Day 24. 61 pages, 29,770 words.

Lately, I’ve been watching “Jake and Amir” on YouTube’s Collegehumor channel.

Random sample.

I’ve been watching these – some surreal, some painful, some hilarious, some shockingly violent or otherwise graphic – and wondering why they’re so fascinating. Occasionally, the characters will switch roles and it’s utterly disturbing. What is wrong with these two?

First, it seemed like just Amir was profoundly mentally unstable. And make no mistake, he is horrifyingly unhinged. But Jake only seems sane in comparison, and even that fades as you begin to realise he has bizarre, frightening problems of his own. He cloaks them in normality as best he can, but Amir[1] effortlessly strips the disguise away and exposes Jake’s pathology every time.

[1] And a staggering cast of side characters who at once completely fail to notice Amir’s lunacy and feed into it so seamlessly that they may in fact simply be figments of Jake and Amir’s imaginations. And this is before we even begin to scratch the surface of the possibility that either one, or both, of Jake and Amir themselves may be figments of the other. And that doesn’t even make sense. It’s only when they begin switching roles, and really getting into each other’s heads, that the line between them vanishes. And their pasts, as they take crazy and non-linear shape, only enhance the effect.

Did Amir drive him there? Is madness feeding madness? Or is Amir simply acting as a sounding board, a mirror for Jake’s neuroses, reflecting and magnifying? Sometimes, Jake’s treatment of Amir is utterly inhuman, and yet he seemed to get there organically. At least Amir’s actions can be passed off as insanity. Jake, on the other hand, is right there with the crazy person every step of the way, and never fails to insert himself into Amir’s rambling narrative.

It’s not hard to see why this seems familiar.

Riddle me this, Hatboy.

Wait, it’s coming to me.

Of course, this can be said of any dysfunctional pair of dialogue-based characters, particularly when you enter the trope of hetero-life-partner bros. I was watching Withnail and I last weekend and our excellent blog-comrade dreameling and I agreed that there was a distinctly ‘Creepy and Hatboy’ vibe about those two, too.

It just seemed a lot more eerie and worrying this time, especially since I solved the Creepy and Hatboy Enigma and worked them into my Unifying Theory of Everything. Fitting Yool, the awfully buff Christmas tree who has been there the whole time, into it all might take more work of course.


About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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