Janelle’s Lessons From the Mother Ship

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How many posts on Facebook and memes all over social media have you seen this week that start out something like; “If you play Pokemon Go, you are…” followed by words like stupid, out of touch, childish, have your head up your ass, are ignoring the horrors of the world, should be doing something more valuable with your time, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera… let’s find new ways to look down on one another, blah, blah blah. UGH. OVER IT. Continue reading

It’s that time of year again, folks!  The sun, the stars, the heat, the sweat, the billions of people milling around on missions to see actors, writers, directors and artists, going crazy with too much stimulus, not enough time and zero social skills.  That’s right friends- ComicCon San Diego is next week!

For parents, ComicCon is a bittersweet engagement full of all our favorite things and all our child’s favorite things, PLUS all the things they’re not allowed to touch, see, go anywhere near or break.

For the novice convention goer who is also a parent, the SD ComicCon can be a wild jungle of danger and disaster waiting to happen.  For those of you who have never been but will be taking your children for the first time this year, I thought I’d create a little top 10 list for you. Keep in mind, this list is based on what I wish someone had told ME, before we took our baby of 9 months old into one of the most insane places on Earth for 5 days.  So here we go…  Continue reading

Guys, I seriously don’t even know what to say right now, so I’m just going to paste in some facts and some photos.

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Okay, so apparently I’m not done talking about this.  Here’s the thing, guys… It’s not just about Deadpool. It’s about the bigger picture and what geek (and every other kind of) parents are doing to their kids for their own amusement, giving little thought to the tiny minds they are shaping.

I touched on this a bit at Halloween when I opened up the conversation in another article about child-appropriate costumes and how children are all too often these days, little more than dress-up dolls for their parents to reflect THEIR OWN lives and lifestyles with NO care whatsoever to the hearts and minds of that child.

This article I’m writing today started as my reply to someone’s comments left on my most recent article.  In that article, I openly chastised parents for being open to sharing the Deadpool franchise with their young children.  This came in response to one bold mother who created a petition asking FOX to create an edited version of the Deadpool film wherein all the sex and potty mouth is omitted so her elementary school age child could watch it.  The response I received was from a reader who asked, basically, “why the big deal over something that isn’t even going to make it through petition stage to become reality?”.  Well, I’ve given that a great deal of thought in the last few weeks and I realized my answer is an issue that absolutely must be talked about.

Here’s my answer to his question.  Sorry it’s a long one, but it’s important. Continue reading

 

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Okay, people… c’mon.  I’m a comic lover with two small children who have followed in our shadows to love super heroes and yet… there is NO CHANCE IN ANYONE’S FIREY VERSION OF HELL I would EVER take them to see Deadpool no matter how nicely they asked.

 

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Dear Disney,

I’m going to start this off by making sure it’s as clear as I can make it; I’m a fan and have been my whole life.  I never went through that “Disneyland is dumb and just for kids” phase.  I never went through a “6 Flags” stage where I’d rather go to some generic park with big roller coasters, cheap character costumes and dirty sidewalks so I could fit in with the “big kids”.  Disney has always been my first choice, above every other theme park in California.  I’ve had a pass (on and off) for 20 years.  In fact, the only years in my adult life I did not have a pass, were the ones I spent as a Cast Member.

I am loyal to a fault and it drives people crazy at times.  I’ve made excuses for the sequel phase, the prequels that came after and yes, even when you changed Pirates of the Caribbean for the way-too-manyth time.  I’ve defended every price hike and every attraction change trusting there was always something better waiting just around the river bend.

I want you to know that I AM your culture and I’m raising my children to be your culture, too.  We are also Star Wars culture.  In fact, other than Disney, there is nothing more profoundly a part of who we are as a family than Star Wars.  My children are members of the Galactic Academy, we’ve flown out of state to attend Star Wars Celebrations and I don’t think a single day has gone by in at least three years that we haven’t either watched or played something with the Star Wars and/or Disney stamp.

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With all this in mind, knowing I’m a devoted fan of both franchises, we need to talk about Star Wars.  Specifically, the new show in Tomorrowland, “The Path of the Jedi”. Continue reading

Okay, so I know its been three weeks since Halloween, but I need to talk about something.  As photos from Halloween still filter in through social media posts of friends and family, I keep seeing these shared photos of children in amazing costumes depicting subculture/horror/geek characters with headings such as “parenting done right” and you KNOW that child has no clue who they are dressed up to look like and, I don’t know, call me old fashioned, but that just doesn’t seem like a nice thing to do.

ADORABLE!! Yes!!! Appropriate?? Umm.... ? No.

ADORABLE!! Yes!!! Appropriate?? Umm…. ? 

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Halloween has always been my favorite holiday.

As a child, it was all about the dressing up, the candy, the amazing Halloween cartoon specials, being creative, making people smile or getting spooked while staring at the moon and listening to the wind blow, imagining all the creepy, spooky, magical and awesome things that might be out there that I didn’t know about.

Later as I grew up, it was the spookiness, the scary tales, the parties, the orange lights and decorations, seeing a neighborhood transformed … it’s just one more reason to get creative and have a blast doing something fun just for the sake of fun and sharing that creativity with your friends and family. Continue reading

If you read my column consistently, you know we take our children everywhere and conventions are no exception.  We enjoy sharing these experiences with our children and believe they are instrumental to their development in many ways, providing both fun and education and plan to continue to share these experiences with them for the duration of their childhood.

Some parents want to take their entire families to a convention, but have obligations like attending panels, networking, hosting events, interviewing attendees, or sitting through celebrity events on the exhibit floor and taking children along for these types of events can be arduous at best and down right miserable, leading to impossible at worst.  Hours upon hours of standing in lines and fighting vicious crowds to get the shot you need, the interview you need, the exclusive action figure you need… it can be brutal.

ComicCon has your solution and before you immediately raise your hand against the notion of ever allowing your child to leave your side in this type of atmosphere, let me just tell you about this place.

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**Updates on this story have been added at the bottom**

As many have already heard, a 20 year old adult student from Yucaipa, California has demanded four books on her English 250 reading list be given a warning for “adult content” and even banned from the curriculum and school bookstore.

The books on the student’s chopping block are as follows;

“Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel
“Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1” by Brian Vaughan
“The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll’s House” by Neil Gaiman
“Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi.

I have a problem with that. Continue reading

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