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Good News For Giant Apes

Via Kerry Howley, the IWF gets really dumb:

It’s Kong, furthermore not the wimpy humans in the movie (epitomized by the fey Adrien Brody playing sensitive-writer Jack Driscoll and supposedly Watts’s love interest), who saves his lady from being eaten by dinosaurs. I loved the scene in which Kong first rips a stegosaurus’s jaw in half with his bare hands, then beats his chest with pride. Brody, as ever in this movie, arrives on the scene too late. No wonder he’s no match for King Kong in Watts’s heart.

So I took away my own message from the movie: Whom would I rather have around when the going got tough: a jaw-jaw chattering class intellectual like Brody or a primitive red-state brute along the lines of King Kong? I think the answer’s pretty clear.

In the real world, I take it that the average woman's odds of needing rescuing from a pack of dinosaurs is rather low and I imagine dating an enormous gorrilla would have some important downsides. Nor does it seem to me that comparing the men of red America to said giant ape is necessarily the most intuitive way to defend the honor of the red zone. I take it that if even the liberal Matt Yglesias had drawn a red state / non-human primate analogy I would be attacked as an elitist.

December 30, 2005 | Permalink


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Tracked on Jan 26, 2006 6:43:23 AM


Elitist - yes. Inappropriate - open to argument.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Dec 30, 2005 4:35:12 PM

This reminds me of a black friend's comment that he won't watch Kong because it's racist. Apparently Kong is supposed to represent some kind of wild african savage, or something, I didn't get the full theory.

I guess it just goes to show that everyone can have their own personal gay Teletubbies.

Posted by: miguel | Dec 30, 2005 5:19:59 PM

I hear that most conservatives are hung like Gorillas.

Posted by: Porco Rosso | Dec 30, 2005 5:21:49 PM

Once again, I am ROTFLMLWAO

Is it just me, or is IWF possibly endorsing bestiality in this post? (The inter-species romance notion has always been what creeps me out about King Kong. Add non-human critters to the list of "men" I will not date....)

Posted by: flippantangel | Dec 30, 2005 5:43:24 PM

And in most cases you would be right, but here the particularity of the comparison really matters, and there beats not a Red-State heart that would not swell with pride at being compared to fucking Kong. I mean, as a blue-stater, would I give up 30 IQ points and my library card for an additional 35 feet in height and real big teeth? New York minute.

I was trying to think of an equivalent blue-state comparison, and the only quick one was:"Oh, you're just like that fairy Galadriel." And I swell to my 15 foot flashing blue-aura mode, and say:"Thanks dude, but that's Elven Superbeing to you."

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Dec 30, 2005 7:32:59 PM

Like it or not, she's echoing what I think is a widely-held view: Republican men are strong, take-charge Charlton Heston-types, while Democratic men are frail, sissified, egghead Woody Allen-types. You can view the 2004 presidential elections this way: Bush as ''Kong,'' Kerry as ''Briody.'' Ridicule the author if you like, but this is an -- unfair and unwarranted -- image that we must overcome, not ignore or dismiss.

Posted by: Daniel, Esq. | Dec 30, 2005 7:34:39 PM

I hear that most conservatives are hung like Gorillas.

I hear that too.

Now, I haven't seen the movie, but I understand it's supposed to be some kind of love story between the woman and the ape. Which is pretty much exactly what IWF is talking about, no? So what's Matt saying - it makes perfect sense when Peter Jackson says it, but it's absurd when IWF does?

Posted by: Al | Dec 30, 2005 7:36:54 PM

Gorilla penises are about an inch and a half long when erect. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Posted by: joe o | Dec 30, 2005 8:00:17 PM

Female gorillas must be pissed.

Posted by: Al | Dec 30, 2005 8:08:01 PM

You read the IWF, you get what you deserve.

Posted by: djw | Dec 30, 2005 8:52:07 PM

I loved the scene in which Kong first rips a stegosaurus’s jaw in half with his bare hands, then beats his chest with pride.

Why would Kong need to kill a stegosaurus? Did it mistake Watts for a giant fern?

Posted by: WillieStyle | Dec 30, 2005 10:33:44 PM

Well, at least conservatives are no longer comparing themselves to penguins, I think. They may not have the right species or genus right yet, but at least they're in the right class and order.

Posted by: Julian Elson | Dec 31, 2005 1:09:02 AM

As for the non-human primate liberals tend to project their own ideals and fantasies onto: bonobos, obviously. Though I tend to find such liberal wish-fulfillment fantasies rather tacky, myself.

What worries me about the whole IWF passage is that the purpose of a big tough man is to defend the world against dangers. Which dangers, exactly? Well, the problem is that these big tough men, if they view their entire life purpose as defending against such dangers, tend to find ones against which to defend. Like the defense against the menacing Saddam Hussein with his weapons of mass destruction. That sort of thing.

Posted by: Julian Elson | Dec 31, 2005 1:14:10 AM

Act Like a Broken Toy

Not just the IWF. Marcotte dissects a conservative who sees Kong as representing Red_State Values. I told ya, Matt.

"In a way, all men are King Kongs: powerful, brooding, potentially destructive creatures waiting for a woman to touch their hearts and tame them."

"And all women are Ann Darrow, simultaneously fragile and compelling, possessor of the magic to transform primitive males (monsters-in-waiting) into protectors and the builders of families and civilizations."

"But, the movie seems to say, modernity can be the undoing of both. It seeks not to civilize but to shackle male instincts. It turns love into a sideshow attraction. It pulls men and women apart."

It wasn't Modernity. It was liberals that killed the beast.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Dec 31, 2005 1:49:48 AM

I'd know a stegosaurus if I saw one, and there ain't no stegosauruses in that movie.

Posted by: WWB | Dec 31, 2005 3:03:36 AM

Actually,as much as liberals would like to just brush this off, the author's little screed actually contains a seed of truth. Like it or not, there is a perception that liberals and Democrats aren't assertive, aren't masculine enough to lead (at least the male democrats. The women in the party seem to be stronger & more assertive than the men-which is why Dems will never crack 50% among male voters) Now, without getting too much into gender issues, this is the perception.

Many people in the country have this perception, and part of me agrees after reading some of the comments on this site. Liberals tend to mock anything they disagree with in a wise ass sort of way, instead of addressing the issue and dealing with it head on. Just mocking the perception of the author without looking at the reasoning behind it is just the defense mechanism of a wimp.

Posted by: AAA | Dec 31, 2005 9:34:26 AM

AAA says Democrats '' Just mock[ ] the perception of the author without looking at the reasoning behind it,'' which ''is just the defense mechanism of a wimp.'' Republicans are no better. They ignore the substance of an argument and label the speaker ''unpatriotic,'' ''girly-men,'' ''tax and spend liberal,'' ''liberal,'' ''soft on crime liberal,'' and so forth. They just deliver their ad hominem attacks with more of a tough-guy attitude and, in many cases, by embracing ignorance (e.g., Bill O'Reily, in lamenting the ''War on Christmas,'' huffing ''The majority can get offended, too, OKAY!''). But the rest of your point is well-taken

Posted by: Daniel, Esq. | Dec 31, 2005 9:45:16 AM

As long as our party's economic platform continues to attract the black vote, we have nothing to fear from the Republicans in a dick-size contest.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Dec 31, 2005 12:16:50 PM

Instinct vs Cognition is now a political issue. Great. Just swell.

Put me down for the next cryogenics experiment.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis | Dec 31, 2005 12:19:48 PM


You have a point with the GOP being guilty of the same thing. In fact, they are almost a mirror image of the Dems. The only difference is that they don't struggle with the wimp perception as much as the Democrats (how else could Bush still be perceived as a Clint Eastwood type leader after 5 years in office?)

Ideally, we need leadership that shows a balance between toughness and the ability to kick ass when necessary, and mercy toward others(again, when the circumstances call for it). So far, such a person does not exist in either party. To me, Bill Clinton was a wimp in many ways,since he spent way too much time trying to appease the right, backstabbing his base again and again, and not having the manhood to admit to his wife (and the nation) that he was having an affair (I say this as a person who voted for him twice).

Quite frankly, Dems need to get away from the sensitive nice guy model if they are ever going to be a true majority again. They need a little "Kong" in them.

Posted by: AAA | Dec 31, 2005 1:36:43 PM

I thing cosmetic preoccupations are wimpy. My recipe for Democrats? Disregard silly cosmetic advice. Instead, articulate a thoughtful opposition to Republican ideas and policies, and appeal to thinking moderates and thinking Republicans, rather than going after unthinking simpletons who would presumably vote reflexively for macho Kong-types.

Posted by: pedro | Dec 31, 2005 7:02:20 PM

obviously, "thing" stands for "think" in the above comment. Silly typography.

Posted by: pedro | Dec 31, 2005 7:04:59 PM

Ah, but how many "thinking moderates" are there? Enough to create a workable majority? Quite frankly, it is thinking like this that get liberals branded as elitist snobs. I don't think the left, despite how smart we think we are, has any idea how to appeal to people beyond just reciting a laundry list of issue positions.

Sometimes, those "simpletons" have more sense that the high and mighty professionals of the left. The Dems can be book smart but people stupid at times, and they need to overcome that. Stop reflexively mocking and looking down on people.

Posted by: AAA | Dec 31, 2005 11:00:23 PM

A lot of this is just perceptions. Certainly democrats wouldn't be considered macho with photos like this in their past.

Even within the Bush family, Bush sr. is objectively more manly than Bush jr. Bush sr. was a war hero, Bush jr. hid out in the national guard; Bush sr. was a collge varsity athelete, Bush jr. was a high school cheerleader. Still, Bush sr. just didn't seem as macho as bush jr.

Which isn't to say the democrats are sunk. They just need to pick candidates from the South like Edwards who come across as more manly.

Posted by: joe o | Dec 31, 2005 11:35:07 PM

On the contrary, AAA. It is you who claims there aren't enough thinking moderates, not I. And by suggesting that it is cosmetic b.s. that Democrats should be concerned with, you're implying that the average American is not able to see right through that sort of thing. Far from mocking from a high-and-mighty position, I contend that the sort of simpletons who cast their vote on the basis of how macho the candidates look are very scarce.

In fact, I think it is this obsession with posturing, with appearing to be more this or more that, that has made Americans quite uncomfortable with the Democratic party. If I weren't a left-winger but a moderate swing voter, I'd probably feel very disinclined to vote for candidates who--like the Democrats--seem to be constantly preoccupied with their image, and who are afraid of taking a strong stand on issues.

I insist. What the Democrats need is to articulate an intelligent (not strident) opposition. And the thing they do not need is to continue to be obsessed with cosmetic appearance. There are far more thinking Republicans and thinking moderates than you may think. And there are thinking conservatives, too. And one can have a reasonable debate with them and articulate an opposition in a way that illuminates differences of opinion to the public. Let the public decide what they want, on the basis of what the two parties propose, and just forget about Kong and Adrien Brody.

Posted by: pedro | Dec 31, 2005 11:48:01 PM

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