So. I haven’t had a good old-fashioned rant in a while. To start with, some updates. I assume the world is coming to an end. When I started this journey, I was a bit of a superhero hater. I was pretty sure I would never read something as silly as, say….Batman. A lot has changed. I stepped outside my snark box and have found a few books that I do like. Does some stuff still feel silly? Yes. Does alternate universe feel a little like daytime soap operas? Yes. But, I admit to reading and enjoying more.
Another reason the world might be ending – we are now joined by Gerri on the show making me the nicer one. Woah. And, speaking of the show, there has been another change. The Rookie and the Geek is now Comic Racks Snarkcast. Why? I have been demoted….or, promoted? I have been stripped of my rookie status. I was not informed there was going to be a vote, but I think my appearance at Boston Comic Con this year may have sealed my non-rookie status…
Yup, that’s me with Mark Waid (who is very sweet)…and me with Gail Simone (who is just amazing) ….while wearing my Batman shirt..with my Wonder Woman lanyard. And what you cannot see is I am wearing these:
And, yes – those are my “Batgirl” Doc Martens. Case closed. OK, now that you are all up to date – let’s get down to business….
There was a whole bunch of chatter online about the Toys R Us/Breaking Bad news. If you have been under a rock, Susan Schrivjer of Fort Myers, Florida, started a petition on Change.org to have Breaking Bad figures removed from the shelves of Toys R Us. The petition received more than 9,000 signatures. I just checked and the petition has 9,298 signatures. With all the publicity – just 9,000? 5,000 ‘likes’ on FB and 110 tweets. Wow. That’s a lot of passion…..really. Luckily, Toys R Us caved and has pulled them from the shelves. Phew. Tragedy avoided. I am not even sure which rant I want to start with….
OK. Let’s start with Toys R Us. The store was carrying Breaking Bad figures in a TOY STORE. Terrible right? After all, it is a toy store that caters JUST to children, right? Ummm, no. A quick look online under the one of platforms I have in my home shows there are 99 games rate M. For mature. For any of you non-gamers, it is the R rating of video games. 99. Not sure exactly how many the store carries – but I know I have seen plenty there. The online petition states the Breaking Bad toys were:
“dangerous deviation from their family friendly values”.
OOOO – dangerous… Really? Are you fucking kidding me? I have seen a virtual TON of things in a toy store that I find a bit offensive. I went online so I could show EXACTLY what the chain carries. All these images are from the Toys R Us website. Let’s take a peak:
This is this fella from the video game Gears of War 3. A game that’s rated M for Mature… so I am guessing he’s not headed to Sunday family dinner?
There is this random fella – comes with more guns than he has hands. I guess in some families that may go along with your ‘values’ – but not mine. We are not doomsday preppers and I do not have a stash of weapons… Yes, it’s some sort of military toy, but still…
Who’s ready for a fun family trip?!?! Nothing says lakeside fun like your very own Friday the 13th Jason figure. I like how the knife – and his hands – are covered in blood. What type of “family friendly values” does this gem portray?
OH – and there is this fella with the sledge hammers – obviously off to help a friend with a construction project!
This is a new one! It comes with multiple faces and separate hand with missing fingers? More ‘family friendly’ stuff!
And just for fun, because it’s never too early, here is something from the ‘Halloween-is-international-dress-like-a-slut-day’ collection. Short skirt AND fish nets! That’s great family values – be sure your daughters know their place and value early in life…
So, that’s just a sampling. Please note, the store also carries a whole like of Walking Dead figures with weapons and bodies in various states of decay… If you want to nitpick, you can just walk down the “girl aisles” where the toys seem to be prepping our daughters for either a life of domestic servitude or a job that involves a pole. Am I going to start a petition about these figures? Nope. Am I going to start a petition to have Toys R Us create a more ‘gender neutral’ store? If only it was that easy to change the world…. The Breaking Bad petition mentions the money and meth the figures came with. So, the guns, blood splattered knifes, hand with missing fingers are all ok with your “family friendly values?!?!” If that is the case, your family may be a tad fucked up. A few ‘mommy-observations’:
- My kids would not know what these figures are and would probably walk right by them because THE HAVE NEVER SEEN THE SHOW.
- Meth? Really? Again – they are not going to know. If you showed a kid the pack of the blue meth, they would probably think Pop Rocks or Nerds. Unless you are cooking meth. In which case, a few toys is the LEAST of your problems.
- IF my kid picked one up and asked what it was, I would just tell them it’s from an adult show.
- IF my kid wanted it, I would say NO. because it turns out, I’m the mom and I make the rules. End of story.
- There is also the argument that the kids are going to psychically know what Breaking Bad is about and, IDK….start using meth? That is quite a leap. As a side note, Breaking Bad doesn’t exactly make the meth life look glamorous… If your kid somehow SEES Breaking Bad and thinks meth life is awesome – again, you have bigger issues that a few figures.
So, that’s sort of the first half of my lil rant. The argument that just those figures are a “dangerous deviation from their family friendly values” is utter bullshit. Yes, I’m calling bullshit. If you are going to pull the family values card – your values are a little fucked up. The other part is, like it or not, family values are not universal. What one family thinks is wrong, another family may embrace. Just look at One Million Moms. There are issues range from the legit to the absurd. Offensive TV commercials, shows, etc. They pressure advertisers to pull sponsorship from shows they deem offensive. Latest target – Black Jesus. Disclaimer – I know nothing about Black Jesus. It may be the most offensive show on earth. I wouldn’t know. I haven’t seen it. I HAVE seen plenty of shows that I found offensive. I have seen shows I do NOT want my kids watching. We don’t all curl up and watch The Walking Dead or American Horror Story as a family. They are my FAV shows – but not for my kids. Yet, some people DO let their kids watch The Walking Dead. And I don’t care. I feel like we are on a really slippery slope right now. Just because YOU find something offensive doesn’t mean no one else can have access to it. You know what I find offensive? MANY religion programs. And Faux News. All of it. Does that mean we should ban it? Nope. There is this AMAZING device. Not sure if you have all see it:
It is apparently a device you can use to CHANGE THE CHANNEL! What an invention!! If something offensive is on the screen, you can CHANGE THE CHANNEL!! Of course, unless you are a freakish helicopter mom, there MAY be times when your children are alone in a room with a television. And a remote. What THEN?!?! Who knows what they will get into. Well, there is a lil invention for that too:
I use this gem in my home. PARENTAL CONTROLS. On EVERYTHING. Yes, nothing is perfect. Yes, you have to actually pay attention to what your kids are doing from time to time. That’s what we call ‘parenting’. Novel concept. I cannot tell if this new attitude of ‘I-don’t-like-it-so-no-one-can-have-it’ is a lack of desire to have to talk to kids or the shelter the hell out of them so that the real world is overwhelming. Turns out, not every gets a trophy, you are probably going to fail a LOT in life and there is going to be shit in media that pisses you off. Possibly every day.
Breaking Bad-gate has people talking and arguing. Actor Aaron Paul, who played Jesse Pinkman on the series, slammed Toys R Us for the response in a bunch of twitter posts.
Pretty much what I was saying. Now there is an online petition to get the toys BACK on the shelves. THAT petition is, at my last count, is at 58,078. If this were a vote, Toys R Us would have to concede. As would the 9,000 signers of the original petition. But I doubt that will happen.
I admit, there are stores I do not shop at for a variety of reasons. If a store – or chain – upsets or offends you with their practices or with what is on the shelves, do what this ex-rookie does. It’s a simple process. Leave the store. Hop into you car (yes, in my head I am driving off into the sunset in a Porsche) and DRIVE AWAY. Don’t go back. There about a million ways to get what you need. Other stores. The internet. Stop trying to enforce your values on the rest of the world…… Seriously. Lighten the fuck up.