Sunday, 21 December 2008


In the cartoons that I watched as a kid there was always a stupid character; one that acts big and then fails on the delivery. He is the coyote who gets blasted by his own dynamite or the hunter who falls into his own trap. The one we love to see thwarted by his own arrogance.

He chases his prey with a foolhardy zeal. Leaning forward into the run, snarling determinedly, his feet are a blurred circle of animated urgency. In the background the scenery rolls past, unaffected.

He doesn't even notice that his target has hidden behind a rock. He just keeps running until the ground beneath his feet runs out. He has been running on sheer air and despiration, but it's too late now. He claws at the sky but there's only one way to go, and it isn't up. And so he falls off the edge of the screen with a high pitched whistle, followed by a crash and a mushroom of dust.

There he is, lying in a made-to-measure depression in the dry earth; legs splayed, taunted by the chirping of cute little birds circling his bruised body, and struggling to raise his head.

We can almost feel sorry for him. We know the futility of his ambition. His plans are never as ingenious as he thinks. He is pathetic, but we do just love to see him fall.

They always manage to get up and start the chase afresh though, these characters. They can be beaten to a pulp with a frying pan or get flattened by a grand piano, but there's always still just a bit more chase left in them. And sometimes, just sometimes, it looks like they might just get what they're after.

......And then they don't.

The dust is beginning to clear now, but I still can't pull myself up out of the earth far enough to figure out what it was I was chasing. It could have been just the long shadow cast by a cartoon cactus, after all.


Wakari_Masen said...

I think everyone has fell for this guy (I have) but has eventually watched him sit on a bar stool which has a HUGE STICK of acne dynamite lodged in the seat. Yeah, he may have what he wants, but won't have, really, what he wants....

Wakari_Masen said...

But then, sometimes I think, should we just CRUSH the people who do this to us or should wwe just take mercy when we see them showing remorse? Is this the way we can beat a path?

Wakari_Masen said...

Then again, I've just watched 'Quantun of Solace' AND 'Memoirs of a Geisha' in the space of a day.

Wakari_Masen said...

Both are not fims to encourage one on any kind of path, really.