Monday, March 5, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith and the Little Mermaid

Yesterday I sat through The Little Mermaid on TV. I realized that Disney is partially, if not entirely, reponsible for the bizarre expectations of women my age. Has there ever been a Disney movie involving a female protagonist where she didn't lust after, and subsequently marry, a prince? She's always some lowly girl who does menial jobs, but somehow captivates the attention of a handsome prince, then almost loses him, then marries him and lives happily ever after.

The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Sleeping on and so forth. And vice versa for male protagonists. Aladdin marries a princess. Go figure. So this makes royalty the ultimate end goal for women of today who were girls in the time of The Little Mermaid. Just once, it would be nice if the guy who was shipwrecked and met the little mermaid and fell in love with the little mermaid was a bricklayer from New Jersey. Or a door-to-door knife salesman from Kamloops. Or a porn actor. Or SOMETHING else.

I know, I know, these are all movies based on fairy tales, and you can't expect much more when the stories were written two hundred years ago and that was the standard of excellence. But the obsession women have with being princesses is no less creepy today.

Remember when Prince Harry was the "World's Most Eligible Bachelor"? Hmmmm. I guess because he is so attractive. No...he's fairly homely in a Pete Townshend sort of way. Maybe because he's so charming. No...never really heard him speak. He has some amazing talent that draws women to him? Like he's in a band, or he writes poetry, or he's a superb cricket player? No...never heard about that...Maybe it's because he's a prince. Bingo!

The latest example of this obsessive desire to be princessish and royal manifested itself in the form of Anna Nicole Smith and the ridiculous spectacle that was her funeral. She was dressed, of course, as a princess. Her idol was Marilyn Monroe, but her dream, her REAL dream, ever since she was a little girl, was to be a princess. So perhaps in some way she also idolized Grace Kelly. And Grace Kelly, pound for pound, kicks Marilyn Monroe's ass any day.

She may not have married a prince, but we will all remember Anna Nicole Smith, mostly because of who she DID marry. Only the most naive and dim-witted individuals ever believed that she married her 104-year-old husband for love. The man had billions of dollars, and she had giant boobs. A match made in heaven. So...the lesson to be learned here is: If you can't find a prince, find a guy who's really rich, it's close enough. In fact, it's even better than marrying a prince from one of the poorer countries. Mission accomplished, Anna Nicole Smith.

So, her dream was finally fulfilled, as she was laid to rest in a specially designed, commissioned pink dress and a tiara. Princess at last, albeit in death. Delusions that may well have begun in childhood. And delusions that may or may not have gone hand-in-hand with the bizarre behaviour and drug abuse. Truly, the bizarre behaviour, the drugs, the stupidity of her life was (I speculate) a result of the same thing that makes women long to be a princess. The desire for the spotlight. Make me a star!

I will say one thing for good ol' Anna Nicole, though. In one area of her life, she certainly made the right choice. John Travolta recently made a statement that had Anna Nicole attended Scientology rehab, she could have been saved. As opposed, I suppose, to the "crystal meth bender" rehab she attended instead. Apparently Scientology either attracts or creates so many drug addicts that they need their own rehab centre. But they're not a cult.

Travolta says that he met Smith while shooting the movie Be Cool. We can only surmise at this point that he and the rest of the kool-aid brigade attempted to convince her to join, but were unsuccessful. Maybe she was too far gone for even the Raelian crew. Which brings me to the one smart, honourable thing Anna Nicole Smith ever did with her life, as was put to me by one of our funnier listeners on Friday.

She chose drugs over Scientology. Well done, and farewell, sweet princess. May your very rich baby turn out to be mine after a DNA test.

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