The Princess and the U.P.

21 March 2010

I was at my niece’s birthday party today. From the looks of things, there are two types of toys that girls can have: toys with Disney Princesses on them, or toys with Barbie on them.

Have I mentioned that I hate Disney? No, not Walt Disney, the pioneering cartoonist and film-maker. I’m talking about the media giant that has sunk its tentacles into every aspect of childhood. I can’t stand the way they extend copyrights, sue quasi-copyright infringements, market junk and proclaim it as the next “classic” and ruin otherwise perfect Pixar films by slapping their logo on the beginning.

Anyway, nothing seems worse than those princesses directed at little girls. I can’t quite figure out why Disney seems to think that, in order to be somebody, you have to be royalty. I thought my ancestors fought some big war a while back to throw off those royal tyrants. And, actually, now that I think about it, the best Disney cartoons are the ones about non-royalty: Dumbo, Bambi, Pinocchio, and all that early stuff with that mouse and that duck. The British royal family is just a waste of UK tax-payers’ money. It shouldn’t even exist anymore. It’s just something everyone over there is afraid to get rid of, kind of like the way Americans are with their gods.

The bigger crime, though, is the look of these picture-perfect princesses. They look so fake and phony (is that redundant?), like they all went to Glamour Shots. The story, as first told in Snow White, then repeated in Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, the Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and probably that new movie with the obnoxious alligators (oh – and if you click this link, the site shows you a montage of prior Disney princesses, in case you forgot that this is just another rehash), is this: if a young girl wants to make something of herself, she needs to:

1 – be pretty. If you’re not naturally pretty, like, say, Snow White, try to employ witchcraft. Maybe some fairy can turn your rags into a prom dress or – more drastically – you can contract with a sea hag for major body alterations.

2 – catch the attention of a rich, handsome man. Yeah, that’s right, even if you’re a princess (what is that, like third in line for the crown?), your best bet is still to just lie around all day waiting for a Prince Smarming. You can literally lie around, like Snow White, or that chick from Sleeping Beauty, or figuratively lie around, chilling with your pet tiger.

3 – well, honestly, there is no #3. Because, let’s face it, once a girl has grown up into a 16 year old woman (that’s how old Ariel is on her wedding day), and has snagged someone with that coveted XY combo, there’s really nothing left to achieve. And that’s why the movie is always over at this point.

Hm, I was going to mention Barbie, with her gravity-defying bosom and permanently-ready-for-stilettos feet, but you get the point.

22 March 2010

While at Mississippi Market today, we recruited assistance from one of the employees to get us some bulk pop-corn. As the employee stretched out to grab a bag for us, I noticed her tattoo. She was wearing a button shirt, but the top two (maybe three) buttons weren’t fastened. emblazoned on her sternum was something that looked like this:

I only saw it for a second, but wow…if that didn’t look like Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I don’t know what does. Later, as she was ringing up our items, I could only see the very, um…Northern shore of her tattoo.

So now I bet you’re wondering three things:

1) How can I be sure it was Michigan’s UP?

Because, I’m just THAT good at geography. It’s my favorite Trivial Pursuit category. One of my favorite past-times in junior high school was correcting teacher’s when they got their geography facts wrong. I once asked a table of co-workers if any of them ever noticed that Wisconsin looks like Tanzania, and they all gave me a look that said: “Wow, I bet you could spot Michigan’s UP on a tattoo in less than 0.5 seconds.

2) Why would someone get a tattoo of Michigan’s UP?

I don’t know! Isn’t it great, though? I mean, everyone gets hearts, crosses, names. How many people get a road map?

3) Did she also have the Lower Peninsula?

Ooh… I could’ve asked …but that might have gotten me thrown out of the store.

This entry was posted in Current Events. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Princess and the U.P.

  1. david says:

    Don’t worry Uncle Jimmy, I’m sure she’ll grow to appreciate the toy you got her (


  2. Mike says:

    My son lives in VA and has Minnesota tatooed on his arm with the words “Home” where the Twin Cities are.

  3. James says:

    David – that is feakin’ hilarious. I’ll have to add that to our baby’s gift registry (just kidding – second kids don’t get showers).

    Mike – that’s clever. Had your son been working at Mississippi Market, I would’ve felt comfortable asking him to confirm my suspicion that he had a map of MN on his arm.

  4. d says:

    i am that employee. you have no idea how much attention that tattoo has gotten me. thank you for being such a fan.

  5. James says:

    Hey, you’re welcome! Thank YOU for thinking outside the tattoo “box”! Are you from Michigan? My friends and I made a mockumentary at Michilimackinac State Park about 16 years ago; I still have it on tape. That’s about the extent of my Michigan memories.

  6. d says:

    of course i’m from michigan…..and i have both the lower and upper peninsulas….im from the lower…..i’d love to check out your mockumentary…..

  7. James says:

    Ask and you shall receive (which is really a stupid cliche’):

Comments are closed.