Monday, August 02, 2004

Of Pickaninnies and Predators

I believe I have made peace with the pickaninny doll. I just sat down and had a talk with her, got to know her a little better. She’s asked me to call her Annie. What I realized in talking to her is that she is just a doll, a happy little black doll who happens to carry a basket. She is not that horrible stereotypical racial caricature with the huge mouth surrounded by big red lips, eatin’ watermelon and buggin’ her eyes out. She is not trying to glorify slavery or rewrite history to make us all feel better. She is just a doll. So I am just going to chill and let her and Lovey have their fun. There. (But for those of you that are interested in an analysis of the history of the pickaninny, click here.)

In other news, I’ve been having some trouble connecting to the Internet today. I am not sure what the problem is. I have checked all the connections and everything is plugged in and on. So what the?? I am writing this offline and hope to post at a later time.

In even other news, let’s talk about this movie Open Water. I haven’t seen it, of course (I don’t really get to see much of anything in the theater, and the only reason I know about this is I saw the trailer for it when I want to see Fahrenheit 9/11). But I am so freaked out about it that I have spent hours looking up info related to it. It’s “based on true events”! What could be more compelling?? Here’s the basic plotline: a couple goes on a chartered boat expedition to go deep-sea scuba diving during their vacation in the Caribbean. Due to a bungled headcount by the charter people, when they surface from the dive, the boat is gone. They are stranded in the middle of the ocean, and nobody realizes they are gone. Bad enough, right? Well, they are in shark-infested waters, and they start to see fins slipping past them.

Errrrrr!!! This is the kind of movie that makes me freak out about getting into a pool, never mind the ocean. Why do sharks freak us all out so much? I think it has something to do with (a) the fear of being hunted and (b) well, yes, the sheer horror of being eaten alive. I guess that would bug you. There is a bit of controversy over this film, because most people assume it is based on one real-life story (the disappearance of the Lonergans in the Great Barrier Reef in 1998) in particular. But in researching this, I have discovered that this is not an isolated incident. Not. An. Isolated. Incident. That is to say, it has happened before. More than once. So, kids, for those of you who really love the ocean and might consider being dropped off by a boat in the middle of the ocean to go scuba diving – well, consider yourselves warned, is all I’m saying.

I don’t plan on seeing the movie, by the way. Because I am not the bad ass “sharks don’t scare me” kind of gal that can handle this kind of movie. Oh, and I should mention that I do have a fear of being in water over my head, which stems back to my early trauma in the shallow end of the pool at the Allston-Brighton YMCA…but that is a story for another time.

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