Free Trade

Madrassa Classes Are Hard! Let's Go Shopping!

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Debbie Nathan writes:

Found this today at the neighborhood 99-cent store, in the Bronx just across the Harlem River from Upper Manhattan. Have no idea what it means. It was mixed with a pile of other pink backpacks decorated with the identical Barbie face, but without the headscarf. The secular Barbies had the same plucked eyebrows, lipsticky lips and hyperMaybelline eyes. But no verbiage surrounded them—not a word. Meanwhile, Muslim Barbie, as you see here, is trapped in a sea of "Are you happy?"…

Debbie Nathan

But what really got me was, this backpack was Made in China. To me, there's something about 99-cent Asian shlock that seems mystically insightful when it comes to 21st-century American culture.

This is actually a contest. "If you have any ideas about its meaning," Nathan writes, "do tell. In fact, I'd be glad to pass my purchase on to you (postage paid!) in exchange for some inspired words."

I should probably throw in a link to this. And this. And this. And of course this.

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  1. This might reflect the fact that the Islamification of the west continues apace. Or it might reflect the fact that Asian graphic designers throw any old crap together.

  2. Better check it for lead before presenting to young children.

  3. Subliminal messaging much? And why is it in English?

  4. That backpack is clearly a well-orchestrated attempt by Reason and its sympathizers to marginalize Ron Paul!

  5. Me? I wanna hear Neil’s theory.

    It’s got to be good. Somehow, I bet it will involve Obama and the imminent destruction of the United States.

    Or it might reflect the fact that Asian graphic designers throw any old crap together.

    Personally, I’m going with that.

  6. Personally I think they met for this to go to Pakistan and some Chinese beaurocrat screwed up.

  7. Recruitment of sex slaves, clearly.

  8. Nothing about bin Laden’s new video?

  9. “Are you happy?” seems to be asking for quite a bit of introspection while riding the bus to school. My Dukes of Hazzard lunch box never expected so much from me.

  10. “If you have any ideas about its meaning,”

    I’m still trying to figure out “Happy Fun Time Air Freshener”.

  11. Could be the latest twist on the “Bert is Evil” theme? How long before this appears on a bin Laden supporter sign?

  12. When I read the “are you happy,” I hear my mom’s voice after one of my many decision making blunders. “Are you happy now, Ben? Huh? Are you happy now?”

  13. Nothing about bin Laden’s new video?

    There’s nothing new on bin Laden’s new video. It’s the same old rhetoric. He’s like a broken record at this point.

    If he’s such a problem why didn’t the government focus on capturing him instead of wasting resources in Iraq?

  14. When will they come out with Suicide Bomber Barbie?

  15. When will they come out with Suicide Bomber Barbie?

    Not long after the “Mission Accomplished” dream house.

  16. Re Warren,
    Does that pack come with an armed nail bomb?

  17. Guerilla anti-capitalism activists switch brand-name products with air-brushed parodies and leave them in the store for unsuspecting people to purchase. Those hipsters think they’re so funny…

  18. […]He’s like a broken record at this point.

    If he’s such a problem why didn’t the government focus on capturing him instead of wasting resources in Iraq?

    This is mostly off-topic, but I read this in every thread OBL is mentioned. Your observation points to an obvious explanation: he’s MIA and most likely dead, and the videos are pulled on purpose out of a cache. Nobody’s celebrating with heads on pikes because who knows and cares what rat holes have been turned into make-shift graves?

    As for throwing the burka on the barbie, I’ve seen stranger things from China at dollar stores. I console myself with the thought that neither the people manufacturing it nor the people designing it care or know what they’re doing, the people procuring it don’t care enough what it is, and the people buying in the wee hours of the morning — finding their desired nude-headed Barbie-simulacrum-printed packs gone — don’t care what’s on it at all.

    Protectionists make a big deal out of manufacturing moving overseas. Meanwhile, Hondas and Toyotas have plants to feed domestic demand here in the States and the bulk of the asian mainland is busy churning out useless plastic crap that’s shipped over here and photographed for our amusement in exchange for a falling dollar. Who’s getting the raw end of the deal here, now?

  19. My Dukes of Hazzard lunch box never expected so much from me.

    I had a Declaration of Independence lunchbox in 2nd grade. 1976.

    I always “blame” me mom for me being a libertarian. I had completely forgotten about that lunchbox until now. She started the indoctrination early.

    She’s a democrat, voting for Clinton Im sure next Tuesday, she cant stand Obama. Im sure she isnt happy about voting for Clinton, she couldnt stand Bill. Im pretty sure she voted for Browne in 1996.

    My Dad is a republican who cant stand Bush. He thinks the war in Iraq is insanely stupid. He voted for Badnarik in 2004.

    Obama v McCain, I might be able to get them both to vote LP at the same time for the first time ever.

  20. The pattern on her shirt partially obscured by her scarf, appears to be the Giant Flying Spaghetti Monster.

  21. I think the question, “Are you happy?” should be changed to, “All your happiness are belongs to us, biatches.”

  22. Is everyone presuming the scarf is Islamic? With a short-sleeved blouse and tight skirt?

    It could be just-washed-her-hair Barbie. Or hair-coloring-disaster Barbie.

    When will they come out with Suicide Bomber Barbie?

    Right after Concealed Handgun License Barbie.

  23. I’m going with cancer-survivor Barbie.

    Or Clueless on American Culture Graphic Designer Barbie.

  24. or maybe it’s the Spitzer model, just the right size for those quickie trips to D.C. The scarf is just a disguise

  25. Valerie Plame Barbie?

  26. I’ve seen stranger things from China at dollar stores.

    Indeed. I once bought a 99-cent diary as a joke: the cover has bad pirated pictures of the Powerpuff Girls (proper shapes, but the colors are all wrong), and the following quote: “A mother never looks ugly to her son; a master never appears poor to his dog.”

  27. “Are you happy now,” roughly translated into Terrorist-ese reads, “dirka, dirka, dirka.”

  28. This is de facto globalism. We no longer live culture, we sell it like products to slaves without a future.

  29. Antiglobalism,

    Congratulations on extrapolating something from nothing. We appreciate your attention to market frictions and bad management, but those of us not in the supply chain of Bangladeshi sweat shops trying to create a manufacturing base to ensure stability and higher standards of living have nothing to do with this enterprise; and odds are you have even less to do with it (or anything).

    Sincerely,

    `

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