Friday, February 1, 2008

Hanny Montany and other assorted crazes

'Ticketmaster online tickets all sold out within minutes of opening!"

"Tickets to concert scalped for thousands!"

"Screaming 9 year olds give rapturous reception to Miley Cyrus's Hannah Montana show"

"Kid fakes essay on dad's death in Iraq to win tickets to Hannah Montana show"

What is all this hoopla about? An apparently insanely popular show based on the wholesome talents of young Miley Cyrus, daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus and star of a Disney serial about a 14-year old kid leading a double life as a pop star('Hannah Montana') and a normal school-going teen. Yikes, she even has her own line of Hannah Montana clothes and birthday party plates, toothpaste and toothbrushes and lipgloss aren't far behind, I suppose.

Being the mother of a teen boy and a 7 year old girl, I decided to ask them whether they knew who Hannah Montana was, and why the craze.
S (age 14): She's on that Disney show, but we never watch it.I don't know why the little kids are crazy about her.
M (age 7): I don't know. All my classmates are crazy about her. I don't care. And I hate High School Musical. But I Spongebob Squarepants.

The funny thing about all these media-driven crazes is that my kids have remained surprisingly immune to them. Or maybe it is an inherited immunity- I'm not crazy about them, ergo my kids don't pick up on them as the 'IT thing' to be crazy about.

The media exposure starts early, even in utero. S squirms with embarrassment when I point out that he used to throw tantrums if he wasn't allowed to watch Jurassic Park 3 times in a row as a toddler .I remember distinctly having felt queasy, 4 months pregnant, when the then-newfangled surround sound kicked in at the theater where we went to see it- I suspect that it might explain his mysterious affinity for it.

After the Jurassic Park craze, there was the Star Wars podracer craze, with my enterprising son leading his whole preschool class population of boys in vying with each other to make outlandish Lego podracers, culminating in the grand finale of crashing them against each other. The last podracer left standing without loss of blocks was adjudged the winner.

Now as a teen, his current craze is model airplanes and making movies - promising titles such as "King Kong Destroys the Wooden block city", "Worm Wars" (claymation worms battling it out) and such epic masterpieces as would have James Cameron and Steven Spielberg quaking in their shoes.

Now M is going through her 'teddy bear collection' phase. She never sees a teddy bear, but she has to add it to her already large menagerie populating her bed. She chooses a different companion to snuggle with each night.

Of late, she has been weeping copious tears over the mysterious disappearance of Lavender Bear, oldest and most disreputable looking of all. Lavender Bear was once a cute cream beanie bear, filled with lavender, brown satin ribbon around the neck, picked out of a Joann Fabrics clearance bin a year before M was born. She sat unnamed in various locations, till she finally made it to the top of the dryer as a strange accessory. When M was old enough to toddle, she caught sight of her and insisted on having her to play with, morphing over the years into the companion of all imagined and real adventures.
Lavender Bear, if you're reading this somewhere, please come back home to your loving family. We miss you beyond words.
(Lavender Bear, height 8", dirty cream color, wearing a blue and white dress, right eye missing, floss on nose coming apart)
I'll take Teddy Bear and Airplane crazes any day over the Hannah Montana or other 'more popular' fads. Unique and quirky as they are, these are vastly more entertaining than just following the crowd to the nearest Hannah Montana concert or movie!

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