July 11, 2008

What, you thought I was going to blog about that Op-Ed in the Times?

tlmpe-01.jpg You know what bugs me about The Little Mermaid? Why wouldn't Ariel know what a fork is? Sure, I can understand her being confused about things like "street" and "fire," but merfolk have cities and musical instruments, so why wouldn't they have forks? Her dad carries a trident for fuck's sake. That's just a big fork, right? Are we supposed to think mermaids just shovel food into their mouths with their hands?

Come to think of it, why is Sebastian so freaked out by the fact that humans eat fish? You know who eats a lot more fish than humans? Other fish! Even if mermaids are on an all-seaweed diet, surely Sebastian has noticed the eating habits of some of his other friends. Hell, if Ariel found herself a nice Jewish prince, Sebastian would be a lot safer in the castle than under the sea.

Really, people, think this shit through.

Skye Friday bonus:

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Why does Ariel marry the first guy she ever sees? Isn't she just a teenager anyway? Is she going to be bewildered by the thing her husband shows her that night? Will she sing a song to it or about it?
Isn't this just a cartoon?



"Most of these [words that the NY Times won't print] were found thanks to the tireless research of Daniel Radosh, whose work on the media self-censorship beat has certainly earned him something like a "Webby" but actually meaningful.)


(Talk about owning a niche)

Things my work on media-self censorship has won:

A spot on Reverse Cowgirl's list of top sex stories of 2007.

A mention on Gawker.

OK, those are more meaningful than a Webby.

@Johnny: I'm reminded of the observation by Gary that the lesson of the Little Mermaid is that if you want to get a man, you have to be prepared to give up your tail.

For that matter, why don't mermaids have hairbrushes?

And, JohnnyB, Eric isn't just some guy, he's a prince, and a hunk to boot. Presumably she spotted and dismissed all the other men on Eric's ship as not in her league, her being the daughter of the king of the sea and all that.

(My daughters are total Disney-heads, which is why I know all this -- I'm not just some creepy middle-aged guy with an encyclopedic knowledge of The Little Mermaid.)

Uh, yeah, I have young kids too. Totally.

What, you thought I was going to blog about that Op-Ed in the Times?

No, I thought you were going to blog about mainstream news outlets reporting Jesse Jackson's "cut his nuts off" remark without using the phrase "cut his nuts off." No wonder you haven't yet won a Webby for this topic area, you lazy-ass slacker.

SteveR: I'm guessing you've never tried to use a hairbrush on long, wet hair. You need a comb; a hairbrush won't work.

Daniel: Traditionally, mermaids were shown with a comb and mirror, representing vanity, such as in art or heraldric crests.

So maybe a comb was more familiar to her than a fork. Anyway, didn't the wise-in-the-ways-of-humans seagull tell her it was a comb first? She's a naive teenager, so what do you expect?

Hell, maybe merpeople use chopsticks.

You know, I've been holding back on this for 19 years, but since you bring it up: Why, in the same song, when Ariel gets stuck on the word for "feet", does it help her remember when Flounder waggles his back fin at her? It's not like she's a human who anthropomorphizes him to such an extent that she'd look at his fish fin and think "Oh, right! Feet." You almost expect her to stop the song and say irritably, "Yes, I know where those things are located -- in the same place that you and I have a back fin. But I'm looking for a name here."

@Vance: I was thrilled the morning after the event to be listening to BBC radio and hear the female newsreader, with perfect received English diction intone "... cut. his. nuts. off. ..." Not one hint of a giggle or trace of irony. There will always be an England.

This one's simple, really: Food gets mushy under the sea, so they only use spoons.

Thanks for stepping up to fill the void left by our so-called host, J.D.

Now, to return to the matter at hand, am I the only one who starts singing "Under the Sea" but winds up with "We Are the World"? Damnedest thing.

Vance: I don't do that, but whenever I get "Dueling Banjos" stuck in my head, I always end up with "Yankee Doodle."

"We Are the World" always morphs to Christmas carol "Do You hear What I Hear?" in my addled memory bank.

I always start singing "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and wind up singing "...Cut His Nuts Off..."

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