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Overthinking a plate of Whos
December 19, 2012 9:06 AM   Subscribe

All the Whos Down in Whoville are Aliens
But just what are the Whos down in Whoville? Are they human? What is the Grinch? What’s the connection between these Whos and the Whos living on the speck-of-dust planet in Horton Hears a Who!? Are those Whos who Horton heard the same species of Whos of which Cyndi Lou Who (who was not more than two) is a member?
Related: Is Whoville located on a Who Planet? Previously on the Blue: The Grinch.
posted by asnider (43 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Was that written by China Miéville?
posted by gurple at 9:18 AM on December 19, 2012


Never underestimate the ability of a grown man to take the fun out of something intended for children.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:19 AM on December 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


And what's with the weird Illuminati lyrics to Welcome Christmas?
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:20 AM on December 19, 2012


This sounds a lot like the kind of conversations my college friends and I would get into at 3 am during mid-terms; you know, the ones fueled by sleep deprivation and maybe a little pot.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:20 AM on December 19, 2012


Never underestimate the ability of a grown man to take the fun out ofput additional fun into something intended for children.
posted by gurple at 9:20 AM on December 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


Aliens!
posted by Splunge at 9:24 AM on December 19, 2012


Is Whoville located on a Who Planet?

It's called Gallifrey.
posted by kmz at 9:27 AM on December 19, 2012 [16 favorites]


Aliens or otherwise - If we are going to have a Grinch thread then it really should be mandatory to post a link to "You're a mean one, Mister Grinch" - and to identify Thurl Ravenscroft (who appeared in several Dr Seuss films) as the singer - since the credits in the 1966 film failed to do so. both of these facts are mentioned in the "related" threads - but the links do not work
posted by rongorongo at 9:28 AM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Gah, a few days ago on a bookstore Muzak I actually hear some modern brainless pop star singing a soprano version of You're a Mean One, Mister Grinch, with inappropriate minor-key touches. It made my ears ache.
posted by JHarris at 9:37 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


rongorongo: "Aliens or otherwise - If we are going to have a Grinch thread then it really should be mandatory to post a link to "You're a mean one, Mister Grinch " - and to identify Thurl Ravenscroft (who appeared in several Dr Seuss films) as the singer - since the credits in the 1966 film failed to do so. both of these facts are mentioned in the "related" threads - but the links do not work"

Also, he was rumoured to be one of the three singing busts in Disney's Haunted Mansion ride.
posted by Samizdata at 9:47 AM on December 19, 2012


Something about the Seuss universe, and in particular about the idea of it as an actual place where living beings would have to exist...

.. it's deeply horrific to me. Not sure why.
posted by Drexen at 9:50 AM on December 19, 2012


Something about the Seuss universe, and in particular about the idea of it as an actual place where living beings would have to exist...

.. it's deeply horrific to me. Not sure why.


Probably it's because the image is triggering your deeply repressed memories of watching terrible Jim Carrey movies.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:53 AM on December 19, 2012


I think in the live action movie, the world of The Grinch takes place on a snowflake tumbling through the air...

...which of course led me through a long thought out scenario where The Whos and Who Civilization realize this and the impending impact with The Ground. In order to save their world they construct huge propellers and air-foils to try and control Their World's decent. Chaos Reigns.
posted by hellojed at 9:55 AM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think this is largely successful because children don’t have the same genre prejudices of many adult readers. This is interesting because it’s not like Dr. Seuss created some lame half-assed fictional worlds. If anything, the opposite is true. The worlds he creates might be slap-you-in-the-face metaphors, but the texture to these places feels, well, real.

Dude, the genre prejudices are coming from inside the blog post. Abusing "real" as though it were the appropriate term of praise for a richly rendered but purely fantastic fictional world is just naively playing back into realism's hand. What makes the Seussian universe compelling has nothing to do with "feeling real" at all; it's about charm, imagination, and an unreality that is compelling on its own fictional terms, in its own fantastical way.
posted by RogerB at 9:58 AM on December 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think in the live action movie...

If you are going to use language like that, then I'm going to have to ask you to leave the thread.

Now.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:00 AM on December 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Aliens or otherwise - If we are going to have a Grinch thread then it really should be mandatory to post a link to "You're a mean one, Mister Grinch "

This is one of my favorite things Seuss has written, particularly the line about being nauseated with a nauseous super naus!
posted by cottoncandybeard at 10:04 AM on December 19, 2012


Also previously on the blue,
Night Falls on Whoheim
posted by zabuni at 10:20 AM on December 19, 2012


".. it's deeply horrific to me. Not sure why."

~Think you've got it hard? Think of poor Harry Haddow.
Try as he might, he can't make any shadow!~

That right there would be pretty creepy.
posted by Phyllis Harmonic at 10:23 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


All the WTFs down in WTFVille liked beanplating a bunch. But the Munch who lived just north of WTFVille didn't like it that much!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:24 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


On a semi-related note: Here's Big Boi reading The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, in its entirety.
posted by Rangeboy at 10:28 AM on December 19, 2012


Also, he was rumoured to be one of the three singing busts in Disney's Haunted Mansion ride.


Five singing busts, at least, in the Magic Kingdom at WDW. He's the 2nd from the left -- the one that's broken and has the head laying on the ground off to the side of his shoulders.

Still singing, of course, and singing lead, though he's singing a bass line.
posted by eriko at 10:37 AM on December 19, 2012


What? This is ridiculous. OBVIOUSLY they are the same Whos (NOT aliens, inhabitants of earth, albeit a dust speck part of it), providing a really important lesson; a person really IS a person no matter how small. It's one thing to get this lesson from Horton Hears Who where you can still feel kind of smug and superior like "oh we are so nice, being supportive of these tiny people". It's like when you pat yourself on the back for allowing someone different into your group of friends or for self-consciously accepting them at work; the way you feel good about yourself is still othering. It's entirely different when you take the Whos (or your friend or coworker or whoever) as the real stars of the show and begin thinking about them on their level. When you realize that a whole beloved story is actually set on what (to us) is a little speck of dust, at first it makes the story seem smaller and less majestic and impressive and then you realize that the point of Horton Hears a Who is that of course it's not any less majestic; a person really is a person, no matter how small.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:41 AM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


If we are going to have a Grinch thread then it really should be mandatory to post a link to "You're a mean one, Mister Grinch"

Without knowing anything about singing or burlesque when I hear this song I feel a strong desire to do a burlesque version. I feel like I could do a hell of a job belting it out while wearing a feather boa and sequins and writhing around on a piano.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:45 AM on December 19, 2012


How do the Whos know about Christmas? Are they followers of Jesus? Did the Who Jews also crucify him, or some avatar of God's Son, or are they free riding on Humans' fulfillment of prophecy?
posted by Infinity_8 at 11:26 AM on December 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm currently out on tour mixing the musical How The Grinch Stole Christmas and I have to say, every time I look up from the soundboard at the stage I feel like someone slipped a bunch of acid in my waterbottle.
posted by aloiv2 at 11:29 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


"You're a mean one, Mister Grinch "

What a missed opportunity that Pete, Roger, John, and Keith never covered that. They could've worked it into Tommy somehow:
Did you ever see the faces of the children they get so excited
    (Fah who foraze dah who doraze fah who foraze dah who doraze)
Waking up on Christmas morning hours before the winter sun's ignited
    (Fah who foraze dah who doraze fah who foraze dah who doraze)
How do the Whos know about Christmas? Are they followers of Jesus?

Cindy Lou can you hear me?
How can she be sa-a-a-ved?
 
posted by Herodios at 11:35 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


(BTW: I'm not anti-Semitic or anti-Israel or even anti-Zionist. I'm a Christian who goes to church each Sunday and most Wednesdays. However, I just couldn't resist typing "Who Jews")
posted by Infinity_8 at 11:39 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


aloiv2: Don't eat the brown Who pudding.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:40 AM on December 19, 2012


How do the Whos know about Christmas?

It's possible they are a Germanic tribe that celebrates Yule. The Grinch is actually the Morbach Monster.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:51 AM on December 19, 2012


Fear of a Who planet?
posted by stevis23 at 11:52 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


(BTW: I'm not anti-Semitic or anti-Israel or even anti-Zionist. I'm a Christian who goes to church each Sunday and most Wednesdays. However, I just couldn't resist typing "Who Jews")

"But whatever the reason, his heart or his shoes,
He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating the Jews."
posted by The Bellman at 12:10 PM on December 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


You're a mean one, Hitler Grinch...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:16 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


You're a mean one, Hitler Grinch...

I'll bet you'd invade... 39 1/2 Foot Poland!
posted by cottoncandybeard at 12:56 PM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


All the Who Jews in Whoville
Liked Whonakkah a lot
But the Goyrinch, who lived just north of Whoville...
Oy vey. That meshuggener hated it.

The Goyrinch hated Whonakkah, the whole Whonakkah season
Don't ask me why. What do I look like? Some sort of library or something where you can go and get all the answers? Do you want to hear the story or not?
Where was I?
Oh yeah. Why? Maybe his head wasn't screwed on right. Maybe his shoes were too tight. Probably bought them from my idiot brother-in-law. Or maybe his heart was too small. I'm thinking it was the shoes.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 12:59 PM on December 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Bellman - we have joked about that on this production a couple of times, and I was chatting with one of the higher ups; apparently in the original printing of the script for this show, that was actually printed as a joke.

Another interesting fact: the show refers to the Whos being "twenty scheckels shy" when shopping for gifts...Jews for Jesus?
posted by aloiv2 at 1:51 PM on December 19, 2012


I just realized that the setup for The Grinch Stole Christmas is remarkably similar to that of Beowulf.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 2:10 PM on December 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


also I think the animated one from 2007 was underrated, but that's neither here nor there.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 2:11 PM on December 19, 2012


Fear of a Who Planet
posted by saturday_morning at 2:21 PM on December 19, 2012


Hell, I used to babysit for twins who liked watching it in the middle of August, and why not?

I am old enough to remember that you used to have to wait an entire year to see any Holiday Special again and, if you missed it... out of luck for another whole year

This always occurs to me around the holidays and I'm still amazed by it.

posted by mmrtnt at 3:37 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Every Scylding in Heorot liked mead a lot,
But Grendel the beast roaring outside did not.
Grendel hated Scyldings, the whole Danish clan,
Can i say why? I don't think I can.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 4:18 PM on December 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


I always imagined the Grinch was some mutated version of one of the Sneetches. Like he was Smeagol who fell under the power of the Who-ring (possibly a Who-Whoover or gar-ginker) and then moved up to Mount Crumpit to gradually become Gollum.
posted by fishmasta at 5:46 PM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm currently out on tour mixing the musical How The Grinch Stole Christmas and I have to say, every time I look up from the soundboard at the stage I feel like someone slipped a bunch of acid in my waterbottle.

you'd notice it a lot more on the soundboard, assuming it has any metering whatsoever

posted by flaterik at 6:38 PM on December 19, 2012


Ok, writing those first four lines hooked me. I just had to do the whole thing.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:59 PM on December 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


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