• Posted on May 24, 2010

Monkey Love

Gorilla in our midst

I’ll go out on a limb (without a prehensile tail, I might add) and state, unequivocally, that Anthony Browne is the best monkey artist of all time. Perhaps if Van Gogh had painted a field of monkeys instead of a field of sunflowers, I would have reason to adjust my statement, but he didn’t, and so Browne is, and will always be, the King of Kongs.

One of my earliest memories of working in the bookstore was a woman flapping a copy of Gorilla by Anthony Browne in my face and vehemently stating, ‘This book is about child abuse, and it should be removed immediately!” I had not read the book, but as I flipped through it with the woman hyperventilating beside me, I felt like thanking her. Of course it wasn’t about child abuse and I didn’t remove it, but from that point on I became a fan of Anthony Browne.

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  • Posted on March 09, 2010

Dear Johnny Depp

I ate Gilbert Grape

I wish to register a complaint. Five years have passed since we were subjected to that disturbing image of you as Willy Wonka in Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. I had hoped that by now you would have moved beyond children’s literature in favour of something better suited to your predilections, like artistic director at Neverland Ranch.

However, with the release of Alice in Wonderland it appears that we are to be afflicted with yet another tiresome, fetishistic take on a classic literary character. I have not seen the movie, but I have seen enough to know that your visual interpretation of the Mad Hatter is creepy. Not inspired, not delightful, not even whimsical, just creepy. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is indeed, a strange book, and in the 145 years since its publication in 1865, it has proven time and again to be a deep rabbit-hole of inspiration for artists of all persuasions, including actors. And now, I suppose it’s your turn.

This is not to say I haven’t enjoyed some of your films, especially the tastier ones like Chocolat and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, but I have come to the conclusion that you must be bored, and for reasons better left unexplored, extreme makeup does it for you.  It amuses you, and it amuses your partner in cosmeticological crimes, Tim Burton.

But public self-gratification does not amuse me, most of the time, and I think it would be a mistake to regard your affectations as anything but self-serving.

You sir, are a creeper, as my nieces would say.

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