"If black people were in Germany during World War II, the Holocaust would have never happened.... At least, not to Jews." - Sarah Silverman
Mr. Sassy Pants was one of two contest winners (the contest was to see who could name the date of my first blog ever posted on MySpace). He argued that the blog where I recycled an old letter was technically the first blog I ever wrote that appeared on MySpace - I just hadn't posted it first. For that I had to agree that he did win.
Here was his topic, in a nutshell: "The Lego Universe is not the utopia that it tries to present itself as in the brochures and colorful box sets. There's a dark underbelly in Lego Land."
Intrigued, I did some research. I love LEGO, but there is always something to find when you look, right? So I looked and after a long eight minutes, I thought I had found it: the dark underbelly of LEGO, the tiger in the black dotted eye, the monkey in the plastic wrench. Take a look:
LEGO Gas Chamber
LEGO Concentration Camp
LEGO Gleeful Soldier
Notice the LEGO baton smack-down!
Looks pretty scary, doesn't it? Yeah. But if you read this article, you'll find that, though LEGO did willingly participate in the making of these sets, they did so for some very intelligent reasons.
LEGO agreed to work with the artist, Zbigniew Libera, in producing this limited edition series for retail because of the profound social statement Libera was trying to make. I won't go into it - read the article if you're interested. But I did find this idea very provoking: that the LEGO pieces in the box could be used to build just about anything - it is only the stark image on the front that sets the tone of the set.
So you see, I went looking for the dark underbelly and found only more respect for the company. I am actually proud of them for taking part in this very controversial artistic endeavor. I didn't find the dark underbelly of LEGO. I failed Mr. Sassy Pants and all of you. But that is the way of things. Everytime I try to find fault with LEGO, they appease me. When I pointed out that they didn't have a black LEGO figurine, they made many. When I pointed out that they didn't have a Lando Calrissian Star Wars LEGO figurine, they made him and his whole Cloud City.
"Martin Luther King... I had a fuckin' dream, too!" - Sarah Silverman
You might think that only black people have a good reason to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. But the man was cut down just when he was broadening the scope of his message, when he was no longer talking about race so much as class. And class affects us all, whether you're black, Jewish, or a no good white man, like me.