lola bunny

a discursive megazord looms on the horizon

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Space Jam 2!

There’s a second Space Jam movie coming out at some point in the future. The first thing you need to know is that it involves LeBron James and the Looney Tunes battling a computer program named Al G Rhythm, played by Don Cheadle. Presumably, they fight using basketball.

The other thing you need to know is that Lola Bunny is back, and God help us all. The general arc of my day yesterday, Space Jam 2 Reveal Day, was something like: “Ooh, Space Jam 2!” to “Sounds weird” to “Ah…” to “So we’re really doing this, huh?”

For roughly 24 hours, I’ve had this JPEG burned into my frontal lobe.

You all ready know I’m talking about the Lola Bunny discourse, which feels like it was created in some sort of supervillain’s lair to destroy my life. In case you are blessed enough to forget, Lola Bunny was a female counterpart/love interest for Bugs Bunny created for the first Space Jam. The general design philopsohy of the character is, “What if Bugs Bunny was slim thicc?”

Pairing the concept of a “hot version of Bugs Bunny” with the powerful communication capabilities of the early web was a mistake. In the Rule 34 power rankings, I would put Lola Bunny right up there with Marge Simpson. And while the other Looney Tunes predate furry culture, Lola Bunny came into the world right as furry culture was finding its footing on the early web. One could effectively argue Lola is the first mainstream fursona.

I am overthinking this because there has been some — what’s the right word — curious Lola Bunny content online over the years. There is one mysterious post I think about a lot, a point-and-shoot photo that haunts my dreams. I originally caught it on a “best of 4chan” aggregation blog.

If you can’t understand what is happening here, the first user has posted a photo implying that they are “doing something tonight,” implying some kind of sexual act. They’ve attached a photo. Another user has run the photo through reverse-image search engines, which did not turn up any matches. This indicates that the photo was taken by the original poster, and thus, not a joke.

This is the photo:

Spine-tingling stuff. The flash-exposed promotional Lola statue in the foreground, the enormous and dimly lit pile of Lola merch in the background. The implication that this person (definitely a dude) is gonna, I think, submerge himself in a pile of crusty 90s-era Space Jam merch and do… something? I hate it!!! I need to know everything about it!!!!

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find much more. One thing I can say with confidence is that the original poster in that 4chan thread does not live in a Lola Bunny house of horrors. I suspect this because the filename of the photo (tumblr_lq86s0gGsE1ql1mqeo1_1280.jpg) adheres to the old Tumblr image filename schema, and thus, I was able to find the original lurking on its servers. That doesn’t help me determine the actual origin, but it’s a start.

So they redesigned Lola for the sequel, and people are going nuts. Or pretending to go nuts because it is, I’m not afraid to admit, very funny to get worked up about the sex appeal of a genderswapped Bugs Bunny. I suspect Lola Bunny was many freakazoids’ introduction to the idea that they could think a cartoon had sex appeal, and maybe they object to a central implication of the redesign: that fake cartoon rabbits don’t need to be sexy in a conventional, human sense.

The Lola discourse itself would not worry me as much if we were not, at the same time, dealing with wall-to-wall Fox News coverage of how they’re not printing some racist Dr. Seuss books anymore. This was a decision made by his estate: “Hey, we’re not gonna keep publishing the racist ones.” Personally speaking, I think that’s fine.

Th Seuss decision is similar to how the people who designed Lola Bunny, who is not real, decided not to slap a cartoon rabbit head ona Barbie body. And yet I don’t think it’s out of the question that the animated, internet-poisoned right-wing of American discourse will pick up Lola as their next cause. It’s worryingly easy for me to imagine Tucker Carlson asking if PC culture gone too far by making the bunny less hot.

It could be months of this. Discussion of the hotness of Lola Bunny clouded in the impenetrable mist of quasi-irony and by '90s-kid nostalgia goggles, mixed with MAGA culture warrior stuff and IDW anti-“cancel culture” crusading. If that sentence made no sense to you: good. The scenario is, to quote the film A Perfect Storm, “a perfect storm.”

It is, on the flip side, nice to see the tweets congratulating Lola on her top surgery.


Elsewhere…


Thank you for reading BNet. Still can’t get over “Al G Rhythm.”