The Internet: a fount of knowledge from which we can drink at a moment’s notice--an ethereal realm in which one can read up on the latest happenings in the British parliament one moment and brush up on the intricacies of string theory the next.
Of course, nobody actually does any of these things. Most people are either using this wondrous new technology to look at pictures of naked women, illegally download music, or discuss the details of Tom Cruise’s relationship with Katie Holmes.
...And then there’s me, who uses the internet to fuel my addiction to all things camp. It was during one of my excursions into the vast reaches of cyberspace that I came across the adventures of one, Tarzan the ape-man, based upon characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs and presented in the popular comic strip format. Life can hardly get better than when you’re reading about a man in a cheetah-print loincloth...or so I thought, but that was before I read Tarzan’s latest adventure.
To fill you in: Evil Antagonist of the Month, Ben Barnes, is second in line to inherit a sizable fortune. It logically follows that he plots to kill his older brother and his older brother’s entire family by sending them up a swampy African river in a carbon monoxide-leaking boat, where, well away from civilization, they succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning, leaving him free to swoop in and claim his ill-gotten fortune. Such is his plan, but it works hardly as well in real life as in his twisted imaginings. Bobby, his young nephew, escapes death and is left to wander alone in the jungle until Tarzan, the kindly ape-man, comes upon him and lends him “aid”....
I can understand why Tarzan is smiling, but I’m not quite sure why Bobby is. Either he has lived such a sheltered life he doesn’t realize what he will shortly be enduring, or else he’s just happy that Tarzan is a lot better looking than the local catholic priest. At any rate, this strip (no pun intended) leaves me with the intense desire to jam out to “Fashion” by David Bowie.
I suppose it’s Bobby’s curse to have a hairless body and well-defined chest that drive pedophiles the world over wild. But, one man’s curse is another man’s blessing and when our bronzed Jungle Lord says, “You look fine,” I suspect he means, “Mmm hmmm. You look fiiiiine, girlfriend.”
I don’t know if I should start with some Paul Crouch jabs or move straight on to the felching jokes. I am glad that even the original artist of this strip felt compelled to insert some ironic quotation marks.
I’m not sure exactly what emotion/feeling Tarzan’s expression in the first picture is suppposed to represent, and, when it comes down to it, I’m not sure I want too.
I am glad to report that Bobby does eventually make it out of the jungle safely, escaping both his Uncle’s devious designs on his life and Tarzan’s lecherous machinations, but, not before enduring numerous hardships including being kidnapped by a dagger wielding native and being meneced by a dangerous snake.
As he returns to the safety of civilization he bids a fond farewell to the savage jungle lord he is honored to call “friend”.
...Meanwhile the audience is in the shower, trying desperately to wash the filth away.
Attention: Tarzan cartoon copyrighted Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc./Dist. by UFS, Inc.
Copyright 2005 Jessica Menn