While learning Chinese at university, we had a project where we created a little night market where each team has to come up with their own little stand. Our team came up with a movie selling stand to sell illegal VCDs (a very Chinese thing to do since piracy is rampant in China).
Part of the project was to create an advertisement that must be all in Chinese and contain two idioms.
I made the commercial in Flash and reused a lot of characters from my previous animations.
You will see Saddam Hussein, JoJo the Sad Monkey, David Lynch, HoBag, Horse’s Rabbit, Isabella Rossellini, Tom & Tom’s mom.
NOTE: May take a few seconds to load so please wait after clicking:
My Chinese in the commercial is a little embarrassing. It’s awkward with each word over-pronounced. But it is what it is.
For those who don’t speak Chinese, the commercial is basically Crazy Tom going crazy. It’s probably funnier if you don’t understand what’s going on. But if you really want to know, continue by clicking the more.. link.
At least you didn’t think it was “One’s Ad Monkey” which someone actually thought that’s what I meant.
One sad monkey is in reference to a thought I had about the origin of humans, very much influenced by one of my favorite movies, 2001: A Space Odyssey. It also is related to a monkey character inspired by a friend’s web site.
It Begins with Why
I thought about what separates human beings from other animals on the planet.
Our human brains allow us to create technologies that help us survive even though we should be dead with our hairless bodies and watermelon on a stick physical structure. While lions are busy evolving giant claws and teeth to rip us apart, humans are thinking up how to build traps, use weapons, work with each other and invent high heels for babies for future prostitots.
In order to have technology, we have to use scientific thinking which tries to explain why things happen and then apply this knowledge. The question of Why brings forth causal reasoning.
So I started thinking… other animals don’t ask, “Why?”
A dog only knows he’s got peanut butter on his nose.
He doesn’t ever think why he just licked his nose for the last 20 minutes trying to get that nummy yummy peanut butter off his nose or where the peanut butter came from or why the peanut butter even exists.
and yes… I know that humans are actually apes, not monkeys (ya nerd!). Monkeys are much more evocative and the word just sounds better than ape. Ape rhymes with RAPE!
And this one monkey started to ask “WHY?!” Because He was Sad
Well a monkey who asks,”Why?” has to be unsatisfied with his current situation otherwise he wouldn’t ever ask why things are the way they are. A contented monkey would be happy with being a monkey…. jumping around, throwing feces, hooting and having lots of freaky Bonobo casual sex.
I imagined that this monkey would be sitting alone in the jungle, sad about the way things are and suddenly begin to ask,”Why?” thus setting off the first steps to becoming human. This is the one sad monkey that set forth everything that is beautiful and horrible about being human.
I imagined other monkeys thinking, “Man! He’s one sad monkey.”
Asking why allowed us to figure out things about this world. It allowed us to build tools based on the rules we discovered by figuring out “why” things happen the way they do. With these tools, man flourished on this planet.
I think this behavior is still ingrained in humans and especially in anyone who is unsatisfied with jumping around, throwing feces, hooting and hot guilt-free Bonobo sex, staying in on a Friday night writing a blog post with some tea and introspection.
But that one sad monkey left inside us the need to always ask “why.” With this behavior, humans will never be satisfied because each answer only brings more questions. It is part of the human condition.
Any easy way out from endless why’s is to say it was all done by God.”That peanut butter just tastes damn good and I’ll lick it til its gone. Why was it on my nose.. well I guess its cause God put it there and peanut butter exists because it is a gift from God.”
I imagined aliens looking at Earth, watching foolish humans thinking about their existence and then saying to each other about mankind, “Man… he’s one sad monkey.”
I do hope to eventually complete a children’s book about this idea. No it will not have any illustrations of freaky guilt-free Bonobo sex.
JoJo is One Sad Monkey
At around this same time, a friend created a web site involving a Hall of Ennui and a picture of a monkey who was grabbing a ball with an angry face. The caption said something about the monkey being named “Jojo” and that he was unsatisfied with his life.
This lead to the birth of “JoJo” a depressed monkey character who was/is to have his own comic strip and animated series.. but I’ll have to talk more about him in other posts.