There was a period in the late '70s and early '80s--which I refer to as the Dark Ages of culture--when the craze was apes dressed as humans and doing terrific things. There was "BJ and the Bear" (don't make the mistake of Googling that!), about a southern trucker and his "best friend Bear"--Bear being the name of his ape pet who made funny facial expressions and occasionally got BJ out of jams. There was "Every Which Way But Loose" and its sequel, "Any Which Way You Can", where Clint Eastwood played a barefist boxer with a pet orangutan that made funny facial expressions and occasionally got Clint out of jams. Then in the '80s there was "Mister Smith" about an ape that could talk and was somehow President of the United States. This killed the Ape Era.
Now, some might say the Ape Era died a natural death, because there was only so much audiences could take of seeing apes in funny human-like situations. However, keep in mind that the American public is made up of complete morons (case in point--"According to Jim"). So I have a far more sinister theory involving the highest levels of the American Government.
See, the Ape Era crossed a threshhold when they made the show about the Ape President, because it was quickly decided by President Reagan and Tip O'Neil--two notorious crooks who collectively were far less smart than the average ape--that if the American public got used to seeing an ape in the Oval Office--even if it were only in a bad sitcom--then it wouldn't be long before we decided to elect actual apes to Congress and the presidency. Because then there'd be the embarrassing revelation that a herd of apes would hardly do worse running our government than our current leaders.
I ponder this as I think about the fact that we still don't have a debt limit deal, because no one has the guts to touch entitlements or military spending or our sacred mess of a tax code. At least monkeys throwing darts at a bulletin board might have a chance of getting something right once in a while.
In 2012, I'm voting for Mister Jingles.
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