(via arcadiaego)Source: whitepajamas
This is a transcript of a chat conversation I had with my friend J. Krimble (NOT HIS REAL NAME) probably six or seven or eight years ago? For some reason, my agent and friend Daphne had it as a Word file and just mailed it to me. And now, I share it with you:
ME: guess who just called me!
FRIEND: i don’t know!
ME: President Bush
FRIEND: George W. Bush?!
ME: He just made me the new head of Homeland Security!
FRIEND: oh no!
ME: I can’t believe it!
ME: I get a car, and an office.
ME: I get some aides.
ME: A big chair.
ME: And all I have to do is protect the whole country from terrorism!
FRIEND: It’s harder than you’d think
ME: I’ll be fine.
ME: I’ve already formed my first plan.
ME: It’s called: Civilian Reptile Army
FRIEND: What is it?
ME: It’s so easy. Everybody in the country gets a snake, and everyone should always have their snake with them. Then, if terrorists come, you throw your snake at them.
ME: George loves my plan.
ME: He thinks it rocks.
FRIEND: It’s insane!
ME: No it isn’t. If terrorists knew that we all had snakes, they would leave us alone.
FRIEND: You can’t be serious about giving every man, woman, and child in the country a snake!
ME: And GW likes it so much that he gave me $27 billion to do it.
ME: I am going to order the first snakes this afternoon.
ME: There’s going to be a SNAKE BOOM!
ME: Of course, they have to be scary snakes …
ME: cobras …
ME: boa constrictors
ME: South American coral snakes
ME: we’re even working on developing a red, white, and blue snake
ME: we’re calling the project: Fangs of Freedom
ME: pretty cool, huh?
FRIEND: Excuse me, I can’t talk any more. I’m moving to Canada.
ME: And the new Homeland Security Office symbol is going to have a big snake on it. A snake striking out from the center of a flag.
ME: But I was going to offer you a job!
ME: As my assistant!
FRIEND: No thanks, crazy
ME: It pays $500,000 a year …
ME: and you get a car and an office
ME: and we’d get to go out to sweet lunches
FRIEND: Oh, ok then I’m in
ME: Now, I need you to figure out how we can hand out the snakes.
FRIEND: Can we use the Post Office?
ME: Should be go door to door, or should we drop them from airplanes?
ME: Good point.
ME: We can mail them.
ME: because all of our stamps are totally free
FRIEND: Using the same list that the U.S. Census uses.
ME: nice …
ME: if you have any other good plans for fighting terrorism, just let me know
ME: I love fighting terrorism.
FRIEND: *** This user has signed off and is no longer online ***
FRIEND: *** This user has signed on and is now online ***
FRIEND: Are you scared of them now?
ME: THEY ARE LOOSE IN MY OFFICE!
FRIEND: How did you get them so fast?
ME: 200 COPPERHEADS!
ME: I ORDERED THEM OFF OF BN.COM
ME: THEY HAVE SAME-DAY DELIVERY
FRIEND: wait, wait, wait…
FRIEND: Barnes & Noble has snakes?!
Oh, Maureen.Source: maureenjohnsonbooks
I re-blogged a picture of a little girl, dressed as Tiana, hugging the face actress who plays Tiana at one of the Disney Parks, and noted that everyone should have their princess. And a few people have now contacted me basically going “no, only straight white people can have princesses if you stick with the classics.”
I am a folklorist, and it’s time for some Fun With Folklore.
First off, very few Princesses/fairy tale heroines who are going to become Princesses because that’s what you do are actually defined by specific physical attributes. You have Snow White, who yes, requires the “skin as white as snow” etc, but that’s to make her an alien beauty and justify the actions of her stepmother. She belongs to the Aarne-Thompson tale type 709, which is commonly referred to as “Snow White,” but which contains a hell of a lot more, including “Bella Venezia”, “Myrsina”, “Nourie Hadig” and “Gold-Tree and Silver-Tree.” All those links will take you to Wikipedia. Click them. Note that NOT ONE of those girls is defined by her appearance, beyond “incredibly beautiful.” “Nourie Hadig” is Armenian in origin; you can bet that girl was not white as snow. (Note that I do not actually care for the “Nourie Hadig” 709 variant, due to using a Roma girl as the main adversary, but that’s another story.) Any story you want to tell is going to have variants where the heroines are never described! You know why?
BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WHO WERE TELLING THESE STORIES UNDERSTOOD THAT IT WAS IMPORTANT FOR CHILDREN TO SEE THEMSELVES IN THE MIRROR OF THE TALE.
There are fairy tales about people with disabilities, ranging from the physical (missing limbs, missing eyes, missing tongues) to the emotional (girls who cannot smile, boys who cannot feel fear). There are fairy tales that end in same-sex marriage. There’s even an excellent fairy tale about gender identity, “The Princess Who Became A Prince,” in which our hero has always felt he was a boy, but tried to be a dutiful daughter, until a dragon stole a neighbor princess and he had to ride to rescue the girl in order to save the kingdom. One misaimed curse later, and wham, our new-minted prince is finally outwardly as he had been all along on the inside.
THIS IS JUST AS OLD AND TRUE AND SCHOLASTIC AS CINDERELLA AND THE OTHERS.
The “big fairy tales” of today are the ones that someone seized on as marketable. We have the power, as drivers of media, to say that we want more diversity. We want Princesses of every race, creed, and religion, and we have the folklore and fairy tales to make them real. We want our transgender Princess (although wow would the marketing be problematic). Saying “the classics” are 100% about straight white people reduces the past to a place where only straight whiteness existed, and where no other children ever needed stories. And that’s not what the past was.
Once upon a time has never stopped being right now.
Sing it with me: “Representation matters! It has always mattered!”
(via arcadiaego)Source: seananmcguire