I was beaten up pretty badly on Twitter yesterday, but mainly because a lot of people out there assume that anyone using the term “ape” is throwing a racial slur. I never even glanced at that allusion. I’m so far away from that pathetic mindset that it doesn’t exist in my head, although I recognize it’s a sore point with others. So I guess I’m apologizing but on some level it almost feels chickenshit to do so. The allusion in question is so Jim Crow, so foul, so Duck Dynasty — why even acknowledge it? Why live in the primordial past by admitting that the association means something or matters to anyone with a brain?
My initial title of a 12.26 post about an asshole who wouldn’t stop talking loudly during a Wolf of Wall Street screening at Leows’ 34th Street was “Bellowing Psychopathic Ape.” I was warned right away so I changed it to “Bellowing Psychopath” but the URL header kept the “ape.” Make no mistake — the 34th Street talker was an obnoxious thug. The word “ape ” came to mind because he was my idea of a crude, sociopathic beast. I’m a movie guy so some of none-too-brights who slammed me on Twitter might want to consider two Hollywood-movie uses of “ape” that don’t have a racial connotation. One, when Marlon Brando‘s Stanley Kowalski complains about Blanche Dubois getting all “hoity-toity, describin’ me like I’m an ape.” And two, a line from Eileen Brennan in The Sting when she notices that Robert Shaw is accompanied by two heat-packing bodyguards — “Look,” she says, “he brought his apes with him.” Both refer to crudeness, a lack of finesse, thick-fingered vulgarity, etc. That’s where I was coming from.