Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Planet of the Apes:  Monkeying with Aesop's Fables.

Yes, I stooped to watching a movie on the airplane heading home from Taiwan.  My brain was too fuzzy to listen to more theologians.  With The Rise of the Planet of the Apes being set in my home area of San Francisco, I get to ponder whether the plot is more or less gloomy than the expected reality.  Not quite sure, but it is good to see that the apes exploit the fog bank in their rebellion.  That they would cross the Golden Gate and settle in Marin County is hardly surprising.  There certainly was too much competition at Fisherman's Wharf for them to set up a street act.

What struck me most, however, was a scene where the hero-ape of the story, Caesar, was trying to break a bundle of sticks.  This was at point where he was trying to convince the newly educated apes to join together in a rebellion.  Clearly Caesar had been reading Aesop:

Father and Sons



A certain man had several Sons who were always quarrelling with one another, and, try as he might, he could not get them to live together in harmony. So he determined to convince them of their folly by the following means. Bidding them fetch a bundle of sticks, he invited each in turn to break it across his knee. All tried and all failed: and then he undid the bundle, and handed them the sticks one by one, when they had no difficulty at all in breaking them. "There, my boys," said he, "united you will be more than a match for your enemies: but if you quarrel and separate, your weakness will put you at the mercy of those who attack you."


Union is strength. - Aesop's Fables.

I am told that this is a Chinese fable also, but involves a bundle of chopsticks.  Regarding whether or not the movie as a whole is a fable, I will leave that question to someone with more insight.

8 comments:

Dr. Russell Norman Murray said...

'Planet of the Apes: Monkeying with Aesop's Fables.

Yes, I stooped to watching a movie on the airplane heading home from Taiwan. My brain was too fuzzy to listen to more theologians.'

Apes, theologians, is there much difference?;)

Looney said...

Well, let's see ... You clearly can't be a good theologian unless you have a fuzzy face. Apollonius of Tyana was adamant that a theologian can never take a bath. Perhaps there is more to the similarity?! :-)

Dr. Russell Norman Murray said...

Remember I am theologian/philosopher of religion according to my last two degrees.;)

Looney said...

And I am hoping to become a theologian/philosopher. Or maybe I am just aping a theologian/philosopher!

Rummuser said...

The fable of the bundle of sticks is common in all Indian languages too. All children are taught this in childhood to firm up familial bonds.

I am glad that I am not a theologian!

Looney said...

Rummuser, I am counting on you to be a theologian regarding the Vedas!

Rummuser said...

Sorry, wrong number! Vedanta, yes. Not the Vedas. In vedanta there is no room for a theologian.

Looney said...

:-)