Disney movies used to always find ways to exacerbate my OCD. Even a memorable scene from Beauty and the Beast found ways to chide my childish need to keep everything in order. During the opening song, after the audience is introduced to the peculiar Belle and her poor provincial town, as a young boy, I could not stand watching a sheep chew on Belle’s favorite book.
The events simply did not add up in my kid-mind. The town spends half of the song describing how strange Belle is, and that she loves books so much, she always has her nose stuck in one. Why was she so nonchalant about the ripped page? Why wasn’t she at least the tiniest bit upset at Little Bo Beep’s Little Rogue Vandal messing up her new book?
Resolving my inner child’s frustration with that goddamn sheep is more or less a parallel for the mission objective of this blog. At some point during our developmental years, some kids learn to covet their belongings and they absolutely fear stains, tears, and rips. Some of my most embarrassing tantrums were the result of someone breaking one of my toys. But after taking the time to start this blog and write my mawkish entries, in my thoughts, I slowly solidified an idea about value: anything we think is important is important because we say it is. Ultimately, we have the power to give things value.
Here at Mawkish Kabob, this week is “Book Week” because books are the focus. It was in my book collection, that I started to change my perceptions on how or why I covet “things.” In an article I once read, a writer argued that the real way to show appreciation for a book is to mark it up. If you’re really enjoying the story, why not write in the margins. Ask questions, or take notes that really mean something to you. When we keep our books in mint condition, hidden away in bookshelves, we’re more or less appreciating the publishers work in packaging and binding a neat little book rather than taking advantage of the fact that there are words right there waiting to be deciphered and conversed with. Learning and growth is interactive; we expand through dialogue and exchange.
I agreed with the article because of the larger themes it hinted at. We do not necessarily need to go around marking every book we own to prove that we like them, because depending on preference, we could always use a notebook for notes. The bigger picture is that we show true appreciation, and we show a clearer understanding of ideas when we take what we learn and we reflect on it, react to it, and grow from it. Anybody can take a dollar and spend it, but how are you going to spend your dollar differently from others to truly show that you know how the handle money?
Individuality determines what we value, and what we value definitely determines how we react. As a frustrated, OCD Disney fan, I grew up valuing pristine, untarnished objects and that was just the way I was. But even then, my room has always been a pigsty, so how can I say that I want order when my actions convey the opposite? Beauty and the Beast was a movie about setting aside book covers and judging books by their content; this blog is slowly shaping out to be me writing along the margins of my life and having a dialogue that matters.
My favorite song from the movie. I absolutely adore duets. Also, I think it’s wonderful that it’s the first time we hear the Beast’s human voice as an internal parallel to Belle’s verse, as if to hint that there is something there we’ve never heard before. My favorite Disney Classic, by far, along with The Lion King.