15 May 2008

Throw Barbie from the Plane: BarbieBomb Iran

Something about Iran that cries out to be bombed. The question is: is it better to bomb Iran with bombs, or with Barbies? Greg Beato thinks Barbies are the appropriate choice.
Iran is terrified of Barbie, the tiny polyvinyl sex bomb who loves shopping, pizza, and brushing her hair, but has few satellite-guided missiles at her disposal. According to Iran's Prosecutor General, Ghorban Ali Dori Najfabadi, a loosely organized coalition, led by the world's most impeccably accessorized mercenary but also including additional combatants like Harry Potter and Spider-man, is doing "irreparable damage" to Iranian children. "The irregular importation of such toys, which unfortunately arrive through unofficial sources and smuggling, is destructive culturally and a social danger," Najafabadi cautioned...the Barbies who show up in Tehran shop windows are smuggled into the country, the victims of international doll trafficking. Once there, however, they make the best of it, embodying the traditional American values of self-determination and haircare...If Barbie's marginal and haphazard presence in Iran is so disruptive, what kind of impact might she have there if a more orchestrated effort to put additional sexy white boots on the ground was implemented? Luckily, the relative economy of a Barbie surge—an army of 200,000 cheerleaders for Western decadence can be mustered for the price of a dozen Tomahawk missiles... __Reason
Beato may not be the brightest bulb in the box, but perhaps he has a point to make about cultural subversion. Not that a few hundred thousand Barbie dolls would actually do the trick of overturning a millenia-old culture of primitive tribalism and religious barbarism. But think it through to the core idea, and play with it.

Culture is passed along from generation to generation--unless something happens in between generations. Say, a music revolution called rock and roll that puts rebellion on the front burner, combined with a drug and anti-war revolution among the young. You might think that nothing would ever be the same again.

Children like to fantasize. And they like to have secrets from others. Some parents like to indulge their children in these fantasies. Childhood and adolescence are such confusing times, unless something happens to stir things up it is often easier just to go along with tradition.

What about a talking doll that said things the ayatollahs wouldn't want young girls listening to? What if a talking doll was also a radio and a tutorial device? Solar powered so its batteries won't run down? What if it could teach children catchy songs with infectious lyrics? These things require a bit of thought.

Oppressive cultures have to keep the lid on tight. But then the pressure tends to build at the slightest incident. Bomb Iran? With Barbies? Or something even more devilishly clever.


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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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