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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Cocorobo

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: May 2012

As promised, I saw The Avengers last week, and I have to say I enjoyed it, although not as much as some other superhero genre flicks to have been released in the past. I think what people are gravitating towards is the fact that this feels both loyal to the original characters we grew up with, whilst still presenting a story that feels fresh and new. It was nice to see director Joss Whedon give the Hulk character a large chunk of screen time, and actor Mark Ruffalo did a marvelous job. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is the first time the Hulk has been portrayed in a satisfying way.

In other news, the Japanese are at it again, and by “it” I mean inventing things that will surely be the death of us all. Remember the Roomba? That small disc-shaped robot vacuum cleaner that promised to patrol your house, expelling all traces of dust and dirt from your floors with unfeeling, militant accuracy? (In reality the Roomba mostly just carved out a small path in your house, and spent most of the time getting stuck in corners). Well kids, not to worry, the Japanese have fixed the glitches in the original Roomba and are releasing a new, updated version called the Cocorobo! Now when I say they fixed the glitches of the Roomba, obviously I am referring to the cold, unfeeling and clinical desire of the Roomba to simply clean your floors. The Cocorobo is essentially the same as the Roomba, but with emotional needs. No, seriously. You have to use and/or speak to the Cocorobo every day or else. I say “or else”, because the video presentation of the Cocorobo doesn’t really say what happens if you fail to keep your emotionally crippled vacuum robot happy. This is how it starts, people. Six months from now we’re going to find a Cocorobo who has gone on a killing spree because its owners didn’t praise it enough or spend enough time watching How It’s Made together. And you know what? We’ll never find the bodies, because the Cocorobo is a cleaning robot. Think about it! Also, is it just me, or does “Cocorobo” sound like a robot whose only job is to rub you down with cocoa butter?

Finally, for all of you who might be wondering whatever happened with those people who were email scammers trying to rent me a house, they did respond. They had the gall to send me a full questionnaire to fill out as well as an application. I responded by telling them I’d gone ahead and moved into the house as I’d already sent the check off to them, and was very much enjoying my new living quarters, especially the pool, (and by pool I was referring to the hole I’d dug in the backyard and lined with tinfoil), and my chickens were just loving their new indoor coop, i.e. the master bedroom. Weirdly, I haven’t heard back from them. 

Arielle Mullen