Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lego, Barbie, GI Joe

In 2007, Eva Liddell wrote about Paris Hilton and went into a discussion of Barbie and an incident involving Allen Ginsberg:
The wonderful thing about Barbie was that she didn’t have to do anything. She was free. Sure, she had an outfit for her job as an airline stewardess and she took lots of time getting dressed to look professional and more importantly very beautiful. But I don’t remember that she actually worked. Mostly she went to the beach, or wherever she roamed, with the wind in her hair which would have to be re-combed and put back up into that famous long blond pony tail. She drove around in her convertible, she had lots of friends and she had a pink Princess telephone.

One early evening as Lynn and I were deep into Barbie-Land, Mrs. Schuler called to Lynn from downstairs. "Lynn Marie," she hollered up, "come clean the dinner dishes." Lynn groaned. I picked up Barbie and pointed her to the door where Mrs. Schuler’s voice had emanated. "I don’t do no stinkin’ dishes," I, or rather Barbie said. "What did you say Eva?" Mrs. Schuler said. "Oh, I said, chirpily, "I said I’d help Lynn with the dishes." I pulled a fast Eddie Haskell on that one.


Many years later during the summer of 1967 ... I was hanging out in Thompson Square Park in the East Village sitting on a bench. Some guy sat down next to me and we got to talking. I remember him telling me that he appreciated that I applied my eye makeup expertly and asked me if I wanted to go over to Allen Ginsberg’s pad on Seventh. We got there and Ginsberg’s little living room was filled with hippies and some old Beats and one dissolute poet who kept bragging he was second best to Ginsberg. The guy who brought me over started playing the violin. Someone else tapped on a congo drum or something. Ginsberg wasn’t there yet. Then he came in. Everyone looked up. He wasn’t in a great mood.

"Hey," he growled. "Why don’t one of you chicks get in the kitchen and start doing some of these dishes?"

That was my cue to leave. Only I had to walk through the kitchen to exit through the door. He thought I was one of the "chicks" volunteering to wash the mountain of dirty plates and motioned to me where to begin. "I don’t do no stinkin’ dishes," I said and walked out.
I saw Ginsberg in a documentary argue that he couldn't possibly be sexist since he was a homosexual.

But here we see Barbie speaking through a young woman, telling smelly beatnik Allen Ginsberg to go to the devil.

Could this have happened if Barbie had been made into a Hollywood movie character, like G.I. Joe and now Legos?

I never understood this thing where they make movies about toys. How do they know what an action figure's personality is like? The few times I played with a G.I. Joe, he was pretty much a mindless killer. And since there were no enemy action figures for him to kill, I had to have him shoot people from a distance. It was horrible, really.

G.I. Joe as a movie character would never seem right to me unless he were walking around alone, never speaking and always acting without apparent motive.

So I don't know how kids who play with Legos will feel about this Lego movie.

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