The Monkey Time

August 7, 2011

Friday morning I woke and, like Red at the end of The Shawshank Redemption, was so excited, I could barely sit still or hold a thought in my head.

Not only did I have a rare weekday off work – and one that wasn’t about to be carved up by errands – but the day coincided with the opening of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. As a child of the ’70s, I’ve noted the hold that the films based on Pierre Boulle’s novel Planet Of The Apes had on my imagination.

Though I’d vowed not to be lured in to this latest take on the monkey tale, four months of tantalizing trailers and clips proved to be too much to resist.

That resistence was further eroded earlier in the week as photos began to arrive from Paloma’s brother, on a junket in central Africa, trekking through a remote region that is home to the few hundred remaining mountain gorillas in the world.

This confluence of events prompted me to do a little research.

The first thing I discovered was that the mountain gorillas reside in what is known as the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and live up on the slopes in “cloud forests.”

I find our planet that much more wonderous simply knowing that somewhere, simians or not, is a place known as an impenetrable forest and there is such a thing as a cloud forest. Add apes and I’m wondering if the gorillas would mind a couple of humans and a few cats putting up a treehouse in the neighborhood.

(though, as Bwindi is the only forest where mountain gorillas and chimpanzees live, the latter group should also be consulted)

I also learned that mountain gorillas will run, bipedally, for distances up to six miles.

(most of the humans I know would struggle to do the same…I suspect even fewer know what “bipedal” means)

The intelligence of these creatures is profound and, though early risers, mountain gorillas have the good sense to stay in their nests if they awake and it’s raining or overcast.

(I’ve been trained to leave the nest and go to work in such conditions)

In addition to intelligence, primatologists believe that the gorillas are able to consider the past, ponder the future, and – as some researchers theorize – are capable of spiritual reflection.

(an idea that would, no doubt, chap the asses of the uber-pious among the humans and cause them to fling poop)

I also read that the most common form of intragroup communication between gorillas is “deep, rumbling belches” suggesting contentment.

As for Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes…hail Caesar!

Here are four songs from Gorillaz…

Gorillaz (featuring Del Tha Funkee Homosapien) – Clint Eastwood
from Gorillaz

Gorillaz – Dirty Harry
from Demon Days

Gorillaz (featuring De La Soul) – Feel Good Inc.
from Demon Days

Gorillaz (featuring Bobby Womack and Mos Def) – Stylo
from Plastic Beach