(Radio Interview) These Cats Aren’t Laughing Out Loud

(x-posted to The Valve)

(The following are excerpts from a recorded interview between Terri Gross and Lion-O, the young lord of the Thundercats. It was originally aired on National Public Radio and its member affiliates. Lion-O’s essays on culture and feline subjectivity are collected in his first book, The “I” of Thundara.)

LION-O: These cats are babies. They sound like babies. They have a baby-like fascination with the world.

LION-O: These cats are in blackface. They claim to be talking like people who use instant messenger, but since people who use IM are not always this bad at spelling, or this insanely violent, cats who talk “gangsta” and “pimp” is the only way to explain some of the pidgin.

LION-O: These cats, if you sound them out, sound a little like the kids on South Park. It’s all in my new book, The Screaming, Obscene American Id, or, You’re Always A Reproachful Baby When You Dream. What I’m saying, Terri, is that cheeseburgers are bad for cats, and they’re bad for you. So why do these cats want to have them so badly? And from whom are they trying to get permission?

TERRI: From their owners.

LION-O: Exactly. From their “owners,” even though those owners are themselves too scared to eat cheeseburgers. This is not how it was on Thundara, Sacred Home of Grammar.

TERRI: What are you doing to keep the Thundercats going under these circumstances?

LION-O: We’ve been very fortunate to have a group of fans, the “Furries,” who have been incredibly loyal even during these tough times. So we’ve been able to make a living doing reunion tours. Plus, a lot of the Thundercats have families now, so it’s about family and how wonderful that is, which is a whole other thing. That’s our real full-time job, you could say, being there for the ThunderKittens in a way that my parents could never be there for me, because the planet they inhabited exploded. But we are making some changes also. For example, we have changed our battle cry from “Thundercats Ho!” to “Thundercats LOL!” Also, we’ve created a great site where you can put “catpshuns” on photographs. So, for example, you might have a picture of your hamster washing dishes, and you could add a hilarious caption like “Eye of Thundara, give me sight beyond sight!”

TERRI: In the studio with me is Lion-O. Later, he’ll be reading from a piece entitled “That’s The Statue of Liberty,” which explains his 2004 arrest in the I Can Haz Cheezburger office, where he was found shouting “You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!” But first a short break.