Cats With Guns – The Pinky Show

January 15, 2008 | By | 6 Replies More

In which we, along with a disappointed viewer, are are schooled by a very smart cat regarding symbols, meaning, and discourse.

If you are not familiar with The Pinky Show, check them out. Though simple, compelling. I always gain at least one new way to look at things.

If there is one thing to be sure of, it is that we all need some gentle poking at our brains.

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Category: American Culture, Cartoons, Education, Whimsy

About the Author ()

Lisa lives and works in the city of St. Louis, and is striving to develop the right mix of both while asking herself what it means to live a good life. You can follow her on twitter http://www.twitter.com/lisarokusek

Comments (6)

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  1. My most spontaneous feeling while watching this video was that The Pinky Show is manipulative and dishonest. I haven't spent a lot of time thinking what strikes me as fishy here, but it's a personal gut reaction of mine and it has often served me well. I'll try to come up with a more rational and verbalized explanation later, now I'm off to bed.

  2. Dan Klarmann says:

    Pinky sounds like her friend bunny, frequency-shifted. It needs tighter direction/editing. Each video stays on target, on topic, but seems to ramble. My mind wanders between words, between ideas.

    Perhaps the seeming of almost total detachment, of practiced diffidence is off-putting on a series of videos about cultural dissidence.

  3. lisarokusek says:

    Yeah, I know – certainly not perfection in production values, but I lam willing to stretch a little in order to see some things of value. A cartoon cat discussing a cartoon cat holding an AK47 is something fan can foster discussion. It works, I have used it in a variety of audiences. In the clip I posted we are asked if the AK47 means liberation or oppression or both.

    It is just as arresting an exercise to ponder the meaning of the American flag or the Cross. Empire or Freedom, Salvation or Exclusion…or both? Can we, either as individuals or as a society, ignore the meanings that others give symbols, whoever the others may be? What does that mean for language and listening? What does it mean for meaning?

    I think these are interesting questions.

  4. Vicki Baker says:

    I agree there's something a bit off-putting about the delivery here – my antennae went up when she refers to her correspondent as "dear AOL person" – why is it necessary to refer to the person's email host, except to signal that we are dealing with someone who is clueless enough to have such an unfashionable email address?

    But the questions and images did bring up some things for me. Specifically, I was reminded of the young American engineer Ben Linder, who was ambushed and killed by the Contras as he repaired a small hydro-electric dam that the Contras had earlier sabotaged. In the ensuing controversy in this country, a lot seemed to hinge on whether Linder had or had not been carrying a gun at the time. Now, I have some friends who were internacionalistas in Nicaragua at the time when the Contras were targeting clinics and other development projects in the villages. Apparently it was not uncommon for them to carry guns in remote areas. Mira Brown, who worked on the project with Ben (and who later founded Bikes Not Bombs in Roxbury, MA) was carrying a gun when she arrived at a press conference after Ben's death. When another American suggested that it wouldn't "look right" for her to be carrying a gun, she said something like, "This is a war. They're @^#&ing killing us. Of course I'm carrying a gun." According to Ben's biographer, Ben probably had a gun with him at the time of the attack, but he had laid it down so as to be able to do the repairs.

    Anyway, I guess the piece was effective in that it got me to thinking about this again and all the complexity around the issue of whether Ben could be a "good guy" if he had a gun, or whether the fact that he had a gun meant he was "on the other side" as Bush Sr. said at the time. I had the insight that the most salient fact was that Ben had laid his gun down, to work on the dam he had built to bring light to the villagers who shared their lives with him.

  5. RJA says:

    The Pinky Show is one of the most interesting things I've seen of late. I like the way they try to look at different subjects from different perspectives.

    Well, I actually laughed my heart out when she said "dear AOL person". Too good…

    I would recommend the discussion on "What is the Matrix". It's on the website http://www.pinkyshow.org
    Its great, specially the part concerning cynicism and kynicism. It would do quite a lot of good if people read it, and stop being so superior to everyone else.

    Cheers

  6. That T-shirt is provocative on purpose, at the same time they jump at the writer of this email who reacted to the provocation. That is hypocritical.

    Why am I saying that they are provocative on purpose? Well, many people, including me, have no clue about weapons. We are not able to differentiate weapons, but we are able to recognize the symbol that stands for a weapon. The people from The Pinky Show set up a test that most people would have to fail.

    They are also aware what the commonly accepted meaning of a weapon symbol is, which is not peace. I'm sure you would rarely find someone who opposes the right to bear arms to run around with a T-shirt like that.

    I understand that weapons can also be used to defend those who have no right or to fight against oppression, but nobody would claim without further explanation that he supports violence. You could claim that there is good violence and there is bad violence and give examples for each case, but I would like to see people's reaction if I would just make the statement that I find violence useful. It would be a provocation. Provocation is not bad per se, but treating people with condescension when they react to it, that gives the whole thing an air of I-am-holier-than-thou.

    Ok, I have a short attention span tonight and I'm not going to watch this whole video again, but from what I have seen as far as now I still don't like it.

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