Fireside Chat #12 (Spring ’06)

MY ALL-TIME MOST HATED FICTIONAL CHARACTER

I always used to think that a computer was like a woman: be good to her and she’ll be good to you. Then a Moroccan gypsy and a Dell Latitude broke my heart.

When my laptop crashed on Saturday, so did my incredibly insightful column on the current state of film. So instead of trying to recreate the experience for you, I’m going to speak right from the heart.

My all-time most hated fictional character is Eeyore, the donkey from the book/film/TV/toy series, “Winnie the Pooh.”

Look, firstishly and most importantly, he’s such a downer. When everyone else at Pooh Corner is just looking to munch on some honey, grow some carrots, or hop around on a coil-shaped tail, Eeyore just imposes his negative vibes on everybody else.

In one of the stories, Pooh Bear says hello to Eeyore, and he replies, “Good Morning, Pooh Bear. If it is a good morning. Which I doubt.”

Here we see that Eeyore starts his day assuming that it will be bad. So at the beginning of each day, he renews the downward spiral of negativity that will most likely end in a self-fulfilling prophesy. When Eeyore does have a bad day, he gets the sick satisfaction of having predicted it.

When Pooh Bear goes on to ask him how he is doing, he says, “Not very how. I don't seem to have felt at all how for a long time.”

What kid of smart-mouth answer is that? He knows Pooh is reaching out to him, trying to be a nice guy, and he has to be a jerk about it. We never get anything but sour grapes out of this guy, yet his friends keep hanging around with him.

Segundo, what’s with that stupid safety-pinned tail? It falls off all the time and Eeyore makes everybody stop what they’re doing to help him look for it, like they don’t have better things to do. This donkey is so insecure that he needs the tail to feel good about himself, when the whole gang knows it’s fake. If he’s so set on having the thing, why doesn’t he get Christopher Robin’s mom to sew it on?

Thirdfully, Eeyore leads a completely sedentary lifestyle. When he isn’t bothering Pooh Bear, he mopes around his dumpy little hut. I extend this criticism to Pooh Bear as well. While many of the characters seem to lack motivation, I would argue that it is Eeyore who acts as the de-motivators, or deadweight that holds everyone else down with him.

“No, Gabe,” some psychologist is saying, “Eeyore is cool, he’s just depressed.”

Fine, continue to like him if you must, but I’ve found that the best thing you can do for a depressed friend is to shun him until he realizes that he’s alienated everyone he cares about, pulls himself up by his own bootstraps and apologizes for having been such a downer. “It’s okay,” you tell him. “Just don’t be so stupid next time.”

There comes a time when you need to write a friend off as a lost cause, and for Pooh and the gang, that time came long ago. And I’m writing off my friends at Dell. Mark my words: my next laptop will be an iBook.

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