Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Webster's Dictionary defines the Manic Pixie Dream Girl as a specimen of the female genome generally ranging between the ages of 15-29, who participates in socially unique behavioral customs such as dreamy doe eyed optimism, insatiable curiosity for the absolutely banal, bouts of magical whimsy, unattainable relationship status, quirky colored hair pigment that constantly changes in design, a deep emotional attachment to bands you've never heard of, and the inability to be on time to any event ever.

 (I should clarify that "Webster's Dictionary" is a collection of legal pad pages on which I make up things about things and write them down in crayon and magazine letter cutouts and have named Webster. I also apply Lisa Frank stickers of dogs riding skateboards wearing sunglasses wherever necessary)

                                                         (They're necessary a lot.)

Manic Pixie Dream Girls are not new news, but in fact have existed for centuries in both literary, cinematic, and IRL status. Let's take a look at some of the most well known of those button nosed, batshit crazy lil buckets. I'll refer to them as MPDG's for the rest of the post.

1. Juliet (Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare)

 Arguably literature's first Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Juliet really went balls to the walls when it came to living (and dying) up to her MPDG title. Love at first sight is as common as the cold for these girls. Srsly, give her an emo'd out jobless loser (Romeo) and you might as well have hit the self destruct button in her brain. And of course she friendzones Paris, the guy that has his shit together and is actually deserving of her.

Friendzoning (see footnote) is a common phenomenon amongst the MPDG's, a weapon they use often and without pity.

2. Clarisse (Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury)

The very first time we're introduced to Clarisse in the book, Guy Montag asks her how old she is and she whimsically replies, "I'm seventeen and I'm crazy. My uncle says the two always go together. When people ask your age, he said, always say seventeen and insane." Yeah...that's a major MPDG red flag right there.

A lot of the rhetoric that spews forth from a MPDG will cause a knee jerk "Seriously, what the fuck are you talking about" reaction. One might even think drugs had something to do with it, but don't be mistaken, these girls are just high on the dangerous amounts of quirky radness they embody.

Clarisse goes on throughout the book to babble about how good the rain tastes, and totally mind rapes Guy Montag with that most generic and ethereal of MPDG inquistions... "Are you happy?"

                            (And then she gets her capricious ass hit by a car. Typical.)

3.Bella (Twilight by Stephanie Meyer)

Ugh...the Worst. I can't even....Just...No.

4. Kirsten Dunst (Every Movie She's Been In Ever)

This is in an interesting one because not only is Kirsten Dunst consistently portraying an MPDG on film, but I'm pretty sure that's just who she is IRL. That's why she's so good at it. Let's review her rolodex shall we: friendzones Peter Parker but totally hits it when he's Spiderman as Mary Jane, the title The Virgin Suicides speaks for itself, she dances on a bed in her undies, high as pie, and also friendzones Mark Ruffalo in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Elizabethtown, Crazy/Beautiful, Marie Antoinette, MelancholiaTHEY'REALLTHESAMECHARACTER, this whimsical, unattainable, pretty creature that you're not sure if you want to make sex to or study for science!

(Don't be fooled: The clothing choices of a true MPDG are meticulous. It took hours for her to pick out which shirt to not wear a bra under, and which granny panties were weird, but not weird enough for you to lose your boner)

5. Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)

Says the following:

"Too many guys think I'm a concept, or I complete them, or I'm gonna make them alive. But I'm just a fucked-up girl who's lookin' for my own peace of mind; don't assign me yours."

This should be the anthem of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. As rehearsed and fake as it is, it really rings true to the core of the problem.What's so very sad about this certain type of girl is that the reason she exists, in all her flawed glory, is because guys want her to. Guys want this type of girl, so that's what a faction of girls became. She's the alternative to whatever the "norm" and whatever the "abnormal" is. She's right in between, and the reason she's so messed up is because she didn't define herself for herself, she defined herself for other people, stupid adolescent guys specifically.

But there's hope...while the following girls still have a tinge of MPDG to them, there's a meatier interior that makes me think humanity might not be lost if this is the trend of what girls aspire to be.

The Anti-MPDG League

1. Katniss (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)

Badass with a bow and arrow, provides single handedly for her fam, and even though she's got a little weird MPDG love triangle goin on, she deals with cold harsh realities (fictional...realities) when it comes to love and responsibility to ones partner. Very high five.

2. Hermione (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

Girl can weild a book and drop some serious knowledge like nobody's biznass. Plus, she totally could have hit it with HP, but she sidestepped that emotional landmine and married the dependable ginger. Good on ya, Herm.

3. Any Ethnic Disney Princess

If I've ever seen a case of reverse racism it's right here. Seriously? Mulan, Pocahontas, and Jasmine all get to be bad ass bitches with their military training, hunting and nature skills, and tiger wrangling abilities and the white girls get...what? singing like angels to woodland creatures?!?! Because THAT'S really gonna help us in the zombie apocalypse. Total rip off. Not to mention Lilo gets to shred some serious gnar (surfing), and Rapunzel gets to...wait, what does she do? Oh that's right BRUSH HER LONG ASS HAIR. Unbelievable.

(although I did just watch Brave, and being super pale and Irish with an affinity for archery....I'm actually pretty content Disney-wise.)

So that's where we're at. It was the not-so-best of times. It was the not-so-worst of times.


*Friendzoning- the act of metaphorically chopping a dudes wang off and keeping it in a jar on her mantle. He sticks around in the hopes that one day she'll realize what an awesome dude to her he's been. She wants him around because he does awesome stuff for her and she's pretty sure he knows it's never gonna happen between them because she's way not into it, so why broach the subject right? Neither party is honest about their feelings and both are incredibly stupid for participating in such idiotic behaviour.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Housewife's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

NOTE: this might read a little weird because it's actually a sketch I wrote. For optimal effect picture it as a commercial done in a crackly sepia tone. Everything in italics is stage directions. I thought it'd be funny to contrast the horror of a zombie apocalypse with the bizarre concentration on inconsequential details that 50's housewives embodied. So that's what this is. Enjoy. Or don't. I DON'T EVEN CARE! Just kidding, I hope you like it.

                       A Housewife's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

(Leave it to Beaver music plays and fades out as a woman dressed like a 50's housewife comes out, very over the top 50's informercialesque)

Hi there, I'm Becky Sue Turner, and I'll be giving you helpful housewife tips on surviving the impending zombie apocalypse with a style and flair that only forward thinking women like us can handle. Well, that's if our husband's will allow it (she winks)

(a screaming girl on fire runs across the stage)

Jeepers! It sure is hot out here isn't it? That's due to the city collapsing in flame and widespread panic and pandemonium (she laughs charmingly). Let's take this shindig inside, afterall, most of your housewifely apocalypse duties will take place in your home or makeshift shelter. Before you go in grab a couple of dead non zombie corpses to take in with you. They should be easy to find and believe me, you will be grateful you did it later!

(she walks in the house)

The first and most obvious thing you should be tending to is the location of your husband and child (lights up on husband and Timmy, playing chess as in a still life painting). Once you find them cut open the corpses you've found and slather that carcass all over your bodies (they do). You see, the smell of death will let those mean old zombies pass right by you (an oven ding sound) Op! But don't forget that fresh baked pie! Not only will the zombies pass right by the smell of food but your family will enjoy the hearty treat!

Next, it's time become affiliated with your weapondry. (She grabs a Marlin .44 Magnum for herself as well as a small pistol) Most ladies of the house rightly leave this job to their husband, but duty calls in dire circumstances and on this day of the living dead even little Timmy gets a weapon! (she hands Timmy the pistol)

Timmy: Gee thanks Mom!

Housewife: You're welcome Timmy!

Since you are the perfect housewife and mother, you obviously have a stocked General Electric dual doored refrigerator with the Easy Shield backup generator (an ooooh from the studio audience)I know!

There should be no need to ransack any of your neighbors houses for at least a few weeks. But since you are so well prepared be warned, this makes you a target for any underprepared neighbors who just didn't have your good sense or style (we see a woman in ragged clothes and a knife trying to sneak in) And if they do try to enter your home (sees the woman, blows her away) what a wonderful opportunity to show that bitch Tammy and her award winning garden that YOU are in fact, the perfect housewife, and she's well, zombie quiche! (the family laughs, they find this hilarious)

                                                            (Mmmmmmm! Quiche!)

Now that you're fortified in your home with plenty of food it's time to fill up that bathtub with water. This is for when the town is falling to shambles and water to everyone that is still alive gets cut off and millions suffer from dehydration. Talk about a not-so-wet blanket! (She laughs again, a little longer and more menacing this time)

(We hear a little girl zombie moan and come onstage, she starts eating what is left of Tammy, the neighbor)

(the housewife gasps as if a guest for dinner has just rang the doorbell)

What a treat! I hear our first zombie! (She goes to the door grabs her gun ready to shoot, opens it, and sees it's a little girl. If it wasn't for her rotting flesh, she'd be downright adorable.)

Awwww, it's just a wittle fing! (looks back at her son throwing a ball up and down, bored as hell, looks back at the zombie)

When the correct opportunity arises it's important to think about the other aspects of life that will keep your family healthy and happy. Like enterainment. Timmy sure would get bored after awhile without a playmate, and take note that zombie children are much more docile than their adult counterparts. (takes a severed arm and plays fetch with the girl zombie)

Go get it! See? What a little darling. Zombie children can be hours of fun for your little one if imprisoned properly.

(throughout the next set of dialogue Timmy is playing with the zombie girl who is now on a leash being held by the mother. He plays keep away with various body parts he found outside from Tammy and then "tag")

You'll need a good strong collar and leash, plenty of body parts as treats, and a firm set of ground rules for Timmy, Tommy, or Little Johnny. He needs to know that having a zombie is a huge responsibility and that if he doesn't give it constant attention and clean up after it, well then you just might loosen that leash! (She does, the zombie lunges forward at Timmy and he screams and darts away)

(mother and father laugh hysterically)

Housewife and Father: Ohhhhh Timmy.

(Timmy laughs nervously)

(they go back to playing. A 50's love song plays. Father starts teaching Timmy how to waltz with his pet zombie...he and the zombie start to make googly eyes at each other, granted that she still pulling against the leash that Father is holding, trying to bite Timmy. Nevertheless, a look of love in both their eyes)

Do remember that a zombie pet can't last forever. Eventually as he crosses into manhood, Little Timmy will get those all too natural urges, and with you and his pet zombie as the only "females" around...well, you can imagine the kind of rock and hard place that puts you in. (while Timmy is distracted she takes the pet zombie out back, puts a gun to the back of her head while the zombie is busy eating a treat)

If you have any reservations about going through with this particular extermination because you've become attached to your pet zombie, just remember, the perfect housewife is only as good as the years of denial she's trained herself to be happy in (bang).

The last and most important thing you must remember as a housewife during the zombie apocalypse is to stay calm. Nothing will kill you and your family quicker than nerves and jitters! So sit back, relax, and wait for the world to end and then start all over again. Because I can guarantee, when it's time to rebuild humanity out of the broken shambles it will become, it's going to be up to you as a woman to do all of the work, and then give all of the credit to your alcoholic husband who's been banging corpses whenever he thought you weren't looking (she looks back at her clearly intoxicated husband, who is humping Tammy's corpse and giving his wife a thumbs up. She raises her eyebrows in disdain, looks back at the audience and gives a half hearted thumbs up in response)

Happy Apocalypse! Join us next time for helpful tips in a segment called Starting Over: Life After the Apocalypse While Going through Menopause. I'm Becky Sue Turner, let's kill some bitches.

(Leave it to Beaver music fades out)