Archive for the ‘furry’ category

Krampus, and Having a Scary Little Christmas…

December 11, 2019


He just might be the perfect antidote for too much enforced Christmas sweetness…Krampus, that is, the nightmarish figure with goatish and demonic features  out of European folklore.  He’d be right at home pursued by paranormal or cryptic investigators as he’s usually portrayed with hooves, claw-like fingers, long spiraled horns, and covered with dark hair.  His tongue is long and protrusive, and his specialty is dealing with naughty children, beating them with birch switches and stuffing them in his sack for transport back to his lair, perhaps to become dinner…

The worst that Santa would do to you is put you on his “Naughty List,” or perhaps leave you a lump of coal. Santa’s a milquetoast compared to Krampus, who would terrorize you as kind of an anti-Santa.  In “Old World” Europe, fairy tales weren’t always for entertainment…they could be morality plays intended to scare children into good or at least compliant behavior.  Grimm’s fairy tales in the original could actually be pretty grim.

In Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, adults get involved in a chaotic Krampus tribute involving public drunkenness and men running through the streets dressed as devils, with Krampus Night traditionally December 5th.  In recent years, some people in the U.S. have begun throwing Krampus parties as a sort of twisted, anti-Christmas celebration. Krampus has enjoyed kind of a renaissance lately, and been featured in horror movies.  So be good, for goodness sake! – -Ahh,  I do so like Old World traditions… ūüźļ

 

Progressive’s “Pets: Secret Keepers”

December 1, 2019


It’s hard to imagine Progressive’s insurance agents at home or about, when they are not doing insurance-agent things, and this “Secret Keepers” commercial provides that rare glimpse into their more mundane and vulnerable sides. ¬†Who could imagine, for example, that the formidable Flo could get all weepy and emotional over watching someone miss a spare on televised bowling? ¬†Her dog is nearby, seeing everything and revealing nothing…

Then there is the hapless Jamie, shown ironing wearing nothing but his Progressive apron, his Great Dane silent witness to it all. ¬†Another¬†¬†male associate is submerged for some reason in a bathtub filled with ice, his cat just down the hall. ¬†There’s also the female associate doing the primal scream thing in a car while her dog watches silently; “I feel much better!,” confesses the woman after her eardrum-bursting yell.

Because pets see everything that we do and never say a thing, our “secret keepers” are covered for free in Progressive’s auto insurance policies, you see…and their silence can indeed be golden, for what they know and have seen could be quite embarrassing if not downright incriminating…

 

The Legacy of Foxy Fagan…

November 29, 2019



In the mid-1940’s, the funny animal cartoon boom was in full swing, and every publisher wanted a menagerie of such anthropomorphic characters in print.¬†¬†Foxy Fagan¬† was an obscure, Golden Age comic book character who was commercially unsuccessful, running for only a brief seven issues from 1946 to 1948. ¬†Furthermore, the drawn character had a disquieting resemblance in some panels to Tom of Tom and¬†Jerry fame, almost as if he was a cat with a few fox features tacked on. ¬†The feet were also terribly wrong for a fox, but were drawn in the cartoon style of the day…

If the late great Foxy Fagan resembles the much more successful feline Tom, that’s because he was drawn by Harvey Eisenberg in collaboration with Joe Barbera’s storylines in a low budget, moonlighting-type operation called Dearfield Publishing which operated out of a shed while both of them were under contract to MGM.¬† Dearfield also produced Red Rabbit comics.¬† Eisenberg was a highly experienced and admired cartoonist who was for many years the main artist on the Tom and Jerry comic books, and he also did numerous stories for Disney comic books featuring Chip ‘n’ Dale, also drawing on the Yogi Bear and Flintstones newspaper comics.¬† He could draw characters convincingly in any pose, and gave them expressive personalities, making them relatable and alive.

Now Foxy Fagan was cut in the Bugs Bunny mold, with Foxy being sly but trouble-prone, and things often didn’t work out as he planned.¬† His foil was a hapless canine inventor, Bobble, who bore a striking resemblance to the later Hanna-Barbera character Droopy Dog, and kind of played the Porky Pig role.¬† We can almost see Foxy morphing into Tom¬†in this bottom image, and Tom and Jerry would become an enduring part of cartoon history…

 

 

 

Allstate’s “Mayhem: St. Bernard” Commercial

November 18, 2019


Don’t worry; Foxsylvania hasn’t gotten into some kind of kinky sexual thing here. ¬†It’s just Dean Winters as Mayhem impersonating a 70-pound St. Bernard dog as he tries to distract driver Tina Fey as she resolutely pilots her vehicle. All of the uncontrolled puppy behaviors are depicted; affectionately licking his owner (after eating his own poop, fortunately not shown), thrashing materials around with his mouth, and barking out the window at other (real) dogs in cars…

…and why does Tina Fey have nerves of steel? ¬†She’s using Allstate’s “Drivewise” app to qualify for a discount as a safe driver, and Mayhem’s “tongue on cheek” performance isn’t going to deter her. ¬†He is, after all, just a baby…and Mayhem may have met his match, although he certainly seems to be enjoying himself…

 

 

The Masked Singer’s “Triumph Over Masks”

November 14, 2019


With so many of the performers on The Masked Singer furry, it was almost inevitable that one of the visiting panel of judges would eventually be furry, too.  That eventuality became reality on the S2/Ep7 installment of the series when Triumph the Insult Comic Dog joined the panel, and professed to be the sire of performer Rottweiler.

“I never thought I’d see you again after I left your mother,” confessed Triumph, who was rewarded with a portrait of himself painted by his adoring son. ¬†Family reconciliations always touch my heart…


Triumph also bantered with the Fox, noting that dogs and foxes were usually enemies. ¬†For his part, the Fox kicked off the evening with an energetic song and dance performance of Bobby Brown’s Every Little Step.

 

Getting into the full spirit of things, series host Nick Cannon has repeatedly entered the show wearing an impressive mirrored rabbit mask.¬† It was Ladybug who was voted off at the end of this episode, and revealed to be…Kelly Osbourne!¬† No bats were harmed during her performance of Youngblood…

 

“Masked Singer” Double-Header!¬†

November 10, 2019



Delayed and bumped by baseball, The Masked Singer finally aired a compensatory double episode this past week subtitled Mask Us Anything/Maskish. ¬†Eliminated were the Penguin (Sherri Shepherd} and the Black Widow (Raven Symone). I rather figured that Penguin would soon depart, but was rather sad to see Black Widow go as she looked like something Ellen Ripley might fight in an Aliens movie. Spidery squatting postures and on-stage effects like giant webs added to Black Widow’s allure…

Surviving performers included Rottweiler, Ladybug, Flower, Thingamajig, Butterfly, Tree, Leopard, Flamingo, and my personal fave, the Fox, who performed “Look Ma, I Made It” accompanied by back-up dancers absurdly attired in hats that sported ears and fox tails.¬† The performance included a synchronized dance break in which the Fox demonstrated that he can move superbly even encumbered by a full body costume…he really got his groove on!

Whether you’re furry, love offbeat stuff, or just don’t want to let go of Halloween, this show is worth a look…

Daemons of “His Dark Materials”

November 7, 2019



I’m not going to try and explain the strange and wonderful world of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials here as it’s vast, complex, and can be quite bewildering. ¬†Rather, I’m just going to latch onto one item of it as suits this blog, namely the notion that we all have an animal spirit representative or daemon, which is kind of an external soul never far from you which is intelligent, talks, interacts with you, and can be seen by others, as well as by other daemons. ¬†Although part of your soul, these daemons also have distinct personalities, opinions, and feelings. They’re not pets, and you don’t want others to pet them…that’s a serious transgression and violation of etiquette that’s simply not done! ¬†Furthermore, the form of your daemon can transform or shift when you’re a child, assuming a permanent form when you reach puberty.¬† Then the “tiger in your tank” (dated advertising reference) is yours for the duration…

A British fantasy adventure series based on the novels by Pullman and available on HBO, His Dark Materials¬†depicts a Harry Potter-esque kind of world sometimes referred to as a¬†Narnia¬†for atheists.¬† Set in a past kind of alternative universe, there are airships and other steampunk kinds of touches. ¬†The notion of daemons exists in other cultures and in their literature as well. ¬†In our universe,¬†daemons are said to be invisible and internalized. ¬†Socrates, however, is said to have seen and talked to his…but he always was a wise guy!