The Coming War of Spock's Ear (Blame Canada* Edition)

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The boys at Sploid are not going gentle into that good night. As their possible demise approacheth, they continue to report on the most important and overlooked stories of the day. To wit:

The communists who run Canada held a bizarre secret "tribunal" that made ancient Egyptian religion the equal of Christianity and outlawed the marketing of Mr. Spock figurines as "toys."

Canada's International Trade Tribunal issued the sweeping rulings to stop the Franklin Mint, a U.S. trinket manufacturer, from claiming its collectibles of Star Trek characters, cartoon harlot Betty Boop and "Wizard of Oz" midgets "amuse and please" the Canadians who buy the things.

As a result, Franklin Mint can't get away with paying the lesser "toy tariff" on the exports, and instead must pay a higher duty to send the kitsch junk up north.

More here.

Who mourns for Adonais ridiculous tariff designations with a country in the same goddamned free trade zone?

Let's all sing along: I find that "Highly Illogical!" Not so long ago, Reason's Tim Cavanaugh argued cogently that the North American Free Trade Agreement means we should create a visaless border with Mexico and the Great White North.

At the very least, NAFTA should allow Canadians to buy Franklin Mint crap at as low a rate as is humanly possible.

Certainly the Americas have been embroiled in wars over less memorable ears, as colonial battle buffs could tell you.

If you subscribed to Reason, you'd already have the August-September issue (on newsstands now), which features Cavanaugh's essay on the deep meaning of Star Trek on the 40th anniversary of the original series' network debut.

[*] "Blame Canada" lyrics online here. And if you want to meet Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park, get thee to Amsterdam for Reason's great conference at the end of this month already.

NEXT: Stop Politicizing My Heartfelt Desire to Oppress Women

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  1. Nick Gillespie,

    Nice veiled reference to “The War of Jenkins’ Ear.” 🙂

  2. I support unlimited free trade; however, I believe that the infliction of Franklin Mint products on a foreign nation is an act of war. (And in the interest of showing that I am not anti-American, I will add that I fully support nuking the Japanese until they promise to halt all exports of Hello Kitty products.)

  3. Cavanaugh is a lightweight compared to the forces that are currently trying to make his dream a reality:

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=15809

  4. I have nothing to add to this discussion, except a link to a video of Leonard Nimoy singing about Bilbo Baggins.

    Sans ears, even.

  5. Does anybody else recognize Doctor Spock’s hand sign as the gesture made (with both hands) by the cohen giving the priestly bleesing at a synagogue service?

  6. mediageek, that was truly horrifying. What is it with the abuse of our ears and eyes via horrible video clips lately? Can someone link to something nice for a change??

  7. Jesus, I meant BLESSING, not “bleesing.” Somebody will misread it “bleeding” and get the blood libel going again.

  8. 40 years later, and people are still saying “Dr. Spock” instead of “Mr. Spock.”

    MR. Spock says, “The Tricorder shows no signs of sentient life anywhere on the planet, Captain. Oh, and be sure to rent V for Vendetta on dVd…it’s the only logical course of action.”

  9. Enough with the figurines, you pointy-eared Vulcan.

  10. Damn, NAFTA is even lamer than I thought.

  11. Can someone please explain to me how something as truly badass as Sploid is getting canned? It make-a me sad!

  12. That is a nice parallel, Jenkins’ actual ear was only a pretext to restart a war over bigger issues of trade – the conflict between England/Britain and Spain over access to South American markets had been running off and on since the 1550s (although there was a shifting array other casus belli), and wasn’t finally settled until Spain was kicked out on its ass in the 1820s (with a great deal of unofficial and private British assistance – the latter category including whole regiments of veteran infantry and surplus warships run by on-the-beach officers. The semi-famous Admiral Cochrane – who wrecked his RN career by justifiably calling his former CO an incompetent ass in Parliament – was successively commander of the Chilean, Brazilian and Greek navies. You can still see the influence of the Brit officers from that period in the names of many South American warships, esp in the Chilean navy.)

  13. Was Canada’s International Trade Tribunal a combatant in the Turbot War?

  14. The collectible figurines. . .out of danger?

  15. There have also been no less than three Cod Wars between Iceland and the UK… how many other bizarre names for conflicts came we dig up, I wonder? (And half-assed fisheries disputes absolutely do count – it would be a much shorter list otherwise.)

  16. What Evan said.

  17. I’m actually relieved by this. My family and I are going to spend next week with some friends in their house in British Columbia, and my younger son refuses to leave his bedroom without his entire collection of “Star Wars” dolls. (Yeah, I know the post is about the other set of space epics and that boys play with “ACTION FIGURES,” but still . . . ) Anyway, based on this I can state with more than typical-parent basis in reality that his toys are illegal in Canada and will be seized at the border. Don’t worry, I’ll let him take a couple, but not the entire set, with which a talented director could entirely redo the most recent three movies.

  18. Let me get this straight–Spock/Nimoy figurines are subject to tariff. What about Kirk/Shatner figurines? Or is there some sort of special treatment for figurines of Canadians? Hmmmmm?

    Gibson must’ve hated Star Trek with its Jewish Captain and First Officer. And, as pointed out to me earlier, there aren’t enough intra-religional beatings in Star Trek to please the anti-Semite, ? la the Stooges.

  19. “Does anybody else recognize Doctor Spock’s hand sign as the gesture made (with both hands) by the cohen giving the priestly bleesing at a synagogue service?”

    Joe, in his autobiography “I Am Spock” Leonard Nimoy (who is Jewish, btw) said that this is exactly the source of the Vulcan hand sign. He said that it had made quite an impression on him as a small boy.

    /The More You Know?

  20. “mediageek, that was truly horrifying. What is it with the abuse of our ears and eyes via horrible video clips lately? Can someone link to something nice for a change??”

    Sure.

  21. “What about Kirk/Shatner figurines?”

    Protected as dildos under the “Hoser Pleasure Act of 1969, eh”, of course.

  22. Perhaps this is Canada’s retribution for William Shatner leaving the country and posing as an American. That or they are anti-semitic.

  23. I used to see a guy’s sig on USENET that went something like: I’ve bought several Franklin Mint Chess Sets. I like to have the Confederacy play The Klingon Empire.

    Kevin

  24. What bothers me about this story is that the North American Free Trade Agreement has tariffs.

    Something is wrong in freetradeland.

  25. I guess I should read the linked article before posting. They buried what I thought was the lead by putting it in the last paragraph.

    Other Canadians wondered why such absurd tariffs even exist when both Canada and the United States are reportedly operating under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

    Amen.

  26. 40 years later, and people are still saying “Dr. Spock” instead of “Mr. Spock.”

    I guess you missed the episode where he got a PhD.

  27. Indeed, he did get a Ph.D. And he got a Vulcan A in so doing. In addition, he was awarded the Mother Vulcan Statue. Of course, all of that made no difference to Sarek, who just said, “Vulcan sit down” when Spock got home from the awards ceremony. Sarek secretly despised Spock, because he was born out of wedlock. Yes, Spock was a Vulcan bastard.

  28. We’ve got to do something about all those Vulcans coming over the border.

  29. Pat,

    Build a Vulcan wall, man. They’re a Vulcan menace! I’m so tired of all these Vulcans around.

  30. OK, so the Spock/Nimoy figurines are subject to the tariff, and the Kirk/Shatner figurines are not, but what about the Kirk/Spock figurines? Is the Canadian content of that, um, twosome sufficient to get around the tariff?

  31. You hear about something stupid like this and it’s as likely to be cultural protectionism as trade protectionism. Canadians have to have their own crappy versions of American things and pretend they’re just as good, or even better. We will never be free of American cultural imperialism until we have a Canadian comic-book superhero.

  32. What’s the problem? You’ve got Dudley Do-Right. And Alex Trebek!

  33. This is how my country gets back at you for your anti-NAFTA tactics in the softwood lumber dispute.

    Take that, Yanks!

  34. Captain Canuck?

    Has the Canadian version of Michael Medved penned a screed yet where he accuses Captain Canuck of being unpatriotic?

  35. What’s the problem? You’ve got Dudley Do-Right. And Alex Trebek!

    And Tim Horton’s, and hockey…don’t forget hockey…

  36. the canucks have a whole super-team. or have you forgotten alpha flight? captain canuck looks an awful lot like guardian , by the way. i suppose if your costume is based on the flag that’s understandable.

  37. “Does anybody else recognize Doctor Spock’s hand sign as the gesture made (with both hands) by the cohen giving the priestly bleesing at a synagogue service?”

    Joe, in his autobiography “I Am Spock” Leonard Nimoy (who is Jewish, btw) said that this is exactly the source of the Vulcan hand sign. He said that it had made quite an impression on him as a small boy.

    This is also recounted in the book The World of Star Trek by David Gerrold (long since out of print, I suspect). Gerrold said that the congregration is supposed to cover their eyes during this blessing, but little Leonard used to peek.

  38. CC predates “Major Maple Leaf”, BTW. There was also Johnny Canuck, Freelance and Nelvana of The Northern Lights back in the WWII years.

    It’s hard to make a unique costume based on a country’s flag. Even Captain America wasn’t the USA’s first patriotic adventurer, having been preceded by both Quality’s Uncle Sam and MLJ’s* “The Shield”.

    My favorite Canuck superhero is Angloman.

    Cool Canadian superhero site

    Kevin

    *Known today as the Archie group.

  39. Pro Libertate, you are Vulcan funny!

  40. Stevo, I’m a Vulcan genius.

  41. Stevo, you’d think someone else would either get the joke or find it funny. Anyway, I stole it from Ron & Ron, who had a radio show in Tampa years ago. They used to do a bit called “Tales of Young Spock”, which basically explored the many ways you could use “Vulcan” to get around FCC restrictions. The pinnacle was the story about the Mother Vulcan Statue.

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