S01xE06: The Preachification of Convincing John

This one’s another lesson about interdependence, and environmental balance. Mokey spends some time pondering Doozers, and decides that it’s not right for Fraggles to eat Doozer constructions (they are made out of some kind of radish-based material, and Fraggles mainly eat radishes). But when the Fraggles stop eating the Doozer constructions, they fill up the whole cave and get in everyone’s way. Mokey realizes the error of her ways when she overhears our very first ladyDoozer (a mother, naturally) talking about how Doozers need Fraggles to eat their constructions or else they’ll run out of room to build, and the whole point of a Doozer’s life is to build things, and if they can’t build they’ll die.*

Here again we see a little more about the mechanisms of Fraggle social control. They appear to have a sense of personal honor that requires them to uphold solemn vows, if someone asks it of them. Mokey of course asks her friends to swear a vow not to eat Doozer constructions, and with the help of a reclusive Fraggle named Convincing John (who can convince anyone of anything), gets all of the Fraggles in the Rock to swear it too.

Also we learn that well-meaning liberals ought to make sure they really know what they’re doing before they start trying to meddle in the ecologies that surround them! Shut up, vegans. The tasty animals want to be exploited and eaten. The cow lives to produce milk, and if you don’t take her milk so she can make more, her life will have no purpose! Except there is a problem here since Doozers are sentient and capable of giving consent, and the animals that humans depend on for food, aren’t so much.

On the other hand I think it is a perfect analogy for people “protecting” forests from wildfires. The life cycle of most of the plants actually depends on fire, and preventing fires does bad things like keep new redwood trees from growing, or leave so much deadwood and underbrush lying around uncleared that when it finally does catch fire for real, the fires are so huge and intense they utterly destroy everything in the forest instead of cleansing/restarting the cycle, and also seriously threaten human life.

So this episode is sort of like a big FU to Smokey the bear, and I approve!

Not that campers should deliberately try to set forest fires, that would be sort of dumb. But actively suppressing all fires in a forest turns out to be even more dumb.

Convincing John as a character could probably stand up to some analysis but that’s going to require a real critic, I just blather on for the hell of it.

*unless you’re a ladyDoozer, in which case you raise Doozer babies, I guess? It’s not like we’ve seen one do anything else. Here’s the thing: male and female Fraggles are clearly free to live how they like and engage in a variety of activities and gender seems to have little to do with it unless you are an Old Fraggle banging your gavel and telling other Fraggles what to do. there’s a certain tomboy/earth hippie split going on with Red and Moki, but as long as princesses aren’t involved and it’s not madonna/whore I’m not going to complain. Why don’t the Doozers get to be this way too? Seriously, if you say “Doozers build” again and again as the purpose of Doozer life, and then it turns out half the Doozer population doesn’t build, what the hell is that supposed to mean? Is this ancient Sparta, where the value of a woman’s life depended on her success in producing warrior sons?

(no, THIS is Sparta)

(sorry. I should stop).


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