Grim and Bear It

January 30, 2009

It is curious how the term BITCH when hurled in conniption  can inflict a swath of ego/reputation-wounding injuries.  On the other hand, when BITCH is bandied willingly it can inspire awe in some and erectile dysfunction in others.

Supposedly, us fags possess the innate ability to play tag-team with “difficult” women as bitches are otherwise known by the civilized/PC world.   The affinity stemming hypothetically from our power to grow claws and revert to our femme bestial selves when duly provoked.

[Note:  Catnip to my claws are ignorance, discourtesy and pushy fat asses on narrow bus seats.]

Another link we have, I guess, with the scarlet women and the femme fatales of real and reel life is our admiration of the traits that distinguish them from the wall-flowers: confidence, self-sufficiency, ingenuity, abhorrence of the stupid and the mediocre and a flair for style and dramatics.   Traits that may not win anyone a Ms. Congeniality sash but will certainly see one through any Survivor edition or maybe even a Terminator attack.

On-screen,  anti-heroines have more appeal to me because their characters are less trapped as caricatures [and less insipid] than the actual heroines. These frequently maligned women display dimensions and emotions closer to humanity than any two-bit cartoon heroine that ever graced Saturday mornings.  Admittedly, some of the methods employed by the anti-heroines need work. [Sure, murder and maiming and mayhem may be appealing fantasies  to  employ in the disposal of one’s obstacles but fantasies they must remain.]  However, in their defense, I submit that their less-than-ideal  responses to their issues reflect our own collective responses when faced with similar moments of pique, frustration, desperation or choice.  Knowing this, our regard to their actions may not change but, at least, they do not remain incomprehensible.

Having said more than a mouthful on the subject, my inner bitch rejoiced with the discovery of another formidale female in Cartoon Network of all places.

In The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, the anti-heroine is also the heroine as all the other female character are either helpless or hapless or half-wits.  Plus, she plays with Death everyday.

Billy, the eponymous hero, for lack of a better description, is an idiot with a big nose.

Mandy hates everybody.  She was the one who fixed the limbo game that made the Grim Reaper their slave for life. Typical she is not – her eyebrows are perpetually furrowed, her mouth a constant arc of disdain or fury.and her favored hairstyle resembles horns.  Her personality is summed up in her statement (Wiki-culled) “I’m all for the abuse and exploitation of the stupid.”

A few nights ago, in the episode Pandora’s Lunch Box, Mandy utters another classic after being manipulated by a Dora the Explorer look-a-alike into setting free a host of plagues from a weird-looking lunch box – “Nobody tricks me into unleashing the plagues on humanity.  When the time come, I’ll do it on my own.”

As character, Mandy is totally subversive as she flouts every rule and every notion of what nice little girls should be – she’ll never have a kiddy product tie-up, unless it’s for Junior Chainsaws or Machetes.  In fact, she is an adult Bitch model is there was ever one – totally disinterested, quick to act,  quicker with the barbed repartee,  merciless in punishment and anonymous in altruism.  She represents Parents’ Worst Nightmare, not the least of whom are her own who cower before her.

I wouldn’t recommend The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy to your kids unless you plan on running a play-by-play commentary on Mandy and the idiots who inhabit Mandy’s world. But, hey, if you’re up to the challenge, it should be an interesting conversation.

At least it’s not another vapid reality show.