Culture Feature

This Haunts Me: How Does CatDog Poop?

Was Nickelodeon's CatDog an innocent children's cartoon from the late 90s, or a window into a horrifying reality?

Nickelodeon

"One fine day, with a woof and a purr / a baby was born and it caused a little stir…"

For some, the stir alluded to in the theme song to Nickelodeon's CatDog ceased in 2005 with the airing of the series' 64th and final episode, "Meat, Dog's Friends." Others might point to the 2001 TV movie CatDog: The Great Parent Mystery, which purported to demystify the origins of the strange dual-creature known as CatDog. But for those of us who take these issues seriously, neither the series' conclusion nor the pitiful excuse for an origin story did much assuage the abiding horror that Cat and Dog's fusion awoke within us.

Sure, we learned a little bit about the characters' early lives growing up in a cave with their adoptive parents—a sasquatch and a frog—but we were given few clues as to how a monstrosity like CatDog might have come to be in the first place. And only that creation story can unlock the larger anatomical questions that CatDog's very existence poses. Obviously these questions could extend to every organ and system that sustains them, but one in particular stands out—how does CatDog purge their shared body of waste products?

Cat Wants a New Bottom | CatDog | NickRewind www.youtube.com

This is not a petty concern like "litter box or backyard." CatDog is fused at the midriff, with two front halves. They have no hind legs, no tails, and seemingly no way to excrete or evacuate or otherwise relieve the pressure that arises from everything they eat and drink. Based on the amount of junk food and trash that Dog consumes throughout the series, the need for such a release valve would be immense, and yet it seems to be nonexistent. No amount of wacky hijinks or odd couple bickering could ever distract from this maddening fundamental issue: How does CatDog pee and poop?!

After decades of research and consideration, I have narrowed it down to three possibilities—dual two-way digestive tracts (they expel waste from their mouths), a single one-way digestive tract (Dog eats, and Cat is essentially a very talkative assh*le), or a completely novel and unique system of waste disposal. Obviously this last possibility leaves many options available, but considering the anomaly that is CatDog, it seems the most likely. Do they sweat out their waste, or expel it by aerosolizing it and breathing it out? Anything is possible, but the thing that makes the most sense is that the CatDog we know is only half of the picture.

While there has been speculation that CatDog were the result of some kind of gene splicing experiment, a rudimentary understanding of genetics rules that out. No, their fusion is far stranger than a blend of two genetic recipes could explain. Rather, it's necessary to imagine a scenario—and a being—that warps the very fabric of spacetime. Like Jeff Goldlum in The Fly, a teleportation experiment gone awry could explain a monstrous chimera like CatDog, but only if there were a corresponding creature composed of their remaining parts.

Tog Pictured: An Artist's Representation of what Tog might look like

In other words, the CatDog we know is only half of the equation, which might more accurately be called Cad, while the other half would be called Tog. In this scenario, Tog would have a butt at both ends and if the eldritch powers formed these two freaks are still active, a connection between Cad and Tog might be ongoing. In other words, whatever Cad eats, Tog excretes—and Cad eats vile things with no sense of the consequences that Tog must mutely endure.

Once you've considered this version of the world of CatDog, no other version makes sense, and you must contend with the reality that somewhere out there—blindly wandering and spewing transmitted waste—there is a being that completes the CatDog we know: A cat's and a dog's butt fused together.

CULTURE

Nazi-Chic: The Aesthetics of Fascism

Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.

Villains always have the best outfits.

From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.

Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com

But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.

Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.

Oh, right.

Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.

Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com

Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.

As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.

History of Nazi Chic

For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.

The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.

Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it

Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.

The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com

Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.

Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.

Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com

Nazi Chic in Asia

Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.

A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.

In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.

OF COURSE. i.imgur.com

That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.

In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.

Implications

So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?

The answer is not so black and white.

On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.

But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.

Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.

TV

Best 90s Nickelodeon Halloween Cartoons

The reason your adulthood is haunted.

Back when there were only 7 Halloween franchise films and zero Disney live-action remakes, Nickelodeon was every '90s kids after school babysitter (unless you had adult supervision, in which case, enjoy your health insurance and advanced degree by now).

Halloween specials of '90s cartoons captured exactly what every kid wanted Halloween to be: unsupervised roaming and feeling at least a little endangered by strangers. Plus, the borderline PG imagery of Nickelodeon cartoons left a permanent, creepy impression on our entire generation. In season 1 of Hey Arnold, a ghost conductor with a broken face serenades traumatized children on his ghost train. A mutilated heifer soldier comes back from the dead wielding his own dismembered leg in Rocko's Modern Life. Oh, and Aaahh! Real Monsters...exists.

Now that Nickelodeon streams on Hulu (and many of these episodes are available to stream elsewhere), for a nostalgic stroll through the disturbing images that now haunt your mind, we present the 11 best Nickelodeon Halloween TV specials.

"Hey Arnold!" - "Haunted Train"

"After hearing a story from Grandpa, Arnold, Gerald and Helga attempt to find the Haunted Train."

For Adults: Daria, "Depth Takes a Holiday"

"Daria and Jane must convince Christmas, Halloween, and Guy Fawkes Day to return to Holiday Island."