Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Case for the Modern-Day Prince Charming

Once Upon a Time there was a girl who’s not-so-guilty pleasure was a show where there are actually eight dwarfs with Snow White and the Evil
Queen has mommy issues…

There are so many things that I enjoy about the show.  There are also quite a few that make me want to

Disney's first Prince Charming had as much facial expression as Keanu Reeves

Disney’s first Prince Charming had as much facial expression as Keanu Reeves

grab a sword and smash my television to pieces.  There’s only one character that makes me want to do both. Prince Charming. As something of a fairy tale connoisseur (Yes, I am counting watching all three Cinderella Stories as expertise), I know a thing or two about the whole love-hate thing that is Prince Charming, but never have the two extremes been so, well, extreme in one manifestation of the characters.  I don’t understand how someone who’s such a badass in fantasyland can be such a pain in one in the real world.That’s when it hit me.Prince Charming’s failure to materialize in the real world mirrors the clichéd belief that real men can’t measure up to a modern day woman’s expectations.Oh you clever little buggers at ABC, I see what you did there.In the fairy tale world, Charming is this BAMF who’s only trying to 1) do his duty, 2) make sure most of the people stay alive, and maybe 3) make out a bit with Snow.  It’s not that he doesn’t have his own conflicts or moments of doubt, but his decisions are all based off options 1-3, with sometimes a little more emphasis on option 3.Charming’s real-world counterpart, David, is an idiot by comparison.  He is still trying to protect the women he cares for, but he does it in an incredibly stupid fashion.  He lacks the insight and direction of Charming, which leads him to act as cluelessly as a newly hatched dwarf-egg-thing (speaking of: what kind of drugs were the writers on during that development? I know it’s called Mother Goose, but come on guys).

How many times have we heard women complain that men lack insight?  How many times are men forced to measure up to this Disney ideal and are found wanting?  In spite of how annoying it is, David’s confusion is in tune with real-world issues.  His uncertainty is incredibly real, compounded by the fact that he was in a comma for godmother knows how many years.

Charming Snow

In fact, it is because David is trying so hard to live up to this ideal of a perfect husband, a caring lover, and the bloodless breakup, that he fails miserably as an upright character in reality.  Prince Charming, out of all the characters, is the most out of place in the real world.  Why?  Because there is no room for perfection in the real world.  Whereas other characters are seen as victims of their modern-day situations, Prince Charming is reviled for his inability to maintain his impeccability in no-win scenarios.

At this point, the real moral of this story is not so much about Prince Charming being a jerk, but that women’s expectations of men are unrealistic.  Everyone is allowed their mistakes, especially after being kept locked away by the evil queen in a comma.  Obviously, both the idea that real men are never princes and that real women have unrealistic expectations are a bit ham handed, but it certainly strikes a chord for those of us who’ve been dealing with the fallout of less-than happily ever afters.

I’m not saying that I’m going to stop yelling profanities at my screen when David mixes up the Valentine’s Day cards for his wife and his mistress, but I will give him more credit for attempting to face the truth that most of the characters are too busy in their real-world fantasies to wake up and see.

*I apologize if the colors of this post are a little too taste the rainbow right now.  I’m being indecisive about font/color schemes.

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Draw Something: The Write Thing

DEAR FRIENDS, STRANGERS, AND ROBOTS,

This is a plea from those of us who understand the meaning of “Draw Something” as literally drawing something.  I realize that we’re no longer playing Words With Friends, but that doesn’t mean you should completely disregard our language as we move onto this new level of competition in our friendship.

I know that you are somewhat literate because every time we play Draw Something you feel the need to write out the word that I am trying to guess.  Perhaps you are not completely certain what the term “draw” means?  To resolve any discrepancies, please allow me to define the word “draw” for you:

Draw: noun, verb (used without object)

An image of someone doing it wrong.

  1. To compose or create (a picture) in lines
  2. to sketch or trace figures; create a picture or depict by sketching
Definition from Dictionary.com, so this is pretty legit. 

I realize that the “lines” can form the alphabet and that “figures” can refer to letters, but I assure that the spirit of the word “draw” includes no letters, words, or phrases of any kind.

I am unsure if you are doing this because you fear that I am too stupid to understand what a cow looks like or if you are simply sadistically ruining this guessing game for me, but whatever your motives, I beg that you discontinue this torture.

If you fear that my brain capacity is too small, you should not coddle me, but rather throw me to the cruel world of primary-color confusion.  Your pampering me will only hurt me in the long run when I will have to attempt to sketch  intersections at the site of a car accident or detail the facial features of the man who stole my $12.99 Target watch.

If you are simply torturing me, there are so many other ways to do so in the game.  You need only draw three dots for every image to deserve my ire.  You could draw taunting stick figures instead.  You could throw pencils at me in the physical world and tell me to stop procrastinating on getting a real job.

Coming soon: Hate mail to those who are ridiculously good at DS and are making the rest of us look bad.

I will spell out my conditions as clearly as you spell out your images: I would happily accept any of these alternatives if you would cease completely ruining this game for me. To continue in this manner would be both cruel and unusual, and may result in my sabotaging you on Farmville.

Gratefully yours,

A WHOLE BUNCH OF PISSED OFF DRAW SOMETHING USERS

Haters Gonna Read: 5 Reasons to Love Hating Twilight

It’s impossible to deny that Twilight is one of the biggest, most inexplicable extragavanzas to ambush the young adult fiction genre. It’s easy to understand why frustrated pre-teens are drooling over it, but what surprises me even more is how many people who absolutely HATE the book have ended up reading it.

I have never in my life heard the phrase “Yeah, it sounded really stupid, so I read three books of the series just to see how awful it is” before Twilight. Why? If you are a connoisseur of fine literature, go back to your Dickens. However, if you a snarky cynic who delights in the stupidity of others…Twilight is a gold mine.

  1. It’s a reverse dating guide. Twilight does a fantastic job of showcasing what NOT to do.  Do not enter your girlfriend’s bedroom and watch her sleep. Do not jump off a cliff when your boyfriend dumps you.  Don’t date someone who is not speaking metaphorically when he says he wants to eat you.  Never ever, ever form a relationship with your ex-girlfriend’s vampire baby.  It’s a fetus, dude! That’s beyond pedophilia. 
  2. Play the grammar game.  Are you a grammar Nazi? Do you love to spot writing and continuity errors? Twilight will keep you busy for four full-length manuscripts with as many mistakes as my preschool books (an indicator: in preschool, I did not actually know how to form actual sentences).
  3. You’ll get all the jokes. Once you have an inkling of the Twilight saga, join the not-so-secret society of Twilight haters, where the sparkle gags never end. 

    I'm Team Wilson, myself

  4. Pure schadenfreude. Bella is possibly one of the most irrationally miserable heroines in of literature, ever. It can be annoying to listen to her pine after pallid Edward, but it can also be hilarious.She does have one point that the haters can clue into: her sense of superiority. Bella waltzes through the book making people drool over her for no apparent reason as she has pretty much no social skills and no fucks to give about anyone except Edward. She sees everyone as below her and yet hordes of boys almost run her over in their SUVs to ask her to dances. Characters even acknowledge that she’s unworthy, but still flock to her. Is this beginning to sound like a certain pop culture phenomenon yet?

 Sorry…did that get too real?

5.  You’ll feel like a comparative genius. Between Bella’s brains (who enjoys taking long walks down dark alleys towards a group of thugs and forming relationships with things that want to eat her), Edward’s romance skills (because nothing turns me on like my crush breaking into my house to watch me sleep) and her father Charlie’s parenting skills (“Wait…I have a daughter?”), you’ll never feel as stupid as these characters act.

If you can’t stomach actually reading the books but don’t want to miss out, check out Alex Day Reads Twilight. It’s full of snark and British accents, so it can only go up from there.

A Bone to Pick With The Hunger Games

*This article has spoilers through the third book. In fact, it even has a spoiler in the first sentence. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

Hunger Games Series

I will spoil all the things. Beware.

In spite of how much I love The Hunger Games, I will say that the series pulls a Fox Face—that is, it chokes right at the end. My issue? By the end of the third book, Katniss actually becomes a part of the cycle that she’s fighting, pretty much making all of her fighting for three whole books pointless. 

BAMF Beginnings

When Katniss is launched into the world of the Hunger Games, it’s actually right up her alley. Katniss, the hero of the week (as in, she might not outlast the week) is what you get when you mix Disney Princess hair with Buffy’s combat skills. She understands when to be prey and hide and when to transform into the predator and brave the initial dangers for the ultimate prize. These instincts, combined with her impatience with political games sets her up to be the perfect opponent to the media-driven control of the Capital.

This works like a charm for her in the first book. Katniss is a master at bending rules (such as her demonstration for the level ranking, and of course her stunt with the berries) and though she has to do some schmoozing, she’s pretty terrific at hitting the Capital without getting dinged.

Downward Spiral

Katniss seems to have lost her mojo during book two and spends it acting like a deer in the headlights until she forced back into action in the arena. It doesn’t make for the most dynamic  of plots, but I’m used to the second book being slow.

But then we go onto the third book…

…where I want to gnaw my foot off—and not because I’m starving.

Katniss spends almost the entire third book in a coma. No, not an actual coma, though she is as drugged out as an ‘80s pop star. She shuts down completely—which is exactly what she blames her mother for back in the first book.

Gone is the girl driving the action–which is particularly unfortunate as she is the catalyst for the whole revolution. Instead of truly taking up the

Mocking Jay

The Mockingjay is almost as pissed as I am.

mantle or shooting down the flawed revolutionaries, Katniss simply puts off reacting unless somebody is getting blown up.

The real kicker comes when Prim is killed to prevent Katniss from taking a more active role in the new government (which is even more pointless because, as I’ve stated, Katniss is already pretty much in a coma at this point). Prim’s death proves that all of Katniss’ sacrifices were ultimately useless.  What was the point of saving Prim in the first place, only to die just as pointlessly, a pawn in the ultimate Hunger Game?

But wait, it gets more frustrating…

Some may think that Katniss’ act of killing the President is noble, but it is fueled by the need for revenge and prevention of another such catastrophe. These are the exact two causes for the Hunger Games—revenge on the uprising districts, and a supposed prevention of it ever happening again.

By killing the President, Katniss is actually coming full circle with the motives she was supposedly fighting against. These deaths are the product of the incoming government, hinting that the new system is already set in the same cycle born of violence.

Katniss does nothing to prevent the continuation of this cycle as she is back in hibernation mode immediately after killing the President Coin. At the end of the book, we are left with two resounding messages: that noble sacrifice changes nothing, and that governments are ultimately powered through the deaths of the innocent.

I can admit that these ideas can be valid—but it’s freakin’ annoying that you’ve spent three books following a story of righteous revolution to realize that the whole thing was just a mockery of it and that your kickbutt heroine becomes a sleepwalker halfway through.

That being said: when does the second movie come out?

Images via WeeLittlePiggy and  SymenGT.