Text under Turtle on Puzzle Stack:
“How did you get all the way to the top of these puzzle pieces?” asked the bird.
“The ladder,”replied the turtle.
“That doesn’t explain much. How could a turtle climb a ladder?” asked the bird.
“Because,” said the turtle, “I am wearing socks.”
Posts Tagged ‘Art’
Text under Turtle on Puzzle Stack:
When I was a little girl, my family had a poetry anthology with this little number in it:
The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust steals the just’s umbrella.
-Charles Synge Christopher Bowen
We kids used to laugh about it because it sounded so funny. As an adult, I can see a little more of the point the writer was making.
It is so often that the person who’s just doing his job, living his life, has to carry the person who is not. Isn’t it funny (or not funny) how often the unjust then wastes the resources someone else produced and then turns around to demand more?
So now Facebook is being called out, yet again, for (allegedly) violating people’s privacy by scanning messages marked private and selling user demographics from them. It bothers me when companies do things like that- the rule of law is a valuable principle, and should be cared for and respected. When people abuse the legal system like this, the end result to the rest of us is new legislation. Laws piled on top of laws to clarify the mountain of laws we’re all already buried under. When this is finally brought to that point, the corporate fatcats at Facebook will have no new opinion about my privacy, nor will they decide that they now have enough money. They will find a new loophole, and continue on. We will all have some new legislation, whether it will directly affect us or not.
Hans Christian Anderson told this story about a young maiden in love with a hansome prince. She determines to have him at all costs, forsaking family and all that is familiar to her, propelled by infatuation into the all-too-common assumption that if she has the right physical appearance she will win him over. Conspicuously enough, she has never spoken with him, and therefore thinks nothing of bargaining away her voice for a pair of feet so she can go after him, which in the classic story, cause her terrible pain whenever she walks. That’s where the modern Disney interpretation starts to make its departure- HCA makes it a point that she suffers pain for her new look, which turns out to be a wasted sacrifice. She’s no different to lover boy than all the other girls around him, except for her hopeless inability to contribute to the conversation and he flutters off after some other girl. After his wedding, her sisters bring her a knife. They inform her that if she kills him and his new wife, she can return to the sea and become a mermaid again. Get it? Kill off the fantasy, and go back to your roots. But she can’t; she approaches him with the knife, and runs off to fall into the sea, dissipating into foam. Thus ends the little mermaid princess. She lost the man she wanted, because she never understood him and hoped that she could get by on looks. After she failed, she wouldn’t give him up and her life dissolved into nothingness.
It’s a horrific cautionary tale to young girls everywhere. Looking good isn’t enough to keep a relationship alive, living a fantasy will never allow you to be fulfilled as an individual… the morals are numerous and obvious.
Contrast that unfortunate creature with her modern counterpart:
When the Disney movie hit theaters, I adored it. I filled countless notebooks and homework papers with mermaid drawings, and practiced swimming like a mermaid (hair tossing upon breaking the surface was a must). I was aware that the story glorified selfish behavior, but it was pretty enough that pretty beat out irresponsible (and it was JUST a MOVIE). As an adult, I find myself kinda sorta battling with that in my classroom. I love the toys and books and my kids like them too, but I see much nastier messages in the story that I didn’t pick up as a child. This character puts everyone around her at risk so that she can have what she wants. She decides she loves someone although she knows nothing about him. As it happens, he is a mindless hunk-o-matic who, like any good prince, exists only to be dashing and to fall in love, but after she creates the entire relationship without any effort from him, and after she sacrifices the well-being and emotional peace of her family, and after she has gotten herself into such enormous trouble that an entire kingdom is now in danger, he suddenly becomes a participant in the story and whoops up the villain before going back to mindlessly adoring her. In the end, her father sadly admits that she was right all along, and she gets an awesome fantasy wedding complete with paternal blessing and rainbow. Yaaay! Seriously, is that anything like reality?
Am I being ridiculous?
I find it ironic that the message is the polar opposite of the original story, but is it really that bad? I’m a little bit serious about that- Ariel is super bratty and she never has to pay for her outrageous treatment of everyone around her, so should we be warning our little girls against her, or can we just be okay with a person getting away with brattiness?
He keeps thinking he should run errands, or do some housework, or start reading a book or something, but none of it sounds fun alone, so instead he’s just sitting there, willing the phone to ring. And the cheeseburger isn’t hot anymore.
This is an actual conversation that took place where I work. It is slightly edited, but not much. I thought it would make a good comic strip.
When I was a kid, I loved getting a new issue of Highlights and finding the hidden pictures puzzles. The joys of scanning the intricate images for a toothbrush tucked away in the grain of tree bark or a tea cup sneakily incorporated into the stones of a walkway… Some of my first grade computer students have trouble with certain vocabulary words (they keep referring to the monitor as the “computer,” etc), and I thought this would make a fun way to review.
I chose twelve words in all and sketched up an underwater coral reef scene. All those plants and fishy shapes made it really hard to hide the boxy shapes and straight lines in the vocab words I’d chosen, but the end result was pretty fun. You can download and print out your own by clicking here. I tested it on a pair of kids this morning- a brother and sister who are eight and nine, and they handed them back to me with their approval and assurance that they didn’t think it was too easy or too hard as well as a few notes scribbled on the backs about who finished first. I’m going to use it in class in another week, and will see then how the first graders handle it. I’m hoping it takes them a little under ten minutes to complete, while working in groups. If you try it, let me know how your kids fare.
My husband and I have a few books that we reread every now and then, and among these are Tolkein’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series. Without going into too much, I will say that I love these books, and find them not only to be a thoroughly enchanting read, but also to have great personal value. When the Peter Jackson movies arrived, I felt generally positive about them, in spite of some screenplay irritations (Why did we need all that Arwen and Aragorn stuff? WHY did we need Frodo and Sam to have a fight?), but by and large, it’s an “adaptation,” not a “transliteration.” The two media are too different for audiences to reasonably expect perfect fidelity. That’s just my feeling. My brother disagrees on this, and his thoughts are worth reading. Anyway, I’m only trying to say that I think I have a pretty open mind about necessary book-to-screenplay adjustments. Necessary ones. They are painful, but I can accept them.
But then there was The Hobbit. For this movie, it’s actually a good thing he took such initiative to move beyond the “necessary changes” idea and just hacked away, because The Hobbit wasn’t a very good book and that’s why nobody liked it very much. Right. That’s why no one ever reads it.
Stuff like this makes me scratch my head. How could such a good director let such a big project go so badly? Did screenwriters really think they were improving? Did everyone really think moviegoers wouldn’t mind that they all but discarded the original story? I suspect they thought neither of those things, but knew we would buy tickets anyway. It’s sad, but it happens. It’s the Citizen Kane syndrome: a small-time creator with big dreams of crushing the man makes something big happen, turns heads, becomes a force to be reckoned with, and slowly yields to the compromise that he initially spoke out against. I understand they wished to tie it in with the LOTR movie set, but the effort was really unnecessary, and the resulting final product is disappointing. I won’t detail my specific problems with it, aside from one pertinant change that my husband pointed out. The dwarves in the movie are reclaiming their home, as opposed to the ones in the book who are pursuing stolen gold. Doesn’t that make sense? Why not draw a little attention away from the pitfalls of greed? The entire movie is the child of gold mongering, and I find nothing surprising about the producers wanting to avoid the subject. Maybe they would have been better off doing so- is it better to admit you’re greedy and selfish or try to pretend you’re telling a pleasant little tale of lost orphans who want to go home and risk sounding vapid instead?
What do you think? Did you see the movie? If so, am I overreacting, or do you agree?
Anyhow, however the movie turned out, at least I got some good legos out of it. Hunny bought me Bilbo’s House a few days back as a present, and I share it below, just so that I can close this post on a positive note and also because I like talking about legos:
The design has a great balance of house and hill. It looks as cozy as Bag-End is supposed to be, complete with careful detail to the kitchen, of course. (There is a lot of food with this set.) This little kitchen stove and chimney are pretty cute, no?
My favorite detail, though, is this front window.
I love lego structures that are made up of creatively arranged standard pieces.
Yeah, that’s a cool window. This little bit of carefully organized plastic is altogether more appealing to me than the movie’s heart and soul, I’m sorry to say. If it weren’t for this acquisition, I would have ended my post telling you that I found virtually nothing of value in that movie. So very sad.
Happy Sunday, everybody- here is another crop of my Sunday morning sketches.
If you’ve been in a Christian church that sings traditional hymns, you know this gag isn’t original to me, and if you have never been in one, there’s a song called “Gladly the Cross I’d Bear.” It’s a classic misunderstanding for little Baptist kids to hear it and think this:
When I was a kid, there was one hymn that confused me for ages. It was called “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder” (“up yonder” meaning up in Heaven). As a little girl, for years, I heard “When the Roll is Called a ‘Pyawnder'” and I could not figure out what it meant. Having two older siblings, though, my assumption was that whoever was saying the roll was a pyawnder must not have liked it (presumably a jealous lesser pastry). I figured “pyawnder” must have been something hurtful.
These are doodles from the Sunday School roster- mostly as Spring has begrudgingly begun to hit Chicago. I can’t remember what inspired my little commentary on clowns there, but I stand firmly behind the statement nonetheless. There’s also a sugar glider paper doll set that I’ve never cut out and tried, so I don’t know how well the pieces fit her.
She has a party outfit, a comfy terry cloth robe with bunny slippers, and a gardening ensemble. If you put one together, could you let me know if it works or not?