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Can Boggle help?
June 3, 2012 8:56 PM   Subscribe

Boggle is worried about you! Boggle is also an owl. A cartoon owl offers advice about depression, anxiety and surviving abuse.

It all started when tumblr user pyrrhiccomedy drew a cartoon owl to send out a virtual hug to their internet friends. Over 99,000 users spread the image throughout tumblr, sparking an advice column of sorts where little Boggle gently urges folks to stay strong.

Here's a roundup of popular posts.
posted by The demon that lives in the air (49 comments total) 101 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love this owly doodle so much, and a good part of that is because of the attention given to actual owly-like poses in each doodle.
posted by elizardbits at 8:59 PM on June 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I am floored by this. This is SO GOOD.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:15 PM on June 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


the attention given to actual owly-like poses in each doodle

I know, right? The poses are delightful.

Somewhere in the Boggle archive, the author mentions that they've worked with parrots, who have similar feet to owls. I assume the poses are drawn from that experience.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 9:20 PM on June 3, 2012


I feel like if I asked Boggle how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, or if it's possible to give a hoot and still pollute, he'd probably just look at me with those big worried eyes, tilt his head, and ask if everything is okay.
posted by mattdidthat at 9:21 PM on June 3, 2012 [19 favorites]


Made-up statistics say that owls are the most trustworthy birds ever, so I feel like I have to believe his(her?) adorable canted head.
posted by smirkette at 9:23 PM on June 3, 2012


Damn softie.
posted by The Owls at 9:30 PM on June 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


This one is my favorite. Everyone needs a hug.
posted by immlass at 9:33 PM on June 3, 2012


It's hard not to repost that damned owlet-petting video.
posted by Nomyte at 9:40 PM on June 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Just amazing and delightful, thank you.
posted by Georgina at 9:47 PM on June 3, 2012


pretty good advice, this looks great
posted by facetious at 10:05 PM on June 3, 2012


If I were Boggle, I'd tell you that it's ok to feel lost and scared and disgusted sometimes.

If I were Boggle, I'd say that there is still art and beauty and kindness in the world, and that it's worth sticking around for.

If I were Boggle, I'd suggest that maybe it might help to step away from the news for a while, and talk to somebody who can really listen to you or maybe give you a hug.

If I were Boggle, I'd tell you to hold on, and that it's ok to ask for help.

Boggle cares. So do I.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 10:33 PM on June 3, 2012 [29 favorites]


This is amazing. Thanks for posting.
posted by Edogy at 10:35 PM on June 3, 2012


If I were an owl, I would eat a mouse. That would be my advice, loquacious. I would eat a mouse.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:44 PM on June 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


Ok, that's two comments I've made in this thread that have been deleted without a note. I thought it was policy to send a message or leave a note in thread?
posted by loquacious at 11:01 PM on June 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


[loq, I'm sorry you're having a rough time but maybe drop us a line at the contact form if you need to talk about mefi policy stuff.]
posted by cortex at 11:05 PM on June 3, 2012


And I would not eat a mouse, but I would certainly bite a Tootsie Pop.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:05 PM on June 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I guess I'm not doing as well as I thought I was because I really needed this tonight. Thanks for posting this.
posted by Phire at 11:40 PM on June 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yes, I'm sure loq could use a good long talk about "mefi policy stuff". Nice one.

Anywhoo, you don't know me loquacious, but I know you, and I love you man. I got one of my biggest laughs on metafilter reading your "Try Icy Hot" comment way back when. Love is the reason to stick around.
posted by metaplectic at 11:46 PM on June 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The deleted comment is on my profile. I'm not in danger. Please don't harass the mods, the issue is mainly resolved.
posted by loquacious at 12:00 AM on June 4, 2012


Thank you for this - I think this is lovely. We've seen caring owls before, obviously Boggle comes from that line of owl.
posted by Salmonberry at 12:17 AM on June 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Thanks for that! I am still having a really hard time over a breakup, so sometimes it's hard to think positively. If they had a plushie Boogle I would totally buy it and tell it all my troubles.

Owls are awesome :)

also, THANK YOU Salmonberry for that link - I've been searching everywhere for that post
posted by littlesq at 1:41 AM on June 4, 2012


Thank you for posting this. I hope that others can be helped by it as much as I have.
posted by nigeline at 2:02 AM on June 4, 2012


Aww. I just need a Boggle to counsel me on the shitty day at work I'm about to have and the one after that and the one after that...
posted by Jess the Mess at 3:49 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh look, Boggle is offering a caring ear to people who are having a rough time, and he's doing it without any concern for "liability" or "people suing." How about that.

Bitter? Me?
posted by Gator at 4:13 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is just plain nice, and I am glad it exists.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:29 AM on June 4, 2012


He's not a very cute owl. I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur of cute owls, and I'm afraid Boggle doesn't do much for me in that respect.

But, this made me feel a little bit better today, and that's what's important.
I hope I didn't hurt Boggle's feelings.
posted by Gordafarin at 5:35 AM on June 4, 2012


I had to skip work today due to depression, so thanks for the post. And thanks Boggle.
posted by giraffe at 6:53 AM on June 4, 2012


Am I the only one who finds this cloying and twee? And I have nothing against owls, mind you.
posted by scratch at 6:53 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd rather Boggle be cloying and twee than self-consciously and smirkingly wink-wink straining-for-ironic like so much of what passes for cultural flotsam these days.
posted by blucevalo at 8:35 AM on June 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


Am I the only one who finds this cloying and twee? And I have nothing against owls, mind you.

When nobody ever even gave you anything like this type of understanding and unconditional caring, it seems incredible, not cloying.

This is one of my all time favorite posts.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:02 AM on June 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


I have something in my eye.
posted by Decimask at 9:22 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Boggle is the Mr. Rogers of the avian world.
posted by Decimask at 9:25 AM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Boggle may have a little competition from a caring lion.
posted by Salmonberry at 9:29 AM on June 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


To each his own, I guess. Call me a snob, but I can't see having a whole lot in common with people who lean on a cartoon owl to get them through the worst times in life.* But whatever.

*I pretty much feel the same way about people who feel that way about bearded cartoon characters in the sky.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:37 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


leftcoastbob: "To each his own, I guess. Call me a snob, but I can't see having a whole lot in common with people who lean on a cartoon owl to get them through the worst times in life.* But whatever"

That's kind of weirdly condescending. Why extrapolate appreciation of something nice that someone is doing to a generic statement about "people who lean on a cartoon owl to get them through the worst times in life"? We know pretty much nothing about the people who are writing in to this Tumblr other than they're feeling kinda shitty in that moment, and they reached out to someone who was open to having people reach out to them. I don't think this single action says anything intrinsic about these people, or how much you might have in common with them.

Different people cope with problems differently, right? Some people eat chocolate, some people watch movies, some people withdraw, some people muscle through it, and some people look at well-intentioned art on the internet. If it's not for you, it's not for you. You don't have to make a value judgment about people who do derive some form of enjoyment from this Tumblr.
posted by Phire at 10:10 AM on June 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


posted by leftcoastbob Call me a snob, but I can't see having a whole lot in common with people who lean on a cartoon owl to get them through the worst times in life.* But whatever.

Do you have a whole lot in common with people who lean on Ask MetaFilter to get them through the worst times in life?
posted by mattdidthat at 10:14 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


leftcoastbob: I can put this even simpler.

Those who shit on anything positive that helps people going through tough times get through the day, no matter how twee, silly, or sad they think it is, are the lowest of the low. When people are going through a tough time, any hand hold they can grab onto as they flail about could be the one that saves their life - literally. How dare you try to take away an avenue of assistance to others because you think it's beneath you.
posted by Punkey at 10:26 AM on June 4, 2012 [14 favorites]


Boggle's simple, kind words remind me of Mister Rogers. And it doesn't get any cooler than that.
posted by HotToddy at 10:56 AM on June 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


Or on preview what Decimask said! But I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks so.
posted by HotToddy at 11:07 AM on June 4, 2012


Boggle made me smile today, which is exactly what I needed. For those of you who don't understand him, congratulations. You don't need a cartoon owl to make you smile today. Some of us do. I hope that one day when you need it, something like Boggle will be there for you.
posted by msbutah at 11:23 AM on June 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


How dare you try to take away an avenue of assistance to others because you think it's beneath you.

I sure wouldn't try to take anything away an avenue of assistance to anyone and I apologize if I gave the impression that I would try to do so. It's not my cup of tea but again--whatever. "Lowest of the low" seems a bit harsh but if it makes you feel better to call people that, then go right ahead.
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:58 AM on June 4, 2012


"To each his own, I guess. Call me a snob, but I can't see having a whole lot in common with people who lean on a cartoon owl to get them through the worst times in life.* But whatever"

When the people who you were supposed to lean on in your childhood were a source of abuse and harm, it becomes difficult to interact with people directly, because "help" is associated with "abuse." But an owl is not a person. That helps one listen to what is being said because a fear of humans is not triggered.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:20 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Being talked to like a child by a cutesy cartoon owl makes me depressed.
posted by Decani at 4:55 PM on June 4, 2012


leftcoastbob, there are many people who need to hear the things this owl is saying and there's nobody to say them but the owl. When you're depressed, you don't think clearly and you tend not to realize obvious things like you aren't the worst person in the world.

I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt here, but you should know that Call me a snob, but I can't see having a whole lot in common with people who lean on a cartoon owl to get them through the worst times in life comes across as very superior and condescending.

A couple of the Boggle posts made me choke up a little. I'm having a tough time--pretty depressed, dealing with chronic pain, and unemployed--and it's lonely and hard. It means a lot to have someone understand, even if it's just a cartoon.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 5:02 PM on June 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


At first glance, I thought that this Boggle was a little bit silly and kind if lame. And then I read past the first page and found myself thinking that the person behind the owl is one hell of a kind person that is doing a damn fine job of making miserable or troubled people feel better.

As I kept reading, I realized that the advice that little owl is dishing out is really good stuff. So cheers to you, Boggle. Keep up the good work.
posted by empatterson at 5:37 PM on June 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


This is wonderful, but it also makes me worry for the person behind Boggle. I used to follow someone on tumblr that gained a reputation as someone strangers could reach out to if they needed advice, or a self esteem boost, or just acknowledgement that they existed.

At first it was great, but it very quickly became more than he could cope with, until he had to decamp to a new identity to save his own mental health.

I just hope that there's a team of people behind Boggle, or at the very least that Boggle knew exactly what he was signing up for and has his own Boggle to unburden on.
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 5:51 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


As I kept reading, I realized that the advice that little owl is dishing out is really good stuff. So cheers to you, Boggle. Keep up the good work.

The first thing he does is let them know that their symptoms are ok. It's huge. Cuts the judgmental voice right out of it.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:48 PM on June 4, 2012


The creator of Boggle answers some questions. She seems like just the sweetest person ever.
posted by Phire at 9:55 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow this is awesome. Thank you for posting it.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:57 PM on June 7, 2012


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