Tag Archives: Satire

Sunday Afternoon Rainy Day Matinee’

Simon's Cat copyright Simon Tolfield UK

Simon’s Cat copyright Simon Tolfield UK

It’s a rainy September Sunday afternoon in Vancouver. The skies are a weird colour combination of lead grey and dull white clouds. The breeze is noticeably chilly, and the rain is hissing down loudly. There was even some thunder earlier today. We don’t get too many thunderstorms in southwestern BC; it’s a bit of a spectacle when they actually happen here.  I debated with myself about what kind of post I should write today. God knows there’s plenty of serious stuff I could comment about, but I’m always thinking about the balance I try to keep between serious topics and humourous ones. I don’t want to ignore the things that I think might matter to people. On the other hand, I want the blog to be enjoyable for my readers (Hi Mum!)

Today I’m going to keep things light. I was mucking about on Youtube recently, when I discovered an animated cat video.

Don’t run away! It’s not THAT kind of Youtube cat video!

There’s a British cartoonist named Simon Tolfield who has created some wonderfully clever animated videos called Simon’s Cat. How have I missed this guy? His videos are hilarious and spot-on. He absolutely nails the attitude and behaviours of cats I’m sure we all have known in our lives.

Our next feature for today’s rainy day matinee’ is a delightfully whimsical cartoon created in France by students from the Gobelins School of Graphic Arts. It’s called Pandore, and it’s based on the famous Greek myth of Pandora’s box.

The next feature is Disney’s beautifully poignant telling of Hans Christian Andersen’s famous tale The Little Match Girl that he wrote in 1845. It’s such a sad, yet sweet story that I sort of remember from my childhood. It strikes a strong chord in me today because the message in Andersen’s story is still very relevant to all of us in the 21st century. It reminds us all that ‘there but for the Grace of God go I‘. We must all do what we can for those who are desperately in need.

Speaking of the 21st century, our final feature for today’s matinee’ is a very clever cartoon called ‘Glued‘, created in 2012 by Israeli animation students from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. I think this piece speaks volumes about our obsession with technology.

I hope you enjoyed today’s Sunday afternoon matinee’. I thought it might be appropriate on a rainy September weekend 🙂

The Grumpy Ferret (Hey! Who ate all the popcorn?)

It’s OK You Can ‘Dare to be Stupid’!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I think there are far too many serious, uptight, unfunny people out there in the big, wide world. One of the hazards of being an adult is losing your sense of humour – to appreciate the funny and just plain wacky. Of course, what’s funny to one person might be considered as lame to another. For example, I never understood the comedy of Jerry Seinfeld. I was living in Japan when his television show appeared in North America. By the time I arrived back in Vancouver several years later, irony was all the rage. But I didn’t get it. On the flip side, I’m still a huge fan of Monty Python, which puts me squarely at odds with alot of people who don’t get English style humour.

One of my comedy touchstones is the parody music of Weird Al Yankovic. His ability to take popular songs and twist them into satire is really comic genius. I think it’s time to shake up this blog and deviate from some of the serious stuff I’ve posted during the month of May. Let’s all ‘Dare to be Stupid‘ !

Canadians work too hard. We really do. I think we need a new national holiday. Luckily, Weird Al has the perfect suggestion:

Alright, by this point you’re probably getting an idea of where my sense of humour lies. I admire Weird Al’s ability to craft satirical parody with popular music. It’s an art form that’s definitely an acquired taste, which is why I wash down copious amounts of my favourite alcoholic beverages when watching his videos. I’m going to warn you that from this point onwards, the content is going to start getting more graphic. Beam yourself out of cyberspace while you can!

I’m going to share some of my favourite animated Weird Al videos They’re politically incorrect, so if you get easily offended, this is your last warning.

You have been warned!

Another great video Weird Al did was in collaboration with the folks over at the JibJab website. Jibjab is famous for their interactive animations, so Al did a parody called ‘CNR’, which are the initials of the late TV actor Charles Nelson Reilly. I remember watching him as a child on shows like ‘The Ghost and Mrs. Muir‘, ‘Lidsville‘, and of course, the famous TV game shows ‘Hollywood Squares‘ and ‘Match Game‘.

When Lady Gaga released her album ‘Born This Way‘ in 2011, Weird Al produced a parody called ‘Perform This Way’. There was initial confusion about whether or not Lady Gaga’s managers granted permission for the parody, but Mother Monster gave Al her blessing. The parody was a major hit – I think it’s one of his most original works.

This final video is NOT by Weird Al, but I think it’s a terribly clever parody of the famous AC/DC song ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap‘. I’ll let ‘ewe’ be the judge 🙂

If any of these videos made you laugh, then my mission was accomplished!

As for me, I feel much better now 🙂

The Grumpy Ferret (So very very close, but no cigar!)

Jim Carrey Hits the Social Satire Bullseye With ‘Cold Dead Hand’

I swear that if the famous satirist Jonathan Swift were alive today, he would have a field day with the American addiction to guns. In all of recorded human history, I don’t think there has ever been any civilization that rivals the United States and its absurd lust for firearms, with the possible exception of Yemen, which leads the world in per capita gun ownership. The United States ranks second. A dubious badge of honour, indeed.

I’m not going to recite the litany of evidence based facts and figures about how many hundreds of millions of guns the Yanks have, or how many tens of thousands of innocent lives in their country are slaughtered or wounded every year in the perverse name of freedom to protect oneself from black UN helicopters and Barack Obama. Or how Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association must be the illegitimate totalitarian love child of Josef Stalin. It’s just too depressing for words.

I am glad to report that biting social satire against the lunatic American gun lobby is alive and well in the USA, and being led by a CANADIAN no less. Jim Carrey just released a music video on the Funny or Die website that makes a mockery of the late Charlton Heston (former president of the NRA). The song is called ‘Cold Dead Hand‘ and it’s a cutting rebuke.

In a clever reference. note that the band members are Abraham Lincoln, John Lennon, and Mahatma Ghandi, all of whom were assassinated by gunmen.

“The angels wouldn’t take him up to heaven like he planned, cuz’ they couldn’t pry that gun from his cold dead hand.”

The Grumpy Ferret

We Heil! Heil! Right in Der Harper’s Face!

If you want to see me do an imitation of a rabid raccoon, just say the magical words, ‘Stephen Harper‘. My eyes go wide, I start growling, hissing, foaming at the mouth, and immediately want to bite someone so I can infect them with the same amount of loathing I have for our bland, pudgy, helmet haired Prime Minister 😦

Whenever I feel the feral madness coming on, I immediately go to Youtube and inject myself with a heavy dose of Donald Duck. You heard me – Donald Duck. I recently discovered an outrageously funny Walt Disney cartoon, ‘ Der Fuehrer’s Face‘, that was produced in 1943. The song became famous during World War Two; the cartoon even earned an Oscar! I wish I was a cartoonist, because I would just LOVE to see the faces of Herr Harper and his hapless caucus of Tory clowns being satirized. This cartoon sums up exactly what I think about the ‘Harper Government’ and its relationship with the Canadian public today.

Just to twist the satirical knife blade a bit deeper, here’s a biting scene from Spitting Image about the British Conservatives during a national election. I think it accurately reflects how the Conservative Party in Canada views the average Canadian voter. Notice how former Prime Minister John Major is portrayed as a bland, grey man. Remind you of anyone we know in the House of Commons?

I know what you’re thinking: what about the opposition parties? What do you think of them? One of the joys of being in opposition is you can come up with all kinds of great policy statements without providing any specific details about how you’re actually going to pay for it.

Quick! Stop me if you’ve heard this one before ! Justin Trudeau walks in to a TV studio and says to the host:

Not to love der Harper is a great disgrace! So we Heil! Heil! Right in Der Harper’s Face!

The Grumpy Ferret