Frozen on ice

What’s your angle? Breaking out of the Discourse 


Every now and then I am reminded of this fascinating ability that Mr. Li possesses. Much like Barney in HIMYM cheers for Zabka to the horror of his peers, Mr. Li will come up with interpretations that can be baffling, eye-opening and at times downright infuriating. His most recent stunt involved my childhood favourites as we visited Disney on Ice and, to my amusement, he ended up presenting me with evaluations of the characters that would have never entered my mind.

As Gaston marches on the Beast’s castle, Mr. Li concluded:
“Actually this guy is very brave and he definitely exhibits great leadership skills by uniting the whole village to follow him. What does the Beast have?”
My reply: “The beast is a prince!”
His answer: “So only princes deserve a story?”

Without knowing much of the subject matter he just made a point that entire books have been written about. More importantly though, that’s what I call a reinterpretation! Gaston, clumsy oaf or brave leader? Discuss.

Luckily, all he got from me was a baffled giggle and the admission that he somehow has a point. When he was in school, the consequences of his non-mainstream way of thinking were much more serious. He once failed a test because the answer he gave was not in line with what his society defined as acceptable discourse.

The scenario was as follows:
You commit a crime and are caught out but the person takes mercy on you and does not punish you. What are your thoughts after the incident?

While the whole class answered, as the teacher expected, that they would feel lucky they didn’t face serious consequences and that this was a lesson to never commit a crime again, Mr. Li’s conclusion was “Great, I can obviously get away with this behaviour, I will do it again.” Not what the teacher had in mind.

While his teacher might not agree, I personally feel impressed by his ability to see the non-standard angles to a story; isn’t it a sign of creativity to be able to think outside the box? Leaders aren’t made by copying what everyone else is doing after all.

What are your thoughts on Gaston?  Oaf or leader? 

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4 thoughts on “What’s your angle? Breaking out of the Discourse ”

  1. He’s not a good leader – he’s manipulative and uses fear mongering to get people to follow him. That’s not a quality I think should be admired. I’m a huge fan of the Beauty and the Beast, and I loathe Gaston. He’s not meant to be an oaf – he’s meant to represent misogynistic men who try to control women and get people to listen to their ideas by rallying them against the big, bad, “other”. I pretty much think of him as a tyrant who would lead a whole country to war against someone just because he didn’t like them if he wanted. Sure, he’s good at getting people to listen to him, but lots of criminals are good liars. I really don’t see him as brave, either. A girl denied him, so he decides to take her by force. It’s terrifying.

    However, it is scary that Mr. Li got in trouble for thinking outside the box. That’s how we make great discoveries and come to new ideas.

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    1. Hi ninjamoni – thanks for your reply. I absolutely agree with your analysis, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think what surprised me most was that I always thought about B&B in very clear terms – as you say Gaston is the bad person – so it was surprising to see someone looking at it with a “clear slate” and seeing an entirely different aspect than the one’s we usually focus on. Admittedly the B&B of Disney on Ice was edited so heavily due to time constraints that it was oversimplified and incomplete. Either way – it’s still fascinating to see how different one persona can be interpreted – it’s a similar thing with Hitler in China – many admire his strength and power and conveniently forget about the atrocities he committed.

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      1. Yeah I figured if he watched the movie he would not have said that haha but it must have been funny at the time. I think it’s so strange that places like Thailand put up pictures of Hitler and Nazi symbols… I guess they think in a similar way?

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      2. Yeah I burst out laughing – the idea that someone would be like “this gaston guy really knows how to lead the people” – I was just like what?! Haha. So I guess In a way both Hitler and Gaston are both Demagogues. Wow I wasn’t aware of that in Thailand – but yes it would probably be something similar. In China in particular the Japanese are the baddies of WW2 so people don’t tend to think of German as the bad bad Nazis.

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