Monday, December 8, 2008

OY! PA-LEESE...

I'm beginning my Christmas shopping for my kids this week. Luckily, righteous and diligent parents have saved me from making morally irresponsible choices. This holiday season major toy manufacturers have teamed up with the likes of Al-Qaeda and possibly SATAN himself to offer these outwardly innocent but insidiously dangerous toys. Take a look.

That clip was from Associated Press. I wanted to see updates from this news story so I fearfully explored that path of ugly stupidity and took a peek at ultra right-wing Fox New's take on the story. Not surprisingly, Fox News expands the doll's messages to include Satanic ones as well. And if you understand what they are from the video clip? then you're marked and you must BURN, WITCH BURN!

The power of suggestion is everything. Adults pick up many accidental little quirks in kids toys. Mike Mozart's humorous reviews of common toys demonstrates this point. This one's my favourite, how... HOW did Disney miss this before it went into production?!

The one case of true toy sabotage I know of is an act of genius in my book. In the early 1990's a group claiming to be the BLO, the Barbie Liberation Organization took 300 talking Barbie and G.I. Joe Dolls and switched the voice boxes before returning them to the store. G.I said things as, "I hate math" and "will we ever have enough clothes?" while Barbie said, "Eat lead, Cobra!" and "Vengeance is Mine!".

Mike Bononno was the mastermind behind the prank and went on to form The Yes Men with Andy Bichlbaum. They're activists, posing as representatives of the World Trade Organization, Exxon, Dupont and others to expose the true nature of 'The Man'. They call it "identity correction" and their weapon is elaborate satirical pranks. The Yes Men documentary is smart and gut-busting funny. Here's the trailer for it. Go rent it! Now I'm off to sleep to rest up before confronting the crazy Christmas Shoppers. G'Night.

**A big thanks to Andrea for the doll news clip (keep them coming!)

7 comments:

Caroline said...

What a strange sound - I agree its not cooing or saying mama - but I don't understand what it is saying as it is...

So I captured the phrase and slowed it down and got:

ig nar ton alike

which seems to me to be baby talk for:

ignite the light

But there was an odd sound just after... maybe that was from the news report and my inept cutting but it was definitely a MAN's voice saying:

No Stalin!

And of course in this case I need to see what word veri is contributing:

sawornve

speeded up thats a command to arms!

Caroline said...

And now word veri has gone into baby talk with:

liccle

:-)

dinahmow said...

Ground Control to Caroline: you've been on-line too long. Time for bed!

Tarzan's a bit of a worry.

Ellen said...

Caroline: thanks for your investigative reporting! So funny!
That doll has been in stores for months, but nothing really noticed until recently. And I suppose the bigger issue is why the horrified reaction to the doll possibly sounding out "Islam is the light" certainly nothing combative or horrible in that, and meaningless to doll playing little girls. Sign of an uneducated, paranoid culture.

Dinah: Now that word veri reads like actual language, I can't resist coming up with loose definitions for some of them either. I must have been channeling a 13 yr old boy, because that Tarzan doll made me really laugh. I need to sleep more.

katie jane said...

NO WAY! I can't believe that Tarzan! And I'm sure that doll is saying something, but since I don't have kids, I can't understand gibberish. But I'm pretty sure it's not "Mama". I can only imagine how fearful it is for parents to go toy shopping nowadays. Oh, things were so much simpler "back in the day".

Vered - MomGrind said...

This is strange. I agree that people are being paranoid, but I must confess: I would not want my kids to play with a toy that maybe, possibly, planted hidden messages in their little brains, whether these messages were about Islam or about "ask mom for more toys."

Having said that, your Barbie and Ken story shows that many toys convey hidden messages to children.

Seriously? There was a Barbie doll that stated she hates math? If there's anything I can't stand is girls feeling like they're supposed to hate math. Boo.

Ellen said...

Katie: I got to test all the dolls out at the store yesterday. I looked like a freak pressing the 'try me' button on all the dolls on the shelf. They all stopped short of that last bit that's the controversy. Can't explain it, I read it was a problem with a compressed microchip. Regardless, I guess my point was that if someone doesn't like it, they take it back to the store and not blow it up like it's a terror attack. The doll wasn't exactly saying. 'Kill your infidel parents!' And you're right, electronics has made toys so much more complicated.

Vered: Now that WOULD be a terrifying message - 'ask mom for more toys'. Yes the 'I hate math' Barbie wasn't that long ago. To be more PC, I noticed a Bratz doll take along math game at Winners yesterday. It completely jilted me from a doll line more vacuous than Barbie. I'm guessing no more than 3 ever sold. Even I wouldn't do that to a kid.