Meaning of Love in "Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 3"
Welcome to another video breakdown by yours truly! Becky and Joe are back and they've brought all the familiar characters back for the third installment of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared!
During their hiatus I was beginning to think I wouldn't be writing another analysis on the internet's favorite puppets! Luckily the kickstarter campaign seems to have gone well and on Halloween of 2013 Don’t Hug Me I'm Scared 3 dropped and once again ThisIsItCollective has sent us a new nightmare to dwell on.
That being said a lot of viewers have commented that they missed the gruesomeness that the first two Don't Hug Me videos introduced us to. That means no crazy psychotic rave trip-scene in the kitchen with a cake made of blood and entrails and no time speed up showing the decay of the characters as they beg for mercy. Leave it to the internet to demand blood and violence right?
The lack of extreme shock value here does not mean any loss of meaning. Becky and Joe (the creators) did not start this series strictly for shock value. People like those at ThisIsItCollective are artists and were using the shock value to get through to the viewer but now that they have a following they can return to their norm. Which appears to be just weird humor (the best of humors) that still has an underlying message that bleeds through.
Speaking of the underlying message, what the hell was this new video about?! Haven't seen it yet? I've put it just below so take a look and I'll give you my interpretation of what "Love" is all about!
There have been 3 episodes of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared now and I've tried to take a good hard look at each one. If there's one thing I've learned it's that the more you watch the more a story comes into focus. Becky and Joe don't just arbitrarily slap lyrics and scenes together, there is always a deeper meaning. Taking that into account, you have to be sure to realize that pretty much everything I say here is only my opinion and what I pulled from my multiple viewings. We may never know what the creators are trying to say but we can always look at their art and do our best to pull out meaning. The problem is whatever you do pull out must also reflect yourself which is what makes everyone's opinion so valuable; your opinion on something is a mixture of the something's message and your own personal beliefs.
Okay, now lets grab our thinking caps and dive in!
So first things first, that was different. Don't Hug Me I'm Scared Creativity and Time both had a certain amount of shock value (especially at the last 30-40 seconds) but this one took a different approach.
The most notable difference is of course that there is less blood and gore than the previous two episodes. Instead of being in your face about the nastiness of their theme they decided to slowly slip in bits here and there until you realize that this video is NOT about love. Or at least, not about love how I see it.
As usual with the Don't Hug Me series there's a LOT going. I've snapped a few shots from the video that I find important to understanding the overall theme or meaning. Lets break it down piece by piece!
An Easy To Miss, Yet Very Important Clue...
The Right Wing and the "Cult of Love"
Right off the bat I have to start a fight with the religious right in this free country. It's not my favorite thing in the world, poking fun at the overly religious, but Becky and Joe lay it out for us in Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 3. With your first viewing (or the first half of your viewing) you'd be totally justified to say that this actually is about Love. However, it's hard to hold on to that as they gradually start bringing up a very specific version of love. Of course, this is the religious version of love.
So the third installment of Don't Hug Me is about the religious views on love. Easy enough right? NOT even. Take a closer look at the picture I've snapped from their picnic and you'll find a very familiar publication. That's right, the return of The Right Wing. It's not easy to make out but it's definitely there and Becky and Joe aren't ones to just throw that in for no real reason. So you have to imagine it not only has a huge role in the theme of the video but the creators wanted us to find it. I'm inclined to say that this whole video and the silly ideas of love proposed (hah) here are poking at the political right. Specifically the religious right.
Politics are not my strong point in any way. What I do know is that nobody really knows what's going on anymore because political leaders and big business leaders change roles and positions so fast. One thing that can be said is that there is a lot of talk in American media about exactly what the religious right wishes to push. Take a look at this snippet I snapped from the Christian Right page on Wikipedia.
My favorite part in there is where it says "The Christian right is notable today for advancing socially conservative positions on issues including school prayer, intelligent design, stem cell research, homosexuality, contraception, abortion, and pornography." Funny that the Christian (or religious) right is responsible for pushing all that ridiculous shit that the government has no right to enforce. Controlling contraception? No pornography? Jeez, you'd think they didn't want you to have sex at all! … Oh yeah, we're supposed to save ourselves for our "special one".
The way the video is presented it's not too difficult to realize it's poking at the cultish view of Love our country has but after spotting The Right Wing I don't think it's too far of a stretch to assume that Becky and Joe aren't just making fun of the idea but are outright blaming the Christian right for forcing these views onto our society. It's another example of how our media is more of a distraction than anything. I mean, how else can you explain our politicians sitting around debating what the bible defines as a "real" marriage when our own vets are committing suicide at an almost hourly rate (to the point that more have killed themselves after coming back from the war versus those that died in the war), or when children in our own back yard are dying of starvation? If you keep the people squabbling among themselves you can keep them from looking and thinking about real human problems.
Enter the dream/trip world of the "Cult of Love"
The sequence in the clouds is the part where the video starts to get interesting. This episode may not have a crazy blood bath scene but the trippyness is still apparent. Take a look at the picture I clipped above. It's a happy unreal place with a fancy rainbow in the background so we know for sure this can't be real. There's two things that I believe are very important to understand.
First, take a look at the clouds. They're the creepiest character in the scene and they appear to be watching over, or monitoring, the entire situation. Almost as if they have a vested interest in how the yellow guy reacts to this invitation to the "Cult of Love" as the internet now refers to it. There's two ways that this gets explained in my head. One, they're the Christian right that I've been talking about making sure that the youth of the coming generation (the yellow guy) accepts the rules of their glorified version of love. The other way to look at it may just be remnants of the previous episodes influencing how I look at it but as I see it they could also represent the people in charge of televised programming for kids. In that scenario they are just using their power to control the way the youth is thinking.
Of course the second theory could be outdated as the creators made their theory about media control quite clear in Don't Hug Me I'm Scared Creativity but the continued use of the puppet medium and the recurring 1906 (check out my analysis of DHMIS2:TIME for 1906 breakdown) points to Becky and Joe always poking at the regulations of the media so it's really up to you how you take it. Either way the ominous clouds are watching over and make no mistake; they do have vested interest in how the coming generations think.
When I originally caught this picture it was strictly for the fact that it was my favorite scene. It just caught me off guard especially the first time because I was looking for so much meaning. After a bit of time had passed I realized that it is an important scene! If there's a pattern I've noticed it's that Becky and Joe like to present a scene and almost immediately drop a clue about its meaning or true intention. Just like at the beginning where it presented the group and had the right wing newspaper in the shot.
So why does this puppet's tone and look change as he instructs "Harder!"? Simply put it's a clue to the intention of these new "friends" in the Cult of Love. At first it looks like a happy positive place. There's no reason to not trust these friendly critters in the happy trip-like world they reside in UNTIL he says harder. Almost as if letting you know this amazingly positive trip has another darker meaning behind it.
Your Special One and The Story of Michael
Then comes the push for your soul mate. They call it your "special one" but the implications are pretty easy to figure out. The Christian right have made it clear that they don't want you to have sex. It's just that simple. No pornography, no contraception and no abortion leaves very little room for sexual exploration.
Sex is a difficult subject especially when it comes to young ones transitioning into adulthood. It's got to the point where parents don't even talk about it with their kids anymore! It's officially the responsibility of the school system, which is a joke. I had that class in the fourth grade and I remember coming out a lot with a lot more questions than answers.
So what does a "special one" have to do with this? They want you to put up ridiculous expectations and have a vision of your soul mate (just as the yellow guy's special one isn't even real in the illusionary cloud place) that is just so perfect that you probably won't find them. And even if you do, it'll be many years before you stumble upon them. If they get all children to grow up believing this it becomes easier to enforce the other silly rules they want.
Don't get me wrong, I believe in monogamy as a practice (I'm a married man!). I even believe that we fit together perfectly but that doesn't mean I have to accept the idea that God created my perfect other and I had to wait to find her. But this article isn't about my views on spirituality and soul mate's so we'll save that for another day!
So as a lead of up to the story of Michael lets review what leads up to it.
First the butterfly (pesky bee?) explains that the yellow guy looks sad and it's because he's lonely (even though he was clearly upset for a different reason). Once the yellow guy is thoroughly confused the butterfly explains all about the cult-like version of love and claims that every person has a special one out there that they should save themselves for. The group of animals and plants then proceed to show a story where a boy named Michael lives alone under the ground depressed. ... Huh?
What I absorbed from this is that there isn't a special one for everyone. Our society propagates the idea that everyone has a soul mate waiting out there when in reality there are a lot of people who die alone. I'd be willing to wager a few that die alone were still waiting for their special one to find them instead of going out and living life which is the real way to find someone special. Working on yourself and trying to grow on an individual level will not only bring out the best version of yourself but also attract people to your world.
It's also worth noting that I've heard the theory that Michael is Malcom the King Of Love all grown up. I haven't seen much to backs that up though so you'll have to find someone else to explain that. If you do find a good reasoning for this, let me know in the comments! I'd love to hear some new theories.
Malcolm The King of Love
If you've ever taken any hallucinogen then you're aware of how fast a trip can take a left turn. This is the equivalent of that left turn. Even the yellow guy lets out a "wha-?" when the group of animals and plants mention that they worship a "King of Love".
For sure, it's an odd scene. There wasn't much I could find that can really explain this King of Love so I had to go entirely based on what was presented in the video. The only real clue is that they feed him rocks or gravel.
They feed the King rocks. That is all I had to try to find some sort of meaning to this creature. It finally hit me as I finished a shower late last week! There is only one other stone/rock in the entire video and it'sfound around the neck of the yellow guy's special one! Take a look at the pic I have of her.
That's right, a diamond. Seems like a stretch a first, but also take a look at the yellow guy once he adorns his robe a the end. A piece of jewelry around his neck. Take a look at the picture of the King of Love. He has stones down by his neck area. And where is the special one's diamond? Around the neck of course!
What I'm assuming the creators are saying is that the cult version of love demands a constant feed of jewelry or shiny rocks to keep it going. It's a form of materialism that's built in with love right down to the traditional diamond ring. That's why they "feed" the King of Love with "rocks" to keep him happy.
Again, I can't be sure about this theory and it is a bit of a stretch. If anyone has any better theories let me know!
The Cult of Love
The final scene of the yellow guy's dream/hallucination shows him in a robe surrounded by friends and previous Don't Hug Me I'm Scared friends Tony the Ticking Clock, Paigenote and even the angry father figure. It's a pretty scary scene for the yellow guy because he's strapped down and forced to join what has become known as "The Cult of Love".
A couple of interesting notes, the father and the yellow guy are wearing the same robe while Tony and Paigenote have a white robe on. I haven't really done much research on cults but if there's one thing I've seen before is that those who wear the white robes are sometimes the conductors of the cult operations. Other times, everyone wears a white robe. So take what you will from that. Also, since when does Paigenote even have a body?
Something a lot of people may miss is the eyes of both Tony and Paigenote. There's a lot that can be learned from just that! Tony's eyes are completely white. The mixture of that and him being at the yellow guy's initiation tells me that the creators believe that time (and more precisely how we look at/use it) contributes to the foul version of commercial love propagated by America these days. Paigenote, on the other hand, seems upset. Almost depressed by what she's witnessing. The almost universally accepted explanation of this character is that she's a teacher who in the first Don't Hug Me video taught our characters about creativity. Thinking along these lines I've come to the idea that she knows exactly what's happening as she looks upon the initiation ceremony and is genuinely unhappy or has even given up trying to fight this process.
As a final little side note, they mention that you must forget your name is forget everything you ever knew. This is easily a reference to the fact that the Cult of Love uses brainwashing techniques. Something that has been referenced before in the first video where they show that the swastika (used most recently by the Nazi's who were known for their brainwashing) equaling MC squared.
This part is just for me.
Weren't there a lot of mushrooms in this video? I know that they have a limited amount of items for the set but doesn't it seem odd that a video series that is very trip-tastic ha this many mushrooms? I can see the physically made mushrooms being reused but the scene I have at the side from the story of Michael has a group of mushrooms in the bottom right.
After weeks of trying to unravel what these videos mean maybe I'm just seeing things.
On the day the video came out there was a rush of YouTube comments from people trying to figure out different aspects and hidden clues. Shrigis was one of the first things I searched but I came up dry. One YouTuber did find some correlation however! With his permission, I'm putting down his response below. It was something that helped push my further understanding and I'm sure it will help you. Every perspective can help! For more from Kelleett check out his Google+ channel!
"I know it's long, but it's worth a read
I did a bit of research into the name 'Shrigis', as printed on the Yellow Character's robe at 4:45. Nothing really significant came up so I decided to search 'Sigirhs', which is just the word spelt backwards. I discovered a fantasy novel by LineGYde on the Booksie website called 'With The Blood of A Goddess'. What I can only imagine is the blurb for this novel states:
"The vehenes of the island Kirr'kra lives good lives, they are safe and there are plenty of humans to eat... Until
vehenes suddenly gets kidnapped by strange creatures who want to kill all the vehenes. Can the Elder
Ayzariihn Boenete save them before it's too late?"
I could immediately see a clear resemblance between the plot of the novel and the plot of this episode of DHMIS. Both begin with the "vehenes" or the DHMIS characters having plenty to eat, in WTBOAG they have "plenty of humans" and in DHMIM they have "lots of chicken." The blurb goes onto say there is a kidnapping by 'strange creatures'. In DHMIM we see the Yellow Character being led away by the Bee. Could the Bee be seen as a "strange creature"? The crow did kill the butterfly at the start and describe it as a "pesky bee." The novel's blurb then says these creaters want to "kill all the vehenes." The Bee says at 4:48 to forget everything the Yellow Character has ever know, with all previous DHMIS characters timingly placed in the background. Could the Bee be immpying to kill off the other "vehenes", the vehenes being DHMIS characters? This could be true due to the link in regards to having lots to eat at the start.
The final part of WTBOAG's blurb talks about whether the kidnapped character could be saved before it is too late. This directly links to DHMIS as it can be associated to the Crow and the Red Character rescuing the Yellow Character before he is converted into the 'Love Religion' belief the Bee is endorsing on him...
At the end the Crow continues to kill the animals, in this case a bird which he again wrongly calls a "pesky bee." This makes me think that maybe the Yellow Character does in fact belong to the 'Love Religion' faith and that he's been kidnapped by the Crow and the Red Character. This could be the case as the Crow keeps killing animals, as the WTBOAG blurb says the "weird creatures" wanted to do."
A great set of theories. Thanks to Kelleet for letting me use this in my analysis!
My analysis' seem to be getting longer! Either I'm getting better or way worse! Either way I'd love to hear your theories about what the creators are trying to say so leave me a comment below. I read all of them so any new insight is greatly appreciated!
Does America (and other similar nations) condition us to accept their "Cult of Love"?
- 75% I've seen 3 Zales commercials and a banner ad since I started reading your analysis, so yes.
- 11% Not at all! Love is about waiting for your soul mate and showering them with jewelry and other such things!
- 15% Your analysis was too long and I don't care...
© 2014 ChrisGibson