Dollar Bill with George Washington wearing 'Ziggy Stardust' face paint and red lipstick.

Your tax dollars at work animating Ziggy Stardust … as it should be!

It’s Cartoon Friday, again!

Blank On Blank is a PBS series which takes archival interviews of celebrities and animates them into short YouTube cartoons.

Blank on Blank’s animated interview series is produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios. […] We help journalists dust off their prized tapes, minidiscs, and digital recordings. Those saved interviews with iconic figures gathered to write articles, books, to make radio, that few people ever got to hear. Until now.

Vintage interview tapes. New animations. We transform journalists’ unheard interviews with cultural icons. The future of journalism is remixing the past.

Tonight I selected the most recent episode, “David Bowie on Stardust.”

‘I never really felt like a rock singer or a rock star. I always felt a little bit out of my element.’ — David Bowie, Interview by Joe Smith

Hear the full interview catalog at the Library of Congress

Blank On Blank offers new episodes every other week. You can follow the series on Twitter.

Tina Belcher Rules TV

TV critics keep singing the praises of Tina Belcher, the oldest daughter on Bob’s Burgers (previously on Cartoon Friday). That’s because she may be the most lovingly depicted, yet still painfully awkward adolescent girl on television today — and perhaps ever. Writing for “girl geek” website The Mary Sue, Katie Schenkel offers “Sexual Agency & Zombie Butts: Why Bob’s Burgers’ Tina Belcher Matters.”

My love for Tina started in the second episode, ‘Crawl Space,’ when she’s faced with sharing a room with her brother for the week. In what seems like a throwaway joke, Tina warns that not only has she dealt with zombie-themed night terrors for years, but thanks to her budding sexuality, the night terrors are melding into weird sex dreams where she gets the zombies to make out and touch each other’s butts. … A random joke that pokes fun at Tina’s intense awkwardness and then is never mentioned again, right?

Well, no. Instead of just dropping the zombie fetish joke, they made it part of her character. You see the dreams manifest themselves later in ‘Crawl Space.’ Then you see euphoric visions of zombies in her head when she has her first kiss a few episodes later. They kept bringing it up. […] But it doesn’t stop there. As the seasons have progressed, she’s been more and more unashamed about being physically attracted to boys. She flirts with them … it’s usually really awkward, but you’ve seen her level of confidence grow (props to her voice actor Dan Mintz for walking that line of awkward and confident perfectly). Along with zombies, she really, really likes sometimes-love-interest Jimmy Jr.’s butt. She really likes boy butts in general. Heck, she listens to the traffic reports because she likes the phrase ‘bumper to bumper.’

[…] I can’t think of a show (especially a comedy) that has so expertly handled a teenage girl’s desires in all their awkward glory. If we do see a teenage girl having desires on other comedies, it’s either being mocked as something trivial and stupid or, even worse, shown behind the lens of what boys and men want from young women, catered to what the male gaze wants girls to be in that moment. And god forbid that girl doesn’t look exactly how the male audience wants her to look […]

But in Bob’s Burgers, the writers (several of whom are women, surprise surprise) have allowed Tina to express her budding sexuality, weirdness and all, without putting it through the lens of what others would feel comfortable with. She has weird fetishes. She writes erotica. She enjoys expressing her feminine side in the form of unicorns and pretty horses while having a thing for zombies, too. She female gazes all over hot men. She also has some of the funniest, most random and weirdly sexual thoughts in the whole show, including ‘If boys had uteruses, they’d be called duderuses.’

Thanks to Dana Sayre for this link. Other authors to touch on this subject include Sonya Saraiya (“Tina Makes the Series a Must-Watch“) and Charlotte Shane (“Bob’s Burgers Is the Most Sex-Positive Show On TV“).

What’s on your TV these days? What are you streaming? Got any cartoons you love that we should link too? Tell me about them in the comments below!

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Photo by Zawezome released under a Creative Commons license.

Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and