sunshine jen: The Pink Plastic Prison and the Extraordinary Woman I had a Barbie doll when I was a kid. She wore a hot pink dress and had a sparkly ring stuck between her fingers. I had other Barbie outfits for her, but I always liked the hot pink dress best. Barbie once had shoes, but they were lost, probably in the vacuum. I didn't have Barbie playsets or dream houses.
I also had Donnie and Marie dolls that were the same size as Barbie. I didn't have a Ken doll, but Donnie was similar to Ken below the waist.
I also had a Wonder Woman doll. Wonder Woman was a little bit bigger than Barbie. Her Wonder Woman costume was painted on her body like a tattoo, so she was never totally naked. She also had a Diana Prince outfit and sometimes fit into Barbie clothes.
I sold my dolls at a family garage sale. I was bored with all the clothes changing and hair styling. I found my little Star Wars action figures much more interesting. I had a cast of thousands.
Yesterday, I saw the Greta Gerwig Barbie movie. The first half was excellent. There were a lot of witty movie references. Barbie lived in Barbieland, a perfect pink plastic prison with a cast of hundreds. I could not take my eyes off Ryan Gosling's six pack.
Then, stuff happens in the movie. Barbie and Ken go to the real world. Barbie meets Gloria. Ken discovers patriarchy (it's a joke that was only funny once). More stuff happens. Then Gloria has an incredible monologue about what it's like to be a woman in America.
She begins with: we always have to be extraordinary, but somehow, we're always doing it wrong.
Then, there's a dance of the Kens which is hilarious. Then it ends. I wish there had been some explosions in Barbieland, but that's just my aesthetic.
As I was leaving the theater, I checked my phone.
Sinead O'Connor was dead at the age of 56.
Memory: I was in college. I slept on a cold stone floor in Rockefeller Center to get tickets to the final dress rehearsal of Saturday Night Live. Sinead was the musical guest. She was a tiny person. She was incredibly polite to the crew around her. Then when she opened her mouth, she unleashed a thousand swords. At the end of her second song, she held up a picture of a little boy.
Memory: It was 2007 or 2008. I saw Sinead onstage in Los Angeles. Damien Dempsey opened for her. Sinead came out. She was barefoot and in jeans and a T-shirt. At one point, she showed her support for Britney Spears who had shaved her head. Sinead was in great voice. We all loved her.
I don't like to pay tribute to fallen rock stars and movie stars. Such ponderings usually feel nostalgic to me. I can never get the words right.
But Sinead. I'll say it simple. She was extraordinary.