Don't Hate the Doll
The Guardian recently ran an article entitled Barbie in the microwave about the supposed craze of girls torturing their Barbie dolls. I have to say, I agree with the author of the article entirely--it's not indicative of some social revolution among little girls rejecting "idealized" femininity.
When I was a little boy, my best friend (let's call him Cody) and I were constantly involved in elaborate stories with enacted with toys playing the parts. Of course these were all tragic tales, culminating in the death or deaths of innocent characters. His sister had this doll with a tiny little body and a giant head who we named Mrs. Killer. She was usually the star of these plotlines. His sister also had millions of Barbies, with which I was obsessed because I would never have been allowed one. (I once tried to get away with asking for he Jem & the Holograms dolls--they're not Barbie dolls after all, they are concievably "action figures"--but no dice.)
One day, Mrs. Killer decided put two barbies up to luring Barbie herself out into the woods.
"Where are we going, Mrs. Killer?"
"Just on a little walk to discuss your performance at the office, Barbie," Mrs. Killer replied. Before she knew what happened, the other two barbies cracked her over the back of the head with a twig, causing her to fall, unconcious, into a shoe box. Mrs. Killer proceeded to douse her with lighter fluid and before there was any trace of a crime having been committed, Barbie was melted into a charred puddle of molten plastic. There were so many like her, no one ever missed her. To this day, her disappearance remains an unsolved mystery...until now.
Further, all of my G.I. Joe's--and I had hundreds--were maimed in a horrible napalm attack on their plastic fortress. This saddens me, cause those things are worth a fucking fortune now.
And I turned out normal, right? See, nothing to worry about with the kids torturing toys.
In an unrelated story, my brother and I once set fire--like, wildfire--to the field behind our house.