Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Do the "Ubangi Stomp"

I am not necessarily wetting my pants in anticipation of seeing Hairspray (2007). I've seen the original version maybe two or three times and like it a lot — John Waters is a demigod — but the idea of a musical? Others The always thought-provoking Angry Young Man summed it up better with this reaction: Meh.

In any case, though, I found the following quote from a recent interview in the Santa Barbara Independent with the film's co-star, Nikki Blonsky, to be both memorable and endearing:
There were a lot of mean girls in my life, but my grandmother taught me at a very young age that when people make fun of you, it’s because they are really insecure with themselves. So, when at school, other girls made fun of me [and] I was fine with it. I was happy with who I was. But if it makes them feel better to make fun of me, then that is my gift to them. That was my motto.

So, folks, when you are laughed at and made fun of, consider that YOUR GIFT to those who would put their boot on your neck, and, in the pithy words of Motormouth Maybelle, “brace yourself for a whole lotta ugly comin' from a neverending parade of stupid.”

Perhaps not bad advice, both those sentiments.


Huntington said...

I got used to being made fun of at a very early age, helped by similar advice given by my own mother. I don't know if those kids really were insecure, but I know it did help at the time to think so.

What makes me feel inferior today is to be ignored. It's a little more difficult to employ the same logic there.

The Angry Young Man said...


Nikki Blonski's grandmother's advice was trite and uninspired. Kids didn't make fun of Lil' Nikki because they were insecure. They made fun of her because she's fat, ugly, and making her cry was funny. Get real. Children are assholes. Investing fifth graders with "insecurities" gives the little bastards too much credit. If she wants to believe she's doing them a favor by being their whipping gal, more power to her I suppose. She's still deluding herself.

kusala said...

AYM, you are a veritable Dr. Spock of childrearing wisdom. Actually, Dr Spock was mostly full of shit, so.... I guess that proves my point.

Huntington said...

Ah, yes, AYM, fifth graders can be assholes, but your analysis is incomplete. WHY are they assholes? Believing that anyone laughs at the fat girl just because she's fat is circular reasoning.

Your assignment is to reread "The Lord of the Flies" with an eye not to the evil that little men do, but the reasons behind it.

copperred said...

You should see Brian Griffin's highly amusing riff on Connie D’Amico the Bitch at Meg's prom. He starts with how she matured early and how she gets lots of attention but really she's a bitch because she's going to be a dried up husk of a person by the time HS is out, and will spend her days "working". I wish I could find the whole quote, it's from the episode Barely Legal.

Children are inherently evil, and they must be de-programmed by years of schooling, lest they reap adults like the Children of the Corn. Or something...

Salty Miss Jill said...

Kids are incredibly nasty to each other, and intentionally cruel. I was on both ends at that age...and then on the receiving end throughout high school. I got through it all by making my tormenters laugh with me, and not at me. And if that didn't work, I got 'em where it hurt.

As a school counselor, I would show the kids how to use their wit and cleverness to outsmart bullies...and also to say fuck 'em if they don't like you (in gentler terms, of course).

Kids know that what grown-ups tell them about bullies being insecure or scared is bullshit, and that doesn't help them with feeling like shit from being teased. But once they learn and master the art of verbal self-defense, look out!

Do you think that's why so many of us underdogs are so damn sassy?

Junk Thief said...

I won't be rushing out to see Hairspray either. I liked the music in the original so much better than the bland Broadway score.

The Angry Young Man's take on elemtary school cruelty is probably more accurate than Nikki Blonsky's. Sometimes there is an element of self-loathing in such cruelty, but it's more to do with the fact that the kids can and will do it. Saying you don't mind it is letting them win.