I Can’t Believe I Have To Explain This To You People; How “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and “The Little Mermaid” Have Proven Our Cultural Ignorance

I remember the first time I heard the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” I was riding in the car with my mother. It was Christmastime, I was visiting her in Seattle as I always did for the holidays. We were on our way to some dive bar, where she would hang out in the bar while I sat, alone, in the dining room section with a book. I was 15.

She was dressed to the nines, ready for a night out and she sang (more like belted) along with the song as her wild and big hair whipped and gyrated around the car to the melody. It was the Barry Manilow version, and I will never forget my mom oo’ing and ahh’ing with the song.

This was in 1997. Now, 21 years later, I am 36 years old and cannot hear that song without that horrifying memory. But it wasn’t the song that brings up the horror; no, let’s be clear here –  it was my mother.

The song was innocuous then, as it is now.

Similarly, I can remember the first time I saw ‘The Little Mermaid.’ I was somewhere around 8 years old. My parents were still married, ‘The Little Mermaid’ had just been released in theaters. My dad took me to see it, and while I didn’t want to go in the theater (I may have been younger, because I was scared), I ended up loving the film. Since then, I have seen it countless times, hundreds or even thousands in fact, and every time my favorite scene is the “Kiss the Girl” scene. They’re in the boat. It’s romantic. The fish are all singing and – I don’t know … it’s just really magical, okay. 

For almost 30 years, and as a woman with a strong sense of bodily autonomy who is raising two daughters and one son to understand the importance of consent, it is still my favorite scene/song.

You guys can imagine, then, my complete and utter shock at the news that radio stations, a cappella choirs, and all manner of places and people are now banning the two songs of my past.

I completely get that we live in a culture where everyone is offended by everything. All the time. That is our 2018 reality, and I suspect it will only continue to get worse as the years plug along.

I’m not sure how it got to that, although I have my suspicions.

Regardless of the reason, or reasons, for people in general being more offended by more things these days, there’s the real thorn in my side of the issue that has to be pointed out: the hypocrisy of it all.

I saw a meme today that says it perfectly:

Credit: Me.me

Right then.

Here’s a lyric from the last couple of years that I find offensive: 

“You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, yeah you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, yeah you a you a stupid hoe” – Nicki Minaj

There are so many of them like that, too many to mention. They are about rape. They are about gang banging. They are about the objectification of women and their bodies. But I digress… The point is that if you find that stupid hoe nonsense to be perfectly acceptable, while finding “Baby It’s Cold Outside” or a children’s song to be just too far, I can’t believe I have to explain this to you people, but: you are hypocrites.

Honestly.

On the flip side of it, there is that sticky issue of consent, because don’t get me wrong, even though I think that both songs are completely harmless, I also think they do raise a serious point on the matter.

“Baby It’s Cold Outside,” on the surface, sounds like a man trying to pressure a woman into staying at his place and, presumably, getting warm in his bed. A few years ago was the first time I heard someone claim it had a “rapey vibe” to it. As if that wasn’t an intelligent enough analysis of the song and its narrative, this year’s holiday season was ushered in by the pearl-clutching ladies of the Internet sharing blog after blog in which headlines like “Baby It’s Cold Outside – EWWW” took down the decades-old ballad.

‘The Little Mermaid’ – the other of our most recently banned songs – is of the same ilk. She wants to be a human and to marry this guy (after literally seeing him once after a shipwreck, whatever you do you Ariel), but it isn’t socially acceptable in her mer-world to do so. What’s laughable about people calling into question the matter of consent in “Kiss the Girl,” though is that Ariel signed a contract. Literally, in plain English, it says that she can be a human and get her voice back if the guy kisses her, and she signed it. How much more consent do you need?

In reality, both really are about consent; but not the way the naysayers of the Internet would have you believe. They’re both about women who actually want to say yes, each in their respective ways; but who both live in a time or place in which it is not socially acceptable to do so. So if you want to be offended, be offended but for the right reason.D

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Things I Would Rather Do Than See Another Buddies Movie #SuperBuddies #SuperBuddiesParty #KillMeNow

Last night I was just sitting on the couch, minding my own goddamned business. I seriously wasn’t doing anything but sitting. I don’t often do this, but we just moved and we have a lot of stressful things going on in life right now; so I thought a moment to just sit and relax would do me well.

Just to breath.

Then my husband came home and was all hyper and crazy, like he usually is. He can’t sit still without acting mopey – he always wants to “get stuff done,” which I have come to the conclusion is a rouse to avoid me. So he came home and was all antsy, and he was on the verge of killing my relaxation buzz when suddenly a huge vortex opened in the middle of his face and spewed forth the beginning of the destruction of all mankind:

“Hey, did you hear there’s a new Buddies movie coming out? Super Buddies, or something like that.”

armageddon

Is that franchise ever going to stop? Did they not learn their lesson with the flop that was DocBrownTreasure Buddies? Have they not stretched the limits enough with the outlandish and completely unrealistic story lines? Did they not kill history in that space episode, when the dogs decide to take a fucking detour to the moon and then moonwalk and then make that comment about ‘a giant leap for dogkind’? HAVE THEY NOT PERVERTED SOCIETY ENOUGH BY FOREVER TARNISHING OUR IMAGE OF DOCTOR EMMETT BROWN?

You can all see I feel quite passionate about this issue. Well if you had seen all of the direct-to-video Buddies movies so many times that you have nightmares in which the script of each movie plays out word-for-word because it is so deeply imbedded in your subconscious – you would feel passionate about it too.

Buddies

#1

Have An Affair With A Vegan Hipster

There is nothing more unattractive than a vegan hipster. A vegan hipster male that is so unshaven that he has a full coat of hair on his shoulders and back. A vegan hipster that believes in using all natural soaps and deodorants, so much so that he smells like a cross between baking soda, patchouli, your grandmother’s crotch rot, and cut-renching body odor. A vegan hipster that does nothing but talk ad nauseum about his veganism and what that means for his bowel movements. A vegan hipster that works at the local Urban Outfitters, where he sells fashionable muscle shirts, spends his day grooming his foo manchu mustache, listening to Pitchfork, and pretending like living in his parent’s basement is a personal choice.

I would rather have an affair with that man than see another Buddies movie.

#2

Immerse Myself In Hillbilly Society

1175607_196414167198187_1631395930_nYou all know my feelings about hillbillies, but really there isn’t much wrong with them when they are kept at a distance. Being in their element is another thing.

I would rather immerse myself in hillbilly society than see another Buddies movie.

I would rather BBQ on a grill made out of an old toilet. I would rather marry my cousin and wear overalls and flannel shirts and have nineteen children. My children’s names would be Bobby Jo, Billy Jean, Tommy Steve, Jack, Randy, Ron, Phyllis, Baby Sue, Lura, Tracy, Tracy Mae (because we forgot we already had a kid named Tracy), Nancine, Tammy Rae, Sally Bo, Cletis, Kimmy Dean, Donald Dick, Baby, and Maximillian T Stone. Because we wanted to give our youngest a classy-like name.

#3

I Would Rather Lick My Husband’s Rotting Feet

Sorry if this offends anyone. Especially Poor Nick.

But I would rather lick my husband’s rotting feet than see another Buddies movie.

My husband’s feet are so gross. He always gets offended when I say that, which is crazy because I don’t mean it as an insult. I just mean to be honest. The problem is that he has an emotional attachment to literally everything that he owns, including his rotting, old socks and his rotten, stinking shoes. He has these flip flops that are over 10 years old and falling apart. He comes home from work and there are pieces of sweaty, black rubber all over this feet.

This all leads to foot fungus, which makes the smell. The smell that seems to permeate everywhere. Sometimes it smells like vinegar, other times it smells like a sweaty locker room. A sweaty locker room that hasn’t been cleaned in over a decade.

I would rather lick those.

#4

I Would Rather Go Hunting With Dick Cheney

Do you guys remember when our evil leader and overlord “accidentally” shot another human being while on a hunting trip? Yeah. I would rather go hunting with him and risk it than see another Buddies movie.

#5

I Would Rather Do A Video Blog Nude

I would rather that video blog go viral, unlike any of the other video blogs I have ever done.

#6

I Would Rather All Of My Remaining Meals On This Earth Consist Of Only The Following:

Filet O Fish. McFish. Fish sticks. And Long John Silver’s Cajun Classic.

By the way, I hate fish and am allergic to 75% of them.

At some point, I have to ask just what the fuck is the deal with the talking dog movies? I get it that kids learn and thrive from the maximum amount of imagination. I understand that they identify with these fantastical experiences and expectations, that movies with talking animals help facilitate. But in all seriousness: at some point it’s gone too far. When The Dog That Saved Christmas has very little to do with dogs, or Cinnamon is really just a Lifetime movie about a divorcee and widow falling in love, told through the eyes of a dog, I think we’re starting to maybe go too far. And the Buddies going into fucking outer space, or obtaining super powers and interacting with aliens. Well, that’s just absurd.

Now before we all activate our emergency cyanide tablets before being forced to view another one of the terribly boring, horrifically unrealistic Buddies franchise films, click on this fabulous photo of the Super Buddies-induced Armageddon to watch a hilarious synopsis of the film.

armageddon copy

Pop Quiz: Do I Need Anger Management?

The other day, while waiting in line at the Disney store to make a gift purchase, I realized that for about ten minutes I had been quietly planning in my head every snarky response I would offer to the prescripted questions the cashier had for me.  I was purchasing only a $4.50 toy cell phone, so the possibilities were going to be great.  When she asked how I was doing, I would say “great now that I’m out of that twenty minute line.  Geez, I felt like I was at Disneyland.”  When she asked if I wanted to buy a reusable beach bag, I would respond “for a cell phone?”  And when she asked if I wanted to open an a credit account, I would reply sneeringly “I don’t typically shop here.”  It would be a series of ultimate burns, in my book at least.  And while I genuinely did not plan on saying any of those things to the poor cashier, who was nothing more than a victim of bad corporate policies to suggestively sell and be as annoyingly perky as possible, I nonetheless amused myself while standing in line between a family of four obnoxious children and a man who had clearly eaten one too many dishes smothered in garlic.

While I would not consider my misanthropic tendencies to be in need of anger management, others might view my tendencies to bite with words – even when I don’t actually do it – to be suspect.  Thus, to resolve this issue, I went in search of a online quiz.  You know those quizzes:  anyone that has ever read just about any magazine in popular culture, be it Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Maxim, or US, knows that the best part is always the quiz.  The “Does [He/She] Like Me?” quiz gives us hope.  The “Would I Look Good With Short Hair?” quiz gives us ideas.  The “Am I In The Right Career?” quiz gives us ideas.  Quizzes are not only fun, but give us an outsider’s view on things in our lives that we might otherwise not be able to get an objective take on.

I did find a few quizzes on anger management, but they weren’t of your garden-variety Vogue magazine-type quizzes.  They were on websites of psychologists, and some court-related sites.  In other words, they were professionals who want to diagnose and alleviate anger issues, rather than justify them.  Snooze.

So, my lovely blog followers, I have designed this quiz to help us all distinguish whether we are quiet misanthropes or menaces to society.  Enjoy!

Do I Need Anger Management?

And if the response is “yes,” I will reply with my fist served neatly between two pieces of bread, with a smackeral of mustard.

Answer the following five questions and award yourself the number of points next to each, given answer.  At the end of the quiz, tally your points and proceed to your professional diagnosis.  Please note, while this quiz is in no way a reflection of an actual, professional opinion, your result should be taken as absolute authority.

Oh, and if the Disney chick could stop saying “I know, right?” to every polite customer comment at the cash register, this could all have been avoided.  Just saying.

(1) When you wake up in the morning, do you typically:

  • (0 points) Shower, sing “It’s a Beautiful Morning,” have a well-rounded breakfast, then stop on your way to work to pick up coffee for your co-workers because your in a great mood!
  • (5 points) Hit the snooze alarm once or twice before showering and getting ready for work.  On the way, you grab a bagel and because they messed up your order you got some free food, which you’ll give to your co-workers because you’re full.
  • (10 points) When your alarm rings, you throw it across the room and sleep for an extra hour.  You skip a shower and breakfast, but still arrive late to work muttering “they’re lucky I showed up anyway.  I am SO not paid enough to deal with this shit.”  Around break time, you steal someone’s lunch from the breakroom – HELLO!  you didn’t have time for breakfast.

(2) You stop at the grocery store to pick up a Lean Cuisine for dinner.  Compared to your one item, an elderly woman with a basket full of enough groceries for two weeks cuts in front of you in line.  You:

  • (0 points) Smile and say “go ahead, ma’am.”  After a moment of watching her struggle to get the items onto the conveyer belt, you offer to help.
  • (5 points) Sigh, mutter loud enough for the woman to hear something about how rude people are these days, and head to the self-check out aisle, even though you can never seem to figure out how to use it.
  • (10 points) Push your way in front of the woman and say “hey lady!  clearly your age has affected your eyesight because I was here first!”

(3) Apologies are for:

  • (0 points) Acknowledging that you are human and mending relationships.
  • (5 points) Making a situation better, even when you know you were in the right.
  • (10 points) Pansies.

(4) Have you ever punched another person?

  • (0 points) No.  I believe violence is not the healthiest way to resolve conflict.
  • (5 points) Yeah, I got in a few fist fights in high school, but I’m over that now.
  • (10 points) I punch people regularly.  And when I don’t, I’m punching my fist through a wall and pretending its someone’s face.

(5)  At Thanksgiving dinner, your immediate and extended family typically gets together at your parent’s home to have dinner, watch football, and catch up on family goings-on.  This year, for whatever reason, it is being held at your Aunt Hilda’s home, instead, and you were not invited.  You:

  • (0 points) Figure that Aunt Hilda probably just thought you had other plans and hope that sometime in the future you will be able to reconnect with family members you don’t see often.
  • (5 points) Express your disappointment to your immediate family (maybe your parents, or your siblings), but in the end you weren’t going to go anyway because Aunt Hilda lives in 500 miles away.
  • (10 points) Show up at the dinner anyway, slightly intoxicated, and tell everyone in your immediate and extended family just what you really think of them.  When they ask you to leave, you hit your brother and get in your car to drive over Aunt Hilda’s prize begonias.

Results

0 – 15 points Could you be any more of a push-over?  Grow a pair and start standing up for yourself, for God’s sakes!  Chances are you’re repressing a lot of anger that will come out in an unhealthy way later on down the line anyway.  There is a huge difference between being tolerant and being a complete push-over, and you my friend are a push-over.

16 – 32 points You are more of a realist, but also prefer not to get into too much conflict.  You voice your opinion, but then avoid the consequences.  While this can be a good thing in the sense that it keeps you out of trouble, it can be a bad thing because it will set you up for an avoidance complex.  Next time Aunt Hilda doesn’t invite you to Thanksgiving dinner, you should consider calling her and asking why.

33 – 50 points You definitely need anger management.   You don’t take anyone’s crap and while you wish the world (and the people in it) were a better place, you know it’s really not.  You are a realist who prefers to keep the wool off his eyes.  Rock on!

Now, here’s the caveat:  hitting people, being verbally abrasive, and driving over your Aunt’s begonias may be cathartic, but it is also not the healthiest way to function in society.  A lot of it will get you fired, arrested, or sent to a mental institution.  But to repress your true feelings is also probably one of the most unhealthy habits we carry around with us today.  Remember that episode of The Simpsons where the family went to therapy and everyone hit each other with soft bats?  That kind of therapy exists, because anger repression is just as damaging as anger actuation.

But you’re in luck:  for the low price of having made it this far through the posting, I offer you the cheapest (free) and best (seriously) anger management advice you will ever get:  do what I do.  Amuse yourself with the thoughts of all the wonderfully angry things you could do in whatever situation makes you angry.  Hell, you could even write a self-purported witty blog about it.  The key, though, is to not actually do it.  When the Disney employee annoys you beyond all belief with her happy comments, stupid questions, and dancing to “The Circle of Life” playing over the intercom, imagine smashing her face into the cash register and yelling “you are what is wrong with our society!”  But after chuckling to yourself about this thing you will never do, pay and be on your way conflict-free.  And just because you are managing your outbursts doesn’t mean you have to respond to the canned good-bye with a reciprocal “have a nice day!”


Oh, the irony

Here’s something ironic for you:  when growing up, I would constantly roll my eyes and scoff at my parents for saying that cartoons were too violent, and that TV had a negative influence on my behavior.  Routinely, I snuck around to watch shows like Ren and Stimpy.  Why would they air those on kid’s channels if they weren’t OK for kids to watch, right?  Flash-forward to now, and the disturbing irony has unfolded, as with children around I now understand that the profound impact TV really does have on our kids.

But in this there is something very serious to think about, that being the values that are conveyed through children’s TV shows.  When I was growing up, it was the violence of Tom and Jerry and Ren and Stimpy that parents lashed out against.  Violence was the evil in the world that kids were learning from these anthropomorphic cartoon animals that thrashed, maimed, and demolished each other one, glorious episode after another.  And while violence is still a problem in children’s programming (particularly cartoons), what I find more disturbing now are the values being set forth by the sitcoms being aired on Disney, Nickelodeon, and the like.  Alex Russo in Wizards of Waverly Place teaches children to be snarky, negative, and outright disrespectful of authority (including her parents).  Sam in iCarly teaches children to be similar to Alex, and to take it a step further by asserting themselves through physically violent to get what they want.  This slap-stickesque humor is used as a means to entertain, but in doing so it is teaching our children that such behavior is OK, even admirable.

After decades of outcry from parents and action groups, the TV networks that air such controversial programming just continue to air it, despite concerns abroad.  This, I believe, is inexcusable.  Whereas when I was growing up, a general sense of violence was the problem parents saw on the television their children watched; now, it goes a step beyond the violence to our values that have become skewed for our children by the television programming we allow them to watch.  But who is worse?  The networks for producing and airing the shows?  Or us for watching them?