Fear Itself

From Kung Fu Monkey, via Masson’s Blog:

FDR: Oh, I’m sorry, was wiping out our entire Pacific fleet supposed to intimidate us? We have nothing to fear but fear itself, and right now we’re coming to kick your ass with brand new destroyers riveted by waitresses. How’s that going to feel?
CHURCHILL: Yeah, you keep bombing us. We’ll be in the pub, flipping you off. I’m slapping Rolls-Royce engines into untested flying coffins to knock you out of the skies, and then I’m sending angry Welshmen to burn your country from the Rhine to the Polish border.
U.S. NOW: BE AFRAID!! Oh God, the Brown Bad people could strike any moment! They could strike … NOW!! AHHHH. Okay, how about .. NOW!! AAGAGAHAHAHHAG! Quick, do whatever we tell you, and believe whatever we tell you, or YOU WILL BE KILLED BY BROWN PEOPLE!! PUT DOWN THAT SIPPY CUP!!

Read the whole thing from Kung Fu Monkey, because it’s funny, and smart. I love monkeys. They are so cool.

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Hanuman Sightings

Via Reuters:

KOLKATA (Reuters) – Thousands of people are flocking to an impoverished Indian village in eastern West Bengal state to worship a man they believe possesses divine powers because he climbs up trees in seconds, gobbles up bananas and has a “tail.”

Devotees say 27-year-old villager Chandre Oraon is an incarnation of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman — worshipped by millions as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion.

“He climbs up trees, behaves like a monkey and is a strict vegetarian, but he is no god and his condition is just a congenital defect,” says Bhushan Chakraborty, the local medical officer.

Tucked away in a hamlet in Banarhat, over 400 miles north of Kolkata, the state capital, devotees wait for hours to see or touch Oraon’s 13-inch tail, believing that it has healing powers.

Doctors said the “tail” — made up of some flesh but mostly of dark hair — was simply a rare physical attribute.

“It is a congenital anomaly, but very rarely do we find such cases,” B. Ramana, a Kolkata-based surgeon, told Reuters.

No, I’m not flying to India. Just because I read the Hanuman Chalisa everyday, doesn’t mean I think he’s coming to visit.

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Monkey Chow

This guy is going on a diet of Monkey Chow — eating only primate food. I didn’t know they made the stuff.

Maybe I’ll lose weight. Maybe I’ll gain superhuman monkey strength. Maybe I’ll go crazy. Maybe it’s too late. Check back here every day to follow along with the Monkey Chow Diaries. Comments, criticisms, questions and advice can be left on the blog.
I’m tired of cooking. I hate scrubbing pots and pans. I’ve wasted too much time in the checkout line. It’s time to eat chow.

hee. Cool. I love his logo of a monkey flipping the bird.

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Expedition Everest

Posted on Flickr is a photoset of the new Disney ride Expedition Everest, which I believe has just opened. The photoset was placed by the marketing department of Disney, which is pretty cool.

And is the norm with Disney, the theme and decor is amazing. The idea is a fictional Nepalese version of Everest, where the mountain is guarded by the Yeti. Riders approach the attraction through the remote village of Serka Zong in the fictional kingdom of Anandapur, which is located in the foothills of the Himalayas. Several village buildings that had been used by the Royal Anandapur Tea Company have been repurposed… the legend of the yeti is communicated vividly through a mandir… and a makeshift museum that documents yeti sightings, the yeti’s significance in Himalayan cultures and a so-called “lost” expedition that ran afoul of the yeti many years before.

However, some of their shrine like depictions of the yeti seem like cultural appropriation, because they appear to have taken images of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman and redrawn them with the yeti in his place. See these images of Hanuman…

The similarities of the yeti and Hanuman are problematic. Especially the depiction of the yeti carrying the mountain which clearly a riff on the images of Hanuman carrying the mountain. That story of Hanuman and the mountain from the Ramayana is very special, and very different than what’s pictured here. Hanuman travels to the Himilayas to get an herb to save his friend Lakshman’s life. But he’s unable to figure out what herb he needs, so he uproots the entire mountain to carry it back to save his Lakshman. It’s a symbol of a supernatural, heroic devotion and loyalty to friends.

Compare that to these:

In this Yeti version, the yeti appears to be pissed off, and appears to be about to throw the mountain in rage, a radically different interpretation of a images that are on the surface quite similar. It wouldn’t be a problem to me if the picture of Hanuman weren’t sacred and symbolic of an important Hindu value, but it is.

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