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Showing posts from March, 2014

Help Me Solve the Mystery of the Foundling-Bird, the Toe Bone, and the Tooth!

Update (2015): I am considering this case closed after the publication of Jack Zipes' English translation of the first edition of the Grimms' tales. The tale Fundevogel no longer stands out as unique from a rather large variety of tales with a similar poetic feel and series of transformations during a magical chase. Prechtel's story seems to be related even closer to the story "The Children of the Two Kings," which has so many elements in common with so many other European tales from different sources that I now feel certain that the magical chase sequence traveled from Europe to South America at some time between the Spanish conquest and Prechtel's migration. I am in awe of the lush, nature-spirited, emotional color of the Grimms' collection before it underwent its own "magical" transformation into the dry, stiff artifact engineered for marketing to male Victorian heads of household. I have developed a new affection for the native, tribal narra…

There's No Such Thing as a Broken Familia

Some things are better smashed up and reconstituted with new parts: fairy tales, upcycled mosaic art, music videos that make good mashups, DNA strands, and bad marriages, to name a few. Most people feel proud of putting together a great eclectic playlist, breaking an outfit routine, or discovering a ferociously edgy lip and nail combo. Kintsugi (a Japanese pottery technique in which cracks are filled with gold) is trending right now. But there's so much shame attached to "broken" families that are not headed by two married people. Why is that?

Right now in the gloriously Frozen-esque landscape of Michigan, a battle over the "traditional" family is heating up in Detroit. The issues are same-sex marriage and second parent adoption, which indeed have no formal precedent of which I am aware in our culture's old-timey and ancient roots. Yet the idea of "traditional marriage" and an idealized and "traditional family," consisting of one father …