Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What the Meep Do We Know!?

"At Muppet Labs, the future is being made today!"

And with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew in charge, that future does not look too bright.  The goals of science are to understand the ways of the world and then use that knowledge to enhance the lives of humans and to better the world.  While seemingly competent, Dr. Honeydew seems to have gotten his wires crossed when it comes to the betterment of the world.  Through what could only be described as magic, Bunsen has created countless inventions that manage to work despite disobeying the laws of physics.  Unfortunately, despite harnessing god-like powers, Bunsen's inventions only cover trivial problems that he believes plague the world and must be stopped.  Electric nose warmers, edible paperclips, and banana sharpeners are just a few of the creations altering life as we know it, thanks to Muppet Labs.

Finally, office supplies and snacks in one handy location!

Whenever Bunsen succeeds in making something useful, he sends in his hapless assistant to test out the kinks.

There are always kinks.

As the assistant, Beaker must endure all of the grunt work necessary to create these magnificent accomplishments.  We often find the scientists in their testing phase of the new inventions, and Beaker is forced to volunteer to be the guinea pig on which these miracles of technology are performed.  His will having been pulverized into dust ages ago, his fruitless attempts to escape the experiments are met with condescending remarks and laughter from his superior.  His voice has evolved into a series of high-pitched "meeps," for these are the only sounds of protest he can muster.  This gibberish has replaced his vocabulary entirely, suggesting the long, grueling hours he has spent in the lab.

Beaker's first appearance.  He is already suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The years of abuse from his nonchalant boss are enough to drive anyone mad.  But Beaker trudges on, in a state of perpetual panic.

Beaker's character is reminiscent of the member of an older comedy duo, Stan Laurel of "Laurel and Hardy."  In the usual routine, Laurel's ineptitude would put create hardships for Hardy, putting the two in "another fine mess."  Quick to anger, Hardy would berate his companion, causing Laurel to immediately burst in to tears and try to fight through his sadness and fear.  It is this anxious state that is encapsulated in Beaker's persona.

The torture that Beaker must experience can be all to familiar to our hard-working scientists trying out new hypotheses and being met with failure.  It makes one wonder why Beaker does not just quit.  It will relieve him of his pain and trauma.  He will suffer no more broken bones, random explosions, or accidental cloning.  He will be free to live life in a blissful state, free from the hardships and electrocutions that most definitely await him whenver he enters the lab.

Yet he stays.

He can not turn his back on the world that easily.  It is not only his duty to experiment, it is his passion.  The answers to the universe are within his grasp and it would be wrong to ignore them after he has come so far.  Ignorance may be enough for some, but not for good ol' Beaker.  He selflessly places himself in harm's way for the advancment of mankind.  He has seen and experienced phenomena only dreamed of in the minds of our great thinkers.  No other puppet scientist has personal time-travel, teleportation, and rapid matter reduction/growth on their resume.  His is a career to be envied.  It may take a toll on his body and mind, but he is connecting with the universe in a way no one else has.

At the very least, he's grown more cautious.

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