Pop-Culture Anathemas: Part 1

I cannot a imagine an existence so bereft of meaning, so out of touch with the here-and-now, and so disgustingly nostalgic, that Betty Boop—the bobble-headed cartoon giggle-snatch—continues to resonate.

Hearing “boop-oop-a-doop” the first time, I knew something sinister was at play. I realized much later that I had suffered a kind of inner necrosis. Something unspeakable and pernicious had embedded itself into my bones, into the very fibers of my thoughts. I could never forget it. I was angry, grief-stricken. I wanted the creators of this societal blight wrapped in all extant celluloid prints of The Boop and threatened with a lit match. “Apologize to the world!” I would say. And when they did I would throw the match anyway.

Occasionally I’ll overhear or glimpse the cartoon in motion—and sometimes I’ll hear the dreaded “boop-oop-a-doop” like the death rattle of all things good in the world. Menacing Boop head-shaped clouds form in the darkened sky; gale force shrieks of boop-oop-a-doop distort all sound and send fauna retreating to the woods. The gaping planet splits in two like a monstrous moldy apple, and at its rotten gray-green core, wriggling, swaying, jiggling, the busty, red-lipped worm leaps, its gargantuan head hypnotizing the weak as it leaches into their brainstems. I. Must. Look. Away.

The Boop is the atomic material from which nightmares begin. It is the catcall of doom incarnate. Yet the Boop image appears freely on clothing and expensive fake letterman jackets sold in the mall to old women fallen under its spell. I imagine these women going home to décor owing to the Nifty Fifties and using their Boop stationary to catatonically scrawl boop-oop-a-doop and other Boopisms over and over until their wrists hurt and they must enter their Boopified bathrooms to retrieve Boop bandages. Later, they lie down in their Boop sheets and go to sleep. In the morning the Boop alarm wakes them, its sound like an infinite, deafening chasm throughout the universe: “boop-oop-a-doop, boop-oop-a-doop, boop-oop-a-doop, boop-oop-a-doop, boop-oop-a-doop…” And some small, barely perceptible part of me senses this; it flickers on like a minute shadow-spark, slowly burning my life away one syllable at a time.

Zoop, retreating…

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~ by zoopandpoop on March 9, 2010.

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