In Memoriam: Carrie Fisher

Todays planned article has been suspended, in light of the recent passing of the great Carrie Fisher.

Now, there’s really nothing I can say about either her career or her life that has not been said by other, far more eloquent and knowledgable people. However, I would like to pay my respects, with a little anecdote from my youth.

When I was very young, around 4 or 5 years old, my mother managed a movie theater. During the weekends, my brothers and I would visit the theater, generally running around and being stupid.

One day, my mother, in an attempt to get some peace and quiet so she could work, gave us each a bowl of popcorn, stuck us in an empty theater and started a movie they’d only recently received for screenings.

The movie in question was the special edition of Star Wars Ep. IV

To this day it remains one of my most cherished memories, five years old, sitting in a private screening of A New Hope, along with my brothers.

Whenever I thought about Carrie Fisher, that memory would instantly spring to mind, and with her death, a big part of my childhood is gone.

I know that I am not alone in feeling like this and that I am certainly not the one most affected by her passing, but all the same, I am sad that she is gone, and my sympathies go out to her friends and family.

She will be missed.

Carrie.jpg
1956-2016

In Pace Requiscat

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WTFAW: Rugrats

Dave: Good news!

Oh really? What could it possibly be? Oh, I know. You’re about to present yet another fan theory about something I care deeply about.

Dave: That’s right! I’ve got a theory about the show Rugrats!

Oh. All right then. Go ahead.

Dave: That’s it? No threats? No rage? No ranting about how I might ruin a beloved childhood show for you.

Of course not. I don’t like Rugrats. Never have.

Dave: Oh…. so I won’t risk being beaten to a pulp this time?

I’d say it depends on the theory, Dave. So, what have you got for me?

Dave: The theory is that the babies are simply figments of Angelica’s imagination.

I see. And what are the arguments?

Dave: So, Tommy was stillborn, and that’s why his father is always in the basement, building toys. It’s his way of coping with the trauma. Chuckie died, along with his mother, leaving his dad a nervous wreck. And Phil and Lil’s parents had an abortion, and Angelica imagined both a boy and a girl, not knowing the gender of the baby.

Aha. Anything else?

Dave: Hmm.. nope, that’s it.

Well, I must say, it’s very interesting. As far as fan theories go, it’s a very impressive effort.

Dave: Thanks!

Granted, it’s got more holes in it than a slice of tilsit cheese, but still. An impressive effort. So, where to begin with this one?

You say that Tommy was stillborn, and Stu is in the basement, building toys for a child he doesn’t have. He’s clearly suffering a severe breakdown…which is why he is cheery and positive, friendly and really showing no signs of psychological trauma whatsoever. He appears to be completely normal, unlike someone going through deep seated denial and repression about having lost a child.

Dave: But why is he making toys all day, then?

Because it’s his JOB! That’s what he does to make money! He invents toys to sell!

Then there’s Chuckie, who supposedly died along with his mother. His mother is established as having died, but she died of a sudden, terminal illness. There’s nothing to suggest that Chuckie died as well. In fact, several episodes deal directly with his dad trying to raise his child. Call me a bluff old cynic, but that’s PRETTY FUCKING TRICKY if said child is DEAD!

Dave: Uh….

And then, there’s the twins. Here, let me ask a simple question. Dave.

How old is Angelica?

Dave: uhm…

She’s three years old. Do you really think a three-yearold is able to comprehend a heavy subject such as “abortion”? Imagining two people because you don’t know if it’s a girl or a boy is not “playful imagination”. It’s “delusions due to severe psychological trauma”.

Dave: Which is why she is imagining the babies! She’s coping!

See, I would argue that, at three years old, you are too young to fully grasp the concept of mortality to such an extent.

But even if that’s not the case, the idea doesn’t work! The entire theory is fundamentally flawed, because if it was true, it’d mean she was the only one able to see the babies. But she clearly isn’t! All the adults see and interact with the kids! The parents, the grandfather, the dog, everyone!

Even if we ignore that (which we shouldn’t) there are plenty of situations where they behave in ways Angelica doesn’t expect, and whole scenarios where she doesn’t appear at all! A bit strange, isn’t it, considering she’s supposedly imagining it all? Speaking from my own experience, when I imagined adventures, not only did they tend to be more impressive in scope than “bathtubs are scary”, but I was the protagonist. I didn’t invent a fictional being and then simply step aside and let things happen to them!

A three-yearold child who’s main characteristic is being spoiled and selfish would be no different! In fact, her imagining a bunch of kids makes absolutely no sense, simply because of her personality! One could make the perfectly valid argument that the reason she’s mean to the babies is because they take away the attention from her. She resents them, because she’s worried she might be forgotten.

The whole show is about growing and learning and coping with the world. Hell, in the movies, Tommy has to deal with the idea of having a brother!

Dave: Ah, but-

And yes, the movies are canon. I know it, you know it, don’t bother trying to argue it.

And finally, there’s the basic problem with the theory.

Dave: Which is…?

You have provided details about all the children, but you haven’t actually provided a single, solitary scrap of evidence to support the theory! Your reasoning with the twins is “Angelica didn’t know the gender”, and your only evidence to support that statement is the fact that they’re twins.

That’s completely backwards logic!

This is really the quintessential stupid theory, because you have reached the conclusion that all the babies are imaginary, and then actively twisted facts and fabricated scenarios to justify it, with no real backing whatsoever.

Dave: I thought you said you didn’t like Rugrats.

That’s right. Your point?

Dave: So why couldn’t you just let me have this one, then?

Because I don’t have to like a subject to recognise stupidity concerning it. I actually would like this theory to be true, believe it or not.

Dave: You would?

Yes. You see, I can only assume that the reason this theory exists at all is because someone desperately wanted to make the show interesting. It’s a valiant effort that, like I said, just doesn’t work.

But because of that effort, and the fact that I don’t really care about Rugrats, I will not, in fact, beat you savagely. Consider it a Christmas present.

Dave: Oh… thanks, I guess.


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TaleSpin

As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up during the Disney Renaissance, and as a result, Disney was a big part of my childhood. Obviously, this love for Disney wasn’t just limited to the movies, but many of the TV shows that were produced in the 90s. And today, I’d like to talk a bit about one of those beloved shows.

TaleSpin

In case you are unfamiliar with the show (in which case you’d better be about 40 years old, or I weep for your childhood) the show features Baloo from The Jungle Book, as the pilot for “Higher for Hire” an air freight business in the fictional city of Cape Suzette. The show itself is centred around the adventures of Baloo, his boss Rebecca Cunningham, his navigator/protégé Kit, as well as Rebecca’s daughter Molly and the mechanic Wildcat.

From The Jungle Book, along with Baloo, the show features Louie as the owner of a motel and nightclub, and Shere Khan as a shady, ruthless businessman (and voiced by Tony Jay, who voiced the terrifyingly dark Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame).

Now, I really enjoyed the show in my carefree youth. So why am I writing about it now? Am I about to point out logical flaws in it, in some deranged bid to destroy my own childhood, along with countless others?

No, of course not. I’m pedantic and nitpicky, but I’m not evil. I’m just going to talk about one, somewhat confusing detail about it, which occurred to me as I was reflecting on the show.

And that detail is this: Why wasn’t Bagheera in the show?

It just seems strange to me not to have him appear. After all, in The Jungle Book, Bagheera and Baloo not only shared the spot of deuteragonist, but also served as character foils to one another. Where Bagheera was stoic and serious, Baloo was happy and carefree.

Maybe this is just me, but surely, such a dynamic would be easy to carry over to a tv-show?

I grant you, some of the personality conflicts between Rebecca and Baloo does present them as foils for one another at times, but I think adding Bagheera to the story would have been a really good move.

Here, let me brainstorm for a bit. Suppose, for a moment, that Bagheera was put in the show, as a business man. Perhaps as a rival to Shere Khan, reluctantly having to employ Higher for Hire to counter Shere Khans more ruthless methods, despite his frustration with Baloo. From there, you can have a friendly conflict of character between Baloo and Bagheera, as well as an interesting professional relationship between him and Rebecca, both being professional business people.

From a character standpoint, Baloo is portrayed as lazy and impulsive, whereas Bagheera, by contrast, would be serious, cynical and more level-headed. And perhaps, it could be revealed that Bagheera has past experience as a cargopilot. That way, you’d have his frustration and disdain being due of Baloo’s more lax attitude towards a job Bagheera has respect and fond memories of, while in still managing to be an excellent pilot.

Now, I’m not saying that Bagheera should have been a main character in the show. But a recurring spot, like Louie, would have been nice.

And really, considering their role regarding Mowgli in the movie, his dynamic with Kit could follow a similar course.

With that, you’d have a setup for character development for Baloo, Bagheera, Kit and Rebecca. With just that premise, you’d have at least three ideas for episodes! Or rather, they would, if they’d gone that route.

So why didn’t that happen?

Now, like I said, I enjoyed the show despite this. And I’m not alone in this, of course. But still, it just seems so strange, when they added both Louie and Shere Khan to the show, to not add Bagheera and take advantage of that potential, all those stories they could have told, and just leave that avenue unexplored.

Not to mention that, by doing so, they essentially robbed us of the possibility of Bagheera crossed with Howard Hughes!

 

aviator
Look what you denied us, you bastards!