The Geneva Conventions Do Not Apply at the Malibu Playhouse

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On Friday, Senators Clinton (D-NY), Lieberman (D-CT), and Bayh (D-IN) introduced the Family Entertainment Protection Act, which aims to fine retailers who sell violent games to anyone under 17. Video games are, according to Clinton, "stealing the innocence of our children." Lieberman asserts the existence of "a growing body of evidence that points to a link between violent videos and aggressive behavior in children." Doubtful; but as long as we're snatching from little hands anything that encourages "aggressive behavior," we'll just have to ban violence-provoking plastic dolls as well:

Barbie, that plastic icon of girlhood fantasy play, is routinely tortured by children, research has found.

The methods of mutilation are varied and creative, ranging from scalping to decapitation, burning, breaking and even microwaving, according to academics from the University of Bath.

Violence and torture against Barbie were repeatedly reported across age, school and gender. No other toy or brand name provoked such a negative response.

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  1. IT’S NOT TORTURE. IT’S FUN & GAMES. LOOK AT CHEERLEADERS AND FRAT BOYS AROUND THE COUNTRY. JEEZUZ. WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE. WE’RE AT WAR. WESTERN EUROPE IS BETTER. WHY AREN’T YOU LIARS BETTER SOCIALIZED? I NEVER INSULT FIRST.

    (sorry. couldn’t resist)

  2. They should see the nightmares I subjected my green army men (and the gray and beige ones, too) to back in the day. Alas, those proud wounded heroes…

  3. The number of G.I. Joes and Cap’t Actions that ended up impaled or dismembered I my backyard rivals the Tattered Flag shot in Gone WIth The WInd.

  4. This is going even farther than rating movies, since (I believe) that the enforcement of movie ratings is voluntary.

    Next step: Book ratings.

  5. Lieberman asserts the existence of “a growing body of evidence that points to a link between violent videos and aggressive behavior in children.”

    What about the link between the Israeli army’s butchering of Palestinians, and aggressive behavior in children?

  6. I thought about cutting and pasting the whole thing into here. But it’s too verbose, so I’ll spare you and provide this link. Ya Got Trouble

    Incredibly apt. Well worth reading through the whole thing with this post in mind

  7. I once yanked the head off of one of my sister’s Barbies, then tacked it to the door of her room with a note from the leader of the headhunters. She cried, it was hilarious.

    Take that, Barbie!

  8. Jeebus. Every time I start to think maybe the Dems are the least bad alternative, they show, in the most literal possible way, that they truly are the Nanny Party.

    What about the link between the Israeli army’s butchering of Palestinians, and aggressive behavior in children?

    I think your last post got a little scrambled in transmission, there, iw. You probably meant to say “What about the link between the Palestinian’s aggressive butchering of children and the behavior of the Israeli army.”

  9. There is a lot of talk about this here:

    http://www.commonsenseblog.org

  10. Panderella and the two dwarves, at it again.

    Panderella got pimp slapped backwards in the Albany Times Union today for her anti-flag burning shtick:

    Thanks for your recent editorial, “Wrong, Senator Clinton.”

    Although I consider flag burning un-American, the constitutional right to burn the Stars and Stripes is as American as motherhood, apple pie and homosexual cowboys in Wyoming.

    […]

    The former first lady wants to have it both ways. She’s against a constitutional amendment but is sponsoring a law outlawing flag burning that the Supreme Court would certainly find unconstitutional. She’s a smart enough lawyer to know this.

  11. I thought about cutting and pasting the whole thing into here. But it’s too verbose, so I’ll spare you and provide this link. Ya Got Trouble

    Nicely done, Warren!

    “…with a capital ‘T’ and that rhymes with ‘V’ and that stands for Video Games!!!”

  12. Re-posted with proper use of italics…

    I thought about cutting and pasting the whole thing into here. But it’s too verbose, so I’ll spare you and provide this link. Ya Got Trouble

    Nicely done, Warren!

    “…with a capital ‘T’ and that rhymes with ‘V’ and that stands for Video Games!!!”

  13. IW and RC, there’s no need to fight.

    The Israelis and Palestinians BOTH contribute to aggressive behavior in children.

  14. I never played with dolls, but as a former Adorable Little Girl I used to get tons of ’em every Christmas and birthday. This was in the Seventies, when arts and crafts and recycling were really big, so one Christmas I got the brilliant idea to turn my unused Barbie dolls into Christmas ornaments.

    So I got some yarn from mom’s knitting bag, and hung the Barbies from various branches of the tree. I truly intended to hang them as ornaments, not hang them in effigy, but I lacked the vocabulary to explain this to my mother next morning, as she freaked out upon the discovery that her daughter had turned the Christmas tree into a giant gibbet for a mass Barbie execution.

    Well, I never asked for any of those stupid dolls anyway.

  15. “Panderella” – that’s brilliant! Sheesh, if she was gonna become all moral, WTF did she move to New York for? I suppose she could be speaking in tongues and still get elected in my state. Argh.

  16. RC,

    The great thing about Democrats is that they come in different flavors.

    You won’t catch Russ Feingold or Ted Kennedy signing onto this DLC asshattery.

  17. The number of G.I. Joes and Cap’t Actions that ended up impaled or dismembered I my backyard rivals the Tattered Flag shot in Gone WIth The WInd.

    I grew up in an era where G. I. Joe fought Cobra and, if the cartoon was any judge of their marksmanship, neither could hit the broadside of a barn at point blank range.

  18. Video games are, according to Clinton, “stealing the innocence of our children.”

    The innocence of children is one of those enduring fantasies. Does anybody remember having the idyllic childhood that politicians, preachers, and nannies talk about? I grew up(well,sort of) at the beginning of the video game era. I’ll grant the possibility that I’m just a malcontent but the kids I remember were as rotten, cruel, and mean(especially to each other) as they are now.

  19. The Israelis and Palestinians BOTH contribute to aggressive behavior in children.

    Agreed, and no intention to take issue with RC, as I have no horse in that particular fight.

    Point being: guys like Lieberman ought to be far more concerned with REAL violence that THEY contribute to if they care so much about “aggressive behavior in children.” Video games ain’t shit compared to the real live wars in kids’ backyards that the Joe Liebermans of the world are so fond of. A person who thinks it makes sense to ban video games, while spending billions of dollars on weapons to get more children to hate and kill? People like that ought to be locked away and forgotten about, not representing citizens of a free republic.

  20. I, for one, have always taken issue with the idea that Barbie was a bad role model. When I was young (late 60s – early 70s) Barbie had a space capsule, two different houses, a doctor outfit, a sailor outfit, a safari outfit, etc. She had career choices, whereas G.I Joe, and his assorted knock-offs, was a killing machine, and that was all he’d ever be. It wasn’t until the coming of Major Matt Mason that non-military play became a regular thing.
    BTW, if any of you have the “Something Weird” channel on your In Demand, check out the montage of old commercials they’ve put up. It features a lot of guns, but also “Rebel Johnny,” a fully functioning cannon with a big Confederate flag on it.

  21. Barbie had a space capsule, two different houses, a doctor outfit, a sailor outfit, a safari outfit, etc. She had career choices,

    Barbie may have more money and a much more exciting career than I do, but at least my boyfriend has a penis.

    Hmmph.

  22. You won’t catch Russ Feingold or Ted Kennedy signing onto this DLC asshattery.

    Yeah, they sign onto entirely different forms of asshattery.

    Refreshing!

  23. “The methods of mutilation are varied and creative, ranging from scalping to decapitation, burning, breaking and even microwaving,…”

    I like the placement of the word “even”, as though there is a sliding moral scale when it comes to Barbie torture, and some of these little monsters will stoop to microwaving. Oh the depravity…

  24. Everyone knows Ken was just a marketing figurehead. Barbie was doing Stretch Armstrong on the side. He liked to do coke off of her nipple-less tits.
    There are supposedly photos of Barbie having a threeway at the Madonna Inn with the Rock’em Sock’em Robots, but rumor says they’re in the private collection vault of the late Bob Crane.
    Robert Evans tells a story about Barbie stringing Skipper out on qualudes and letting Action Jackson having her for the night.
    Lilli, Petra, Genevieve, Mitzi, and several other Barbie knock-offs ended up doing low-rent escort gigs for Johnny and Jane West…

  25. I see fyodor is taking names and kicking butt over at commonsenseblog.

  26. Two words for the Dems:

    America’s Army

    The best first person shooter available for your computer is a FREE DOWNLOAD with no questions asked about age or anything else, and the best part is that it comes from THE GOVERNMENT itself, as a recruiting tool for the military.

    GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

  27. They found Cathy Quick Curl’s body in the kitchen of her suburban home, her head in her Easy Bake Oven…

  28. Jennifer’s story abou the mass hanging of Barbies was great.

    G.I Joe, and his assorted knock-offs, was a killing machine, and that was all he’d ever be. It wasn’t until the coming of Major Matt Mason that non-military play became a regular thing.

    I’d like to add some nuance to this, informed by my own childhood memories.

    I think the original GI Joe, from the the early 1960s and before, was a soldier and nothing but. This was the kind of GI Joe that the slighly older kid down the street from me had. There was an impressive array of military gear and accessories.

    However, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with the growing unpopularity of the Vietnam War and the military in general, GI Joe shed his military uniform and became a member of “the Adventure Team,” which was more of an explorers outfit. Although still heavily armed, 1970s Joe mostly hunted gorillas and sharks and white tigers, and had a cool HQ base and all kinds of exploring vehicles. This is the GI Joe I am personally most familiar with.

    I think “Adventure Team” GI Joe’s popularity faded out as the 1970s progressed, although that may just be my personal recollection because that’s about when I hit puberty and my personal interest in GI Joe ended.

    Then, eventually war got cool again during the 1980s, and the miniaturized, COBRA-fighting version of GI Joe came out that was more of a soldier again.

    Although Jeff is also kind of right about Major Matt Mason the astronaut. MMM and non-military Adventure Team GI Joe came out at about the same time.

    By the way, 1970s GI Joe got to be an astronaut like MMM and Barbie, too. He got a one-man Mercury capsule to ride in — about a decade later than the real thing, but I guess two-man Gemini or three-man Apollo capsules would have been too big, unwieldy and expensive. Although I always though a Gemini capsule for Joe would have been really cool. An Apollo spaceship (comlete with LM) would have been even cooler.

  29. Although I always though a Gemini capsule for Joe would have been really cool. An Apollo spaceship (comlete with LM) would have been even cooler.

    A 1/6 scale Saturn 5 would have been a wonderful toy and/or a hideous nightmare, depending on whether you were a child or a parent. The 1980s GI Joe USS Flagg aircraft carrier was huge, though. No kid I knew got one, because it was the size of most family cars.

  30. I guess that means the Bible will be banned right? I mean, that dang book has violece galore–whole cities are slaughtered, women and children too…and it has (shudder) incest!

  31. The best first person shooter available for your computer is [America’s Army]

    I’ve heard it’s decent, but does it beat Battlefield 2 or UT2K4?

    A 1/6 scale Saturn 5 would have been a wonderful toy and/or a hideous nightmare, depending on whether you were a child or a parent.

    “Step one, unpack all parts.”

    “Step two, prepare scaffolding at least 60 feet high to assemble your 1/6 scale replica…”

    Greatest. Dad. Ever.

  32. You young’uns don’t know what you’re missing. The original Warmongering American GI Joe was far, far superior to the wimpy, UN-philic “life-like hair” GI Joe.

    Incidentally, our GI Joes thought Ken was a draft-dodging wimp who hung around Barbie to avoid doing his duty. Ken was often the target of bayonetings, shootings, fraggings and the like, whereupon Barbie would see the error of her ways and instantly fall in love with Joe instead.

    It was the facial scar. Chicks dig facial scars.

  33. I thought Toy Story with the evil kid next door did a good job of illustrating toy abuse…

  34. I agree, Captain. The life-like hair/kung-fu grip GI Joe’s were structurally inferior to the solid molded plastic head. Plus early Joe’s had that lifeless thousand yard stare, while the newer ones had vibranted painted eyes.
    The Joe adventure team did give us Bullet Man, tho…

    I once made a two-man space capsule for my Joes with a bleach bottle and some plastic seats cannibalized from a cheap toy jeep I had. I may have some old photos of it.

  35. Some of my fondest memories as a child were when we’d use a can of Right Guard and a cigarette lighter to give GI Joe a flamethrower. Of coursae, he’d end up using it on my little sister’s Ken doll. I think Barbie was a bit of a pyro – it seemes to turn her on, and the next day both she and GI Joe had these funny smiles on their faces.

  36. I guess I’m the only one who remembers Maj. Matt Mason

  37. Re:Krybo @ 12:32

    I briefly considered rewriting the whole thing

    you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated
    By the presence of a X-Box 360 in your community.
    Ya got trouble, my friend, right here,
    I say, trouble right here in River City.
    Why sure I’m a pinball player,
    Certainly mighty proud I say
    I’m always mighty proud to say it.
    I consider that the hours I spend
    With flippers in my hand are golden.
    Help you cultivate horse sense
    And a cool head and a keen eye.

  38. A 1/6 scale Saturn 5 would have been a wonderful toy and/or a hideous nightmare,

    Ha! Yeah, it would be between 50 and 60 feet high! I was thinking of just the Command Module (capsule), the Service Module, and the Lunar Module. Although if those were fully in scale, they’d still be about nine or 10 feet high, I think. However, with some rather liberal cheating on the accuracy, you could probably get something vaguely LM/CSM-like that was only about 4 feet long/tall when docked together. I can visualize it now.

    “life-like hair” GI Joe

    I noticed those Joes, which usually had beards, tended to get a bald spot on the point of their chinny chin-chins.

    I guess I’m the only one who remembers Maj. Matt Mason

    Actually, I remember MMM fondly. My cousin and I had lots of MMM toys between us, including the giant “Moon Station.” The only thing about MMMS was that after only a little bit of play, their wire armatures would break at the knees and elbows, and stick out. Especially at the elbows.

    Oh — I only remember a few specific incidents of Barbie/GI Joe interaction in my childhood. These happened late in the period when my, my brother’s and my male cousin’s interest in GI Joes coincided with my female cousin’s interest in Barbie’s:

    1) A joint camping trip/exploration of an unnamed jungle.

    2) A somewhat kinkier adventure when a group of Joes had to rescue a Barbie who had been abducted by a large plastic gorilla.

    3) A incursion into Barbie’s dollhouse by a band of roguish (and peckish) Joes who stole a plastic turkey from the plastic refrigerator.

  39. BTW, if any of you have the “Something Weird” channel on your In Demand, check out the montage of old commercials they’ve put up. It features a lot of guns, but also “Rebel Johnny,” a fully functioning cannon with a big Confederate flag on it.

    The “Johnny Reb” spring-loaded cannon came out in 1961, right as the Centennial was starting up. IIRC, even the characters in Peanuts were spotted carrying the Confederate battle flag during the Centennial.

    The Something Weird On Demand channel is a gift from the cable TV gods. Too bad it doesn’t link directly back to their web site, where you can buy all the tapes and DVD-Rs of old drive-in intermission bumpers, kids’ TV commercials, and nudie-cutie exploit-o-ramas you could ever hope to watch.

  40. ” like the placement of the word “even”, as though there is a sliding moral scale when it comes to Barbie torture, and some of these little monsters will stoop to microwaving. Oh the depravity…”

    best. comment. ever. LOL!

  41. Matt Mason was one of our finest astronauts, until a tragic wire-thru-the-flexi-elbow left him sidelined.

  42. man, i can’t register at the common sense blog.

    “i’m a mother, and this law makes sense to me”

    1) you are in the driver’s seat
    2) you do the buying
    3) you enable the playing
    4) you are responsible for their actions
    5) as a childfree adult, i want pornography on every corner and free love in the streets. i’d like to see a busload of high school cheerleaders commit crimes against nature with their pom-poms, and i’d love to help a dissident jewish sect enable the ruling governmental authorities crucify my mother-in-law. we don’t always get what we want.

  43. “Violence and torture against Barbie were repeatedly reported across age, school and gender. No other toy or brand name provoked such a negative response.”

    OHHH NOOOOO!!!

  44. Video games encourage addictive behavior, not violent behavior. Then again…what happens when an addict doesn’t get his fix?

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