Comic Updated July 30
Wednesday, July 30,
I'm writing this at six AM. I
understand that there are people who are awake at six AM on a regular, if
not entirely voluntary, basis. I am not one of them. Six AM is a dead time;
it belongs to joggers, garbage collectors, serial killers, and whatever career
crossover -- possibly significant -- that occurs between them.
It is incorrect to say that nothing
happens at six AM. Infomercials happen. Sick people who can't get back to
sleep stumble over objects in their underlit hallways. I have just learned
that, on Boomerang, "Captain Planet and the Planeteers" airs at six AM, no
doubt to pick up some of that sweet six AM Infomercial demographic, already
half-hypnotized and vulnerable to suggestion.
Captain Planet. In the pantheon
of cartoons that sucked, it wears the great, steamy crown of poop.
I believe there's a special place in Hell reserved for the makers of
unsubtle 'message' cartoons, and Captain Planet's messages could be seen
by the naked eye on a hazy day in the Andromeda galaxy. I'll bet it was a
LOT of fun being a Planeteer -- constantly re-flushing Lo-Flo toilets, screechy
admonishments from across the hall to turn those lights out, Gaia popping
out of nowhere to check if you're REALLY watching that television, or if
you left it on and walked away.
If Captain Planet had REALLY been
concerned about the environment, there's about a million animation cels they
could've saved. I'm just sayin'.
Today's comic is brought to you
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Monday, July 28,
"Fat Princess." An original game
coming to the Playstation network in which you must rescue your beloved princess
from an enemy dungeon, with the catch that the enemy's been feeding
her large quantities of food in order to make her more difficult to move.
In other words, awesome.
Also, controversial! As seen here
-- the game has enraged
a number of feminist bloggers, proving again the ancient axiom: "Feminist
bloggers are very easy to enrage."
Specifically, they're upset that
the gameplay revolves around the objectification of a woman, acting in a
defenseless, powerless, will-less capacity (the ol' damsel-in-distress
archetype), further exploited by the fact that the character's obesity is
a crucial part of the central gameplay mechanic, reinforcing negative ideas
about obese women in general.
In other words, you don't wanna
invite a feminist blogger to a co-ed mixer.
I'm not saying they don't have
valid points. They do. I don't particularly CARE about most of them, but
a quick glance both around their websites and down my shorts has revealed
that I'm hardly their target audience. Really, though, I don't honestly see
this game doing any damage to the women's movement.
For a start, okay, she's a fat
princess. I might note, however, that she's a fat, BELOVED princess. Nobody
disparages her for her obesity -- she is, in fact, the most important component
of the narrative. Everybody wants her! Is she an underdeveloped character?
Sure -- on the other hand, I would urge those believing this to be an unfair
treatment to find a DEVELOPED character in the game.
Is she less-attractive for being
fat? No. The character designs are entirely super-deformed, so it's safe
to say that her sexuality isn't suffering; nobody in the game has any. She's
cute as a button, like an overstuffed gerbil.
Simply put, there are no social
issues in the game stemming from her obesity, only matters of physics. You
can't call it fat-slamming just because a fat character EXISTS.
That she's a damsel in distress?
Really, now. If you're gonna get your panties (or briefs!) in a twist about
THAT, you've got a serious backlog of politically-incorrect material to rip
apart, starting with cave paintings. It goes with the fairy-tale
Anyways, I'm not trying to get
feminists' goats, here -- Seriously! They're mean! -- but I don't see this
one being a winning battle for 'em. Any damage potentially done to womankind
by this game pales in comparison to the damage done by feminist bloggers
in proliferating an imagery of feminists as being excessively
As a final note, I have to point
out that one of the bloggers cited in the above article recommended, as a
solution to creating an inoffensive game utilizing the same mechanics, replacing
the fat princess with a very heavy treasure chest. She dismisses this idea
with the statement:
Oh, but thats not as cute as cake and
fat chicks. Right..
That statement, if you can't read
internet, is currently dripping sarcasm on your monitor. Sorry about that.
Thing is, it's totally correct. A treasure chest COMPLETELY lacks personality.
I mean, the make-objects-harder-to-move bit is a neat game concept, but the
year isn't 1984 anymore, and it aint standing on its own. If you're buying
"Fat Princess," I'm willing to bet you're buying it because it IS pleasingly
cute. I don't see "Heavy Chest" being marketable.
Er... in any way that would still
be acceptable by feminist standards.