I’ve had a very unproductive Monday. After my Sunday afternoon nap I ended up on youtube. I went there to look up an English comedian mentioned in the paper (Bill Bailey who turned out to be quite funny). After an hour or so of Baily I thought…oh I’ll just look up Ugly Betty. I’d seen a couple episode and enjoyed it…when my Goblin got up for his morning walk I was still watching it and I was gutted when I ran out of eposides. Now I’ll have to buy the whole second series. And then I’ll have to wait till series three comes out on DVD to find out what’s been happening. Not having a tv is a good way to increase one’s creative productivity, but might not be the cheaper option in the end. I was up ’till noon today watching Ugly Betty (Did I mention I was obsessive compulsive?). I then went to bed hoping to get four hours of sleep before I needed to go to the store to get some things for the Goblin. I woke up at 3:15, but I thought it was 4:15 so I had three hours and here I am…having lost a whole day. I didn’t rake up the fallen leaves mulching into the drive…I didn’t do any cleaning (unless you count shoving a load of towels into the wash where I’ve left them) and honestly I only made it to the grocery store because I wanted a dinner I wouldn’t have to cook. I didn’t do anything, but watch Ugly Betty. So instead of having a massively productive day and finishing my book I enjoyed someone ele’s stories and it felt really good! It’s lovely to be able to watch something where the writing, story and acting is so good.This is what I call artist-food!
A few years ago my friend Anne (whose an artist) asked me, “Can you imagine a world without stories?” And I have to say that no, I can’t. Even the Cro-Magnans must have had filled their lives with stories. The artistic objects or words we create are merely vehicles for telling a story and any good story has layers. It’s no great surprise that some of the basic fairytales are thousands of years old (if not much older). Someone this past year was saying to me that they didn’t see the point of fairytales and I was very surprised at their lack of understanding. Fairy tales (Disney versions have been scrubbed into pointlessness)are very powerful. They’re complex and layered and teach endless important concepts of human relations and social interaction. If you can remember which fairytale resonated with you as a child…take that tale apart and it’ll tell you a lot about you and your life! I would find it hard to choose between Little Red Ridinghood and Sleeping Beauty (The sleeping princess really is finaly starting to wake up after the adorable Goblin’s magic kiss!). I’ve always loved these two tales. As a small child I was aware that there were all sorts of real and very dangerous wolves in my life. One of the great things I love about Little Red Ridinghood is that she doesn’t let fear or the wolf stop her from venturing out into the world or having adventures. And even when the wolf tries to destroy her the woodsman comes along with an ax and chops it’s head off and she escapes.
Fairytales are elastic, the symbols shift according the individual listener which is why they’re so powerful. The listener becomes a joint story teller. Ugly Betty is a complex fairytale which is why it’s so appealing. One of it’s main themes is ofcourse a Cinderella plot, but with a lovely twist. Betty is an average looking young woman who is the real princess/fairygod mother and hero all in one…and on her quest she’ll be the one to save the handsome Prince whose been enchanted by an evil witch! He’s addicted to sex or whatever will take his mind off the fact he’s heartbroken. I really must go get that box set! But first Beauty must get some sleep before she transforms into the ugly Beast!