Monday, February 21, 2005

Beavis and Butthead Do Buster

A Color-Coded Subtext Analysis of the "Two Mommies" Episode of "Postcards From Buster"

Below is the Google cached version of the "Postcards From Buster" blog text for the Vermont segment -- you know, the "two mommies" episode that was rushed into the spotlight (and off many PBS stations) once the SpongeBob-is-gay hoot-a-thon died out.

I've highlighted in yellow (sex), pink (drugs), and green (politics/religion) all the bits most likely to be misconstrued by strict Freudians, adult members of DARE, the newly appointed Church Lady-like Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, and, of course, Beavis and Butthead. I've also supplied subtext analysis.
Hinesburg, Vermont
Where's this place? See my map!
We traveled to Vermont in the spring. They call it "mud season" because all the melting snow makes lots of mud. It's like the whole state is a mud puddle!
While there, we visited Emma, David, and James, who live with their two moms, Karen and Gillian. Karen and my mom used to work at the same newspaper together.
Subtext analysis: In addition to the shocking reference to "their two moms" in this opening segment, there's also the revelation that the women "used to work at the same newspaper together." What we have here is worse than two lesbian mothers. What we have here are two lesbian mothers who also are former investigative journalists!
I ate "sugar on snow": hot maple syrup on snow.
Subtext analysis: Some maintain that "hot maple syrup on snow" is vulgar nor'easter slang for oral sex and non-coital ejaculation. Others contend that "sugar on snow" is a blatant drug reference: cocaine laced with LSD and/or heroin.
It's a real Vermont treat! It's cold and sweet. They serve it with a pickle and a doughnut. I like Vermont's way of thinking!
Subtext analysis: You don't even need Psych 101 to get this: pickle=penis, donut=vagina. It also should be noted that, politically, Vermont is a blue state.
Maple syrup is made from maple sap. The sap is like water with a little bit of sugar in it. The sap is collected, then boiled. Most of the water goes away. What's left is sweet, thick maple syrup!
Subtext analysis: Well, you might be lulled into thinking that this is about making maple syrup, but it's really about making methamphetamine. Focus on the subtext, people. This farm is really a meth lab.
Muffy couldn't believe I came here in "mud season." Then, when she saw how beautiful it is here, she changed her mind.
Subtext analysis: Muff and muffy are widely used slang terms for the vag patch, which itself is slang for the feminine pubic triangle. And "mud season" means menstrual period.
But she says that if she does visit, she'll wear THREE pairs of boots-- plus thick socks.
Subtext analysis: Although there is some disagreement, most have concluded that Muffy is a heterosexual (or at least a bisexual) and is talking about the use of multiple condoms (plus one diaphragm) during sexual intercourse for super-super-super safe sex. Of course, the FDA has taken no position on such practices, and the Family Research Council asserts that condoms don't do anything but clog up plumbing.
We also visited Georgia and Sophie. Their family owns a farm with over 200 cows. Did you know that all cows are girls? They're the ones with udders. The boys are called bulls.
Subtext analysis: A very intriguing passage. Those who maintain that udders are more schlong-like than tata-like claim that the phrase "they're the ones with udders" is actually code for female-to-male transsexuals. This is a hotly contested point, however.
To celebrate the end of winter, we had a huge bonfire. The air was crisp, but the fire was nice and toasty. That's something we couldn't do back in Elwood City. There's not enough space.
Subtext analysis: An obvious reference to pyro-ritualistic Wiccan practices. These can be performed safely only in rural areas. In more urban areas, like Elwood City, they would be prohibited by local fire codes. Also note the the phallicism of "el wood" and the implied patriarchal structure of urban centers.

Conclusion: Don't overlook the metaphorical implications of the episode's very title -- "Sugartime! -- including the explosive phallic imagery of the exclamation point. The word "sugartime" has long been used to suggest sexual engorgement and release, or, as the Church Lady used to say, people getting "all bulbous and tingly." More drug-oriented readers interpret "sugartime" to mean coking up.

A personal note from Grace Nearing: Now you know why I got kicked out of the PhD program in English literature at a university I prefer not to name (but I will give you one clue: its basketball and football teams really suck).

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