Episode 594 - Grow up! Or don't...

Jul 31, 2022

The Manchild can be a fun character or they can be pathetic. They're a staple of comedies because they're an adult that gets to act immature and childish, without the restraint and responsibilities imposed by adulthood. This can make a great contrast; “The adult man acting like an immature child”, John C Riley and Will Farrel have always done that extremely well, as did Chris Farley back in the 90s. It can be be portrayed as pathetic and sad when the person can't seem to be able grow up or take on any responsibilities. They're often characterised by people with “childish” interests, like the cast of the Big Bang Theory, or with a childlike love of something like sports like Kevin in Kevin can F Himself.

Topics and Show Notes

This trope was particularly dominated by male characters until recently when female characters have finally been able to join their ranks. My theory was that the majority of writers always used to be males and so were much better at portraying women from an external perspective; i.e. as what they mean to males: desirable, caring, scary etc, rather than an internal perspective showing what it's like to BE them, as they did with male characters. A good example of this is the Simpsons where Homer is usually a manchild while Marge is generally a responsible mother who holds the family together.

But now we see more instances of women allowed to be silly, immature, pathetic, childish and funny, just like their male counterparts and it's really good to see that balance being restored; All about Steve with Sandra Bullock, most Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson films, Muriel's Wedding, even Fleabag depicts a womanchild character, although in a very self critical light.

In the end though I think the trope resonates with us because we are all really still children inside, underneath the superficial trappings of adult responsibilities, restraints, and tastes are the same childhood exuberances and joys. The biggest, meanest, bearded, hairy man or the old white haired bespectacled woman are still the same kids inside that they were when they were growing up and this is something that we all have in common. The older I become the more I look back at the facile childhood aspirations to adulthood -things like wanting to drive, to drink, take drugs, fight in a war, lose one's virginity- as being the epitome of immaturity and childishness. None of those things are about growing up or adulthood in any way, in fact they're exactly the reverse. Adulthood is about responsibilities. The womanchild and manchild characters can allow us to vicariously enjoy adult life without responsibility, whether it's in a positive way like The Dude or negative like Zach Galifianakis' Alan in The Hangover series.

Do you agree? What are your fave Womanchilds and manchilds?


This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Zeitgeist B-Side - Dizzy, dreamy, acoustic guitar, throwing moods and colour. This takes us from a minimal white apartment, to the twilight shadows of the evening in a forested wood. Night surrounds and pervades.

Topics and shownotes

Links

Banes' Newspost Manchildren - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/jul/21/the-manchild/


Featured comic:
The Waves Inside - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/jul/26/featured-comic-the-waves-inside/

Featured music:
Zeitgeist B-Side - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/B_Side/ - by ISTKY, rated M.


Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
PitFace - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/

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Episode 568 - Growing up!

Jan 31, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

This Quackcast is about one of the cool things about being an adult: growing out of childhood prejudices and expanding your tastes to try new things. There's this rosy, idealistic idea that kids are culture sponges, open to everything, all experiences and tastes, but that's a fantasy unfortunately. Kids are only open to experiences for a relatively short time before their preferences solidify, but even THEN they have a very strict hierarchy of sources they'll accept those influences from- parents, friends, family etc. A lot of what they like is driven by peer pressure and the opinions of others.

Episode 553 - Out of date humour?

Oct 18, 2021

3 likes, 0 comments

I was reading an article the other day about the comedy of Sacha Baron Cohen and how that style of comedy is now out of date, along with The Hangover and Hot Tub Time Machine. The idea is that the day for this sort of masculine, bawdy, sleazy humour has been and gone and that we're more advanced, sophisticated and enlightened now. Personally I took issue with this, I think this style of comedy is extremely relatable and eternal because of it. You can see examples of it going back thousands of years across all cultures because many factors of it are universal to the human cultural experience.

Episode 548 - Foreign Influence

Sep 8, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

Translating cultural concepts so they can be understood in a different country can be really tricky, most people never bother. Often the audience is just left to guess what's behind certain concepts and idioms. As an Australian, growing up as a little kid we were bombarded by media from everywhere, but mainly Britain, the USA, Canada and New Zealand. There was so much about American media that was utterly alien to us and we were just left to puzzle it out, especially American high school concepts: The level of seriousness with which they regard team sports in schools, cheerleaders, jocks, jockstraps, school kids driving cars, homecoming, pep rallies, summer camp, proms, tick or treating, thanksgiving… We just had to make sense of those things ourselves. Some we could work out from context but others I never really understood and never really will.

Episode 530 - What is SciFi?

May 10, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

So what IS SciFi? Well it's a pretty wide umbrella term and contains a lot of different things. In some senses it's just an imaginative fiction story where science replaces magic. SciFi can simply be a sciencey setting where genre stories take place (romance, adventure, nior, horror). It can be a magical fantasy space opera with a futuristic skin (Star Wars), it can be “hard SciFi” where the story is set in the future but the science is completely plausible, it can be written with strong themes that examine philosophical questions and make interesting points about the nature of humanity, and it can be so many more things too. It's a broad church!

Episode 503 - Changing attitudes

Nov 1, 2020

5 likes, 1 comment

An old man tries to explain modern culture to an even older man… Attitudes change! Things don't stay the same, culture moves on and when we try to hang onto old ideas we can look like idiots, and even worse than that we can hold up cultural progress and hurt people. That's what we're trying to talk about…

Episode 439 - weather flavour enhancer!

Aug 12, 2019

2 likes, 0 comments

Tantz's clever idea was that the weather isn't just a backdrop… it's an important prop in it's own right. Weather can be used to drive a plot: the wind snatches a hat and makes a person chase it, which causes them to meet another character. It can be an antagonist: people fighting a storm for example or running form a tornado. It can signal and enhance emotions: rain for a sad funeral or sun for happy for a happy event. Growing shadows can signal an ominous turn of events, wind billowing out a cloak signals a dramatic character! You can just use it for fancy visual effects if you like, snow and rain are great fun to draw, and stormy skies are the best! We chat about all things weather and give examples of how we've used it ourselves.

Episode 394 - Nostalgia, creative fuel?

Oct 1, 2018

3 likes, 3 comments

Nostalgia! - Where does it fit in the creative process? People are the product of their influences. For a lot of us the strongest influences happen when we're growing up and learning about the world and all the things IN it for the first time. As you get older the things you experience don't make as much impact, simply because your brain has already had most of its “first times” and it's already learned enough about the world to be fully functional and independent.


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