Wednesday, August 02, 2006

OH, The Funny! "Barnyard" Backlash

My recent post about the idiotic premise (namely that cows--specifically "heifers" are MALE) behind the Nickelodeon movie "Barnyard" is getting a lot of attention, and is being picked up by newspapers and other sources, and most hilariously, has now gotten not one, but TWO comments from some yahoo pretending to be Steve Oedekerk, defending the basic stupidity inherent in "Barnyard," and then adding BONUS stupidity!! I love the internet! Bogus Steve writes, in part:
"The tale of a laid-back heifer who finds himself placed in charge of the animals while the famer (sic) is away..."
OK, Bogus Steve, you've just REALLY displayed your ignorance with your use of the term "HEIFER." Let me quote from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Glossary of Terms:
"Heifer: Young female bovine cow prior to the time that she has produced her first calf."
And just in case you're still confused, let me provide the definition for the term "COW," from the same source:
"Cow: Sexually mature female bovine animal that has usually produced a calf."
Seriously--you owe it to yourself to go and read Bogus Steve's comments in their entirety, because while he lacks the ability to form a coherent sentence (the only parts of his comments that make sense are the parts that he is quoting from other sources), he wants us to believe that he is actually a Hollywood screenwriter. But hey--he thought of everything, and even went so far as to create a Blogger profile identifying himself as "STEVE OEDEKERK" and providing a link to "STEVE OEDEKERK'S HOMEPAGE!" Which goes, um...nowhere. Come ON, Bogus Steve--you could have at least put forth a little effort and linked here.

In his next comment--he had to leave two, because I apparently really ticked him off with my "Barnyard" criticism, Bogus Steve asserts that I am, in fact, ignorant of mule biology, because, according to Bogus Steve (the caps and grammar/syntax errors are his),
Here is where I realize that I'm dealing with someone who may have "forgotten" to take his meds today. Or for a few days in a row. But in the interest of any poor person to whom Bogus Steve may seem like a reliable source, and may be miseducated as a result, let me respond to this last bit of, um...WRONGNESS. (And also, please let me add that I didn't do any research on "your" films, other than to verify that the writers of "Barnyard" did, indeed, intend for the udder-bearing cattle in their movie to be MALE.)

If you meant to say that 98% of mules ARE sterile, that would be closer to the actual fact, though I can't find anything to support the notion that the extremely rare instances of fertile Molly mules would equal even 2% of the mule population. This fact is documented in so many places, that it's silly to even argue the point. And there is no documentation anywhere that I can find of a mule-to-mule breeding having produced offspring--in the rare cases, estimated at one in a thousand, of Molly mules giving birth, the sires were donkeys or horses. The reason for this mule-to-mule sterilty seems to be that a pair of mules just do not have the right combination of chromosomes needed to match up and create an embryo. It just ain't possible, Bogus Steve. Sorry.

And, um...ligers? OK, Napoleon Dynamite, although I had no previous knowledge of ligers except what I got from my Childcraft Encyclopedia many years ago, it didn't take much Googling to learn that their reproductive status is somewhat similar to that of mules, in that they don't reproduce with each other: That is, the female ligers can bear offspring if bred to lions or tigers, but not when bred to other ligers, the males being sterile. Whatever THAT has to do with anything.

Seriously, what is up with someone who would go to that much trouble just to wind up looking stupid? I guess it doesn't matter, if you don't have the guts to even use your real identity.

Incidentally, if you've ever watched the Nickelodeon cartoon series, "Rocko's Modern Life," you know that this whole bovine gender-confusion issue is not an isolated incident. Rocko the wallaby's best friend is a self-identified steer (MALE), whose name is "Heifer." Go figure. He was also raised by Wolves. There are some serious animal education issues at Nickelodeon.


  1. This is too much. I read the comments and your answers. Steve, you need to take a refresher course on barnyard biology. How can people answer so stupidly and not even look up to make sure they are correct before answering? Terrible way to argue your point and makes your credibility non existent.

    A "heifer" is a female cow, not a male. I have never seen a steer or bull with udders. I have also never seen a mule reproduced by mules.

    You go Belinda, look what you've started:o)

  2. Hee hee.. I'd forgotten the name of that cartoon "Rocko's Modern Life" but the whole time I was reading this, I was thinking "Hey, wasn't that character 'Heifer' a male bovine?" I think it was because of that particular cartoon that I thought that "heifer" was a name for male bovine. Um yeah, so if that's any indication, then YES, it does matter if cartoons give false information, 'cause people like me will take it as fact and believe it as fact until someone smart like Belinda tells them otherwise. DOWN WITH BARNYARD!

  3. hey, hey, HEY!!! Don't start bringing Rocko's Modern Life into your shenanigans! That right there is good TV! If you must pick on someone from that show, how about the Bigheads? What were they supposed to be, guppies?

  4. Kim, at first I thought it was someone being sarcastic, but if it was, they were doing a REALLY bad job of it. And what was the deal with the LIGERS, for crying out loud?

    CeCe--Seriously! Rocko's Modern Life has been a favorite of mine for a long time. I love the opening sequence when they open the top of his head and cram in all the "knowledge."

    Zach--I love Rocko! And the Bigheads are FROGS! Where've you been? Sheldon is a turtle, "Heff" is a...I'm assuming steer instead of bull for Heff, and I love those French salamanders or newts or whatever they are.

  5. Give us the newspaper links! I want to write in and support you.

    How utterly ridiculous that the entire thing was DISPUTED by this guy. (As is probably obvious, I refrained from writing "udderly" because I'm trying NOT to act 12, ok?) Is there a plan from Nickelodean to confuse our children? And the fake Steve Oedekerks of the world?

  6. It has come to my attention that there are many occasions in "Rocko" episodes in which Heifer is referred to as a "cow," and HE HIMSELF corrects whoever calls him a "cow" and says that he is, in fact, a STEER. Which is to say, a castrated bull. What-ev-ah.

    And Mocha, I will definitely let you know when I get printed ANYWHERE else...probably obnoxiously and ad nauseum, because someone cares about something I said? Wow. Anyway, I've been asked, and I've given permission, for a reprint, but it hasn't come to pass yet.

  7. Wow, I knew I should have written this post months ago when I first saw the previews about Barnyard. I have been asking myself the same question ever since, but like you I figured it would somehow be explained. I'm starting to think that it won't be, this is a major gaffe that somehow slipped by everybody.

  8. All I can say is, this is why it's important not to let the television raise our children. Look at what they're teaching them! LOL

    Just think Belinda. You've started a conversation about barnyard animals (and apparently Ligers) that will help parents around the world teach their children the truth about cows, mules and any other confusing barnyard creature. You've done the world a great educational service!

  9. This is just brilliant! LOL

    What a doof. ;-)

  10. Well, I'm back and laughing again. If the real execs had come here with some real reasons why they had chosen to portray cows the way they do, that'd be one thing. It's just plain silly when someone shows up pretending to be a big wig and then makes a, well, mule of themselves using the big wig's name. I'm sure said big wig appreciates the reflection upon him *grin*

    Oh and I just love it when the Country girl wins in the end!

  11. Awesome. I only wish I could get into it with a fake movie executive... Some girls have all the luck.

  12. Oh my gosh, that's hilarious!!

  13. Please tell me that's not real. Please tell me that some film producer/writer/director/whatever-the-hell -Steve-Oedekerk-is isn't so damned ignorant.

    And people wonder why our kids are growing up not knowing their asses from their elbows? Because they spend hours watching crap like this movie. Can it be that NOT ONE PERSON who worked on this film didn't say "Hey! Cows aren't male! Male bovines don't have udders!"? Hell you'd think Kevin James alone would have said "I'm not providing the voice for anything with man titties.". Oh wait. Kevin James has man titties himself. He probably didn't know the difference.

  14. Can you imagine getting so upset about a blogger's criticism of an animated movie that you would take on a false identity to try to counter their comments? He must have Really enjoyed that movie. (And even I knew that heifers are young girl cows!).

  15. dixie--while I always enoyed the stand-up comedy of Kevin James, one of the funniest TV critic articles I ever read was one describing several shows, including "King of Queens" as having the premise, "Fat stupid insensitive pantload continually offends and irritates inexplicably hot wife." You gotta admit, we had a LOT of shows that fit that description for a while, there!

    melissa--I KNOW.

    ST--isn't it great? This is actually the closest thing I've ever had to a troll or a flamer!

    SF Mama--I know; I just LOVE the fact that before this goober posted his/her ridiculous comments, he/she went to the trouble of CREATING A BLOGGER PROFILE JUST FOR THE PURPOSE. I feel waaaaay special.

    attilamom--Thanks; Know what I've been doing for the last 24 hours? Studying at the altar of Attila Grocery Shopping! Although my Weds. paper disappointingly NOTHING relating to groceries in the whole thing, there was a Kroger circular in it on Tuesday, which I am scouring. I'm off to check your coupon links NOW. If I have any kind of success, I'll be blogging my experience next week!

    ami--I know; LIGERS? I tried to comment several times at your blog, but I can't seem to comment on MSN spaces no matter what, even after signing in with my passport. It makes me sad. :-(

    brandon--I'm hoping someone (but not me) will see it this weekend and fill me in. I'm still holding out hope for a "Full Monty" style finale, or a "Victor/Victoria" type ending.

  16. melora--what's funny is that the movie isn't even OUT yet! I got the impression that this must be a huge Steve O. fan. Because, you know, "Bruce Almighty" was SUCH an awesomely good film, right?

  17. We were watching tv the other day and I pointed out what you said about udders when the preview for the movie came on.

    Everyone started nodding and there were a chorus of "yeah...."s.

    Missing the obvious and pointing it out is priceless. :)

  18. I'm crying I'm laughing so hard.

    And that was much more moo education than I will ever need. Ever.

  19. I think that cow-ard is udder-ly ridiculous. No bull.


    Cow puns.

    Better than cow pies, no?


  20. man you people just don't get it steve is a brilliant writer director and I may not "really" be him but i could be and maybe one day will be him if he lets me into his life again. I knew him before he got famous and well he just got too busy for me. i know he still knows me because i saw him outside his office one day (after waiting 8 hours) and he said "hey whats up".
    so i say all that to let you know i know what im talking about when it comes to mules and ligers and other crossbred animals and i think steve has a good explaination for the cow udders on otis and the other heifers. oh and by the way about your "bogus steve" comments I have filed for a legal name change with the social security office and I won't be "bogus" anymore so in your faces.

  21. Dude--"Otis and the other 'HEIFERS'?" Let me try again: HEIFERS ARE FEMALE. Not only that, they usually aren't even milk producers, having not yet calved, so would not even have an udder.

    And just how does the fact that you wait outside someone's office for 8 hours in order to hear them say, "Hey, what's up," qualify you as an expert in hybrid animals?

    And so far, EVERYTHING you've said about hybrid animals has been WRONG, so how can you say that you "know what you're talking about?

    You're right, Bogus Steve: I "just don't get it."

  22. And it's not just here, Bogus Steve: If you Google "barnyard udders" or various other combinations, you will find page after page after page of bulletin board and blog discussions of this very thing. Steve Oedekerk may be a "brilliant writer," (if you like crap like "Bruce Almighty), and heaven knows we are huge Jimmy Neutron fans in this house, but that is just too big a mistake to be forgiven, especially for a children's movie. They're going to lose a LOT of potential moviegoers over just this issue, and I don't think that's "brilliant."

  23. I love you! Have you seen the fast food commercial with the rooster (real) and two hens (real) all speaking in male voices? Drives me crazy.

  24. To whom it may concern,
    Please forgive my son he is 37 years old and has mild Down Syndrome he has been infatuated with Steve oderak (sp?) since Jimmy Newtron first came out. He is actually a great person just a little confused at times. I try to keep him from chatting online because he gets pretty defensive at times. I'll try to keep him off of your site but the computer is his life. Thanks for your patience. Bobbie Bozzelle

  25. Whatever the truth of this commenter's life may be, I'm not going to engage him any further. Perhaps that would have been the right course of action from the beginning. Internet anonymity is something that allows people do do/say what they want with impunity, and really, the best thing to do is "not feed the trolls." Regardless of the facts in this particular case, I should follow my own advice.

  26. Oh, and we also don't allow trolls to have the last word. :-)