Friday, August 08, 2003

Little, Yellow, Different
Lots of Pac-Man in the news. The universe seems to be telling me to revisit that early obsession of mine, perhaps as a way of integrating the struggle of my inner child with the challenges of the disempowered male adult in a postmodern capitalist society dominated by Western hegemony—it may have something to do with the logos, and it definitely has something to do with the Other. Or it may just be that I’m bored and I’d rather play childish video games than confront the harsh reality of our long, inevitable march toward death. In any case, it’s time for some Wacky Wisdom about our favorite armless, legless yellow hero!

• Many people don’t know that Pac-Man is an electronic rendering of an actual species, seen here in its natural habitat.
• The official story is that Pac-Man’s name came from the Japanese word “paku-paku”, meaning to flap one’s mouth, but this is a dirty Communist lie.
• After an extensive search, the original model for Ms. Pac-Man has been discovered.
• The pattern for the first Pac-Man board was astronomically calibrated by the Druids so that the sun rising on the summer solstice will be perfectly aligned with the back of your pathetic, balding head as you sit at your Atari in your BVDs, listening to “Carry on, Wayward Son”, again.
• The game of Pac-Man originated in ancient Rome, with condemned Christians in the Pac-Man role and ravenous tigers as the ghosts. Instead of little dots, contestants ate shards of glass, and there were no “power pellets”, unless you count the rocks being hurled at the Christians by bloodthirsty spectators.
• I recently listened to “Pac-Man Fever.” Man, what a great song!
• Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde are based on the Buddhist concept of the pretas or “hungry ghosts”, spiritual beings residing in the hell-realm below the devas and asuras, whose suffering is honored in the symbolic offering of leftover food, and further… I had you there for a minute, didn’t I? Eh?
• At first hearing, it sounds like Pac-Man is saying “waka waka.” But if you listen more closely, you’ll find he’s actually saying, “please kill me!”