Tag Archives: pop culture

“Let It Go” is a villain song

If you have a daughter, you’ve seen Frozen by now. Pop quiz: what is the message of the song “Let It Go”? It is treated like a positive development in Elsa’s life, and millions of little girls sing along to it with joy. And yet, what is actually happening on-screen is that Elsa is cursing her entire kingdom with eternal winter. This seems inconsistent.

It all makes a lot more sense once you learn how the script developed. Elsa was originally intended to be a villain. “Let It Go” was written as her villain song, but when the writers listened to it, all they heard was “self-empowerment.” Surely that couldn’t be a bad thing, so they rewrote the whole movie, and left the song as-is.

I think the song-writers knew exactly what they were doing. Good guys don’t say things like “no right, no wrong, no rules for me,” that’s straight up Nietzschean uber-mensch talk, the kind engaged in shortly before embarking on a genocide. And indeed, Elsa did launch an attack on all the muggles while she sang this song. A little while later, she shoots her sister in the heart, and instead of trying to help her, she dumps her out in the snow and creates a monster who attempts to finish the job.

But she’s empowered, so it’s all good.

Anyway, that’s why Frozen is not a good movie; it is narratively incoherent. There’s no clear moral, the central song contradicts what is shown on-screen, and even the love song is undermined by the fact that the male half is secretly plotting to kill the female half. Also the whole “the secret was love all along” ending was trite, and absurd; Elsa had love from the movie’s start, and it didn’t help her then.

Just nobody tell my daughter.

Augustine on My Little Pony

My Little Pony teaches us that friendship is magic. But is it? Is it really? Let us turn to Augustine to find out. (Spoilers: No)

I was miserable, and miserable too is everyone whose mind is chained by friendship with mortal things, and is torn apart by their loss, and then becomes aware of the misery that it was in even before it lost them. …… Look upon my heart, O my God, look deep within it. See, O my hope, who cleanse me from the uncleanness of such affections, who draw my eyes to yourself and pull my feet free from the snare, see that this is indeed what I remember. I was amazed that other mortals went on living when he was dead whom I had loved as though he would never die, and still more amazed that I could go on living myself when he was dead – I, who had been like another self to him. It was well said that a friend is half one’s own soul. I felt that my soul and his had been but one soul in two bodies, and I shrank from life with loathing because I could not bear to be only half alive; and perhaps I was so afraid of death because I did not want the whole of him to die, whom I had love so dearly.

Friendship is not magic! It chains us to things that will not last, and leaves us torn when they inevitably pass away. Make sure to tell your daughter this constantly when she’s watching her cartoons.

The Worst Star Trek Links

By now, you have no doubt heard the news that Leonard Nimoy, known particularly for his roles as William Bell and Evil Spock, has died. In his honor, here are some of the worst Nimoy and Star Trek related videos out there.

Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

A Lazy Day

Laser technology: the final frontier of television

Before Star Trek, there was Bonanza

Spock vs Spock

Captain Kirk advertises for margarine

Kiss Me, in Klingon

Aladdin liveblog

Liveblogging of Aladdin is about to begin!

Not just any Aladdin, either. This is the platinum edition. Enhanced for the home theater!

I don’t remember all the words to Arabian Nights. This saddens me.

Wait, they changed it? Then I do remember the words!

More proof that everything was better when I was a kid, including things from when I was a kid.

I have just been informed that I am in fact watching the Platinum Politically Correct Cleansed of Badthink Edition.

It’s strange when you consider that the entire story is really just made up by a sketchy salesman trying to sell you tchotchke.

Aladdin is a smart, able bodied fellow. Why doesn’t he get a freakin’ job instead of stealing bread?

I hadn’t realized it until now, but Aladdin is clearly a statist parable. Consider Aladdin. Perfectly capable of going out, working hard, and bettering himself, but he doesn’t. Instead, he sits back and wishes for riches to just be given to him. The ideal citizen! All that is lacking is some all-powerful entity to grant his wishes. Enter the government/the genie. The Genie is of course Blue. Everything is going great, until the bad guy, who is robed in red, steals control of the Govergenie. It’s so obvious! Wake up sheeple!

A chase ending in manure! The BttF classic move!

Aladdin has self esteem issues. I bet getting a JOB would help with that.

Princess is uninterested in all these boring, reliable, super-rich princes. Clearly she needs an exciting bad boy to come along.

The sultan and Jafar pose the age old question: would you rather be ruled by dumb and good, or smart and evil?

Or maybe they answer it. Good and dumb is the nominal ruler, but we know Jafar actually runs the place.

There’s got to be a good story behind how Jafar and Iago connected.

I wish I had a monkey sidekick.

“Touch nothing but the lamp.” And the magic carpet, I guess.

Monkey sidekicks: good for getting out of prison, bad for getting out of caves of wonder.

The carpet ride out of the cave of wonders was the hardest part of the SNES video game.

The cave closed much more quickly for the first guy.

And here’s Robin Williams. Now I have a sad.

Tricking an all-powerful being who has probably been driven insane by solitary confinement may not be the smartest move. Especially when you have a magic carpet which can do the job just as well.

See? The genie himself just used the carpet.

Aladdin’s first wish is to be a prince. But the whole rest of the movie is about how he’s not really a prince. He should get the wish refunded.

Have viziers always been evil, or is Aladdin responsible for that stereotype?

Jasmine really should recognize him. He’s not even wearing glasses as a disguise.

Aladdin can fly and completely hide his identity with the flimsiest disguises. He’s superman!

I wonder if we can get my daughter singing A Whole New World instead of Let it Go from now on.

Magic carpets were the hotrods of the past. Total chick magnet.

Jasmine should be happy that Aladdin isn’t dead, instead of being mad at him.

You’d think they’d be more careful about offing a visiting prince. That’s how you start a war.

Aladdin saw right through whole hypnostaff thing. How did he know about those?

“Praise Allah!” -Disney

They got engaged after just one date. Disney characters move quick.

I wouldn’t let the genie go free. Too dangerous to have such a powerful creature off leash.

I’d give him the option of turning human or staying put.

Aladdin is not dressed for a snowy wasteland at all. He doesn’t even have abs! Why show off your chest if you don’t have abs?

Jafar is a great villain. He has a bad pun to go along with every evil move he makes.

Contrariwise, the boss fight with Snake Jafar was not that hard.

Although you have to throw apples at him a bunch before tricking him.

Genie Jafar really illustrates the problem with freeing genies. You don’t know what they’ll do with those powers! (As the direct to video sequel illustrated.)

Aladdin, you don’t need to worry about wishes to spare for the genie. Let Jasmine use that wish!

It only took the sultan the entire movie to remember that he’s able to change laws.

Conclusion: Aladdin was as good as I remembered. Good characters, good story, well paced, well executed. Unlike Frozen.

You know, the movie never gets back to the sketchy merchant who was telling the story. But that last direct-to-video sequel *does*. I wonder if this was planned, or they just forgot and realized later.

Frozen liveblog

Though we have never seen the movie, Daughter is nevertheless obsessed with Frozen. In a few minutes, we will see what all the fuss is about. I will be live blogging the experience.

It starts.

Little girls never sing this intro song.

Silly troll. Brainwashing is not how you treat hypothermia.

Ah, here’s Build a Snowman.

Daughter doesn’t just sing this, she acts it out. Sometimes with the refrigerator door. Adorable, right?

WRONG! The parents die in the middle. Disney had caused my daughter to act out my death on a daily basis.

There sure are a lot of songs. Was Lion King 90% music?

Well, Hans and Anna sure move quickly.

On the other hand, they are both rich. That’s a good sign that it’s meant to be.

“I think it’s crazy; we finish each other’s sandwiches.” IT IS CRAZY. Joey doesn’t share food!

Why does everybody think we’d be anti-X-men? Everybody *wants* superpowers.

At least Elsa stuck with her real name instead of picking a lame one like “Iceman.”

Ah, here comes The Song.

“No right, no wrong, no rules for me.” Elsa is promoting Nietzsche.

Kristof has been negging Anna like crazy. I assume he becomes the real love interest, instead of the sensible, reliable, honorable, rich prince.

The snowman is singing about how excited he is to do “whatever snow does in summer.” This movie is sick.

Elsa sure switched to murder mode quickly. Maybe they’re right about sorceresses after all.

Why doesn’t Elsa just make another snow monster?

The moral is that nice guys are secretly evil.

Anna, falling in love with the first guy you ever met didn’t work so well. That doesn’t mean the second guy you ever met was actually The One.

(Neo is the One.)

(Also Sheridan and two others.)

It’s over. Lion King is still the best. Take that, kids these days!

Son is still clapping, but he claps for everything.

This is the first time I’ve seen a girl dressed as Anna. (Still way more Elsas. It was like Halloween all over again.)

The bad guy threatens your kingdom! What do you do?
A) The answer is love, maaan. Love.
B) Climactic cliff top showdown, as fires rage around you.
And that is why Lion King is better than Frozen.