December 21, 2005

Barbie-Torturers of the World, Unite!

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t esteem anything more than useful academic studies funded by public tax dollars. Sure, there are a few things we esteem equally: Paper cuts; the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; Frank Stallone. But we hold nothing in higher esteem.

It seems as if the British taxpayer feels the same way. As The Daily Telegraph reports, the Brits have just flipped the bill for an intriguing Bath University study pertaining to the ultimate causes of children’s violent tendencies toward their Barbie dolls. Sounds well worth the cash, doesn’t it?

Sarah Womack of the Telegraph reports:

In a finding that will astonish many parents, academics at Bath University concluded that girls attack their Barbie dolls as a symbol of their rejection of the consumer society. "Barbie provoked rejection, hatred and violence," said Dr Agnes Nairn, who led the research for the university's school of management.

Ah, so the Good Doctor Nairn is certain that children’s attacks on Barbie dolls is a symptom of the tykes’ mass disdain for the evils of capitalism. That sounds eminently reasonable. Perhaps the kids would prove more respectful of copies of The Communist Manifesto that Dr. Nairn would like to offer them. Or maybe Dr. Nairn would give the kiddies some cookware for playtime: A Pol Pot, perhaps.

Strangely, the Good Doctor’s sensible The-Kids-Mutilate-Barbie-Because-They-Loathe-the-Despicable-Capitalism-and-Oppression-of-the-Greedy-West argument has a few detractors. One such loon is Roland Earl, who works for the British Toy and Hobby Association, which we presume is a front for Halliburton.

Regarding the study, Mr. Earl opines: “Kids have always pulled things apart, and dolls are still as popular as they ever were.”

So, dear reader, there you have it: The academic believes that the microwaving of Barbies demonstrates toddlers’ deep-rooted kinship with the oppressed of the Third World and a political statement against the evils of corporatism. The non-academic, on the other hand, believes that beating up on Barbies is typical behavior for tots.

Perhaps this is why so many people take academics’ opinions so seriously these days.

Posted at December 21, 2005 12:01 AM | TrackBack