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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sonichu Episode 11 Critical Review: CWCVille the Confederacy



The Horrible Hate Crime, Here

Even the early Sonichu comics aren't free of Christian Weston Chandler's problems. The formal introduction of the Chaotic Combo has them come together to stop a common threat-- Black Sonichu, who steals the all-powerful Sunstone from Flame the Sunbird*. The formations of hero teams are often contrived, but the circumstances here take the ham-handed coincidence up to eleven-- as Black Sonichu escapes with the Sunbird's Sunstone, he literally bumps into four of the five ersatz Sonichus, giving them reason to meet. Magi-Chan joins up with them after their chatter bothers his meditation, and the original Sonichu isn't far behind. What results is six electric hedgehogs against one, which is about as contested a battle as the Hulk vs. Woody Allen

What makes the circumstances especially humorous/horrifying is the insistence Chandler has on referring to Black Sonichu as black-- the other Sonichus calling him " Blackie " or " that Black guy ". Since that's his only distinguishing characteristic from the the other Sonichus, one might see this as unintentional. However, racism is one of Christian Weston Chandler's many despicable traits. He doesn't hate black people as openly as he hates gays or other autistics ( especially those with the Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis ), but he does make it clear that his Love Quest doesn't include non-white women, he portrays the head Jerkops as scary black men, and one of his most infamous videos has him scream the N-Word at a troll. It's debatable how conscious Chandler's race hatred is, because he will deny being a racist if he is given that label, and a lot of it he just picked up from his less-than-tolerant Southern upbringing ( and refuses to correct, since Chandler's most fatal flaw is his unwillingness to admit any wrongdoing ).

However, there's a really unsettling subtext to the fact that the Black Sonichu is the one being beaten by a mob of brighter-colored Sonichus. It's even worse when you consider Black Sonichu's origin-- he was literally cloned to serve Naitsirhc's evil whims, and has never been given the opportunity to exercise free will. He's simply doing what he has to in order to survive, since he would certainly be terminated if he disobeyed Naitsirhc. At least the Chaotic Combo use stun force instead of inflicting a killing blow, but they've still treated him as persona non grata, even though he doesn't have the power to fight off six copies of himself.

What's even more unintentionally disturbing is the fact that Chandler will eventually have Black Sonichu reform, but in doing so change his name to " BLAKE Sonichu ". Chandler allegedly did this to quash the accusations of racism, but the fact that he surrenders his color identity upon converting to " good " is a troubling coincidence. Of course, CWCVille isn't a place for diversity, because that would involve the introduction of new ideas. This is the paradise of a man who specifies that the woman who finally takes his virginity should be white-- as though he's in a position to be choosy about who will lower themselves to an unemployable man-child who lives with his parents and carries the stench of sweat, grease, and the Axe body spray that he uses as an alternative to bathing.

Oh, and if you thought that the racial implications of this chapter were bad enough, Chandler posts an mock advertisement for a hotline that lonely men can call for a free girlfriend. That CWCVille apparently has a state-sponsored prostitution service is bad enough, but for some reason, the ad says that if you call now, late, or early, you will instead get a monkey. This was probably an attempt at " random access humor ", using non sequitirs in lieu of actual jokes. At least I hope it is, because state-sponsored beastiality is even worse.

And now I go to take five consecutive showers before writing the next critical review, which is one of the dreaded Sub-Episodes...

* A character who doesn't appear to be outright plagiarized, meaning that he/she will have little to no page-time.

5 comments:

  1. There's a couple of bizarre meta-moments here where some of the characters themselves seem to rebel against their creator. When the purple Sonichu copy gives exposition, for example, it sighs with exasperation; later, Black Sonichu's thinks "lame" after spouting a bit of (deliberately) terrible dialogue.

    In both cases, Chris-chan is crudely imitating the meta-humor of shows like Family Guy, and in both cases he attempts to contextualize the self-deprecating remarks as characters critiquing themselves. Of course, the overall lack of quality turns these moments into inadvertent moments where the work itself arguably disparages the creator.

    On a less pleasant note, the racism of Black Sonichu is exacerbated by two factors: first, his muzzle coloration makes him resemble the worst of the cartoon and comic-strip minstrel-show caricatures of the early 20th century, whose grotesquely oversized lips were often simplified by artists into a lighter-colored lower jaw. (Take a
    look at the early Warner Brothers character Bosko, whose original copyright registry describes him as a "Negro boy.".) And then think of the way the ad, a counterpoint to the "white women only" bit you note, suggests "monkeys" as the undesirable alternative. The subtext is there in most of the paratextual elements of the issue.

    Finally, you note that "Chandler's most fatal flaw is his unwillingness to admit any wrongdoing." Coupled with his obsession with someone (Mary Lee Walsh) who he delusionally believes betrayed and humiliated him in college and his evident desire to rule a small city-state named for himself, is CWC an especially pathetic alternate-universe counterpart of Doctor Doom?

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  2. Thanks for stopping by here, Omar. I'd actually thought that Chandler was more like a pathetic Norman Osborn, since he too created an icon by plagiarizing two existing heroes and mashing them together. But Doom works too.

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  3. This is something that I hesitate to ask, but I genuinely don't understand it.

    How did monkeys become a symbol for racism against black people? To me, the sort of symbolism associated with monkeys tends to be more creatures that are either playful or curious (Curious George) or stupid and dimwitted (Homer Simpson, who's been repeatedly and unfavorably compared with gorillas and apes).

    I honestly don't understand the association racists make between members of the ape family and people of African descent-how exactly did they jump to that conclusion, anyway?

    Then again, the connotations of cracker and honky also tend to be lost on me. If I were called that to my face, I'd probably be more confused than insulted. When I learned what they were actually supposed to men, I also reflected on how sad it was that the reverse racists couldn't come up with anything that was even that insulting to begin with.

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  4. Jared,

    Calling a person of African descent a " monkey " has a long and horrible history, because it

    A.) Feeds into myths of Africa as the " dark continent " where no civilization exists, just savages, and

    B.) compares a human being with dark skin to an animal, particularly a primate who looks vaguely but not quite human.

    Fortunately, people of all colors and creeds can unite in finding Chris-Chan repulsive.

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  5. In fact, Flame the Sunbird is a ripoff of Kazooie, from Banjo - Kazooie franchise. But great analysis, man. Excuse my broke english, I`m a brazilian reader (maybe the one of the only brazilians who knows the beremoth of the internet who is CWC). I will love to se your review about the episode for the sonichu porn and for the episode 21 (when Chris kills the Asperpedia Four).

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