The Barbie Movie: Great Fun, But More Proof of Our Cultural Bankruptcy

Finally saw the Barbie movie yesterday! My movie ticket was one of many making this a billion dollar film.

Ther have always been blockbusters, but the Barbie movie stands alone in marketing promotion. Maybe not in total budget, but certainly in its ability to capture the public imagination and turn up in every IRL and digital place we visit.

When something like Barbie succeeds in engaging the mainstream in such a way, you just can’t afford to miss this film if you’re a marketer or involved with the culture in any way. (I’m not a fan of Taylor Swift, but would love to see one of her concerts. Anyone want to buy me one of those $1,000+ tickets?)

Still, it was two hours of great fun, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit my personal guilt in so much of the patriarchal foolishness the film depicted so well. Mansplaining movies and playing guitar are two particular favorites of mine. The politically correct depiction of women has been criticized by some, but I’d defend it as more “correct” than political or anything else.

My only disappointment? The cultural bankruptcy of our culture. I have no issue with Mattel wanting to rewrite the Barbie story to be in step with the times and infuse this senior citizen brand with a strong jolt of growth.

But where we are as a culture is disturbing.

The future is bleak to so many, despite political affiliation. Once the most innovative nation in the world, we are stuck in a endless progression of line extensions. We don’t need more superhero movies, jukebox musicals and sequels ad nauseam.

We need courage, vision and creativity. There are better ways to make money than being stuck in an infinite loop to revert to the past.

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