This isn’t funny any more, if it ever was. I was pondering whether reports that an organization called The Trans Cultural Mindfulness Alliance is demanding that Apple Music and Spotify remove the Aretha Franklin 1968 song “Natural Woman” from their playlists because it “perpetuates multiple harmful anti-trans stereotypes,” since “there is no such thing as a ‘natural’ woman.” The group claims that the song “has helped inspire acts of harm against transgender women.”
Really? I’d like to see the citations for that. I know I want to run amuck with a machete every time I hear “Imagine,” but Aretha never made me feel violent.
I couldn’t believe this story could be true, until I encountered this story, which is even dumber.
Last year, Mars Wrigley changed the shoes of some of its cartoon M&M’s characters that appear in TV ads. Conservatives were upset. Let me repeat that: some conservatives were upset because of a change in the design of anthropomorphic animated candies’ shoes. Tucker Carlson criticized the character makeovers as “Woke M&M’s.” Slow news day, Tucker?
M&M’s marketers had re-shod the green “female” M&M’s high heels with flats and replaced the intimidating brown “female” M&M’s stilettos for smaller heels.
Tucker pounced! “M&M’s will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous,” Carlson said on his show. “Until the moment when you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them. That’s the goal. When you’re totally turned off, we’ve achieved equity. They’ve won.”
You wanted to have a drink with an animated M&M, Tucker? Was this self-parody? If so, it was incompetent, because in The Great Stupid it is virtually impossible to be more ridiculous than daily events. I confess: I have never paid close attention to what shoes the candy characters wear. I don’t care. Anyone who does care is in dire need of psychiatric treatment, and I say this as someone who frequently writes here about cultural manipulation by the entertainment and advertising media, as in, for example, Hollywood and Madison Avenue portraying the United States as 50% black (virtually every couple is bi-racial now) when blacks make up less than 15% of the population. The math doesn’t work.
The story gets worse. Stung by Carlson’s criticism, Mars released this:
Another corporate grovel. Another craven corporate capitulation to a rabid, unbalanced bully, who will now be further emboldened. Carlson’s contrived attack should not have been allowed to work. Mars’ response ought to have been, “Oh, bite us, Tucker. Don’t you have anything better to bitch about? We don’t even know what kind of shoes you’re wearing under that desk: I bet they’re bunny slippers.”
Tucker Carlson is pandering to right wing hysterics, or is one. Mars executives have the spines of annelid worms. But at least Maya Rudolph has a new gig (and J.K. Simmons, who plays the Yellow M&M, is out of one. But he’s an old white guy, and Maya’s a black woman, so it’s all good.
And not polarizing at all.
No mask or vaccine will protect us from The Great Stupid.