I did this thing recently, without my knowledge to begin with, I immersed myself in a world of Chinese folk tales well one most prominent tale Journey To The West.
From early in the morning until late in the evening I was ensconced (safely placed) in a cheery happy world of kung-fu fighting, monkey kings, monsters and demons and I loved every minute of it.
I’m not sure why I found myself enveloped inside a world of Monkey it was just something that happened and then late in the day I suddenly became aware of it sat down and questioned via careful analysis of my thinking pattern my thoughts of that day. Naturally this thoughtful consideration revealed no reason it just was.
I first became aware of Sun Wukong, Monkey, via the Japanese TV series from the late 1970’s I was a mere child at the time, and to be fair mentally I still am. The TV series aired on the BBC here in the U.K. if I recall correctly BBC2 aired the series at 18:00 on Fridays I’d sit, as a young geek/nerd obsessed with anything and everything martial arts and fantasy, transfixed to the TV set and then a friend would phone and we’d spend a good long while discussing the episode.
Saturday mornings I’d take a broomstick and run about the streets having mock battles, that always hurt, with other kids, boys, who watched the series we’d re-enact the fighting ways of Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy and whack and smack each other until we bled.
Sometimes to death.
Monday mornings at school Monkey would be the only thing I could think about and this inability to even consider anything else would result in me wearing a dunce cap and standing in a corner of the classroom or worst stood up on my chair hands on my head. Every Monday without fail I’d be tortured physically and mentally by adult bullies who obviously had really horrible childhoods devoid of laughs and smiles.
My love of Monkey never waned. When the show was repeated in the 1980’s and 1990’s I watched it again and loved it again but then a long period of darkness engulfed me and I, mostly, forgot Monkey until one day, years ago, I saw the boxset for sale on Amazon.co.uk naturally I bought the most awesome thing and when it arrived I gave the set a loving hug.
I didn’t think I’d still love Monkey having become a cynical fool but fortunately the series is that awesome the cynical fool I’ve become disappears for a short time and I become a little kid again full of laughter and wonder.
These days there are a lot of Monkey related movies available for our pleasure, none of them are as good as the 1970’s Japanese TV series, but they each have charm and reasons to watch. You’ve got to have a love of the material and of kung-fu movies in general to spend a day, or days, watching such entertainment it’s not for everyone.
I dream, sometimes, of a movie making genius, nay god, one day creating a brilliant remake of the Monkey TV show, a long running series of Monkey Magic movies that feature the original intro:
“In the worlds before Monkey, Primal Chaos reigned.
Heaven sought order.
But the phoenix can fly only when its feathers are grown.
The four worlds formed again and yet again,
As endless aeons wheeled and passed.
Time and the pure essences of heaven, the moisture
of the Earth, the powers of the sun and the moon
all worked upon a certain rock, old as creation.
And it became magically fertile.
That first egg was named ‘Thought’.
Tathagata Buddha, the Father Buddha, said,
‘With our thoughts, we make the world.’
Elemental forces caused the egg to hatch.
From it came a stone monkey.
The nature of Monkey was….irrepressible!”
And the theme song:
Born from an egg on a mountain top,
Funkiest Monkey that ever popped,
He knew every magic trick under the sun,
Tease the Gods and everyone can have some fun.
Monkey magic, Monkey magic,
Monkey magic, Monkey magic,
Monkey magic, Monkey magic ooh!
My dreams don’t come true. Which is probably a good thing I wouldn’t be sat here writing this if they did I’d be sat looking out of my window in astonishment, and some amusement, while a zombie apocalypse ate the world.