Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Raised on Wicked Witches, and I Turned Out (Mostly) Fine

Interesting article in the Boston Globe over the weekend about what happens to fairy tales when you take out all the grim, twisted parts.

The author, Joanna Weiss, describes this version of "Rapunzel," which came with a doll set she bought for her daughter:

"The book went on to spin the tale of a charmed girl named Rapunzel, who spent her days in the tower sewing dresses with a friend. She loved when the witch came to visit and teach songs, including one that made Rapunzel's hair grow longer. But tension arrived: One day, Rapunzel looked out the window and saw a fair in the village nearby. She wanted to go, but the witch was off tending to her garden and couldn't let her out. Fortunately, a prince riding by in his carriage called up to her, 'Rapunzel! Why aren't you at the fair?'"

As a good little Gen X-er raised on dark children's fare like The Dark Crystal, The Rescuers, and The Secret of NIMH, I find this both baffling and horrifying.

But I also feel lucky that popular culture and the political climate of my youth prepared me for a future where life is dark and scary, nothing is to be trusted, and I will never get to retire.

Maybe it is in our best interests as a nation to focus on scaring the bejeezus out of the kiddies every now and again.


Banno said...

Too much of a good thing? I'm for witches and demons, too. This kind of PC horrifies me. Specially, since all it does is gloss over facts, doesn't really change anything.

Brady said...

I don't think it's really fair to call this "political correctness" - it smacks to me of child psychology run amok, hand in hand with the general prudishness of the American upper-middle class.

But yeah, it's tiresome and probably ultimately not a good thing.

Andi said...

Ugg these tarted up, overly happy fairytales make my butt pucker. But, I'm a huge fan of the twisted and terrible. And, like you, even though I was raised on that stuff, I"m mostly fine these days. ;)

Gwen said...

I am utterly confounded by this. I guess maybe the idea is it's bad to scare kids?