Sunday, April 27, 2014

Day 265 of 365: Frozen and Fetish

I finally saw Frozen a few days ago. That movie embodies the concept of "infectious": I watched the movie, enjoyed the story and the music, but walked away not getting the hype. Within minutes, I'm YouTubing the various songs. Twenty-four hours later, we buy the soundtrack. Seventy-two hours later, "Let It Go" is blasting from our speaker system. This is just one of those clever and intelligent movies that makes me have faith in the future of entertainment.

I was talking with my best friend about Frozen, which quickly morphed into our generation's ultra-fascination with Disney. We're not talking about owning the Frozen soundtrack or paraphrasing Mulan whenever it's time to get shit done (1. Get down to business. 2. Defeat the Hun). We're talking about friends who become Disney princess fanatics, who unironically shop at the Disney store (if you ironically shop at the Disney store, you also have issues, but for different and douchier reasons), who save up to go on group vacations to Disney World and get their picture taken with Cinderella (again, unironically).

In short, they fetishize Disney. And why? Because all of this is the childhoods we never had. Most of us had comparatively good upbringings (none of us had to escape to the city to avoid getting kidnapped and forced into child armies, so, yay for that). But they weren't perfect. They were far from perfect. And this less-than-perfect upbringing only gets compounded when we go into the real world and recognize how exhausting and frustrating and tedious it can be sometimes.

In this situation, you have two choices: you can reconcile with the past, deal with the present, and strive for a more productive and healthy future -- or you can idolize childhood and essentially relive it every chance you get.

I'm not saying that every person who is nuts about Disney is fetishizing their lost perfect childhood (that kind of sweeping gesture is better suited for the Freuds of the world), but it is interesting that a whole generation that has been lost and devoid of proper meaning has this hyper-fanaticism to something meant for children. This ties a little bit into my "not gaining meaning just from traveling the world" attitude, but turning to all the trimmings that childhood can offer isn't going to assuage much. At the end of the day, you're still going to have to pay the bills, deal with unfair bosses (or clients), sit in traffic, and come to terms with whatever happened in your past. Getting your picture taken with a guy in a Goofy outfit is not a solution. It's not even a band-aid.

Regardless, Frozen has proven to be more intelligent than half of the movies out there for adults right now in the first place. And Idina Menzel (or, depending on how many quaaludes you've taken that evening, Adele Dazeem) is absolutely flawless; one of the few singers who could sing me the phone book and I'd be hooked. I'm impressed by Kristen Bell's ability to belt out a note and I'm always happy to see Josh Gad getting work (1600 Penn was an underrated show and unjustly canceled, thank you very much). But I recognize that, even with "Love is an Open Door" playing for the 1,000th time, I'm still an adult and it'll eventually be background music as I send out yet another query or yet another email to a potential student who'll probably never show up for a class anyway.

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