This weekend, I acquired something utterly ridiculous from a friend of Leeman’s who was clearing out her house. Namely, an exact replica of the stuffed piggy Mr. Gordo from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
(Amanda and Mr. Gordo have become fast friends).
I’ll be honest, my first thought upon receiving said piggy was, “Mr Gordo”? … Seriously? You’ve GOT to be kidding me. Oh, no … there is it, certificate of authenticity and everything! And a note that the product would be limited to 2,500 replicas. Limited to 2,500 replicas? Again I say .. Seriously? There are 2,500 people who would be in the market for a replica of Buffy’s Mr Gordo?
(For those of you not up to speed on your obscure Joss Whedon trivia, Mr. Gordo was seen in but a handful of episodes from the ‘90s cult classic, first appearing in the 2nd season’s “Whose Line is it Anyway” 2-parter when Buffy finds Angel lurking in her room, leading to the exchange “Were you just looking for a little quality time with Mr. Gordo?” “Who” “The pig.” Later appearing in the 4th season as Buffy goes off to college, specifically mentioned when Buffy’s later love interest Riley asks Willow for some Buffy-wooing tips and is informed in addition to Buffy’s love of ice capades, she also has a stuffed piggy named Mr Gordo. [In answer to your questions: Yes, that was more information than you needed. No, I did not have to look any of that that up. Yes, I might have a problem]).
I suppose if I was really in a cynical mood, I could note that the existence of 2,500 replicas marketed to enthusiastic Wedonites is perhaps the perfect encapsulation of consumer culture gone awry. If something can possibly be conceived of, manufactured, and packaged … it can be marketed and sold. Loyal fangirls (which I must admit to being) will then quite willingly buy pretty much anything that expresses their love for a particular fandom.
But honestly, I’m not feeling that cynical. Who can be anything but delighted at the existence of something so utterly ridiculous and random as the replica of a stuffed pig prop that appears in maybe half a dozen episodes of a cult TV show from over a decade ago. Sure, our society is horribly consumer driven and we are all fed the lie that we can craft our own identities y means of the products we consume. But then someone goes and makes this:
Who really needs a mug with made-up expletives from 5 different genre franchises? (That’s Farscape, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Mork & Mindy, and Douglas Adams if you’re keeping track at home) But I drink my coffee from it most mornings because it was just too ridiculous to pass up.
Sometimes, amid all the angst we can feel in this complicated world of (post?) postmodernity, it’s enough just to sit back and enjoy a little bit of the ridiculous. We can argue about Hobby Lobby and contraception, and crazy people carrying guns into Target another day. Right now, maybe we should just sit back and enjoy a world where someone decided to make a replica of Buffy’s stuffed pig. Or where another person decided they should do YouTube video edit of every word arranged in Star Wars alphabetically. Why? I guess the better question was “Why Not”? I should note that the aforementioned pig was bestowed upon me at my husband’s Fringe show (8 performances left!), in which he impersonates deceased horror writer HP Lovecraft answering Dear Abbey-style advice questions. Ours is a strange life.
It might not seem like much of a theological point. But I am happy I live in a world with just a touch of the ridiculous (did you see my child’s giant ears, by the way?). Maybe part of why I am a self-proclaimed geek is that geek culture is, by and large, not afraid of silliness and simply just enjoying things. And I wonder if there is in fact a spiritual lesson from that. A reminder that we do have a God who gave us a wonderful world to delight in and to enjoy. We honour God when we are the best we can be at EVERYTHING, include our capacity to enjoy life and be just a little wacky for the sake of being wacky. There doesn’t need to be a reason for everything. What a sad, utilitarian world that would be.
Now, excuse me, I need to finish drinking my coffee from my *other* favourite mug, featuring Yoda in a Mickey Mouse hat.