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Earth Day Countdown:
Descent of (Ape) Man
By B SHAWN CLARK
April 18, 2016
ENGLEWOOD (Three Rocks and Rolls from The Sun). In the beginning, sometime after Man took on his current human form (leaving Woman out of this for the moment) he is said to have been given dominion over “all the earth” and over “every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:26-28), which seemed to work out well until a few days later when he ate of the Tree of Knowledge, became all full of himself, and then things got a little dicey, paradise was lost, and not so long after that: there was James Taylor, stuck with everyone else in a Traffic Jam.
Some time before then (according to an alternative theory at least) a man (plus a woman) were just like the other creatures on the planet, except they thought they were very clever (mainly because they could stand upright and learned how to use weapons to kill other living things) and eventually evolved to become lord and master of the other living things on the Earth, plant and animal alike, regarding them as mental midgets over whom they could have their way, which is not the same thing as saying they were wise stewards of the Earth and living things on it over which, by some cruel twist of fate, they had been given dominion.
Either by divine providence or Natural Selection, humans became the masters of their own fate (as well as everyone else's), monkeyin’ around with what was intended to be, based on their own concept of the Origin of their Species, and the way in which that species, and all the rest in the world, were to evolve.
No doubt pondering all of these existential questions (plus many more) as to the way humans evolved, and then took charge of everything, like some sort of marauding primate in a china shop, The Kinks earned their place high on the list of the Ten Best Earth Day Tunes (at Number 5) with their take on the subject with their delightful lyrics (and the music they put to it) in Apeman (1970):
In man's evolution he has created the cities and
the motor traffic rumble, but give me half a chance
and I'd be taking off my clothes and living in the jungle
'Cos the only time that I feel at ease
Is swinging up and down in a coconut tree
Oh what a life of luxury to be like an ape man
I look out my window, but I can't see the sky
'Cos the air pollution is f*******up my eyes
I want to get out of this city alive
And make like an ape man
Not so keen on dying in a nuclear war, the reprised Bonzo, pining for romance in an as-yet post-apocalyptic world, reunites with his queen who had helped him to usher in this world that had gone so astray, trying, perhaps against all odds, to get her to join him in reviling (if not taking responsibility for) a world they had created - but that had gone horribly awry and from which they now had to escape:
Come and love me, be my ape man girl
And we will be so happy in my ape man world
I'll be your Tarzan, you'll be my Jane
I'll keep you warm and you'll keep me sane
and we'll sit in the trees and eat bananas all day
Just like an ape man
Be they the first, fabled Love Story of the first, fully-formed human couple, or simply that of merely the first copulating human-like creatures, the ancestors of the people in charge have evolved into the same creatures that were put in charge of their own nests (and everyone else’s): the type of people we prefer not to have as roommates.