Monday, August 18, 2014

"Man is in the forest."*

You are clearly a native New Englander when you see a fawn in your yard, and instead of thinking it is so cute and loving the little Bambi-ness of it, you yell and chase it out of the yard because of the ticks. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! (And the eating of the flowers. And the vegetable patch.)

Seriously, Lyme disease is no joke. My doctor even said that Connecticut is known for two things: allergies and Lyme disease. And I already have the first one.

Don't be fooled; this little guy is just WAITING to pounce!

* Walt Disney's Bambi

Friday, August 15, 2014

Casual Observation: Girl Power Apparel?

from Tumblr
I realize that I am totally late to the party in terms of seeing Disney's "Frozen". I liked it. (Although I actually preferred the song "Would You Like to Build a Snowman?" to "Let It Go", so please don't beat me with a stick.)

I did raise an eyebrow though when Queen Elsa finally embraced her magical snowy powers and became "empowered" (a concept I find debatable as she becomes empowered in order to run away and become a hermit in the mountains, which to me is totally the opposite of being empowered.) She also ditched her warm clothes and became all sexy. Like "slit up the clingy dress, kitten heels, and wiggling like Marilyn Monroe" sexy. Actually, I may have raised both eyebrows.

Was there a problem with the cold weather gear? Can you not be empowered in a cardigan? (I am frequently empowered in a cardigan, Disney.)

When I started looking for images to illustrate this blog post, I found out that I was not the only person who was talking about this very subject on the internet (not a shocker, as I acknowledged, seriously late to the party on this film.) I totally understand and support Elsa's ditching of the gloves; they were symbols of her repression and denial of her magical talent. But the rest? I suppose that since she can control ice and snow, the implication is that she doesn't get cold, but the radical change of "costume" for this character was a deliberate choice on the behalf of the film's directors. And I was disappointed. Because, like it or not, Elsa is also one of the film's antagonists. So we are back to the trope of the sexy bad girl. (Jessica Rabbit said it best: "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way.")

Princess Anna
Meanwhile, Princess Anna, clearly the protagonist/hero of the story, has a costume which is extremely modest (granted, that's because she is cold, but still...)- the opposite of her sister. But wait! She is empowered to try to save the day in boots, a cape, and tights!  Maybe she's a superhero? Do we have some unintentional genre mixing here?
< /sarcasm> (BTW, I am also frequently empowered in tights, Disney.)

(Sorry, I just need to say this: kitten heels, on ICE!?! Clearly, the animators all live in California and have not been to northern climes in February. And slipped and fallen on their butts. Which HURTS!)

Did I like this film? Yes. Did I love it? No. (It was no Little Mermaid or Aladdin.) But I know lots of people who did love it and whose kids loved it. And if the friends complaining on Facebook about the long wait times to meet Elsa & Anna at the Disney parks are any indication, LOTS of kids love Elsa & Anna. Which is great. I grew up on a steady diet of Disney films, and imagination is an awesome thing that should be encouraged.

It's a film; I get it. You certainly aren't going to make everyone happy every time. Just for a film that has all this buzz about the power of sisterhood and not having a (male) hero save the day, I still think that Disney has a way to go. Some people will agree; some people won't. And that's okay; you don't have to agree with me. The important part is thinking about it and making a decision for yourself.

Disney and princesses, man, it is SUCH a double edged sword for them. Guess I am glad that growing up my three favorite Disney women were a magical English nanny, a Cocker Spaniel pup, and an evil fairy with horns growing out of her head.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"Till we have built Jerusalem, In England's green & pleasant Land"*

Things like this happen when you watch too many British mystery tv shows on public television (thank you, CPTV, for showing all the British mystery shows, BTW.):

So I was watching my DVRed copy of last Thursday's installment of the "Father Brown Mysteries" the other night, and I was completed befuddled. I couldn't figure out why the episode started with people singing the Anglican hymn "Jerusalem" when Father Brown is Roman Catholic. 

But then I realized it must be because they were at a WI (Women's Institute) event. And the next thing you know, scene opens at a WI meeting. 

Yeah. These are things that worry me. Can it be possible that I am over-Britified?   NAH!

Although sometimes I wonder if I am a reincarnation of some little old lady from the Cotswolds, circa 1953. It would explain A LOT about me....

*lyric from Jerusalem, by William Blake

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Casual Observations: Peter Pan Syndrome

In a conversation today about technology, I happened to mention that the internet didn't exist when I was in college. (Well, it did, but only sort of. There was the start of the web, but this is definitely the pre-Hotmail/commercial search engine era. We had the VAX, and one girl on my hall junior year was talking to people on the IRC. The rest of us were terrified that she was chatting with serial killers. But I digress.)

Anyhow, I got funny looks from the people I was talking to; they thought I was kidding. I had to tell them that I recently turned 40, and both of these people looked as stunned as if I had told them I was from another planet. It was really amusing and flattering at the same time. (Turning 40 hasn't been easy for me, especially since within the last year I have turned into "Everyone's Sickliest Friend", which sucks, BTW.)

Hearing that they each thought I was in the start of my 30s made my month. Hearing that one of them thought I was younger than my younger sister (younger by 4 years) made my year.

Maybe I am doing something right after all!


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