Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
Drifting played by Andy McKee. He is an exceptional talent! You can find more about him at http://www.candyrat.com/artists/andymckee/ You may also want to check out Into the Ocean. This post has nothing to do with monkeys, however I am confident that you will enjoy Andy's music! I couldn't find his albums at any record retailer, but you should be able to get them from the Candy Rat website.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Bonobos A compelling statement against war. This is one of the best mixed media videos that I have seen! I encourage you to comment on it. The person who put this video on YouTube is Desheik. By the way, a bonobo is a type of chimpanzee.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Three posts ago, I presented a conceptual art piece by New York artist Shiri Sandler. This piece was Ape-girl performs "fools gold". Shiri has generously offered to share some of her poetry with the Monkey Prose readers. You will find this below. I hope that you enjoy it!
I wouldn't take my word for it
/ The Poetics Of The Absurd.
Quickuick in a hurry,
suddenly streched beyond galaxies,
a bubbly shelter.
We are not safe here in this forest.
scratching claws on a tree trunk -
maybe they'll stick.
A claw breaks in the trunk
so she takes it with her.
Touch the mossy side for north.
the moss has become precious
They spin gold from it
She uses her force field
and plants a new forest.
I draw lines throughout dimensions,
Some is invented and some is staged for this event.
All that's left are traces
Of memories/ dreams/ places
I write and re-write my story as I go.
Today I reached a spot where art imitated life,
And life imitated it back.
You know I love you.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Ape to Man A fascinating program from The History Channel which explores our simian ancestors. I invite proponents from both sides of the evolution issue to post their comments.
"Dissent is the native activity of the scientist, and it has got him into a good deal of trouble in the last years. But if that is cut off, what is left will not be a scientist. And I doubt whether it will be a man."
- Jacob Bronowski
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Jimmy Clause The story of two of Santa Clause's nephews who are being considered as Santa's replacement. Some parts of this video are a little amateurish, but overall, it is pretty well done. Very clever idea! This video is from A Monkey & A Typewriter Productions.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Onion Head Monster battles Sea Monkey for the right to destroy Ant City. I know what you're thinking, "My God! Another Destroy Ant City video? Haven't they beaten that idea to death?" However, I think that this video takes a more cinema verite approach to this genre.
Monday, December 18, 2006
What happened to Mighty Joe Young after his blockbuster movie in 1949? Thanks to the godlike powers of Google, I was able to locate him and (believe it or not) he is still alive!
Mighty Joe Young was born in 1930, in Ottawa, Ontario. His Canadian heritage does a lot to explain why he was so much nicer than King Kong. Canadians are the nicest people on the planet, with the possible exceptions of Mother Theresa and my second grade teacher, Miss Walkowsky.
His father, Mighty Quinn Young, was a stage director, who was passionate about Eugene O'Neill. His production of Mourning Becomes Electra (with an all chimpanzee cast) stunned the Canadian critics. His mother, Loretta, appeared as an extra, in a number of early Tarzan movies.
With such strong dramatic roots, it was inevitable that Joe would gravitate to the theatrical profession. This talent manifested itself early in his life. Picking up a coconut was transformed into Alas, poor Yorick! A breast beating would be accompanied by a piercing cry of Hey Stella!
Zookeepers recognized his talent and encouraged him to participate in the animal park's theatre productions. Along the way he developed a passion for dancing. His greatest love was the tango, at which he excelled. When performing La Salida Simple, Joe became the very embodiment of fluidity and grace.
But by the time Joe was 18, he recognized that Canada was far too limited a jungle for him to develop his talents. He was drawn to Hollywood like a chimp to bananas. His parents supported his move, and six months later, he attended his first casting call.
Joe quickly discovered his greatest auditioning skill - It's tough to say "No" to a 500 lb. gorilla! Joe won small parts in film noir flicks, typically playing "the heavy" His performances impressed Ernest B. Schoedsack, who directed King Kong.
In 1948, Schoedsack was developing a sequel to King Kong, and realized that Mighty Joe Young was a natural for the part. Merian C. Cooper, who wrote the screenplays for both movies, actually rewrote the script to accent Joe's rugged good looks, and animal magnetism. He even adopted Joe's name for the movie title. The result was, as we all know, box office boffo!
But what happened to Mighty Joe Young after his movie success?
After the movie run finished, and he was no longer invited to A List parties (Hollywood has such a short memory!) Joe became disillusioned with Tinseltown, and realized that his happiest memories involved dancing the tango in the Argentinean nightclubs that Ottawa is so famous for. No one in Hollywood could perform a decent el Paseo, or even a rudimentary la Caminata.
Joe made the most important decision of his life. He turned his back on Hollywood, returned to Ottawa, and opened up a dance school. His movie fame and exceptional dancing skills quickly made it a success! And there he remains, to this day.
In 1992, Joe made one brief return to Hollywood, to be choreographer for Scent of a Woman. Director Martin Brest, credits Mighty Joe Young with propelling Al Pacino to his stellar performance in The Tango Scene.
At 76, Joe can no longer bend with his dance partners like he did in his youth, but he still exudes el Alma del Tango (the Soul of the Tango)! I wish you many more tango years. Joe!
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Banana Man by Tallyhall. I think that they will definitely win the BEST USE OF ZOMBIES IN A CALYPSO MUSIC VIDEO category at the next MTV Awards! You can find out more about this group at Tallhall.com.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
If I may be serious for a moment, I had an epiphany today, that I would like to share with you:
It's not about ME. It's about OTHER PEOPLE.
For the past few years, I've felt that my life lacked a sense of direction and purpose. This manifested itself in depression, panic attacks, and a general dissatisfaction with day to day existence. I was not happy, and nothing seemed to make me feel satisfied or fulfilled.
A number of events created this state of mind:
* - I am 57 years old, and recently realized that I'm not going to live forever. The idea that someday I was going to die hit me in the face like a left hook from Mike Tyson. I mean, no shit, I am actually going to die someday! It wasn't an abstract concept. It was a visceral realization. It scared the hell out of me, and threw me off balance emotionally. It gave me nightmares!
* - My best friend John, a contemporary in age, passed away from cancer a year ago.
* - I've reached the point in my life where being a workaholic no longer fulfills my emotional and spiritual needs.
* - My wife got sick in 2000, with a cerebral aneurysm. This required surgery, and she is now partially disabled.
* - My wife's illness almost forced us into bankruptcy (a couple of times), and our financial condition has been "dicey" for the past few years - until very recently. (Things are looking better now.)
* - Two years ago, my wife was involved in a head-on collision. The car was totaled and she was seriously injured. She recovered from the accident, but it was a long, slow process.
* - I have been supporting my 20 year daughter - both emotionally and financially - as she struggles with a new baby, getting through college, and establishing herself as a successful and happy adult.
There's more, but this is the good stuff.
In general, I have been feeling sorry for myself. I don't recommend it as a life style, because it sucks!
Then I recently started supporting monkey conservation groups through my blog. I have been featuring posts about them, linking to them, and also supporting them financially. It has been very rewarding - the first emotional "shot in the arm" that I have felt in a long time! And I genuinely care about this issue. Monkeys are my little buddies!
Also, today I went and worked with Habitat for Humanity in Newark, NJ. I met some really nice people who genuinely care about other people, and back it up with physical work. The program allows low income people to buy their own homes. At the end of the day, I felt better than I've felt in a long time!
The conclusion that I have drawn from these experiences is:
It's not about ME. It's about OTHER PEOPLE (and monkeys).
I feel, after a very long time, that my life is beginning to have some purpose and direction again. I will continue to volunteer my time and energy to worthwhile causes, because I now realize that one person CAN make a difference in our world.
Look for more upbeat news in the near future. I want to use the word zeitgeist in a post. I heard it on National Public Radio!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Simon Plotsky, 96, voiced his objections. "We were there and saw with our own eyes what that monkey did to our city! It was Horrible! Horrible! We should never forget!" When Simon was asked where he lived in New York at the time of the incident, he could not remember. He also couldn't remember where he lives now.
CNN Reporter Mindy Lee spoke with Hans Frichter, the President (and also Mayor and Police Chief) of Liechtenstein about the meeting. Mr. Frichter said "We are a small country with limited income. Postage stamp sales to collectors have dropped off sharply in the past 10 years because of e-mails and the internet. Iran brought in a bundle of tourist dollars with their Denial Conference. Why shouldn't we cash in as well?"
When Miss Lee pointed out that King Kong was just a movie, not a real event, Mr. Frichter commented "Well, that is yet to be determined. You should come to the Conference and find out. I can get you a good deal on a hotel! Breakfast is included!"
Reaction to the Conference from the monkey world has been positive. P Monkey faithful sidekick of LonelyGirl15 said "The media should pay more attention to primate issues. After all, we've been around a lot longer than you humans!" The Bronx Zoo's Monkey and Ape Coalition also voiced support for the Conference. Spokesman Bongo Bongo (a 10 year old orangutan) commented "It's time to stop blaming us for the decline of Western Civilization. It's been more than 100 years since Darwin's book came out. Get over it!"
Hotel bookings and airline reservations for the tiny country have risen sharply. Mr Frichter is hoping for a slow news week, to increase press coverage. Or as he put it, "If nobody gets blown up, then Cha-Ching!"
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Primate Crossword No. 1 This was originally published in The New Chimp Times. I thought that their article - "When Good Bananas Go Bad" was a literary tour de force!
Monday, December 11, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Bed Nets for Kids Is a charity that is fighting malaria by a very simple technology - providing bed nets for children in malaria infested areas. This keeps mosquitos away while the children are sleeping. I encourage you to support this worthwhile cause. Please mention Monkey Prose if you do!
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
G is For Gorilla - Part 3 One of the better amateur videos that I have seen. I am posting two of them on my blog. This one is my favorite. The filmmaker has incorporated a lot of sophisticated tools into these videos - slow motion, sound effects, etc. I think that this person is very talented!