Thursday, September 27, 2007

First they came for my toy soldiers, then they came for my kleenex

Mark Steyn is in a huff that the objects of one of his favourite masturbatory fantasies are being re-assigned, thanks to the utter worthlessness of the reputation of U.S .military might post-Iraq.
It's been a while since I played with G.I. Joe. [I kind of doubt that, but anyway...] At my age, it tends to attract stares from the playground security guard. Nevertheless, I vaguely recall two details about the prototype "action figure": 1) he was something to do with -- if you'll pardon the expression -- the U.S. military; and 2) he had no private parts. Flash forward to 2007 and this news item in Variety about the forthcoming live-action G.I. Joe movie: "While some remember the character from its gung-ho fighting man '60s incarnation, he's evolved. G.I. Joe is now a Brussels-based outfit that stands for Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity, an international coed force of operatives who use hi-tech equipment to battle Cobra, an evil organization headed by a double-crossing Scottish arms dealer. The property is closer in tone to X-Men and James Bond than a war film." Golly. So much for my two childhood memories: 1) he's no longer anything to do with the U.S. military; and 2) the guys with no private parts are the execs at Paramount and Hasbro who concluded that an American serviceman would be too tough a sell in the global marketplace. "G.I. Joe is not just a brand that represents the military," says Brian Goldner, Hasbro's chief operating officer. "It also represents great characters." And who says you can't have great characters based in Belgium?
Mark, I get your point about making G.I. Joe non-U.S. – although, hey: reap the whirlwind and all – but please stop mentioning the private parts....

(And notice how in the the first sentence I quote, Steyn refers to the toys in the singular form. Kind of ups the ewwww factor, like he's a gym teacher with a favourite.)

Bonus: Mark Steyn in full battle gear:

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