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Monkey touch the monolith moment

Posted by Platypus on June 03, 2004

In Reply to: Monkey touch the monolith moment posted by Bruce Kahl on June 03, 2004

: : I gather that a "monkey touched the monolith moment" means a watershed, or important, event. But there must be a story behind this idiom. What monkey? What monolith?

: The "monolith moment" is from a book by Arthur Clarke, 2001--A Space Odyssey.

: The monolith is a tall, black, rectangular slab, with an eerie humming sound that materializes in the midst of a den of apes. The massive artificial monolith, in contrast to its natural surroundings, stands in a shallow depression in the rocks where the man-apes gather around a water hole.

: The mysterious monolithic stone slab is a technological machine belonging to aliens in space, one of hundreds of such monoliths sent to Earth to test, teach and transform the apes into higher-order, intelligent beings.

: The leader of the clan of man-apes is the first to reach out fearfully and hypnotically for the black object. He touches the monolith.

: Later that day this leader of the apes discovers that he can use dried bones as weapons.

: The "enlightened" apes gain domination in the animal world, establish their territorial domain, and take an evolutionary step or leap toward (or away from) humanity.

: In 1968 the book was made into a really glorious motion picture by Stanly Kubrick.

Thanks Bruce, I certainly understand why the phrase was used to describe when a couple of Texas brothers stuck a hot-dog on a stick, dipped in in cornmeal batter, and fried it. The advent of the corndog is truly a "monkey touch the monolith moment".