I recently invoked Roland Barthes in my explanation to Jim about how come girls like Led Zeppelin (and Robert Plant) better that The Who (and Pete Townshend). That class on romantic literature has finally paid off.
Eliza and my car conversations frequently revolve around literary subjects. Among the subjects I have explained to her: meta-fiction, the fourth wall, figurative language, and tricksters and why they are not evil but morally ambiguous.
Yesterday, she was telling me about her newly discovered favorite, Calvin and Hobbes.
“Calvin really stretches the boundaries of the definition of ‘hero’,” she mused. “I think he’s more of a trickster.”
Because of my job and the way she interacts with people at my work, she knows a lot more than the average kid about the mechanics behind the magic of storytelling. She’s seen people craft that magic up close — she’s even helped. Somehow, that does not reduce her love for it one iota. I find this fascinating — it’s like she’s Dorothy finding the man behind the curtain and instead of freaking out, she’s asking him how the levers work and asking if she can pull them, too.
I was trying to explain to Jim why comics book movies are not just about things going BOOM! and are actually relevant but then it sort of turned into a lecture about how the ending of X-men First Class, which can be read up to that point as a Civil Rights or Gay Rights allegory, is severely problematic from a standpoint of identity politics as it demonizes the characters who take pride in their “otherness” and refuse to assimilate, and then takes a turn into the completely illogical by having said characters join the side of their Dr. Mengele-type oppressor — at which point I realized that I was sort of yelling and arm-waving kind of a lot.
…I’ll just be over here the corner internally shrieking about Avengers and moral ambiguity and how Joss Whedon needs to figure out a way to work James Marsters into the Marvel Comics Movie Universe, and how UNIT and SHIELD are similar enough that SOMEONE needs to make a Who/Torchwood/Avengers cross-over movie because also Jack Harkness and Tony Stark in the same room would be awesome and catastrophic.
Eliza was planning to make a film adaptation of her debut novel “The Lotus Dragon,” but we’ve run into some special effects problems. Specifically, I refuse to buy any more stuffed animals for the big OMG!WHAT! reveal scene near the end which calls for a half dozen cheetah cubs.
I’m really enjoying the foray I’ve been making into dance/hiphop courtesy of Zumba. The other day, I used “twerk” correctly in a sentence. I then demonstrated for Jim, who is looking for brainbleach as we speak. I thought it was just an amusing wordplay on werk, but it is really so much more, isn’t it? Also, the line in Booty Wurk wherein the narrator chides the shy bootylicious girl for “being goddamn embarrassed by what you got from your parents” makes me laugh. It is almost as good as Kanye West’s line in ET where he describes himself as an alien and tells the women to whom he is singing “First Imma disrobe you, then Imma probe you.” In both cases, they’ve gotten so wrapped up in the wordplay they don’t even realize that they’ve gone straight past ‘sexy’ and landed at ‘severely dorky.’