I saw the Barbie movie yesterday and I agree with my wife and daughter - a masterpiece with an important message. Far more valuable as a social commentary for today’s participants in what is actually going on than another white savior drama. I’m not sure whether the key protagonist in this movie is the angsty and enlightened teenager, the ordinary whistful mom, the beautiful old lady on the bench, Ruth Handler, or Barbie herself - or someone/something else I’m missing entirely. And for that matter, who is the antagonist and is there a villain? The adversity is beautifully complex and never allowed an oversimplified narrative - at least how I experienced it. The patriarchy is the conundrum - the oppression of women that has insidiously infected cultures, reducing men to Ken’s with trucks, CEO’s with implausible visions (tickle but don’t hug), or invisible Allans. I resonate with the awkward, painful transformation to knowing - but as a beginning rather than a finished story. So far, I’m left with the strong suspicion that I haven’t gotten it yet. At least not most of it.
But one thing was clear-ish. I am Ken.
I write in a geeky, sciency, hopefully poetic way about belonging, storytelling, community building, deconstruction and construction,