Monday, August 29, 2011

Things To Do In Transit

An Auckland Airport toy shop's been ordered to hide its golliwog dolls after they offended a visiting US rapper.
pot, meet kettle - yo!
Big Boi of hip-hop duo Outkast saw the dolls in Nature's Window as he was flying out last Friday. He posted a picture of them on Twitter with the message:
"Ok, All Blacks is a rugby team, but what the **** are these ...!"
Oh, pweshusssss!
Nature's Window is a family store with products to keep little fingers busy on the plane: games, books, NZ souvenirs, soft toys, with popular brands like Lego, Pink Poppy, Buzzy Bee etc…get the idea? On the other hand, Antwan Patton (a.k.a.Big Boi) is part of hip-hop band OutKast. He often uses his lyrics to criticise problems that affect African-Americans. He was arrested this month in Miami for possession of ecstasy and drug paraphernalia with intent to use.
So…got his picture?
The shop has sold the dolls - in white, brown and black - for two months without complaint. But the airport ordered their removal… despite there being only FIVE inbound Tweets (that I could see) to him on the subject. FIVE! From the entire world! Richard Thomson, GM of the shop chain, likens the decision to the
Nazi Party's burning of books. Right on!
Golliwogs started in 1895 as brave and lovable characters in children's books by Florence Kate Upton, before soft-toy versions were made. They also featured in Enid Blyton's Noddy books. But by the 1940s they were associated with the racial insult "wog" and, by the 1960s, books were being withdrawn from libraries because some thought them racially insensitive.
But Noddy, Arnott’s Golliwog biscuits, Robertson’s Jam golliwogs (now valuable collectible badges), the 1960’s Black And White Minstrel Show etc…all bring back good memories, and many people do NOT regard them as anything other than what they actually were: a stage in time. And they're growing
in popularity again.
Remember that silly row back in 2009, when a visiting Canadian Inuit tourist kicked up bobsy-die over “eskimo sweets”…? She felt the candy Eskimos were culturally insensitive (just like Maori King beer!): an obvious need for a chill-pill. Perhaps she should talk to Big Boi – he seems to have a supply of pills on-hand…y'know this incident could fuel a new rap – in fact, I’ve saved him the trouble and written it myself…
“Been to New Zealand this week, bro.
Saw some golliwogs. Like ‘em? No!
Cute lil’ toys, but ya know what I fink?
Get free publicity! Cause a big stink!” 
Yo, bro.

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