Pups of Liberty: The Boston Tea-Bone Party, an educational animated short film by Bert and Jennifer Klein’s Picnic Pictures – available on DVD from Amazon.com for $15 (or from izzit.org); 18 minutes -- about the outbreak of the American Revolution, featuring dogs as the American colonists and cats as the British oppressors, has been referenced on the Internet since 2009; but I do not believe that it has been reported on Flayrah.
This new Cartoon Brew post reveals that it was made by moonlighting Disney animators, including many top names.
Of more anthropomorphic interest, however, is the commentary on this article, arguing whether it is “natural” to portray cats oppressing dogs. Why not dogs oppressing cats? Or cats oppressing mice? Or mice oppressing cats? Or any animals oppressing any other animals, because this is a humanocentric concept that animals do not really share?
Do any Furry fans have any comments on this? The Cartoon Brew’s website is open.
Andy Serkis is a well-known actor, both in front of the camera and… behind the animation, as one of the world’s most famous motion-capture models. You’ve seen the results of his work as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and also in movies like King Kong and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Now Cartoon Brew has passed along the word the Mr. Serkis is looking to direct his own feature film — and wouldn’t you know it, he plans to do it using mo-cap! George Orwell’s famous allegorical fantasy Animal Farm has been filmed before of course, via traditional animation and also puppetry. Now Mr. Serkis has bought the rights to the story and has it currently in development, hoping to direct the film himself. No word yet on a projected release date, but Mr. Serkis is currently working on a “proof of concept” short film to help him secure financing.
During World War II, David Stern, then assigned to an Army newspaper in Honolulu, wrote 15 short stories for Esquire about a nameless brand-new U.S. Army 2nd lieutenant fighting the Japanese in the jungles of Burma. The naïve 2nd lieutenant is helped by a talking, flying Army mule. The humorous military fantasies, satirizing the Army’s bureaucracy, were very popular. As soon as the War ended, Stern wrote connecting material to turn the separate stories into a single novel. Francis was published in October 1946, and sold so well that it went into several printings.
A couple of years later, Stern was out of the Army and was drawing a target on the political establishment. His sequel, Francis Goes to Washington, was a true novel. The 2nd lieutenant, now civilian Peter Stirling, returns to an average East Coast postwar life as a bank clerk. When Mayor Parker, the head of his local Democratic party, invites him to be its common-man candidate for Congress, an “ordinary fellow”, he feels nervous yet honored – until Francis reappears to reveal that the Mayor, known to insiders as “Slimy” Parker, is a corrupt political boss who plans to use him as a patsy.
NYC, Farrar, Straus & Co, September 1948, xii + 243 pages, hardcover $2.50. Frontispiece by Garrett Price.
Whatever you’re for, Mulvar is for it, too. And he’s anthropomorphic, also. The Cartoon Brew website brings us this ultimate candidate, created by Montreal animator Patrick Désilets for this 2012 election year. (Note: Loud audio.)
The Cartoon Brew website says that Parler le Fracas, a 4:26-minute French music video created by Wasaru for Le Peuple de l’Herbe, is sort of an update of Orwell’s Animal Farm.
Put the emphasis on “sort of”; fat pig capitalists oppressing other-animal workers have been a common image of communistic (as distinct from Communist) propaganda since long before Orwell. Be that as it may, this is superficially anthropomorphic, although it feels more like humans in cheap animal-head masks.
Yesterday, Flayrah published the first article tagged as opinion where the topic's relation to the furry fandom was particularly light. Many might even say non-existent. It was a topic of personal interest to the author, who happens to be the main editor at this site.
In the past, when other furry sites made major decisions or policy changes, Flayrah would report on them, and people would give their opinions. In this tradition, I feel it necessary to examine these articles and why they could have been so poorly received, and consider Flayrah's future.
We are young and strange. By tendency, at least, furries are non-conformists with many years ahead of them. That's why the new health care law is a poison pill for our community.
Right now there are people dangling "free" drugs and other medical care in front of us and promising there's no cost; it'll all be paid for by some rich guy. Just let this law stand, they say, and help elect the people who will protect it.
But what are we actually signing away? Our freedom. All of it.
[Ed.: This will be the last story on this topic. A separate piece addresses topic suitability.]
Last week the U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The charge? Illegally withholding documents that the House had lawfully subpoenaed regarding an ATF program gone berserk.
Pretty much everyone agrees that the Fast and Furious operation itself – which began under the Obama presidency and thus was ultimately overseen by Eric Holder and which involved supplying Mexican drug cartels with weapons without so much as consulting the Mexican government – was an ill-conceived failure, so poorly planned as to border upon the absurd. This much, the administration has acknowledged. But what they seem to want to cover up is, who knew what and when did they know it?
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Many laws have little practical impact on furry fans one way or another. But this is one we should pay attention to, because it applies especially to us.
Housecats Fluffy and PKP (Princess Killer Pinknose) had it easy living as the pampered pets of musician Colin and novelist Dana Wickey -- until the humans got into financial hardship, and had to get JOBS that took them out of the house during the day. This was 2001, when American households were getting their first home computers. Dana tries to teach Colin how to go onto the Internet, while Fluffy lounges in the background taking notes.
Once the humans are out of the house for the day, the cats have unlimited access to their new computer to get onto the Information Superhighway. Fluffy wants to make enough money (using the Wickey’s names and SSNs) so their humans can become financially independent, quit their jobs, and return to spending all day at home with their music and their writing and fussing over the cats. But she has reckoned without PKP, her aggressively psychotic sister who doesn’t know when to stop. Soon the cats have become computer-savvy enough that they are in danger of getting Colin and Dana arrested for insider trading …
That was in Hilgartner’s Cats in Cyberspace (Meisha Merlin Publishing, September 2001). Now it is ten years later, but only a few months in story-time.
I wasn’t as proactive as I thought I would be, and I’m pretty sure I missed a couple posted during the first of September, so apologies there. Otherwise, here was last month’s Newsbytes.
For historical purposes, a collection of links and other tidbits posted to Newsbytes in August.
U.S. Representative Don Young of Alaska has refused an award from the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund after being recognized this week with 145 other members of Congress, according to a press release from his office.
"HSUS are hypocrites, plain and simple, and I will not join them by accepting this award," said Rep. Young, explaining his refusal. "Local animal shelters and humane societies do excellent work by caring for neglected and homeless animals, and through their spaying and neutering programs. This organization, however, has absolutely nothing to do with animal welfare. Instead they prey on the emotions of big-hearted Americans."
He elaborated on his reasons on the floor of the House:
I've been a hunter all my life. And they're against hunting. And that bothered me.
Humane Society COO and HSLF president Michael Markarian said that while HSUS "[disagrees] with [Rep. Young's] views on most animal welfare policies," they "also believe in giving credit where credit is due and recognizing positive actions."
The repopulation of grey wolves in Montana and Idaho led to their removal from the Endangered Species List in 2008, concerning many conservationists. But last August a U.S. federal judge ruled this kind of subdivision of populations illegal.
Now Michael Brune of the Sierra Club says lawmakers seek to withdraw this protection through a budget amendment. [tip: Ezno]
Previously, Larry lived as a stray and was recruited from Battersea Dogs and Cats' home. Larry was recommended as the mouser as he showed "a high chase-drive and hunting instinct". Although an official spokesman described him as 'easygoing', Larry proceeded to scratch reporters who tried to do a story on him.
The first Chief Mouser was Treasury Bill in 1924. The position has been held by a number of cats over the years, although the position has been vacant since Sybil left it in 2008.