Friday, April 01, 2005

Fisking Mulan II

We rented Mulan II for our kids, and we will not be buying it.

The entire movie can be summarized by this theme song, whose lyrics I will proceed to fisk. It is about being allowed to be a spoiled brat who gets everything she wants, rather than a woman who gets the satisfaction of working for everything she wants.

I wanna be like other girls,
I wanna see what other girls see.
Just to be free like other girls get to be.
First of all, it took me 30 years to finally get it through my thick skull that I am a girl and I was under no obligation to be just like everybody else. I'm not going to waste those years of experience by letting my daughter believe the same thing I once believed.

I once confided my longing to be like everybody else in a very wise friend, who pointed out to me that I was comparing my inside to everybody else's outside. If you think all the other girls are more free than you, you might want to get to know them better.

To wear my old jeans
To eat a whole cake
You won't be wearing those old jeans for very long if you eat the whole damn cake.

Feel the sun on my feet
Be quiet, be crazy
Be anything I want to be
Dance around in my underwear
This much I'll grant them.

To walk by myself
Do nothing all day
Yeah, that's freedom-- being completely and utterly useless. I know that "downtime" is important, but it can be taken too far.

To eat a whole cake
Be cranky with frosting
Too much frosting does indeed make one cranky, but I don't see how overindulging yourself in sugar expands your freedoms. Am I the only one noticing a theme here? Freedom is characterized by the ability to shove an entire cake in your mouth? If you define freedom as gluttony, you've got problems.

No cameras
No pressures
No phonies
No hair gel
Nobody's making you stand in front of cameras, honey. Nobody's making you do your hair with gel. Nobody's stopping you from getting out of the spotlight.
No people who think that they know me but don't
That would be, say, all those girls who, thanks to your little song, think I'm free and they're not?

Seriously, I get up in front of an entire classroom full of people who think they know me, but don't. I go to church with hundreds of people who think they know me but don't. I get blog comments from people who think they know me but don't. The list of people who think they know me but don't is miles long. Take a number.
No platform shoes
One of Princess' friends twisted her ankle because her mother bought her platform clogs to wear to school, so I have to agree with this one. No platform shoes.

To stay in one place
To sleep until 3
See "Do Nothing All Day."

To meet a nice guy who likes me for me
With all that hair gel, phonies, and platform shoes, you're more likely to meet a guy who likes you for you and "the twins."

This self-indulgent "freedom" is not what I want for my children. The whole "my only duty is to my heart" theme is not something I want my children to believe. It's a cop-out. When you have a conflict between duty and heart, defining your heart as your duty is a deus ex machina that enables you to indulge yourself while getting you off the hook from your prior commitments.