746. Intolerance – Phil Mulloy

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SUMMARY: Human beings discover a film from the planet Zog which depicts customs of its inhabitants. Though fairly similar to human beings, the zogs happen to have their heads and sexual organs in the opposite place to humans.

WHY IT’S HERE: ‘Intolerance’, the first in Phil Mulloy’s trilogy on the subject, is an unsubtle but effective look at mankind’s inability to tolerate anything different from what they know. This is explored through the discovery of a film from the planet Zog which reveals its inhabitants have penises and vaginas for heads and heads between their legs. For the most part, the film is a scientific lecture on the customs of the zog people, which includes some wince-inducing images of them shaving and eating! However, as the lecture progresses the audience become more disturbed and arbitrarily angry, with a self-appointed leader finally beginning a march on the projection room and demanding all-out war be waged on these beings who dare to have sexual organs in the wrong place. The cliff-hanger ending reveals, inevitably, that the planet Zog has also got their hands on a film from Earth and are currently planning the exact same thing. After the more complex ‘Wind of Changes’ and ‘The Chain’, ‘Intolerance’ finds Mulloy back on familiarly extreme comedy territory, using sexual images to make his humanistic point. In the process, he not only questions our species’ intolerance towards harmless differences but also challenges the notion that sexual imagery is inherently offensive, with human ideas of penetrative sex being regarded by zogs as a simple greeting.

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