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Just a Drawing?

I was amused by an internet video showing the Top 11 Animated Hotties, even though the reviewer seemed to have an unnatural fascination with chick who had accents beyond the normal (for TV) Mid-Western or California drawl. The one thing that annoyed me a little, and always annoys me was a bit at the end where he admonishes the audience for being even mildly aroused by cartoon characters. Since he had just spent eleven minutes drooling over The Baroness and Sailor Moon, I must assume that line is put in for comic effect. However it has been brought up in the past in more serious comments and I’d like to address it.

The main complaint goes something like this “They aren’t even real people, you’re getting aroused over drawings!”

Okay, fair enough. They are drawings, projected onto a screen or displayed on some variety of liquid crystal or what have you. The point is that they are, more or less, a collection of moving still images. They are just a collection of pixels, arranged into a representation of something like the shape of a human female. The problem is that so are the humans that are being displayed on the same screen. Those are also still images, played at speed to insinuate movement, presented as pixels arranged into 2-dimensonal representations of human shapes.

Still images have the same issue really. A drawing that reminds us of the human shape is in many ways like a photograph. Neither are the actual person, both are representations reproduced by artificial means. In fact, if done by the right people they are even made the same way. Someone working on their laptop to render a drawing of a pretty girl uses the same software and methods as someone who uses a digital camera to upload and show off a picture of a pretty girl. They may even use the same software, and if you’ve got someone with a really sick mind they’ll make the computerized girl that was rendered make out with the computerized girl that came from a digital photo of a real girl.

The point is that both hit the same mental triggers in our minds because that’s how anthropomorphication works. Even if it’s exaggerated to an extreme degree, or touched up beyond recognition, all you have is a 2-d image that hits a place in your head that reads “girl” or possibly “hottie” or even “vacuum cleaner” if you have a very perverse sense of humor. I don’t have such a sense of humor, but I have heard enough comments from other guys about some people being able to get golf balls through garden hoses to know that this is a common phrase.

Be honest, for 98% of us, Angelina Jolie is no more real than Jessica Rabbit. You’ll probably never see Angelina with our own eyes unless you’re lucky/stalkerish, you’ll only ever see her in a medium in which Jessica could also show up. Considering the amount of post-work done on the average magazine photo these days a shot of Angelina is about as realistic as one of Jessica anyway. As far as I can prove, one is no more real than the other. Not as far as I know, as far as I can prove, right now, while sitting in my chair.

I’m not saying that I believe there really are animated characters (or Toons) running around. Obviously! We killed them all in ‘62 after the “Hawaiian Punch” incident and spoke no more about it.

July 29, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment