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Post-Monarchical Fairy Tales January 15, 2009

Posted by frostwolftfirerose in Capital Region Notions, Civilization Anonymous, Uncategorized.
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(The title to this entry will only cover a part of what’s going through this noggin o’ mine.)

I don’t know if this has ever bothered anyone else, but I have a problem these days with fairy tales involving kings/queens/princes/princesses as the story-referents with whom we are to identify.  If they’re the antagonists of a story–then it highlights the diabolism process of separating oneself out from the hoi polloi.  Or if they turn out to be anti-heroes where we’re going along identifying with them, and then in the end, they turn out to be the bad guys after all, then I don’t have as much a problem. 

But Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, The Prince and the Pauper–all these I have some difficulties with because of the whole civilization-let’s-all-agree-to-be-complicit-in-our-own-oppression thing.  The existence of these sorts of individuals screams “IGNORE THE CREEPS BEHIND THE CURTAINS!!!!”

(Needless to say, I don’t consider The Wizard of Oz to be in that category.)

I feel the need for new narratives, and I’m not sure I’m the one to come up with any.  Part of me longs to be able to write a script that will move things forward inventively and imaginatively.  I am a writer after all, AND a damn good one!  But I fear that my brain is marinated in apple-y-crapple-crap at the mo’.  (As well as detoxing from asparatme and the 2 packets of Splenda I have a day–not likely to give the latter up though.)  It will probably need to take some much-needed time away to be able to say, re-write one of my plays that is actually fairly close to being a possible post-monarchical fairy tale to begin with.

I just wonder about protagonists though.  For children, do we really need to make them feel special–set them apart like little princes and princesses?  Something tells me that this is a means to socialize our children into the culture of oppression, to prime them for the onslaught of elementary school and the “laws” of the jungle, of the prison and of the factory that take over their lives at age 6-7.  Somehow I got through that–perhaps because sugar was such a big drug for me, I don’t know–without having too much anger “at the system.”  My anger has come way after the fact.  I had already been successfully acclimatized to the machine, at least to all appearances.  It seemed that my radicalism could have been coopted.

(But then I was forced out of the closet before I was ready to aver “I am gay,” and ye aulde parentall yewnitz cameth ungluedeth, and a different course was necessarily charted.)

(Stray observation–I watched the Project Runway marathon, and there was one episode when the current crop of designers met with various cast members from previous outings of P.R.  I noticed that wonderfully “fierce-tranny” Christian seemed rather subdued.  My intuition suggests that he sees that he’s signed up for something he hadn’t bargained on, and that he doesn’t really know as yet how to manage or respond to it.  He didn’t have any of his wonderfully insouciant remarks this go-around.  Did he have, and they just ended up on the cutting room floor?  Methinks there were no snippets of scintillation…)

We have to tell ourselves other stories.  To some extent, Shrek and the like have their moments, but they don’t question the royal family model so much as exist alongside it.  It seems to encourage that steady simmer of resentment and envy.  That’s what the royal family model does though.  It’s a pathology system and it needs its compare-despair devices.

Whatever stories I may seek to tell at this juncture would arise from the needs of this place and this time I inhabit.  From the spirits of the neighborhood, the surrounding region, and my own personal spirits of my understanding. 

The trick is just getting to a space where I can cause this to happen…



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