17 January 2008

The Chickens Know...

I was astounded a little earlier when an ecstatic friend of mine sent me a Facebook message headed 'I have an irrational fear of Beatles movies... people think I ought to get Help.'

Yes, it's an early Savage Chicken cartoon. But how was this new to Dublin's most incorrigible punster? Hadn't I told him about the site before? Evidently not...

Have you seen Savage Chickens yet? If you haven't, and if you can spare any time at all, you should get over there pronto.

Trust me: these chickens will change your life.

I was introduced to them just under two years ago, when someone showed me one of the greatest cartoons ever, back when the craziness that still taints Manchester for me was just beginning. That intrigued me, but I think it was this magnificently bizarre beauty that bewitched me.

Since then, I've been ardent in my devotion to the site, not least because of its utter mastery of the finely crafted bad joke. Doug Savage is a fine successor to Gary Larson, whether in terms of the extraordinary strangeness and magical silliness of his work or simply its flawless timing.

Delightful though that would be in its own right, there's more to the site than random weirdness and glorious puns. Over the years, Savage has suggested a reason for watching bad films with the commentaries turned on, explained just why Scooby-Doo isn't loved quite as much as it should be, proposed an intriguing entry to Flann O'Brien's catechism of cliche, lamented how much we fear, answered the question creative types most fear, shown us how to insult someone and everyone they know with just one damning word, given us advice against quoting The Shawshank Redemption when defending our theses, pointed out how useful it can be to have a gift for strategy -- something with which I'm sure Tony Harrison would agree, commented on how pointless life can seem, observed that Mondays always suck, warned against open-ended employment contracts, and simply noted how some people clearly think its okay to sack people from their jobs without telling them why.

And that's just for starters.

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