Friday, October 3, 2014

Don't Hug Me I'm Scared: Television Rules the Nation (?)

Don't Hug Me I'm Scared characters, L-R, top to bottom: Paige the Notepad (human ver.), Tony the Clock, the puppets (Harry, Manny and Robin), Paige the Notepad, Tony the Clock (human ver.) - both human versions drawn by me on Xperia Sketch.

Ever heard of those "original fairy tales" where the ending is far (and disturbing) from the Disney stereotypes? How about those heart-bending movies and music videos of Daft Punk, such as "Interstella 5555", "Electroma" and "Instant Crush"? How about "Happy Tree Friends"? That's kind of like how "Don't Hug Me I'm Scared" gives off an unusual audience impact.

Like "Sesame Street" and other normal children shows, there's a bunch of puppets (Harry the red one, Manny the yellow one and Robin the green bird) who get some basic lessons per episode, such as from a notepad (Paige) on the first episode, teaching them about creativity, and a clock (Tony) from the second episode, discussing about time. But there's really big plot and visual twists towards the end of each 3-minute episode.

For instance, the first episode, which is about creativity, ends up dark and sinister, as if giving out the message that TV and mass media are trying to set standards in children's creativity, e.g. "green is not a creative color" where it should be, because scientifically, it's supposed to stimulate creativity cells within us, but the notepad dismisses it similar to TV censorship. 

The second episode, which is about time, also hints on the censorship thing, such as the fact that death is censored in all children's shows, and that we're brainwashed with the "let's have fun forever" ideology, trying to masquerade our fear of time that will eventually physically, mentally and emotionally kill us in the future. 

So far, the two episodes have a common theme, which is the standards of mass media. The show may be poking fun on the fact that, as Daft Punk's song says, "Television Rules the Nation", and why we're forced to adhere to a society that we don't really like, but have little to no choice. All of us grow up, get a job and die - it's a sad, retarded cycle that we can't really avoid. Most of us die without having fun with our lives, only living inside a box. The two themes, creativity and time, pertain to growth - physical, mental and emotional growth and maturity. We see the puppets growing up (becoming humanized) on the first episode, and growing old (grossly decaying) on the second episode, which all in all pertains to the sad fact that childhood these days is getting shorter and shorter because people like to move on fast.

For example, kids back then were used to simple brick games while today, 10-year-olds take selfies and have top-of-the-line gadgets. Teenage and premarital parenthood is starting to be widely-accepted. People watching suggestive content are getting younger and younger. Specifically, we're losing our innocence faster than before. Is it truly because of mass media? Are those children's shows in the past and cartoons starting to slowly inflict our present lives and perceptions? 

The sad thing is that, we don't know that we've grown up until we have. We don't realize it when we're kids, because we're still innocent. We only realize that we've been fooled once we're old enough to discover the truth. And now we know things such as death and science. We know that forever may not really exist - even if it does, we'll get bored eventually and our minds will start to go crazy and disintegrate.

Bottom line: this is one hell of a deep internet show you wouldn't want to miss. It first caught me because of the padlock hype (ship/pairing of human versions of Tony and Paige), but overall, it's a totally entertaining and worth your time, no matter what generation you're in. If you're brave enough, you can watch it at night, since there are gore and disturbing parts. I really wanted to say a lot more but this is pretty much the gist of it.

Note: I'll update this blog entry once I do more DHIMS stuff! :D

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