Throbert's Theatre of Thinkologizing main page


25 February 2002

Attention all frazzled parents! Remember when turning your son into a kielbasa-slurping homosexual meant long, exhausting years of smotherly love and paternal indifference and piano lessons and Catholic school? Well, say "HELLO!" to the Atomic Age, mom and dad, 'cause the technological marvel that is the Design Your Own Barbie® page will have Junior "playing the triangle" in just minutes a day! Here, check out the customized doll that I made for my pretend life partner, hunky Scott Bakula of Quantum Leap. P.S. Just to make sure that the gayness sticks, have the boy listen to the singular vocal stylings of cartoon voiceover actor Charlie Adler, performing here as the Red Guy from "Cow and Chicken" -- beyond a doubt, the most blatantly anti-family TV show since B.J. and the Bear!

posted by Throbert | 2/25/2002 10:27:00 PM | (0) responses

24 February 2002

Unless you've spent the last few days in a Skinner box, smacking a lever with your beak to obtain delicious food pellets, you probably know that Chuck Jones recently qualified for a celebrity guest spot on HBO's Six Feet Under. Many of the obits referenced the brightest stars in the Warner Bros. constellation (some of whom, like Bugs Bunny, weren't even Jones originals). Overlooked, however, were some of Jones' most charming -- and now hard to find -- creations: the "Inki" shorts. The half-dozen or so cartoons paired a spunky little African boy with a silent, preternaturally strong Mynah bird, who'd hop relentlessly along to a viola-and-woodblock version of Mendelssohn's "Fingle's Cave Overture." (Much of the cartoons' charm owed to the infectious musical score, as well as to the mystery of the Mynah bird's origins and motives.)

Anyway, it's not hard to figure out why the shorts have apparently been left to moulder in the Warner Bros. animation vaults: Inki was drawn as an outrageous stereotype of native Africans, complete with Steven Tyler lips, loincloth, and an actual spear to chuck. (The only thing missing, actually, was a bone through Inki's topknot.) And yet, by the debased standards of Hollywood, the caricature was arguably rather mild -- Inki was a plucky little guy, after all, and if he ever acted childishly, it's because he was a child, not a grown-up African man with the mind of a second-grader. Moreover, the stereotype of a spearchucking African is now apt to be taken seriously only by the most naive and ill-educated of Westerners. (Which is not to say that racist beliefs about Africans no longer exist, but only that today's racists no longer peddle the particular stereotypes represented by Inki.) Does that mean the shorts should be regarded as more or less innocuous? And who has the moral authority to decide that question, anyway?

posted by Throbert | 2/24/2002 05:08:00 PM | (0) responses

Damn, I've gotten lax about updating this thing -- largely because I got caught up in creating ever tackier and bulkier animated GIFs to decorate the page. I'm happy with the new angel logo, however, and there are already way too many graphics on the page, so I've resolved to focus on the writing again. Incidentally, the animated angel was self-plagiarized from a pop-up greeting card that I made for the wedding of this girl I'd had a crush on in high school. (Not only did she have breasts and everything, but she was a crazy-ass fundamentalist Christian who spoke in tongues and believed that fags -- her term -- made God puke, which just goes to show you how dumb I used to be.) Anyway, the card was a modified Hallmark thing with goopy poetry on the outside; inside I added a pop-up wedding scene composed from photocopied Albrecht Dürer engravings (including his famous "Rhinocerus," but in a blond wig), and in the background, a pulltab-actuated flapping angel (from "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse") destroying a town with his deadly Laser Fingers.

posted by Throbert | 2/24/2002 03:29:00 PM | (0) responses
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