July 04, 2004

Modern times call for modern action figures

Posted by shonk at 02:21 AM in War | TrackBack

A couple days ago, Eric McErlain noted that several peace groups are demanding that the Minnesota Twins desist from giving out G.I. Joes as part of a promotion. He added an idea for a new action figure:

Activist Chad: a student at an obscure New England private college who uses his Spring Break to disrupt IMF and World Bank meetings. Comes complete with gas mask, spray paint (for protest signs), smoke bombs, and multiple ticket stubs from last night’s showing of Farenheit 9-11. Saul Alinsky’s, Rules For Radicals not included.

Suitably inspired, I decided to make some suggestions of my own:

  • Patriotic Jim: Though he’s never been in the military, this trailer-park denizen idolizes soldiers and refers to them as “our boys”. Comes complete with semi-auto rifle, stained wifebeater and membership in the Republican Party. Passing grade from gun-safety course not included.

  • White Guilt Joan: a wealthy, white, middle-aged woman living in the Upper West Side who refers to G.W. Bush as an oil baron and a fascist in the company of her similarly wealthy (and lily-white) friends. Comes complete with Mercedes SUV, expensive education and three copies of Al Franken’s latest book. Gainful employment and actual principles not included.

  • Cheerleader Neil: a former Trotskyite turned neo-conservative hawk who claims to have been involved in the planning of the Project for a New American Century. Comes complete with off-the-rack three-piece suit, a subscription to The National Review and an Oedipus complex. Military experience not included.

This next was originally intended to be a caricature, but I realized almost immediately that the man deserved an action figure in his own name:

  • Noam Chomsky: a tenured professor at a major university who capitalized on his well-deserved fame as a linguist to publish poorly-researched, over-written treatises on politics. Comes complete with both panegyrics to the Khmer Rouge and wordy dissimulations, references to Foucault and a hefty appearance fee. Coherent political philosophy not included.

And, in the interest of fairness, here’s what mine would be:

  • shonk: an inveterate cynic who devotes his time to sarcastic criticism rather than doing any actual work. Comes complete with over-used, expensive laptop, excessive free time and contempt for pretty much everybody. Original ideas not included.

I think you may still be missing a couple, namely:

Rev. Simon E.: This three-time divorcee minister preaches against the evils of gay marriage, which he claims will destroy the institution of marriage, and the vanity of worldly goods from within his recently constructed $20 million church/temple. Comes complete with broad irony and numerous copies of his latest evangelical book, Achieving Rapture in Five Easy Steps. Familiarity with non-Biblical texts and awareness of irony not included. Indulgences sold separately.

Talking Ned: This foreign television correspondent calls himself "America's eyes on the world," and is a devoted practitioner of "CNN poetry," bravely summing up all the contradictions and pressing issues facing foreign locales based on his extensive 48 hours of residence there. Comes complete with his two patented phrases, "the wear and tear of everyday life under Communism" and "quagmire." Knowledge of history not included.

Posted by: Curt at July 8, 2004 12:22 PM


Posted by: shonk at July 8, 2004 12:54 PM

Send me one of the Noam Chomsky action figures so I can keep it right next to my Osama Bin Laden and Pol Pot dolls.
I suggest you also bring out a Professor PC action figure. Professor PC is a middle aged white dude dressed in a turtle neck sweater and sport coat with leather patches in the elbows. Included is a simulated diploma in Black Studies from Cornell University, laminated membership cards in the Modern Language Association, the Communist Party USA, miniature cat-o-nine tails ( for self flagellation) and hair shirt.
Also comes with small sized edition of the complete DVD collection of Michael Moore, kerosene impregnated American Flags and pictures of Dick Cheney with book of matches, and Ralph Nader for President bumper Sticker. Anal douche kit not included.

Posted by: Dave at July 8, 2004 05:46 PM