WEFOUNDThoughts on War (Spellmount Classics)


Shiloh, “Place of Peace”;
Blood Red soil cries out proclaiming:
“How blooded is thy land!”
“How errant is thy naming!”

Gen’ral Grant, stalked Shiloh
To the throne, faux pretender;
Raging, furied, drunken:
Wrathful, crazed avenger

Invader, adoring fire,
Commanding murderous will;
Grant came storming forward,
To pillage, burn, and kill

Shiloh, “Place of Peace”;
Blood Red soil cries out proclaiming:
“How blooded is thy land!”
“How errant is thy naming!”

Gen’ral Grant, stalked Shiloh
To the throne, faux pretender;
Raging, furied, drunken:
Wrathful, crazed avenger

Invader, adoring fire,
Commanding murderous will;
Grant came storming forward,
To pillage, burn, and kill

War for the Planet of the Apes may be the least subtle film I have ever seen. Of course, not every film has to be subtle, but at a certain point, enduring a movie that repeatedly bludgeons you with sledgehammers of obvious meaning becomes a numbing experience. War crosses that mark within its opening 15 minutes, practically screaming at viewers, “Look at all the Vietnam war imagery we’re so meaningfully replicating!” It then continues on for another two hours of unmitigated heavy-handedness before finally, mercifully reaching its conclusion.

Meanwhile, what’s McCullough’s motivation for seeking an end to the apes? He, too, has lost a child. Because of course he has. See? He and Caesar are basically two sides of the same really tropey coin! The circumstances of McCullough’s particular loss are a bit different, revealing just how hateful and misguided his vision is: he’s a die-hard human supremacist, and won’t hesitate to slaughter his fellow humans under any circumstances if he believes they somehow compromise that inherent “superiority.” The presence of qualities like love and compassion are meaningless in his evaluation of whether any individual, human or otherwise, deserves to live, when they should be paramount.

The colonel’s hatred for the apes is as contagious as the virus he fears will end humanity’s rule over the Earth; at one point, he riles up his soldiers into a frothing mass of blind nationalism and hatred of the apes just by standing on a platform above them and shaving his head while blasting the national anthem from tinny speakers. (Again, this is not a subtle film.) Moments later, he has the gates opened to a pen where imprisoned apes are held so that his soldiers can vent their hatred with brutal physical violence. For McCullough and his soldiers, making America great again means subjugating the apes entirely, and eradicating those who won’t bow to human rule.


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