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Just in time for the Halloween pre-Christmas marketing blitz comes word that at long last, women will gain parity as plastic toy soldiers.
This consumer season's first feel-good story is built around little Vivian Lord of Arkansas, who several years ago began precociously writing indignant letters to toy companies, wondering why the little soldiers in the plastic bags are always men. She didn't want any guy soldiers painted pink pandering to her, either. She wanted plastic women with guns to look like real women!
|Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Want|
As the New York Times narrates A Very Special Christmas Wish, right jolly old toy-maker Steve Imel of Scranton had been hearing similar complaints for years -- from real-life female soldiers who regretted never having been able to properly and realistically play war games when they were tots.
One retired Navy fleet commander named Ortloff proclaimed herself really bummed that she couldn't give her three-year-old granddaughter realistic female action figures with rifles and helmets and jackboots to play with under the Christmas tree.
The problem was, Imel said, that getting into the girl plastic soldiers biz would be way too expensive and not very profitable. So while sympathetic to Vivian, he just couldn't satisfy her heart's desire.
And so the years passed, and poor little Vivian remained stuck playing with her olive-drab plastic guys with guns.
But then came The Miracle.
It wasn't really Vivian herself who finally convinced Imel to change his mind and invest in plastic girl soldier power. It was the all-powerful defense industry-sponsored corporate news media that co-opted Vivian, using her to make Imel an offer he couldn't refuse.
The Times reports:
It started with local outlets in Little Rock, after one reporter had seen a copy of Vivian’s letter that Ms. Lord had posted on Facebook. In one story, Ms. Lord mentioned her exchange with Mr. Imel.Well, they do say war is hell.
CNN and a veterans publication published stories online. Soon, Mr. Imel was getting calls to do interviews on national television networks like CBS.
Mr. Imel said he then realized he had made a “huge mistake” in putting off complaints like Vivian’s and Ms. Ortloff’s.
“All hell broke loose with the media,” he said, “and I haven’t had a chance to catch my breath since.”
Sadly, the toys will not be ready in time for this Christmas. But where there's endless war, there's always hope. And, of course, sugarplum dreams. And crowdfunding. And publicity. And marketing. And more interviews with the future girl soldiers of America. And military recruiting drives all wrapped up in cozy holiday cheer.
Mr. Imel said the first group of toys was likely to have 24 figures in five positions: a soldier standing and holding a handgun and binoculars; standing and shooting a rifle; kneeling and shooting a rifle; lying on the ground with a rifle; and kneeling and firing a bazooka.
There's no word yet on whether the girl toy soldiers will also come equipped with rape kits in their old kit bags. They'll need them, because in the past two years alone, there's been a 50 percent increase in sexual assaults on military women by military men.
Although making up only 20 percent of the military, women are targets of 63 percent of assaults, with the youngest and the lowest-ranking women most at risk. One out of every 16 military women reported being groped, raped or otherwise sexually assaulted within the last year, reports the New York Times in a different article published in April.
That War, Incorporated is so aggressively marketing military play-time even to preschool girls makes perfect sense in light of the drastically decreased enlistment rates among young people. The Pentagon is desperate for warm bodies. And since the Pentagon is desperate, its partners in the media will act as its public relations agents and do everything in their power to promote death and injury and post-traumatic stress disorder - even if they have to sell it to children as a women's rights issue.
As William Arkin reported in The Guardian last April:
And things are going to get worse. This year, for the first time ever, Americans born after 11 September 2001 will be able to enlist in the armed forces. It’s a sobering reminder both of how long we’ve been at war but also how distant those very wars have become from America’s youth. And yet official military polling shows that fewer and fewer young Americans consider the military as a career or as a transitional step – only some 12.5% – the lowest number in a decade.No wonder the media-political establishment is smearing Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, an Army medic deployed to Iraq who is still an active member of the Hawaii National Guard with the rank of major. She used her national stage time at the Democratic Party presidential debate last week to blast the Duopoly and the media for selling the regime-change wars which are so lucrative for the ruling class.
The 12.5% is bracing, but based on a complex math that balances losses from deaths and injuries, retirements, attrition and discharges, the army and Marine Corps only needs about 100,000 recruits to maintain current force levels. That’s just 2.4% of the 4.2 million Americans who will celebrate their 18th birthday this year. And yet the military is looking at its third or fourth year in a row where it will struggle to even find these numbers.
And then she was duly slandered by the #Queen of the Warmongers herself (Hillary Clinton) as a traitorous Russian asset for daring to speak the truth that war is nothing but a big, fat, wasteful hell on earth.
Clinton, speaking on the podcast which first aired on Thursday, did not name Gabbard, but her comments appeared aimed at the Hawaii congresswoman.
When asked if the former secretary of state was referring to Gabbard, Clinton’s spokesman said: “If the nesting doll fits.”
Something tells me that Tulsi will not be used as one of the models for the girl plastic soldiers franchise/recruiting drive.
Maybe they can do likenesses of patriots Chelsea Clinton and Meghan McCain instead. Little girls can pretend that those tiny excess hunks of molded plastic sticking out from Chelsea's and Meghan's designer jackboots are heel spurs. Then they can make believe that Chelsea and Meghan and Hillary go on The View to slime Tulsi Gabbard from the elite sisterhood/armchair warrior safety of the ABC-Disney TV studios.
If the dynastic nest egg fits....