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Brilliance in Stupidity & Talking Animals…Arguably

January 27, 2010

Bambi and a Skunk...They talk!

Brilliance in Stupidity & Talking Animals…Arguably


Arguably, this is my most ridiculous, random, and most inspiring blog entry yet.  And since it has absolutely nothing to do with London, it means it has absolutely everything to do with nothing else.

Which likely means, arguably, it’s one of the best blogs I’ve written….Arguably, indeed. but then again, that’s why I use “arguably” (and really, why anybody uses the word, “arguably”…arguably) because it’s such a subjective thing, isn’t it…arguably?  I quite enjoyed an earlier blog I wrote about the “Shady” side of London, and I write that because it has absolutely nothing to do with what I’m about to write about in the next sentence.  But that is….”arguably” my best blog…and to others, will “arguably” still be the best blog I have written thus far.  Okay, so what is it I’m going to talk about?  What am I hyping up?  Well, if you skipped ahead, skimmed a bit, or used your intellectual prowess to guess from the title of this blog, then you might guess what the next sentence–that I’m clearly stalling from writing–might say…But here it is….arguably (okay, I’ll stop.  It made zero sense to use that word here. 😉  )

Ahh...Ducktales. Wonderful.

This blog entry in a somewhat philosophical, mildly inspirational and wonderfully stupid way, will ask: What is it about our human nature that yearns to read/watch humanized, personified, goofy animals?  Another words, why talking unicorns, magical donkeys, fantastical camels, cooking rats, fishes that look like actors, and all of that?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should not be engaged by talking dogs (e.g. pick your show), mischievous bunnies (e.g. Tiny Toon Adventures), or life-saving little chipmunks (e.g. Chip & Dale’s Rescue Rangers),or wealthy ducks saving the world (e.g. Ducktales).  I’m just saying, that, if you pause and really think about it…..It’s absolutely stupid.  Don’t worry, I’m not saying you’re stupid, or that I’m stupid for growing up on this stuff too (and to a certain extent, still enjoy simple and/or complex films with talking creatures), but I’m just saying that it just is stupid.  Okay…I take that back…maybe we all are stupid. haha.

Consider this scene:  Humans sitting on a fluffy couch, gathering in front of a big box (or nowadays, a wide “panel”), to watch some fancy lights and sounds come out of it.  What’s more, we are watching animals, maybe dogs or cats, that usually, in real life just come up to us and lick our feet, but we’re watching these animals perform complex, sometimes supernatural feats, maybe offering a commentary on the society at the time, or teaching children about death, violence, love, hate, faith, power, drugs, sex, rock and roll, etc. etc.  Okay, I guess you might not find half of that in Disney, but you know what I mean.

Ninja Turtles!

At the same time…as stupid as it may seem, there is “something” that draws us to stupid talking animals, or creatures isn’t there?  There’s something about the “real” and the “unreal” that draws us, and certainly, when it’s a movie or show we really enjoy, is able to capture us into their ridiculous, stupid, but strangely appealing world.  There’s something brilliant about that, and something brilliant about animals drawing countless billions of dollars from humans with great (or much too little) amounts of money.

At this moment I’m thinking of a couple things.  Here’s the first:

I’m thinking again of “Ducktales” which I grew up with in the 80’s, or even the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, or for those real geeks like me, the “Thundercats” (of which I picked up a couple of inexpensive half-price T-shirts from Amazon.  Best purchase of the New year so far!).  I think of what possibly drew me to watch (with a deep, soul-wrenching “I want to watch it right NOW”) a silly old, wealthy, Duck with a magical “Number One Dime”, or a mutated turtle with amazing ninja skills and a penchant for pizza, or a magical, very humanoid looking superpowerful Cat with a magical Excalibur-like sword, that has a stupid (but paradoxically awesome) battle cry, “Thunder…thunder…thunderCats…HO!!!!!!”  I’m thinking of all their appeal growing up.  You know, I actually learned some life lessons from these cartoons, maybe that’s what made these so appealing.  What did I learn?  (Cue, the dreamy, synthesized, public service announcement music)…I learned about friendship, courage, budgeting (yes, budgeting, thanks to the richiest duck in the world, Scrooge McDuck of Ducktales…), the forces of evil (the enemies of the good guys), and all sorts of wonderful life and moral values.  Of course, I also learned about pizza, how cool it was jump around like a ninja, and dreamt of how cool it would be if a random turtle in the river could transform into a humanoid one and start doing weird ninja tricks…Then again, that might be scary.

Thundercats! Hooo!

But I think, above all, the sheer Brilliance of Talking Animals–as crazy as that sounds if you really stopped to think about it–is how they somehow, managed to “spark” our imagination…to inspire us with ideas, dreams, and impossible things…so that maybe, just maybe you, I, and each one of us might be jolted out of our learned adult limitations and realities of human living, and recall a time when we imagined that anything was possible.

Sure, when I make my return to Vancouver in the summer, and maybe go on a ferry trip to Victoria, it’d be kind of dumb to expect all those furry rabbits there (and wow, there’s really a lot of them) to speak to me…Maybe it’s even psychopathological to roam around Stanley Park, climb up some trees, and try to speak “chipmunk” or other animals languages to actual, real chipmunks.  I mean, imagine a (non-intoxicated) 29-year old, young adult male trying those things?   Or even crazier, imagine a sober 49 year old female trying those things?  What would be your first thought of them?

Right, yes, sure…quite a lot of possible thoughts we might have of them.  I’d probably take a picture of them, and blog about their ridiculousness (I think that’s a word).  But, if we think about it, it was only a couple decades ago that you or I might have tried those exact things (though I’m not very good at climbing trees), at a time when the magical, the unreal, and the impossible were acceptable things for us to imagine seeing, doing, thinking, and feeling, etc.

Tiny Toon Adventures

If I’m being optimistic about many of my blog readers, I think many of us have benefited from continually growing in a unique, adult vision of the world, and developing the wisdom that comes from it (or so I hope, for all our sakes! If not…well, that’s another blog 😉   We must keep that, and continue to develop that…But at the same time…there’s something very powerful about the imagination we had as children…and something from that era of our lives, dare I say, that is absolutely and fundamentally necessary for us to continue growing as independent (and interdependent) humans, whether we be in our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 100’s, 200’s (God bless you for reaching 200 years of age!).  What would it be like to nurture our capacity to imagine?  What would it be like, to be a wonderfully wise, well-lived 100 year old, who has lived through all possible seasons of life (e.g. good, bad, joyful, painful, amazing, terrible, disillusioned, wonderful, ugly, beautiful, etc. etc.)…but yet continue to imagine the most impossible things regardless of limitations and the awareness of actual realities?

Isn’t that insane?  Crazy?  Ridiculous?  Stupid?  Yah, probably…

But maybe that’s just it…Maybe there’s brilliance in the stupidest of things…
And maybe…even something tremendously valuable in our most ridiculous of imaginations, no matter how many years old and young we are.

Think about it 😉


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