I was listening to my friends the other day discussing which of the big ‘W’s’ (you know, where, when, who, what, why) they thought was the most important. The Barbies were clearly in the ‘who’ camp: who was the hottest celeb, who would the next bachelorette pick, who would ask them to spring prom.
IMac girl thought space and time to be most significant; when and where the next notable meteorological occurrences and/or ecological disasters would take place. Being of a social nature, she also was concerned with the where and when of the next Philosophical Society Social.
Tiny Tina could be forgiven for seeing the importance of the ‘what’ her parents and teachers would next demand of her.
Poor Pitiful Pearl (who is neither poor nor pitiful) suggested that all that really mattered was ‘why.’ With ‘why’, she offered, one can question the legitimacy of those social values that have led us to believe short-term popularity is important; with ‘why’ we can question the importance of our artificial time structures as well as the legitimacy of our subservience to those who render power over us; with ‘why’ Pearl said, we can eliminate superfluous concerns and find the path to our true natures.
Pearl’s argument pretty much fell on deaf ears. The Barbies said they knew their true nature which was being the most popular girls in school; IMac girl said one’s true nature hardly mattered in relation to the immanent destruction of civilization as we know it and Tina said she might be able to overlook the demands of her father and teachers but her mother was simply not to be trifled with.
I felt like I had just witnessed a microcosm of the essential dilemma of doll-kind: It’s not simply that were not all reading the same page; some of us are making paper airplanes.