Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child

While we’re in the mode of criticizing Disney, I was fascinated by Tracee Sioux’s rant against Hannah Montana.  It’s a great read, if only for the passion displayed:

But, if it’s a choice between YOU and ME in my daughter’s life. Well, I pick ME. Because I add quality and you, well, you don’t. When your snotty, bratty, disrespectful banter comes out of my daughter’s mouth – well, to be completely truthful, I feel like slapping her. I don’t. But, really, it shouldn’t take so much effort to stop the impulse.

Also, you’re not really age-appropriate no matter how small you make the t-shirts or commando market to Kindergarteners and pre-schoolers.

She’s right – Hannah Montana (and none of the other programming marketed at tweens) is not appropriate for a 6-year-old, IMHO.  In a few years? Sure, but by then, tweens will be on to the next big thing.

As an aside, if you treat child-rearing as an expression of your politics, (if you read Tracee’s blog, you know this is true about her, she makes no bones about it) all I can say is that you are in for a rude awakening in a few years.

But, that’s not what I wanted to talk about.  Later in the rant, she links to an older article in the LA times by Rosa Brooks.

OMG.

At first, I thought it was satire.  I read it three times to make sure.  SHE’S SERIOUS:

You didn’t think Disney was going to stand idly by while you engaged in those little feminist critiques, did you now? Pause for a moment to consider the fate of the princesses’ mommies in those Disney movies. “Cinderella” and “Snow White”? Mothers killed off by mysterious illnesses. “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin”? Mothers all missing; presumed dead.

Disney really has it in for mommies: Even when you leave princess-land, it’s the same pattern. Bambi’s mom? Shot dead by a hunter. Nemo’s mom? Eaten by a barracuda. Of all the major princesses, only Sleeping Beauty (a.k.a. Aurora; like all criminals, she often goes by an alias) has a nuclear family, not that it does her any good. But given Disney’s track record, I wouldn’t want to underwrite her mother’s life insurance policy.

Now, I’ll admit that it is kind of interesting that in so many Disney stories, the mother is absent or killed off.  More on that in a minute.  But to infer that Disney does this as reaction to feminist critique?

Sigh.  It’s so stupid, I can’t even mock it. 

My theory is more literary (hello?  not everything is political.  In fact, few things that matter in life are). 

There are few things in the world the evoke more sympathy than being a motherless child.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but fatherless (either in reality or in practice) children are a dime a dozen.  And they have been that way for centuries, thanks to wars and workplace dangers.  It’s just the way of the world that we have more sympathy for the motherless child than the fatherless child.

I’m sure there are other reasons, but these fairy tales span centuries, and the theme has been around far longer than feminist theory.  Smarter people than me could try to explain why the mothers all die in fairy tales, but if you try to blame it on the patriarchy without backing it up, I will have to remain in mocking mode.

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Hail To The King

CNN has been celebrating the fact that Larry King has been in the interview business 50 years.  This is quite an accomplishment; to do anything for 50 years should be celebrated. 

Personally, King is a relic.  He represents the old  guard, non-southern Democratic party – the one that grew up with the New Deal and came of age with the Great Society.  I actually miss this version of the Democrats; although they would eventually obtain too much power and become corrupt, their idealism is far more attractive to me than the cynical opportunism of today.

But, back on track.  For all his accomplishments, King once actually said the most ridiculous thing I ever heard on the radio.  It was so memorable, 20 years later, I can still with confidence claim to be directly quoting him.

It was the late 80’s.  I was working 2nd shift for the state of TN, and had a long, midnight drive home to Murfreesboro.  So, I had a lot of drive time to kill late at night.  The pop music of the time was in transistion; there wasn’t much worth listening to.  Larry King still had his radio show, although he was also doing the TV show as well.  Modern talk radio was still in its infancy, so at that time of night, King was it.

Rush Limbaugh had just started to take off (one day I’ll post about the early days of Rush; for all his faults, he doesn’t get enough credit for single-handedly reviving an entire media industry). 

Anyway, on a particular drive home, someone called Larry during his “open phones” hour, and asked him what he thought of Rush Limbaugh.  This would be the equivalent of someone asking Brett Favre what he thought of Vince Young.  It was at this time that Larry said something offhand that almost made me wreck my car.

I don’t like him, he said.  He makes fun of the Kennedys. OK, I can accept that – Larry is a partisan at heart.

There’s nothing funny about the Kennedys.

I then spit a mouthful of Dr Pepper on the dash of my Isuzu truck.

There’s nothing funny about the Kennedys.

20 years later, it still makes me laugh.  Larry obviously holds the Kennedy family in such reverence that they’ve risen above mere mortals in his mind.  After all, every single one of us is, simultaneously, tragic and comic.  I am.  You are.  Cindy Sheehan has oodles of tragedy, and gobs of comedy. Don Imus, Rush Limbaugh, Larry King:  they are all very funny and very sad at the same time.

But Larry King, at least in the late 80’s, did not permit the Kennedy family any human-ness.  And, I guess this is the downside of his generation.  To someone my age, this mindset is downright silly.

I just think it’s weird that, of all his accomplishments, when I think of Larry King, I think of that silly statement years ago.  I guess that’s why we should always be careful what we say.  People remember.

I Was Hurt By An Immigrant

Sort of.  I am still, two days later, extremely sore because the Redneck Canadian made me do a second rep with the weights on Monday. 

My body aches all over.  I can barely move.  Every time I get a little comfortable, something happens that makes me shift position, and the pain starts all over again.

An immigrant did this to me.

Never mind she’s “legal”.  Never mind that I asked her to help me with weight training. 

I know it’s hard to get worked up emotionally over this.  I’m only sore.  I asked for it.  The Redneck Canadian isn’t brown (can Canadians even tan?), and she’s been in the country so long, she says “about” correctly, and I even heard her say “ain’t” the other day.  On Thursday, we’re working out together again.

I wanted to go ahead and say my peace since everyone else is doing it

So, yeah, I’m just funnin’ ya.

Besides, the Redneck Canadian has been hurting me for years.  And I usually come out of it a little more muscular.  And she’s in just as much pain as I am.

But y’all – she likes gravy on french fries. 

Our very culture is threatened by dumbbell-wielding hockey fans.  We must do something.

Hey, I just thought of a new slogan:  “Welcome to America.  Now, use ketchup!”

Taken

I usually don’t link there, but I couldn’t resist today.  Those charmers over at TGW have this bombshell: Majority of Women Live Without Husbands .

 Well, of course.  I went off the market in 1987.  It’s been all downhill ever since.

 UPDATE: I just realized that this WordPress theme doesn’t show tags or categories.  I tagged this post “Making Fun of the Humorless”.  If you think I’m really that conceited, you don’t know me very well.