Arbitrarily Anthropomorphized Animated Animal Aversion (AAAAA)

Posted by Phantom Mongoose Tue, 19 Feb 2008 22:22:00 GMT

I suffer from Arbitrarily Anthropomorphized Animated Animal Aversion (AAAAA). It freaks me out when you watch a cartoon and you have: one animal acting as its species is wont to do; one animal acting human. Either anthropomorphize all the animals or none of them!

One grievous offender is Disney. Goofy is an anthropomorphic dog, Pluto is a regular dog. How does that make sense? Why can Goofy walk bipedal and talk whereas Pluto must bark and sniff? The kids in that Stand By Me movie were wise beyond their years.

I don’t mind if you make up the rules for your fantasy word, as long as they are self-consistent. Otherwise my suspension of disbelief is severely strained.

Take for instance Word World. Insidiously this show is considered educational and comes to us care of PBS meaning I helped fund this lunacy. In this quaint world, the animal protagonists are all made of the letters which spell them. For instance frog is made of the letters F R O G concatenated into an amphibian form. All of the animals are imbued with varying degrees of intelligence and exhibit all of these traits:

  1. Speaking the English language
  2. Understanding the English language
  3. Reading the English language
  4. Writing the English language
  5. Bipedal movement

From ducks to cats to bears to sheep, hell even the ants and bugs all exhibit 1-5. Except the dog. The dog barks like a dog. It sniffs, it pants, it walks on all fours. Okay so the dog is a regular dog and the rest are anthropomorphic. No—it gets worse. Dog shows trait numbers two through four!

Maddeningly dog is neither fully anthropomorphic nor fully “normal”. Dog is neither regular nor decaf! Incidentally Dog is neither male or female when you think about it: like all kid’s cartoon animals dog is not anatomically correct and has gender only by virtue of inference based on pronoun usage. Here you have a creature which is at once lovingly similar but creepily different from its real life counterpart.

An aside: I deem this the state of ersatz verisimilitude. An oxymoron if ever I did lay hands on one.

So I am begging you, ye writers of animated fare. Please be sensitive to sufferers of AAAAA and ensure the rules of your universe are consistent. Stop the madness!

Who's watching me watch the watchmen?

Posted by Phantom Mongoose Fri, 15 Feb 2008 02:00:00 GMT

I have a dirty little secret I feel like confessing.

I have never finished reading Watchmen.

Starting in high school, every few years someone or another raves about Watchmen. “Dude, you gotta read this!”

I have tried on multiple occasions. I even own a copy now. Never have I been able to finish it. I get bored right around the middle. Then much later on I try to read it again, starting from the beginning because I can’t remember how it started. Rinse and repeat.

Oh and Frank Miller? Can’t get into him either. Sin City, meet Snoreville.

There I said it. Have I ruined my geek credentials? Shall I turn in my pocket protector?

update:

I just realized I’ve never finished reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy either. Once again about halfway through—right around mid second book I lose interest and stop. Don’t think I’ve ever cracked open the last book.

I’ve read the Hitchhiker’s Guide a brazillion times, that’s got to count for something, doesn’t it?

Let It Snow x3

Posted by Phantom Mongoose Wed, 13 Feb 2008 18:28:00 GMT

My ode to the greatest time of the year:

winter is
snow and cold and shovels
up yours snow

If only I lived in a land of three seasons, Spring, Summer, and Latesummer. A verdant land lush with life and virility—where mighty ruminants strike together their mighty heads in bold efforts to win the favor of the fairer sex as raging waterfalls all but drown out the playful chitterings of a myriad of diminutive creatures coyling playing meaningless games of fun and frolic.

Which I could ignore while staying inside playing video games all day.

This cannot be so where am I?

Loathing snow removal.

Too cheap to buy a snowblower, I’m left no choice but to clear the old fashioned way—shovels.

Notice that was shovels in the plural. That’s right, I have one shovel (metal blade, straight wooden handle) I use for scraping and pushing, and one shovel (plastic blade, metal curved handle) I use for scooping and throwing. The significance of these facts should be glaring; it speaks of a dismal truth which has gripped my reality.

For what is one when one has specialized tools to be utilized in specialized situations? Tools one knows intimately from purpose to construction, tools deployed in a tactical manner? An Expert!

Ack. Know thyself: I am an expert snow shoveler.