With all Year of the Dog talk it's easy to overlook other important topics, like rabbits. There was a curious motivational poster in the campus co-op, tucked in along all the empty phrases encouraging people to greatness by nature photographs. It had a light brown rabbit sitting near Easter eggs, with the caption (one sentence per line): ``I'm a rabbit. I eat grass, that's my habit. And I grow pretty fast.'' That's the whole poster. I have to suppose the motivational poster was designed about a half-hour before deadline.
Meanwhile there's a bit of pop culture that may take me to a cinema yet. This Thursday (traditional opening day for movies here) opens Zodiac: The Race Begins... The posters describe it as ``Singapore's first 3D animated film,'' by which they mean computer animation. Based on the animals in the poster, and the tagline ``Who Will Win The Race?'' I have to suppose it's an animated telling of the tale of the origins of the Chinese Zodiac, and the race which selected the animals and their ordering.
Part of what fascinates me is, if I understand bits of the myths correctly, the winner of the race was Rat, who outran all the other animals by the simple expedient of cheating early and often. He welched on his promise to wake Cat for the race, freaked out Elephant so he wouldn't run, and rode on Ox right up to the finish line, then leapt ahead for the win. In an American production this sliminess would be a mighty challenging problem to write around; either the movie would focus on more honest losers and toss them some consolation True Prize, or else it'd try making Rat enough of a goofball that his cheating could be excused as an accident. There'd be an extremely high risk of trying to do both and casting Rowan Atkinson as the voice of Rat.
But I have to expect Singaporean filmmakers would aim principally at the Chinese-culture market, and the pop culture standards there are even more bizarre, to my western eyes, than the average anime is. Most anything might be done with the characters; last year's ``Journey to Jurong Point'' TV series set the characters of the legend ``Journey to the West'' in a shopping mall here, to have a monkey god dicker with innocent bystanders about wall clock prices and such. The prospect fascinates me.
Trivia: An Angel was an English gold coin issued from 1464 to the 17th century, worth six shillings and eight pence (a third of a pound). Source: The History Today Companion to British History, Juliet Gardiner, Neil Wenborn.
Currently Reading: Venus Revealed, David Henry Grinspoon.