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Headscratchers / Avenue Q

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    Everyone's A Little Bit Related 
  • In the opening for the song "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" Kate Monster accuses Princeton for being racist when he asked if Kate is related to Trekkie, namely asking him whether if Princeton thought that all Monsters looked alike. Wouldn't the fact that Kate Monster and Trekkie Monster have the same last name be more of a reason why he would think of such a thing? But then again the purpose of the whole song was to go against Political Correctness Gone Mad so that was probably the point.
    • Presumably all members of the Monster ethnic group have the same last name, so Princeton assuming that two random monsters are probably related is at least somewhat ignorant. The line about monsters looking alike struck me as Kate Monster saying, "If you think we're all related, you're probably also racist enough to say things like, 'They all look alike,' right?"
      • That's like saying that all white people should have the last name White in the world of Avenue Q, or that Gary Coleman's last name should be 'Black'... though, since our only real polling group for the 'Monster' race are Kate and Trekkie, and Lucy the Slut, whose last name we really don't know...
      • Of course we do. Its "Slut". Middle name "The".
      • And she's not a monster. I'm pretty sure she makes anti-monster insinuations to Kate on multiple occasions.
      • She's a Puppet-American.
      • Wait, I thought that Nicky was Monster?
      • The Monsters are the puppets with fur. Nicky, Rod, Princeton and Lucy are all "human" puppets; Kate and Trekkie are Monsters (who I think we are to assume have a Species Surname); and the Bad Idea Bears are...bears with bad ideas.
    • Maybe Monster is a common surname for Monsters, though not the only one. It'd be like assuming that everyone with the last name Smith or Nguyen are related or something.
    • She's probably experienced someone saying that all monsters are related in a racist way. Monster-racism is implied to not be all that uncommon of a thing in this musical, what with Trekkie's backstory and Kate's determination to make a Monster school.
    • Monsters may have Species Surname in this universe.

    Brian's racism? 
  • The same song, "Everyone's a little bit racist", has another Headscratchers line, when they accuse Brian of being racist for calling Christmas Eve "Oriental". Brian's use of the term stems not from racism, but from ignorance — I mean, I didn't know that "Oriental" was racist, until a Japanese-American supervisor told me a couple years ago. Calling Brian "racist" is harsh.
    • Brian is being both ignorant and racist. It's possible to mean well and be racist at the same time.
      • It is possible to be well meaning and racist (which will often be manifested in paternalistic behavior toward the other race), but that is not the case here. Racism must indicate a belief that one race is superior to another, or deferential treatment based on race, neither of which is happening here. Ignorance that it is now correct to call people from Asia "Asian" no more means you think other people are superior/inferior than ignorance that you should now call Brontosaurus "Apatosaurus" means you consider other dinosaurs superior/inferior. By your meaning the NCAAP would be racist!
      • Except that doesn't make sense. Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus was reclassified, and neither is counted as a slur because a.) they're fucking dinosaurs and b.) who's going to get offended? Who's had that word thrown at them to dehumanize and 'exotify' them? Considering it's been a good amount of time since being called 'Oriental' was politically correct as opposed to Asian (which brings up its own problems), Brian should have known, and it's an act of racism.
      • The thing about slurs is that, whether the person using them realises it or not, it comes from a position of the dictionary definition of racism. Slurs, by their very nature, are names that were chosen (or co-opted) by a majority for a minority for the express purpose of at best segregation and at worst dehuminisation. Brian, when saying 'oriental', may not mean it as a slur, but that doesn't change the fact that it is considered a slur by many Asians and N-Word Privileges don't apply.
    • A lot of that song is about how ridiculously sensitive people can be about race. There are people who will get incredibly pissed off about being called Oriental. Then there are people like my father, who didn't know that he should be offended by the term Oriental until I told him so, after he called himself that. Some of the reasons why everyone's a little bit racist is that there are people who will call racism for any tiny little thing.

    Glenn Beck is only for now 
  • I don't know why, but "Glenn Beck is only for now" seems more mean-spirited than "George Bush is only for now". I think it's because Glenn Beck is just a journalist and is therefore a smaller target... but in any case it makes me uncomfortable, while the previous line didn't.
    • He's not a journalist, he's a talk show host. His job isn't to inform, but to discuss, not to avoid opinion, but to give nothing but. He may be a smaller target, but he's not a journalist, and lacks the ironclad "people's right to know" armor that accompanies that title.
    • "G-B-" is only for now. "Easy right-wing target for left-wingers" is only for now. George Bush and Glenn Beck both fit that pattern.
    • There's also the fact that Glenn Beck, like George Bush, is two syllables and easy to fit in to that part of the song. Some productions keep George Bush but just change tense: "George Bush! Was only for now~"
    • Probably because George Bush being gone probably means his presidency is over, but Glenn Beck being gone is more likely to mean he is dead.
      • Or, you know, out of the public eye.
    • In the UK version In 2011, this was changed to Jedward, an X-Factor act who, at that time, were falling into obscurity when they were chosen to sing for Ireland in Eurovision, and did well, before representing Ireland again a year afterwards with more modest results. Since than, they have fallen into complete obscurity, trying to do "airport tours" without singing to keep their career going.
      • And on the 2012 UK tour, it was Justin Bieber.
      • Other subjects have included political parties like the Liberal democrats Party.
    • I was shocked that they changed it to "Glenn Beck". I had assumed that it would be "Barack", and keep changing to refer to the current President/PM depending on which side of the pond you were on.
    • The creators of Avenue Q are left-wing. It stands to reason that they might be more likely to pick right-wing targets instead of left. They have a right to pick who their targets are; it's their show. Just like Chris Rock has a right to criticize his fellow black people, for example, since it's his comedy act.
    • In a regional showing in California, it was changed to "Prop 8! Is only for now!"

    Racism against Monsters 
  • So, there's racism in that world against Monster puppets, which just happen to be fuzzier than the other puppets. In that case, if humans also exist in that world (Gary, Brian, Christmas Eve), wouldn't there also be some sort of racism between humans and puppets? What about between the non-monster puppets based on their Amazing Technicolor Population?
    • Well, in Avenue Jew (which is not canon, but darned amusing), and in it there is definitely stated tensions between humans and puppets.
    • There's clearly a known difference in-universe between humans and puppets (Christmas Eve complains about green hairs on the soap. Nicky's hair isn't green, but his skin-fuzz is!). It's possible that, assuming that puppets are also a "race," they just got accepted sooner than monsters. Like how marriage between whites and blacks became legal before gay marriage did, or blacks got the right to vote before women did. It doesn't all happen at once.
    • This troper always thought the use of puppets for non-monsters was to make some scenes more feasible or make some sense. For instance, the puppet-sex scene wouldn't have worked if Princeton was played by a human, or how it would have been hard to ensure look-alikes-with-subtle-differences to play Nicky and Ricky (hence the need for Rod to be a puppet so the pairing up didn't seem weird).
      • In another sense, the only reason Brian, Christmas Eve, and Gary are humans is because they're parodies of the adult humans on Sesame Street, who help characters out of ruts and teach them lessons. All three of them have one of these moments: "There Is Life Outside Your Apartment", "The More You Ruv Someone" and "Schadenfreude". Gary Coleman could also be a parody of the Sesame Street celebrity guests.

    The Investment of Porn 
  • How is porn a stable investment when most porn is available for free on the internet?
    • Because there's still many many people who pay for it. There's quite a bit of porn that's not free, especially for certain niche fetishes. Those who run the porn pay-sites will tell you they're very profitable.
      • A real life owner of West Ham FC made money off pornographic movies. Maybe that's what Trekkie invests in.

    The Internet is for Porn 
  • Okay, different song— "The Internet is for Porn." Among the "normal people" who sit at home and look at porn on the Internet is Rod. This is what drives me batty: since Rod is gay, his porn choices will... reflect that, to put it as nicely as we can. Why is he being so straight-forward about it...?
    • They never actually talk about the porn that they watch, just that they watch it. Maybe they were all watching bizarre fetish porn involving some serious use of Rule 34; we don't know.
    • As a separate aside, there are people who watch porn to mock it, or for other reasons apart from the obvious.

    Rod's investment job 
  • If Rod is an investment banker, why is he living on such a bad part of town as Avenue Q? Even entry-level investment bankers make enough cash for something a little more upscale.
    • Major debt? Gambling addiction? The terrible economy?
      • Fridge Brilliance: To be closer to Nicky, because he is terribly in love with him, even though he denies it to all and sundry. Nicky possibly couldn't afford living anywhere else, and Rod is most surely NOT going to move somewhere better and take Nicky along, because then Tongues Would Wag Like Whoa. And Rod (before accepting himself) would most definitely NOT want that.
      • And he could hide it further by saying that he's being frugal by choosing to live there with a roommate.

    The puppeteers 
  • Okay, so I'm assuming in-universe that they don't actually have human puppeteers operating them. So, is it like the Muppet movies where, in parts, they sometimes have full bodies and that's how it works in the Avenue Q universe? How else could puppet sex work?
    • Probably. But putting together and maintaining and operating lower halves for the puppets would double their cost, and they'd probably look kind of eerie with their legs just dangling most of the time.

    Trekkie Monster clothing 
  • Also, Trekkie doesn't seem to wear clothes. That'd be fine in his own apartment, but he comes out on a few occasions. If we assume they actually have lower halves that he don't see, does he just wear pants and nothing else?
    • Well, Elmo doesn't wear clothes. Nor does Grover or Cookie Monster, but there are Sesame Street puppets who wear clothes. It could be that standards for in/decency are more relaxed for puppets (or Monsters) than for humans; Trekkie Monster is just the only one we see in the show who takes advantage of it?
    • I mean, Trekkie (from what we can see) is completely covered in fur, so...
    Rod's plot resolution 
  • Is anyone else bugged by how Rod's subplot was resolved. I liked that he and Nicky made up and that they could be friends again despite the awkwardness, but then Nicky bring in his gay double as if to say, "Sorry I can't be your boyfriend, but here's a nice substitute!" He might as we have just given him a blow up doll with his face on it for how lazy that wrap up was. Not that I wanted them to get together or for Rod to be alone, but I feel like there could've been something better done.
    • Actually... I was slightly surprised by that, too. Mostly because Rod accepted this way-too-easy solution so eagerly. I mean, apart from the fact that they looked the same, Nicky and Ricky were completely different in every way. Sure, Rod and Nicky are polar opposites, too, but still, I thought given how much in love he seemed to be with Nicky... I did like the fact that they managed to make up, though (and I happen to be one of those who wished Rod and Nicky could have been together somehow but whatever). It was a little bit sloppy from the writers, I agree, and even if they couldn't think up anything else, it would have left a different flavour if Rod would have pointed out the almost offending easiness of this solution. This way, we're left wondering if Rod's feelings were really THAT shallow... or if he just didn't want to cause trouble, IDK. Plus it might have been me, but Nicky actually seems a bit dejected at how eager Rod is at meeting Ricky and leaving with him. He probably thought that even if Rod has a boyfriend now, Nicky can still be his normal friend?
      • Most of the character arc wrap-ups were abrupt and ridiculously convenient, not just Rod's. Case in point: the ten million dollars. It was probably intentionally "lazy" for humor.
      • In a local production this troper saw, that plotline was played as if Nicky returned Rod's feelings, but wasn't sure if he was actually Rod's type or even if Rod was gay or just a very flamboyant straight guy. When Ricky was introduced, Rod's reaction was, "Nicky AND Ricky!? My cup runneth over!" with the trio quickly hurrying offstage for an implied threesome.

    Unhappiness and Christmas Eve 
  • If everyone on Avenue Q is so unhappy about their lives, why does Christmas Eve have no patients?
    • Brian has no job and he's her husband so she couldn't be his therapist even if he could pay her. Rod is too tight-lipped and afraid/nervous to talk about his problems- and even when he does go to Christmas Eve it's more as a friend. Nicky wouldn't bother and Princeton just moved there... idk about Kate.
    • Maybe she did have a few patients before, but she was so rude and obnoxious that they left her?
    • Trekkie Monster says in one of his songs that he goes to a therapist, but it's most likely a different one than Christmas Eve.
    • They can't afford the fees.
    It doesn't suck to be some of the monsters? 
  • So it doesn't suck to be Trekkie, Lucy or the Bad Idea Bears?
    • Lucy doesn't live in Avenue Q, Trekkie has it made in the shade, and the Bears... don't exist.
      • Wait, so the bears don't exist?!
      • No. The Bad Idea Bears are a physical representation of intrusive, or "bad", thoughts. They are just there to prompt Princeton to choose the bad decisions that come into his head.
  • What about Miss Thistletwat?
     Trekkie Isn't a Little Bit Racist? 
  • Is Trekkie Monster the only one who isn't racist?
    • No no, my friend. Didn't you hear? Everyone's a little bit racist.


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