Binky Barnes: Dog Or Man?

Binky Barnes: Dog Or Man?

Binky Barnes is perhaps the most complex, compelling and realistic character ever portrayed on children’s television.

Binky Barnes is perhaps the most complex, compelling and realistic character ever portrayed on children’s television. The often overlooked anthropomorphic bulldog is as multifaceted and flawed as Odysseus. It would be a disservice to completely ignore such a well-constructed character that has truly stood the test of time.

Binky is a tortured soul, constantly hiding his love for the finer things behind a brutish mask of extreme virility. According to the Arthur wiki, “he dances ballet, plays the clarinet and flute, and is a lepidopterologist (butterfly collector).” These are things that our western culture, and indeed the culture of Elwood City considers effeminate; as a result, Binky hides these interests because he fears the ridicule he would receive if he was found out.

But why does he hide them? There are plenty of characters who are forward with their more eccentric hobbies. Prunella, for instance has no shame in divulging her affinity for the occult, as evidenced by her love for fortune telling and Henry Screever (a Harry Potter parody). Is Binky so ashamed of the activities that make him happy he sees them as lower than devil worship? Why does Binky so loathe himself? What made him this way? To uncover the answer we have to go deeper down the Binky-hole.

Binky is overprotected, and as a result feels emasculated by his parents constant affection. Freud posits in chapter three of "An Outline of Psychoanalysis" that early childhood mental development is heavily effected by parenting style, and neglect in any one of the child’s steps in development could result in a lasting mental strain. Perhaps, when Marc Brown created the character Binky, he intended him to represent a deep suppression of the id, as a result of his parents affection. It would certainly make sense.

Binky covers his true desires with ferocity and lives a lie of who he wishes he was. Instead behaving as he truly wishes to, he constantly overcompensates with absurd displays of false masculinity. This is no better conveyed than in the episode “D.W. Dancing Queen,” wherein Binky is assigned D.W. as his preschool buddy. To his horror, D.W. seems to be the personification of his id, his most secret urges. She expresses great interest in butterflies, unicorns, and Binky’s greatest, most suppressed passion: ballet. Binky’s first reaction is disgust at this, his higher consciousness attempting to keep this side of him repressed, but he eventually caves to the desires of his subconscious and teaches D.W. ballet.

The almost immediate result of his endeavor is further ridicule from his friends and D.W. telling him he is a bad teacher. From this, it’s clear that when Binky feeds his unconscious desires, it results negative feedback, and ultimately more repression. In an episode entitled “The Contest,” the characters are shown as they would appear in ten years. Binky appears much like one would assume. He wears a leather jacket and shades, appearing to be some sort of bouncer or in a biker gang. Based on this, it becomes clear; throughout the timeline of the entirety of "Arthur," Binky never resolves his disconnect with his unconscious self.

When taken individually, Binky’s various fears and suppressions show that he is an extremely round character, and certainly more complex than any children’s television show character before him. When viewed all together however, the truth that Binky is the most human character emerges. One of Binky’s great fears that he also suppresses, is his fear of the dark. This isn’t that uncommon, as Binky is only 10 years old, but as is common knowledge, Marc Brown doesn’t write simple characters. Binky’s fear of the dark should alert anyone well versed in 20th century psychology to Jung’s archetype of the shadow.

As Binky attempts to suppress the literal shadows in his room, he is figuratively pushing out the negative emotions he can’t handle processing. In addition to the shame and self loathing outlined in the previous paragraph, the allusion to the shadow also implies Binky recognizes his own mortality. Friedrich Nietzsche in "The Gay Science" compares death to a shadow, “[a] gloomy traveling partner that stands right behind." Other characters have simple fears, like Buster who fears aliens, or D.W. who fears octopuses and squids. Binky on the other hand fears something far less tangible. Binky fears his own mortality. As a result, Binky breaks through, and transcends his role as a side character, and becomes a fascinatingly round and human character.

Binky is a sad, broken man who doesn’t know who he is, what he believes, or what happens after death. I didn’t even touch on some deeper aspects of his confused soul, such as the fact that he’s never hit anyone, or his obsession with minimal post-modernism. It’s no wonder he resorts to a façade of violent confrontation, for in the words of Dr. Carl Jung,

“The healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.”

Cover Image Credit: Arthur Wiki

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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