The Monkbot Has Left the Building



The Traveling Monkbot Project has officially begun!

The little guy was shipped out of Jackson, MS, on Monday, November 13, 2006…on its way to adventures around the country and world!

As soon as the first person receives the Monkbot, I’ll post the pictures I took around Jackson!

Viva le Monkbot!

And can I end at least one more paragraph with an exclamation point?

Why, sure I can!

On another note…let me put something out there for discussion.

I hope y’all are watching “Brothers & Sisters” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” Both are great shows…a little free with the liberal diatribe of conservatism…but really great shows.

Anyway, my favorite part of both shows is that each have one token character…the same token character to be exact.

That character is a conservative, strong white woman who must rely on her wit amongst the sea of family/co-workers around her who are all liberal and biting. Both characters on these shows have taken punches for the right wing. Both are up-quipped by the liberals in their lives…but both forge ahead with grace and style and one-line zingers (plus both are really, really skinny).

I’m torn by this phenomenon…the pithy, perky, intelligent, lovable conservative white female (both of whom had their character’s names drawn right out of a 1950s sitcom script…Harriet and Kitty).

On the one hand, I want to root for her and cheer her on as she stands her moderate right wing ground (she’s not a full-on nut…thankfully).

On the other hand, I want to be angry at “Hollywood” for making these creatures so rare (the likable moderate conservative) and then hit “Hollywood” upside the head with a large fish for still giving the BEST lines to the liberal characters. (By the way…why are conservatives always the ones who are either extremists or moderates…the left wing is always just the left wing…hmmm…)

On the third hand (my middle name is Shiva), I want to hit Polly Pithy Perfectus upside the head with a large fish for being so obtuse at times.

And on my fourth hand…I just got a bunch of fish stink.

Anyway…what say you oh magnificent Monkbots?


26 Responses to “The Monkbot Has Left the Building”

  1. Squeebee Says:

    Yay for the travelling MonkBot! Is it a secret who gets it next??
    How exciting is this?? How many sentences can I end with a question mark??

    On to the second topic….I do not watch Brothers and Sisters, but I do watch (and LURVE) Studio 60.

    You are not alone in the love-hate relationship with the conservative character. I think Hollywood is doing a fine balancing act by giving everyone what they want.
    The liberals are getting a whipping boy (woman??) and the conservatives are getting a character they can relate to. The balancing act comes in as the portrayal of the conservative character. Thy have made the character human enough not to toally piss off the liberals (though they are allowed to snicker behind her back), and moderate enough that even “small c” conservatives can relate.

    I have had a few moments during the show where I have cringed a little at the portrayal and/or treatment of Harriet’s character. I wonder to myself if the reason I take the good with the bad in this case is related to how conservatives are more often portrayed in shows. Am I settling for a “slightly better” portrayal because that’s all that’s out there at the moment?

    Wow….I guess this bothered me more than I thought. Great topic once again, Shelley!

  2. shelley Says:

    Squeebee you really articulated well some points I just couldn’t wrap my fingers around.

    The “though they are allowed to snicker behind her back” fact is so true. For example, the last two weeks on Studio 60 where Harriet must defend her remarks on homosexuality. She really gets beat up by Matthew Perry’s character (and by a couple of others on the show) but then it’s her liberal friends her come to her rescue when she is attacked for those remarks.

    I know the bigger picture here is that they all love her, despite her views…because she is “soooo funny”…but it still feels little like the extolling of the limitless virtues of the liberal…able to mock Harriet for her views but then rescue her from herself and others.

    Now, seriously, if you like Harriet, you should give some attention to Kitty on “Brothers & Sisters.” Sally Field plays the uber-liberal matriarch and Calista Flockhart plays the wayward conservative daugther. Their scenes together are wonderful. Truly Calista takes one for the conservative team, as she is lashed at by her mother, brothers, sisters and even at the work place (where she is the right wing half of a right/left wing debate television show).

    I have to give it to Flockhart…she really pours on the pathos and even defends her views when the topic is something as unpleasant as the war. Like Harriet, she doesn’t just blindly say…I’m right, you’re wrong…she admits not knowing all the answers and not liking all the ways of the conservative agenda.

    The show isn’t as fast-paced and humorous as Studio 60, but it’s still compelling television…with a cast of phenomenal actors.

  3. double d Says:

    I’m on a TV diet as of late so can’t comment on the shows, BUT I must say that I am concerned about the Monkbot “packaging”.

    Not sure that the box will ever make it to my doorstep with that GI-normous Bulldog sticker…considering I live in the heart of Tide and War Eagle country with a LSU flag prominently flying on my porch.

    That, compbined with all the smileys and the “Monkbot” identifiers may have my postman a little skeered to actually bring it to the door. Well, they do say…”through wind, and rain, sleet and snow….and loonies?”.

  4. shelley Says:

    DD…it’ll be okay…I promise.

    As a matter of fact, when I took it to the post office, I paid for Express Mail (no one is expected to do this…I had a reason for it). Because I paid for Express Mail, I had to add an additional (huge) address label from the P.O. to the box. I looked at the postal worker…all concerned about covering up my handiwork and he smiled and said, “We’ll just put this label on the top of the box to keep from covering up all your hard work.”

    Really…I do stuff like this all the time and it makes it through the mail just fine. 😉

    Plus…I did it in hopes that everyone would throw a sticker on it…I thought it would add to the fun. 🙂

  5. double d Says:

    Shelley – I was trying to be funny and entertaining….

    I’m sure the postman sees more ludicrousness that the Monkbot…after all, this IS Alabama.

  6. double d Says:

    than the Monkbot, than the Monkbot…sorry…Shel – HOW ABOUT AN EDIT button?

  7. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I’m very excited for the Monkbot and his traveling vacation. I hope he spreads love, soul and funk everywhere he roams…

    I was watching Studio 60 and Bros and Sis’s when they intially aired…but I quit watching both of them a few weeks ago. It’s not that I didn’t like them or think they were great…but I needed to go to bed earlier, and on Mondays I tape What About Brian. Soooooo, anyhoo, I’m not “up” on the shows but I do know both characters you mentioned.

    Every week I watched Harriet, holding my breath for her. I just knew she was going to do or say something that would allow the others to slam her. It’s kinda hard to relate to that, being from TX. It seems everyone except the “transient population” is conservative…so usually, I can speak freely w/o fear. (Not that I usually talk about my politics with anyone…I don’t really like getting into political debates where no one will ever be persuaded to change their minds.)

    You know, “tolerance” is pounded into our heads by “Hollywood”, however, not everything is okay to be tolerated. There are those particular groups that are still “okay” to disparage. Groups like: Overweight people, Christians, Southerners, etc. Watch tv and movies and you will not see an overweight person in a lead role…they are always the funny or lazy side-kick. You will see Christians portrayed as idiotic extremists or hypocrites that are actually evil at their core. Southerners are cast as ignorant and backwards.

    Now, I’m not saying there aren’t exceptions to the rule, but they are few.

  8. Mind Doc Says:

    Oooh — great topic, Shelley. I have to go to work (egad!) but I will think about this and post later.

    Bama — your statements remind me of an EIGHT HOUR cultural sensitivity training that I had to endure when I was teaching at the local university (I think that eight hour training sessions are not sensitive to my cultural needs. I am a child of the television generation — my attention span is too short for that). I was struck with the realization that the message was that everything was to be tolerated except for intolerance.

    As to conservatives and being portrayed as buffoons, just look at one of my favorite shows — Boston Legal. It is just one more instance of having to hold my nose to enjoy a television show.

    Great topic.

    (The monkbot looks fabulous, by the way — it will be interesting to see where he goes)

  9. Holeigh Says:

    I love the decorations! The MonkBot is travelling in style. 😉

    AMEN to this conversation…I live in a democratic state but I have managed to attend one of the more conservative colleges in it and I am still in the minority, haha. I wish I didn’t have night classes so I could watch these shows because it would be very nice to see a conservative character who can stand up for herself (who’da thought?! Women are supposed to feel downtrodden and seek a liberal stance…) and be intelligent in her views.

    I remember watching a show (don’t remember what, it was a random episode) recently with my dad where one of the lead male characters was afraid to tell his friends he was a Republican because they hate all right wingers. I was kind of horrified, even though it was a comedy. Liberals are the party of acceptance, no?

    Something else I really liked about Shelley’s original post was what she said about only right wingers being portrayed as extremists. I reeaally can’t stand that as I live with democrats and am friends with many as well and they are probably more extreme than I am…

    Alright, I’ve ranted enough, haha. This is just a subject that’s near and dear to my midwestern, Conservative heart, I guess…thank goodness my family, at least, is of the same persuasion. 😉

  10. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Great topic… It seems that media reflects the opposite of which ever power prevails in government.

    Republican Presidential TV Offerings
    The 70’s

    The 80’s

    And who can forget the rise of this fella during the Clinton administration…
    The 90’s

    Since the dawning of satire, artists have felt the muse of inspiration of commenting on society. Ibsen’s Dollhouse commented on the state of a woman’s place in her home, Miller;s the Crusible spook to the horrible blacklisting witch hunts in the 50’s so on and so forth…yet the interesting thing arrises when these opinions are dressed in thoughtful fully rounded characters rather than in shallow sterotypes and excellent writing.

    I LOVE Studio 60, but Sorkin’s writting tends to be more preachy than I like and Harriet’s character seems to be added as a plot device rather than a genuine interest in depicting both sides of the debate.

    But full disclosure…I do prefer comedy and thoughts about nothing to political fodder…
    laughter for the sake of laughter is my particular brand of escapism…even when it deals with touchy subjects…

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that

  11. shelley Says:

    DD said, “Shelley – I was trying to be funny and entertaining….”

    Add to the growing list of things I shouldn’t do before 9 a.m….try to read blog! Ha….I’m usually clueless before 9. Sorry, DD.

    Shrew said,”yet the interesting thing arrises when these opinions are dressed in thoughtful fully rounded characters rather than in shallow sterotypes and excellent writing” I think you’re so right…and about Sorkin’s preachiness, too. Seriously, I know it’s a television show, but I don’t by all the grand-standing all the time…even from the most extreme of either end. Sometimes people just talk about “stuff.” And the use of Harriet is, sadly enough, all too true.

    And she could be SOOOO much more.

    Maybe you’re right in the escapism thing…and that’s what makes the “overthetopness” work. I mean…I hardly get upset when the arguments and rants come under the guise of comedy…”not that there’s anything wrong with that” indeed. LOL

    Great points, Shrew.

    Okay…I’m home for lunch…quickly hit the highlights and ate a sandwich…heading back to the grindstone.

    Catch y’all after 5 p.m.

  12. ivoryhut Says:

    Woohoo, Monkbot on the move. Our very own Bohemian. Wonder if he’ll have developed multiple personalities by the time we’re through with him. Maybe Mind Doc should be the last stop just to be sure.

    Sorry, can’t comment on the shows because I’m not just on a TV diet, it’s more like fasting.

    Hmm … I wonder why Monkbot had to go express this first time out.

    Shrew, are you really where your Multiply ID says you are? If so, we’re only 25 miles away from each other!

  13. ridearoundsally Says:

    I say YAY to the fish slapping! Right across their cake holes! Nothing like a wet fish across the gob to make your point!

  14. ridearoundsally Says:

    speaking of fish…I thought I was in some bazarre “fishing wedding “site last night..turns out “Carp Weddings” was just some dislexic chick who couldnt type talking about her “Crap” wedding!!! (Im sure you will all sleep better knowing that piece of useless information!!!)*cough*

  15. Squeebee Says:

    Ivoryhut had the same question I do…..why exactly does the Monkbot need to fly first class at this point in is life? Hmmmmm???? Enquiring minds want to know!

  16. Rowan Says:

    Haven’t seen these shows, sadly, but am picking up on your exclamation point comment, Shelley, which Squeebee seconded, with her reference to question-marks. I found this video on YouTube – the daft blogger does not appreciate excessive use of punctuation. As one of his prime targets, an exclamation-mark loving smiley-user often prompted to “lol”, I am not entirely sure whether to laugh at my shortcomings, or throw a brick at him, fellow countryman though he be. (No relation, btw. Just sayin.)
    Smile please

  17. Shelley via Bama Says:

    From Shelley:

    Just to let you folks know…the Express shipping has absolutely NOTHING to do with Gray or Taylor. Sorry for leading you on.

    I should have said I had my OWN reasons for sending it Express.

    Please don’t hit me with a large fish. o–{:8)}

  18. ivoryhut Says:

    Shelley is lucky I am afraid of fish. The thought of having to hold a squirming, slippery fish is enough to deter me from even contemplating hitting her with one.

    However, I do love fish cooked. So maybe Shelley should watch out for a flying heavy platter with a slab of seared sesame-seed-crusted tuna atop it, with a side of seaweed salad.

    Can you tell I just finished preparing dinner?

    Oh well. There goes the mystery. Maybe Shelley just has some phobia of six-toed first-class mail delivery persons misplacing beloved primates (with no delivery confirmation! the horror!), and decided that a day of agonizing uncertainty is just about as much as she can take.

  19. Shrewspeaks Says:

    ivoryhut…I AM a NJ gal…who is in L.A. now via Dallas…tell me plain…are we really on 25 minutes from each other? Must be, cause only us tri-staters talk in minutes rather than miles.

    Wow…mention first-class monkbotting and the whole discussion dies…or was it Rush that did it?

    Anyway…the women next to me on the plane won tickets to the Dancing With Stars finale…They said VOTE FOR EMMITT, so I am spreading the good word.

  20. Rowan Says:

    Ivory…that tuna sounds delicious. My stomach is crying out in despair, as I have had my quota of calories for the day, and more, and am still hungry. Your dish, however, sounds very healthy, so if you have any left over, could you send me some via Wonkavision? Or even Monkavision? Much obliged. The potato chips in the cupboard left over from Halloween are down to the flavourless “Ready salted” variety, which even tomato ketchup can’t cheer up. Sesame seared tuna…bliss. That’s it – I am off to blow the cobwebs from that cookbook I got last Christmas…

    Great to see Mr Monkbot setting- off on his travels.

  21. double d Says:

    M-IT! M-IT! M-IT!

  22. ivoryhut Says:

    Shelley, your blog doesn’t like me. It ate my comment again. It must still be hungry too.

    DD, couldn’t figure out if you were yelling “I’m IT!” as in tag, or telling us which dancer you’re rooting for.

    Rowan, the tuna’s really easy to make. I’d be more than happy to send you some. *has visions of Monkbot the waiter attempting to balance seared tuna on one cymbal, trying to deliver dinner to Rowan*

    Shrew, if the NJ town you listed in your Multiply account is where you live, then yes, we are about 25 miles from each other. Which, in my head, translates to 25 minutes, averaging the 80mph on the parkway/main roads and the 40mph on the local roads.

    (No cops lurking here, right? If there are, then I meant kph, not mph.)

    Enjoy LA! (All of a sudden, I want an In n Out burger …)

  23. shelley Says:

    Okay…Rowan gets the Official Prize of the Day for putting together the most bizarre “menu” I’ve ever read…”The potato chips in the cupboard left over from Halloween are down to the flavourless “Ready salted” variety, which even tomato ketchup can’t cheer up.”

    Ivoryhut, I think DD was yelling for Emmitt…I love Emmitt…but I really love Cheryl. I want to be Cheryl Burke.

    Sorry the blog ate your comment…maybe you should throw your tuna at to chow down on instead. Ha.

    I’ve never had an In ‘n’ Out burger…but all of a sudden I want to travel to L.A. and have one with you and Shrew.

    But, alas, I made a ginormous pot of red beans and rice, which will be my dinner for the rest of the week (it’s a good thing I live alone…well, except for Sadie…poor thing). LOL

  24. Mind Doc Says:

    Yum to In N Out burgers. When you all come to Southern California, the burgers and fries are my treat. Alas, they don’t ship well at all, unlike a certain Monkbot.

  25. Rowan Says:

    Aww, thanks for the pic, Shelley!

    Ivory – I’m thrilled with my seared sesame tuna via Monkbotvision. How very kind!

    Shelley, I am coveting your dinner too – red beans and rice sounds great. Sending a pic on that theme!

    MD – add me to your burger party, please!

  26. Libby Says:


    My favorite new shows of the season are Studio 60 and Brothers and Sisters. I have been “tivo-ing” all season. I must admit it took a few episodes of Studio 60 to really become engaged. At times, I feel like it does move a little slow — and I agree with othere comments that said Harriet is more of a plot device than a real POV to be addressed. The show is not the home run I had hoped for — at the beginning of the season — but give it more time — I think it can be a contender for seasons to come. Hope they add more to Amanda Peet’s McDeere character. Lots of potential with her and Brad Whitford.

    Bros and Sisters reminds me of the feel of Once and Again and 30 -something –I think some of the same producers and writers. Love the dichotomy between Calista and Sally Field’s characters. And love that when heartbreak comes to a little girl– she can still gain comfort from a mother’s arms – regardless of political views. My only complaint about Bros and Sisters – is that there mmay be a few too many sub-plots with such a large family. But I love them all.

    Great topic, Shell —

    I can hardly wait for the Monkbot tour to begin…he deserves to travel first class — he needs to comfortable when embarking on an 8 city / 2 country tour — would we really want anything less for him ?

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