Wednesday, December 15, 2004

A Corporate Ho, Ho, Ho


    Barbie, photographed at Walmart.
    Taken with Holga Camera, Closeup Filter

This was one among a number of Barbie heads, all of them prettily dismembered and pinkly packaged. I suppose the idea is for to train the young ornery girls that they need to conform to our societal norms or suffer the same fate as this unfortunate dissident. Everyone already knows the story of how a beautiful and carefree girl named Barbie Handler came to be captured, starved, neutered, entombed in plastic and accessorized to the point of post-perfection and whose tiny plastic avatars if stood from end to end, would reach into the heavens and still not quite know what to wear.

But not everyone knows that she was really something as a little girl. Little Barbara was born in 1958 to Ruth and Elliott Handler. As a child she had a love for life and animals and actually was one of the better behaved of all of her siblings. She had a natural beauty, tousled dirty blond hair*, a few freckles, a scar under her chin from riding her dark blue Sting Ray** over a bike ramp in the backwoods and even gap teeth from having all of her rather imperfect chicklets coming in at the same time. Barbie dressed to get around generally, jeans and t-chirts, hand me downs from her older sister, Skipper, nothing fancy really, but she always looked nice on Sundays or on any other high and holy holiday such as... Christmas. And at sixteen she had never even heard of Malibu! Oh, but such a sad state she is in now. Crippled with debt, maxed out credit cards, a worshipping public that clamors for her attention, paparazzi, clubbing. It all requires enormous stamina (pronounced trucker speed) and a constantly updated wardrobe (pronounced a great deal more money) but she does look great and that must count for something.

I guess while Christmas is on the brain, I will say that I am near ready for the new year. I love the sentiments and, though not particularly religious, I appreciate the ritual symbolism. I must say it is fun to see children at Christmas even when it is no longer possible to be children at Christmas. The material implications, on the other hand are fairly staggering but I will resist that particular rant because these ideas have already been ranted to the point where the anti-materialism rants have themselves become one of the traditions that they hope to deconstruct. But still, some of you might be interested in the following link: buyblue.org. Basically, these folks have created a guide you might use to help you figure out who is getting your money and where those people fall on the political spectrum. For instance, Walmart leads the conservative posse of corporate retail contributors to the Republican Party to the Merry Christmas driven tune of 200+ million dollars. Anyway, all for now as the UPS guy is here with packages! Woo hoo. Things!!

* ~ not peroxide blond
** ~ not pink

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not anonymous, just too lazy to log in.
So, now you're a blogger. I hope the world is ready for it. So far so good, Gordo.
Becky R.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gordon,
Love the colors on this one. Soft and surreal.
I had one of these make-up Barbie heads when I was a young girl. I cut all her hair off and modified it into a bowling ball. The fact that she didn't have a body, but had plenty of eyeshadow choices freaked me out. The bodyless head also reminded me of this old movie I saw when I was seven. About this evil woman who was just a head. She was kept alive by some scientist who has some monster or something. Depsite the fact that the evil head was killed in the end, I can't tell you how many nightmares that movie gave me. Probably why I destroyed make-up Barbie head? Or was it just a sign of things to come in terms of my ripping apart and modifying plastic toys? Probably.

See ya,
Susan B.

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