Voice of Plucky Duck, Joe Alaskey, dead at 63

My childhood hero, Plucky Duck has fallen.

Joe Alaskey, who also voiced Grandpa from Rugrats and – to paraphrase the words of a line from the theme of the Plucky Duck Show – “Lots of other characters, but who cares who they are“. Plucky is all that matters and todays loss of his vocal provider is a day of mourning.

Plucky of course was a character born out of the magnificent show, Tiny Toon Adventures, which was the one and only valid product of the early 90s “younger version of familiar characters boom” after networks scrambled recycle their intellectual property and ride the Muppet Babies success wave. In Tin Toons, the characters weren’t younger versions of their counterparts (in this case, the WB lineup), but rather toons-in-training seeking to be the next crop of such characters. As far as I was concerned, however, the show was merely a vehicle to showcase Plucky: a green tank top wearing mallard who idolized Daffy Duck and likewise was constantly hatching schemes revolving around his greed and egotistical pursuit of personal glorification.

From the Tiny Toons opening theme:
Plucky Duck typing at typewriter: “The Scripts were rejected…”
Giant Plucky head popping out of typewriter: “Expect the unexpected!”
-Fkking brilliant….

Here is Alaskey announcing the Plucky Duck show (my favorite cartoon of all time) spinoff from Tiny Toons that only lasted a few episodes but was glorious (I still listen to the mp3 rip of the theme song fairly regularly) and explaining how he came up with Plucky’s voice. The deconstruction that he did a Daffy Duck inflection and switched the frontal lisp to be a lateral lisp is simple yet brilliant.

Here’s the original Tiny Toons theme (one of the best in the history of cartoons):

On the Tiny Toons Christmas Special I remember jumping out of my skin with excitement during the “It’s a Wonderful Life” parody in where Buster Bunny was shown an alternate reality where Plucky was the star of Tiny Toons. Buster (and presumably the audience) is supposed to be horrified by this but I was so excited and inspired that it could well be said that the real birth of Richardland was born at that very moment…

This spawned the pre-mentioned spinoff in where that gag was turned into an actual 13 episode show with this brilliant stupendous awesome opening:

It is with a heavy heart that I vow to carry on the Plucky legacy…

Malkin goes overboard attacking Jimmy Fallon for having guests she doesn’t like

Conservative author/pundit/blogger Michelle Malkin says that Jimmy Fallon is “a celebrity frauds best friend” in a syndicated column that really is nothing more than just an indictment of the Tonight Show host for having NBC News anchor Brian Williams and this Dunham woman whom I keep getting told in blogs and news items is a celebrity. The entire column has a “geez. take it easy, man” vibe to it for me in it’s tone but the larger reason i’m highlighting it is that it’s an example of how conservative pundits will often go overboard in their expectations of the media to hold Leftists and Democrats accountable – especially in entertainment settings.

I would understand her beef and curt tone if Fallon had a history of mixing it up politically (he doesn’t) or if he was guilty of a John Stewart style duplicity in where he

In this case, Fallons only crime is merely having guests on his show… Chill out, girl.

I’ve heard a lot of the same criticisms about Dunhams false rape claims and other allegedly distasteful actions and while she doesn’t sound like someone I would necessarily want to hang out with, Jimmy Freakin fallon is a bizarre tool to use with which to club her.

From Malkins column on the “Fallon-ization” of celebrity honesty

If you’re lucky enough to sit by his late-night throne and join his cool-kid games, all your troubles will melt away. Funnyman Jimmy is not just a bread-and-circuses buffoon. He’s the keeper of the pop culture immunity necklace.
A few weeks ago, “The Tonight Show” host bestowed his boob-tube shield upon grotesque actress Lena Dunham — a favorite repeat guest who famously declared an “obsessive crush” on Fallon. This time, they played “perverted Pictionary.” The main gag involved foot-long hot dogs.

Entertainment reporters and women’s magazines dutifully gushed about Dunham’s “fierce” doodling skills and “perfectly blended smoky eyes,” but not a peep from any of them about Dunham’s real-world lying game.

Behind the canned laughter and caked-on makeup lies the ugly truth: Dunham is a freaky-deaky fabulist and Hollywood deviant. After signing a hefty $3.5 million book deal with Random House, the hipster creator of HBO’s “Girls” and her publisher were forced late last year to walk back bogus allegations about a “rape” attack by an “Oberlin College Republican” that she neglected to disclose for nearly a decade … until she needed to generate book publicity.

Random House is now paying the falsely accused non-rapist college Republican’s legal fees. Instead of making amends, Dunham continues to make a martyr of herself, publishing a self-pitying diatribe on Buzzfeed and posting a prominent Twitter selfie with runny mascara mimicking two black eyes.

How twisted is she? Her bestselling memoir also contained disturbing accounts of Dunham forcing her younger sister to kiss her, masturbating in bed next to her, joking about acting like a “sexual predator,” and examining her genitals. When bona fide sexual abuse victims started expressing their disgust with Dunham’s cavalier attitude, she naturally blamed “conservative white men.” Dunham also bitterly attacked conservatives after critics questioned her soft-porn photo shoot with skeevy fashion photographer and accused serial sexual harasser Terry Richardson.

Whatevah. Dunham’s smoky eyes were “A+!” And did you see her Saint Laurent polka-dot dress?

Also – what the hell does “freaky deaky” mean? I’ve heard it and used it before but I thought it just meant “weird”. Malkin seems to be using it as a synonym for things like “sexually depraved” and “abhorrently dishonest”.

This whole thing is weird and conservatives should avoid a Malkin-ization in their media commentary.

Robin Williams is Not “Free”. He is Dead.. (and other things wrong with this image)

Some dope at “The Academy [of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences]” (better known as “the place that gives people Oscars) reacted in a terribly irresponsible way to Robin Williams’ suicide and well meaning people on social media are spreading it. You shouldn’t.

In a tweet by the official @TheAcademy Twitter account a screenshot from Disney’s Aladdin of the Genie and title character hugging is followed by  the text “Genie, you’re free”…. WTF.

There aren’t many things more irresponsible than a leading figure in the creative community, glorifying killing yourself as being freedom.

Death is not “freedom”. It is death. It’s the end. And killing yourself because you are sad is not setting yourself “free” of anything – you are merely multiplying and transferring your sadness onto others so you don’t have to deal with it anymore. It’s taking a giant water balloon of sadness and saying “here. You deal with this instead” and popping it over all who knew you – with those closest to you getting the most drenched but its splash reaching far and wide, wetting many beyond that circle and at least spritzing those who just knew of you.

Aside from the whole “do not murder” thing that the 3 major world religions find being a pretty big deal, they probably are against suicide because of this pain-spread transference inherent in the act.

This image posted by Disney on their official Facebook page shows the correct way of making this sentiment (or just an appropriate sentiment in general):

Subtle, non-offensive, morally sound, minimalist imagery presenting an ambiguous but respectful sentiment. Was that so hard?

Death isn’t freedom. Not even freedom from pain. It is an end to pain of the deceased but not a “freeing” of them as the word has an inherent implication of choice and opportunity which by definition requires life. The difference is significant.

Equating suicide with freedom is unAmerican. The famous Patrick Henry quote is “Give me Liberty OR give me Death”. Not “Give me Liberty *by* giving me Death”. Because death is not a liberation.

If you busted a laboratory doing cruel experiments on chimps and you put an end to it and sign up for the years of rehabilitation of those animals, you are “freeing” them. If you just go in and kill all the chimps, all you’ve done is kill a bunch of chimps. You haven’t freed anything. You ended pain by ending life.

But with this tweet, the Academy committed a crime far worse than merely glorifying suicide or perpetuating bad moral philosophy: it didn’t even get the picture right…

The screenshot posted in the tweet is not from the Genie being freed. A good hint of this fact to this possibility to someone less familiar with the film would be those big gold wrist bands, cuffing him to the servitude and rules of the lamp and its master. Those aint bracelets, dawg (even though I originally thought they were when I saw the movie). They’re slave clasps. It’s kindov a major point int he movie when they come off (and go on another character, shortly before coming off Genie). You’d think some kind of Academy of Motion Pictures (and Sciences!) would maybe know that…

The scene isn’t even close to the Genies (spoiler alert) eventual freeing. It is from when Genie saves Aladdins life at the end of the 2nd act and they embrace as friends (even though Genie cheated the wish rules in his – not Aladdins favor – in effect billing him for the rescue as it was counted as a used wish when no wish was made).

But like I said: the choice of that quote, correct scene or not, is what is inappropriate. The proper sentiment to deliver would have been the line Aladdin delivers at the end, “Genie…I’m…gonna.. miss. you.” in which Genie replies “me too, Al…” and the two hug – Aladdin bittersweetly and Genie, teary eyed and frowning at this necessary departure. This is the first time in the movie both are truly “free” (the Genie from the servitude of the lamp and Aladdin from the bondage of his lies stemming from the issues of inadequacy that were holding him back all this time), so that message could have been positively delivered in an “up for interpretation” kind of way.

When a person dies, yes, it means they aren’t suffering anymore but it also means they aren’t happy anymore. It means they will never hurt again but it also means they will never smile, laugh, love or feel anything positive ever again. They are gone, not liberated. They aren’t anything anymore. Not in this world. They exist only in the memories of the living and that’s about it. I know it is comforting to think someone who killed themselves is somehow better off but they aren’t. There’s no religious, secular, or scientific basis to think otherwise. Which i’m not pointing out to make you sad – I’m pointing out to not romanticize killing yourself to be “free” of sadness.

Don’t do it. It ain’t freedom. Hollywood doesn’t know WTF it’s talking about.

After Robin Williams’ suicide, this Zelda commercial becomes super dark and sad…

First thing I thought of when I heard the news that Robin Williams was dead at 63, and seemingly at his own hands succumbing to his depression was the Zelda, Ocarina of Time video game commercials him and his daughter were in. Williams named his daughter Zelda, after the princess in the video game and I found the short spot touching while he was alive and crushing now that he’s dead. Williams, looking like how I imagined The Giver (from the book we had to read in 6th grade that is soon to be a lame-looking movie) calls his daughter “magical” in that Williams-y love and pain mix smile that I thought took on a new form in this commercial when I first watched it and is why I immediately recalled it when I heard he had killed himself.

Watch the extended version and maybe cry a little tonight…

Condolences to his family.

His wife, Susan Schneider, said: “This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

UPDATE: Robins last tweet was wishing Zelda a happy birthday. ug… 🙁