Does anybody remember the old Disneysploitation cartoon series “TailSpin”?  I used to watch it in the afternoons when I would visit my grandparents in New Jersey (there’s not much to do in Jersey).  I remember one episode where Balou the Bear, who had been re-cast as a freelance pilot, decides to lose some weight but gets lost on the way to the health spa and winds up instead in some tinpot dictatorship.  Hilarity (or what passes for it among the ten-year-old set) ensues as the oblivious Balou endures hard labour, bowls of steam for lunch, and solitary confinement in a metal box in the sun, all in the name of weight loss.

Never understimate the ability of insane despots to convert absurd fiction into reality.  On the same blog where I found the previous item, I find reference to this truly bizarre, but eerily familiar tourism scheme.  Disney should sue.

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  1. The descent…

    Interestingly, I was just having a conversation on ICQ the other day with a friend about how the American media has decided to re-pronounce the Thai area of “phuket” as “fooo–Ket”–because the true pronunciation sounds too much like our ubiquitous swear word…

    When Americans cannot be asked to tolerate the mere sound of a possible swear word while 100,000’s of people are suffering around the world.. then we have gone so far beyond farce.. and are now clearly in the realm of the absurd..

    My point being.. It is–[irony&sarcasm=”ON HIGH”] nice to know that we aren’t the only people to be populating this brave new world..

    1. Re: The descent…

      I was moments ago confronted with one of those little things that always grates on me. The cafeteria TVs are always tuned to CNN, and as I walked in they were beginning a segment on the tsunami aftermath. As with any ongoing news story, it began with a slick “opening theme” – a montage of graphics, photos, backed by sad yet exciting music with just a touch of “ethnic flavor”, no doubt composed expressly for the tsunami by the group that does nothing but compose compelling theme music for current events. In effect, the tsunami had been branded. Join us for up-to-the-minute coverage, and don’t forget to pick up a limited edition tsunami commemorative drink cup.

      I understand why it’s done, I realize that our TV-raised cult doesn’t respond to any other kind of stimulus anymore… but ugh. It always makes me a little ill to see how fast CNN and others slap a brand on the latest tragedy.

      1. freudian slip

        er, TV-raised culture

    2. Re: The descent…

      Anywhere people are insulated from reality, things start to get silly.

      I guess the difference between the average American and the average mad dictator is that the former isn’t subjugating and devastating a nation in pursuit of his/her delusions.

      Of course, the obvious comeback is “Iraq”, but I don’t think Zimbabwe, where the progression has been pretty clearly “good” to “dreadful” is really comparable with Iraq, where the progression has been “crappy” to “differently crappy”.

      I don’t think we’ll ever conquer the human tendency to magnify trivialities in favor of reality. I just dream of a world where man can be as delusional as he wants and it won’t hurt his neighbor.

      Of course, it might take Prime Intellect to achieve that goal…

  2. Tail spin yup. Not my all time favorite but I know it.

  3. I used to watch that show.

    Dammit, now I’ve got the theme in my head. 0_o

    1. I don’t know why, but I read “Tail Spin,” and immediately the “Duck Tails” theme started playing in my head.

      1. Yeah, I think they’re synonymous in most peoples’ heads. Didn’t Tail Spin have more of a jungle beat?

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