December 30th, 2011
|03:13 am - Into the Woods as a feminist play|
Often as I listen to my soundtrack(s) of several productions of one of my favorite musicals, Into the Woods, I'm quite convinced that whoever wrote it - and possibly Sondheim, who wrote the songs - had feminist sentiments behind it.
The story is a very convoluted one, so would be best summed up simply as, 'various fairy tales meet together and chaos ensues in a comedic, although increasingly dark, story.' A number of observations I would make about the story, especially the characters - (I'll probably order them in order of how interesting I find them, from least to most.)
The baker and his wife. While initially set up in that way, the baker being an individual and his wife being, well, his wife, as a fairy tale would normally present it, the moral of their story ends up telling of the importance of equality in a relationship. She is discontent to simply stay home and be the passive one in the relationship, and her husband eventually finds that he is unable to progress without working with her as a team.
Little Red Riding Hood learns a different lesson, and not the one we're used to hearing from her story - two different lessons, actually. From her words, "nice is different than good," referring to the wolf's initial charm (elaborated on later with the two princes) meaning nothing of his motivations. Then, in her grandmother's words, "the jaws of a wolf aren't the end of the world." I'm quite fond of this phrase - while both Little Red and her grandmother suffered from the wolf's attack, neither of them allows it to destroy their lives, and Little Red's song "I Know Things Now" elaborates on both lessons, asserting that she's only more prepared for the world.
Rapunzel's relationship with her emotionally abusive 'mother,' the witch, is very rooted in expectations of a woman to remain a child as she grows up - and it is eventually what leads to her death. The witch teachers her, particularly in the number "Stay With Me," that the world is evil and far too wicked for her even though she is a young woman - "stay a child while you can be a child." Rapunzel's sheltered life, not her supposed inherent delicate nature, is what makes her unable to face the violent world outside, and her falling is when she relies on a man, her Prince, to save her life.
Cinderella is introduced not as an innocent little victim, but as a victim who is rightfully angry at her expected place in her family. While dutifully tending to them, she bitterly sings:
"Be nice, Cinderella, good Cinderella nice, good, good, nice! What's the good in being good if they're always blind and you're only left behind? Never mind, Cinderella, kind, Cinderella, nice, good, kind, nice..."
Furthermore, when she finally attends the ball, she actually finds the prince's aggressive nature to be very off-putting, and rejects him, and leaves him behind, to his confusion.
My personal favorite, which admittedly always makes me laugh, are the Two Princes, who are the ultimate Nice Guys.
Their personalities are defined in their first song, "Agony."
Rapunzel's prince is determined to help her escape from the tower, while Cinderella's prince is baffled as to why Cinderella would reject a man so perfect as himself - as surely, she should be honored. He lists many reasons why he 'deserves' her-
"Did I abuse her, or show her disdain, why does she run from me?"
He asks his brother,
"Am I not well-mannered, considerate, passionate, charming, as kind as I'm handsome and heir to a throne?"
His brother exclaims, "You are everything maidens could wish for!"
"Then why no?!"
"Do I know?!"
"The girl must be mad!"
Rapunzel's prince proceeds to bitterly mock her as his frustration towards her unobtainability grows.
Later, in "Agony: Reprise," the two are married, Rapunzel obedient and childish as ever, Cinderella only having agreed so that she may escape her family - and is continuing to find herself discontent with her overbearing husband, and ready to leave him to live a life less luxurious, but free. The two men, meanwhile, are now bored with their wives, and singing a song about their new interests, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, who they once again feel they inherently deserve - so the cycle continues.
Interestingly enough, Cinderella's prince traditionally also plays the role of Little Red's predatory Wolf, emphasizing his true nature, as well as the lesson 'nice is different than good.'
Current Mood: dorky
August 29th, 2011
|07:08 pm - Day 1 of school!|
Day 1 of school today, and I've already come away with a good impression of the two classes I had today.
Interpersonal Communication - Well, I sort of already knew what to expect for this one, because I had begun this class a couple years ago, and with the same teacher. Due to circumstances, I ended up withdrawing from the class, but I came back in knowing I like the class and I really like this teacher. She's just as friendly and inviting as she was before, and I look forward to going through the class this time.
American History I - Oh, I was excited about this one! I don't think I'll be disappointed - my teacher clearly appreciates his subject, and made it clear that he finds it important to give history perspective, both from the various people involved and for how it links to the world we live in today.
I have to say though, my Submissive Teacher Sense was going wild. He gave off all the signs of being a pushover - he seemed enthusiastic but a bit nervous, and he continually talked about how loose he was with various things, but then tried to make himself sound tough about it. "I'll let you have tons of absences but after that I'll have to have a talk with you! You can turn things in late, but I -will- start dropping your grade!" Bless his heart.
I actually kind of prefer tough teachers to pushovers, but it's no skin off my nose. If he teaches well, that's what matters.
Current Mood: hopeful
August 22nd, 2011
Goddammit is this mobile thing working helloooo
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August 18th, 2011
|05:29 pm - ;_;|
My aunt and I used to be very close, but we've drifted over the years, especially since my mom has been rather adament that she wouldn't accept me as I am.
I came out to her today, and she smiled and said everyone pretty much knows. She said that she doesn't necessarily agree with it, but my family all loves me and I can talk to them about anything. She said she figured mom was keeping me from telling, and that it upset her - she said that she knew it must hurt bad to keep things in, and that I shouldn't listen to mom when she tries to tell me my family won't accept me.
August 2nd, 2011
I've decided to major in history after all. It won't be as hard to switch as I thought. Optimistic about that.
Unrelated whimpering. Lately I've felt like every time I work hard and do something right, something will knock me back. Obstacles and financial issues stack up.
After going over some frustrating affairs with my insurance, today I came home and found that dad took down my flower bed and mowed over the flowers. He always hated its placement (mom picked the spot,) and I hadn't weeded in weeks, so it's pretty much my fault for my negligence. But I wish he had warned me to weed it so I could save the flowers there before he took it down.
I guess that's kind of unrelated, but it felt related somehow.
Posted via m.livejournal.com.
April 18th, 2011
|07:13 pm - Bolivia is my favorite place of the day.|
Today I learned some things about Bolivia. Particularly, I learned some things about Bolivian women.
Meet the Cholitas.
They wear feminized bowler hats, and long, flowing skirts, which is in itself pretty damn awesome. But there's more to the cholita culture than that.
Cholitas run the family, Cholitas are tough as nails working class, Cholitas sometimes run their own businesses, and you know what they do at the end of the day for fun?
Let me show you.
Oh fuck yes, that is some women's wrestling.
Oh fuck yes, that is some asskicking.
There are male wrestlers for the shows, too. And guess what? They're the opening act. THE WARM-UP ACT.
I love how the skirts stay on. That just makes it more hardcore.
April 17th, 2011
April 8th, 2011
|03:16 am - The Karni Mata temple|
The Karni Mata Hindu temple is a temple that worships rats, believing them to be the reincarnated ancestors of thousands of people. They believe that when the rats die, they are reincarnated as people, and when people die, they are reborn in the temple as rats. There are thousands of rats, therefore, scurrying about the temple. The people who live there eat and sleep with the rats, and feed them like they feed themselves, a wholly vegetarian and appetizing diet - well, appetizing aside from the whole 'they let rats crawl on it' part.
It's all rather disgusting, I know. I mean, I certainly would never eat food that rats touched, and I love rats. And all that rat poo, ew. I know they clean the place daily, but thousands of rats gotta produce a lot of waste daily.
But somehow, I find the whole thing kind of neat, despite all that. Of course, like any religion, I think it's a bunch of hogwash. But I guess, for my love of rats and animals in general, I can kind of appreciate it. And the thing is, I'm so used to the Abrahamic religions, full of violence and contradictory egotism and self-loathing. Meanwhile, here we have a sect of Hinduism whose crimes are 'having silly beliefs' (redundant, all religious beliefs are redonk) and 'loving animals so much it's unsanitary.' For all my dislike of religion, I don't mind coexisting with that.
Squeak eek. Brofist, Karni Mata. Brofist.
I oughta post here more often.
January 26th, 2011
|03:09 am - Another goal for this year:|
Work on my damn self-censoring. I keep embarrassing myself by unintentionally blurting morbid things about non-morbid topics. It makes me seem like some kind of cryptkeeper weirdo. 8| It's not on purpose, dammeet!
January 18th, 2011
|09:07 pm - Yes, I'm posting about the weather|
I complain that the weather in PA is always crap, because it is just about always crap. But sometimes even crappy weather has its own beauty about it.
Today everything was coated with ice. When the bare trees are so still, they look like delicate, reaching hands, some of their fingers curled as if frozen midway into making an angry fist. Water drips from the fingers, so noisy I had to stay still for a moment to tell if it was raining or not.