Cinderella, Cinderella, do the laundry, do the dishes, yadda yadda. I’m sure quite a few children pictured themselves Cinderella at some point. Of course, then these little girls grow up and they really DO have to do all the work, while children cry “Mommy, Mommy” instead of Cinderella and Prince Charming hides under his car.
But I digress. The story of Cinderella begins much the same way as Snow White. Mom promptly drops dead of “Disney and/or fairy tales in general hate mom syndrome.” Cinderella is left with dumb Dad, who once again gets her an evil stepmother and then drops dead. Thanks, Dad. This time, it’s worse, though, because Cinderella also gets two mean stepsisters to go with the mean stepmother. Instant dysfunctional family!
And like Snow White, Cinderella is made a servant in her own home. Only difference is she’s some sort of nobility instead of a princess. And she likes to sit by the cinders in the fireplace, so they call her “Cinder-ella.” Good thing she didn’t like sitting by the cow chips.
Cinderella puts up with the abuse with a happy smile, just like all women should. She sings while she cleans (Wtf with the singing while you clean? I never once was tempted to sing while I cleaned.) Also, she has help with her work. From the vermin. Yes, that’s right, even the disease infested rats love Cinderella. She feeds them and protects them from Lucifer (uh huh) the cat and knits them tiny clothes in all her spare time, and in return they keep her company. Reminds me a little of that show “Infested”.
So her miserable life goes on, with stepmom and stepsisters (who the story points out are ugly, which automatically equals evil in fairy tale logic) loading chores on her while they lay around being ugly and whatnot. Until one day they get this invitation to the prince’s ball. He’s bride shopping, and any girl who shows up gets a chance at the bidding block. Woot! Stepmother decides that her daughters are going to attract the prince, because she’s somewhat delusional. We’re talking an episode of “The Bachelor” here, not “Beauty and the Beast.”
Cinderella wants to go too, and so stepmom says that sure she can go, as long as she finds herself suitable clothes and finishes the impossible list of chores she gives her. What a saint. So Cinderella cleans and cleans. The vermin realize she’s never gonna get her chores done, so after wasting time singing a song about how mean everyone is to her “Cinderelly, Cinderelly” (oh how I hate that song) they get down to business and together they fix up this old dress for her with cast offs the stepsisters toss down.
Now I hate mice, but if I found some that could sing and sew, I would say “Heck with you stepmom, I’m goin’ on the road.” She could have made a bloomin’ fortune! Oh, well. Cinderella is sooo happy when she gets back and realizes the dress is all ready. She puts it on and rushes to join her stepfamily. They promptly rip her dress to shreds when they realize part of her dress once belonged to them. At this point, you’re beginning to think these guys might not be very nice people.
Heck, even Cinderella has finally figured this out, and breaks down and cries in the garden. But never fear, her fairy godmother appears out of nowhere and gives her a heart attack. She’s there to help the girl go to the ball! So now we’re in an episode of “What not to Wear” combined with “Pimp my Car” and “Say Yes to the Dress.” This is one big freaking reality show.
If I were Cinderella, I might be asking why this lady didn’t show up like ten years ago when all this mess started. But better late than never, I guess. She creates a coach out of a pumpkin, and makes the mice and dog into horses and coachmen (talk about identity crisis) and then makes Cinderella a brand new dress complete with glass slippers. Wow, talk about – freaking uncomfortable. In case you didn’t know, many believe that the glass slippers come from a mistranslation of the original and Cinderella was supposed to be wearing fur slippers. But what woman would wear fur when she could destroy her feet with breakable high heels, huh?
She gets to the ball, with the warning that the magic will end at midnight STAT. The prince sees her, and BAM instant love connection. He’s found his bachelorette. They dance and forget the time and then Cinderella realizes and runs away so he won’t know that she really wears rags and drives a pumpkin. Good choice, there. On the way, she loses a slipper (plot point!). The other slipper stays in her pocket. So she got to keep the most uncomfortable part of the magic. Thanks, FG!
The prince finds the slipper, but no girl. Word gets out that the prince will marry the girl whose foot fits the slipper. So he’s betting on there being only one size 0 in the entire kingdom. What if some other girl wore the same size? Then what? Would they put them in a line up and see if Prince Genius can remember which one he danced with?
Honestly, I’m pretty sure Cinderella’s prince gets the prize for most useless. He’s not even given a name, unless he really is named “Charming” which is the lamest name ever. It’s his father who, unlike the prince, is short and dumpy and freaky looking, who gets all the screen time. He wants grandchildren, so he’s ready to force his son into picking a wife right away. No word from what the son thinks about all this. Eh, who cares. In this story, the prince is not the rescuer but the prize! He’s so pretty, and look at all the ways you can pose him, Cindy!
A lackey is sent around with the enviable task of trying shoes on millions of stinky women’s feet. Joy. The stepmother figures out it is Cinderella the prince is looking for, and locks her up in her room when the shoe guys show up. The stepsisters try on the shoes, but they don’t fit. True fact: In the original fairy tale, the stepsisters are so eager to fit into the shoes, they actually chop their toes off. No lie. I’m guessing the shoe guys noticed all the blood building up in the shoes, because it didn’t work. Later, birds come and peck out the eyes of the sisters. Cinderella’s like “see ya suckers” and takes off with the prince. I like that version, personally.
In the Disney version, we can’t have blood or any of that fun violence, so the mice get the key and free Cinderella. The stepmother destroys the glass slipper, but Cinderella has the other one. That right there pretty much proves who she is, but they try the shoe on anyway, it fits, and Cinderella has won her man. It pays to have size 0 feet, ladies.
So Cinderella marries the prince, and lives happily ever after with trophy man and creepy grandpa who I can only assume sits outside their bedroom until word of an impending grandchild arrives. Oh, and the mice apparently come along and infest the castle, probably infecting the entire populace with the plague, but it was good while it lasted.
Next up, everyone’s favorite narcoleptic, Sleeping Beauty.
I’ve always loved fairy tales and princesses. So does Disney. It might surprise you, but the “Disney Princess” line really hasn’t been around that long. It just seems that way. My Thing One, who a few years ago was content enough to let her mother dress her up in pretty, pretty princess costumes, now thinks princesses and pink are yuck. She also thinks all the princesses in the “Disney Princess” line are like replicas of each other. Well, okay, she has a point there. Which is interesting, considering that the actual princesses (some of them aren’t even princesses in their stories) do have personalities in the movies. As Thing One said, “What the heck happened to Jasmine? She was kinda tough before.”
The answer is “marketing”. Little girls like being princesses. People are critical of this and often try to steer their kids away from such sexist notions. But I think it makes just as much sense as little boys wanting to be dinosaurs. Think about it – a princess gets to wear some awesome bling and have other people do all her chores for her. What kid wouldn’t like that gig? Also, just like dinosaurs, princesses probably get to go to bed whenever they darn well please because, well, they’re freaking princesses. I know I would still like to be a princess but my dinosaur husband is too busy stomping around to listen to me.
This is not to say that little girls can’t be dinosaurs (hello Rara!) or little boys princesses. At Thing Two’s fifth birthday party, we tried to give her boy buddy a more manly crown instead of the tiara all the girls got. He cried. So I gave him a tiara. He promptly slapped that thing on and chased the girls around with his magic wand he had transformed into a ray gun. Some things are just kind of ingrained, sorry.
Anyway, what I wanted to address was Disney’s fairy tales. (I got distracted by the princessy shiny things, so sue me!) How bad are they for little kids? Are they any better, or worse, than the original fairy tales themselves? I think a lot of people miss this part. Most fairy tales were originally told as warnings. For instance, in the original Little Red Riding Hood, she’s eaten by the wolf. The end. No kindly woodsman who just happened to be hanging around grandma’s house (which is sorta creeper). Nope, she’s dead. Because if you talk to strange wolves, you get dead. Lesson: Don’t talk to strangers. Sweet dreams, honey.
I loved the Disney fairy tale movies. They had incredible animation, great songs, and beautiful characters and scenery. No one looked like Spongebob and friends. I liked that. Now note I’m talking about the cartoon feature length movies, not the sequels or most of their live action stuff, which almost always sucks. But is this a good thing for kids to watch? Guess what? I’m here to give you my reviews. Keep in mind I also read the entire 50 Shades series, so what I find appropriate might not match what you find appropriate. You never can tell. But I think we’ll have fun.
Now most of these tales have certain themes in common.
Dead Parents: at least one of the parents is six feet under for some reason. Usually the mother. Disney hates mothers.
Bad Parenting: If the parents are alive, they aren’t that great. Either they marry stupidly (see Evil Stepmother Syndrome) or they are abusive, neglectful, or just plain stupid (see the Miller in Rumplestiltskin).
Good vs. Evil: Good is the innocent (ie dumb) princess. Bad is the parent, dragon, etc.
Cute Animal Friends: she’s almost always scarily good with animals who repay her kindness by making her clothes, cleaning her house, and not eating her.
The “Prince”: Either this guy comes in and rescues the princess, or in other cases, is the prize the girl gets for a lifetime of crap.
Happily Ever After: This usually comes in the form of a marriage. Cause everyone knows that marriage solves everything!
I’m sure there are more themes we’ll explore as I get into the stories. If you can think of others, let me know! Stay tuned for our first tale next time: Snow White and all those short guys.
When you saw this title, you might have thought, hey, this is going to be a post about the meaning of life, and how it’s a game, and like we’re actors on a stage flopping around like fish and getting bad reviews in the New York Times. Or something. But then you may have looked and seen this was written by Alice and gone, oh nevermind, she’s just going to talk to us about the actual game of Life and how goofed up it is.
And you’d be right! See the game of Life is supposed to mirror real life and it totally does cause most of us look like tiny pegs. Pink if you’re a girl, blue if you’re a boy. If you’re not sure there are no green pegs, sorry. And no one cares if you hate pink or blue, deal with it.
First off, you have to decide if you want to go to college or get a job. Just like in real life, it doesn’t really matter what you choose. When it comes time to get a job, you’re just as likely to make more money without college as you are if you go to college. So it’s just whether you want to borrow the money or not. Or you can always rob the bank while the banker isn’t looking. That also works, and it’s a possible career track.
Not really. Well, not in this game anyway. You’re thinking Grand Theft Auto. Anyway, if you go to college, you can land on stuff like “make the Dean’s list” or “Spring Break vacation” or “Cheat on your exams.” In the case of the last one, you get to move ahead two spaces, or you would if it was an actual option, which it really should be. The other two can get you Life tokens, which have different money amounts on the back. You get to add this to your total. So if you write the “Great American Novel” you get something like 100,000 bucks. On the other hand, if you write the “Great Shades of Crap” you get like a couple million.
There is a theme to this game. See, to succeed in the game of Life, you have to be the player with the most money at the end. Yups. Not the player who cured Cancer, or gives food to starving people, or even just raises a nice family. No, this is an AMERICAN game, folks, so he who has the most cash wins life. It’s best to teach this to kids early.
Whether you go to college or not, you eventually end up on the “Get a Job” space that so many young people try to avoid. But unless you are born wealthy (in which case you’ve already “won” hoorah!) you have no choice but to stop here. In fact, the game makes you stop, which sucks. Then comes the part where you get to randomly choose jobs and salaries. Because you have different cards for your job and your salary, this means you can be a really bad rock star making 20,000 a payday or a really dirty cop making 100,000. I like being the cop because I can fine people who spin 10 even though I almost always spin 10 because I speed through life. See how REAL this game is?
After you get your randomly selected job – and this will be a job you didn’t want but were stuck with (so familiar) – then the next step is to get married. Again, you don’t have a choice on this one. You MUST stop and find a spouse. When I played this as a kid, I had a friend who resented having to get married, so she’d sometimes put another pink peg in her car, or put multiple pegs in her car (future polygamist). This annoyed me because that was NOT the proper way to play the game. Did she not see the happy nuclear family (who is probably getting drugs from the dirty cop) on the cover? Sheesh.
So you get married to a random peg and hooray hope you’re happy because there is no divorce space in this game. You and spouse peg continue on a few more spaces and you get to buy a house! Once again, this is completely random. You choose blindly from three cards and MUST buy the house listed on the card whether you can afford it or not. Sometimes you go into major debt doing this. If you don’t, you’re stuck with something like the “split level” house that is actually built on a fault line – get it? Actually it kind of reminds me of the first house my husband and I lived in. Anyway, either way, you’re kind of screwed. This is so true to life it’s a little scary, isn’t it?
Once you have a house you can have a baby at any time. No birth control in this game, guys, so I guess everybody is Catholic. There are eight baby spots, one in which you have twins, and another in which you adopt twins. You don’t get to choose to adopt either, it just happens. When I was in high school, we played this game in Economics. One of my classmates ended up hitting every single baby spot. Since there are only six spots in the car, he ended up stacking his kids up on the top of the car like cordwood. He named each one something totally bizarre just for fun. Another classmate was sad because she never landed on a kid spot, so he was kind enough to offer to sell her his son Lightbulb for 50 dollars. A real steal.
My children (I landed on two pink pegs!) and I continue this tradition and name our husbands and children names with a theme like say toilet paper (Charmin, Angel Soft, Store Brand, etc). It makes the game more interesting. You need something to keep it interesting because trust me, after a while Life gets very, very dull. You keep doing the same old thing, spinning your wheel and collecting pay days as the days of your life diminish one by one, or by tens, if you play like I do.
Good thing real life is totally different in this case, right? Right?
Moving on, sometimes you lose your job and have to choose another. It’s a real pain going from being a cop making 100 grand to a crappy basketball player making 20 grand. Talk about your midlife crisis. Sometimes you have to exchange salary cards with other players, which I think is called extortion, but whatever. I rarely care much about the money thing because then I’d have to count my pretend cash and bo-ring. The girls and I estimate because this game is educational enough without adding Math to it.
As you get to the end of your life, you may become a grandparent, which is really weird if you didn’t have any children earlier. This is the point where you kick the spouse peg out of the car if you’re smart. Also you should really kick the kid pegs out too, but the game never gives you a chance to do this, so I guess they stay with you FOREVER, which is an incredibly frightening prospect. At last you end up retiring – you can either go to the lousy old folks home, or you can go to the posh one. But if you go to posh one, people can steal your Life tokens. So lesson learned – don’t go to a nice home, because people will steal your money while you’re playing shuffleboard. Best to stick with something like in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. No one will think you have anything to steal if you go there.
So now your Life is over, and you count up your money and see what you’ve done with your Life. Is that it? I think you’d be better off playing Sorry.
So one thing I’ve noticed in my obsessive study of . . . what was it again . . . oh, right yoga, is that everything is a brand. People want to claim something that is supposedly an ancient tradition is their idea because money. There are so many kinds of yoga and just as many yoga-ish programs.
Some of these have interested me because of my loosely attached neck that goes creeeak when I move. I’m desperate because clearly doctors aren’t going to do anything unless I actually break my neck, which somehow I have thus far avoided.
But I don’t want to get taken either. I’ll give you a few examples. First up is the MELT Method created by Sue Hitzman. Basically, it’s a foam roller. That costs 40 bucks. And a 20 dollar book that tells you how to roll on it. The rolling is supposed to massage your muscles and prevent pain. I think it also cures Leprosy. It sounds pretty stupid, and yet . . . people say it works. Is it just placebo? Is it so bad if it is just the placebo effect?
I guess it depends on if you’re being harmed by it or not. When investigating melting, I found a site of physical therapists who really, really hated this program. Apparently, in an effort at D.I.Y., people managed to hurt themselves. With a foam noodle. That’s pretty impressive. And then the therapists have to correct their correcting. Sort of like when certain men think they can fix a house despite having no knowledge of house fixing because IS MAN (cue grunt).
Another one is called Yoga Tune Up. Instead of a roller, Jill Miller has balls. No, not those kind, I mean the kind you bounce. They are toys for children. Oh just . . . look at a picture, then.
From what I understand, they are Pinky bouncy balls (1 buck a piece at Wal-Mart) that she slapped a label on which ups the price to 12 bucks for two of them. Impressive. She has you roll around on the balls on the floor or up against the wall. It’s supposed to also work those sore muscles. I tried this with one of my unlabeled Pinky balls. I then wondered if this was such a good idea, rolling a ball up against my spine since I don’t know what I’m doing and spines are pretty important, or so I hear. Jill does have experience with both physical therapy and yoga, whereas I mostly have experience in smacking into walls and falling over.
Finally, I stumbled upon something called YogAlign by Michaelle Edwards. She says that the postures people commonly do in yoga are bad because bodies aren’t supposed to be right angles, they’re supposed to be all curvy. So you know how you can’t bend over straight and touch your toes? You aren’t supposed to – apparently this is why we have those bendy things called knees.
A lot of it makes sense, but in order to test it I have to pay 60 bucks for a book and a DVD. The only thing I’ve heard from this program is praise. Also, the creator of this program is really good at self promotion. I mean, really, really good to the point of STOP IT ALREADY. Find an article about yoga somewhere, and she’ll have comments on it that just happen to advertise her new form of yoga.
She could be right. On the other hand, I find it suspicious that suddenly one person has discovered all the answers. After all these years one person said, hey, bodies shouldn’t go bendy like that so let’s totally redesign yoga. And then market it. You can find her book on Amazon – there are only glowing positive reviews. Either she really is the Yoga Messiah or something fishy is going on. For one thing, I’m curious about just how different her methods are from the modifications you can find in many yoga books already, but at 60 bucks that’s a lot for an experiment.
But what if she’s right? Or what if the other two are right? All I need is some balls (cough) and a roller and the knowledge of how to do yoga differently than every other yoga teacher and I’ll feel better. Or maybe I should just make up my own yoga program and make money and then I won’t care that my neck hurts because I will be able to hire someone to hold up my neck while I walk.
What do you guys think? Have you heard of any of these programs? I’d love to know. Also, check out the new Alice Roller Ball Yoga, on sale soon.
For some time now, Monday has been my day to write reviews of the Books That Shall Not Be Named. While that series was excruciating, I never really had to think. I just read stupid crap and vomited on the page pretty much. But now I’m supposed to think of stuff. Or stuph, if you read twindaddy, and you should because that guy can think up posts like crazy. Also he’s a storm trooper, and they’re cool.
I’ve got Wednesday covered. Hump day is all about – get your mind out of the gutter – it’s all about exercise. Of various forms. Snort. Yoga is my current obsession and you’ll see more of that when we get to the hump. Day. The hump day. Crap.
I’ve had thoughts. Since Speaker 7 has the dating shows covered (read her reviews of the Bachelor, Bachelor Pad, Splash, Pad of Bachelors Splash, Stupid Barbies in Tiny Boxes, etc.) I thought I’d try to conquer reviewing shows on TLC. This station is chock full of total crap that just begs to be made fun of, or beaten with a bat. One of my favorite shows lately is My Strange Addiction. If you haven’t seen this show before, you really must check it out. There are people with some fabulous new diets out there. They eat toilet paper, deodorant, dryer sheets, tire pieces, cat hair (I’m not kidding about any of these) and much, much more!
But TLC was not satisfied with merely showing strange addictions. They decided make a totally new and original show called My Secret Obsession, which is about people collecting stupid things like Barbies and pigs. I haven’t seen them eat the stuff yet, but it’s still early in the show. Besides these interesting habits, they talk about women who produce babies like gumball machines, women who didn’t realize they contained gumballs, women popping one or more gumballs out in detail, and women who spend more time shopping for wedding dresses than most people spend on house shopping. Truly, this is the Learning Channel.
TLC isn’t the only station I’m fascinated with, for there is also Lifetime. They bill Lifetime as the network for women, probably because most of the shows are about women killing men, or men beating the crap out of women, and you know we gals just eat that kind of shit up! Often these shows are based on true stories of stupidity, crime, abuse, and general insanity. True = Educational.
And I’m sure there are more terrible books out there. Sure I could read actual good books, and I do from time to time, but where’s the fun in that? I’m waiting for the next E.L. James now. While I wait, I could come up with a parody. I’ve had one simmering in my mind a while. No real details yet, but I do have the main characters. Richard (Dick) Peen and Bambi Vagina. I’m thinking of setting it in China, since I know almost nothing about this country. What do you think?
Yes, I know I’m crazy, but that’s what I’ve got so far. So . . . what do you think? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email (my addy is on my All About Alice Page). I’m off to have a deodorant snack.
It’s an oldie but a goodie (I think?) from last year. This is called recycling, folks – it’s a good thing. Anyhoo, tomorrow I’ll be back with updates on my Epic Quest, but today I give you Bob the Builder and Handy Manny. Whee!
|Bob the Builder|
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Hullo, all. I thought I’d update you on what is coming up (besides possibly my lunch) in the week ahead. Tomorrow we have our eleventh lesson in 50 Shades Flunked. It’s a doozie. Don’t miss it. I know some of you have skipped class lately, and risk being dropped from Smut University. Sad Pony cries for you. Especially if you still don’t realize you’re enrolled.
Also, I’m proud to announce that the Things and I have finally finished Twilight II: New Moon. It took us a while. I think we rented it three separate times. The Things became interested in chores and early bedtimes. But we persevered, readers, and I do believe this is the best one yet, thanks to the nutty brilliance of The Things. It will be another three-parter, starting on Thursday.
But what else will you do with this blog, you might wonder. Or, what WON’T you do with this blog at this point? That’s up to you! If you have suggestions of something you’d like me to write about, just let me know. I’m happy to review crappy books and movies, because I have something wrong with me. Actually I can write about almost anything, whether I know what I’m talking about or not, because I don’t have to bother with pesky research. Anyhoo, just drop me a line down the rabbit hole in the comments or an email. See ya soon.
For my next review of Children’s T.V., I really wanted to review Maisy Mouse. There were some technical difficulties with that. You see, I have two daughters, but for ease of reference I will call them Thing 1 and Thing 2. Thing 2 told me she still has fond memories of Maisy and I was not to touch her with my snark. I was saddened by this. I mean, look at this mouse. She’s begging for snark.
Ah, well. Instead, I went with their suggestion of Oswald. This is a truly disturbed cartoon. I know I say that about all the cartoons I review, but really, these writers had to be out of their minds on something. I’m not sure what country we can blame for this cartoon, so we’ll just blame Canada. They’re an easy target. I know, for instance, that they are responsible for Dudley Do-Right. That shows they are capable of this level of awful.
Oswald is an octopus that lives in the city. Of course. He wears nothing but a freakishly tiny hat on his head and has a pet that is a literal weenie dog – as in a dachshund forced to permanently wear a hotdog bun, because these poor dogs don’t have enough issues. And it only makes sense that if you are a walking, talking octopus that you would own a pet, and that pet would be a dog. For instance, Mickey Mouse owns Pluto, a dog, but is friends with Goofy, another dog. I think. Gosh, I’m confused.
Anyway, I really think you have to see a clip to truly believe how far out this is, so I have helpfully provided you with one. You’re welcome.
Anyway, Oswald also has friends, and they are just as normal as he is. First is Henry, a penguin with something stuck up his butt, because man is he stuffy. At least for a penguin. They are usually so happy-go-lucky. You’re always seeing them sliding around on their butts in the ice and snow. This one is in the city. No wonder he’s uncomfortable. Then again, Oswald is an octopus and by all rights should have dried up by now. If only.
But wait, there’s more. They also have a friend that is a – wait for it – Daisy with arms and legs that rides a bicycle. And she’s named, you will never guess, Daisy. There is a reason daisies aren’t animate. They’re so freaking annoying you would spray them all with Weed-Be-Gone.
They live in some sort of bizarro world with buildings shaped like baseballs and Old West saloons, stop signs with baseball mits at the top, and a cast of background characters straight out of your nightmares. In one scene, you will notice a living cactus. He’s just sitting there, drinking a coke, wearing a sombrero, minding his own business. Then up flies the waitress, Madame Butterfly, to take their order and OMG HELP ME.
And I just have to think – who thought this up? Who comes up with this kind of insane stuff? Somebody has to, right? Who just sits around and suddenly decides, “I know, I will make a cartoon with an Octupus who is pals with a penguin who owns a spoon collection. And they will live in the fifth circle of Hades. And just when parents think they can’t take anymore, we will have the octopus start singing.”
I think writers for children’s shows are just irritated that they don’t get to write for shows like Grey’s Anatomy, so they decide to make everyone else pay. By doing the penguin polka while the octopus plays piano. Children’s show writers are just mean.
Talking, walking octopus with freakishly tiny hat – Yes
Penguin with spoon collection – Yes
Daisy with arms and legs – Yes
Crazed, revenge-seeking writers – Yes