Way too much stuff to do, so if you were upset by how short yesterday’s entry was, you’re going to pretty much blow your brains out at how today’s barely amounts to the length of your average trivia bit on the underside of a Snapple cap.
Still, a mere blip of time spent here is a blessed breath of life-restoring reason and energy compared to what you’d get out there in that woefully misinformed hell you come from. You come to me like so many gasping, choking Ecco the Dolphins, and I point you to the precious air vents from which you suck down the will to carry on, unafraid, at least until you start choking again.
So wrap your creepy dolphin lips around the ol’ vent and…what? Oh, I know how bad that sounds, but trust me, there’s a vent in my van and I just want you to…huh? Look, it’s cool, okay? I have no intention other than to enlighten you, and aid you in your travels across this oxygen deprived desert. Okay, so the metaphor’s getting weird now, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’re gonna probably die if you don’t get to an air vent soon, and that vent just happens to be inside my windowless van. Lemme just..there, now does that look bad? Come on. I said come on, get inside.
You know, I’m starting to feel a bit like DeNiro at the end of Goodfellas the way you’re backing away from me. Geez…way to make me feel bad. Yeah, don’t apologize, just…nice going. I feel awful now. I feel awful and…what? Huh? Well I feel awful, and when I feel awful I load up my tranquilizer gun, that’s right. Oh, now you run. Now you run and make me use the scope. Why do you make me do this?!
Wake up. Wake up, already. Well, I’m slapping you because you were out pretty good there. That’s right, now you’re in my van sleeping in your pajamas made of rope tied around you to keep you from running and finding help.
So lemme just get today’s fact outta the way and we can both just get on with things, yeah? Yeah. Today’s fact of the day, though short, is sure to make you the hit of the party at all those ZIM parties you go to!
INVADER ZIM was originally pitched as an educational show. Did’ja know that? No? Well, you’ll be pretty blown away by why it is you don’t know that. There was a time when you would have known that, but those days are over, pal.
When Nickelodeon asked me about potential show ideas, the last thing they expected from me was an idea for an educational show, along the lines of their Dora show or Blues Clues, only for slightly older kids. The show was to have been aimed squarely at children who were just coming into an understanding of the abstraction of reality with an emphasis on humor and surrealism. Heady stuff for kids, but the most crucial time for them to begin training in the art of gleaning meaning or the meaning of a lack of meaning from a given context.
Essentially, the ZIM show was created, in league with a team of scientists, mathematicianists, psychologists, and zookeepers to help ease children through a phase in life where their humor, or at least their understanding of humor generated from outside their own imaginations, was a tangible factor and not something to fear or run in terror from.
I became fascinated by this field of study as a child myself, leading expeditions through the mind, often quite literally in those instances where I would perform brain surgery on friends, in hopes of discovering the secrets of how one perceives when something is supposed to be funny.
Now, the science wasn’t about MAKING everything funny, as each brain has its own predilections for types of humor, but you’d be horrified to know how many people out there have brains that simply cannot register the humor, good or bad, in a thing, and take it in such a tragically sincere manner as to make you wonder just why the fuck they’re following you on Twitter at all.
So my team of science used computer simulations, in league with the military, to create as many situations for the funny little characters to act out, each designed to deftly guide the young viewers’ minds down a path that would open their eyes to a world of sarcasm, downright silliness, and grotesque, laughable horror.
Our goal wasn’t to fix the truly broken, but to help avoid a future where a 25 year old woman would write letters, utterly devoid of humor, to television shows asking why ZIM can’t have a girlfriend instead of being angry all the time, condemning the abundance of negative energy the characters display and asking why the creator threw a can of coke at her face at a comic convention.
Well, I threw that can because I thought the woman was a monster at the time. ZIM was sure as hell not Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, though it was no less a mess, but what it was was the kind of thing I loved as a wee thing, a thing of painful stupidity that made me laugh because of how clearly stupid it and the characters within it were. Same with Monty Python and anything of the like that was the result of people who were brilliant, or at least just clever, celebrating being at least moderately intelligent by acting like complete morons.
But like with every great science gone awry tale, our lofty goals exceeded our ability to ensure those goals were met. All over the world, kids got dumber, turned feral and began eating their own feet. Was ZIM to blame? Had we flipped the wrong switches in the mind? Was our show making kids dumber? No longer was an inexplicable event funny because of perceived improbability, no, it was funny because it was “random”, and left at that. Our show was to create a race of atomic super-geniuses, but it built an army of footless horrors.
Now, deep within our protective bunker, we wait for death, buried by our own mistakes, by our own hubris. While shows like Spongebob and Flapjack were happy to just entertain, to simply BE silly, we tried to go too far with our show, tried to change the very nature of man! We live with our guilt piled heavy and terrible upon our heads, and yeah, we find it funny. We find it real funny.
But we’re the last ones who CAN.
DUN DUN DUNNNnnn! I gotta go work now. Close the door behind you!