Sometimes a 50-foot-tall gorilla is just a 50-foot-tall gorilla

Back at Texas, my honors program (Plan II, for those of y’all who know what the hell that is), required all freshman to take a year-long world literature class. It was supposed to be a great experience – instead of a normal 500-person freshman English class in a huge fucking lecture hall, you were in a 15-person discussion section. Many of the professors teaching these small sections were among the university’s elite, and each of them offered a different reading list based on a different theme. I chose the class on monsters.

I thought it would be the perfect class – it was at 11:00, so I’d actually be able to wake up for it, and we were going to be reading classics like the Oddysey and Frankenstein, and modern shit like A Clockwork Orange and Jurassic Park. We were even going watch movies – King Kong, Godzilla, and Alien.

I didn’t realize that the theme would really be “Whitey is the Source of All Evil.”

Describing my professor as “a bad teacher” would be accurate; describing her as “an insecure, pretentious, affirmative-action case who was off the fucking deep-end” would be even better. Hell, she even told us point-blank that she’d never have gotten her Ph.D. without affirmative action. She’s the kind of person that makes a conscious effort to pronounce every non-English-based name with a Spanish accent – even when the names aren’t fucking Spanish in origin. For example, when we read The Tempest, it wasn’t just “Ariel” for her; no, it was “Ahrrrrrrrrrr—iÉL!” “Ariel,” however, is Hebrew for “lion of God” – Biblical, not Latin. I mean, if you’re going to make a conscious effort to be pretentious, at least get your fucking etymology straight.

Anyway, somehow instead of studying about monsters in literature, I turned out to be studying about “post-hegemonic colonial dialectics,”* or some bullshit like that. I think I must have missed the part of the course description where it said, “We will be studying how every goddamn monster, in every work of literature ever written, somehow represents oppressed minorities.”

I’m not fucking exaggerating either. Polyphemus, the cyclops from the Oddyssey? Represents colonial natives, and how the white oppressor, Odysseus, blinded them. The dinosaurs in Jurassic Park – you know the ones with big, pointy teeth and razor-sharp claws that try to eat people? They’re “really” scary because they represent the Other Womyn’s reproductive habits gone awry (because the females start breeding without males). And the monster in Frankenstein – the one made from dead people? He represents the modern black woman’s plight (I have no fucking clue how she made that conceptual leap.) In other words, she was a fucking crackpot.

That was the first time I had ever heard the theory that King Kong is racist. And, to be fair, it was probably the only theory I heard in that class that was at least plausible. As James Pinkerton writes on the Peter Jackson version:

Any movie that features white people sailing off to the Third World to capture a giant ape and carry it back to the West for exploitation is going to be seen as a metaphor for colonialism and racism.

Fine. If you want to find the metaphor in Kong, at least the elements are there. On the other hand, you can see a metaphor for racism in fucking pretty much anything, for example, my argument that doing laundry is implicitly racist.

Kong is Kong, not because he represents the “big, scary black man chasing after the blonde, white woman”; he’s Kong because he’s a giant fucking gorilla. What next, do the dinosaurs in the movie represent Mexicans? Or here’s one: Toucan Sam must represent Jews because he has a big, brightly-colored nose, and “Froot Loops” just symbolize the round shape of the coins we Hebrews lust after. Fucking hell.

I should really get to Evidence. Fuck it.

* - From what I was able to piece together during the class, this is a fancy way to say “psychotic ultraleftist pseudo-intellectualism”**

** - This is a fancy way to say "a load of fucking bullshit."