Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Stealing a little monkey

Wherein I mention a new movie, speak of skanks, and look forward to a museum exhibit

While everyone is enjoying, or not, the kidnapping of a sentient being for one's own fun and profit, another film about animal exploitation will soon grace our theaters. Yes, Curious George, that fabled children's book extolling the virtues of violent safari expeditions, pipe smoking, and ether huffing, will star the voices of Will Ferrell and former underage skank Drew Barrymore.

Alas, I will not be seeing it. For reasons I've long forgotten, I long ago vowed to never see a movie with Drew Barrymore. It might have something to do with her former career as an underage skank, though I try not to let actor's personal lives intrude on my enjoyment of the art. There is just something about her acting that repulses me and I choose to look the other way.

Speaking of skanks, I was discouraged to see one of my daughter's best friends carrying around a Bratz doll. I thought her parents were better than that. So when my daughter said she wanted one I had to explain, "No, they're diseased-ridden skank hos and we won't allow one in the house."

Back to Curious George, his creators, H.A. and Margret Rey, led interesting lives. At a future date to be announced, the Breman Jewish Heritage Museum will host a Curious George Exhibit. As long as Drew Barrymore isn’t involved, I’ll see that.
In June 1940, H.A. and Margret Rey, both German Jews, found themselves in a horrible situation. Hitler and his Nazi party were tearing through Europe, and were poised to take control of Paris. Knowing they must escape before the Nazi takeover, Hans cobbled together two bicycles out of spare parts.

Early in the morning of June 14th, the Reys left Paris on their bicycles, just hours before the Nazis entered the city. They took only warm coats, three manuscripts and their artwork. Among the stories was Curious George. After selling the bicycles at the French-Spanish border, they went by train to Lisbon, on to Rio de Janeiro, and finally arrived in New York City in October, 1940.


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