File puptcrit/puptcrit.0904, message 333

Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 12:44:58 EDT
Subject: [Puptcrit] Fwd:  The Case Against Bad Puppetry

I think you need to  take a deep breath, have a walk outside to clear your 
mind, then retackle  your good/bad criteria. Why condemn the drivel of ASK 
BLACKIE yet champion  the amateurish barking of LITTLE CREATURES? Turn down 
the sound; it (mostly) all  looks the same. Turn up the sound and they 
(mostly)sound the same.  The  material may be different, but the voices are 
obviously derivative nth  generation Sesame Street.  It appears to me that 99% of 
what you champion  seems to fit into the "WHO CAN LOOK AND SOUND THE MOST 
LIKE EACH OTHER"  category. Voices? Amateur Night. Craftsmanship? If inbred 
Muppets is the goal,  Mission Accomplished. Acting and writing? Come on. If 
you were to rub  the sleep from your eyes, could you in the clear light of 
morning compare  ANY of that work to the professional level of the true masters 
like  Henson/Sahlin? Or Baird? Or Obratzof? Or even latter day originals  
like Mystery Science Theatre or the Shining Time Station puppets? A deeper  
inquest into the genesis and expansion of puppetry is needed (Otto Kunze or 
Dick  Meyers anyone?)  A scholar like John Bell understands  this.
I think the puppet  emperors aren't wearing any clothes.  If the word 
"great" can bandied  about without a caveat for a high-school level copy-cat 
goblin sculpture, then  what noun is left to describe the truly great?
I love puppets and  puppetry, but, sadly, they mostly disappoint.  When a 
Broadway show can  hold auditions for Avenue Q and state in bold black and 
white that puppetry  experience is NOT required, then what does that say about 
the perception of  skill required for a craft to be called an art?
Sent: 4/24/2009 3:51:52 A.M. Eastern Daylight  Time
Subj: [Puptcrit] The Case Against Bad Puppetry

I get a lot of submissions for my PuppetVision Blog and  see a lot of what
I've dubbed "YouTube puppet video cliches", shows or  videos that rely on
shock value; puppets having sex, swearing and  drinking/doing drugs. I'm
hardly a prude, but my frustration at seeing  this has built over time and
ended up coming out in post I've dubbed "The  Case Against Bad Puppetry"  -

I'd  be curious to hear other people's thoughts on  this.
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