Archive for July 2022

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank

July 22, 2022

The furries of summer are here! Originally conceived as an animated sequel to 1974’s Blazing Saddles comedy, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank took a long time coming to fruition, and was originally planned with the less cumbersome title of Blazing Samurai. At last we have our Wild West saga with a Japanese tilt that retains the legacy of Mel Brooks, who even voices the character of the Shogun!

Now if you’ve seen Westerns (or “Easterns’), there’s a little bit of many things you’ve seen before here, with elements drawn and blended from Kung Fu Panda, The Karate Kid, The Magnificent Seven, and Zootopia. An evil cat warlord (voiced by Ricky Gervais) seeking to destroy a town of cats sends an inept canine (Michael Cera) to be their defender, knowing full well that cats and dogs tend not to get along, and anticipating to sow internal chaos and destruction. Canine Hank, however, truly aspires to be a samurai, and finds a trainer and mentor in the unwilling, grumpy person (furson?) of Samuel L. Jackson’s character. Overcoming feline xenophobia against dogs, the aspiring canine samurai gradually acquires their acceptance and cooperation while developing his own skills, and the rest is history…

Paws of Fury is already playing in theaters, and I may borrow a kid as an excuse to go see it….

Liberty Mutual’s “Tools” Commercial…

July 17, 2022

I’ve never had an emu work on my vehicle, but I could argue that some gorillas have. We’ve all been at the mercy of garages and mechanics. Even the venerable Plymouth Duster chariot used by the dynamic duo of Doug and the LiMu Emu occasionally needs work, and in the Liberty Mutual “Tools” commercial, we are taken inside a garage housing a Bat Cave’s worth of assorted vehicles, all the brand’s trademark “banana yellow” color. I mean, there’s a motorcycle, some kind of utility vehicle, and even Skidoo-type things…

Doug is hard at work beneath the chassis of his Duster, but is he up to the job? – – Nope, and neither is the Emu, who hilariously brings his human partner the wrong tool specified for each step of the job. When asked for a socket wrench, the Emu brings a hammer. When a blowtorch is requested, LiMu deposits a stuffed animal into Doug’s hand…

At the end of his efforts, Doug somehow manages to extract what appears to be a distributor from the bottom of the vehicle! “LiMu,call a mechanic” are Doug’s closing words. Clearly one is needed to prevent this Duster from entering the dustbin…

The LiMu Emu and Doug are best buddies who dress identically, and have a long-standing history, the details of which we someday may learn…or perhaps it’s best not to ask!

My Politically-Incorrect Upbringing…

July 8, 2022

I was raised in what is today seen as a socially inappropriate background, with what are now considered ethnic and racial stereotypes foisted on me at home, school, and the media.

At school, I can well remember one spinster elementary teacher telling the boisterous and noisy class that we were behaving “like a bunch of wild Indians.” The underlying message here was that “Indians” were “wild,” hence uncivilized, and that this was bad. At no point, of course, were they referred to as Native Americans. In a 1941 cartoon, Hiawatha’s Rabbit Hunt, Bugs Bunny mocked and humiliated a Native American portrayed by Elmer Fudd.

Then in the early 1960’s there was The Dick Tracy Show, which curiously featured little of Dick Tracy, but rather his designated officers which included a stereotypic Mexican officer, Go-Go Gomez, and a martial arts adept Japanese man, Joe Jitsu.

Now Go-Go Gomez wore a sombrero, sandals, and a broad grin, and was actually modeled as being a human version of the Warner Bros. cartoon character, Speedy Gonzalez, who happened to be a mouse. Speedy, gratefully, has thus far largely escaped the cartoon purges, and is well-liked by many Latinos…

Joe Jitsu was portrayed with grossly exaggerated Asian features but was a cool little guy who was unfailingly polite as he used jujitsu to thrash criminals all the while apologizing “excuse prease” or “so solly” as he demonstrated profound mastery of his martial art on criminals…

Now I never knew that I was being poisoned, but rather thought that Joe Jitsu was a seriously cool dude who I fantasized as a kid about being. He was kind of a superhero to me who even drove an awesome car! Joe was polite, classy, in charge, and a positive role model. This did not stop both Go-Go and Joe from being condemned as racial stereotypes in spite of the fact that they were good guys, not to mention cartoon characters. Passage of the years and a changing society has just not been kind to them…

And of course, we have Disney’s Song of the South, reviled today and almost impossible to see because of its rather rosy portrayal of slavery in the antebellum South. I don’t think that Br’er Fox represents the best of my kind, either…

There are many other examples I could cite, but in spite of being given an upbringing amidst a plethora of ethnic, racial, and species stereotypes, I don’t think I emerged any worse than moderately warped, which can be an adaptive feature in the current times… 🦊

Car Seat Headrest, a “Furry Adjacent” Band…

July 6, 2022

I had earlier posted on Here Come The Mummies, a band whose members perform swaddled in mummy wrappings. We now highlight Car Seat Headrest, an indie rock band whose frontman Will Toledo is a furry who on his recent concert tour sometimes performed in a modified fursuit as his character, Mortis Jackrabbit…

Now the band Car Seat Headrest is described as “furry adjacent,” as in not totally furry, but next to furry, with their Twin Fantasy album featuring furry art of two canids hugging, and the album dedicated to “nervous young inhumans”with a cut by the same name...

Mortis the bunny is quite a presence on stage, appearing as if wearing a gas mask with uncanny, changing luminescent eyes…

So check out Car Seat Headrest, a very different band full of emotion and angst, and rooted in the furry fandom… 🦊


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