The Rocket Ratser

You know Spider-Ham, right? Somehow we’ve become a world where I can reasonably expect that casual audiences might know Spider-Ham and that is not weird. Anyway, you know how Spider-Ham is from an alternate universe of cartoon animal people? Well, they’ve got a Rocket Racer equivalent over there don’t ya know? Let’s take another look Into The Rocketverse and see what he’s all about.

So we know this much: he’s a rat. That is all. And this is literally all we get to see of the guy. in this story Spider-Ham is all powered up and goes on a rampage of beating up his foes and the Rocket Ratser is one of them. We have to assume that, by the naming conventions of that universe, his real name is like Robert Furrell or something. And if the Ratser is still considered a “supervillain” at this point, we have to assume that either he hasn’t the nuances of his human alternate, or Spider-Ham in this story is just being pretty indiscriminate about whom he beats up. Honestly, either is likely.

For the record some of Bob’s known affiliations are also glimpsed. The Tinkerer equivalent is the Stinkerer, a skunk. Sandman is Sandham, presumably a pig. The Prowler is the Prowler, an owl. And the Will-o’-the-Wisp is still called that and is just seemingly vapour. Easy enough.

Anyway, let’s stick him in a movie and call it a day.

Movie Thoughts: Stop Making Sense (2023)

On Saturday I did something I had not done in at least four, maybe five years. I went to a movie that was playing in the actual theatres.

Now, I’ve seen this movie before, thought not since I was in my twenties (though I’ve listened to the album God knows how many times since then), so I was not surprised to love it. I don’t find ranking the things I like to be a meaningful exercise, but if pressed to give my favourite band, there’s a good chance I’d have to say Talking Heads, so even if this weren’t something I had seen before I could have predicted I’d love a movie showing the band perform at their heights. But this post isn’t about how much I loved the movie, this is about a Movie Thought that I thought while watching a movie.

One of the things the movie is famous for is how it starts with just one person on stage and slowly builds up the whole ensemble by adding more for each of the first five or six songs. Somehow this got me to thinking about how a band is a perfect microcosm of humanity. It’s just a group of people who have come together to create something together. The results can be beautiful, but the tensions between the people can tear everything down. But the beautiful things are still happened. In spite of being the front man of Senator Lizard, I don’t generally consider myself to have any real musical ability, but you know what I big into? Cooperation. I sure wish that we, as a species, could band together to build more beautiful things.

PDR’s Mushroom Kingdom Theories

If I’m trying to salvage the stuff I put on Twitter, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take my theories about the Mushroom Kingdom:

In the Mushroom Kingdom, it appears at least, that permanent death has been defeated (presumably by the 1-Up mushrooms). Are Boos, then, the ghosts of those who died before the breakthrough, or are they ghosts by choice?

They do, as a general rule, tend to reside in abandoned homes and castles. Could these be the remnants of their pre-fungus society?

I also have reason to suspect that pre-fungus society was made up to Koopas and related species, such as the Yoshis or other dino types such as Rex from Mario World. These were the dominant people of that world pre-fungus.

There is controvery over whether Mario and Luigi are actuall from New York or if they are Mushroom Kingdom natives. I feel that their foreign status can be the only correct reading. They are definitely New Yorkers.

I suspect that there exist dimensional anomaly, likely accessed via the pipes throughout the Kingdom which connect the once-Koopa-ruled planet with other dimensions, including the alternate world ruled by humans which the Mario Bros hail from.

In fact, it is almost certain that all humans (and indeed, the Kong family of apes) in the Mushroom Kingdom come from contamination via the anomaly.

Likely, humans had been inadvertently wandering into the Koopa World for centuries via the anomaly. Given that they successfully built a sustainable population there, it seems the Koopoid races treated the accidental visitors with some kindness.

That peace presumably only lasted until the fungus, though. I don’t know if the fungus originated in another dimension or if it is native mushrooms mutated by the strange energies of the anomaly, but it seems to be the most important thing to ever come to that world.

Suddenly there came a host of magic in mushroom form. Mushrooms that could change one’s size. Mushrooms that could give a car a boost. Even Goombas! A sentient species of mushroom. But the 1-Up was the most world-changing.

It does seem that in the modern age the Koopas and allies have access to the live-giving fungus (look how often Bowser and his kin come back from the dead), but perhaps they did not take to it originally. If they opposed the use of the 1-Up, they doomed themselves.

An enemy who can not die can defeat an enemy that can. They only need to outlast them. So the humans who embraced the 1-Up, likely the founders of the Toadstool dynasty, won the struggle for planetary dominance.

Now you may say that the Toads are not humans, they are fungus people. Yes, they are. Now. I suspect that the 1-Up works as follows: your consciousness is backed up and stored in the fungal network. When you die, a new body is grown from the fungus.

The process is likely not perfect. Every time one dies, their regrown body is likely slightly different, slightly more mushroom than before. This is also probably why Mario and Luigi look so much more cartoony than regular humans. They have died too often.

Peach, being royalty, is probably given special care in the regrowth process. The recent powerup that can turn Toadette into a Peach doppelganger proves the fungus can specilize in her form.

Potential point to ponder: do Shy Guys keep themselves hermetically sealed to resist exposure to the spores? Are they a sect left over from the era of the struggle?

Likely the bricks that are so ubiquitous in the Mushroom Kingdom (those which are not people transformed by Koopa magic anyway) are the remains of the great Koopa cities.

So what I am saying is I think Boos are ancient dead Koopa people.

We have to accept that Bob-Ombs are likely artificially intelligent weaponry that originates from these ancient wars. Left running in the thousands of years that follow, they have gained a culture all their own.

The “shells” worn by Koopas are not biological. They are technology. They can take them off like clothes. They can ride around on them. They can use them as weapons.

The ancient Koopoids are also likely the designers of clouds that can be walked on (or even driven around) and the vast pipe system that allows world travel with such ease. They must have been an amazing people.

I Haven’t Seen Ben Grimm’s Dick (yet)

For some reason, one of my earliest experiences in reading superhero comics was the Official Marvel Index to the Fantastic Four, which was actually not comics, it was prose summaries of the Fantastic Four’s comics. I remember many nights laying in bed reading dry descriptions of these high concept character driven adventures. Maybe it wasn’t the ideal way to experience them, but it was how I did, so I cherished it.

Life went on and I grew up, but one thing I remembered was that there was an image in one of those Index issues of Ben Grimm, the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing, relaxing on a beach and his erect penis was visible, but because of his craggy, rocky skin, it was hidden. Eventually I didn’t own those Indexes anymore, so I couldn’t prove it, but I was sure I had seen it.

Much later in my adult life (April 2021, according to when I posted about it on Twitter), I found the answer to my childhood memory:

It was his foot. He was indeed relaxing on a beach, but he had one leg crossed over the other and his toes were positioned such that a child could see them as being a dong. I don’t know what I expected, but I was sure that if an artist (I had actually assumed it might have been done by the inker as a form of rebellion) had snuck Ben’s boner into a comic it would have been noticed long ago and it would be known to the Internet. So why wasn’t it? Maybe I imagined it, or misread some coincidental pattern on his skin? But the memory had been so certain. Anyway, I never entertained the idea that it was just his foot.

Anyway, since that time I’ve definitely read at least one Fantastic Four comic that calls into question whether Ben even has genitalia post-transformation. At least I’m pretty sure I have. I guess I can’t really trust my memory about these things.