Very pretty pretty pretty

Warning or congratulations: There is some nudity above.

The first movie we see as a child leaves an indelible mark. Many of my friends cite the following: The Sound of Music, Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, even the bizarre Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The first movie recall seeing was Barbarella at a theater on Van Ness in San Francisco. I am convinced the typographic strip scene for the titles began my love for typography. It’s interesting that Barbarella was made in 1968, the same year 2001: A Space Odyssey. 2001 is a hard-edged technologically driven vision of the future. Barbarella is soft and sexual. They share a connection to psychedelia. The final scenes of 2001, and most of Barbarella are clearly about an altered mind experience. While I love 2001, Jane Fonda’s fur lined spaceship is ingrained on my soul. If I had a spaceship and needed to spend months in space, I’d much rather have her groovy carpeted van version with the sexually ambiguous computer, over the pristine Discovery One and Hal (wait he’s sexually ambiguous also).

Pocket Pal

The Cute As A Button Doll: Fit's in your hand or pocket

I know these Cute as Button dolls are supposed to be super cute, but I find them rather disturbing. I can’t decide if they are supposed to be premature babies, or fetuses. I don’t like either idea. One of the designers at AdamsMorioka left a direct mail card for these dolls on my desk. Either they think I’ll buy them one, or I have a special love for cute dolls. Neither of these options are possible, and both options scare me. The card tells me that these dolls are not toys, but are fine collectible to be enjoyed by adults. Yes, disturbing. The card also tells me that the dolls “Are Sweet as You Please.” That’s like telling someone, “You’re just as cute as you can be.” The subtext here being, “You’re not very cute.” This line also sounds vaguely like the tagline of a slasher movie: Fetus Doll, Sweet as You Please. This may sound judgemental, and I’m glad someone is probably loving one of these dolls right now. The first movie I ever saw was Barbarella, and most of my early years were obsessed with the killer dolls who try to eat Jane Fonda.

The Cute As a Button Collection
The Cute As a Button Collection