OK. I’m fucking 43. When I bought this ticket, I wasn’t even asked for ID. The twerp behind the window in his bulletproof sales counter didn’t even ask my age. He just doled it out like it was the least he could do to help an old bastard enjoy his movie experience.
Oddly, just a few weeks later, I find myself enjoying student discounts at the same establishment for the very fact I enrolled in a graduate program at the local university.
I’m still the same age, a few days older in fact. But I now qualify for the same discount as the daughter I raised, who should be a sophomore in her college studies at North Texas State, if my math is correct.
Of course, leave it to the boob tube to make me feel my age anew. A historical burb I caught today detailed the life history of the first chimp in space, long before Alan Shepard made his historic flight. The monkey survived his trip no worse for the wear, it would seem, and lived out his years to the ripe old age of 26. He died in 1983, the same year Michael Jackson first performed the infamous moonwalk, Martin Luther King Jr. got his first national holiday, and I entered my first semester of fifth grade, filled with long division and my first ventures into earth science.
It’s just embarrassing. My life is a mere 26 years from the date a monkey first made space headlines.
Not nearly as embarrassing as the old boy who shot monkey pictures in Indonesia a few years back, though, I’m willing to bet. As part of my copyright law class, one of courses I’m taking this semester, we were asked to read and analyze a post found in Wikipedia entitled “monkey selfies.” I was pretty certain my prof had committed some typographical error. I was wrong.
If you read said entry, and I urge you to do so, it details how some photographer wound up in a raft of shit after he coaxed a monkey into taking portraits of itself looking like it was mugging for a Facebook post. Since said photographer was not actual the author of said images, he was challenged in court for his right to publish them.
Albeit, it has been a few years since I last found myself in a classroom. Things have changed. But when you read about “monkey selfies” and an essay entitled “Faith, Humility and the Art of Motherfuckitude” in the same week, these ain’t your daddy’s college courses, rest assured.
I was asked to give my insights in writing to both topics, as it were. Highlights from my interpretation of the monkey post:
“Animals simply don’t have the same rights as people. Thankfully so, I would argue. I doubt any of us would have the vaguest notion of what a steak tasted like if cows, say, were granted express rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
“That monkey no more knew what it was doing when it pushed a button than it did a class of graduate students in Victoria, Texas, would someday be writing about him. Had that monkey, instead of making selfies, hurled the camera in question at critic Mike Masnick’s head, I’m fairly certain Masnick would have spared no time at all suing (photographer David) Slater for the injury. That the monkey did it, I doubt, would have ever been at issue.”