Emperor’s New Clothes

It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.

Dream, in Sandman #60: “The Kindly Ones: 4”

I was reminded of the above quote with the internet furore over the forthright speech of a trader who was interviewed on BBC. He said of all things that the finaicial markets are only in it for the money and that we is looking forward to a recession. People are up in arms about it but don’t realise that he is in no way unique (except that he went on TV and said it). These are the people who profit from our success and failure.

Toy Story Lego (wha?)

Ok it has been just over a year since Toy Story 3 came out. I went to see it in the cinema, which is not something I do regularly any more.  I loved it, they ending almost brought a tear to my eye (I said almost).  But another scene of note was the first scene.  If you don’t remember exactly it’s more of a prequel to the movie as it has Andy still as a kid playing with all his toys and using a kids imagination to create a story where “The Evil Dr. Porkchop has trapped Rex in a boxcar packed with dynamite aboard a runaway train, and it’s up to his friends to save him! As Woody bravely battles Porkchop on top of the train, Jessie rides Bullseye in hot pursuit and Buzz flies in for a last-second rescue!“.

The scene is excellently executed, but it also worked on another level for me and showed how nothing can beat a child imagination provided it has the time to run wild.  I remember as a kid we used to wait for toilet rolls and yogurt cartons to build bases for out G.I. Joes (well it was Action Force for us) that scene seemed to catch that intrinsic essense of making do with what you have and enjoying it.

Which is why I was slightly appalled to see that Lego brought out a Toy Story 3 range one which is called the Western Train Chase (7597) (the italicised portion above is it product description), it took me a while to understand, construct and verbalise what my problem with it was.  Then a realised they had taken something that was celebrating unbridled imagination a kid putting together cowboys and aliens (huh?) and dinosaurs and evil pigs, boxing it and selling that specific adventure to kids.  It comes with a lego Woody, Buzz and Hamm, but to me it just screams “Don’t use your imagination kids, we’ve done it for you.” See what happens if you click this link: Google “toy story 3 western train chase”

I have enjoyed some of the output from the lego range, I am the prode owner of a lego AT-AT (here is one of my highest rated flicker pics) but it this what we have to look forward in the new generation of kids?  I am waiting for the time when the next big Christmas toy will be “Cardboard Box”and there will be news items in the run up to Christmas with parent pummeling the crap out of each other hoping to get a certified  “Cardboard Box”. and there are kids bawling their eyes out because they parents couldn’t get one. This should be one of the seven signs of the apocalypse. However in this apocalypse we don’t end in some Mad Max Thunder Dome distopia more likely it will be the Aldous Huxley‘s Brave New World taking upper and downers so that we can manage the world (mildly alluded to in Wall-E).  However if that does happen you’ll find me holed up in a lighthouse outside London with some sticky backed plastic and some lolly pop sticks, good luck.