At home evening last week I watched the live action "Beauty and the Beast". I haven't even seen the animated one in longer than I can remember. I didn't want to watch it and I didn't think I would like it because Jeremy eviscerated it on CinemaSins and held it to be a redundant waste of movie. All of the plot holes and continuity errors he pointed out were valid reasons not to like it. But what can I say? Beneath my callous, cynical, sarcastic, angry, bitter, contemptuous exterior beats the heart of a hopeless romantic. And even though there were people around, I couldn't help hugging my knees and thinking Awwwwwwwwwww! And not just because I've had a crush on Emma Watson since 2001. (I would have liked to hear her try an actual French accent like Ewan McGregor, but alas, it was not to be.)
Having said that, however, I do have a couple complaints to add to Jeremy's. 1. They rhymed "wife" and "life" in three songs. Come on, writers. Google "rhyme dictionary" next time you're stuck like that. 2. The appliances watching the budding romance sing, "Who'd have ever thought that this could be?" and while that makes sense from the perspective of movie characters who don't know they're in a movie, it's an insult to the audience's intelligence because everyone with an age and IQ over five knew that this would be even if they were completely unfamiliar with the story. But just for fun I drafted an alternate and perhaps more realistic outcome. "Realistic" being a relative term, given that one of the parties is still a human magically turned into a talking monstrosity by an enchantress.
"Beast," says Hermione, er, Belle, "I've decided that I just want to be friends. I promise it's not at all because you look like the offspring of Chewbacca and Satan."
"Hmph," says the Beast. "That's what they all say. I thought you were different. The same old lies... Do you think I can't handle the truth? Is that what you think?"
"Oh, stop it." Belle sighs. "Look, okay, maybe that is a teensy little bit of the reason, but mostly it's because I didn't like how you treated my father and I."
"My father and me."
"My father and me. You wouldn't say 'how you treated I', so saying 'how you treated my father and I' is a hypercorrection improperly substituting the nominative for the accusative."
"Je m'en fous. I didn't like it, is all I'm saying. And that was only, what, three days ago? How can I trust that you've really changed already? I'd have to be some kind of idiot, right?"
The Beast's face seems to go a little red beneath his fur. "Er... I guess when you put it that way..."
"We can be friends forever, though, you and me and -"
"You and I."
"- and the clock and the candle and all these other cute little guys." Belle stoops to pat Cogsworth on the head.
The Beast sighs. "Yes, well, I'm afraid all these other cute little guys are going to become mute inanimate objects soon because friendship isn't sufficient to break the curse. Thanks for nothing."
"Curse? What curse?" Belle is jarred by this revelation.
The Beast facepalms. "Duh, what did you think was behind all of this, science? Only true love can break the curse, and it's almost too late..."
"Oh, why didn't you say so? I can help you with that!"
The Beast's ears perk up hopefully. "Yeah?"
"Yeah!" Belle says, clapping her hands together. "Let's head on over to https://www.russianbrides.com and I'll have you set up in no time."
Yes, I got a little carried away. Emma Watson has that effect on me. I think she should be in Star Wars. I can see her now as Rey's Padawan Hirmai Ohn'ee, an exceptionally studious and straitlaced Jedi with the charming quirk of saying strange words whenever she uses the Force.
I've been a bit surprised to discover the depth of racism that still exists in the United States. I know, I know, white privilege. I figured out a long time ago that there was some, of course. One time my family and I ended up driving through a seedy, impoverished, dangerous part of Albany for some reason, and every single person we saw outside their houses was black. Even at that young age I knew this couldn't be a coincidence and that racism somehow, some way, had to have something to do with it. But then Obama came along. I was very conservative and didn't like him at all. My high school friends teased me for being racist. I assumed they were just being stupid teenagers. When I moved to college and discovered that so-called adults were doing the same thing, I was speechless. So yes, some liberals have an obsession with pretending it's still 1953 and whining about racism where there is none in an attempt to shut up anyone who disagrees with them, and they have only themselves to blame for other people not noticing or taking seriously the racism that does exist.
Of course, the rest of us have had an unequivocal wake-up call from the Nazis and Klansmen and their ilk now that our president has made it acceptable for them to come out of the shadows. There is little for me to say that hasn't already been said a million times but I wish to go on record as being opposed to them and everything they stand for so no one assumes otherwise. I just really wish Americans would get over their leg-humping obsession with skin color already. Drumpf, of course, continues to drag the presidency through the mud with his refusal to unequivocally condemn so many of the people who voted for him. I can't imagine how black people, Jews, etc. must feel about these people, but I wonder if it's similar to how I feel about the anti-vaxxer movement. I wonder if it's similar to the primal rage I felt welling up in my gut just the other day when I found a Jenny McCarthy book at work. Because, while I won't pretend to share their heritage of systematic prejudice, I do have some idea what it's like to have a sizable group of people that don't want people like me to exist.
On a similar note, have you heard that Iceland has almost completely eliminated Down Syndrome? Well, kind of. All it's actually done is abort almost every baby that has it. Now at first glance this may appear quite similar to the Nazi program of removing "undesirable" people from the population, but don't be fooled. These are just clumps of cells we're talking about here. And somehow one can tell when a clump of cells has Down Syndrome, and eliminate it accordingly.
Erasure - Always
Everyone who has played the classic "Robot Unicorn Attack" is very familiar with this song. I chose it because it fits the fairy tale romance theme with which this post began, kind of.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender Christian male, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic and asexual, so you can't, unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.