Summary: In July 2009, we posted a video on YouTube asking viewers if they had questions they'd like to ask us. This is just part 1 of our responses (we received a lot of questions)...
MysteriousC: What made you decide to do your project? Bunny: The Pinky Show project grew out of our conversations, just the two of us sitting around and talking to each other. We have a lot of questions about how the world works and thought that if we didn't make the time to do something to answer our own questions we'd just be ignorant until we dropped dead. Pinky: We often say that The Pinky Show is like an ongoing diary of our own learning. We make things out of whatever we're studying at the moment, and we try to make those things in a form that hopefully encourages others to think about those ideas or issues too.
Piehash: How did you come up with the idea for the show? Pinky: We had to choose something that we could really do, given all the constraints we have. It was just as much a process of elimination as much as anything else. It's a simple formula: Cats + learning = Pinky Show. Bunny: What else can two cats with no money do? I dunno. We started with a computer, a microphone, and a bunch of cables. Content-wise, we talk about a lot of different stuff, but the thing that ties it all together is we're always looking at the structure of things and ideology. It's good for people to think more about what's happening in terms of "current events" or "issues" - sure - but in our own way we want to constantly remind people of the role of structure and ideology in what they perceive as their everyday lives.
madiadk: what do you want to achive in the end with the pinky show ? :] ? Pinky: Everybody has to decide for themselves what contribution to the world they want to make during their lifetime. Cats don't live a hundred years like human beings, we didn't want to act like we have all the time in the world to waste. Did you know that many cats spend 2/3 of their lives just sleeping? There's nothing wrong with sleep but really, think of the implications! We look around and see the planet is in crisis and we feel like we have an obligation to do something about it, even if it's small. So we decided we wanted to create something that we could pour all of our time and energies into, and we'd just keep going without resting. We realize creating something small like the Pinky Show isn't going to make a difference on the same scale as a lot of other things we've seen or heard about, but the point is to always be learning, and then to turn that learning into something that'll make the world better in some material way, however small. By the time we die we want to have a better idea of how society works. Which also means we have to learn a few things about how ideology and consciousness works, because that's the foundational battleground upon which every battles take place.
Aliciabb89: Q: What do you think about vegeterianism? Do you think it could help solve many problems? Bunny: Pinky's a vegetarian. I'm not. Pinky: Vegetarianism is good on many levels - most obviously it doesn't require someone else dying in order for you to have a meal. Think of all the levels of abstraction human beings have to put between themselves and the source of the so-called "meat" - animals, of course - before they can feel good about eating them. I think the implications of this needs to be carefully considered. Equally important is that the various industries required to support an animal-eating diet produces an enormous strain on the planetary environment at-large. From an ethical point of view, animal-eating is, to me, indefensible. Bunny: Yeah, I agree on all that but I still eat whatever. Since meeting Pinky I've tried to be a vegetarian a few times but I keep on falling off the wagon. Pinky: I just turn my back for a second and suddenly she's got a bird in her mouth, I don't know what's wrong with her. Q: What's the story behind the name "pinky & bunny"? Bunny: What do you mean? Like, why's the show not called "The Pinky & Bunny Show? In the beginning we thought about it but in the end we thought it was unnecessarily long. People would think "The Bunny Show" is about cute rabbits. Q: Is appearing on TV, or having some type of TV show one of your goals? Bunny: We'd love to be on TV because that would mean more people would see our show. If we could tie every last human down and force them to watch our show, we would. We need several million dollars, which we don't have. Q: What is the cause that you guys support more? Pinky: Cause? Um... (thinking) There are so many, I can't choose. Bunny: Just choose one. Pinky: (long pause) I like whales so I'm going to say let's stop killing and eating whales. That's important. Bunny: I'll choose dismantling the U.S. empire. Pinky: That's a good one. Q: What are the names of the places you guys traveled to? Bunny: Damn, these questions are all over the place. We haven't traveled a lot-a lot. Mostly Pinky and I have traveled together in the U.S., Hawaii, Canada. Slovenia, Germany... Pinky: Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and a little bit of China. Q: Are you guys planning on traveling soon? If yes, Where? Bunny: Up next we're going to Warsaw to do a lecture and workshop at the Museum of Modern Art-Warsaw. One of my goals is to eat a zapiekanka while we're there. And pierogi. Q: Are there any topic you avoid to discuss or research and talk about? Pinky: It'd be easy to say "No, nothing's off limits", but in actuality there are a lot of things we feel like it's inappropriate or maybe too problematic for us to speak about publicly, due to dynamics of privilege or power, limitations of knowing, space, and so on. As much as possible we try to do work that we think will have a social effect that we think is positive, which means we have to be careful to think about who we are, who we aren't, what we know and don't know, who our audience is probably going to be for that particular project, and we also have to take our best guess as to how our work will be understood and possibly used by others... Bunny: Basically what she's trying to say is that we try to do a political analysis before we open our mouths about something.
absentmindedprof: What is/are the most surprising thing(s) you both have learned since starting the Pinky show? Bunny: We started out with the assumption that people are basically well-intentioned and smart. Reading YouTube comments really changed that for me. Now I can't believe how stupid and cold people are. Pinky: That's not the most surprising thing we've learned! Bunny: To me it is. Kim says the same thing. You can have your own answer. Pinky: Hm. If I had to choose just one thing, for me I guess I would have to say I've been really shocked at how deeply, how profoundly people are indoctrinated by the logic of capitalism. And when I say this I mean the large-scale structural aspects of capitalism, but also the daily rituals and micro-practices it inspires. I mean, maybe you always have a sense that people's lives are going to be determined to a large extent by the workings of the economy and such, but this is almost too much to comprehend. Even in just these past few years of study it's become clearer to me that capitalism penetrates and molds our consciousness and imagination at a level much, much deeper level than I had ever imagined. And it's disturbing to me how everyone - from The Media to the generic economics professor guy lecturing in his classroom - tends to speak about capitalism, or its abstracted form - "the Economy" - only in terms of jobs, markets, and so on. There's practically no discussion about how our most intimate understandings of self, family, security, compassion, and even love, are also being shaped according to the dictates and requirements of the capitalist order. And these psychic mechanisms are functioning essentially invisibly, and I find that terrifying only because the material results have been, and continue to be, catastrophic. We won't be able to step back from any of this if we don't first understand what's happening to us.
mcasual: How did events in your personal lives affect this project? though it must be difficult to delineate what's personal life and what's research... Bunny: Our work and our personal lives are the same thing. I don't go to work for somebody else and then come home and try to figure out how to reconcile my job with what I really want to do with my life. Which also means I don't have to distract myself with beer or TV every night so that I can drag myself off to work the next morning. Pinky: Yeah, what she said. So let's change the question to - Early into the project, how did events in your personal lives affect this project? and if that's too personal then the question would be -- What's are the important common points member of your team share? Pinky: Probably for me my mommy had the biggest influence on me. She was a radical educator. Also she left me a note that I still have. When I was growing up I tried to follow what was in the note - it's pretty short but it has lots of good things in it, like number three: "Cultivate compassion, respect everyone." - but when I tried to follow that idea to its logical conclusions that only got me thrown out of school. Bunny: Somebody told us she got poisoned. Pinky: That's just a rumor; we're not sure. Bunny: Pinky got kicked out of human beings school but both of us have also gone to cat schools, which of course have many of the same problems of schools for humans, but at least they're not prejudiced against us just because we're cats. They're just conservative and unimaginative because they adhere to the school-model, which is to say, for certain things I'm ashamed to admit that cats copy people. So anyway, seeing firsthand the problem of industrialized learning from the inside of the institutions, and then from the forcibly-imposed outside, all that was a good experience. I think it's important to remember that if you look at the world from the perspective of cats, especially cats that have spent even a little time on the street, the way human beings manage the planet is pretty ridiculous and sad. So it's not difficult or unusual to come up with a critique of human behavior. It's definitely not a personal thing; in my whole life I never met even one cat that really loves the way you people are fucking up the planet.
rauron9: Did you know of anything similar to your show when you started? Pinky: No, but probably only because we didn't really do any research beforehand. We just started making our videos according to what we wanted them to do. I'm sure we had or have all kinds of subconscious influences from things we've seen on television or in movies or whatnot over the years, but it's not like we said, "Hey, that's a good model - we should do a slowed down, low-tech, cat-version of that." Would you still have started the pinkyshow if you knew something similar was already available? Bunny: There's nothing wrong with 'similar' - a lot of things are similar to other things. The important thing are the differences. Pinky: And also what effect the work has on society. I think this question is based on preconceptions that programming has to be 'original' or 'novel' in some way in order to sell. That's marketing logic. We would never tell a sanitation worker, "Hey, the way you pick up trash cans is too similar to the way that guy over there is picking up trash cans..." There's a tremendous amount of work to be done if we want to move towards a more egalitarian society and should try to be very careful to apply the most useful criteria for evaluating the work we do. How do you find the time to produce the show? Bunny: We make time to do our work. Which is to say we gave up other things in order to do our work. We make choices. Who does the voice-overs? Pinky: We record and edit our own voice overs. Once in a while we'll have a friend do a voice-over, but I think that's only happened a couple of times, like in the Scary School Nightmare video. Where did the graphics for the show come from? Pinky: Bunny and I do the graphics, illustrations, photography, image editing, animation, website design, and all that other stuff ourselves. Once in a while Daisy or someone else will give us some material - like photographs or even video footage, so when this happens we always add a credit note. Bunny: Pinky does 95% of the graphics and design work. What software has been used in the production of the show? Bunny: We have a pretty comprehensive list of all software and hardware that we use to put The Pinky Show together, it's in the Project Information area of our website.
petro1986: Hello everyone at the Pinky Show. Q 1; How did you all meet each other? Pinky: We just bumped into each other, random-like. I was in Culver City, searching for food, when I crossed paths with Bunny, who was also out looking for something to eat. A little while later Bunny and I were just wandering around looking for some food when we met Mimi & Kim. Bunny: I remember that - they were like, "We're so hungry, you wanna find some food together?" I thought Kim was Mimi's kitten because she was so small. Q 2; When not working on the Pinky Show what do you all do for fun? Bunny: I like a lot of stuff: music, eating, games, cross-stitching, reading. Pinky: We spend almost all our time working on the Pinky Show, and also other non-Pinky Show educational projects, so we don't have much time for other things. I'm trying to learn how to play music on a guitar and bass guitar. I watch the AntFarm ants. I read. Cooking is also fun. Q 3; When did you the idea for the Pinky Show? or when did the first steps of the Pinky Show start? Bunny: We already answered this one so many times, let's skip it. Q 4; What would be you're meals of choice if you could have anything reguardless of cost, availbity or scocial restrictions? don't know why I'm asking that, just curious... Pinky: I think if fish were fruits and just magically grew on trees, I would want to have some sushi right now. Bunny: I don't have a problem eating fish, so Pinky can watch me eat delicious fish while she eats her dry carrot stick. Q 5; Where do you see you all in ten years? Pinky: Hmm, 10 years - I might be dead by then. Bunny: Yeah, me too. Daisy will almost guaranteed be dead by then cuz he's already old. Pinky: Yes.
adele90024: How many of you are there really? Pinky: Bunny and I do all the research and writing, as well as all the audio, video, and art production work. Mimi does all the bookkeeping and paper-shuffling for our project but she doesn't have time to do much else as she's also a full-time doctor. Kim assists Mimi sometimes and also lets us know what's going on in the world of pop culture, video games, and museums. Bunny and I do, however, receive a lot of valuable counseling and analyses from others - especially Daisy and Teacup. Is this your full time job? Pinky: Yes, although sometimes when we run out of money we have to take paid work on the side in order to keep paying our bills. Why do you give away your videos for free? Pinky: We don't want lack of money to be a barrier to accessing the materials we create. Some of the most amazing interactions we've had over the past few years has been with folks that probably would never have had the chance to see our work if it had cost even $1 or required a credit card to view. Basically we are hoping that there are enough people in privileged First World settings that understand how the radically unequal distribution of wealth impacts access to ideas and information, and that they are willing to financially support our project and in a sense subsidize the delivery of our materials to everyone else. Bunny: That's not really working out though - we have a long way to go before mainstream consumer-types start to understand the logic and hidden economies behind supposedly 'free' content. Are Pinky Show episodes and website one day going to be filled with advertising? Pinky: We hope not. That's very, very low on our list of strategies we're willing to utilize in order to keep this project going. Bunny: It's even below "Make porn".
potterzebra: Question: In the months since the "Financial Services" sector has brought the U.S. and much of the industrialized world to the brink of collapse, causing loss and misery as great as a terrorist attack, congress and the media are fixated on what we can do to get back to normal. Why so little recognition of the fact that "normal" is the dominance of the financial sector and its congressional lackeys whose greed and malfeasance created the crisis in the first place? How do we go beyond "normal"? Bunny: Your excellent question suggests you already know the answer. Pinky: There's probably only a couple of ways I can imagine any deliberate attempt to move beyond normal, and neither of them are easy. We could talk about the logic and usefulness of poplar uprisings, or long-term, systematic (informational) campaigns to critically challenge hegemonic ideologies, but we need more than a few paragraphs and two cats to do it properly.
xbase09: Pinky gives a realy voulnerable impression. is there a tought behind that? Are you challanging any specific norm in the movement? Or do you feel that pinky has the best personality for y'all to get your message across? Love you show. / with love and respect from Sweden Pinky: That's interesting that somebody should ask this. It's true that I'm not the same in our videos than I am face to face. Bunny: She's a lot nicer in her videos. Pinky: I don't mean that. I mean I put a lot more thought into how I should be in order to facilitate learning when I'm in a video. I'm not trying to come across as vulnerable, but I just don't think I can make people understand something by yelling at them. That's all. Bunny: Yeah, okay, that's fair. The other thing I want to say, though, is that in terms of challenging norms, I think instead on relying on professional "credentials", we do make an effort to present information or arguments that are rooted in principles of fairness and compassion. We don't just show up and say, "Hi, here's my degrees and I work at such and such university, therefore you should accept what I'm saying as 'true'." Nowhere on our website do we list our degrees, where we graduated from, where we've worked and what positions we've held, etc. So people have to accept or reject what we're presenting according to whether or not it makes sense and has explanatory power. I think that's an important difference.
batflies: what is your objective? it's a bit general but a good question. peace. Bunny: Already covered. Peace.
JackRed666: I got a question for you Pinky. How did Racisim start in the first place? Pinky: As a cat, at first I was totally mystified by this concept (race) and couldn't figure out why so many humans give it so much importance. Then I started looking at its invention and historical development next to the historical development of capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism. Then it made sense why Europeans would want to believe in, export, and maintain such a concept. Bunny: I think a lot of people still think of race as something as solid and enduring as "natural reality". Which is exactly the kind of foundation that racism needs in order to do its job.
spyninga007: What drives you to continue the program? How has the program affected you (staff included) not only your viewers? How did you come up with Pinky's appearance and keeping the calm cute appearance of the whole show while the show's context is obviously [not?] calm and cute? it's a very interesting perspective. I like it. Bunny: Answered. Next.
Trybrow: Q: Have you been spayed? Pinky: Yes, spayed. Bunny: By the way, I hope YOU - Trybrow - are also spayed. All you humans can do the planet a favor and get spayed or neutered or whatever.
floatNthru12: Hello Pinky! I just wanted to tell you that I absoloutley LOVE your site and all the information that you bring to us! I would like it even more if you told us... What is the RFID chip? Bunny: This is the kind of thing you can look up yourself. Why is the income tax still paid even though it has been proven to be an illegal tax? Bunny: "Proven"? You're talking about challenging the United States Government's ability to collect MONEY. Whether it's legal or not, the penalty for not paying taxes are not imaginary, so maybe it would make more sense to look at that. What is the Amero dollar and why have we not been told about the American Union? WHY IS OUR GOVERNMENT KEEPING US IN THE DARK ABOUT SO MUCH? Bunny: Not to be a jerk about it, but: 1) These are things you can easily look up yourself; and 2) The last thing one can expect from their government is transparency. You'll get transparency from your governmental agencies only by forcing them to comply. Sitting around wondering about such things will produce absolutely no change whatsoever.
tuzian: don't get mad but... what's the project?? Bunny: If I was this lazy I doubt I'd be so proud to make it public. Next.
0QView0: Given your apparent stance on human suffering and poverty, it would be interesting to know where you stand on the opposite end of the spectrum - How do you at The Pinky Show feel about the overindulgence, hedonism, and cushy ignorance of Western Society? Bunny: It's our understanding that one produces, and requires, the other. The only question of relevance to me is whether or not privileged people in the so-called First World will continue to cannibalize their less fortunate counterparts in order to continue their pleasure.
Gvf77x: How do you define 'freedom'? Pinky: To me, freedom is about desire and acceptance. Bunny: Wow, I think you just made me throw up a little. 'Freedom' is one of those words that has been abused so much, used to justify absolutely everything from facism to execution to torture, that I've basically lost all interest in using it in conversation. And since you never have freedom in a society, contemplating the meaning of freedom at an individual level is nothing but a boring philosophical exercise. Pinky: It's not boring, and we need to keep thinking about all these impossible things, otherwise none of them will every become possible. Bunny: [ to Pinky ] I've heard that before.
rasmusxp: Q: Do you read any fiction books? If so, what are your favourites? Pinky: I don't really read non-fiction. It's not that I don't like them, but it seems like I never have any time to read any. It must not be a big priority for me. Bunny: I like fiction, I'll read anything, even the stuff that I find offensive - Joseph Conrad, for example. Oh, and I just read the Harry Potter books. They're fun, I can see why the baby people like them. And what books are you reading now, if any? Bunny: Ah, that's a lot of books, I tend to read several at once. Just look at the bibliography we provide with all our researched episodes. Q: Have you read any philosophy? If so what is your view on "truth"? Is it individual, is there an eternal "truth" or is the "truth" non-existent? (agnostic) Bunny: Here - watch me roll my eyes. [ pointing at Pinky ] She likes philosophy, if you have six hours to waste maybe you can go have coffee with Pinky and have a nice philosophical chat.
ChibiRoy: I very much enjoy your videos they deal with serious topics in a very light-hearted way. Some deal with America breaking their own constitution and international law, my Question would be where on the scale would you rate America? meaning compared to other nations or empires has America been more or less lawful/ethical? Bunny: What a weird question. I'll just say "5" and move on. Pinky: I think there are some social ideals that are more highly developed here in the U.S. than some other places. Of course it's better to have those things than not have those things! But since the basic structure of the U.S. - that is, a settler state AND the political/economic center of a global empire - is fundamentally incompatible with principles like "justice for all", yeah, I'd also have to rule out any big number.
AngryAussie: Have you ever had a response that's just made you want to give up? It seems to me you're trying to inform/educate so do you ever think that there's no point - people are simply too stupid to learn? Bunny: I like this question. I'm tempted to say yes, just because we've received several thousand incredibly stupid comments... but actually, no, I don't think I've ever seriously considered giving up. Why would I give in to idiots? And anyway, I don't think we're trying to connect with everybody out there. There's giant segments of the population out there that I couldn't care less whether they hate us or not. Pinky: Well, I guess I agree with all that, but I also think it's important to remember that everybody has the capacity to change. Even if I just use myself as an example, I feel and think very differently from even just a few years ago. And anyway, you don't need everybody in a society to change into the same thing in order to move that society in a certain direction. Often times you just need enough people to move, and then they pull that society along. It's not rapid or easy but overall I still think consciousness work has enormous positive potential.
lunaticgodzilla: First, thank you Pinky and Bunny for what you cats do. What role does entertaining the audience play in your episodes, and how important do you think it is to do that? Pinky: I think our videos are a little on the slow and quiet side, actually, so I'm sure a lot of people would call them boring. But I like our videos because, to me, learning things is actually entertaining, even though it doesn't have explosions and fast editing and stuff like that. Bunny: Yeah, our stuff is not LOL funny. If I want LOL funny I just watch something else.
bundangbear: Has the use of animation helped to diffuse, or mitigate, any hostility that may be targeted at some of your especially hard-hitting vids against the status quo, such as the one against imperialism in Hawaii? I love you guys, and you're awesome! Pinky: Thank you, that's nice of you to say. Personally, I think most of the people who feel like they're learning something valuable from our work are the kind of people who would have liked the content even if it came in another form. I just say that because if somebody doesn't like what we're saying, of course they can dismiss us because cats are stupid or they hate my voice or the drawings are ugly or choose any one of a million other reasons. So I don't really think about things like that. We're just trying to explain where we're coming from, calmly and clearly. If people like it, that's great. If people hate it, that's also fine. We need to be able to speak the truth about things, even if what we have to say is unpopular or makes some people uncomfortable. Bunny: Having the ability to not care about who hates us is so important that I actually practice not caring. It's an important skill to have; otherwise you just spend too much time trying to please others, feeling scared, feeling guilty, on and on.
EmoMetalheadCricket: How do you feel about the negative comments on youtube? Bunny: It's pretty amazing how many stupid people hang out at YouTube. It's mind blowing. So we always expect to receive lots of those kinds of comments, it's inevitable. But we are more focused on connecting with the non-stupid or anti-stupid people.
tuzmor: you are an idiot! Bunny: There we go, that's the internet. I highly doubt tuzmor would say that if he were standing right here in front of me. And if he did I'd bite him on his big, stupid face. [ to Pinky ] I'm getting hungry - I think we should stop here and do a part 2 or 3 to finish up later. What do you think? Pinky: Okay. Bunny: Okay, we will be back.
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