Something About The State Of Modern Puppetry
Have you heard that puppetry is making EXPLOSIVE gains in worldwide popularity? Well it isn’t, I just made that up. In reality, puppetry popularity has plummeted dramatically in the last several years, with fewer people than ever taking up this ancient and venerable method of storytelling. Actually, that’s probably not true either. I really have no idea if puppetry is any more or less popular now than at any other time in history. What I do know, however, is that puppetry is sick and wrong.
I’ve never considered myself to be a staunch individualist, but I’m making an exception in the case of the plague of puppetry. First and foremost, puppetry is about control. Controlling an assemblage of wood, fabric and probably some kind of plastic, meant to represent people. Puppetry is about controlling people. Adults, children, animals and even trees because this one time I saw a puppet that looked like a tree. Can you imagine? It’s disgusting. Puppetry is communist control. Puppetry is also possibly a metaphor for the control exerted by organized religion over an individual’s free will. Tell me, is it a coincidence that the two most common kinds of puppets are the ones that are controlled from above and the ones that are controlled from below? Is it also a coincidence that these two types of puppets are known to be mortal enemies and will fight to the death if given the opportunity? It’s about God and the Devil, people. Open your eyes.
There was a fantastic documentary made in the late 1980s, directed by a brilliant man named David Schmoeller, that exposed the seedy underbelly of modern puppetry. This new brand of horrormentary, aptly titled Puppet Master, chronicles the true story of four brave psychics who risk their lives to destroy a murderous gang of animate puppets. These psychics, led by a gorgeous lion-maned Paul LeMat, discover that puppets have been brought back to life using ancient Egyptian magic that was stolen by Nazis in a plot for world domination. The puppets captured in this documentary provide us with a terrifying glimpse into what’s likely happening all over the world, now that this Egyptian life-potion is so widely available. Once animated, what do you suppose these puppets do with the precious gift of life? I’ll tell you what they should be doing. They should be volunteering down at the local homeless shelter but instead, they immediately begin fashioning themselves into gruesome killing machines. Example: There’s the puppet “Blade” who has a hook and knife for hands, “Pinhead” with his crushing and powerful arms, “Tunneler” who has some kind of kill-drill mounted on his head and the most vile of them all, “Leech Woman,” who pukes up deadly leeches on her victims. I seriously bought my first real gun after seeing this movie. You just can’t make this stuff up, which is why there have been an astonishing FIVE follow-up Puppet Master documentaries, with a sixth currently in the works. This nightmare is far from over.
So where do we go from here? Probably lunch. I’m headed down to Geraldi’s Deli on 4th Avenue for one of their famous “big sandwiches.” It’s a little confusing there, because the guy that owns the place is from Boston and he always wears Red Sox paraphernalia, but so many of the menu items are “Chicago This” and “Chicago That.” I’ve never understood it, but what I do understand is my undying love for those Spicy Geraldi sandwiches on the toasted bread. I think they make their bread fresh in that tiny little place and you just can’t beat that! I always say that the secret to the superior Geraldi’s sandwich is 90% bread, 10% fresh meat and 5% proper mayonnaise management. I know that adds up to 105%, but it’s a really fucking good sandwich. I never get chips with the Geraldi’s sandwich because it soils the palette and who needs all those extra carbs anyway? Not me. Carbs make me groggy and I need to stay lean and angry, mostly for fighting puppets. Man, I really hate those puppets.
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