Encounters with Culture

We went out on the town as a family today — an unusual event, all 4 of us together doing something leisurely.

Eggmaster wanted to take the girls to the cheap theater to see Horton Hears a Who. I had heard really different things about the movie, but the kids really enjoyed it. Violet was sitting next to me and she was giggling excitedly nearly the entire time.

I enjoyed much of the movie too, though I kept wondering whether it made the leap from rhyming storybook to feature-length film successfully. There were other problems with the movie: I am not a fan of pop culture throwaway lines in children’s movies. Which may be why I turned off Shrek 2 in the middle and never saw Shrek 3. (Or at least, one reason — we were also really bored with Shrek 2). And HHAW has some of that too. In fact there is a bizarre scene in which all the characters sing REO Speedwagon’s “I Can’t Fight this Feeling Anymore.” Apart from the fact that I have a very disturbing adolescent association with that song, I was a little creeped out knowing that my family was so squarely being targeted: I am the demographic group that would both know that song well and have children of the age to come to the movie. It’s OK, filmmakers — I’m happy to take my kids to the movies without getting little knowing winks from you over the kids’ heads. (BTW, my kids are happy to go to movies even if there are no poop or fart jokes. I promise.)

Still, possibly contradicting everything I have just said, mom, dad, and 2 kids all laughed out loud a lot at the Horton anime scene, as below:

We went to Whole Foods after the movie, and as we stood in line Violet grabbed Madonna’s Hard Candy CD (which obviously fits right in with Kohlrabi and tahini). “This is the album we heard on the radio, mom,” she said, recalling that we listened to a review of the album on NPR. (Poor child, that her knowledge of pop music comes from NPR). My recollection of the review — and I listened to/read several, so it’s probably a mix of them all — was something about how weird it is for a near 50-year-old woman to be acting so desperate to maintain her status as a pop goddess. I don’t know, maybe if I looked like Madonna I would be eager to have my picture taken like this:


I’m not trying to be prudish, I just get so burned out on the way sexed-up thing. I asked Violet what she thought Madonna was doing in the photo. “I don’t know,” she said. “Maybe she thinks that thing is hard candy.” I mean really, what is she doing? And watching Madonna with Justin Timberlake just makes me think Mrs. Robinson. I don’t know — I have no real opinion on the music. I don’t go out dancing anymore, sadly, so dance music isn’t my thing right now. It just reminds me of the mom I saw the other day wearing the exact same (hyper-) short shorts and flip flops as her teenage daughters — it just looks . . . I can’t help it, it looks weird to me. Obviously women over 40 or 50 or 60 can be incredibly sexy. Just not like that. Nor did the 20-something girl I saw today in Whole Foods whose shorts stopped just shy of the top of her thigh (I saw cheek!) look all that sexy. Just . . . silly.

Also, at Whole Foods, I bought a magazine called Clean Eating — I was just so curious, and so hungry. I guess it is a magazine for an unprocessed “lifestyle,” not to say “diet”. It’s a trend, something like going vegan or raw foods, expect a whole lot easier and vaguer. It’s not unlike how we eat now, but apparently Clean Eating involves going alcohol free, so it’s clear that I will remain a Dirty Eater.



Filed under Family Fun, Love this Movie, Oh Mother, Our Philosophy (such as it is)

6 responses to “Encounters with Culture

  1. Hmm, Madonna…

    I used to hate her, she knocked Duran Duran off the top of the charts. Eventually I respected her staying power and her originality. Now I tend not to think about her. I don’t really like her new song with Timberlake.

  2. I haven’t seen that movie, but I remember REO.

    Madonna’s photo epitomizes midlife crisis. I guess she doesn’t realize she looks foolish in her recent forays.

    Even though I prefer 80s music, I have never liked Madonna’s sound. Then in the 90s I thought her behavior on video was perverted. A few years ago I read somewhere that she doesn’t let her children listen to or see her garbage. But her garbage is good enough for commoners because it makes her money. So given her intelligence but lack of discretion, I have no respect for her.

  3. The following comments are not for kids.

    For me, Madonna on that album cover — how can I say this nicely? — looks like one scary, played-out skank.

    I think fifty (and beyond) can be sexy as all get-out. Look at Helen Mirren, for one, or Demi Moore, whose deal with Satan really seems to have paid off quite well for her. Both women are, in their own way, classy, and their over-forty sexiness is age-appropriate, even when (shades of Mrs. Robinson!) you factor in the Ben Braddock figure in the form of Ashton Kutcher.

    To me, though, Madonna’s the musical equivalent of that icky Kim Cattrall character on _Sex and the City_: you imagine that intimacy with her would be rather like using Nautilus equipment.

    What I think is a worse message to send to our daughters, though, (and one I feel regretful that someone like Madonna, whose intelligence, self-discipline, and incredible ability to survive long past the time her mediocre talent should have granted her, seems to be passing along here) is the old, weary idea that a woman’s primary value is in her youthful sexuality. Man, isn’t anyone else as tired of that one as I am?

    Anyhoo, stepping off my soapbox now…

  4. At least with Ashton Kutcher, you’d be hard pressed to argue that Demi hooked up with him to boost her credibility. Must’ve been love. Madonna’s new best friend JT reminds me of when sitcoms get totally played out and start the “special guest star” parade.

    Quote: “You imagine that intimacy with her would be rather like using Nautilus equipment.”

    Ha! exactly!

  5. Funny post! You had me laughing out loud. I’ve blogged about this very same thing – the weird rocker music so out of place in a kids movie, not to mention draaaaaaaaging out that action far beyond all reason. I nearly died when we saw The Polar Express (which all my kids loved) because it was a) so different from that lovely lovely book, and b) so disappointing that they should end a film with that STUPID song by Arrowsmith. Even now, when my eldest wants to torment me (in a jokey way) he sings that idiotic song and then laughs like a maniac. They even did it in Nim’s Island – with U2. And yes, it was STILL out of place (ooh, think I’ve invented myself a new acronym: OOP).

    As for Madonna: ick. Ever since I saw her mock some poor schmuck in Truth or Dare I’ve disliked her. So what if she’s rich and powerful and has done Big Things for women in the music industry: she’s still a stuck-up cow.

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