Monday, November 28, 2011

why i would be happy to raise amy poehler’s children but not kiefer sutherland’s

It was a lovely, lazy weekend. Yesterday AK and I hiked up the west side of the big hill that is Debs Park and discovered a lake at the top. Well, maybe a pond. A very green pond. There were a couple of people fishing in it, which seemed a little risky, though probably less so than fishing off the Santa Monica pier.

We heard a guy tell his kids, “Come look at the turtles!” and we both ran toward him because, hello, turtles!

When we saw him, we concluded he seemed a tad too urban to know much about pond fauna. We did not see any turtles, although we spotted a bunny in the brush. All this five minutes from our house. We looked out over Highland Park’s old bungalows and marveled at how wide Avenue 50 looked, and how faraway Downtown seemed. So that’s why it takes me so long to get to get to work.

Last night we saw Melancholia, a beautiful Vogue shoot of a movie about how people of different worldviews respond to opposing situations. Kirsten Dunst’s depressive character has a meltdown trying to be happy at her wedding, but when (spoiler-ish alert) the apocalypse comes, she’s in her element. Her brother-in-law (Kiefer Sutherland) is a happy pragmatist who doesn’t worry until given cause, and then he just checks out. I sort of hate him and want to be him. But who I actually am is Dunst’s anxious sister (Charlotte Gainsbourg), who can’t quite convince herself that things will be okay, or that the world is worth giving up on entirely. Hence her (my) constant turmoil.

In between the hike and the movie, I read my student’s thesis while AK watched this video of Amy Poehler at the Time 100 gala. She’s such an amazing, quiet radical that I almost fell off the couch. Here is a female star (of my favorite TV show, not coincidentally) ADMITTING SHE HAS NANNIES. She doesn’t just allude to “having help” in the vague, guilty way that most female star moms do. She THANKS THEM BY NAME. Because they are humans who are important enough to have names, and because SHE ISN’T ASHAMED to be a mom with a job other than being a mom. It takes a village, ladies, not just to raise kids but to create a culture that supports female comics. Kudos to Amy Poehler and Jackie Johnson and Dawa Chodon* for making it happen.

*I can’t tell you how many articles I read that said she “thanked her nannies by name” but didn’t actually mention their names. Way to go, internet.


Sizzle said...

Parks & Rec is one of my favorites too. I laugh EVERY time.

Good for Amy. She's so rad.

Cheryl said...

One of the articles I found was titled something like "More proof that Amy Poehler is the most delightful person in the world." It made me slightly nervous, because that's the sort of headline that precedes a backlash (hello, Zooey Deschanel), but really, Amy P. *is* undeniably delightful.