Geico’s “Clogging,” “RATT,” and “Fencing” Commercials…

Posted November 30, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: advertising, alternative realities, Brilliant but twisted, commercials, television, twisted reality

Tags: , ,


Geico Insurance has a keen sense of the surreal in life in a number of their recent commercials featuring generally happy homeowners with a fly in the ointment, something like the RATT problem, the Clogging problem, or the Fencing problem.

Modern life can be anything but easy if you’ve got the ’80’s hair-metal band RATT performing loudly upstairs, or perhaps a family of never-stopping clog dancers, or neighbors who fence with foils intrusively through your house and garden.  We’ve got to expect such things, I suppose, in this very atypical and challenging year of 2020…

The cloggers are the real-life Tucker family out of Utah performing their percussive dance, even while eating pasta or brushing their teeth; an art form can permeate every aspect of your existence, you see.  Media exposure was good for revitalizing the career of RATT, who are once again on the charts for their hit, Round and Round. And who knows, fencing may even surge in popularity in the U.S. from seeing the white-clad couple battle their way amicably through their neighbor’s property!  Think conflict resolution and fewer divorces…

 At least Geico makes bundling your car and homeowners insurance easy, and you can save money.  For other things, you’re pretty much on your own, but there’s always a life coach or Dr. Phil…  

 

“History’s Greatest Mysteries” on The History Channel

Posted November 14, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: aliens, alternative realities, controversial, mysteries, paranormal, strange happenings, unexplained

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If you, like myself, are drawn to strange stuff, and might confess to watching an occasional episode of MonsterQuest or Ancient Aliens, you might be interested in a new show scheduled to debut on The History Channel in my area Saturday night November 14th at 9:00 p.m., History’s Greatest Mysteries.  Featuring Laurence Fishburne who will both host and narrate, the series will get into some of the strange and loose ends of history, such as the Roswell incident, the Shackleton Expedition, the sinking of the Titanic, and similar stories. 

The first episode will get into the strange story of hijacker D.B. Cooper.  While not all episodes are likely to be equally intriguing, they’re going to have three episodes alone on Roswell, for cripes sake!  I’ll withhold my coveted Pawprint of Approval rating until I’ve actually seen a few episodes, but History Channel usually does have good production values, and this new series just might be worth a look… 

 

 

VRChat Furry Hangouts!

Posted November 13, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: absurdities, anthropomorphic, art imitating life, Brilliant but twisted, fantasy, furries, furry, furry interest, twisted reality

Tags: ,



When Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani erroneously booked the Four Seasons Total Landscaping business instead of the Four Seasons hotel in Philadelphia for a press conference, hilarity ensued as furries recreated a virtual reality version of the business complete with Trump campaign trappings on VRChat, and populated it with themselves as a hang-out! 

The virtual reality recreation of the event location is spot-on with great attention to detail, complete with Trump campaign posters plastering the outer wall, and even the podium at which Giuliani not-so-memorably spoke.  Instead of dour-faced Trump reality deniers populating the site, however, it is now virtually inhabited by furry avatars who can move about within the location while conversing with their fellows.  Truly, lemonade has been made from lemons, and art imitates life!

Talk even exists about expanding the site to include the adjoining real-life properties of a sex shop and a crematorium, which would make it truly a commentary on the human experience.  I wonder as well if Four Seasons Total Landscaping would offer attractive rates on raking up and disposing of my blasted leaves, since yard work is hardly one of my favorite things to do… 

 

“Real Vampires” on MonsterQuest…

Posted November 6, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: controversial, creature features, historical perspectives, Mythology, paranormal, Questionably creepy, unexplained

Tags: ,

 
We can’t all be vampires, much less Dracula…some of us are just children of the night, and I can live with that.  It’s not that I dislike vampires, it’s just that I’m much more of a werewolf guy! Besides, we children of the night have a hell of a band, being know for our music.  Alright, now we’re just a garage band, but watch for our breakout album…

…that being said, MonsterQuest recently aired a new episode titled, Real Vampires.  Now vampiric legends exist in 95% of human cultures, with the oldest originating thousands of years ago in China and India.  Kali the Hindu goddess was one such example.  A word of warning that some gruesome things covered in the episode follow…

Flashing forward to more modern times, we have the case of “JB,” who was buried in the 1800’s in Willington, Connecticut.   His remains were accidentally discovered in 1990, and his body exhumed due to its unusual condition, which included the remains being mutilated, with the corpse decapitated, the ribs broken, and the thighbones disarticulated and placed into an “X” formation on the chest…some people thought that they were destroying a vampire here.  Modern forensic investigations found that the poor soul had suffered tuberculosis, revealed in the thickening of his rib bones.  Terminal tuberculin victims cough up blood towards the end of the disease progression, which to the unenlightened may have suggested a blood feeder rather than a disease victim.

New England vampiric beliefs likely came from eastern Europe, where in Hungary in the 16th century, Countess Elizabeth Bathory,  the “Blood Countess,” was obsessed with maintaining her fading youth and lured young girls into her service over a twenty  year period of time, later torturing and killing them and bathing in and drinking their blood; she would be convicted of 80 counts of murder, and is thought to have been one of the most prolific female serial killers in history.  In 1784, the Johnson children were exhumed to presumably break a vampire curse, which often involved removing and burning or destroying internal organs of the deceased.  Years before Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, a woman called Mercy Brown in 1892 was exhumed two months after her death due to suspected vampirism, and had her heart cut out, burned to ashes, and fed to her brother, the gruesome ritual failing to prevent his death from tuberculosis, then called “consumption.”

So what gives with these people?!  Mysterious plagues, superstition, and a lack of scientific understanding can drive people to do strange and horrendous things.  Disease processes and even human decomposition were poorly understood, with such things appearing paranormal to those unfamiliar with them.  Rigor mortis and then the subsequent relaxation of muscular tissue after death can cause corpses to move somewhat, with the gases of decomposition also causing bloating and at times the expulsion of bodily fluid through the mouth that can appear blood-like.  Subsequently, those looking for vampires could appear to find them through changes in the corpses of deceased individuals. – – Get the torches, pitchforks, and stakes ready, we got us an “undead” vamp here!

Even more recently, a “vampire clan” operating in Eustis, Florida in 1996 killed the parents of one of their disciples, their leader drinking small amounts of the blood of the victims.  “Clinical vampirism” has professionally been recognized as a delusion that the blood of others is needed to survive.

After examining this extensive but not exhaustive history, MonsterQuest last examined the phenomenon of psychic vampires, who reportedly feed off the life force of others and are not themselves “the undead.”  A psychic investigator shown on camera during the episode found that a so-called psychic vampire could slightly affect a measured electromagnetic field in an interaction with another person that they were “feeding” off.  I think that many of us know people who can drain the energy out of a room by entering it…

The legend of vampires is embedded in popular culture, and involves power over someone or something else.  Portrayed over the ages as anything from outsiders to dark heroes, vampires symbolize a deep human hunger…

 

 

“The Mystery of the Chupacabra” on MonsterQuest

Posted October 29, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: furry

 

 

The Chupacabra is one of those classic cryptic creatures whose supposed existence has been covered on a variety of programs since the 1990’s when reports of unexplained and unusual livestock killings first came in from Puerto Rico.  The new limited run MonsterQuest series recently took a fresh look at Chupacabra activity primarily in Texas and Puerto Rico, although reports have also come in from such places as Chile, Nicaragua, and even from such far-flung locations as Russia. 

The creature has appearances described differently in Puerto Rico and Texas, with the Puerto Rican variety related to be a bipedal creature standing on its hind legs with lizard-like skin, having a body somewhat like a kangaroo, and standing 4-1/2 to 5 feet tall with but three digits on each hand and foot.  The beast as seen in Texas and other American states is essentially a canid in appearance, dog-like but having hairless or almost hairless skin and rather wicked fangs.  Both variants of the creature are known for leaving puncture-type wounds on their kills, and usually leaving the flesh of victims intact but drained of blood.  Animals killed have included chickens, rabbits, and goats, with the name meaning “goat sucker.”

Now MonsterQuest was rather limited in the scope of its direct investigations in Puerto Rico, but sent two investigators to Cuero, Texas where Phyllis Cannion had numerous chickens killed, disturbingly found with their flesh intact but the bodies drained of blood.  The head of a road-killed specimen suspected of being a Chupacabra was also preserved by the rancher, showing unusual skin; samples were sent out for DNA analysis. 

MonsterQuest’s investigators included a wildlife expert and a cryptozoologist, who set out a steel cage trap baited with blood-soaked meat, later adding a live chicken to the cage and spraying coyote urine about as an additional attractant.  A number of camera traps were also set about in the hopes of catching an image of the elusive Chupacabra.  Well, the bait was taken, but only a possum was caught in the cage; camera traps had bait taken, and a pole was scratched where coyote urine was sprayed.  The failure to catch anything resembling a Chupacabra left only hair samples for analysis reportedly gleaned from sites of attacks in Puerto Rico, as well as skin samples from the Cuero unidentified creature.

DNA from the hair sample was a match for a domestic dog, whereas the skin sample from Cuero suggested a canine hybrid with coyote and wolf markers.  The only conclusion that could be reached from the available evidence was that the Chupacabra, at least the Texas variety, was either a hybrid from mixed breeding, or perhaps a mutant species.  The hairless, scabby skin appearances may be attributed to sarcoptic mange, and dogs have been known to bite prey animals on the neck, leaving puncture wounds and not consuming flesh.  Blood is not absent, but simply pools in the lower parts of the victim’s body when death causes blood pressure to cease and heart action to stop.

There wasn’t a whole lot of new information in this MonsterQuest episode, but rather repackaged stuff coupled with a failed investigation; it left me feeling oddly unsatisfied, and wanting more.  Chupacabra has been termed, “the first internet monster,” taking on a life of its own and shaped by misinterpretations and fed by a wealth of unreliable first hand witness accounts and hysteria.  Still, Sarcoptic Mange would be a great name for a metal band!

 

Political Animals…

Posted October 26, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: absurdities, alternative realities, anthropomorphic, furry

Tags: , ,


It’s a misconception that all furry creatures are apolitical.  In a recent post, we introduced some of our readership to the Raccoons Of The Resistance, as seen in the work of the Australian cartoonist, First Dog on the Moon.  Now raccoons live by a simple credo; Live Fast, and Eat Trash.  But some politicians can push them too far, and they take action, becoming a grassroots force to be reckoned with…

Now felines too have become politically awakened, many of them by this book to which I exposed my cats, not wanting them to be ignorant, but wanting them to feel safe, even if I as a hybrid human was not.  It worked all too well, generating furry activists who have taken to the streets and backyards…

 

Talk about an awkward conversation!  It was equally uncomfortable when I talked to my cats about firearms.  Anyways, soon my cats were erecting lawn signs, and had discovered a wealth of resources in the Cats Against Trump merchandising line available on Amazon and other locations…

I’ll tell ‘ya, these cats have been mobilized, and mean business!  Can you see the determination in their faces?  And when my Trumper neighbor complains about my sign, I tell him he wouldn’t then want to meet my dog, who’s a socialist with anarchist leanings.  I can’t tell you too much about about Foxes Against Fascism, since we’re still in the process of arguing over our mission statement.  Foxes get far too hung up on semantics, but that’s my personal opinion.  But, what the hey!  We’re all political animals at core, right?  At least that’s what my old political science  professor told me… 

Ocean Sunfish Profiling!

Posted October 17, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: animals, aquatic, events involving animals, fish, solved mysteries

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Here at Foxsylvania, we decry the reporting of ocean sunfish for engaging in normal fish behaviors such as hanging around and swimming about. It would appear that some people in Massachusetts are freaked out by the appearance of ocean sunfish off their coast, and are dialing 911 and reporting them to the police. They seem to think that the sunfish are sharks or injured seals, or that they may be in some form of distress…

…well, the large bony fish of genus Mola are just fine, doin’ what comes naturally, and violating no laws. They are somewhat funny-looking as they lack a tail fin and so look incomplete, sort of like the AMC Gremlin of the sea. Their teeth are fused into a kind of parrot-like beak, adding to their alien, goofy appearance. Sunfish are so called because of their habit of basking on their side on the ocean surface as a temperature regulation mechanism since they will dive to depths of 2,600 feet or so on feeding forays, and it can be cold down there! So if you see the ocean sunfish which can weigh up to 5,000 pounds and measure over 10’ in length floating at the surface, rumors of their death are premature. They’re just catchin’ some rays, dude…

The authorities would request that the good citizens of Massachusetts not call 911 over sightings of ocean sunfish swimming and basking. The police, after all, have bigger fish to fry…

“Cats,” the Movie, Now On HBO…

Posted October 12, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: anthropomorphic, furries, furry, furry films, furry movies, furry theater, Questionably creepy, twisted reality


Director Tom Hooper’s movie adaptation of Cats is now available for a broader audience on HBO, and it was there that I viewed it in its entirety for the first time.  If you don’t have HBO, wait a bit longer, and you’ll probably be able to catch Cats on Fx or a similar network.  Released in December of 2019 to almost universally scathing reviews, Cats is an odd duck if you pardon  the mixed metaphor.  It is, as one reviewer aptly described it, a plotless spectacle probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen, or would wish to see again.  By one estimation I’ve read, only 27% of those viewing it actually liked the film.

My short take on the movie is that it’s not as bad as you’ve been led to believe, although you may just want to sample it to see what all of the negative reviews are about.  It definitely helps to be a furry as I am to appreciate Cats, although once the spectacle of seeing A-list stars morphed into felines wears off, the novelty is gone really fast, and the movie light on plot becomes repetitious and even tiresome.  While not a horror movie, Cats can be horrible, and it’s said represents a career low for many of the big name stars in it.  

Parts of the movie are memorable, and the anthropomorphic cats move and dance with a fluid grace and athleticism that is memorable.  Taylor Swift projects a lithe feline sensuality that…well, I won’t go there.  The creepiness factor that set so many off the film is readily identifiable mixed with the incomprehensible such as why these cats are rendered with humanoid hands and feet.  As one reviewer huffed, “This is not a cat…this is an abomination!” – – Jeez, lighten up dude, this is entertainment, although it may have failed in that purpose for many people.  I think that the long-running Broadway show version of Cats worked better for many as patrons were always aware that they were viewing actors and actresses in dazzling cat costumes rather than a CGI-generated hybrid.  A live theater performance also permits a kind of interactive intimacy between performers and audience that is largely lost in a movie.

Love it or hate it, Cats is a unique experience likely to persist in the memories of its viewers as either a vision or a nightmare…Meow!

 

A Fly in the Ointment!

Posted October 11, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: animal presence, furry, insects, surrealism in life

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“Oh, to be a fly on the wall!” How many times have you heard that chestnut repeated? Well, a fly was not on the wall, but for several minutes one was on the white hair of Vice President Mike Pence during his debate with Kamala Harris, who seemed not troubled by insects at all. Pence paid the fly no attention, and may not have been aware of it at the time, unlike the debate audience that was largely aware of the fly’s presence, and could practically see or hear nothing else during that time…

So forget Atom Ant, who was so very yesterday. I submit to you that we during that debate witnessed the birth of a new superhero for our time, Audacious Fly.  And remember that great 1950’s horror movie with Vincent Price, The Fly?  The remake with Jeff Goldblume was awesome, too, although I’m glad I wasn’t eating during parts of it.  It made me glad that I don’t have to regurgitate on my food to digest it…

Isn’t it great when nature interferes with the works of men, anyways?  The revolution is coming, and remember that you heard it here…

  

 

Andrew Marlton, “First Dog on the Moon”

Posted October 3, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: absurdities, anthropomorphic, Brilliant but twisted, cartoons, furry, twisted reality

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Andrew Marlton (above) is a satirical cartoonist and more who draws for the Australian-based news publication, The Guardian.  Under his pseudonym First Dog on the Moon he has generated a universe of anthropomorphic cartoon characters that include Brenda the Civil Disobedience Penguin, the Interpretive Dance Bandicoot, and my personal faves, the Raccoons of the Resistance.  As he deals in many things political, there are themes and presentations in his cartoons that are certain to offend someone, which is perhaps as it should be.  As some of his work deals with Australian politics, it will likely pass over the heads of many if not most Americans, but  Marlton also deals with aspects of American politics through his characters, as well as global issues involving science, the Coronavirus, and the environment.  

 

It’s furry art, and can often be topically relevant and wickedly funny.  Marlton gets his ideas from the news, at other times relating that he goes out to talk to chickens and sheep.  Do give First Dog on the Moon a look…laughing and thinking are always worthwhile activities!