Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Respect or Disrespect?

I'm bringing this topic up because we can't seem to let it alone in the chapter meetings ANYWHERE IN MY CONSPIRACY ZONE.  Today's mail brought in YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE for us to ponder.  Do the $500 limited-edition replica Penguin Commandos, being sold as gifts and hearkening back to the Penguin army of Oswald Cobblepott in Batman Returns, indicate DISRESPECT towards our own piscatorial armies -- or does it indicate RESPECT, even ENVY?

I realize that as you become less human and more fish, the concept of RESPECT becomes rather slippery, then baffling, and later pretty amusing, before it slips from view altogether, like a Minnow in a muddy stream.  I'M RAPIDLY GETTING TO THAT POINT MYSELF.

But there is hardly a single concept more important to our Shaved Monkey recruits than RESPECT, so let's review it here and discuss it a little.  About half of their social structure teeters on the fulcrum of this one idea, and the constant clawing for RESPECT is behind just about all the crime, injustice and other insanity perpetrated by our furry foes.  When everything else is gone -- love, integrity, faith, stability, the sense one has of one's destiny -- all the Shaved Monkey has to fall back on is this idea of RESPECT.  RESPECT is why a homeless guy sleeping on a sewer grate thinks of himself as being the target of an international conspiracy.  RESPECT is why gang bangers ventilate each other with bullets.  RESPECT is why drunken college kids who don't know how to get a girlfriend crawl on top of an unconscious, vomit-bedewed girl at a party.  Because they all need some RESPECT.  I know, it's totally stoopid, BUT JUST TRY EXPLAINING THAT TO A SHAVED MONKEY.


So when we see an image of piscatorial conquest like the one in the image above, what are we to think?  I laughed when I originally saw the Penguin Commandos in the movie itself; AS IF WE WOULD EVER BE SO OBVIOUS as to outfit a Penguin in armor, strap a bomb onto its back and deploy it in a metropolitan area not normally inhabited by Penguins.  (Is Gotham City in Antarctica?  Does anyone know?)

IT LOOKS LIKE ENVY when you think of Cobblepott himself, a funny-looking misfit abandoned by his parents (normal for many of US, but an unthinkable disaster for the landscum) who wants some REVENGE, some POWER...some RESPECT.  He sees what the Penguins have to offer -- NOTHING TO SNEEZE AT in itself -- and he beefs it up a little with the usual human expedient of FIREPOWER.  LITTLE DOES HE SUSPECT that when left to their own devices, the Penguins are out making changes in the world Cobblepott never dreamed of. 

IT LOOKS LIKE DISRESPECT when you see the Penguins, walking dispiritedly around in their goofy commando getups, bent to the humiliating task of serving landscum desires in a human world they want nothing to do with.  They even work for a landscum CRIMINAL.  They're no longer helping either OUR side OR theirs.  There aren't enough Sardines in the world to make that job worthwhile.

IT LOOKS LIKE RESPECT when you notice that Cobblepott wants to harness the powers of his namesake animals to increase his own odds.

IT LOOKS LIKE DISRESPECT when you see how easily Batman defeats him, Penguin Commandos or no Penguin Commandos.

The addition of armor and firepower to operatives who MANAGE FINE WITHOUT THEM bespeaks a dim awareness of the Penguin's powers and an attempt to put them in a framework even a Shaved Monkey can understand.

I came away from this movie, and from the gift catalogue that came to the mansion today, feeling sort of split down the middle about the whole question. 

But it sure sums up how the landscum feel about US.  They don't know whether to dress us up in clown suits and humiliate us, or worship at our webbed feet.

We can discuss this further at the next chapter meeting.


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