More Hollywood Racism, and Other Tales of the Absurd

I’m having to pinch myself today to make sure I’m not living in my own special Groundhog Day hell where every day is April 1.

Gets yours while they last!

How else to take the story that Lego is discontinuing a Jabba the Hutt palace set because the Turkish Cultural Association of Austria (!!) complained that the Lego set is raaaccciist.  The Turkish Cultural Association of Austria??  Okay, I know the Turks rolled briefly through Vienna a few hundred years ago, leaving behind mostly coffee grounds, but if the TCAA really exists, wouldn’t a complaint that decaf is racist degradation make more sense?  From the story:

Kilic’s organization argued earlier this year that the set resembled the a former mosque in Istanbul, the Jami al-Kabir mosque in Beirut and a minaret.  Because Jabba The Hutt is a villain in the Star Wars films, the group claimed the alleged close resemblance reinforced negative stereotypes about Muslims.  “This does not belong in children’s bedrooms,” Kilic told NBC. “And the minaret-like tower features machine guns. Children will become insensitive to violence and other cultures.”

Oh-kay.  But typical of the Hollywood racists to try to slip one by us fanboys.  By the way, I still can’t believe Star Trek has gotten away with Klingons all these years.

But wait, there’s more!  Smith College, the tony womens’ wymyn’s college in Massachusetts, has been outed as a bastion of backsliding sexism and chauvinism because it has rejected the application of a transgendered high school student:

Calliope Wong, 17, a Connecticut senior who was born a male but has identified as female since adolescence, says Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, twice opted not to read her application and returned it in the mail.

Calliope?  I’m not even going to make the obvious jokes about steam pipe noise-makers here.  That’s just another job this American won’t do.  Naturally this good sense by the Smith admissions office has “prompted outcry.”

Laurie Fenlason, Smith’s vice president for public affairs, said the school does not comment on the status or admissibility of individual applicants. But she added, “Every application to Smith is treated on a case-by-case basis, and application materials must reflect female identity.”

The truly absurd part here is that I’ll bet there isn’t a single person among the faculty or administration at Smith that could give a coherent reason why “application materials must reflect female identity,” since it is likely their wymyn’s studies courses and student indoctrination orientation sessions reinforce the idea that gender identity is “socially constructed.”  And since bathrooms are most definitely socially constructed, what’s the problem so long as Calliope has had his her ??? pipes re-tuned to the right pitch?

Turns out that may be the problem:

In Massachusetts and Wong’s home state of Connecticut, a transgender person would need to have sex-reassignment surgery to change the legal sex on a birth certificate and thus amend a FAFSA [college application] form.

Wong has not undergone the costly reassignment procedure.

It might be cheaper to reconstruct some Smith bathrooms, no?

So pinch me again.  It is still April Fools Day, right?

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