Tag Archive for: Star Wars

Princess Power

By Evelyn David

I’d love to know the genius at Disney who one day turned and said, “Hey, let’s market the young heroines of our movies. We’ll call them all Princesses, whether or not they have any royal pedigree. Little girls will go crazy for them. No need to actually see any of the films. Kids will demand the dolls, the accessories, and of course the CDs so they can play the songs on endless loops. We’ll sell the costumes for each princess so that not only on Halloween, but year-round, Belle, Ariel, Sophia, Jasmine, and now Elsa and Anna, can run wild in the playground.” I assume that whoever came up with this concept won Employee of the Year since he or she made Disney a boatload of money.

Adorable granddaughters will be visiting in a couple of weeks. The oldest will turn four in June so we are in the midst of serious Princess-dom. She has seen three Disney films.

Cinderella, but the family rule is to skip the first part where the Dad dies, the Mom being long gone (standard Disney procedure to get rid of the parents early). The evil Stepmother and Stepsisters are referred to as “mean girls.”

The Little Mermaid which prompted no questions about the physiology of mermaids or the accent of the crab. I might point out that the only crabs I’ve ever known have come from the Chesapeake Bay and would speak with a Bawl-mer drawl.

Frozen which despite the fact that she knows all the songs, will sing Let It Go at the top of her lungs with very little prompting, she found the actual storyline a little confusing. Having seen it myself, me too.

I’ve read and even support many of the objections to the Princess Culture. Marriage is usually for political purposes (Jasmine) or to rescue you from poverty (Cinderella). None of the girls, save Belle, are interested in education or books. Heck, it’s okay to abandon your loving family and change your physical appearance in order to get your man (Ariel). Love is usually at first sight and there’s no need to actually get to know your intended. No long engagements and certainly no living together either. And of course, there is the crass commercialism of the whole enterprise.

So why am I, proud, unapologetic feminist, buying my granddaughter a Belle dress for her birthday?

Because indulging that fantasy is no worse than my three sons playing Star Wars 24/7 when they were growing up. None of them opted to become Jedi Knights. If we’re talking commercialism, I personally could have built the Death Star with the amount of money I had invested in Star Wars toys.

And then I remember my daughter, age 3, playing with Barbie and Ken. I’m not sure why, but she had created a story about class elections. She announced that Barbie was running for Secretary, although seriously, I don’t know that she knew what the class secretary did. I immediately jumped in and said that “Barbie can be the President. Barbie can be whatever she wants to be.” My daughter, even at that age had a remarkably developed ability to roll her eyes at her Mom’s grand pronouncements, said quite patiently, “But Barbie wants to be Secretary. She doesn’t want to be President.” Maybe in her mind, Barbie got a new laptop computer if she became Secretary of the class.

But the point is that my daughter didn’t grow up to be Barbie in any of her incarnations. And I don’t think my granddaughters will opt for Princess-dom as their career choice either.

What I do know is that it’s okay to let little girls play princess, while also making sure that they get other messages of female empowerment too. So yes, I’m buying a Belle dress, but I’m also offering a box of Magna-Tiles, with which to build incredible creations. Maybe even a castle.

Marian, the Northern half of Evelyn David

Leaving Lottawatah

Lottawatah by Evelyn David is the eleventh book in the Brianna Sullivan
Mysteries series. A novella-length story, Leaving Lottawatah continues the
spooky, yet funny saga of reluctant psychic Brianna Sullivan who planned to
travel the country in her motor home looking for adventure, but unexpectedly
ended up in a small town in Oklahoma.

Things are
messy in Paradise. The happily engaged couple of Brianna Sullivan and Cooper
Jackson are anything but. Angry words set Brianna and Leon, her bulldog
companion, off on a road trip, but it’s hard to run away from home if everyone
wants to come with you. Before she can leave town, Brianna is unexpectedly
joined on her travels by Sassy Jackson, her maybe ex-future mother-in-law, plus
Beverly Heyman and daughter Sophia, both still grieving over a death in the
family. Destination: A Psychic convention in America’s most haunted hotel. But
they haven’t reached their destination before Brianna is confronted by two
ghosts demanding help in capturing the serial killer who murdered them decades
earlier. Even more worrisome, another young woman has gone missing. It’s up to
Brianna and her road crew to stop the serial killer from striking again.
Brianna has hard questions for the spirits surrounding her, and for herself.
Does she want to marry Cooper? Is it time to hit the open road again and leave
Lottawatah behind? Or will the ghosts of her past continue to haunt her
wherever she goes?




Trade Paperback

Reminder – A HAUNTING IN LOTTAWATAH, the fifth book in the Brianna Sullivan series, is now available as an audiobook. Once again narrated by the fantastic Wendy Tremont King, A HAUNTING IN LOTTAWATAH proves that ghost hunting can be deadly.


When Bad Movies Happen to Good People

Meryl Streep is the gold standard. If you describe Pamela Anderson’s performance in Blonde and Blonder, and point out that “she’s no Meryl Streep,” everyone knows exactly what you mean.

And while Pierce Brosnan is no Meryl Streep either, he can certainly hold his head up when walking down Hollywood Boulevard.

So what happened when they both signed on the dotted line for Mamma Mia? Did Meryl decide that with enough emoting, it didn’t matter that she was 20 years too old for the part? Did Pierce resolve that even if he sounded off-key in the shower, when he hit the big screen, suddenly he’d be Pavarotti?

In fact, the elements were all there for a fantastic movie: a stage show that’s been seen by more than 30 million people worldwide, a cast of phenomenal actors, fun music, gorgeous locale …so what went wrong?

Rick McCallum, legendary producer of the Star Wars movies, once said, “the truth is, nobody ever sits down at a table and says ‘hey let’s make a bad movie’. No producer, director, writer says ‘God I’ve got a really great idea for a sh***y film’. It doesn’t work that way. But something in the process, something about the compromises, the timing, the studio, the phenomenal pressure that artists have to go through, causes something to go really wrong.”

That happens with books too. How often have you read a book from a favorite author and the magic is gone, the story is flat, or you don’t recognize the characters you’ve grown to love?

On the other hand… Maybe somebody (or in the case of a movie, several somebodies) just had a bad day. Ty Cobb has the highest lifetime batting average (.366), but that means that he got a hit only three out of every ten times he was at bat. Babe Ruth struck out more than 1300 times in his career.

Are we too demanding? If a good-faith effort is made is that enough? Or for $10.50, plus the cost of buttered popcorn, are we entitled to better? Or was I just too hot and tired to fully appreciate the joy of ABBA music, even if sung off-key?

What do you think?

Evelyn David