Pixar’s new film, “Inside Out” is all the rage these days.
“Inside Out,” while ostensibly a story about a little girl experiencing the trials and travails of a move across country, is really a story about how the personifications of sadness, joy, anger (and so on) work in her brain.
In other words, it is a story of puppet-like creatures living in someone’s brain, and that, it turns out, is too close for comfort for my Karagöz puppets.
Well, as you might imagine, 0f course, the Karagöz puppets picked up on the presence of this BLASPHEMOUS (to them) movie lickety-split – and you know what?
They don’t like it, not one bit.
“Heaven forbid,” Kenne (the Queen of Manners and Maintenance of Ladylike Behavior) said, “oh yes heaven forbid that WE the Karagöz puppets are TRUMPED by a bunch of colored animations.”
“Why,” I asked Kenne gently, “do you worry about being trumped? After all – this movie’s inner brain characters are raw, simple emotions as opposed to developed characters such as yourself!”
“Harumpphhh!” is all we hear from Kenne in response.
Hacivad Bey, the learned Sufi elder jumps in now. “I must agree with Kenne, WE are the ORIGINAL embodiment of emotions – and we do it through a cultural lens, at that! We are COMPLEX and we provide a LENS for understanding and MANAGING M’lady’s cross-cultural world.”
“And,” Karagöz said, in a rare somber mood, “we have been inhabiting people’s brains for centuries in order to do so!”
(Did Karagöz and Hacivad Bey just agree? Shiver me timbers!)
In a rare attempt to sit with ALL of the puppets at once, I call a family meeting. “Now look, puppets, I think there is one important difference here. The embodiments of joy, sadness, anger and the like drive the little girl’s responses and actions – what is different about you is that you do that AND you explain complicated cultural phenomena along the way. You shouldn’t feel threatened!”
After my passionate speech, I ask for a show of hands to see who will attend the movie with me, and it is a sorry state of affairs. Esma, the hippie puppet, is the sole holdout on the topic of whether or not to see “Inside Out,” or rather, whether to hitch a ride in M’lady’s purse when SHE goes to see the film. Esma purses her lips and sighs, reminding the puppets that they are not the only puppet ethnicity out there – and that they should be open and accepting of all forms of embodied emotions et alia in people’s heads. Ever the peacemaker, that Esma! They don’t know what they are missing out on!