Let’s take back the Mount Rushmore meme… in a way.
Mount Rushmore is a craggy natural structure, yes? Why not remember the big rocky creatures of popular culture.
The “O.G.” of rock creatures coming from Jewish tradition. Get some stones, clay, or other sorts of inanimate matter, do a ritual, and the golem comes to life. In some stories, there’s some sort of procedure to kill it, such as dancing backwards or removing a letter from its head.
In video games, however, they’re brutish antagonists. RPGs and games with RPG elements seem to really love the rock golem. They’ve shown up in Warcraft III, Borderlands 2, Final Fantasy Xi, Runescape, and many, many more games. Including one where freaks of nature live much of their lives inside a relatively tiny sphere. That reminds me…
When one thinks of rocks in the vast world of Pokemon, that gamer may think of the ‘Dude. It’s been documented that Geodude is popular with boys. That’s probably because he’s been featured with Brock a lot back in the glory days that are the anime’s first few seasons.
The ‘Dude is rock creature that you can tell is a Japanese creation. Its cutesy design includes big eyes and muscular arms. The ‘Dude’s rock solid, but it’s tempting to give him a bro-hug. If it were a real thing, of course.
While I’m briefly pay tribute to the rock star, a true Poke-nerd can pull up the ‘Dude’s Bulbapedia entry and look up its stats like catch rate, base experience yield, and wins over replacement Pokemon. Maybe you’re enthralled that it rates a 10 out of 13 in the Pokéathlon. Maybe.
Anyway, my favorite ‘Dude moment has nothing to do with battling other pocket monsters in crazed combat. The ‘Dude may have a stony heart, but that heart knows what it wants: a villainess with a flair for incompetence.
All sorts of hucksters, con artists, and other capitalist connivers think of ways to separate people from their money. If one takes an extreme point of view, maybe these ideas come to life as monthly MMORPGs or games and trading cards made by a corporate beast. Those are mere entertainment compared to Gary Dahl’s smash hit.
Dahl, who has a background in advertising, came up with a product that was briefly rivaled disco music as the sensation of the 1970s. Basically, put a generic rock and a punny manual inside a box.
For 395 cents, that fabulous Pet Rock could be yours. As the Wikipedia entry helpfully notes, the original Pet Rock had no eyes. Give it feet and limbs and watch Mr. Potato Head squirm.
History has a long list of worthless items people buy and I’m okay with that. I’ll even give a pass to ThinkGeek’s rocky horror that is the “USB” Pet Rock. What REALLY annoys me it the PetRock.com official website, which is entirely done in images and no simple text. Lack of web design creativity makes it a major usability fail.
There’s a big reason he deserves to be in this Mount Rushmore. Not being a founding and enduring member of the Fantastic Four. Not the “It’s Clobberin’ Time” catch phrase or Michael Chiklis. The Thing has survived plenty, including cheesy robots and cheesy theme music. But the late 70s cartoon with “Benjy” Grimm and his Thing ring is a big guilty pleasure of mine: