Recently, in an attempt to escape the media gridlock surrounding Donald Trump’s reign of error, I scoured television news and the internet desperately looking for national, non-award show stories. Something else had to be happening in the media besides self-important egomaniacs patting themselves on the back in Washington and Hollywood. All I could find was an orange cat.
And what a hairball that feline has coughed up. Difficult as it might be to believe, a “Wikipedia War” has broken out over Garfield, the cartoon cat.
CAFÉ online news and political satire author, Virgil Texas, recently announced on Twitter that the orange feline has “no gender.” This did not sit well with fans. Consequently, Wikipedia users started editing – and re-editing – the facts around Garfield’s gender. So emphatic and continuous were the edits that Wikipedia eventually locked the page.
Now, the fact that this declaration was made in the same medium used by the president for equally important and fact-based statements should have negated the need for a debate altogether. But debate they did, each side arguing vigorously for days.
Texas’ comment was based on an interview in which Garfield creator, Jim Davis said that the cat was “not really male or female.” But he followed that by saying “or any particular race or nationality, young or old.” Obviously, Davis was talking metaphorically. He meant that Garfield is a representation of anyone and everyone, and not “a particular gender, race, age or ethnicity” because humour should have no boundaries.
However, Davis has further clarified that Garfield has a girlfriend. Of course, the cat could be homosexual. But that might add a whole new debate. It has in the past.
In 1999, Rev. Jerry Falwell led a crusade against a Teletubby for being gay because of its colour, the shape of its antenna and the bag it carried. He staunchly believed that Tinky Winky role-modelled the gay lifestyle to pre-schoolers.
How do you tell a girl Teletubby from a boy? They have no genitalia. So how they became sexual beings for the reverend is a mystery. But considering he once blamed homosexuality for September 11th, Falwell’s crusade said more about him than the giggly, sweet character he vilified.
Gay rumours have also continued to plague Sesame Street’s Burt and Ernie because they live together. So did Chandler and Joey. Oscar and Felix. Lenny and Squiggy. And before you argue “same bedroom,” remember that nothing was going on between Janet, Chrissy and Jack in that two bedroom apartment either despite Mr. Roper’s suspicions.
Of course, the fact that Burt and Ernie aren’t real should negate any possibility that they’re hiding their “true” relationship. Because when they’re not on screen, they’re in a box!
Regardless, Jim Davis says his imaginary cat is a boy. But take this with a grain of salt: Garfield’s owner, Jon, being the responsible pet owner he is, would have had him neutered. And according to my late father, that makes big G an “it.”