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Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

I am a human, but I love those apes and that planet they got. I really have enjoyed the entire PLANET OF THE APES series except for the Tim Burton one. Even that has amazing Rick Baker makeup and a beautifully goofy ending (that everyone else hates). But the original and all its ‘70s sequels are fun in different ways, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES reinvented it surprisingly well, then DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES and WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES pushed this incarnation into full on greatness.

This new one KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES builds off of the previous trilogy, but somebody could start here if they wanted to. I was surprised by the prologue, showing the funeral for central character Caesar (with a cameo by Maurice!). But it tells you all you need to know: that a virus made apes smarter, killed most of the humans, and Caesar was the first leader of the apes, but now he’s dead. This story takes place “many generations later,” when apes have established different settlements with their own cultures and Caesar is revered as “the first elder.”

The brilliant director of the last two installments, Matt Reeves, up and moved to Gotham City, so this one comes from a new team, other than producers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who wrote RISE. This time the director is Wes Ball, who did the MAZE RUNNER trilogy (which it turns out I need to see) and the writer is Josh Friedman (WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE BLACK DAHLIA, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE). Friedman worked on the AVATAR sequels, and this seems like a movie that might not exist without them – a shamelessly sincere fantasy adventure that’s mostly performance capture/animation but feels like live action and involves a conflict between nature and technology.

Like the Na’vi, the apes have different tribes. Here we meet a trio of young chimpanzee friends, Noa (Owen Teague, IT, THE EMPTY MAN), Soona (Lydia Peckham, Cowboy Bebop) and Anaya (Travis Jeffery, UNBROKEN), of the Eagle Clan. They’re climbing high trees and cliffs that it took me a bit to realize were buildings grown over with plants, searching for eagle’s nests. As an important rite of passage they each must bring home an egg for tomorrow’s bonding ceremony, because their people are falconers, they train birds to, among other things, bring them fish.

When the kids return to their horses (man, it’s still cool to see apes ride horses) they find that one of their blankets has been stolen by an unseen creature that they nervously chase after. It drops the blanket while escaping into a tunnel that they’re forbidden to enter, but leaves the blanket behind, and they can tell by its putrid smell that it was an “echo” – their name for humans, which most of these apes tell legends about, but don’t seem to have ever seen before.

Their clan values good climbers, and Noa is a particularly good one, but he still thinks he disappoints his father Koro (Neil Sandilands, “Harbour pilot [uncredited],” BLACKHAT), who he will some day replace as “Master of Birds.” One little moment I love is when Noa nervously goes up to his father’s bird tower to tell him he got an egg from the “top nest” and there’s a guy there that seems like security or something. His name is Oda, he wears blue face paint, he looks intimidating. After Koro has left Oda asks Noa, “You climbed top nest?,” surprised. When Noa nods, Oda says, “Hard climb” and gives him a fist bump. You just get the sense that that means everything to Noa, for a tough guy like that to offer him respect.

Then everything goes to shit. First, Noa discovers that the echo followed him home to steal more stuff. Then he breaks his egg in a scuffle. Then, while out at night looking for another egg, he sees Oda get killed by an army of vicious, scary-masked raiders armed with cattle prods and commanded by a gorilla named Sylva (Eka Darville, Power Rangers RPM). And worst of all Noa’s horse gets spooked and runs, the invaders follow him to the village, burn it down, start taking apes prisoner.

One thing I really appreciate is that when Noa climbs up to his father and tries to tell him it’s his fault, Koro immediately shuts that shit down, treats him as a peer, they free the birds and try to fight off Sylva together, but fail. The next morning Noa climbs out from the wreckage, the only one left except for the birds. And he sets out to go through that forbidden tunnel, find where these apes came from and rescue his friends and his his mother Dar (Sara Wiseman) from enslavement.

So you see, this really is a straight up fantasy movie. A young man from a peaceful village is preparing to enter adulthood, the expectations of living up to his important father weigh heavy on him, then barbarians tear through, burn down the village, kill his father and kidnap his loved ones. So he goes on a daring journey where he meets new allies, has his eyes opened about the larger world, and proves to himself and his people that he’s worth of the mantle of Master of Birds. And by the way, it must be noted that the whole idea of a movie about apes training birds is impossibly fucking cool.

The first and most influential new friend Noa makes is the orangutan Raka (Peter Macon, TUROK: SON OF STONE), who at first takes him for one of the barbarians and taunts him for looking young and not scary without his mask. Raka is unlike anyone Noa has ever met. He wears a medallion of Caesar’s symbol (based on the window in James Franco’s attic) and says he’s the last of the Order of Caesar. He can’t read, but he collects books to continue “the work” of Caesar’s teachings and search for knowledge. Most unusually for his time, he believes that humans and apes can co-exist peacefully. So when the echo (Freya Allen, GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE, BAGHEAD) shows up and tries to steal food from their camp he shocks Noa by giving it to her and trying to talk to her. He also names her “Nova” and says that’s what they name all humans. (A reference to WAR’s reference to the first film.)

They travel together, find a herd of zebras, then a herd of humans, and they try to leave her with them. Run along, little human. Be free. But then those fucking raiders show up and they recognize Nova as a human they’re specifically looking for. And they would’ve gotten her if she hadn’t (middle spoiler) yelled out Noa’s name. So he rescues her.

Yes, although most of this era’s humans are mute (and unintelligent?) there are still colonies hidden away that descended from those who were immune to the virus. They can speak, but know better than to do it around apes, who will see them as a threat. Her name is actually Mae, and she can lead them to where Noa’s friends were taken, a settlement on the coast led by a mad king bonobo who calls himself Proximus Caesar (Kevin Durand, K-9: P.I., 3:10 TO YUMA, ABIGAIL).

Here’s one of the those interesting ideas the PLANET OF THE APES series always tries to mix in. Caesar is this influential historical figure now, but everyone interprets him differently, there’s some misinformation and co-option going on. To the Eagle Clan I think he’s kinda like Ben Franklin or someone like that. They know the basic legend of him but don’t think too deeply about it. To Raka he’s more of a religious leader or philosopher. Raka has a pretty accurate (but a little idealized) concept of what Caesar’s ideas were, and really believes in them (although even he says “Caesar will forgive you” pretty casually when they violate the “ape shall never kill ape” law for self defense).

Meanwhile there is this coastal clan that also uses Caesar’s symbol, they yell “FOR CAESAR!” as a war cry while committing atrocities, their leader names himself after him, maybe considers himself a reincarnation? Proximus actually has a human toadie played by a famous actor I didn’t know was gonna be in it and part of his job is to read Proximus books about Roman history. He’s really into that shit. One of those guys.

Look at this prick.

I knew Kevin Durand was voicing/mo-capping one of these characters, I assumed it was the gorilla, had no idea he was Proximus. But this is one of the great performances in this technology. He’s scary and weird, he stands up on a stage and makes these authoritarian type speeches, but when he invites Noa into his quarters to try to recruit him you see a disarming side to his charisma. His goal is to open a gigantic vault left behind by humans – I believe the slaves are being forced to dig it out? – and to me he seems sincere in his belief that the technology inside can be used for the betterment of apekind. I mean he’s obviously doing it immorally, and for the sake of his own power, but there are persuasive parts of his argument, and that makes him more interesting.

Of course, Mae has been up to something this whole time. She knows how to get into the vault, wants to get at something that’s inside, and also convinces Noa that they have to destroy it so Proximus can’t have it. Kind of cold, if you think about it, that the only way to protect the future is to destroy everything humanity felt was important to save. But when they go in there we don’t see the Mona Lisa or Songs in the Key of Life. It’s not the library of Alexandria, from what we see. It’s mostly tanks and guns.

There’s a great moment when our heroes are confronted by Proximus and his thugs on the way out, Noa’s mom held hostage at knife-point, and Mae turns the tables by shooting one of them. The apes are awed – they had tanks and machine guns in WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, but that was like 300 years ago, these guys have never seen such a thing. The trouble is, Proximus seems more excited than scared. He tells Mae she’s free to go if she tells him where to get more of those things, and then you see her realizing her mistake. By resorting to using one gun one time in front of them she might’ve sparked a whole future of bloodshed.

Mae is mysterious because she’s torn between two worlds, but how much does she really know of either? She gets angry about how the things in the vault belong to humans not apes, and seems desperate to rebuild the world as it was, but she never lived in a world like that, she never knew anyone who lived in a world like that, or whose great great grandparents lived in a world like that. To be fair (SPOILER) we learn that she either comes from or is in contact with a subterranean military base, where they seem to have fully maintained uniforms and equipment and everything – we don’t really know what goes on down there, how much civilization they’ve re-created, or how thoroughly they’ve indoctrinated her. And there’s a part where, from what I can tell, she disobeys one of their orders. So I hope future installments have her growing and learning. We gotta have at least one human we can be proud of.

On a more superficial note I’m fascinated by Mae’s clothes. She’s kinda got rags like the feral humans, except hers are shaped like a tank top. Feral Sarah Connor. And her pants are stitched together with patches and everything but they’re perfectly form fitting. She looks good in those rags. I’m not complaining, I like it. I always notice this on The Walking Dead, too – they always manage to scavenge clothes that seem tailored to them. An important post-apocalyptic skill.

One of the few complaints I have about this whole modern APES series is that they barely bother with the female ape characters. Caesar had a wife who didn’t get to do much, and Soona is kind of in that tradition. Also it’s weird that they make the fur on the top of her head resemble a human hairstyle so that we know she’s a lady. Anyway, I hope they find more for her to do in the next one. We need a new Zira.

The best thing about KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is that it’s much more about the apes than the humans. So my one misgiving is that as it brings humanity back into the picture it becomes a little less exciting. I had no problem accepting the ape world as it unfolded but now I’m suddenly questioning everything. I buy that these apes are 300 years later in the timeline, but these humans act like they’re the survivors of the original pandemic. Maybe it’ll click when they explain it more in a sequel, but for now it doesn’t seem to make much sense.

There’s some ambiguity at the end that we’re left to ponder and decode, and it kinda seems like it’s pointing toward a crazy direction. On the other hand, the reveal of more humans with more military equipment feels like it’s meant to tease the conflict in the next one, but it just seems like the same conflict from the previous two movies, that we were happy to have moved on from. So that feels a little limp. But I do trust them to do something interesting with it. They certainly earned that trust here.

One thing I love about these modern APES movies is that the lines are a little blurry. There are some very bad bad guys, but Caesar was a complicated leader, more enlightened than his enemies but still a pretty scary guy from a human perspective. (Justifiably so. He had plenty of reasons to hate humans.) That tradition continues here, as we seem to be getting the story of Noa and Mae learning from each other, but in the end it’s a shaky truce at best. They don’t trust each other and don’t pretend to. There was a part I loved in a trailer where Noa said, with Mae on his back, “together strong,” seemingly adjusting Caesar’s “apes together strong” slogan to mean apes and humans. But that’s not in the movie and it’s not a lesson he learns this time around. Next time, baby.

KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is a really good movie, a big summer blockbuster entertainment with a soul. I recommend seeing it this week and getting swept away by it before FURIOSA comes out and you only want to watch that for the rest of the summer.

 

 

This entry was posted on Friday, May 17th, 2024 at 1:00 pm and is filed under Reviews, Fantasy/Swords, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

21 Responses to “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes”

  1. KINGDOM is a good or even very good film, which is why I am irritated that I don’t like it as much as the films of the preceding trilogy. I like many things about KINGDOM (the story, the acting, the design, …) and it has a few moments that stand out positively. If I use the Howard Hawks metric that a good film should have a few good scenes and no bad ones, then I should like KINGDOM more than I do.

    Maybe it is the “human stuff” that limits my enjoyment of this ape film? But it is well done. Mae is an ambiguous character, who is not necessarily likeable but whose motivation is understandable. Nonetheless, at least to me and my world view, she comes off as a partial/potential extremist. (That one reverse shot during her last conversation with Noa!) The other human – I don’t know if that character is wasted because the movie doesn’t do much with him or if that is exactly the point about the calm, “it is what it is” life that he leads.

    So maybe my somehow muted reaction is simply about KINGDOM featuring a completely new set of characters? Maybe I’m just missing the familiarity with the old characters. And maybe if there are more films featuring Noa I’ll have a more emotional reaction when I watch KINGDOM again.

  2. Thought this a bit fell apart in the sequel bait ending, where the characters go from having their own perspectives to outlining the larger conflict the filmmakers are teasing. SPOILERS I thought everyone was in agreement that the bunker was full of weapons that they needed to deny to Proximus (and that it would probably be bad for ANYONE to have, in an Oppenheimer sense), but suddenly Noa AND Mae are going “I wanted the weapons!”/”Those weapons aren’t meant for apes!” Huh? And Noa’s suddenly worried about humanity outbreeding apes and overpopulating the planet, leaving no room for apes–it just seemed like stuff the characters (who previously seemed to have next to no knowledge of the pre-apocalypse Earth) would only talk about because they got a call from the screenwriter, or because they were going for a metaphor that only halfway tracked with the actual text. So is that much of a flaw, that the stuff that was supposed to make me jazzed for a sequel had me going “wait, that doesn’t make sense”?

    (I guess Dichen Lachmann and the others in the ending are the forerunners of the nuke-worshiping mutants in Beneath?)

  3. Peter Campbell

    May 19th, 2024 at 9:20 am

    I enjoyed this one without thinking it was great. It felt too long in a way that needed a final editing pass to give it more urgency and tightening throughout rather than losing anything specifically. It’s simply a case of the editing needing more variation of pace to give it an underlying sense of direction that can be felt rather than explained.

    I liked the first two-thirds rather than the final action section, which felt like an actual genre obligation rather than a dramatic gearing up to confrontation. Character work did happen but the character work and the get into the base sections felt like they were going back and forth rather than being a cohesive whole, with one area of story-telling informing the other. It felt clunky. Also, how could the apes, who could climb all over, not find that back entrance to the base and focus only on the front entrance? A basic search of the area would have found it.

    The apes were the fun characters, especially Durand’s Proximus (very John Huston voice and manner, which connects to battle…apes) and Noa, who had a nice arc.

    Basically an enjoyable film that could have been even better of the scripting and editing had a little more time.

  4. There will never be the one proper film adaptation: that of Boulle’s actual story of Ulysse Mérou.

    A scene from it that remained etched in my mind when I read it as a child was that of the giant ape stock exchange, with the ape “maclers” and “brokers” aggressively falling into a furious frenzy of buying and selling, just like those seen in US films on US stock exchanges – except that their screeching ape counterparts begin jumping on the walls, flying on hundreds of swing bars, etc.

    None of the films even pay any attention to Ulysse Mérou’s story, although I believe that one foreign comic book (possibly a US one, or English?) maintained its elements. And, of course, the famous Hungarian illustrated story followed it faithfully as an adaptation, and is still the only real complete adaptation of Boulle.

    Of known film adaptations, US writer Sam Hamm had written the closest one to Ulysse Mérou’s tale so far. It was a fun script, overall (aside from some horrible moments, such as the apes watching a television series named “The Simians”, about the titular family of yellow cartoon apes), but “closest” only meant “closer than the others”, i.e. with perhaps 15% preserved – and, of course, the script was rejected.

  5. I liked KINGDOM even if the human/ape warring stuff reminded me of when Disney bought Star Wars and what was their plan for big bad adversaries for the sequels trilogy? Why the Empire again. Also the ending is one of those things I go “really?’*

    Perhaps also tbh I find Noa kinda forgettable as a protagonist. He’s no Caesar and I have to be fair but he’s too Hero’s Journey archetype for my taste. Then again its unique for this franchise and monkey protagonists so maybe I’m being too picky. I just wonder if his character has been more interesting/stand-out, those complaints about the movie being too slow might’ve been mostly nipped. Just my pet theory.

    Regardless, good shit. I’m satisfied. I wonder how many more titles can be used for this series? ESCAPE FROM PLANET OF THE APES’ shooting title was “Secret of the Planet of the Apes.” You can still use that one.

    *=IIRC filmmakers said this took place 300 years after WAR, so SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER those bunker humans were able to quickly communicate with somebody across the globe who assumingly was also sitting on their centuries-old radios this whole time? Its not a deal breaker but its one of those things that added another question that perhaps the movie didn’t need to bring up at the end. Reminds me when Matt Reeves cut that destroyer’s appearance in DAWN’s ending more or less for that reason.

  6. Michael Glasgow

    June 10th, 2024 at 1:54 am

    If every other instalment of the planet of the apes franchise has had a social commentary since it’s inception in the 60s. I feel if we’re keeping with tradition this movie leaves me feeling as if it’s social and racial undertones are sad but very true in today’s climate in America. The premise seemed to be this planet or country belongs to us! The humans in the movie, but those who see themselves as “Real Americans” most of whom have been here far shorter than those they look down upon. Just because you seem to have become like us in everyway that counts, you are not our equals, and we’re willing to do whatever it takes to TAKE our planet/country back by any means necessary. I believe at the end when the human woman was asked by the ape that helped her, saved her, fed her, kept her warm, if she thought apes and humans could live together? She thought awhile then answered honestly by stating she didn’t know. All the while looking into the eyes of a friend she’d almost just killed along with his entire family and tribe because the thought of his kind having the technology and weaponry that she and her kind just was not an option in her mind. All the whole little does her ape friend realize she’s holding a 357 revolver behind her back just in case he don’t know “makes her feel threatened? Or like her life is in danger?” The same life he and his friend who gave his life to save a hundred times! Then in the end you find out this chick has had a stone cold agenda the entire time. If this is subliminal social commentary about 2024 America it doesn’t bode well for this country especially the APES! It’s almost telling them these people don’t want to see you as equals so do yourself a favor a separate from them ASAP. The disease/ life is doing the dirty work. Once an organisms death rate outnumbers it’s birthrate that’s called an extinction event. Ask scientist. This is why CERTAIN politicians of a certain ethnicity are so hell bent to ban abortion. Planned Parenthood was originally planned as a way to control the minority population of America particularly blacks. Unfortunately for the original planners it had the total opposite effect, and backfired big time. So due to demographics shifting and what they see as an alarming rate they’re only cause of action is to try to stop the bleeding or slow it down. Little too little, little too late. America’s majority will be it’s minority in the next 15 years. And this has the “HUMANS” scared to death. Now the average everyday All American citizen is out in the streets, gloves off, hoods off, showing and telling how they really feel and felt all these years. No more hiding behind liberal smiles. These are conservative scowls now. Ask yourself, if they are so conservative what are they trying to conserve? The answer is plain simple they’re privileged and power that they swear doesn’t exist! Great movie, just can’t sit through planet of the apes without seeing parallels that’s all.

  7. Hey, guys. In the mood to feel the full crushing weight of time come crashing down on you all at once like some kind of planet covered with furry primate hominids? Last night I was in the hospital visiting a friend, when I got into a conversation about movies with a nurse. He asked me if I’d seen the new Planet of the Apes. I said, no, I’m not really that big of a fan of the planet of the apes. He said he really liked it, and it made him go back and check out the originals. He was surprised to find that they really held up despite their advanced age and were curiously prescient about our modern times.

    Reader, he was talking about RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Which came out in 2011.

    This is a full-grown man with a wife and a career. He holds people’s lives in his hands.

    His favorite franchise is TRANSFORMERS. Because they came out when he was a small child.

    Stop the planet of the humans! I want to get off!

  8. Majestyk I recently had a conversation with a young coworker about the PLANET OF THE APES and I had to explain how the statue of liberty bit was a mind blower in its day because for the whole movie the protagonist and the audience think they’ve crashed onto a different planet. I felt one million years old.

  9. I try not to judge young people for having a different sense of time or for not knowing about old things, especially when there is more old stuff all the time.

    If we feel like we grew up with more knowledge of past culture, it’s only because a) there was less stuff in the cultural canon then, and b) reruns and limited options meant that we watched and listened to whatever, simply because that’s what came out of the box. Young people today have a zillion more options, and so some things are likely to slip through the cracks.

    If anything I’m more impressed when something old maintains its toehold in the culture. Younger adults are still listen to 80s music today. If you were a child of the 80s, how much 40s music were you listening to? Also Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka has proven incredibly enduring in meme form, even among folks whose parents would be too young to have seen that one in the theater when it came out.

  10. I’m not judging. I get it. Time flattens out as you age, and what once seemed like an ocean of time can suddenly seem like a puddle. I’m sure some older movie lovers would have felt the icy touch of the reaper on the backs of their necks when young me described DIE HARD and LETHAL WEAPON as “classics” in the late 90s. It’s just sobering to see it happening to me.

    I’m also forgiving of youthful ignorance. Older generations would have been appalled at my calling myself a film fan without any working knowledge of the decades of Golden Age Hollywood history that formed the basis for every then-modern movie I loved. I’m only catching up now. So it’s never too late. And the great thing is, if the youth ever do take an interest, all those movies are accessible.

    But there’s the thing: they gotta be curious. They’re not gonna pick it up through osmosis like we did. I wonder if the algorithm-fed bubble the viewing habits of the youth are trapped in precludes them from ever getting enough exposure to older movies for curiosity to develop.

    I can get not seeing the actual original PLANET OF THE APES. But not knowing it exists? That’s a systemic failure of modern film culture.

  11. I was jsut about to ask “But doesn’t he know the musical from THE SIMPSONS”, but then I realized that his generation doesn’t watch that show as religiously as we did and most likely doesn’t even care about the 15 seasons because of their age.

    That said: It reminded me of how I saw it for the first time in the early 90s on a Sunday afternoon. I was in 5th or 6th grade and the next day one of my fellow co-students randomly asked: “Did anybody watch PLANET OF THE APES yesterday?” and half of the class, including me, started to talk about how much the ending blew them away and how they didn’t see it coming.

  12. I’m actually shocked at how often I see younger people wearing t-shirts of bands that formed forty years ago or even longer. I guess there was the short-lived swing music revival of the 90s. But otherwise, I don’t think there’s quite an equivalent for Gen X of Millennials. I do think a lot of this has to do with music publishing companies strategically keeping bands relevant through things like merchandise, biopics, and sampling. Like, they will actually reach out to pop artists and see if they want to sample certain songs to see if they can get a hit and lead that audience back to the original artist while making money off that new song.

    It’s kind of crazy that sampling has gone from the work of guerilla artists to corporate strategy.

  13. I agree that music is different. I work at a college, and I have never seen a student wearing a shirt for a contemporary artist or band. I’ve seen plenty of Nirvanas. Some Sublimes. A Prince or two. A Metallica or Guns & Roses here and there. I think the most “current” I’ve seen was Five Finger Death Punch? Maybe Ghost. They’re only, what? 15 years old? That’s practically brand-new.

  14. This is totally “same as it ever was.” I remember being in college and taking classes on film. There were a few people interested in older stuff, but for the most part it’s more like this convo I had with this one guy…I was talking about film noir and specifically how cool Lady from Shanghai is, and then he was like “duuude but you know what as amazing was that scene in The Last Boy Scout when Bruce Willis was running in slo mo with two guns!”

  15. A good friend of mine is now in her early 30s and by her own admission “Ready to watch old movies”. Last week she watched the original ROAD HOUSE and TOTAL RECALL, which she both enjoyed a lot.

  16. Instead of feeling sad and old, the idea of ROAD HOUSE and TOTAL RECALL transitioning into “classics” makes me quite happy. Hell yeah they’re classics!

  17. Ah..it’s like this shit’s been going on forever.

    Glad CJ brought up that SIMPSONS episode. I was in University in Melbourne and used to go to a friend’s place where we’d catch every week’s episode of THE SIMPSONS religiously. I was an older student as I worked before deciding to continue my studies so had at least 5 years on my classmates. When the Dr Zaius musical number came on, I laughed my ass off, and my friend gives me this blank look, and I had to explain “Dude, it’s a parody of Rock Me Amadeus!” which still drew blank stares. That episode aired in 1996. Rock Me Amadeus released in 1985. 11 years between the 2, and Falco was already “some old hit from the 80s” for some.

  18. Also, it was last year or the year before, I forget and happened to mention to a few of my colleagues “Hey, did you know Harry Porter is doing a biopic on Weird Al Yankovic?” which elicited a collective “Who?”. There is a gap of at least 20 years between me and most of my colleagues and at that moment I honesty felt, fuck me, just wrap me in linen, toss me in a sarcophagus and ship me to the nearest museum.

  19. Same exact thing happened to me. I was working with a student and trying to explain the concept of parody. Naturally, I used Weird Al as an example. He had no idea who I was talking about. They sent me home in an urn.

  20. I don’t think these things you’re mentioning nescessarily have to do with age. To most people (and I’m using the term un-scientifically) music, TV and movies are just easy entertainment that comes and goes without making much of an impression. I have colleagues older than me who don’t know who Bart Simpson is. And then I have kids who know more about Weird Al than me. This obliviousness can in itself be quite enlightning for those of us who are really into these things. Last weekend my wife was at a work party, and usually she takes on the role of dj (or music dictator, as someone once said). But this time some of her younger colleagues took charge, and played a lot of music they loved. They never know any of the bands she plays, but they know that they hate them. Me and my wife are music junkies. And it’s mostly rock, punk, some heavy, blues, folkrock etc, etc. But she didn’t recognize any of the songs. So when she came home she said that we had to check out the charts once in a while, because we’ve fallen way behind. After i little bit of research it turned out the stuff they danced to were 10-15 years old, and that we had heard about most of the stuff that’s in the charts right now. So, in short, most people, all ages, are ignoramuses when it comes to culture. I blame sports! Guess we have to start wandering the earth and share our knowledge with the masses.

  21. That’s actually very heartening. It’s not that I’m old. Everybody else is just stupid. I can live with that.

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