Monday, May 09, 2005

Cyberpunks: Kermit

Cyberpunks: Kermit

Cyberpunks: Kermit (2003)

Guess who turns 50 today? Kermit the Frog. From

Kermit was not always a frog. In his early days, in the 1950s, when he was first constructed out of Jim Henson's mother's old coat and a ping pong ball, he was just a nonspecific green animal.

Only later did he become a specific green animal. Kermit was one of the first muppets, a puppet whose soft face could be manipulated to express varied emotions, and whose waving arms, arrayed on sticks, could be made to gesticulate for further emphasis. As Kermit matured he grew a spiky collar and crossed legs, and learned to play the banjo. He likes to sit around on a lily pad plucking tunes, maybe his theme song, "It Isn't Easy Being Green", or perhaps "The Rainbow Connection" or "I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along". He has starred in several movies and TV shows and has appeared on several CDs.

In spite of being a media star, Kermit works part time as an intrepid reporter, donning a dashing fedora and trench coat to head out into the maelstrom of life to tell it like he sees it, though his hardheaded professionalism is diluted by his frequent cry of "hi ho!" and "sheesh". There are rumours that Kermit is gay, and others that he is in a relationship with a certain porcine star. Declining to comment on the former allegation, as regards the latter, Kermit for a time allowed only that "Miss Piggy and I have a professional acting relationship. I act like a professional, and she acts like we're having a relationship." The wedding put the kibosh on that story. As for his connection with Jim Henson, Kermit claims not to know him. "I don't know who Jim Henson is, but I've heard he has his hand in a lot of things around here," Kermit disingenuously avers. In spite of his alter-ego's tragic death in 1990, Kermit has soldiered on, as Henson wanted him to.

Other factoids about Kermit: His birthplace, Leland Mississippi, has an exhibit commemorating this fabulous frog in their Chamber of Commerce. The good Kermie received an honorary doctorate from Southampton College in 1996. And even though he's not dead yet, there's a statue of him dressed as Charlie Chaplin's "Little Tramp" character atop the Jim Henson (formerly Charlie Chaplin) Studios in Hollywood.

And, as proof that Kermit began to display cyberpunk leanings, from Lion's Home Page:

What is up with Kermit the Frog lately? I've seen him on several game shows (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Hollywood Squares and To Tell the Truth) telling off-color jokes! That kind of stuff might be fine for someone like David Letterman or Jay Leno, but Kermit? As a puppet myself, I'm very concerned. When puppets start showing character inconsistencies it is almost always a huge warning sign of some larger psychological problem. Kermit may be suffering a personality crisis of some sort.

Finally, courtesy of muppet paparazzi, a recent photo of Kermit:

It's Not Easy Being Dennis Hopper

There he goes -- on his bike with his brain bucket -- hanging with chromers and his choombas -- looking to croak some canned pork...


Anonymous said...

Hi Terry,

Jim Henson went to the University of Maryland. They recently commissioned a statue of him and Kermit for the lawn of the Student Union. Here's a URL.

Even tho I don't comment much, I am very much enjoying reading your blog and seeing your images. I do love these b/w quaternions!


cruelanimal said...

Hi Tresamie,

It's always nice to hear from you. I appreciate your kind remarks.

Thanks, also, for the link to the statue.

I'd urge readers to surf over to Tresamie's site. Her work is always carefully and beautifully rendered.

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