Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Subliminal [BUY COCA-COLA] messages

What would you call a fully-grown, so-called masculine Donkey who cries at the movies? Yeah, well I’m sure there are plenty of names one might use, but we will refrain from using them here for fear of substantially lowering the tone of this forum.

Now let me ask you this; what would you call a fully-grown, so-called masculine Donkey who cries at the movies … while he’s watching a children’s film?

Soft cock! Pussy! Woos-bag! Sook! Wanker! Sheila! … and the list could go on.

But I must confess that while taking my niece to the movies on the weekend to see Horton, the animated Dr Seuss story of an elephant who learns of another, microscopic world on a speck of dust and puts everything on the line to save it, that’s exactly what I did. I became a ridiculous, snivelling, blubbering fool. Quite pathetic, really, and definitely an incident which needs dissecting, ‘cause it’s a pretty disturbing scenario.

Even as a youngster, I was fairly sceptical of my mother’s ban on toy guns. I mean, I might have been young, but I fancied I knew the difference between a plastic piece of shit and a real, working gun, and I never understood or believed that there could be any danger in playing with the former, given I was not the type of foal who was inclined to want to kill anybody.

I maintained this stance for many years, and as a much older Donkey, I remember getting abused to within an inch of my life one evening by an irate taxi driver who’d been listening to talk-back radio for an entire twelve hour shift (enough to make anyone go on a shooting spree, I reckon). After settling myself drunkenly into the passenger seat, I picked-up on the radio topic at hand, which was about Power Rangers and other children’s toys which, according to late night, right-wing consensus, promoted violence. Well, being the all-round great Donkey that I am - the People’s Friend, as I like to think of myself after a few hundred beers – I decided to weigh-in and slur my opinions on the matter, saying, “Awrrr come-on ‘ere a minutsh. Dese bastardsh dunno what dey’re talkin’ ‘bout ‘caush kidsh dese daysh dey not shtupid an aren’tsh gonna fink toysh ish gonna make em do violencsh … hic!”.

What drunken Donkey wasn’t so great at reading at 4am on a Saturday morning was that the driver happened to be one of those “bastardsh” who was sticking with the consensus, and he let Donkey have it in no uncertain terms, demanding what an up-start, drunken, silver-spoon-up-his-arse, Eastern suburbs piece of shit would know about raising kids anyway, to which I responded with a contended snore; and courageously feigned sleep all the way home, just in case he decided to hit me.

Anyway, the point here is that for so long I’ve been pretty unbelieving about the effects of subliminal messages, and it is with that attitude that I took my lovely niece along to see Horton on Saturday morning.

It’s a great movie, I must say. Full of humour, colour, great images, sounds and movements. A great, fun story. Unfortunately for Donkey’s reputation as a fine, up-standing, unworldly, sport-loving homophobe, it also carried a very powerful subliminal message which had such a profound effect upon me as to transform me into a sobbing, weeping mess.

Basically, the movie brought home a lot of the issues that I’ve been dealing with (and which I am obviously far from having dealt with) over the last couple of months. Now forgive my attempt at subterfuge, here, but I have to be very careful with how I say this. Basically, Horton the Elephant, after discovering the town of Whoville, which is a microscopic world living on a speck of dust, comes to the realisation that every life, no matter how small or different from our own, is worth saving, and just because you can’t see or hear it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve to live. Fair enough! But the protagonist in the movie, an uppity Kangaroo, is so reluctant to allow that to happen, for fear of it leading to anarchy, that she is willing to allow … no, encourage out-and-out lawlessness to prevent it.

As the movie unfolded, I couldn’t help but read in that message that the Kangaroo was reminiscent of a very influential, [emerging world economic power] which I have had a bit to do with lately, and that the tiny world of Whoville, out of sight and out of mind on the speck, turned my tearful thoughts to a small [region within that emerging economic power, which is said to enjoy some self-determination].

As I blubbered through the colours and images, I watched as all attempts were made to keep this [so-called, self-determining region], like Whoville, far away from the eyes and ears of the rest of the Jungle of Nool’s animals, for fear that their new and misunderstood ways may change the order of things, resulting in anarchy throughout the [emerging, economic] Jungle of Nool, and in order to prevent this anarchy, I watched as the Kangaroo, the leader of the [emerging, economic] Jungle of Nool, led the rest of the animals of Nool on a rampage of hatred and revenge, inflicting all manner of violence against Horton and the inhabitants of the [so-called, self-determined region] of Whoville.

Some of you will know where I have come from recently, and perhaps you can appreciate that I have witnessed the animals of the [emerging, economic] Jungle of Nool, whipped-up into a fearful frenzy, inflict all kinds of atrocities on the people of the [so-called, self-determined region] of Whoville. I am afraid as I sat, mortified, in that Bangkok cinema on a Saturday morning, that the whole thing was just a little too much to hold in.

Fortunately for me, it was pretty dark in there, and my niece was too wrapped-up in the colours, images and sounds to notice my shuddering form beside her. But clearly there is a message in this film which, if it hits the right mark, can have a very profound effect. It seems that the focus of discussion around subliminal messages is usually on the negative influence they have on young people, but who’s to say that they cannot be used to do some good in the world? While the messages in movies like Horton may go a bit over the top of young kids like my niece, perhaps they will embed somewhere in their brains and hearts which may, as they grow to take their place in their communities, lead to a much better world than the one we are living in at the moment.

The Mayor of Whoville; one of the colourful, wacky characters in Horton, which had Donkey sobbing in his popcorn. Pic:


Ann O'Dyne said...

Ya gotta stop going to films which cause weeping


films which cause weeping are a useful cathartic psychologically therapeutic tool
(choose one to suit).

I avoid all films with animals in, wept openly at the end of ET in the eighties, and also the Elvis documentary when it got to the bits where he was a mess.

Let it all out.

DonkeyBlog said...

Elvis was a mess? Why doesn't anyone ever tell me these things?

Anonymous said...

I wanna see it. Feel like another good cry this weekend?