The apes are back. The latest offering in the “Planet of the Apes” genre is swinging into movie theaters this weekend, and I couldn’t be happier.
Obviously, the first reason is that it gives me an excuse to dust off my Roddy McDowall impersonation. But the second is just as compelling: After weeks of watching members of Congress bare their teeth, pound their chests and break the furniture, I’m looking forward to the comfort of a fictional collapse of civilization.
And why not? The reality of our situation, especially after this past week, is far scarier than an invasion of horse-riding gorillas with nets and rifles.
Our economy remains a wreck. The grease fire of the deficit was beaten down before it could consume the kitchen, but it is still lashing at the fire blanket and ready to explode again at a moment’s notice.
The markets have been falling faster than D.B. Cooper, — and also, by the way, taking our cash with them. Confidence in our elected leaders has crumbled to dust. Gridlock used to describe the traffic in D.C.; now it is an overall state of being. President Obama seems unable to break through. Leaders in both parties are as hapless as my grandmother on a skateboard.
I’ve been asking political types lately how this came to be, and they all seem as puzzled as Charlton Heston and his fellow astronauts in the original Apes film when they realized they had landed on a planet much like Earth, only with gibbons inexplicably running the show. These politicos agree that things are not as they should be in D.C., but they feel powerless to fix the situation. So they point fingers at each other and hurl accusations, and nothing changes.
To borrow a line from the film series: It’s a madhouse. And it is too much to contemplate.
So I’m going to the movies this weekend. I’m going to buy my popcorn, grab a soda and curl up in the darkness to watch the planet fall under the domination of an entirely different species. Hey, a boy can dream, can’t he?
– CNN’s Tom Foreman is a regular on “AC360°”/www.ac360.com and “The Situation Room.”