At first, when I heard that Dinosaurs was coming to Disney+, I wasn’t that excited because I didn’t intend to still be subscribed to it that that point. But now it appears that the only way to watch the last two seasons of TheMuppetShow may be on Disney+, so I’m going to hold out on cancelling my subscription until I’ve watched all the episodes I haven’t seen.
With the purported MuppetShow release still being several weeks away, I’ve been revisiting Dinosaurs. It’s been a real treat, first, to remember how much I loved it in the first place and, second, to get all the jokes that went over my head when I watched it as a kid during its original run.
I recently found a YouTube video about the “Top 10 Dinosaurs Episodes” and was surprised to find that only one of them was one that I find particularly memorable and enjoyable (and one is an episode that I actively dislike after watching it again with the benefit of an adult perspective). So I decided to write my own post about my favorite Dinosaurs episodes. Between the time that the original run ended and the series’ streaming release, I haven’t seen much of it since. Therefore, my list is limited to five favorites. These are not all the episodes that I find memorable, but the memories I have of these episodes give me the most enjoyment.
I want to try to avoid off-topic posts from now on, but now that the election is over and the results are known, I do want to take a moment to thank everyone who voted. I don’t know how many, if any, of you were persuaded to vote because of me and my story, but it doesn’t matter. The fact that you voted is the important thing. Thank you.
If there are those of you who didn’t vote, for whatever reason, it’s okay. Fortunately, thanks to the outcome, I feel confident in saying that you will get another chance someday. I hope you’ll take it.
If there’s one lesson I hope all of us will take from this election, as well as the one before it, it’s that we cannot take our democracy for granted. It can’t just coast on cruise control; we need to take the wheel and steer, or it will go completely off the road and into a ditch.
To keep the focus of the blog consistent, I try never to post content on the main page that doesn’t relate in some way to the Muppets or the Jim Henson universe. If I can’t find a way to relate it, however obliquely, I put it under a separate tab.
Unfortunately, however, it seems that the pages I post under a separate tab don’t go out to subscribers, so most of you didn’t see my voting story. I linked to it in a recent post that related it loosely to Sesame Street, but that didn’t get the attention that I hoped for either.
It’s really important to me that you see this, take it to heart, and learn from my mistakes, especially if you are an American who is eligible to vote but thinking about not doing so. So I’m making an exception to my rule and posting this completely off-topic post on the main page where it will remain, pinned to the top, until after the election.
The first presidential election I was eligible to vote in occurred in the year 2000. I had taken government class in high school but ended up getting a C and didn’t glean much from it. In the year 2000, which was two years later, I was excited about the primary, but when my chosen candidate was not nominated, my enthusiasm waned following the conventions.
I remember this sketch from my childhood. Apparently there was a series of these sketches about the American Revolution, but this is the only one I remember seeing back then.
Watching it as an adult, it took me a while to figure out that the point of it was not to give an accurate account of history but to illustrate the democratic process in a concrete, relatable way.
I recently wrotea piece about why I think voting is important, about how I didn’t vote in the 2000 election and why I’ve regretted it ever since. It has nothing to do with Muppets, but I think it’s important to share.
I don’t really know what to say about this episode, other than that I can’t think of a better way for Weldon to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Cave-In. I’m especially happy about outcome of the Gimme Award. I still think there should have been another category specifically for musical numbers, but maybe that’s something to save for next year.
Generally speaking, I think Cave-In keeps getting more fun all the time. This one struck me as particularly playful. As a complete sucker for literary references, I really liked the joke about “Ozymandias.”
“In times of great peril and shared suffering, all of us should set aside our differences and reach out to one another in a spirit of love and understanding.” –-Sprocket (Steve Whitmire) as interpreted by Doc (Gerry Parkes), Fraggle Rock, “Marooned” (written by David Young)
It may not be a shocking revelation to say that I have issues with the most popular Muppet fan sites. They also seem to have issues with me, and it’s a whole thing, and I don’t want to get into it right now.
But the reason I bring it up at all is because I also believe very strongly that good deeds deserve recognition. At the moment, the two most prominent fan sites,Tough PigsandThe Muppet Mindset, are engaged in a fundraising campaign to support relief efforts in response to the devastating bush fires in Australia which, as I’m sure you already know, have killed so many animals, displaced so many people, and laid thousands of acres to waste. The fundraising effort is a worthwhile cause, and I am happy to support them in their noble endeavor.
(Although I’m only finishing and publishing this now, I started drafting it well before the sad tidings of Caroll Spinney’s death. So if it seems inappropriately light-hearted in tone, that’s why.)
George Takei’s Q&A finished at about 1:00, and my brother Michael suggested that we find something to eat (“forage for food” were his exact words). I had been just about to make the same suggestion.
Like the Mid-America Center where OCon had been held, the Minneapolis Convention Center doesn’t allow outside food. Since it was cold and snowy, and since we had parked several blocks away, and since I didn’t have an extra $5 to check my coat again, there was nothing for it but to purchase overpriced lunch items from one of the several concession stands spread throughout the center. In addition to his wrap, Michael purchased a cookie and offered me half, and it reminded me of my favorite Cookie Monster sketch on Sesame Street:
After we finished eating lunch, Michael wanted to look around the vendors’ area, so we did, and I found that the vendors, though equally polite, weren’t as aggressive as they had been at OCon, meaning that we could pause by their tables without having to listen to pitches, which was a relief.
As we were walking around, we ran into three people that Michael knows in short succession. The first was a guy named Bruce (I think) who made a joke about Michael “dragging” me along to GalaxyCon, or words to that effect. I suppose I should have been annoyed by the implication that “gurls” don’t like nerdy stuff, but I just laughed and informed him, truthfully, that coming to GalaxyCon had been my idea in the first place. Michael tried to say that I was in a fandom, but at first he said that I had a fandom, and I wondered if that might actually be true from a certain point of view. I ultimately decided that it would be most accurate to say that I am in a fandom and within that fandom, I have a following. (And thanks for that, by the way!)
This is Steve’s Q&A from GalaxyCon Minneapolis, but I wasn’t there that day so I only saw it for the first time yesterday.
On November 10th, I attended GalaxyCon Minneapolis and met up with Steve again. The only reason I was able to do that is because of my brother Michael. He lives in Minneapolis and allowed me to stay with him while I was in town. If I had had to pay the price of admission plus accommodations, I would never have been able to go. I also would have paid for parking because I wouldn’t have known there was another option.
When I initially planned to go to GalaxyCon, I thought that I would simply ask Michael if I could stay with him while I was in town. But then I thought about it, and I realized that although he’s not obsessive about Muppets the way I am, he still likes them. Not only that, but he’s an enormous Star Trek fan, and there were a bunch of Star Trek actors appearing. So I thought he might enjoy coming along, and that it might be more fun if he was there, so I invited him, and I was right on both counts. Not only that, but I don’t think I would have even made it into the exhibition hall to see Steve if Michael hadn’t been there to interpret the maps of the convention center for me and lead me in the right direction.
My point is that I have Michael to thank for the entire GalaxyCon experience, and if you enjoy what I have to say about it, then you owe him your gratitude as well. (If you don’t enjoy it, well, then leave him out of it because he had nothing to do with that.)
I imagine that you heard about the crowdfunding campaign a couple months ago for life-size Cookie Monster replicas:
This Just In: You can get your very own COOKIE MONSTER REPLICA, thanks to Hasbro's HasLab! Back the campaign and tell your friends to do the same, and we'll all get to own a life-size, fully poseable Cookie Monster (with working googly eyes, of course)!https://t.co/NenzCRiorApic.twitter.com/9Vpwx4kFBt
Theoretically, I would love a life-size Cookie Monster replica in my home. Of course I would: I’m human, I have a pulse, and I love Muppets. Nevertheless, the campaign made me very uncomfortable right from the start for a number of reasons:
I resented the implication that all Muppet fans have an extra $300 lying around to spend on a glorified plush toy when I am still struggling to pay the bills on a month-to-month basis.
I don’t understand the point of crowdfunding for a multibillion-dollar corporation like Hasbro. Seems to me that they’re trying to take advantage of a current fad for the purposes of manipulating potential customers. They kept saying things like, “We can’t manufacture these things without your help!” That is nonsense; Hasbro is a conglomerate that buys up other companies like Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, and Kenner. It brings in more than $5 billion in revenue. If they really wanted to manufacture life-sized Cookie Monster replicas, they could do so. They just didn’t want to until they were sure that people would buy them.
Eventually, I did the math and figured out that, in attempting to convince at least 3,000 people to contribute approximately $300, their funding goal was nearly $900,000.
Almost a million dollars for a glorified plush toy that most people would probably have fun posing for about five minutes, then place in a corner to collect dust. And yes, Sesame Workshop would see a portion of that (I was unable to determine a specific percentage despite my research efforts), but wouldn’t it be so much better for Sesame Workshop to receive the full $900,000 in direct donations?
At a time when refugee children are dying in what are essentially concentration camps on American soil, when hurricanes are battering our coastlines and tornadoes are ripping through our communities (MY communityin particular), when ICE raids are tearing families apart, spending $300 on a plush toy, even one as awesome as a life-sized Cookie Monster, not only seems frivolous, it seems downright irresponsible.
For better or worse, however, the campaign failed to receive the necessary number of backers, which is sad in that it means that Sesame Workshop won’t get its cut.
Presumably, however, it also means that everyone who pledged now has an extra $300 burning a hole in their pockets. May I suggest some worthy causes to which you can now put that money and do some good in the world?
There are many more worthy causes out there, and I’m sure they would be happy to receive your donation of $300, or more (or less, if needs be), regardless of whether or not you pledged to the Hasbro campaign.
*Historically, the ACLU has done some very good work in support of several causes that are important to me. However, as of May 2022, it has done nothing to cut ties with alleged domestic abuser Amber Heard. Supporting and standing with all survivors of domestic violence, regardless of gender, is a cause that is near to my heart. Therefore, until the ACLU renounces and disassociates itself from Ms. Heard in the name of solidarity with all abuse survivors, not just women, I can no longer in good conscience recommend that people donate to it.
I should also mention that that’s not a photo I took; it’s a screengrab from the Keloland website. Also, my milkweed plants will come back next year, so no lasting damage to my property that I am aware of. At first it looked like my milkweed plants were just broken, but now it looks like at least some of them have been pulled up by the roots, so I don’t know if they will survive to come back next year. I guess that’s all the more reason to keep trying to plant more.
If the pattern holds true, it looks like the full video of Steve’s OCon Q&A may be going up within a few weeks. I don’t know for sure that that is the case, but they have full panels from last year that went up in early September, so that’s reason to hope.
Because my memories of the Q&A are so sketchy, even with my notes, I’m going to hold off publishing my impressions of it for now.
To tide us all over in the meantime, I found this highlight reel of the days’ events. A few moments of Steve’s Q&A, sans audio, are shown at about 43 seconds in:
I looked to see if I could see myself in the background of any of these clips, but I didn’t, not at the Q&A or in any of the other footage.
When Steve introduced his new character Weldon at the Louisville Supercon about four months ago, apparently they promoted it with a Facebook post including a picture. It appears to be the same picture that Steve showed in hisMilo Beasley Show interviewand mentioned that it had been artificially darkened,but it at least gives us an idea.
Here it is, for those who are curious:
Thanks to readers and commenters Sidney, who first alerted me to the existence of this post, and Andrew K, who posted a link to it that was accessible to me. Let’s all keep our eyes out, and hopefully we’ll get to see him in action soon!