Monthly Archives: July 2012

John K. talks about his “Simpsons” opening

First of all, how did I miss this.

Last year, The Simpsons commissioned an opening couch gag from British street artist Banksy that contained a cockeyed look at the working conditions of overseas animators. This year, which marks the show’s remarkable 23rd season, the producers of the mustard-family went a step further and debuted a new couch gag last night by Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi.

Here is the full opening:

Check out the interview for insights into this clip — and animation in general — from one of the most influential animators of our time.

Deer, peyote, and rain

The Huichol people are almost unique in the Americas. Protected by the fortresslike Sierra Madre mountains, the group had escaped notice by Europeans when they arrived in the 16th century. Huichol culture remained virtually unchanged, providing a rare 21st-century window into pre-Columbian times.

In the literature, Boyd read of a peculiar Huichol pilgrimage during the rainy season to Wirikuta, a desert plateau they considered their sacred homeland in the northeast. There they collected peyote, a hallucinogenic cactus that helps them contact ancestral spirits in the otherworld.

Boyd was intrigued by the way the Huichol gathered peyote. They stayed low and moved across the plateau holding bows and arrows. It was the same way they hunted deer. To the Huichol, deer and peyote were a single sacred symbol. When one of the pilgrims found a peyote cactus peeking above­ground in the desert, he pulled his bowstring taut and shot an arrow through its center. He was “slaying” the peyote, but he was also slaying a deer. Boyd recalled the speared dots and deer in the ancient paintings. She wondered: Could she find a connection to peyote there as well?

For most of the year, peyote stays hidden below ground; only when it rains does it become visible on the surface. Deer follow the same pattern. During drought in arid environments, deer are absent, but as soon as it rains, they travel great distances to eat sprouting vegetation. Deer, peyote, and rain: The three are all linked.

via Decoding the Ancient Secrets of White Shaman | Archaeology | DISCOVER Magazine.