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Oh, look. It's crocodiles again.

When I was a kid, my parents made me go to church every Sunday morning, and evening vespers every Sunday night, leaving not much to enjoy all day. At 3:00, though, Channel 7 showed a different Tarzan movie every week. I never got into the ape man the way I swooned for Star Trek, but for me as a little kid, those Tarzan movies were fun.

Based only on those boyhood memories, I rode the CalTrain to Palo Alto for a Tarzan triple feature — Tarzan the Ape Man, Tarzan and His Mate, and Tarzan Escapes. If it were possible to hit ‘rewind’ and play this day over again, I’d make a different choice. The movies were dull and distasteful and remarkably racist, and I only watched two out of three, escaping before Tarzan Escapes.

When the bad guys are discussing what to do about Tarzan, one of them says, “We can’t just shoot him. He is white, after all.” The native men (called “boys”) do all the hard work, and are routinely whipped if they aren’t deemed to be working hard enough. In Tarzan and His Mate, one of the men-called-boys gets tired of carrying the white folks’ stuff, so a white man shoots him dead, with no consequences.

Beyond the racism, there’s a low limit to how many times I can give a damn about crocodiles wading into the water — I'm pretty sure it was the same clip of the same crocodiles, every time. On the bright side, the Stanford showed an uncut version of Tarzan and His Mate, with the famous nude scene fully restored. Maureen O'Sullivan was a looker in 1934. Hubba hubba, but even both hubbas weren’t enough to salvage the afternoon.

♦ ♦ ♦

Now it’s 10:30 at night, and that feeling of dread is back in my belly. I shall now quell it with peanut butter sandwiches.

The blues should come with a notice informing you why you have the blues, because I still don’t know.

From Pathetic Life #3
Sunday, August 14, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

 

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