Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Insects...of insanity!

When I was a kid, TV had all kind of imaginitive shows and cartoons - a wide and varied amount of magical and fantastical stuff. Remember cartoon movies like The Hobbit and The Last of the Unicorns? David the Gnome, with trolls and wizards and fairy kings, birds that talk and fish that sing?

One of the animations I most fondly remember was called Flight of Dragons. It was a Rankin/Bass production (those guys who made all the holiday specials) based loosely on the book by Gordon Dickson, The Dragon and the George. Anyway, it occurred to me the other day that someone on the production team must have been to Japan. If you have ever seen it, there is one scene where two of our heroes - Sir Orin and Peter (in dragon form) are assaulted by the sandmirks - horrible beasts who, by some magical chittering sound, fry your brain and induce insanity. Well, I'm convinced that for the audio element of the sandmirks, someone came over here and recorded some Japanese cicadas.

Now I'm not sure exactly how widespread these insects are. We have them in America, and growing up in New York, every summer they would make their appearance and every fall they would seemingly disappear as quickly as they came. I don't remember them being much of a nuissance. Here, though, they can drive you to near madness. They are friggin loud! It's probably not so bad in the cities, but in the suburbs and countryside, where we have trees...ugh.

Ugh, cover your ears!

Don't let them fry your mind!


  1. It's "The Last Unicorn".. i read the book written by Peter S. Beagle and then saw him at Otakon last year.

  2. Ah yes, you're right. It's been a while.

  3. DAVID THE GNOME! I cried at the end of that series. It haunted me for years. How could they do that to young, impressionable minds? -How-? No wonder I'm so messed up now, ha!

    The Last Unicorn, loved that, too.