So I get trapped this evening in to repeatedly changing the clothes on Girl Three’s Bitty Baby, Girl Three having decided reading statistical abstracts wasn’t doing it for her.
The experience was not the most mentally challenged I task I have performed, leaving my mind to wander over the difference between “dolls” and “action figures”. I have decided that it’s a matter of inner life. If there is some presumed complex internal mental state, then it’s a doll. If it servers merely as an anchor for external activities or objects, then it’s an action figure.
For instance, the Bitty Baby is concerned about her outfit and whether she has had a good nap recently. The Luke Skywalker action figure serves as prop to justify the star fighter flying around the house blasting everything in sight. The question for the latter is always “how many enemy ships did you blow up?” never “are you sure you feel comfortable in that hat?”.
I think this extends to adulthood as well and serves to distinguish “chick lit” from the good stuff, such as science fiction. As an action figure kind of person, I consider characters in a novel as simply necessary accoutrements to enable a plot with lots of cool gadgetry, the same way an action figure enables the use of automatic weapons and large explosive devices. Therefore I like science fiction. I don’t like modern fiction because it strikes me as exciting and interesting as the outfit changes I inflict on the Bitty Baby at Girl Three’s command.