The Weekend

We had a great–though completely exhausting–weekend.

Saturday was The Party; Lil’ G is turning 4 this week and we had a big party for G in conjunction with one of the other girls at her daycare who was also turning 4. The kids had great fun. It was at a sort of place I never knew existed until last year–essentially a big recreation hall with giant inflatables specifically for children’s parties. As for the adults, a few knew each other–but most didn’t. We only see each other in passing at drop-off in the morning except for those who live near each other or who have older children of an age. I quickly labeled it: Suburban Hell, Party Edition. That’s not to say M and I didn’t know anybody–Anastasia came bringing Kizzy and Thumper, and they came over to the house after the party concluded. All in all, a fun–if slightly surreal–time.

There’s a post in me somewhere about princesses and the marketing of northern European mythology. For those without preschool and primary school girls, princesses are a huge industry. All of the girls know all of the princess. The Disney princesses, that is. And the stories–as Disney tells them…or Barbie…or whoever is doing the packaging. What I find odd is that I see in and through these princess narratives bits of Germanic and Scandinavian epic cycles and elements. On one hand I’m glad something of these ancient stories is being passed down; on the other, they appear in their altered state for the sake of selling units that contribute to sucking children into a consumer culture that undercuts the very virtues, values, and realities encoded in those epics. Maybe we should sic Dr. Nokes on it as a warped materialistic form of medievalism…

Father’s day was grand. I grilled steaks, played with the girls and received–not a tacky tie–but an iTunes card and this: The English Office

A review will be forthcoming…

15 thoughts on “The Weekend

  1. *Christopher

    Archbishop Williams wrote an excellent critical essay of just this thing a few years back regarding Disney. Princesses are a huge market for little girls, and beknownst or not to the likes of Disney, to certain of little boys who often indulge their fascination by sneaking off to play with the girls, though I imagine the hero or villian bit gets most boys more as GI Joe or superheroes or whatever the latest craze is these days. Transformers were my personal favorite.

    You’re right there are bits and leftovers…denatured Scandinavian and Germanic myths with all of the grit and culture taken out…It’s so much prettier in pink :)

    Glad you had a good Father’s Day…

  2. Derek the Ænglican

    Of course I’m a medievalist–I just don’t fit in an English/History/Art History department! I violate the apparently unwritten rule that real medievalists can’t teach in the seminary…

  3. swain

    Ah, but you would fit in Religion dept of a state university….., we need to start getting you to Kalamazoo.

    Speaking of which….I need to send you an email.

  4. Michelle

    There are other seminary teachers at Kzoo… Arthur Holder is there every year. He is a Dean at one of the seminaries (GTU?). There are also quite a few priests, monks and nuns there. The Benedictine Order of St. Bede sends a couple nuns every year.

  5. *Christopher

    Dr. Holder is a wonderful man. He’s the Dean of the GTU and a prof. of spirituality at CDSP. Derek, it seems to me that a true Medievalist must have some understanding that one can’t unravel religion from other matters and vice versa. Which means you may have something on many in the secular universities which do tend to foster a looking down upon if not outright hostility on things religious.

  6. Derek the Ænglican

    All true… No, I was mostly referring to the way that our various guilds like to compartmentalize. Even in a supposedly more interdisciplinary world academic politics (which move along the lines of department budgets–and there are very few funded medivalism departments) begin by looking at your field. Most medievalist I’ve met fall into either English/Lit, History, or Art History. Let’s just say a PhD in New Testament doesn’t generally get you very far…

  7. lukacs

    Hope you like the ENGLISH OFFICE, and looking forward to your review. I quite like it; I only wish it made provisions for noonday and Compline. Others bemoan the lack of a lectionary and volume of lessons. Assuming you got it from Monastic Greetings, did you also get some of the Trappist fudge-dipped fruitcakes? They’re magnificent.

  8. Derek the Ænglican

    Actually it was in at the cathedral! They also had the English Missal but it turns out one of our friends had already snapped it up earlier that week…

  9. Michelle

    My point was that seminary teachers and members of all the religious orders would not be out of place at Kzoo. There is no need to wish for a place at a state university to fit into the medieval crowd at Kzoo. Honestly, I would think that it would be more fulfilling to work for a seminary — at least you know that your students are interested in your field and you are likely to have a greater impact on the church.

  10. Derek the Ænglican

    Yes, I’ve never planned to work at a state university. Not that I don’t think they’re great and all–rather I see my academic work as part of my service to the church.

  11. Anastasia

    conversation on the ride home:

    Kizzy: Mama…can I go bounce with lil G tomorrow?
    Me: No, honey. The bouncing was just for today.
    Kizzy: Can I go play dress up with lil G tomorrow, then?
    Me: No, honey. Grandmother and Grandfather will be here tomorrow.
    Kizzy: *bursting into tears* I don’t want grandmother and grandfather to come. I want lil G!

    cousins. :)

  12. lutherpunk

    I want to check out that English Office book next time we get together. I’ve also tried to find the English Missal but haven’t been able to find a reasonably priced copy. Will the cathedral bookstore do special orders?

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