave midway, dizzy and nauseous from so many apes leaping into our laps. Maybe we should have left midway through the non-3D version. That would have been good. I’ll stick with the old original Planet of the Apes with Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowell. All the others can go climb a tree.
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