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Language Log

Monday, Apr. 23, 2012 - 7:01 a.m.

I bought a giant package of kiwi from Chile at Costco. One imagines the vast kiwi-growing farmland of Chile. I don't know what I'm going to do with them. Well, eat them. I just don't know in what form nor if I'll have any help. This is what Costco does to me. I also got Costco-sized portions of mangoes, bananas, a watermelon, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, tangerines. We are some fruit-eatin motherfuckers around here.

102 yesterday. My garden is still alive. Maybe it's acclimated now and has a chance. I still want more mint and more basil, but I think it may be too late for that.

I was reading a (couple-years-old I think) critique of children's toy marketing by this one company-- it doesn't matter which, same old pink and blue story-- and the person noted that girls' building stuff was all arts and crafts and jewelry-making, while boys' was "preparing them for skilled labor". I was like, heeeyyyy. I agree jewelry-making in the form of stringing beads is not skilled labor, but I object to the other presuppositions there. Part of me thinks there's an interesting art project to be done using those little plastic beads in children's jewelry-making kits to comment on the gender divide in children's toys, but I'm not sure what. Construct trucks and trains and robots out of them, I guess.

I also want to see an exhibit of altered marketing materials-- packaging for the worst of the genderized toys-- where all the language has been flipped and the girls' stuff is all action and power and competition and ruling the universe and all the boys' stuff is fashion and sparkle and friends and imagination. Same toys, though. The big-eyed baby doll with the legend, "Extreme Adventure Baby! Put your Daddy skills to the test! This little tyke is all action!" (Or something. I'm sure it could get funnier, but I'm in a hurry.) Has someone done that? They should. A catalog, even, or a commercial.

Whenever I see a vacant big box store or grocery store or strip mall, I always fantasize about what would happen if it were just turned over to artists. I can imagine such an art mall containing an inverted Toys-R-Us, where all the Disney branding has been replaced by idiosyncratic, one-off weird little characters, and all the gender marketing has been flipped on its head. Shelves and shelves of delightful WTF? A girl can dream, eh?

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