On my last trip to Orlando I stopped by the big merchandise store at Downtown Disney and saw the Princess Room, a makeover salon for little princesses. I’ve always been a little iffy about makeup on very little girls anyway, so when I noticed a bunch of curly-headed little tots running around with glittery makeup and hair extensions falling loose I was curious enough to look around for the source. From the article: “The Castle package – This package includes hairstyling, glitter make-up, nails with a costume and accessories. Also includes 1 6×8 photo and 4 4×6 photos. Package price begins at $174.” Interesting. Presumably little princesses grow up into big princesses, so what begins as a makeover for the under 10 set graduates into a character-inspired wedding gown.
Earlier this month on the 7th of April we lost a “grizzled” veteran of comics. I say “grizzled” with affection because Johnny Hart had been doing comics far longer than I’ve even been around. I put him in the same class with other greats like Dik Browne and Charles Schultz. What made Johnny Hart stand out to me was not that his strip culminated often with christian messages, more on that in a moment, but because the work he did on “BC” and “The Wizard of ID” was unique, clever and had great style. At some point in his career Hart became a born-again christian and his faith crept into his strip from time-to-time. This, of course, raised an uproar with some papers and critics who believe there is no place for christianity in the “funny” section of the paper. I just don’t understand why such an uproar. It was one strip out of many. Too me, it showed an intolerance towards faith. Sure, he’d get complaints at times for his christian content, but what makes the comics section of the newspaper great is the diversity of the content there. To raise such a stink over Hart’s strip reflecting his belief is in a word petty. Sadly, I don’t think a comic strip artist could win syndication with a strip Like Hart’s “BC” as it runs now…. and don’t get me started about my feelings about continuing to run a comic strip after the author/artist’s death. That’s a different rant, but for now let’s just remember the late, great Johnny Hart!
I had some friends over yesterday from work and of course we kept going back again and again to the big re-org my company is going through. It’s so interesting to everyone because the entire company had to make a decision about staying with changes or finding a new job, and the final decision had to happen by the end of today. There has been so much speculation about who is doing what that it we all might as well be laying down bets and putting together March Madness-style scorecards. There are less than five people left who I’m not quite sure about, so we will all be waiting to hear about them, but word has gotten around about what most of the decisions will be. The surreal part will be watching the ones who chose to leave disappear in droves. This week will mark the first person leaving from my own department, and it’s made me think a lot on the temporary quality of work relationships. You spend eight hours a day with someone on your own team, sometimes for years, but you know when they take a new job you will never see them again. They disappear into the workforce again, and unlike friends you might choose to start avoiding, you have no control over their decision to vanish, so who was once a habit is soon someone you can’t quite recall the face of.