A Review

Themes And Variations

The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs

#18 Tarzan And The Lion Man

Part 10 of 10 parts

by

R.E. Prindle

First published on the ezine, ERBzine

Tarzan’s Excellent New York Adventure

 

     Sound movies were a unique cultural addition.  The Studios had little or nothing to do with ‘artists.’  The Studios were entertainment factories organized along the same lines as Ford’s assembly plants.  Like Ford’s factories their interest was mass production.  There was a tremendous investment in theatres and distribution.  The theatres could not sit idle waiting for the next picture hence a studio’s goal was to porduce fifty-two A movies a year, or one a week to change the marquee.

     Unlike Broadway theatres where the production and performance would hopefully last a year, two, or three or publishing where a bestseller would take a writer quite some time to compose, usually, and would take a year or two to sell through, the writers, actors, directors and such were merely employees.  ‘Workers’ in Communist terminology.  This was a major departure in the ‘arts.’

     The only entity taking a risk was the Studio or corporation hence each and every film was organized and supervised from the top down.  Once the executives determined on a project the necesary ‘workers’ were assembled.  With the amount of money involved in each production the Studio could ill afford to let projects originate in any other way.

     Thus as industrial units writers were not allowed sole authorship of any movies.  One writer might work up the idea which was then assigned to other writers to add to, change and polish until the executives thought they had a money maker.  And then the movie was taken for a test  drive for audience reaction and underwent other changes.  Few original ideas were used.  Usually a project was based on a a proven entity like a novel, old play or tried and true plot line.

     Naturally in such a situation any group could be disciplined to follow one of any number of tacks.  The jobs were highly paid and desirable.  To not go with the flow, to not follow orders was to lose a very lucrative employment.

     The executives were in control.  When Burroughs was in the employ of MGM for those five weeks he had a chance to view the system in operation.  As he observed in Lion Man, p. 8:

     “There ain’t no tigers in Africa, Milt,”  explained the director.

     “Who says there ain’t?”

     “I do.”  replied Orman, grinning.

     ‘How about it, Joe?”  Smith turned toward the scenarist.  (Writer)

     “Well, Chief, you said you wanted a tiger sequence.”

     “Oh, what’s the difference?  We’ll make it a crocodile sequence.”

     Quite clearly the writer is not an originator but an employee who works up material to order.  This quite natural consequence of mass production, then, played into Communist hands.

     The Communists arrived in Hollywood almost simultaneously with sound while Communism was already the normal way of Jewish collective thinking.

     Thus the collective mindset of Judaism and Communism was already in place.  It remained only for the Communists to organize the ‘cultural workers’ as in any other indistry which they immediately set to do.  The cultural clash between individualistic actors and writers as ‘artists’ was already undermined by the studio system but some ‘cultural workers’ were still offended by becoming mere ciphers in an industrial machine.  Nonetheless the Communists organized the culural workers into units such as the Screen Actors Guild- SAG-and Screen Writers Guild-SWG.  IATSE covered the technical people.

     Once a collective is formed, whether a guild, a religion, a corporation or political party, an executive committee is necessary to handle affairs and set policy.  Anyone who doesn’t accept policy must be disciplined until he does or he is expelled, denied work, blacklisted or in the extreme case of  Stalin’s USSR, eliminated.

     So the Communists set their ideals against those of the studios.  In a few years this would create a conflict between the Communists and the Studio heads when HUAC came to Hollywood.  The Communists denied guilt acccording to John Howard Lawson, one of the leaders.  (Larry Ceplair and Steven Englund: The Inquisition In Hollywood:  Politics In The Film Community, 1930-1960, University Of California Press, 1983.)

(Ceplair and Englund speaking)

      Communist screenwriters could not themselves, directly improve or change content through political inserts- whistling the “Internationale”, speeches about democracy- or by writing Communist films stressing the importance of collectivity over the individual and graphically depicting the plight of the dispossessed, the nature of their struggle, and their inevitable class triumph, or by imitating Russian Marxists aethetics.  (John Howard) Larson, for one, was very forthright about the lack of success in those directors:

     Ceplair, Englund quote Lawson:

     As a matter of undeviating practice in the motion picture industry it is impossible for any screen writer to put anything into a motion picture to which the executive producers object.  The content of motion pictures is controlled exclusively by producers; {all aspects of  a film] are carefully studied, checked, edited and filtered by executive producers and persons acting directly under their supervision.

     While I would disagree with Lawson that a clever writer couldn’t slip quite a few items past any censor or censors I think the point has been clearly made that the final film product reflects the wishes and attitudes of the Studio executives.  Thus whatever the process, the content and apparent meaning of the six MGM Tarzan films reflect the intent of the MGM executives from Lous B. Mayer on down.  Thus Judaeo-Communists are forming the popular image of Tarzan to reflect their own ends.  The chief caveat is that the films must make money so any motives on the screen must be ulterior so as not to destroy the entertainment value.  Ceplair and Englund’s idea of making bloated politial speeches as the only way of injecting political or social content is absurd.

     Perhaps in those days people weren’t as yet so sensitive to multi-culturalism and Diversity as society is today.  For that reason I am reevaluating the era in terms of modern Multi-Culturalism  and Diversity.  It’s like hitting the Saturation button, if you know what I mean.

     Before moving on from the background of the situation to the actual analysis of MGM’s last Tarzan effort it will be necessary to update the Jewish Cain and Abel play to the United States.

     As mentioned previously the thirties brought a tremendous influx of Central European Jews to Hollywood.  While Freud himself remained in Vienna until well past the last moment then choosing to emigrate to England as his 1909 visit to Clark College in Massachusetts left a worse taste in his mouth than those horrid cigars, huge numbers of psychoanalysts and psychologists found their way to the West as well as a large percentage of the Jewish film colony of Germany.  Accompanying these Europeans west were the Jewish criminals attached to the Outfit of Chicago.  These were all Jews from the Pale born c. 1900-10.

     The earlier German Jews who arrived after the 1848 Revolution were now being absorbed by the Jews from the Pale or dying out.  They had been responsible for establishing the first Jewish occupation when they aligned themselves with the Woodrow Wilson Administration of 1913-21.  There they established the classic Abelite relationship with higher authority.  President Wilson gave them pretty much the same latitude as the Spanish kings of the pre-Inquisition or any number or early rulers.  This has gone unnoticed but they established their traditional role of ‘tax farmers’ or overseers of the goyim cattle under Wilson.

     The WIB or War Industries Board, was a key instrument in the attempt to subordinate the goyim.  Wilson himself was a self-absorbed simpleton who was easily manipulated; I doubt if he had any idea of what was really going on.  He placed the Jewish speculator and financier, Bernard Baruch, at the head of the WIB.

     Baruch then under the guise of the ‘war emergency’ required each and every business of each and every industry to submit their confidential data so they could be reorganized as a component of the war effort.

     This sounds reasonable enough but there was no war emergency in the United States.  War hysteria perhaps, but no emergency.  Wilson himelf, beneath his outward calm, was an hysteric.  He was not emotionally qualified for the presidency.  Interestingly Teddy Roosevelt perceived this without any difficulty.  The stringency of the measures taken to ensure uniformity were not based on war necessities but on a socialistic program to render everyone ‘equal’ or the same while at the same time bringing industry under Jewish control.

     Industry protested vigorously against the measures taken by Baruch and his WIB only to be called anti-Semites.  Foremost of these were Henry Ford and the Dodge Brothers.  The Dodge Brothers who were less temperate than Ford in denouncing the WIB and Baruch correctly identified the problem as the Cain and Abel syndrome.  For this they were murdered in 1920.  Ford went into strong reaction buying the Dearborn Independent which ran his series of articles denouncing the syndrome thereby being characterized by the Jews as ‘anti-Semitic.’

      The ‘war emergency’ ended just as some of the more remarkable edicts of the WIB were about to be put into effect.  Wilson was run out of office in 1921, he would have run for a third term had his health permitted, thus the Jewish cultural program was put into abeyance until 1933.

     Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an under Secretary Of The Navy during Wilson’s last term.  Roosevelt became a disciple of Wilson’s so that when he was elected President in 1932 the whole Wilson program was reinstated.  The Jews returned to government in unprecedented numbers under the shelter of the higher authority of Roosevelt.  Punitive income tax rates were established to emasculate men the Jews considered enemies such as W.R. Hearst.

     Twentieth century Amrica was different from fifteenth century Spain in that the executive role was considerably reduced as Governmental functions had become institutionalized.  The executive was now subject to a consitution and the rule of law.  Secure under the wing of the executive it was necessary for the Cain and Able Syndrome, the Culture, to subvert the law.

     Woodrow Wilson had appointed the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis.  He had been canonized by the media as would be his successor to the ‘Jewish’ seat on the Supreme Court, Felix Frankfurter.  These two men were put forward as secular saints although it is difficult to imagine why when one examines their careers in the light of today’s multi-culturalism and diversity.

     The agents of Jewish culture would make many decisions to undermine the British based legal system to convert it to a Semitic based system favoring the culture of the Jews.  Today’s ‘hate’ laws promulgated under the cover of a mistaken version of multi-culturalism and diversity are an impostion of civil disabilites on dissenters and are an example of what evolved.

     Thus working above board legally and below board criminally the Jewish culture sought to realize the age old Cain and Abel dream in the United States.  While Gus Russo in his Supermob concentrates on arch criminals like Sidney Korshak and other crooks looting the American industrial system he passes lightly over the career of one who seems very significant by the name of David Bazelon, also from Chicago’s Lawndale.

     Bazelon functioned as an enabler while being a civil servant.  In this way he was able to direct certain opportunities to his mob contacts in the Chicago Outfit.  All the Jews connected to the Outfit were lawyers.  They used their legal knowledge and skills to circumvent the law rather than applying it.

     Bazelon later almost made the Supreme Court.  In the year or so following the confiscation of Japanese property in California in 1942 he used his position in the Office Of Alien Properties disposing of that property.  In a very corrupt manner he sold the properties at bargain prices to his associates in the Outfit, both Jewish and Sicilian.  Thus they were not only able to utilize the immense proceeds from their criminal activities but were able to bilk from the upper world legal profits from these properties.

     Thus Bazelon violated the trust placed in him by the American government but at the same time was able to sabotage that same government.

     To return to Mr. Netanyahu’s complaint about the Jews in Spain.  A Spaniard by the name of Marcos Garcia who was a leader of the insurrection against the Jews felt that the crimes of the (Jews) embrace all spheres of life.  They are manifest in religion, economy, government, and of course in all personal relationships between the (Jews) and the (Spanish.)  Thus they gnaw at (Spanish) society from all angles and undermine all its institutions.

     Thus Mr. Netanyahu unconsciously states how ‘anti-Semitism’ comes into existence.  He doesn’t seem to be aware of the Cain-Abel Syndrome but that is what he is explaining.  From the origins of the Hebrews through Spain to the contemporary situation in the Central and Eastern Europe and the United States of then and today the story is always the same.

     Just as the Spaniards he is describing were attempting to exterminate the Jews, so as in Burroughs’ time both Nazis and Communists were doing the same.  That is the inevitable programmed result of the Cain-Able Syndrome.  Mr. Netanyahu should diligently study Sigmund Freud’s The Future Of An Illusion.

     In the multi-cultural sense the Jews then and now were trying to establish their cultural supremacy.  I do not argue against this per se as the inevitable result of the clash of cultures is and must be the dominance of one.  The inevitble result of diversity is the destruction of all cultures but one.  I have demonstrated this in the Darwinian evolutionary sense repeatedly.  The point is there is no reason for me or anyone else to supinely allow their culture to be destroyed for the benefit of another.  Or course, if a culture doesn’t have the backbone to defeat another then so be it.

     I have also quoted Rabbi Schneerson’s ‘scientific’ argument for the innate superiority of the Jews.  In Spanish times a religious argument demonstrating such superiority was used.  Quoting Juan de Torquemada, the uncle of the Inquisitor, Mr Netanyahu argurs thusly, pp. 481-82:

     …it is a fact that the gentiles, to elevate their status, had to be “grafted” onto the “tree” of the Jews.  As the Apostle said, “You gentiles, (this word is added to Torquemada), who are an oleaster” (namely a wild olive tree which cannot bear good fruit), you had neither the Law nor the Prophets, or even the worship of God, as you were dedicated to idolatry, ought to remember that you “were grafted among them”- that is, among the standing branches (ramis stantibus), which are the apostles and the other faithful Jews, “and with them you aprtake of the root”- that is the faith of the Patriarchs and the Prophets, “and the fatness of the olive tree”- that is, of the doctrine and grace of Christ which came from the Jews.

      So, the context changes but the argument always remains the same.  As George Santayana said:  Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  Since the Illusion has not changed the result must ever be the same whether Spain, Europe or the United States.  Mr. Russo in his Supermob without realizing it was replicating the description in the United States of Mr. Netanyahu’s description in Spain.

     So now, with a grasp of the underlying strategies we can return to Burroughs and MGM.  The purpose of MGM was to discipline a ‘loose cannon’ like Burroughs.

     There had been recent renewed activity in Tarzan films after a hiatus of several years, however MGM’s interest seems to have been catalyzed by their interest in Trader Horn.  Perhaps the story showed them the way.  All the MGM Tarzans would bear the imprint of Trader Horn.  It appears that MGM first considered a Trader Horn series with Tarzan as a subsidiary character.  Cyril Hume’s first script was a Trader Horn sequel in which Tarzan appeared only as a supporting character having little or no relationship to the literary Tarzan.  There wasn’t even a Jane as Tarzan was paired up with a female scientist.  That’s an interesting subliminal association.  As Hume was undoubtedly trying to fulfill suggestions from the executives we don’t know why the screenplay was scrapped.  As Burroughs got his paychecks for those five weeks probably attending planning sessions in Thalberg’s office it may be that he objected.

     The finished product clearly reflects the first script although the emphasis is changed to make Tarzan more prominent but not clearly the central character.  Jane actually is the more dominant personality.

     The entire series takes place on the MGM invented Mutia escarpment which would have been above the Murchison Falls of the Nile.  As is well known the name Mutia comes from the first name of the actor playing Renchoro in Trader Horn. 

     The first two movies which were either pre-Lion Man or unaffected by the novel don’t seem to refer to any of Burroughs’ works being a free interpretation of the character.  The last four movies have references to Lion Man while Tarzan’s Secret Treasure reflects the Opar theme, Tarzan And The Leopard Men as well as Lion Man.  Both the latter novels make reference to Trader Horn as MGM seems to date the beginning of Tarzan to the post-Trader Horn period.  Tarzan is introduced as a grown man in the movies whle as an infant in the novels.

     The movies attempted to denigrate and belittle the character which if you’re familiar with the literary Tarzan they do.  The magnificence and appeal of the character is so great that even the MGM Tarzan defeats their efforts remaining an entrancing character for the movie going public.

     As a boy I can’t be sure which movies I saw other than Tarzan Triumphs although I must have seen all the Lesser films.  On reviewing the MGM Tarzans they don’t ring any bells.  Perhaps the movies were forgettable but Tarzan wasn’t.  As a young boy I was entranced seeing nothing negative in the ape man’s portrayal so perhaps most of the audience didn’t either.  Of course neither they nor I knew what to look for.

     After five profitable successes MGM decided to abandon the series which must be unique In Movieland.  For the final film the location was moved to New York City.  In Trader Horn the location was moved from the US to Africa; in the final Tarzan episode Africa came to the US.  In this episode Tarzan is subordinated to civilization and stripped of his jungle mystique.

     By this time Burroughs himself had been exiled from Hollywood to Hawaii.  There he separated from his young wife while sinking into alcoholism.  His son had to go to Hawaii in an attempt to win ERB from the bottle.  I don’t mean to be unkind but it is true.  From MGM’s point of view he may have appeared a shattered wreck of a man who no longer merited their attention.  As they were done with the Lion Man so they were done with his alter ego.  ERB might have drunk himself to death if the war hadn’t intervened.  The movie obviously has a lot of references directed at Burroughs; some I picked up but I may not have interpreted correctly while many have probably gone over my head but I’m sure that as ERB sat watching they didn’t go over his.

     The reference to the Mutia Escarpment immediately refers to the Trader Horn connection.  I can’t get the exact relationship between Trader Horn and Tarzan but it obviously existed to MGM.  The Escarpment is said to be so high that it reaches to the stars.  Stars may be a reference to MGM which boasted ‘more stars than there are in Heaven.’  Thus the reference would be mocking ERB.

     One of the key goals of both the Reds and Jews would be to subordinate Tarzan.  One has to keep Freudian concepts in mind at all times.  A culture is a group and must obey the laws of its group psychology.  That group psychology can be scientifically analyzed just as individual psychology can.  There is no escaping the evidence of your behavior or its consequences.

     Both groups, the Jews and Reds were into collectivism.  Independent thought is not allowed.  Tarzan was the supreme individualist.  He is in fact a loner among humans although on very good terms with the animals.  Tarzan was a law unto himself; he was not subject to any external law.  thus he had to have his independence destroyed and brought within the Law and the collectivity.  Let’s deal with jewish aspects first.

     The movies were made in 1932, 1934, 1936, 1939, 1941 and 1942.  The New York adventure was conceived and finished before Pearl Harbor so that event had no effect on the movie.  So the spacing is two, two, three, two and one in years.  Burroughs lamented that MGM wasn’t producing at least one movie a year.  MGM might have chosen to have done this.  As the Charlie Chan movies, on which ERB commented were being popped out at the rate of three or four a year to a profitable tune it is obvious that the same could have been done with Tarzan.  One imagines that ERB urged MGM to do so.  MGM chose to pass on the profits.  One asks why?

     As the decade wore on ERB became more and more dependent on the movies for income.  Book sales must have lagged overall while he had no major successes after Tarzan And The City Of Gold.  Lion Man’s sales were disappointing while it is difficult to see its successors doing any better.  He was off the radio after 1935 while the comic strip was not a major contributor to his income.  Thus MGM controlled his purse strings.

     ERB’s finances were desperate after his movie venture if 1935-36.  He had those notes oming due.  MGM might have helped him along by putting out two or three quick Tarzans, instead at this crucial moment there was the long hiatus from 1936 to 1939.  With no movie money coming in for three long years the spendthrift writer must have been driven to the wall contributing to his decision to exile himself to Hawaii where he lived on a pittance.

     The appearance in Hawaii is that he was a broken man seeking solace in alchohol.  In ’41 and ’42 in quick succession Tarzan’s Secret Treasure, note the mocking tone of the title, and Tarzan’s New York Adventure were made.  As they intended to drop the series, the release of one per year for those two years may have been a calculated insult, both could be viewed as mocking films.  A great deal of work has to be done to determine how Burroughs was perceived in Hollywood.  I suspect as somewhat of a joke. 

     In the early novles when Tarzan needed money he made another run on the gold of Opar.  Now living in actual poverty in Hawaii MGM made a movie where large gold nuggets lay at the bottom of a pool while Tarzan knew of a place where gold could be scooped out of veins by the bucketful.  But ERB’s ability to turn a buck now depended on MGM, so the notion could be viewed as a mockery, especially as the mine was Tarzan’s but it was to be exploited by others i.e. MGM.

     As it is possible that MGM now saw ERB as a wreck, totally defeated, they decided to wrap thier involvement up with the succeeding movie.  Their object of the destruction of Burroughs having been realized, they lost interest abandoning the series.

      They certainly had not exhausted the possibilities of story lines.  Nor had the series become unprofitable as Sol Lesser proved for a decade or more.  The probable reason is simply that with Burroughs out of the  picture their intent was realized.  So as a farewell gesture they lectured Tarzan on his attitude toward the Law by which I mean to say the Jewish Law.

     As the New York Adventure begins some circus types abduct Boy to perform as an animal trainer in their circus.  As I watch the picture from this vantage point it is easy to see how MGM is ridiculing the ape man.

     After ten years of living with Jane, during which her good cooking has fattened the feral boy up Tarzan still can’t put together a complete sentence.  He’s still at the Me Tarzan, you Jane stage or the even simpler, Tarzan, Jane.  Boy, who was found in the jungle two years previously, has learned a great deal from the very literate Jane, even being able to write cursively although weak in orthography, But then the kid’s big for his age of three.

     So if Boy could learn to speak intelligently from Jane why after ten years of living with Jane is Tarzan still grunting?  Not only grunting but he appears to be simple minded, purely a natural savage.  He doesn’t even act like he knows his way around the jungle.

     But Jane and Tarzan set out to find Boy in the big wide world with a twenty-five or fifty pound bag of nuggets slung over the Big Fella’s shoulder.  Let me say here that the average viewer is not nearly as critical as I am here.  The animal scenes are actually pretty thrilling while Boy’s fight with the lion using a stick must have bowled the kids over.  So, while my point of view here is to understand how MGM mocked Burroughs and disparaged Tarzan, as a theatre experience New York Adventure is not a bad movie.

     MGM’s attempt to ridicule Tarzan in the first film was not nearly so successful as in this one.  Tarzan and Jane in clothes lose all their charm.  Jane although dressed stylishly becomes just an ordinary looking woman.  A little on the frumpy side, actually.  Although Maureen O’ Sullivan was a beautiful woman in any circumstances the insouciance and verve of her jungle raiment and demeanor is completely gone in a suit and hat.  Not the same.

     Tarzan, or Weissmuller in a double breasted suit while handsome is not commanding.  So, right away Tarzan and Jane are demi-gods brought to earth.  The scene in the tailor’s shop with the Chinese tailors might also be a joke on Burroughs bringing to mind Charlie Chan.  Tarzan’s primitive manner of speech just becomes ludicrous and oafish in New York city.  You can take the feral boy out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the feral boy.  Here the contest becomes one of Tarzan’s law versus the law of the legal system and by extension the Jewish Law.  Tarzan fights the law and the law wins just as the Jewish Law did over Burroughs.

     Thus the crucial part of the movie begins in the ludicrous scene in the courtroom.  The trial is being held for the custody of Boy.  On the one side are Buck and his circus associate who have kidnapped and actually enslaved Boy; they have no claim on him legitimate or otherwise.  On the other side are his apparent parents, Tarzan and Jane.  Tarzan had wanted to handle the situation  according to his own law but Jane, as usual in the movie version , dissuaded him, telling him to rely on the law of the legal system and by inference the Jewish Law.  I hope Tarzan hadn’t forgotten how vilely Jane betrayed him just the previous year.

     Jane lets slip that she and Tarzan ‘found’ Boy in the jungle.  Boy is not the issue of Tarzan or Jane.  In this zany courtroom scene the ‘ownership’ of Boy thus becomes unclear.  It seems that the kidnappers and enslavers who are about to sell Boy to a Brazilian circus have as much claim to the kid as his ostensible parents.  This is apparently ‘law.’

     Tarzan reacting in the tried and true jungle manner grabs the opposing attorney and dumps him bodily into the jury box.  The act of violence proves him an unfit parent.  The trial is interrupted.  Waiting for the trial to resume Jane concedes to Tarzan that as usual she was wrong, his law is better than the Law.  Coming to life Tarzan announces in amazing pidgin English:  Tarzan find Boy.  Slightly obscene in its application actually, but why nitpick?  Tarzan crashes through a twelfth story or so window which luckily has an ample ledge.  If logic isn’t essential to your enjoyment of an ‘action’ film the next few sequences are quite thrilling.

     The end result is that Tarzan is taken into custody and delivered before the kindliest judge who ever graced the bench.  Now, there can be no doubt that Tarzan offended the Majesty of the Law by rioting in court.  Under Jewish Law the accused is guilty until proven innocent but is supposed to gratefully accept any verdict just or not.

     He is then duly convicted of what is apparently considered a misdemeanor or even an offense rather than a felony as his crime only carried a sentence of thirty days and sentenced as guilty, which he was.  It is important to remember at this point that Tarzan has been convicted as a criminal.  He has a criminal record from this point on.  The judge generously suspends the sentence but remember Tarzan is still guilty.

     Tarzan mutters some more memorable pidgin English to the effect of ‘Tarzan bad, law good.’  Thus Tarzan is subsumed to the collective culture giving up his independence.  No longer as the Invincible or Triumphant will he pass judgment on jungle offenders or Stalinites.

     The judge even invades his territory up there on the Escarpment as a right and as the Law assuming paramountcy in Tarzan’s former Jungletopia.  The judge advises Tarzan that he will visit him on a fishing trip.  Tarzan says something like: ‘Judge come’, rather than ‘Bring money.  Tarzan bailiwick.  No license, no fishee.’  Or he could simply have arrested the judge, convicted him of the offence of fishing wihout a license, make him a criminal, and then suspend the sentence, appropriating the fish and iviting the criminal to a fish fry.

     Tarzan wasn’t that quick and from this point on he has a criminal record in Tinseltown.  MGM successfully emasculated Burroughs and his Big Bwana.  After ten years  MGM succeeded in its goal.  It is probably for that reason they abaondoned this profitable series.  It wasn’t that they had run out of ideas which is an absurd supposition with a couple hundred writers on the lot but that they had said what they meant to say.

     It would seem that this part of the series was the primary concern of the MGM executives.  If as John Howard Lawson said, that nothing found its way into a movie unless it was approved by the executives, then this long ten-year persecution of both Burroughs and Tarzan must have come from the top- that is Louis B. Mayer.  Mayer who undoubtedly to the ADL/AJC would then be acting as an agent of the Jewish people, religion, race, species or however they would have it.

     While it is true that 50-60% of the US Communist Party was Jewish the remaining 40-50% weren’t.  Thus the Jewish supremacy was not part of their goal.  Even in the Socialist Homeland of the USSR where anti-Semitism was an actual crime, the Jews were systematically slaughtered by the Central Committee under the direction of Stalin.  Thus the goy Communists had a program of their own differing from that of the Jews.  This became clear and obvious after the establishment of Israel in 1948 when the two factions began to drift apart.  The Left is also immune to charges of anti-Semitism.

     Communism was nothing new in the nineteenth century, it was merely a reformulation of ideals that can be traced back to the dawn of consciousness.  The great Swiss mythologist, J.J. Bachofen, on whom too much praise cannot be heaped, is the earliest student of human consciousness known to me.  Unfortunately with the exception of a volume of excerpts his work has not been translated into English.  The excerpts speak volumes, however.

     Bachofen, very likely the first, recognized that the Matriarchal Age preceeded the Patriarchal Age and the developing Scientific Age but he also discerned an age preceeding the Matiarchal that he called the Hetaeric.  A large number of modern minds have never made it past the Hetaeric.  Thus all four ages of consciousness exist side by side with the five different human species.

     Once again the Top Dog enters the picture.  Which consciousness will prevail?  It will readily be seen that the highest form of consciousness’ the Scienfific- is in the most danger.  One only has to look at the developments in France and Belgium to shudder.

     The modern form of the Hetaeric developed in Medieval Europe with such groups as the Beghards and Bequines, the Anabaptists and the Free Spirits.  These beliefs were incorporated into those of the LIbertines and Jacobins and thence into Communism.  The program may be sloganized as Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.  Like all such organizations the slogan is developed with more malice toward the established order as one moves up the ladder of initiation.

     In many ways the ideas of Edgar Rice Burroughs are not in conflict with the Communists whole ideals do reflect universal longings in one form or another.  Like them he sees civilization as an imposition on the individual.  One of the charms of New York Adventure is the contrast between the natural ‘good’ ideals of the Mutia Escarpment and corruption of civilization.  One’s heart aches for the lost paradise.  Louis Prima humorously summed it up in a post-war comic song:  Bongo, Bongo, Bongo, I don’t want to leave the Congo.  It may be coincidence but then it’s possible the songwriter at least had Tarzan’s New York Adventure in the back of his mind.

     Actually New York Adventure may have had the largest audience of all Tarzan movies.  According to IMDb: Trivia this was the first film shown free to servicemen overseas.  So there’s a good chance that a few millions of all those men in uniform saw the movie for nothing plus the theatre distribution on the home front.

     Now, when the Communists say equality they mean just that, they don’t mean equal rights but no evidences of distinction whatsoever.  Race (or species), income, sex, education or anything else.  The ideal is a page full of rows of zeroes.  Communism is the rule of pure envy, a terror that one may not be able to compete on an equal basis.  On a practical level this translates into the Soviet and Chinese models where the brutal seize power and follow a program of to the victors belong the spoils.  This is because the human mind cannot function in an equal manner.  The Scientific model is beyond the capabilities of the untutored mind.  Hence one has the deplorable state of affairs of today where the scientific  demands of society crumble before the stunted religious expression of the human mind whether it be Moslemism, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism or whatever.  Freudianism has allowed the basic criminality of the human consciousness to dominate.  There is today no criminal attitude that is not dominant or in the process of becoming dominant.  The dormancy of resistance to criminal develpements is nothing less than startling.  The human consciousness seems to be paralyzed.  This naturally would be the end result of equality to the Communist mind.

     The movie Tarzan fits this ideal.  MGM’s Tarzan is quite frankly, stupid.  He is not a commanding figure, but a lovable clown.  His love for Jane allows him to be led by the nose until her counsels become disastrous at which point Tarzan beats her out by mindless violence, never with any planning, always an impulsive knee jerk reaction.  Thus this duncelike Tarzan is always correct over the educated civilized Jane.  There is a subtle message there that Communist writers say they weren’t clever enough to get past the executive censors who we are led to believe wanted such sentiments censored.  I doubt both posits.

     We then get to Communist notions of sex, sexuality and family.  There can be no doubt that Tarzan and Jane were doing what was then known as ‘shacking up.’  Their romance was a version of ‘free love.’  A common access to women is the Communist ideal.  They were opposed to marriage and the ideal of the family, preferring communal living with free access to every woman.  Any notion of female ‘liberation’ always gets down to the notion that every woman should make herself available on demand to any man after the homosexual manner; a guick bang and we’ll see you around.

     Had Cyril Hume had his way there would have been no movie Jane.  He had already written her out in his first draft.  If he had had his way Tarzan would have had a succession of brief affairs.  Wham! Bam! Thank-you Ma’am! and off swinging into the jungle again .  Thus the movie Tarzan would have realized the Communist ideal completely but for reasons that remain unknown.

     One should note that Hume tried to kill Jane off in Tarzan Finds A Son so that Tarzan could live a more libertine existence.  By then the family role of Tarzan, Jane and Boy became established but the writers were always trying to break it up going so far as having a court award Boy to his kidnappers and enslavers.

     As I say, it isn’t clear why the Studio made the decision to include Jane from the beginning.  the Jewish attitude toward women was and is as brutal as that of the goy Communists.  From the White Slavery days to the present Jews have exploited the women of Central and Eastern Europe without either shame or mercy, whether goy or Jewish.  Prostitution of women on the Lower East Side of NYC showed a psychology of complete lack of self respect.

     On the other hand, as intermediaries between God and mankind, Jews feel they are entitled to whatever they want which includes free access to women.  Thus one has the sexual morality of Hollywood.  That morality has been propagated around the world by movies, such as for instance, the Tarzan series.  While you can talk women into any fashion, the women are always the losers, the victims; as Yoko One said- the niggers of the world.

     The psychological damage being inflicted on humans by the brutal approach to living is astounding.  No matter what you tell yourself the effects of evil living are murderous.  You cannot lie to yourself.

     Consider the words of one of Stalin’s mass executioners, G.G. Yagoda as he himself was about to be executed.  Simon Sebag Montefiori: Stalin: The Court Of The Red Czar, pp. 220-223:

     Yagoda told his interrogator:  “You can put down in your report to Yezhof that I said there must be a God after all.  From Stalin I deserved nothing but gratitude for my faithful service; from God, I deserved the most severe punishment for having violated his commandments thousands of times.  Now look where I am and judge for yourself; is there a God or not?”

     Yagod’as plight doesn’t prove the existence of God nor does his ‘punishment’ which was so richly merited and for which deeds he shows no remorse do anything for his victims, but his attitude does indicate the conflict in his mind as he carried out his orders.  The conflict found expression in his need for pornography and violating the innocence of very young prepubescent girls.  Unhealthy mental states always find expression in sexual obsessions.  Once again, look at the world today.  Such perversions male and female are rampant.  And don’t think they aren’t perversions.  The propaganda today that would make you think they’re normal is just the sort of denial Yagoda experienced.

     Some say the Victorian role of woman was negative but I’d rather have a mother who had self-respect than one who was at the beck and call of any scuzbag with a hard-on.

     So, in their subtle way the Tarzan films were anti-marriage and anti-family while being for female promiscuity.

     These ideals were placed in an African utopia, a place that appears on no map, the Mutia Escarpment.  the place is such a parallel universe pilots can’t even see it until they apparently pass through an interface and are suddenlyconfronted by it.  Using what appears to be identical footage the scene is replicated in both Finds A Son and New York Adventure.

     Both Burroughs and Communists are aligned in their views of the evils of civlilization.  Civilization, but not science or technology.  It seems that Tarzan has some Rube Goldberg genius for inventing 1930s technological items like dishwashers, fans, etc.  In fact, for being an inarticulate boob without the ability to use verbs his inventive genius is nothing less than startling.  I don’t believe the MGM Tarzan had even seen a wheel, yet astoundingly he has mastered the concepts of wheels, pulleys and leverage from scratch.  That’s as good as the literary Tarzan teaching himself to read.  Well, Henry Ford was nearly inarticulate too and look how he changed the world.

     Further, the screenwriters, once Boy is introduced, try to break up the familiy.  In Finds A Son one has the bizarre situation where Jane lures Tarzan into an inescapable pit while she, supposedly a mother, gives Boy to the adventurers.

     One may wonder at Hume’s own childhood and upbringing.  Not only is Hume sending Boy off to England, but he attempts to kill Jane off thus completely destroying the family leaving Tarzan alone in the jungle.  Jane takes a spear in the back, square on the spine.  IN the original script she was then dead.  Burroughs politely, even apologetically, explained to MGM that eliminating Jane was not wise as he himself had discovered when he tried to kill Jane off.  After consideration MGM agreed, so that when Tarzan forgives Jane for her betrayal she miraculously recovers.

     Bear in mind that as John Howard Lawson says, nothing went into the script that was not either suggested from above or approved by them.  Compare ERB’s scene with the producer Milt Smith/Thalberg and his scenarist.  That writer was Cyril Hume.  So it is reasonable to assume that the scene was dictated to him.  For whatever reason then, Mayer and his executives wanted the family broken up.

     In Tarzan’s New York Adventure not only is there a threatened abduction but an actual one.  Boy is taken to New York City by his kidnappers.  This time not only is Jane near death but the script leads us to believe that both Tarzan and Jane have died from a hundred foot or so fall when the vine they are swinging on is severed by a Jaconi native.  Thre grass around them is set afire so that they will be burned beyond recognition much as Jane was in Tarzan The Untamed.  Just as Burroughs had a death wish for Jane so, it appears, do the MGM execs for both she and Tarzan.  Fortunately displaying superb equality with his human counterprts the chimp has more brains than anyone else involved rather miraculously rescuing the pair.

     You may argue that this is the story.  Yes, but it doesn’t have to be the story.  Lesser’s stories were quite different.  the stories of each represent subliminal values.  Dream wish fulfillments a la Sigmund Freud.  If I have been the script writer at MGM able to do my own writing the stories would have been completely different reflecting my own psychological interests and needs.  The point is both MGM and the Reds wished Tarzan and Burroughs dead.  Of course, if they had died they wouldn’t have had a movie.

     Now, whenever Tarzan and Jane are visited up there on the Escarpment they are invariably visited by greedy capitalists seeking ivory, gold or riches of one sort or another.  One may take the Escarpment as the Socialist Homeland where everything is equal, simple and perfect.  Anarchy of the highest order.  Civilization is represented by New York City and the circus as the Capitalist Homeland.

     This contrasts the Communist version of a time of human perfection when the need for government will disappear and a perfected anarchy will come into existence.  Freud touched on this problem somewhat in his Civilization And Its Discontents.  Before Freud J.G. Frazer’s The Golden Bough went into the problem extensively while Burroughs dwells on the problem throughout the corpus.  Indeed, in this scene, ERB and the Communists are in agreement, as were many, many people who were discontented with civilization.  Tarzan, Jane and Boy are actually living out the Communist ideal up there in Cloud Cuckooland on the Escarpment.  This fact causes a problem for both executives and Communists, where they don’t coincide, as they are in love with Tarzan ideal also as, indeed, who wouldn’t be?

     While their original intent may have been to ridicule Tarzan into extinction his powerful appeal to the ‘masses’ undoubtedly prevented this.  No kidding, folks, the NO. 1 Commissar in the entire free or enslaved world loved the character.  That must have counted for something in Hollywood.

     So, in a way, the movie Tarzan was a symbol of Communism for the Party faithful, in contrast to the greedy capitalists who invaded Cloud Cuckooland up on the Escarpment much as the Reds invaded ERB’s dreamland of Opar.  There are many conflicts in life as we wander through this lonesome valley.

     It follows then that Communists had no problem injecting Red ideals into whatever movie they chose whether the executives approved each and every scene, as we are told by Lawson, or not.  The Studios themselves were fashioned after the USSR government with the Party leader on top surrounded by a Central Committee that ruled with an iron fist.  The jobs paid so well that rather than lose them one constantly looked to the top for direction.  To err was to be cast into relative poverty blacklisted by every studio.  HUAC didn’t invent the Hollywood blacklist, the studios did.

     Burroughs was essentially blacklisted while MGM played cat and mouse with him until they tired of it in late 1941 or early 1942.

     The War then changed the direction of the game as ERB finally became the war correspondent he had always wanted to be.  No matter what MGM might do, he would always be Edgar Rice Burroughs to his public.

 

RECAPITULATION

1. Communist oppostion probably forced ERB into self-publication.

2.  Tarzan The Invincible his first self-published title attacked the Communists.

3.  The sequel Tarzan Triumphant did the same with a probable covert criticism of the Jews.

4.Trader Horn was released by MGM which somehow led to their signing Burroughs and Tarzan to avenge imagined wrongs.

5.  Completely taken by Trader Horn Burroughs wrote Tarzan And The Leopard Men.  He had premonitions of error in signing away the movie rights to Tarzan.

6.  MGM released Tarzan, The Ape Man turning a cosmopolitan Tarzan into a feral boy.

7.  ERB countered with Tarzan And The Lion Man ridiculing MGM

8.MGM continuing on its program released Tarzan And His Mate but seemed to let the contract lapse.

9.  In this hiatus Ashton Dearholt lured Burroughs into producing his own Tarzan movie.

10.  Driven deep into debt by Dearholt Burroughs was all but bankrupt, now dependent almost entirely on MGM for income.

11.  Burroughs was relieved suspiciously by a man who was most certainly associated with ERB’s enemies.

12.  ERB continued to live at the limit or beyond the limit of his income which was now derived largely from MGM.

13.  Unable to sustain hs life style Burroughs exiled himself to Hawaii where he became a heavy drinker.

14.  MGM released Tarzan’s New York Adventure in which Tarzan is brought within the Law losing his independence much as Burroughs lost his.

15.  MGM sells its contract to Lesser abandoning the series and its interest in Burroughs.

16.  Beginning in 1943 Lesser’s movies are very successful restoring Burroughs’ prosperity.

17.  Burroughs becomes a war correspondent for the duration all but abandoning his literary career as he returned from exile in post-war years dying shortly thereafter.

 

 

A Review

Themes And Variations

The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs

#18, Tarzan And The Lion Man

Part 7 of 10 Parts

by

R.E. Prindle

First published on the ezine, ERBzine

The Storyteller

The City Of God

7 a.

 

     The first to the Falls, Rhonda was then spotted from the plateau by some of the Apes of God.

The Reviewer

     Now begins the story within the story.  A long short story or novelette that is as fine as anything in Fantasy or Science Fiction.  This story is the eighteen caret ruby in the diadem of the Tarzan series.  That this story should have gone unrecognized for over seventy years is incredible.

     Not only is it objectively stunning but the subjective richness is beyond measure.  Just as some background on the number of influences on the story let us begin with two, both of which are interconnected in ERB’s mind.

     The novel by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, had a profound effect on ERB’s mind.  He apparently read it early which is to say before 1900.  The possibility of creating life had interested him from the beginning of his corpus while references to it are interspersed throughout.  One of the greatest of his creations, the great physician and scientist Dr. Ras Thavas, will succeed in creating life five years hence in The Synthetic Men Of Mars but will botch the job terribly.

     In this story Burroughs’ character, God, doesn’t create life but he manipulates genes to create a whole new species.  Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1818 and in 1931 Universal made the definitive movie.  That was two years before Burroughs wrote Lion Man so it is reasonable to assume the movie had an effect on him.

     IMDb provides a quote from the movie that may have inspired ERB; I don’t think there is any doubt that he saw this seminal horror film.

     Henry Frankenstein:  Look! It’s moving.  It’s alive.  It’s alive….It’s alive, it’s moving, etc.

     Victory Moritz:  Henry- in the name of god!

     Henry Frankenstein:  Oh, in the name of God!  Now I know what it feels like to be God!

Frankenstein's Monster

     The 1931 Frankenstein is stil an overwhelming experience to watch over seventy years later.  For the audiences of 1931 it must have been overpowering.  The fabulous castle of Dr. Frankenstein was surely an inspiration for the castle of Burroughs’ God.  What Burroughs did with the inspiration is as astonishing as both the Shelley original and the movie.

     In the news also at the time for over a period of a decade or more was the spectacular career of John R. ‘Goat Glands’ Brinkley.  This is an astonishing story.  I rely mainly on two accounts:  Vishwas Gatitonde’s excellent article “Magic Men’ in BB New Series #59 and the account in Wlofman Jack’s autobiography.  Wolfman Jack’s autobiography slipped by unnoticed but is one of the great autobiographies of the second half of the twentieth century, probably the twentieth century and possibly of all time.

Also see on the internet:

Dr. John R. Brinkley- A Story You Should Know

Grift, Goats and Gonads by Scott McLemee

Kansas State Historical Papers- John R. Brinkley

Border Radio Quackery by Gene Fowler and Bill Crawford

The Goat Gland Doctor by Joe Schwarcz, PH.D

     The medical practices of God involve gland transplants along with genetic implanting or splicing.  Over the years based on a foundation of Frankenstein ERB had built up a magnificent fantastical scientific edifice of life creation based on Evolution.

     There can be no doubt that he read and thought about the subject a great deal.  He was very well informed on evolutionary matters.  He was a well educated, thoughtful, intelligent man contrary to nearly every opinion about him.  His ideas as presented in Lion Man are probably as far as he could take them based on the knowledge of his time.  The discovery of DNA was only a little over a decade away, actually made a few years before he died.  One wonders what he would have made of it.  Even then ERB’s notion of ‘germ cells’ with their indestructability contains the essence of DNA so ERB was on the right track in his thinking.  I’m going to handle this out of order as the ideas explain what follows better.

     ERB was familiar with the use of cannibalism to ingest certain qualities of slain warriors.  Thus it was thought that to eat the brains of especially intelligent people transmitted that intelligence to oneself.  To eat the flesh of a brave man made oneself also brave, etc.

     From there to cellular therapy is a short step.  Even though there was probably no one who believed in the physical benefits of human cannibalism this side of Africa when it came to animals parts intelligent men threw common sense out the window.

     Cellular Therapy arose at the end of the nineteenth century.  Joe Schwarcz explains:

     Charles-Edouard Brown-Sequard, a noted French physiologist, had shocked the medical community by injecting himself with the crushed testicles of young dogs and gunea pigs.  Afterwards he claimed that he had regained the physical stamina and intellectual vigor of his youth.  Many men availed themselves of ‘La Methode Sequardienne’, but once the placebo effect was filtered out little remained.  In Vienna physiologist Eugen Steinach proposed that youthful vitality could be restored by increasing levels of testosterone.  the easiet way to do this, Steinach said, was through vasectomy.  Sperm production wasted testosterone, and if the channel leading from the testes to the ejaculatory duct were tied off, then blood levels of testosterone would rise.  Brinkley may also have heard of the work of Serge Vorenoff, a French doctor who was stirring u a storm of controversy with his experimental gland transplants.  Vorenof had been a physician in the court of the King of Egypt, and there he had spent a great deal of time treating the court eunuchs, who suffered from a variety of illnesses.  He hyposthesized that maintaining active genital glands was the secret of health.  As proof, he cited his experiments with an aging ram into which he transplanted the testicles of young lamb.  the ram’s wool got thicker, and his sexual vigor returned.  Voreneff then went on to transplant bits of monkey testes into aging men; he claimed success, although he could offer no scientific validation of his claim.  In America the stage was set for the meteoric rise of J.R. Brinkley.

     Brinkley began to transplant goat glands into the testicles of his patients.  As he began his career in the early 1920s radio made its appearance as a commercial entity.  On the qui vive Brinkley realized its potential to increase his business and spread his gospel.  He bought the first radio station in Kansas in 1923, his practice was in Melford, His call leters were KFKB- Kansas First-Kansas Best- as bold a claim as his medical ones.  He was actually a fine broadcaster transmitting Country Music, weather, farm reports and other items of interest as well as infomercials for his medical practice.  This notoriety brought the AMA and government down on him.  By 1930 he had had both his medical and broadcasting licenses revoked.

     Now, here’s where the man showed his innovative brilliance.  This really got him attention.  Nothing daunted he moved down to fabled Del Rio, Texas, Brinkley created the fable, across the Rio Grande from Villa Acuna.  His radio station in Kansas was small, a mere 1000 watts, although probably non-directional.

      In Mexico without US regulations he was able to build a boombox of 75,000 to 100,000 non-directional watts.  This was later incresed, if this is believable, to 500,000 watts and tahen to1,000,000 watts according to Fowler and Crawford who really should know.

  

Clap For The Wolfman

   Alright.  When I grew up in Michigan in the 1950s I could clearly pick up the successor Del Rio station after dark when its power was only 250,000 watts.  Wolfman Jack who worked the station tells an amusing story of his arrival.  Driving through the desert to the transmitter he noted that all the cars parked there had left their headlights on.  This mystified him but then he learned that the wattage was so powerful that headlights glowed in consequence.  The air crackled around him.  At a half million and a million watts people must have levitated.

     So, Dr. Brinkley was much in the news all these years so that ERB as Gaitonde suggests couldn’t have missed him.  While in our time there is no reason to mention La Methode Sequardienne yet with Brinkley being reviled it is quite possible ERB came across a discussion of cellular therapy in his reading which did mention these earlier experiments.

     ERB has God, a formerly handsome Englishman, create a hybrid hominid between a gorilla and a human.  God himself has regressed being a hybrid human/gorilla.  p. 133:

     “What is this strange purpose we are to serve?”  asked Rhonda.

     “It is purely scientific; but it is a long story and I shall have to start at the beginning,” explained God.

     In the beginning.  God appears to have been a medical student back in England with a strong interest in biology.  p. 134:

     “I had always been intrigued by Lamarck’s investigations and later by Darwin’s.  They were on the right track, but they did not go far enough; then shortly after my graduation, I was traveling in Austria when I met a priest at Brunn who was working along lines similar to mine.  His name was Mendel.  We exchanged ideas.  He was the only man in the world who could appreciate me, but he couldn’t go all the way with me.  I got some help from him; but doubtless, he got more from me; though I never heard anything more about him before I left England.”

     ERB gives us a fair amount of information here.  He is familiar with the Frenchman Lamarck of the eighteenth century who centered on heridity.  A red flag goes up on Darwin because if God left England in 1859 he would have known nothing of Darwin who published that year.  In any event while Darwin’s Origin Of Species sheds light on the mechanics of the variations among a species I can’t find any evidence of how species themselves evolve.  ERB is also familiar with the genetics of the monk, not priest, Gregor Mendel, who published in 1866 sending a copy to Darwin which the latter dismissed as irrelevant.  However, Burroughs through God seems to have taken Darwin less seriously than Mendel.

     He imples that Mendel was on the right track with his peas but that following the same line of reasoning God went well beyond him which indeed he did.  Mendel was disregarded in 1866, his revival beginning in the year 1900.  So Burroughs in 1930 is keeping up his reading.

     Burroughs then goes on to explain God’s theory of heredity.  His theory is not all that bad.  It shows Burroughs obviously doing some reading and thinking on the subject.  p. 134:

     “In 1857 I felt that I had practically solved the myster of heredity, and in that year I published a monograph on the subject.  I will explain the essence of my discoveries in as simple language as possible, so that you may understand the purpose you are to serve.

     “Briefly, there are two types of cells we inherit from our parents- body cells and germ cells.  these cells are composed of chromosomes containing genes- a separate gene for each mental and physical characteristic.  The body cells, dividing and multiplying, changing, growing, determine the sort of individual we are to be; the germ cells remaining practically unchanged from our conception, determine what characteristics our progeny will inherit, through us, from our progentors and from us.

     “I determined that heredity could be controlled through the transference of these genes from one individual to another.  I learned that these genes never die; they are abosolutely indestructible- the basis of life on earth, the promise of immortality through all eternity.

     It appears that ERB’s main concern is heredity and indeed genealogy was important to him.  While his information is a clumsy account compared to what has been learned since then, given the times ERB was quite advanced.  He doesn’t have the handle on DNA which is a decade or so in the future, Watson and Crick published in 1947, but in the germ cells he’s on the track of the right idea.  The notion of the body cells is, of course, superfluous.

      But now God runs up against a brick wall when he publishes his theory in 1857.  Remember Mendel’s discoveries were still eight years in the future while so far ahead of their time that they will be disregarded for thirty-four years.

     I don’t know what horror films have been released by this time, Dracula and Frankenstein for sure, but here the plot seems very familiar, possible Burke and Hareish.  Unable to proceed in a legal manner because of society’s obtuseness God turns to criminal means, but quite novel crime.

     As he has detemined that germ cells are immortal he raids the tombs of Westminster Abbey extracting germ cells from Henry VIII and his court and entourage.  Thus he has a little time capsule when he is discovered and flees England to avoid blackmail.  He decides to conduct his experiments on gorillas in Africa.  He finds the greatest concetration of gorillas in Africa, and hence on earth, in the valleyof diamonds.  In something like seventy years he converts pure gorillas into a hybrid of gorillas and humans capable of speech and human cognition.  They build his magnificent City of God for him which must have been quite new when Tarzan arrived.

     As they are bred from the genes of medieval Englishmen  the effects of Lamarckian heredity are evident as they speak a medieval form of English and replicate the City called London after its medieval progenitor.  Following Burroughs’ earlier thought in Opar the gorillas accept only beings born in gorilla form with human attributes.  Sports and mutations are expelled.  the other are, of course, the result of Mendelian genetics that are beings with odd combination of genes.

     God was born in 1833, the same year as Burroughs’ father, thus in 1933 he is one hundred one years old.  Some forty years back or so as he realized he was aging so he decided to splice in the body cells of young gorillas in a form of cellular therapy to rejuvenate himself.  This worked well in preserving his youth but unfortunately the more gorilla body cells he spliced in the more gorilla-like he became, so that when Tarzan and Rhonda meet him he is a grotesque hybrid, more intellignet than the gorilla hybrids, but reverting rapidly to pure gorilla.  Serious problem.

     God is very pleased to capture two such fine looking human specimens as Tarzan and Rhonda because by splicing in their body cells he will be able to resume his human shape in some style.

     So Burroughs has been developing his ideas in a creditable scientific way.  While it’s true his actual science is speculative he is employing some fairly sound reasoning on the matter that may not have been too dissimilar from the tack taken by Stalin’s scientists, while creating a human-ape hybrid has apparently been a timeless fascination.  It is said that our own scientists have succeeded in actually creating a chimp-human hybrid but that the specimens have been destroyed. I haven’t any confirmed proof that such has been done but rumors are around.

     Having given a reasonable scientific explanation of the gorilla hybrids and God’s purpose for Tarzan and Rhonda, Burroughs with his usual ghoulish delight introduces his favorite topic of cannibalism.  He informs the two that after satisfying his need for body cells he intends to eat them thus imbibing their characteristics.  He also says that he will extract several glands from Rhonda for some special purpose.

      I’m not exactly clear on what cannibalism meant to ERB.  It seems he associates it with his father who was particulary hard on Burroughs in his youth which ERB may have interpreted as being eaten alive by his father.  As we have God, cannibalism and his father associated here his father may be the reason for the recurring  reference to cannibalism is his work.

     The female glands recur again in Tarzan’s Quest where the Kavuru chief Kavandavanda requires female glands for his immortality pills and Vishwas Gaitonde finds the subject mentioned again in Tarzan The Magnificent. 

     So when Rhonda arrives at the Falls and is spotted from above by the seeming gorillas, she is actually spotted by a clone of the real fifteenth century Lord Buckingham in his gorilla guise.

     Now begins a series of astonishments, jokes and twists such as are found in few novels.  As I mentioned, today much of this is old hat, but in 1933 this was startling fresh and new.  At this point we are unaware of the hybrid nature of the gorillas.  The following passage then was not only startling to Rhonda but to us.  p. 94:

     (Rhonda) felt very small and alone and tired.  With a sigh she sat down on a rounded boulder and leaned against another piled behind it.  All her remaining strength seemed to have gone from her.  She closed her eyes wearily, and two tears rolled down her cheeks.  Perhaps she dozed, but she was startled into wakefulness by a voice speaking near her.  At first she thought she was dreaming and did not open her eyes.

     “She is alone,”  the voice said.  “We will take her to God- he will be pleased.”

     it was an English voice, or at least the accent was English, but the tones were gruff and deep and guttural.  The strange words convinced her she was dreaming.  She opened her eyes, and shrank back with a little scream of terror.  Standing close to her were two gorillas, or such she thought them to be until one of them opened his mouth and spoke.

     “Come with us,” it said; “we are going to take you to God;” then it reached out a mighty, hairy hand and seized her.

     There’s a shocking opener to the twilight zone between R2 and R3 as ERB prepares the curiosity of the reader for what is perhaps the most amazing story he ever told.

King Kong

     Rhonda, physically and emotionally exhausted by the terrific events of the past few days, slips into a trance in the middle of Africa only to be brought out of it by voices speaking Enalish saying they are taking her to God.  What can that possibly mean?  When she opens her eyes she sees two gorillas are doing the speaking.

     That’s something else, isn’t it?  Had they been on the screen could they have competed with King Kong that was released in that year of 1933?   Out of King Kong came 1949’s Mighty Joe Young while the public’s fascination with gorillas continued until Planet Of The Apes which, if it doesn’t owe anything to Burroughs’ story, develops the theme ad absurdam.  Kong, Young and Planet Of The Apes, Stalin’s experiments all owe their origins to the Tarzan oeuvre.

     Burroughs raises the theme to heights that have never been surpassed.  Combining the human gorillas with the City of God was incomparable genius.

     With the background clear let’s take a leap into the future.

The City Of God

God At Work

 

7 b.

The whole thing seemed like a hideous and grotesque nightmare,

yet it was so real that she couldn’t know whether or not

she was dreaming.

Lion Man p. 95

     In taking the ‘germ cells’ of individuals from the time of Henry VIII, as the cells were cloned with those of the gorillas the hybrids cloned the environment they knew.  While clones have no mermory of a previous existence, in the popular imagination they do.  Thus in the paranoid classic movie The Boys From Brazil of 1978 the number of clones of Adolf Hitler all exhibited the supposed conditioned responses of the original which they could not have experienced themselves.

     At the same time ERB cleverly replicates the political situation between God, Church and Henry VIII.  When Rhonda was captured, two gorillas named the Dukes of Buckingham and Suffolk quarrel over whether she is to be taken to Henry VIII or God.  As we still have no idea of what is going on we are as mystified as Rhonda.

     And then as Rhonda tries to order her bobbled brain she realized she could communicate with these improbably English speaking apes.  p. 96:

     Now she had an instant in which to think clearly, and with it came the realization that she had the means of communicating with her captors.

     ‘Who are you?”  she damanded.  “And why have you made me a prisoner?”

     ‘The two turned suddenly upon her.  She thought their faces denoted surprise.

     “She speaks English!” exclained one of them.

     There’s a neat turnabout similar to when Tarzan addresses Buckingham in Mangani and the gorilla answers him in English.  The gorilla exclaims, “She speaks English.”

     Then follows an explanation of God, Henry VIII and Cranmer that only succeeds in confusing Rhonda further as she seems to be in some costume play in which for some inexplicable reason actors clad as gorillas are acting out a play  about Henry VIII.  She pinches herself to no avail.  She is awake.  This isn’t theatre, although Hamlet soon would be played in Nazi uniforms which is just about as ridiculous.

     The gorillas take her to Henry VIII where we will leave her until she is joined by Tarzan.

     While Rhonda escaped theArabs Naomi had been recaptured.  In company with the Arabs she is brought to the canyon that leads to an easy ascent of the plateau according to the map.  As the ascent becomes steep they leave the horses with Eyad going ahead on foot.  Awaiting them at the crest is Stalin’s dream corps.  Throughout the oeuvre one is always amazed at the disregard for their own well being the apes exhibit.  They  charge in story after story with complete disregard for their own well being.  Always a signficant portion are left on the field of battle but the survivors never complain while Tarzan complacently accepts their sacrifice as his due.

     So here, barehanded against the Arab firearms the gorillas launch a wave attack reminiscent of the Chinese in Korea that doesn’t stop until all the Arabs are dead.  No regard at all for casualities.  No wonder Stalin thought Burroughs was on to something.  While the apes perform as they have always performed in Tarzan stories the difference here is that these are not mere apes but hybrids with human intelligence.  If Burroughs was aware of Stalin’s experiments was he laughing at the Great Commissar?  Is this battle a reference to Stalin?  One can’t be positive of course but I am sure that the character of God-the formerly handsome Englishman- is partially based on H.G. Wells who was associated with Stalin.

     Naomi was with the Arabs.  She is captured by Buckingham  who asks her how she got away from God;  she is identical to Rhonda so Buckingham naturally confused her for the latter.  The Apes sense of smell was not as developed as Tarzan’s.  I’m sure the Big Bwana would have smelled the difference immediately.

     ERB is now dealing with his sexual problems.  Of the three women involved with the City of God- Naomi, Rhonda and Balza, it is necessary to sort out which woman represents what to ERB.  As Naomi is weak and vacillating she obviously represents Emma.  Rhonda who is strong and self-willed seems to represent ERB’s Anima ideal or in other words, La of Opar.  La disappears from the oeuvre after Tarzan The Invincible of 1930 but as Tarzan and Rhonda in God’s prison replicate Tarzan and La in the Lion’s den of Invincible it seems probable that ERB has transported La from the fantasy world of Opar to the mere imaginary world of the movies.  This leaves Balza- The Golden Girl- who probably represents Florence, but we will deal with her in the appropriate place.

     ERB has now gotten the two women, the Arabs and Tarzan to the Falls.  Orman, West and the safari are assembling at the base of the Falls so, having dissolved his story after the Bansuto attack ERB has now reintegrated it.

     After a series of adventures during which Buckingham kills Suffolk, Tarzan appears to rescue Naomi killing Buckingham.  At this point in Burroughs’ psychology he assumes the identity of his ordinary self and that of Tarzan into one being.  As the movie people have never seen Tarzan they assume that he is Stanley Obroski his identical twin.  Tarzan does not correct anyone but allows them to believe he is Stanley.

      As I perceive it then ERB has now deluded himself into believing that he is Tarzan.  Those who know him still perceive him as Ed Burroughs.  He has no choice but to let them believe that because if he attempted to impose his delusion on them he might have been committed.  Thus for a period of about five to six years from 1934 to 1939-40 Burroughs perceives himself as Tarzan but  capitulates  in Tarzan And The Madman giving up his illusion of being the Big Bwana.  In Lion Man he describes Tarzan as a madman so the two novels are linked by the concept of madness.

     After writing Madman Burroughs left California for Hawaii where he forced Florence away from him.  WWII came along which saved him from himself.  After the war he went back to LA to die.  It is interesting that he didn’t choose to live in Tarzana but bought a house in Encino that backed against the Promised Land.  thus like Moses, with whom there was a connection made in Tarzan Of The Apes, ERB was destined to view the Promised Land but not enter it.

     In Lion Man he is flush with the hope of being able to live out his fantasy.  He is now a few months from abandoning Emma so symbolically he returns Naomi to the safari at the Falls from whence she disappears from the story.

     Only Rhonda and Balza will figure in the rest of the story.  Emma is no more although Jane will appear again in Quest probably as Emma’s replacement Florence.  In Magnificent Florence is mentioned only anonymously as Tarzan’s ‘wife.’  ERB is definitely struggling.

     Having delivered Naomi to the safari Tarzan then reascends the plateau in search of Rhonda and the City of God.

The City Of God

7 c.

Every one of us, I believe, is possessed of two characters.

Often time they are so much alike that the duality is not noticeable,

but again there is a divergence so great

That we have the phenomenon of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

in a single individual.

E.R. Burroughs- The Swords Of Mars

     Tarzan And the Lion Man was followed at the end of 1933 by the Mars story The Swords Of Mars which features the return of John Carter.  ERB had taken a vacation from Emma returning to the scene of his own early adventures- Arizona.  Not coincidentally in the White Mountain of Apache country.  ERB’s motivations are sometimes obscure.  He was in the Army in Arizona in 1896-97 which was before he married Emma.  So he took his leave of absence from Emma to a place before he married her.  Setting the clock back, so to speak, somewhat reminiscent of The Eternal Lover.

     Just as Tarzan and Stanley met in Lion Man so while about to go to sleep, O.B.- The Other Burroughs- hears the door open, the clank of a man in war gear walking across the floor; terrified like an adolescent in a bad dream, O.B. is relieved and pleased when John Carter, back from Mars, greets him.  A real Jekyll and Hyde situation.  Thus as with Tarzan and Stanley the two Martian aspects of Buroughs are reunited but not melded.  John Carter then tells O.B. a bedtime story as though Burroughs were a child again.  I’m not that familiar with the Mars stories but there must be a connection to Lion Man and the MGM situation.  This must be true because this is the novel in which the opening letters of each chapter spell- TO FLORENCE WITH ALL MY LOVE, ED.  One assumes then that although the decision to leave Emma was difficult to make, ERB made the final decision in the Arizona mountains.

     So now a few months earlier Tarzan/Stanley makes the journey to the City of God where he will be reunited with his Anima ideal, Rhonda -La of Opar- in prison.  Thus his whole person both Anima and Animus are locked up by MGM.

     Rhonda had been taken to Henry VIII by Buckingham and Suffolk.  The city was called London, the country England and the river The Thames.  As ERB jokingly smirks- The English always take a little bit of England with them wherever they go.  Pretty funny, actually.

     Here the events of Henry’s reign are being reenacted.  As the apes are clones of Henry and his court who replicate their times one wonders whether each succeeding generation will be stuck in this one period of history reenacting it over and over until the end of time.  Once again I am reminded of The Eternal Lover.  ERB seems to be obsessed by the idea of time.

     Rhonda was first placed with the wives of Henry, a week later being moved to a cell in God’s castle where Tarzan found her when he too was captured.

     For now he was moving through the night until he came up against the ten foot high wall surrounding the City of London and within it the City of God.  Here we have the historical confrontation between the spiritual and temporal powers.  At the least the story is a very humorous parody of the religious situation of Henry VIII.  Once again ERB ridicules religion and this is done so cleverly and with such genius.

     But there are many levels of meaning.  Earlier I mentioned that the capture of Tarzan may have been meant to replicate ERB;’s capture by MGM.  In that sense then the City of God might represent MGM which boasted that it had more stars then Heaven.  So there is probably a joke there too.

     On the other hand, God is described as a formerly handsome Englishman.  The only candidate for that role I can come up with is ERB’s bete noir, H.G. Wells.  I think that I have adequately documented the literary feud between Wells and Burroughs.  Wells began well with his scientific romances.  While not as fresh and stunning as they were at the time of issue they still hold up well today.  Even though ERB denied having ever read Wells I think that claim can be dismissed out of hand.  ERB, then, would have been as impressed with Wells’ early romances as anyone else.  Then when Wells began his campaign of defamation and ridicule which is most clearly represented in his Mr. Blettsworthy On Rampole Island  he fell from favor in Burroughs’ eyes, hence the grotesquely deformed ‘formerly handsome Englishman.’

     As much as I like Wells he does pontificate.  Like all Liberals he has a difficult time distinguishing his opinion from truth, right and wrong, or reality.  While he does sometimes make a hit in his prophesying he is mostly wrong.  Backing the Worker’s Paradise of Stalin’s USSR was certainly wrong and more than enough to discredit him in the staunch anti-Communist Burroughs’ eyes.

     Wells probably shook Burroughs’ faith in the glory of England which had been a keystone of his secular faith fromt he beginning.  Thus, combining MGM, Stalin and the USSR and Wells, Burroughs packages all the troublemakers of this perilous time for him into one big box with a bigger bow on top.

     As his story could have no effect on his situation let us hope it was at least cathartic for him.  When Tarzan ends up in the cage with Rhonda that about epitomizes Burroughs’ situation vis-a-vis MGM, Stalin and Wells.  There are so many coincidences here that the brain revolves like a turret.  Was it wholly coincidental that Wells showed up in Hollywood at the end of ’35 to visit fellow Red Charlie Chaplin just as Burroughs was completely boxed in because of his Guatemalan adventure?

     Isn’t it amazing that Burroughs met his fate in Guatemala, the scene of the adventures of his early hero General Christmas and also the scene of some of the adventures of Ogden McClurg who was killed shortly after this return from the area in 1926?  It may be truly coincidental but the further one digs very often the more dirt one turns up.

      Burroughs may have felt confident he could write his way out of this box just as he was able to escape by self-publishing in 1930; perhaps he thought he could escape this time by making his own movies.  If so, a little analysis would have shown him that the rules had drastically changed.  Especially as he had signed the rights to represent his character Tarzan away.

     Coincidental with the release of the MGM Tarzan movies which preempted the nature of Tarzan from literature came the decline in Burroughs’ own literary powers.  Whereas in 1930 he was able to respond to the challenge with a series of top novels, after Lion Man there is a preciptious decline in the the quality of is work.  While the later novels have their charms for Burroughs’ admirers they do lack commercial appeal.

     By 1935 also Burroughs had antagonized radio which had become the major source of his income so that that medium was closed to him during his lifetime.  With publication revenues declining and the comics by Burroughs’ own admission producing a pittance, ERB had only one major source of income left and that was the moves.  MGM had him over a barrel.

     MGM might have produced a whole series of Tarzan films along the lines of the Charlie Chan movies as Burroughs reuefully remarked but they chose instead to issue only four movies between 1932 and 1939.  Obviously the makret would have borne more.  The limited release schedule kept EBB on a short financial tether.

     It is said that events cast their shadow before them so that it is possible, if not probable, that Burroughs foresaw the shape of things to come even as he wrote Lion Man.

     In 1930 when the Reds invaded his dream land of Opar ERB abandoned that fantasy.  The fabled city ceased to exist in his imagination while disappearing from the oeuvre.  Now in Lion Man it appears that the enemy had captured the castle while building a ten foot wall around it with Tarzan/Burroughs on the outside.  Thus Burroughs’ dream of separating himself from the world by a tne foot wall has been inverted in his imagination.  He wasn’t keeping the world out; the world was keeping him out.

     In the novel succeeding Lion Man, The Swords Of Mars, when the mad inventor Fal Sivas quails at taking hsi invented spaceship to the Martian moon Thuria the following exchange takes place between he and John Carter:

     “But you built this ship to go to Thuria,:  Carter cried.  “You told me so yourself.”

     “It was a dream,” he mumbled; “I am always dreaming, for in dreams nothing bad an happen to me.”

     Fal Sivas can be taken as an alter ego of Burroughs.  The Sivas probably refers to the Hindu god Shiva or Siva with whom Burroughs had become a devotee or developed a fascination for.  Thus while his heroes Tarzan and John Carter are men of action Sivas/Burroughs or any other combination is not.

     So in Lion Man Burroughs is desperately trying to become the man of action rather than the dreamer.  The problem now is that ERB himself is past the point of no return.  He has been walled out from the City of God.

     In dreams however Tarzan enters the Heavenly City by a fantastic feat of strength that recalls Burroughs’ 1890-1920 infatuation with the Strong Men such as the Great Sandow.

     The wall which Tarzan fancies was built to keep out lions i.e. the Lion Man has sharpened stakes pointing downward.  p. 124:

     …he leaped for the stakes.  His hands closed upon two of them; then he drew himself up slowly until his hips were on a level with his hands, his arms straight at his sides.  Leaning forward, he let his body drop slowly forward until it rested on the stakes and the top of the wall.

      That seems to be an impossible feat of strength except in dreams, but then by this point Tarzan thinks he is dreaming.  This might as well be an MGM movie lot such Burroughs spent five weeks on.  Here the dream faces a sort of reality.  As though pasing through a movie set as ERB must have done during those five weeks Tarzan comes to the steps leading to the Heaven of God.  this Stariway to Heaven, Jacob’s Ladder.

     As if to accent the relationship to MGM he passes the Apes of God who are dancing and partying.  The scene will be replicated at the foot of the Falls when the movie company duplicates this scene thus strengthening the connection with MGM.

     Tarzan begins the long climb up the Stairway to Heaven.  The fire flares illuminating him on the steps but the apes below don’t notice- high above on a parapet of Heaven, God does.  Note the resemblance to the move castle of Frankenstein.  A man of action God quickly prepares a trap.

     In real life the trap was probably the promise of the contract and money.  ERB blames the movies for being duplicitous, which is definitely true, still, he had had a dozen or more years to work out the conditions prevailing on his own.  After all, by 1932 he had proven product to sell.  The public had even given a profit to some pretty crummy movies so that had he taken the time, acted on his own conditions, rather than just signing for a few quick bucks he might have retained a position of some control, made himself an equal partner.  So, while MGM did betray him he might have been able to manage the situation.

     Tarzan enters the castle to be confronted by six doors of which only #3 is open.  Depending on how you count them there were six to eight major studios, thus the six doors may represent the Studios of which only MGM was willing to deal with him.  Remember he had been blacklisted since 1922, the blacklist having been broken in 1928 by Joseph Kennedy.

     Tarzan descends the stairs as heedlessly as Burroughs signed the contract and like Burroughs he finds himself trapped.  The nose of noses sniffs the air and detects the delicate scent of a White woman.  He has found she whom he sought, Rhonda.

7 d.

The Confrontation With God

     Now Tarzan is reunited with his Anima ideal in the person of Rhonda formerly La of Opar.  That Rhonda can be associated with La is because this scene is a replication or double of Tarzan and La in the lion’s den of Invincible.  There La and Tarzan were imprisoned in a cell beneath Opar.  They escaped the cell in a duplication of their escape from this prison.  In Invicible there was a runway within which the lion fed.  A shaft led upward to a room in a tower.  There the old man who betrayed them discovered them.

     In this case a breeze passing over the floor indicates an air shaft to Tarzan.  This is probably borrowed from Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines although it will soon if not already be a staple of the movie genre.  Tarzan locates the shaft in the ceiling in a corner of the cell.  He and Rhonda ascend it to the opening in front of which God is talking to some gorillas.  Thus the scene virtually duplicates Invincible.  La and Rhonda must be associated in ERB’s mind.

     As an aside Burrughs uses a variation of this scenario in The Swords Of Mars when John Carter is imprisoned.  There are beams some twenty feet ot so above the floor to which Carter leaps.  He takes a position above the door dropping on his keeper when he enters.

     At this point in the story Tarzan and Stanley Obroski may be considered to be reunited as one persona.  Rhonda, who has never seen Tarzan, addressed the person in Stanley’s guise as Stanley.  ERB has a little fun as he has Tarzan play along.

      As he says in Swords, he is convinced that every man has a dual Animus, that is two different aspects, sometimes nearly identical but sometimes as different as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Thus at this point his mind is impressed with Shelley’s Frankenstein and Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde.  He had read both novels before 1900  while both stories were released as movies in 1931.  So the stories are very fresh in his mind.

     Tarzan/Obroski may be considered of the Jekyll/Hyde variety.  There is little doubt that Burroughs saw the pair and himself that way.  Thus Carter and Fall Sivas in Swords may also be seen as two sides (Jekyll/Hyde) of the same persona.  Tarzan does not try to convince Rhonda that he is not Stanley, but in the Jekyll side of the persona he astounds here with Hydelike feats compelling her to reevaluate him.

     There are undoubtedly snippets of other horror movies here that ERB has seen also but I can’t remember the titles or dates.  There was one about two Scottish body snatchers Burke and Hare which I think I can detect here and another about a mad doctor who operated on the brains of abducted victims that shows up here and in Swords that was called the Black Sleept or somesuch.  The latter would have had a castle along these lines as well as Frankenstein.  Of course, which of that ilk of movie didn’t?  Burroughs is combining an astounding number of influences here both literary and cinematic but both combined.

     Thus, having availed himself of ‘such a God given opportunity’ to find Rhonda he is imprisoned with her.  The joke was ERB’s.  You know, God left the doors open- God given opportunity.  I chuckled softly to myself as I read.

     After an exchange of repartee between Stanley/Tarzan and Rhonda God makes his appearance.  Not exactly what one would expect God to look like.  In fact it is almost amazing that the fundamentalist Christians didn’t create an uproar.  After all according to the Old Testament man was created in God’s image.  There’s a laugh.  Here’s the image.  p. 128:

     It had the face of a man, but its skin was black like that of a gorilla.  Its grinning lips revealed the heavy fangs of an anthropoid.  Scant black hair covered those portions of its body that an open shirt and a loin cloth revealed.  The skin of the body, arms, and legs was black with large patches of white.  The bare feet were the feet of a man; the hands were black and hairy and wrinkled, with long, curved claws; the eyes were the sunken eyes of an old man- a very old man.

     The Scopes Monkey Trial had only been about seven years before.  So here Burroughs is making sport of God with a sort of reverse evolution.  God is a cross between a man and a gorilla.  Yet ERB led such a charmed life that his mockery or parody of God created no comment.  If he wanted to start a ruckus to promote his book sales he failed miserably.

     God might have been half ape but he had a whole hearted sense of;humor.  Overhearing Tarzan say that he had come for Rhonda his opening comments are mock injury.  p. 128:

     “So you are acquainted?”  He said.  “How interesting! And you came to get her, did you?  I thought that you had come to call on me.  Of course it is not quite the proper thing for a stranger to come by night without an invitation- and by stealth.

     “It was just by the merest chance that I learned of your coming.  I have Henry to thank for that.  Had he not been staging a dance I should not have known, and thus I should have been denied the pleasure of receiving you, as I have.

     “You see, I was looking down from my castle into the courtyard of Henry’s palace when his bonfire flared up and lighted the Holy Stairs- and there you were!

     Burroughs is justly criticized for the occasional bit of wooden dialogue but I find the confrontation with God very well written.  The constantly mocking tone of God is carried off very well.  Tarzan’s indignation is very well executed.  The influence of Shelley, Stevenson and the various movies is seamlessly blended into a very tightly executed scene.

     All this is done in a very few pages while it is a remarkable bit of writing.

     God hints at his motives for their use for him.  p. 129:

     “…I shall keep you for a while for the pleasure of conversing with rational human beings.

     “I have not seen any for a long time, a long, long time.  Of course I hate them nonentheless, but I must admit that I shall find pleasure in this companionship for a short time.  You are both very good looking too.  That will make it all the more pleasant, just as it increases your value for the purpose which I intend you- the final purpose, you understand.  I am particularly pleased that the girl is so beautiful.  I always did have a fondness for blonds.  Were I not already engaged along some other lines of research, and were it possible, I should like nothing better than to conduct a scientific investigation to determine the biologial or psychological explanation of the profound attraction the blond female has for the male of all races.”

      Burroughs doesn’t tell us how blonde Rhonda and Naomi are, whether they are platinum blondes like Kali Bwana or merely blondes.  Of course today ERB would be censored for his handling of the sexual and racial preferences for blondes but it is a recurrent theme in his writing and one worth studying.

     Having piqued our curiosity as to his purpose for the couple God leaves to check up on Henry.  p. 130:

“Come back here!” (Tarzan) commanded.  “Either let us out of this hole or tell us why you are holding us- what you intend doing with us.”

     The creature wheeled suddenly, its expression transformed by a hideous snarl.  “You dare issue orders to me!”   It screamed.

     “And why not?” demanded the ape-man.  “Who are you?”

     The creature took a step nearer the bars and tapped its hairy chest with a thorny talon.  “I am God.”  it cried.

     There you go.  The cat’s out of the bag.

     The scene is dramatically successful while the reader is now left to guess the model for God.  We are told that he was a formerly handsome Englishman now deformed as a hybrid ape-human.  The city is London, the territory is England and the river is the Thames.  A reasonable place to look would be among the English.  Who among the English is bedeviling ERB?  H.G. Wells is the only one I can think of.  Regardless of whether Wells considered himself a Communist or not he is sailing his craft so close to the wind that it is impossible to distniguish between the two.  At the very least Wells is throughly subversive.  If anything he resents not being in Stalin’s place.  So Burroughs must consider him Communist.

     To my mind then, Burroughs is mocking Wells much as Wells mocked Burroughs in ‘Blettsworthy.’ God has delusions of grandeur and so does the highly pontificating Wells.  My vote for the model is Wells.

     One also notes that in the last of the MGM Tarzan movies, 1942’s Tarzan’s New York Adventure, Tarzan is captured by the circus roustabouts and thrown into a mobile cage.  The camera then pans around to front which identifies the cage as a lion cage.  One thus has the joke of the Lion Man in a lion’s cage.  A final thumbing of the nose at Burroughs exiled in Hawaii.  MGM then dropped what had been a very lucrative series.  Strange behavior indeed.

     God then returns to give his history as detailed earlier in the essay.  While for some reason everyone, fans and detractors alike, wants to think of Burroughs as a semi-literate boob who is coincidentally a ‘master of adventure’ yet both in content and exposition, God presents his story in a masterly way.  In 1930 there may have been few of his readers who had ever heard of Mendel and possibly Lamarck, although one hopes all had heard of Darwin.  So it is possible that a reader might have been puzzled by the inclusion of Darwin while dismissing Larmarck and Mendel as fictitious.  Of course if you’re reading strictly for fast-paced adventure you may not notice the details even though they are far from concealed.

     God also clears up the mystery of the map.  Surprisingly the map is not a stage prop but authentic.  In fact, God made it about seventy years previously.  It seems that he had been in love with a women back in England but she preferred wealth to being the wife of an impoverished scientist.

     This may be a coincidence but that is the premise of the plot of H.G. Wells’ In The Days Of The Comet.  Perhaps it was a message to Wells in case he hasn’t gotten it yet.  But then God discovered the immense number of diamonds in the valley so he wrote the girl promising her riches beyond imagination.  He had employed a native runner to take the letter to the coast to mail it but since he had never had a reply he wondered if it had ever been received.  Now it came back to him.  A simple but inventive twist.

     When God leaves this time Tarzan sets to work to escape.  Following the draft across the floor he finds the air shaft.  Just as in Invincible he sends La up first now he sends Rhonda up first.  As in the earlier story they are trapped at the top.

     Looking through the entrance to the shaft they spy God and some gorillas in front of it.  Their escape is spoiled.  Now begins the Gotterdamerung.

The City of God

7 e.

The Gotterdamerung

      Burroughs now has both aspects of his Animus with his Anima trapped in the tower unable to go foward or backward.  God and his gorillas stand in anticipation before the opening.  Burroughs has been stalemated.  At this point one aspect of God must be MGM and its contract.

     ERB has spun out his fantasy in a plausible way to this point, but now he has to find a way to resolve his dilemma.  As he is daydreaming and this is a mad dream, as Fal Sivas says in Swords, in dreams nothing bad can happen to you.  In this bind something bad can happen to ERB.  He can lose his grip on reality.  In that way he becomes mad or insane which is what the story is about.

     In speaking of Henry God might also be speaking of ERB. p. 143:

         “You all forget,” (God) cried, “that it was I who created you; it is I who can destroy you.  First I shall make Henry mad, and then I shall crush him.  That is the kind of gods humans like- it is the only kind they can understand.  Because they are jealous and cruel and vindictive they have to have a jealous, cruel and vindictive god.”

     There’s a lot information in that quote.  It refers to the ancient Greek saying:  Those who the gods would destroy they first make mad.  So we have an excellent joke here.  The incredible mind of Burroughs can conceive humor in the midst of the blackest despair.

     He is talking of the Yahweh of the Old Testament while he quite soundly understands that god is a psychological projection of the mind of his creator.  In a masterly grasp of Freudian group psychology, whether he knew it or not, he realized tha the people have created a god in their own image and not vice versa.  Trapped in the tower this is a real agonized cry of despair before losing his grip on reality.

     I don’t mean to say that ERB went stark raving mad but he edged into a fantasy world at least once removed from the fantasy he had been living since 1912.  For the period of his marriage to Florence he can only be described as spaced out.  Bear in mind that it’s going to get worse as he gets trapped into his movie production experience.

     The Masenas in The Swords Of Mars make the threatening moves on John Carter who keeps backing away.  Only too late he realized he had maneuvered himself where they wanted him.  The Masenas were cat-men, i.e. lions who had two mouths.  In a sly way Burroughs is caricaturing the Jews of MGM and their mascot Leo the Lion.  The upper mouth which is sort of pursy and purring to seduce one, is above a lower mouth that is all teeth and no lips to rend one.  So he is saying that he is dealing with two-faced people.  While the upper mouth is assuring, the lower rending mouth is ever ready to destroy you.

     Tarzan realizes that he has no choices left but to stay put or rush God and the gorillas.  Alone he would have had a chance of success but with Rhonda in tow he is lost.  This is an interesting reflection on the relationship of the Animus to the Anima.  I’m at a bit of a loss to explain this.

     God had sent for Rhonda to be told that she was not in the cell.  Knowing that Tarzan was in the air shaft it followed that Rhonda was too as neither could have escaped the cell otherwise.  He orders smudge pots to be  lighted to smoke them  out.  Thus Burroughs acknowledges that his own situation is untenable while he has no solution.  The only one left is the Samson like effort of pulling the temple down on his own head destroying both himself and his enemies.

     God’s plan backfires as he sets his own castle afire.  Unable to stand the smoke any longer Tarzan rushes out to be felled by a blow from one of the apes.  At this precise point ERB goes mad or loses his mental balance.  I don’t believe there is a Tarzan novel in which the Big Bwana isn’t knocked on the head at least once.  In this case when he gets up he won’t have lost his memory but he will be a different man, another round of emasculation.

     Once again he is separated from his Anima.  Rhonda is spirited off to Henry.  God and Tarzan are trapped on the patio as the castle becomes engulfed in flames.

     This chapter is appropriately titled ‘The Holocaust.’  In its way everything that ERB had hoped and dreamed goes up in flames with God’s castle.  Heaven is reduced to ashes.

     Tarzan has his trusty rope so he can escape over the parapet to the roof of a lower level.  God begs him to save him which Tarzan reluctantly does.

     Tarzan, one has difficulty in styling him the Big Bwana in this emasculated state, reverses the actual situation between Burroughs and MGM by placing the rope around God’s neck putting him on a short tether.  Henry is now in full revolt.  Tarzan agrees to help God in exchange for his help in recovering Rhonda and letting them leave.  Perhaps Burroughs was asking MGM for a release from his contract.  Let by Tarzan the forces of God defeat Henry.

     I’m not clear who Henry represents or if he is meant to represent a real individual.  Aware of his defeat Henry abandons his wives for the blonde White woman, Rhonda.  He has a secret subterranean escape route.  Thus Burroughs, who through Tarzan stormed the gates of Heaven, the heights of consciousness, has first returned to earth and now slips back into the subconscious.  In all probability then, his attempt to integrate his personality  had failed while coming so close.

     Henry had followed his tunnel to emerge into the valley of diamonds and mutants.  Here he encounters a lion.  Throwing Rhonda down he runs from the lion which we all know is the exact wrong thing to do.  Rhonda then escapes.

      Tarzan emerges from the tunnel just as the lion is rending Henry.  So Henry perishes.  Tarzan sets off into the valley of diamonds in pursuit of Rhonda or, in another word, his Anima.

The City Of God

7 f.

The Golden Girl

     While one is astonished that there was no uproar because of ERB’s treatment of God, Heaven and the gorillas, one is even more astonished that at no time since 1912 was ERB ever under attack for his views on evolution.  The oeuvre is a veritable compendium on the various possible results of evolution yet no one ever said a word nor has to this day.

     In LIon Man which treats of evolution in perhaps his most daring way yet, his effort is met with stony silence.  God, in his creation of the hybrid gorillas according to the logic of Gregor Mendel, had a large number of sports and variations.  The ‘normal’ hybrid apes refused to accept these either killing them or driving them from their society.

     God laments that the tendency to exclusivity, or like to like, was such a strong characteristic of the new species that he could do nothing to break the hybrid’s attitude.  This must be a wry comment on those who wished to break down racial and special barriers.

     Apart from the role of White women in racial politics, which ERB through God has already commented on, there is not, nor will there ever be, inclusivity of different races on the pshysiological level nor even on the intellectual level of religion.

     Thus the theme of separation in this spurious London, England was a variation on Opar where normal males were killed producing the ape-like male Oparians, while only the beautiful females were preserved.  In this case the rejected hybrids, who bear some resemblance to the Hormads created by Ras Thavas, have taken up residence across the Thames.  Among them, as one might suppose, Mendelian genetics predicts, were two human looking specimens.  The male who was perfectly human in form had a gorilla mind; the female although rumored to have a gorilla mind in fact was a perfect human in mind while also possessing a normal human form.

     She is the mate of the human looking male as kind mates with kind.  Tarzan, having recovered Rhonda, finds Balza, which means Golden Girl, being abused by her mate.  He rescues her but the trio is set upon by the whole tribe of mutants.

     Balza explains to Tarzan that having defeated her former mate Tarzan has claimed her for his own.  She is his, will-he or nil he.  She then becomes hostile to the Anima figure of Rhonda.

     So now we have a difficult psychological situation.  Burroughs, who believes that every man is of a dual personality, has first united the two Lion Men and has now killed off one half of the duality leaving Tarzan as a single psychological unit.  Not integrated but half a man so to speak.  This is in violation of his stated belief which he has clarified no further.  At the same time Balza seems to be driving his old Anima figure of La/Rhonda away, replacing her.  Thus this Wild Thing becomes both Burroughs’ Anima ideal and human woman.   We have single with single, or half with half.  Now we have a single Animus, the Lion Man, Tarzan and Wild Thing as his Anima and woman.  This is quite a combination.  That would certainly explain the nature of the next several years of ERB’s life when he seems to run completely off the rails.

     He expresses this in his work of the thirties in different ways.  The Venus series is born out of this conflict in the second half of 1932 subsequent to the release of the movie Tarzan, The Ape Man.  John Carter does reappear at the end of 1933 in  The Swords Of Mars but Burroughs in the Venus series creates a much lesser man than either Carter or Tarzan; Napier is a pale shadow reflecting Burroughs neo-emasculated state.

     In the first venus volume Napier heads for Mars in his rocket ship.  Mars or the Greek Ares is the manly planet.  But now suffering from his further emasculation Burroughs no longer feels capable of competing with men on Mars.  Thus Napier has miscalculated the influence of the Moon, or female influence,  which bends his trajectory sending him to the female planet Venus instead.  In terms of classical mythology with which Burroughs was very familiar the Moon represents the feminine principle, while Venus, the Roman form of the Greek Aphrodite, represents the force of Love.  Thus in symbolical  terms ERB/Napier is diverted from the Manly principle of Mars by the female principle of the Moon and sent to the planet representing domination by the feminine principle of Love.  Napier is not a warrior.

     In Lion Man, written a  few months after The Pirates Of Venus Tarzan follows his female Anima principle, Rhonda, into the valley of diamonds, where he is attached to The Golden Girl, Balza.  In Burroughs’ terminology diamonds represent the realization of his sexual hopes.  So Rhonda in this instance can be taken to represent Napier’s moon who leads him to Balza, the planet Venus or Florence.  Burroughs is now severely handicapped in his conflict with MGM.  In this chapter of Lion Man when he catches up with Rhonda  comes across Balza being beaten by her man, the sport with the human appearance and gorilla brain.  Balza had been misrepresented earlier, actually having a human brain.  She now attaches herself to the emasculated Tarzan.

     In their flight from the mutants- Tarzan running away again- they discover a pit full of diamonds.  Presaging Tarzan And The Forbidden City in which the father of diamonds is a piece of coal, the huge pile of diamonds has lost any value to him.  Thus Burroughs senses in 1933 that love is going to be a serious disappointment.

     As a matter of fact in his psychological malaise Balza/Florence seems to have lost any value to him.  He leads the women to the foot of the Falls where they rejoin the movie company who are living riotously.  Their dance is a double of the Dum Dum like dance of the gorillas.  Not a favorable comparison, perhaps indicating that man has not advanced much from the apes.  Leaving Balza to become a movie star Tarzan returns to the jungle to find Stanley dead, thus the dead Stanley is rather unaccountably accepted by the movie company who return to LA.  The whole story becomes a sort of mirage which, while we know it did happen, never happened.

     ERB as a writer has now completed Ring 2.  He completes his Ring construction by returning to the site of Ring Left 1, Hollywood as Ring Right 1.  As Holtsmark notes he has followed the classical mode of Homer.  He has not only done that but written his most perfect example.  I find Lion Man masterly on all levels, in fact, ERB’s Magnum Opus.

     A year after the movie company returned to the US Tarzan himself undertakes a visit to the film colony of Hollywood.

Go To Part 8, More Stars Than There Are In Heaven