Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll’s creative juices have been triggered by news of BARBIE, THE MOVIE – You’ve GOT to be kidding, right? She writes:

When I first heard about the emergence of a movie called Barbie, I thought it had to be another White Supremacist QAnon Debunked Conspiracy. First of all, who on Earth could play Barbie except Dolly Parton? Blessed by Nature with her Barbie bosom proportions and SOMEHOW simultaneously having the waist of an anorexic 7th grader, Dolly would have been perfect except for being 77 years old! We have not yet been gifted with Geriatric Barbie and her pink walker and patented Geezer-Wear track suits in 32 different colors.

My latest Hadassah magazine has the inspiration for the Barbie doll – one of the owners of the Mattell company – on its cover. The late Ruth Handler was a forward-looking woman who wanted a toy doll for little girls that was expressly NOT a baby doll. She wanted to inspire little girls to something beyond being a wife and mother. Okay, that’s cool, whatever. To me, there IS nothing more interesting, important or fun than being a wife and mother, but I’m a dinosaur.

My little sister once owned an ORIGINAL Barbie that must have been worth a small fortune if my mother hadn’t given it to the Goodwill when that daughter left home! I know many of you fellas also could have retired on the Mickey Mantle rookie cards that your mamas threw out as well. (The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown even has a display of random cards in a shoebox to represent “the cards your mother threw out.”)

The whole Barbie shtick didn’t work on me. Being a wife and mother was all I aspired to in the world. Oh, maybe, I would write books or become an important poet or something in my spare time, but really all I wanted was a loving husband and a lot of children. I had no interest in her “Dream House” and didn’t get my own modest Dream House until I was 63 years old. Some things are better if you have to wait and work for them. (Imagine my surprise when – in my search for any way to get off typesetting on the Graveyard Shift — I turned out to have a 30-year career in standup! Nobody was more surprised than I was.)

Circling back to my childhood, I had no interest in Barbie’s ridiculous clothes or her relationship with her weird boyfriend Ken. None of the men and boys I knew had hair as perfect as Ken’s, but he was definitely not my type!

The assertion now that Barbie was meant to be some kind of an icon of a “career” woman is pretty laughable. It was much much later that Barbie became an astronaut, a surgeon, a lawyer, a dentist and a real estate agent. For decades, frankly, she looked more like a high-priced call girl than an astronaut. You know, the kind that speaks French and Italian and you can take her to a fancy restaurant or D.C. cocktail party. Afterwards. All Barbie did for many years was change clingy, bizarre clothes and ride around in an expensive car, the perfect American consumer, bless her heart. At that point, she had no visible means of support.

Clothes have never been my thing. I didn’t even dress PAPER DOLLS – I cut them out of the Sears catalogue and made elaborate families and made up stories about them in my head, or occasionally with the little girl across the street. We had one particular Sears Paper Doll activity that we really enjoyed – playing “Orphanage.”

We spent hours cutting babies and children out of those sections in the catalogues and writing their names on the back. We cut some nurses out of the Nurse Uniform section and we would have an orphanage of over 100 children. We had two catalogues, so we even were able to make identical twins! You know, back when kids were forced to have imagination.

There was all manner of drama and action in the orphanage, even having some nice couples coming to adopt the children. Within a day or two, I had memorized the names of ALL 100 children, unlike today when I wish everyone were forced to wear nametags at all times, including long-time friends. Sigh.

Hollywood has certainly strip-mined the toy industry for movies before – from G. I. Joe and Transformers to the many incarnations of Toy Story itself.

Once you’ve REMADE every even half-way decent movie in Hollywood, only – get this! you won’t BELIEVE how clever and creative this is – made every white character black and every male character a woman or a transsexual, there is nowhere to go except to movies about inanimate objects.

Actual creativity is not an option when you are crammed into a Socialist Realist (DEI worshiping) framework. White people are uniformly BAD, supremacists and bigots. POC’s – are all uniformly GOOD, even those who kill each other with nauseating frequency in every major urban area in America. Remember, kids: POCs have no agency as individuals, they are only oppressed in the aggregate and have no free will at all. And so on, and so on, and so on. It’s so dreary and predictable and just plain BORING.

After remaking and ruining every major film treasure – can anyone name even ONE remake that was better than the original? – maybe True Grit was equal to the John Wayne version, but certainly not better — it was time to max out the superhero comic books, and yes, God help us, even video games.

And now, at last, we have come to the end of the road. Hollywood has made a movie about Barbie. I have not seen it, nor will I, but have read enough ABOUT it to be fairly certain that my antipathy is justified. Conservative critics say it is no treat to watch a preachy human representation of a doll go on a rant about the “patriarchy,” a total of ten times I’m told. I also see reports that the movie is a ginormous hit! Mazel tov – BOY, Hollywood was hard up for a winner, so they must be poppin’ corks on the [whatever $8,000 champagne is cool now. Like I would know…].

As for the perpetual knock on The Patriarchy, give it a rest, Babs. I am a yuge fan of The Patriarchy, mostly because for several decades now we have had a living laboratory of what happens to a culture – and the young men IN that culture – when the society gives women a regular stipend in order to circumvent the need for men except for a few minutes of procreation.

Finally, it would seem that this movie has opened the door to some truly bottom-of-the-barrel fodder for future movies about the wretched toys we had in the 50s and 60s and beyond. Coming soon to a theatre near you:

BETSY-WETSY – sponsored by Pampers, Betsy-Wetsy features a baby who, when fed a magic bottle of water, then wets her pants. That’s it. The entire story. This is interesting to a first grade girl who feeds the baby for, perhaps, the first six or eight times. Until she runs out of Betsy diapers and has to go to the laundromat to do a load of laundry.

SLINKY! When discussing Slinky with the Paranoid Texan next door, he bemoaned the fact that Slinky was particularly dull if you lived – as he did – in a one-story house. I cannot do better than the t-shirt pop-up ad that says: “Some people are useless, but, like Slinky, they do raise a smile when pushed downstairs.” Slinky, the movie, will have Slinky opining about Intersectionalism and doing a land acknowledgement on any stairs he occupies.

HULA HOOP, the Sequel – In the first Hula Hoop movie, it was pointed out (repeatedly) that Hula Hoop was a racist toy since most POC have a larger racist BMI and therefore, cannot get the racist hoop going as racistly fast as the racist thin people can. In the Sequel, we will explore why there were no black Hula Hoops, although most were “of some color.”

SILLY PUTTY, the musical: – First, flatten it and press it down onto the funny papers – are there still funny papers? I haven’t seen a newspaper in about 20 years, so I cannot confirm. While listening to lively Hip Hop music, see the image transferred onto the putty. Minutes of Fun! Do it again!

TIDDLYWINKS – picketed by the morbidly obese because Tiddlywinks are so racistly, fat-phobic wafer-thin. We need INCLUSIVE Tiddlywinks of every size.

SUPERBALL!: A transgender nonbinary gender-fluid entity will throw the ball as hard as they can at they’s interior wall and spend the whole rest of the movie trying to find it again. Too bad we can’t bring Andy Warhol back to direct. After a fruitless search for the little object, they give up. Fade to black. A narrator will explain how this is exactly the same as the search for Social Justice. Or something equally deep. SUPERBALL, the Movie, will also feature previews of other coming attractions like: Bolo! How Long Before the Flimsy #$%&* Rubber Band Breaks? And Cabbage Patch Doll, an ugly baby’s quest for happiness as an adoptee whose 7-year-old mother tires of her after two days and puts her in the toybox. Sadly, under her Nana’s old Betsy-Wetsy.

Last week we talked about Women’s World magazine. This very day I read in the magazine that a new movie has been released on cable about – are you sitting down? – Beanie Babies. No joke, man. Parody is impossible. I throw in the towel!

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