sleeping beauty, 1959

film
film stills

Each time I watch Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, I am obliged to find this draft and rewrite it.

The first time I rewatched it as an adult (or, a kind-of adult) (I use the term ‘adulting’ a lot) I realized that I must’ve been a pretty patient kid, as nothing happens for the first hour of the film.

The second rewatching, this past May, I was struck by the film’s dichotomous nature. The titular character, Aurora the sleeping beauty, is only on screen for about fifteen minutes of a total 78 minute running time, and she doesn’t do much while on screen. Nevertheless, the film passes the Bechdel test within the first quarter-hour, thanks to the back-and-forth bickering of the Good Fairies: Merryweather, Flora, Fauna.

Aurora is typically ranked as the least feminist of the Disney princesses (although she has stiff competition from Cinderella and Snow White) but, of the Disney princesses (up until Pocahontas), Aurora alone has female friends (the aforementioned Good Fairies). It’s not until the Disney Renaissance (1989-1999) that the  princesses became more than glorified dolls; yet 1959’s Sleeping Beauty far surpasses every Disney princess movie in regards to the ratio of female-to-male dialogue until 2012’s Brave.  But! the movie in no way breaks with the backwards gender ideals of mid-20th-century America. For all its visual beauty (courtesy the art direction of Eyvind Earle) the film is flawed, especially in regards to its lack of gender equality. The original fairy tales aren’t any better.

So. If you like to debate and critique gender roles in 20th century Disney films, I’d definitely recommend Sleeping Beauty; if you’d rather your heroines actually do something; you can never go wrong with Mulan (1998) or Pocahontas (1995)¹, or their 21st century counterparts, Tiana (Princess and the Frog, 2009) and Merida (Brave, 2012).

¹ Yes, I will defend Pocahontas, even if it is historically inaccurate. The movie depicts a strong female character, perhaps the first of Disney’s female leads. This is not to say I’m willing to disregard the apologist nature of the film’s creators towards the English colonists.

AT LEAST SHE HAS AGENCY

by the way, Maleficent is the best Disney villain hands down

 

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Taylor’s Island, Dorchester Co.

place

6 pm

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10 am

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2.00 p.m

3.00 p.m.

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early evening

File_008 (1)

late morning

 

My rugby team went on a retreat this past weekend, to the Eastern Shore. For all the photographs of roads in the above series, there was only one, and in the 36 hours we were on there, I only saw twelve cars, ours included. There were many more cemeteries and abandoned houses than people, and also Holland Island (visible as a little nub in the water in the second-to-last photo), so we were a little reluctant (a little spooked) to go outside after dark each night.

But! It was really lovely.

 

public education vs. the orange administration

let's get political
lizclimo:“ man, that lizard is nice. ” happy friends day! & also #tbt

(completely unrelated)

SO I’m listening to the Senate Dems’ livestream right now & we only need one more(!) Republican Senator to dissent and Betsy DeVos’ nomination will be blocked. Why do we want to block her appointment as Secretary of Education? She’s made it pretty clear that she is no friend to sexual assault survivors, the LGBT community and public schools in general.

If you feel strongly that she ought not be in charge of public education, you can contact your Senator and let them know!!

x. Carey

 

the snowman, 1982

film
stills from The Snowman

Should you be the kind of person who likes sad Christmas movies, or classic movies, or short films with an introduction by David Bowie, The Snowman is a worthwhile watch. It’s virtually silent; only Bowie (in the UK version of the intro) and Raymond Briggs (the American version) speak. The London Sinfonia soundtracks the 26-minute feature, but the scrimshaw-esque sketchiness of the illustrations do a fine job of carrying the plot; no dialogue is really needed. Luckily, as most of us lack VCRs nowadays, The Snowman is available on YouTube and streaming services the world ’round.

Happy holidays, and all the best for a better 2017.

x. Carey

  snowman-iii

 

vote!

let's get political

…because it’s your civic duty

…because those taxes you complain about pay for public schools

…because yeah, you do actually directly elect the majority of candidates

…because you have a voice

…because you have a chance to empower yourself

…because the news makes you feel things you want to avoid

…or because you want to look your fear in the eyes

…because democracy is rule by the people, like, you there

…because you get a sticker

…because you don’t want to be exploited

…because you don’t want to get fucked over

…because you want to be a part of history

…because you can

…because we all deserve basic rights

…because human dignity exists, even if it’s not always apparent

…because you enjoy your freedoms

…or because you want the freedoms promised to you

…because riots suck but protesting is kind of cool

…because you don’t want to die indebted

…because you want to know you are drinking clean water

…because you want to know you have adequate health care

…because you don’t want your neighbor to go hungry

…because your grandmother asked you to

…because you kind of like winning

…because the faster you vote the quicker the pundits will be quiet

…because there are only so many  SNL skits that you can tolerate before you turn off the television

…because you want to go back to a time when “the Orange One” denoted a ginger wizard and not a corrupt raccoon

…because you couldn’t get a student visa to Canada fast enough