Three moments.

One. The object-world, invested with the rabbit's sadism, joyous and spiteful for getting to be instrumental, becomes self-illuminated. The swallowed light-bulb flashes the beat of the phantom clock. It marks time until the hunting morning, shoves light out from the dog's body, the windows of the eyes.

Two. The dog, having accepted the transference of instinct from kill the rabbit to kill what is obstinate, chokes a telephone to death. Its pink tongue hangs.

Three. A final stick of dynamite, the unnecessary blow, is a goodnight kiss to the unfuckable pursuer who's dead-tired in your bed. Surplus-aggression, repeated without emotion. A unit in a series, it makes all that had to be done before recognizable for what it had to be: cruelty beyond utility, the meanest pleasure of survival. Lights out, baby.


Benladen said...

just thought i'd stop by to express my bafflement at the fact that it took me til just now to get the surplus-life/surplus-value pun. And only then probably because I'm writing a thing about Hello Kitty making the comparison between her and it.

Oh and I also tricked Ebert into tweeting about salvagepunk, since he's been going on and on about steampunk.

More apropos of this particular post: maybe it speaks more to my lack of understanding the climate of when this was made, but the insistence at the beginning on setting up the joke seemed really off. The whole point of this kind of cartooning is that it delivers a punchline a second, isn't it? And the whole reason Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck get to be the protagonist is because we know that when they kick the hunters ass, or the dogs ass, its justified, isn't it? The insistence at the beginning that "this is why the rabbit is doing this" almost seems like a pre-emptive apology for the lack of libido thats about to ensue.

Which is just to support your points, but also to try to find out why that whole clip has such palpable lack to it.

ECW said...

Oh man, send me the Hello Kitty piece. Want to see that.

And particular thanks for your seriously inspired bit of culture infiltration.

OK, as to the other point: I agree, there's something particular, and particularly kind of odd, about the slow set-up for the joke - the making sure we really get it that the dog will have to sleep well in order to hunt well. There's a kind of quiet build, a patience, to it's eventual hysteric over-full-ness. Interesting, too, though is that the punchlines are resolutely not verbal - no wisecracks, no speech beyond the voices from afar: across the telephone and from the faceless master.

The heart of this is exactly the doth protest too much: no, really, it's instrumental, I swear, it had to be done. An echo, perhaps, of that thing that interests me in zombie movies, the sadism of false necessity. In this case, the insistence on being instrumental doesn't just badly cover over the absence of libido: it produces it.