my never ending search to acquire more and more obscure pieces of Pokemon media has lead me to understand some wild shit in gen 1 and 2. like anytime you think “oh that’s weird, why is [thing] like that” it’s probably either some obscure shit or something got changed in beta
for example, you know those weird-ass pokedex entries for Kadabra that are like “lol a kid turned into one of these once. no we’re not explaining anything”
well there’s this book in Japan called Pocket Monsters Encyclopedia released in 1996 that was never translated. It’s notable for basically being the Forbidden Adult Pokedex(TM) that we all want, as it has much longer ‘dex entries for each Pokemon along with more scientific data. While large portions have been retconned over the years, it offers some massive insight into what was going through the dev’s minds when writing this shit, and is 100% canon (for the time period it was written in).
anyway, while it was never translated, DidYouKnowGaming?, being the hero we all need, purchased a copy and had the same translator who translated the games themselves translate the book. Part 1 of the video is below, and I highly recommend you check it out if you like obscure vintage Pokemon shit.
Anyway, the point is that this is what it says about Kadabra:
FUCKING KAFKA. IN MY POKEMON. IT’S MORE LIKELY THAN YOU MIGHT THINK
So basically the ‘dex entries are referencing an in-universe book plot that’s a reference to The Metamorphosis, except due to a lack of space they fucking cut out the part about it being a book, which seems kind of important, but hey what do I know
(Side note: the ‘dex entries saying stuff like “it is rumored that” and “a theory exists” don’t quite line up with it being a book plot, so it’s possible this was retconned, or the book was based off an in-universe event. but this at least tells us why these weird-ass entries exist in the first place and that’s enough for me)
anyway the most important part of this is that the Abra line is confirmed to not be based on foxes, possums, or cats, but cockroaches. thank you for coming to my TED talk
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hi I am very curious - how much of a role do shanties play when you're sailing on tall ships?? are u constantly singing or is that a bit cringe or?
At least on the boats I’ve worked on, they haven’t played much a role in day-to-day work. I’ve sung shanties with the crew at night up on deck once the work was done, or hanging out on the dock together once passengers have left, for the fun of it rather than the function. The captains I’ve worked under to date preferred a much more straightforward chant of ‘two-six-heave’ when trying to get people to haul together.
That said, my experiences aren’t universal! The last ask I answered about shanties, a few months ago, some comments mentioned working on ships which did sing shanties as they hauled up the sails, as well as other well-known, even-paced songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider and Drop It Like It’s Hot. Even then it’s not constant, though - if they’re being sung as work songs, it’s for work that needs everyone acting in time together, which is mostly hauling up the sails and weighing anchor, and not as much the kind of running about you do when you’re actually sailing and need to be able to hear the captain’s orders!
Not really part of the answer but kinda relevant to it: while I unironically love shanties as a facet of the living history of tall ships, and would love to work on a boat that sings them, it’s worth knowing that there’s also a certain weariness in some parts of the sailing community about the public perception that it's all yoho yarhar pirates and parrots etc, which sometimes gets plastered over the actual history and sailing practices that existing tall ships are trying to preserve. So there’s often a sense of walking a line between being fun and historical vs being twee and sorta disneyfied. It’s why some of the boats I worked on explicitly preferred to avoid shanties when they wouldn’t have been used historically on those specific boats - you don’t need a work song when it only takes two people to set the sails, for example, and incorporating it would have been inauthentic and a bit themepark in a way that might have distracted from the very cool actual history of the boat in question.
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