Friday, August 26, 2011

Mulan and The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo

Design Thought from Bruce Mau
#2 Forget about good.
Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth.  
Bruce Mau Design's Incomplete Manifesto for Growth (1998)

Goodwill Shopping
While waiting for my dad to see the doctor we went across the street to the Goodwill shop. I have dropped off more than I have shopped mostly because if I go there it means I am on a purge binge. Today was about passing some time pleasantly and books always attract my attention. The Moose tackled me and had me reading before we even left the store. The nice thing about a Goodwill shop is that they sell furniture so there was a comfy loveseat for us sit on and read.

Mulan & Pippi
The story book was Mulan, but not the Disney version. The movie is based on the Chinese story The Ballad of Mulan and the book supposedly follows the original Chinese legend. In particular the book speaks of the two soldiers working together, a yin and yang match of opposites, and that Mulan is not discovered until the end when she returns home because she reveals herself as a woman. I liked this version better. I was finally inspired to look up who sang "I'll Make a Man Out of You." It was performed by Donny Osmond. Mulan is one of the more tolerable Disney princess stories for me- I like the epic adventure setting and that she uses her wits. This could also be why I liked The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. The protagonist is supposedly an interpretation of a grown up Pippi Longstocking, but still about adventure and wit and a whole lot of dark freaky stuff that some how keeps you turning the pages.

Some topics are hard to let go of partly because they have something to teach us and because they are difficult. There are some things I just don't want to know about people- the world has some dark souls. I don't want to repeat my own mistakes, but still some of them mystify me. My best guess is that time and pressure shape the best of us.

Stories like Mulan and Pippi Longstocking, old or new, work by taking us on adventures that reveal other perspectives. The backstory Steig Larson wrote of in the series (The Girl with...) was about the the position of women, extremism, and racism, were all events that had happened in real life. I think that is why the books haunt you a bit, there is a part of you that knows the pain is true. You get to learn along with the characters.

Truth has been known to be painful and hard, but it is needed for growth.

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