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— Title: Musings and Mud Prints Address: http://muddymuse.blogspot.com Author: Lannice From: San Diego Blogging since: December 2006 Post Date: July 16, 2007

Post Title: Uncle Walt -- Friend or Foe? I've identified myself as a feminist for a while, but more so in recent years. It might just be a propensity toward the tomboyish; I'm too lazy to wear makeup, I'm too chubby, and too brunette-ish to be "cute" by general American societal standards, and I'm too uninterested in reading "How to" articles in girly magazines. As far as feminist activism goes, I do not go out and tell men they all suck. In fact, I like men better than women, as far as friend choice goes. To show my support for all things "girl power," I vote pro-choice, pro-gender equality, and pro-pussy in every other way possible. So, it came as a shock when I realized that not only did I ignore the antifeminist and misogynistic subtlety of Mr. Disney, but I loved him so dearly that I have often regarded him as sort of a beloved deceased great-grandfather. The Disney Dynasty has never been female-friendly. Little girls have longed to be Disney princesses since the very first one appeared on a silver screen (many little boys have had this same wish, but that's another topic altogether). Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and the Little Mermaid have all been heroes to many a pink-cheeked-Tinkerbell-nail-polish-wearing-eager-beaver. But behind Disney's beautiful archetypes of porcelain-perfect femininity lies a dark secret: impossible standards for young girls. Even the tomboys who love Elastigirl and Mulan hum "Someday My Prince Will Come" to themselves as they climb trees and skin knees.

Now that we know what we're dealing with, let me just say that there aren't many girls who can live up to the common elements of a Disney-fied fairy tale. How many women do you know who married Prince Charming or the real-life equivalent of him? These images and ideas are force-fed to children... Walt Disney is practically the king of all image-based conspiracy, and even his cryogenically frozen head laughs all the way to the bank.

On a side note, you'll notice that Old Uncle Walt also makes me inadvertently say things like, "Disney fairytales," when almost 100 percent of the time, they aren't even his! The Grimm brothers, Hans Christian Andersen, Lewis Carroll, J.M. Barrie, and many other literati all do the hustle in their graves each time someone hits "play" on a Disney DVD. Take Alice in Wonderland, for example. Lewis Carroll was a seriously gifted writer, but all white rabbits aside, Dirty Disney has taken his tale down a totally different "hole." While this party is going down in stoner paradise, some seriously awesome literature is being skipped over in favor of Disney's Cliffs Notes version. This is practically blasphemy, but for some reason this is a "tea" party I just cannot miss.

I feel violated. Many molestation victims don't remember anything until 20 years later. It's probably safe to assume that Uncle Walt was not a safe playmate. I have managed to blind myself, and I continue to blind myself to all of this. I loved Disney fairy tales before I met this new awareness, and the saddest part is, I love them even now! Every time I watch Aladdin, it is as though I am totally lobotomized; I never see the man behind the curtain. I am transformed into a five-year-old girl who wants to look just like Princess Jasmine.

I suppose all I can do is welcome this new-found love-hate relationship with dear old Mr. Disney. Can a feminist sensibility and English-degree-waving spirit live in harmony with my inner Disney princess? (And while I'm at it, can I have some cake and eat it too?) From this point on, I will have to compartmentalize my feelings about Disney. When I am asked if I think Disney movies are a positive influence on young girls, I will emphatically answer with every negative thing I can say about the image and the standards. However, when I ask myself if I love Disney movies, I will answer, with an equal amount of unbridled fervor, "Yes, and I'm going to Disneyland!"

Post Date: June 30, 2007

Post Title: Stories, Sex, and Souls for Sale in Cyberspace "How many 'friends' does that one chick have on MySpace?," queried a young lady in sandals with four-inch heels, a denim miniskirt, and a hot-pink halter top in 50-degree weather. "Like, 320-something, I think," responded another young woman with an equally intelligent fashion sense: lamb's wool, calf-high boots, and a ruffled, ass-accentuating skirt paired with a "SDSU GIRLS ROCK!" T-shirt and aviator sunglasses.

"That's all?! What a loser! I have around 1200 and I get at least ten new 'friend requests' a day!" The two girls laughed, flipped their flawlessly highlighted tresses, and walked towards the library.

Although there are a select few users on these sites who remain unspoiled, the majority rings true in every case: Most people/bands/organizations/movies/etc. use these various sites for the same reason: to sell. Whether Tiffany wants to sell her "personality," DARK ANGEL420 wants to sell her "depression," or Gus wants to sell his "sex appeal," all of these sites are in-your-face billboards that read: "Buy me! Fuck me! Hear me! Want Me! See Me!" It is the "me" that needs something and it's a shame that the "me" has to become an imaginary entity in an imaginary place to get what it wants.

I suppose I really should delete my MySpace account now.

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