9:32 PM

Flashback: Changing Kid's Cartoons

So I decided I was going to participate in Disney Profile Picture Week on Facebook today. Being the devious person I am, and wanting to try to trip up my little sister, I decided I was going to post this guy as my profile picture.



Don't remember him? I didn't even remember his name! But I won't ever forget that he's from "The Three Caballeros". His name is Panchito Pistolas and he's a red Mexican rooster. Along with a green parrot named Jose and Donald Duck, he makes up one of the three caballeros.

After wandering through memory lane, I decided to look up the namesake musical number from the film, also titled "The Three Caballeros".

I was shocked! Not only does Jose smoke but Panchito fires off his pistols several times in the musical number. But I think what shocked me more was how different kid's television is now. Personally, I'm not bothered by Jose smoking or Panchito's pistols, but parents today would be outraged. With good reason? I'm not so sure.

Sometimes I have to wonder if we give kids too much credit. I feel that back in my day, parents didn't worry about the gun or the cigar because we didn't take note of it as a kid. Or we weren't impressed enough to go out and buy real guns or smoke real cigars. In fact, I didn't even like "The Three Caballeros" that much when I was young! I had other Disney videos I reached for first over this one. And occasionally my sisters and I would draw forth this tape from the back of the pile just for kicks, and mostly for the title song.

Now we try to censor things we feel our bad in order to keep kids from being 'impressed' with bad desires. Do we give kid's too much credit, or doubt them too much? Or is it just different values and worries of a different era that make "The Three Caballeros" inappropriate in this generation? I like to think I grew up fine despite having watched "The Three Caballeros" when I was younger. If I was scared by it, to be sure, my parents wouldn't have let me watch it - hence why "Night on Bald Mountain" and "Rite of Spring" were cut in my family's version of "Fantasia". But I know other people who saw these sketches as ankle-biters and are perfectly fine for it.

I kind of miss the days when we could show guns in kid's cartoons and where a rooster from Mexico could be red without someone crying racist. Or when we could depict evil as a big, black, bat monster with a Slavic god's name without criticism, or when it didn't really matter what technology we used as long as it was fun.

Granted, modern television isn't bad by a long shot. It's great to see more female characters coming into kid's entertainment, and stronger females at that. But I wonder if we've traded fun for political correctness or parental concern sometimes.

The good old days seem so simple, don't they?

12:47 AM

Internships

So if you don't know, I'm trying to get a job in the film industry. It's hard on a regular day, but in a recession, not in the same state, and with no HTML skills to offer? We've graduated to a whole new level of difficulty called defcon red. There are no entry-level jobs posted, but plenty of higher-level ones that demand experience. So how do I get experience in order to apply for head of that silly marketing department or expansive office production crew?

I have no idea.

One way to do so is through internships. There are plenty of internships available in Hollywood. But unlike engineering, science, or other internships, people in Los Angeles are under the impression that internships don't have to pay their hirees. While I can understand this to some degree, I recently saw a job posting - an internship job, mind you - that was looking for the following:

1. Someone to work Monday through Friday
2. Someone to work Monday through Friday from 10am to 7pm
3. Someone to work Monday through Friday from 10am to 7pm with NO PAY

Do you see something wrong with this picture? I sure do.

Why do internships who demand a full-time schedule feel like they don't have to pay? They don't include a computer, transportation costs, relocation costs, help in finding a living situation, or anything else that you would think a 40-hour work week with no pay would provide. How is this right? How is this even legal?!

I really wanted this internship - it sounded fun and I felt like I would have been a good fit. I was even asked in for an interview, but when I found out that the position was unpaid I had to decline. I was so bummed and confused and hurt. Is the movie business, one of the richest in the world mind you, so corrupt that it can't pay people it demands a four to five work day from? What happened to helping people make a living? And how can anyone take that job who is a student in the position I'm in?

I remember an article awhile ago about a girl who reported the agency that wasn't paying her for an internship position she had gained. The New York Times covered the issue and it was basically revealed that offering an internship without compensation is illegal. (I don't know if college credit counts as compensation.)

Is it fair that college credit counts when you pay a college for a sign-off that you worked for free in the industry? Wasn't this was called "shadowing" back in the day and usually involved actually observing your field and not running to grab the phone? How can it be fair to gain a whole two credits, pay hundreds of dollars for those credits, be expected to work a full day, and not get paid for it?

I wish that people would pay people for work. Good writers can no longer get paid for what they do because the Internet makes it easier and cheaper (and I mean free) to find someone else to finish the job. I know that interns are young. We make mistakes, but we're learning, and despite the fact that we're in college doesn't mean that we can afford not to be paid. Especially when there are no jobs anymore to let us get a foot in the door.

9:30 PM

Caspurr




To Caspurr, to Caspie, to Buttmunch, to Dense Cat, to Baby, to Brat Cat: we miss you. May your time with us have been worth your brief sojourn on Earth.

The Rainbow Bridge

inspired by a Norse legend


By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,

Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.

Where the friends of man and woman do run,

When their time on earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next,

Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.

On this golden land, they wait and they play,

Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,

For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.

Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,

Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care,

Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.

All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,

Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

For just at that instant, their eyes have met;

Together again, both person and pet.

So they run to each other, these friends from long past,

The time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart,

Has turned into joy once more in each heart.

They embrace with a love that will last forever,

And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.


© 1998 Steve and Diane Bodofsky. All Rights Reserved.

10:44 PM

Play It Again!

Does anyone else have those songs that they can listen to 100 million times in a row? I go through cycles where I latch onto a song like a hungry lampray and replay it until the button on my mp3 player and car stereo are devoid of any indication that there was a tiny "replay" written on the button.

I'm lucky that most of my driving time is by myself or with my sisters (who do the same thing), where I can indulge in my habit and overkill the song to my heart's content. Otherwise I think my passengers would kill me or the radio after hearing One Republic's "Secrets" after the third play.

I never really thought of myself as a visual person until just recently, most of the way into my film degree. I found myself becoming more conscious of the fact that I daydream. A lot. In fact, sometimes I lose focus on what people are saying.

Example:

Me: Hey! How is the new job going?

Friend: Oh, my job as a night janitor at the elementary school? It's great! The other day, I scraped off the biggest gum wad you'd ever seen, and...

Me: (thinking) I wonder what would happen if a janitor faced off with giant, sentient gum wads while cleaning a science class room. The gum would be all green, because we all know that science classrooms use radioactive material on a regular basis, and it would be avenging the death of it's long lost grape gum love...

Friend: How are you?

Me: (thinking) And then, the janitor would have to defend himself from the supply closet, using his mop bucket to mix up a death-inducing chemical that breaks up the gum and creates gum-liquid-no, that's gross. What if it just melted like the Wicked Witch of the West? That could be pretty awesome.

Friend: ...

This happens frequently. And often with music. When I get a clear image of something from a song's lyrics or tune, I have to listen to that inspiration over and over until I get a crystal clear, unforgettable image of that scene, character, or emotion. Ok, so I still manage to forget some of them, but more often than not the image will stay and I remember it for days to come.

I love how music can conjure such imaginings with just at tune. And I find that it doesn't necessarily matter what type of music it is. I've found inspiration in Schubert's "Ave Maria" and Ke$ha's "Take It Off". And don't get me started on Queen's "Bohemian Rhaposdy". Why they didn't do a music video with the amazing story in that song, I'll never understand!

And what's even more fun, to me, is that songs can inspire different images from the genre they're in. Look at all the parodies using the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey", or "Flight of the Valkyrie". I mean, when I listen to One Republic's "Secrets" (a current obsession), I picture a character who identifies closely with the line of "Don't let me disappear". For Tao Cruiz's "Heartbreaker" I see a glamorous and confident movie star who manages to fall in love with her assistant, despite her belief she won't.

Are some of my imaginings cheesy? Yes. Yet they're still my brain babies and I love them while they last. Sometimes they turn out well and sometimes they hang out with the wrong crowd, get addicted to speed, and turn out to be leeches. But another song will come along and spawn another little inkling. And since I think art is sometimes a matter of luck in regards to what turns out to be good, it can't hurt to explore options.

And listen to the same song, over and over again.

11:33 PM

Bob Haircuts For the Win

Why does TV and film seem to have an aversion to female leads with short hair? Granted, female leads in general are about as frequent as two digit temperatures in Arizona during the summer, but short-haired ones are a rarity in a category of their own.

I've heard that men prefer long-haired women but I've never come across proof of this popular idea until after looking at the film world.Think about it. Princess Leia ("Star Wars"), Kate ("Lost"), Penny ("The Big Bang Theory"), Jessi ("Toy Story 2 and 3"), Cuddy and Cameron and Thirteen/Remy ("House"), Robin ("How I Met Your Mother"), Buttercup ("The Princess Bride"), and almost every female in a romantic comedy/romance novel.

While it may not be surprising that romantic comedies and drama tend to have more long-haired babes in them - it's needed for those dramatic moments after all, the slow-motion head toss wouldn't be the same without it! - it's telling that the leads in these genres, especially romantic movies, would have long hair.

Why are short-haired women limited to taking center stage in sci-fi? Why is it that only the tough girls seem to have short hair, or the eccentric women, or the messed up ones? We all know that men take the forefront as the main character in disproportionate numbers in books, film, and tv, but for men, it seems that short is the norm and longer hair is either a hippie, druggie, or old Western man. I don't get it.

While this concept could use some reflection and could probably spawn any number of debates, arguments, spoofs, and rants, I've decided that it would be more useful (and fun) to just list five amazing short-haired bombshells that I appreciate.

We'll do a short shout out list for those female characters with short hair who are series regulars or have somewhat important roles in films but, sadly, aren't the main attraction.

Honorable Mentions: Dr. Girlfriend - "The Venture Bros.", Claudia Donovan - "Warehouse 13", Number Six - "Battlestar Galactica", Molly Jensen - "Ghost", Celia Hodes - "Weeds"

But you know you're all really interested in who the main beauties are of the group who get the short and sexy hairstyling AND the main lead. Here's the best that I could do at this time of night! They're in no particular order, and if you can think of anyone else that deserves a shout-out or to be on this list let me know with a comment.

1. Akima - "Titan A.E."

Akima is proud, confident, strong, beautiful, yet flawed. She has some issues with her attitude she's fun to watch on-screen as she learns to trust and also as she kicks some booty. You can argue that she's a bit flat character-wise, and that her main role is to be the love interest, and yes, she's in a science fiction movie, but we all have to start somewhere, right? One disappointing aspect about Akima, however, is that while she is a main character, she is not the focal point of the story. And with hair like that, I can't see why she isn't.


2. Olivia Benson - "Law and Order: SVU"

She's sexy, tough, and compassionate, and she's also a main character for the first few seasons until she disappears and people stop watching the show religiously. She consistently shows up with short hair, possibly because of her job, but we love her anyway because, hey, she's doing the same kind of work as Stabler, and still looking good!


3. Snow White - "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"

Ok, so she's two-dimensional and a kid's cartoon from the time back when it used to be expected for a girl to have no dreams except getting married. But she's the only Disney princess with short hair above her chin (Mulan doesn't even cut hers that short, and it grows back!). So we have to give her a shout-out and appreciate the fact that she's embodying love for a generation without the use of luxurious long locks. And to top it off? The movie's about her. She's even in the title.


4. Fujioka Haruhi - "Ouran High School Host Club"

Before you judge me on watching and liking this show, I have to challenge you to find a female who is featured as prominently as a main character in a show that is not science fiction as her. Granted, she dresses like a man in most of the series, and has several brusque qualities that may be considered strange for a normal person. But she is the main star of this show and she isn't perfect by any means of the game. Too bad we can't have this combination on a major network show...


5. Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart - "Chicago"

The bad girls and also the main characters, Roxie's and Velma's are both devious and not incredibly relateable, but you gotta admit they have spunk and a flair for the dramatic, and I have to give them this this: they aren't animated OR in a science-fiction movie. Ignoring the fact that Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger are both attractive, you also have to admire that neither are upstaged by the Richard Gere's character (what's his name again? I'm too blinded by the women...).


7:12 PM

My Rainbow Hat


So evidently my rainbow, woven hat that I brought back from New Zealand is famous. That's right, lower left hand corner, on the bed post. EXACTLY THE SAME. My sisters say it's still ugly and a sin upon the fashion industry. But they're just jealous.