This is not a political blog.

Which side of history do you want to be on?

“This is not a political blog.”

I have heard this statement from several of my fellow bloggers over the past few days.

“I blog about fashion/food/parenting. I shouldn’t be expected to make a statement about racism.”

Several of those bloggers have even posted these statements on Social Media with the addition of “I will delete negative comments. I don’t want the drama.”

The drama is here whether you want it or not.

This drama isn’t about formula feeding vs. breast feeding, your Paleo diet, or plus-sized fashion.

This drama is about white supremacy. Nazis. Racism. This drama is real, and lives are at stake.

Being able to ignore this drama is the ultimate form of white privilege. We can ignore it and go on living our lives, bolstered by the white supremacy that is literally killing our black neighbors.

Yes, you have an obligation to stand up against it. I don’t care if you blog exclusively about Disney Princesses. If you are white, and you have a platform, you absolutely must use it to denounce this.

White bloggers, you have a unique opportunity to let your readers in middle America know this is NOT OKAY. To let the mom who hasn’t had time to watch the news know this happening and it is NOT OKAY. To let your family know that it is NOT OKAY. 

Many bloggers have huge social media followings. Use it. Amplify black voices. Retweet those pictures of the Nazis. If you lose a few followers, who cares? They were Nazi-sympathizers. “50k Twitter followers, including white supremacists” doesn’t look great in your media kit anyway.

You have a soapbox, if you aren’t going to use it to stand up against Nazis, what are you going to use it for?

Do the right thing.

 

“If you stand for nothing…what will you fall for”

From Hamilton: An American Musical

Is Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA good for kids?

Update (4/25/17):  Add the jaw-dropping touch of Cirque du Soleil to Mother’s Day this year with LUZIA, a waking dream of Mexico. For a limited time only, tickets in price levels 1,2 & 3 are 20% off for selected Seattle performances of LUZIA scheduled through May 21st under the Big Top at King County’s Marymoor Park. For more information about this offer, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/usa/seattle/deals. Regular tickets for all Seattle performances of LUZIA are available online at www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia.

 

Sick of this Seattle Rain? Dreaming of the colors, sounds, and beasts of Mexico? You don’t have to go any further than Redmond’s Marymoor Park, where the creative geniuses at Cirque du Soleil have dreamed up an interpretation of Mexico like you’ve never seen before!

The title of this Cirque Show – “Luzia” – is a portmanteau of the Spanish words for light (“luz”) and rain (“illuvia”). Both light and rain are big themes in the show, with a giant omnipresent, medallion-shaped set piece that changes color, and a water feature that emulates rain showers and is used extensively to breathtaking effect. There are over 90 thousand tiny holes on the stage to drain the water, but the setup still requires some in-between acts shenanigans to clean and dry the stage.

My companion and I were torn on the goofy clown that performed between acts and helped create a (somewhat) cohesive narrative. I thought he was funny and charming, she felt the show would have been just fine without him. I think kids will love his ridiculous antics. From his introduction in the opening minutes in a skydiving bit to his silly interactions with the crowd using only a lifeguard’s whistle, his European style (no makeup!) of clowning is delightful!

Soccer as a circus art! Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil.

Clowning aside, hand-balancers, hoop riders, giant puppets, trapeze and adagio artists are the main thrill here, but the supporting performers dressed as armadillos and cockroaches that are peppered throughout the acts are sure to be a huge hit with kids. There are also talented jugglers, crazy soccer-ball tricks, and an unbelievable contortionist.  Luzia has something for everyone.

A highlight for me was seeing Seattle-native Kelly MacDonald perform. You could feel the local love for MacDonald, who performs as the flier in a type of acrobatic art called “Adagio”. Hearing the crowd cheer for MacDonald as the Adagio porters threw and caught her, balanced her, and even used her as a human jump rope was delightful, and the Adagio act is one of the most captivating in the show.

Cirque performer and Seattle-Native Kelly McDonald in the Adagio Routine. Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil.

I highly recommend Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia for any kids who are able to sit still and quiet for its two hour and 25 minute running time. There is a 25 minute intermission halfway through, but be forewarned, we spent almost that whole time waiting in line for the bathrooms, which are in trailers (but are clean, well lit, and much better than the standard porta-potty – they flush!).

Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia runs now through May 21st at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA. Tickets are available HERE.

 

 

Beauty and the Beast (2017): A Parents’ Guide

Beauty and the Beast (2017): A Parents’ Guide

 

The 2017 remake of Beauty and the Beast is pretty unnecessary.  It is a sometimes shot-for-shot remake of the beloved 1991 Disney Animated feature (fun fact: Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film to ever be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture – Up and Toy Story 3 have been nominated since).  Does its redundancy make it any less fun or fabulous? No, it does not.

It was super-fun to see the world of this beloved Disney classic reinterpreted in a live-action setting. With this new update, we also get an extended look at the palace and its inhabitants before and after the transformation.  We also get a tiny bit more of a backstory for the Beast, my guess is that this was done to make him more sympathetic and to tone down the whole Stockholm Syndrome situation.  We get to see Belle as an inventor, and as a caring teacher to children in her village. I very much appreciated the fleshing out of one of my favorite Disney princesses. They even threw a few new songs in, while keeping all of the old favorites.

This new imagining of Beauty and the Beast also introduces Disney’s first obviously gay character. While Gaston’s sidekick Le Fou was definitely coded gay in the original animated film, there is no doubt about it in this film.  While it was acknowledged with a wink and nod throughout the film, there is a blink and you’ll miss it moment at the end that confirms Le Fou’s preferences in a totally lovely and kid-friendly way.  I’m so excited for all the gay kids out there who finally get to see themselves represented (however briefly) in a Disney film.

So what should parents be aware of? I thought it was interesting that although I knew the plot of the movie, I found that seeing real-live people in the same peril was much scarier.  Seeing a real man being chased by live wolves was pretty intense, as was seeing a real group of villagers attempting to raid the Beast’s castle. The frenzy caused by Gaston wanting to kill the Beast may be hard for younger viewers to understand and may make a good talking point for after the film. I had actually forgotten what a rough song “Kill the Beast” was until I saw this again, and it was another instance where I think the cartoon provided a nice buffer that is absent in the live-action version. There is also a few instances of gun violence and a moment where the Beast says that he is “damned”.  Gaston dies (look, it’s not a spoiler, this movie has been out for 25 years).

So what age is Beauty and the Beast good for? Beauty and the Beast is okay for ages 6 and up.  If you child is younger than 6 or is very sensitive, I’d wait to watch this one at home.  It also has a relatively long running time of 129 minutes, something to keep in mind before taking small bladders to the theater.

One last warning: Be Our Guest is just as much of an ear worm as it was in 1991.  I haven’t stopped singing it since I saw the film three days ago!