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Points of Articulation

yo
yo go re
Not Everything Demands a Toy

As you all know, I'm a cantankerous jackass. I'm pretentious, sarcastic, and generally think I'm better than most folks.

And I love a good arguement.

Debate keeps the senses sharp, keeps the critical thinking going and the rhetorical skills honed. It's also a grand way to sort out your thoughts.

It's also a good way to start a flame war and generally piss everyone off. I'm good at that, too.

On the morning of February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon rentry, killing all seven crew members and raining debris across the southern United States. It was a terrible thing to happen, and sparked a wave of astronautical support not seen since the Challenger disaster in 1986.

Unfortunately, as ever, some people took things the wrong way:

B: I was just thinking that it might be interesting to see Art Asylum or some toy company make a Columbia Orbiter and crew of STS-107 as a way for them to live on in the minds of kids and space nuts everywhere. Good idea or just plain insensitive?

Well, "duh," just plain insensitive. But out of twenty-odd responses, only two were negative:

aph: Way to cash in on death there kiddo.

Will there be 9-11 accessories too?

and:

AM: Ok guys,thats what I call cashing in! If AA made a columbia model they would be just as bad as the pricks currently selling pieces of the wreckage on ebay!

Smart guys. But they were getting buried in the avalanche of misguided grief that was spawning such fawning praise as:

mm: I wouldn't just do this one. You could do an entire line with Columbia, the Challenger and the other one (sorry don't remember the mission) that was lost on the lauch pad from a fire. If done tastefully, I think it could be a nice tribute.

and:

sf: Besides the fact it'd be a cool memorial piece, I can't recall a toy company ever doing high quality toys of any of the NASA vehicles. If I'd want any toy company to make authentically detailed and truly cool shuttle replicas (complete w/ boosters, opening doors, and retractable landing gear), it'd be AA.

Godspeed, Columbia. May you and your sisters live forever in our hearts.

and:

JK: There's nothing wrong with a shuttle. Just as long as it's not really a 'toy'. AA can make detailed shit. It should be extremely detailed and should show proper respect and honor. Anything less and I would no longer buy from AA.

Ough. It made me want to vomit. And, because I can't just leave well enough alone, it made me want to post:

yo: I've heard some dumb ideas, but this is one of the worst bits of pandering I've ever come across.

What's next? Memorial lawn gnome charred helmets? "Scratch it up yourself, kids! Try to guess which astronaut's vaporized head used to be inside!"

Seven people died and you want fucking toys of this? Do you want a shuttle with blow apart battle damage? Crew members with removable limbs?

Show some decency. Show some pride. Show some respect. Don't be an utter ass...

Yeah, I recognize the irony of me telling someone not to be an ass, but still. Someone had to speak for this side with the same vehemence that the other side was showing. And yeah, it was otherwise uncalled for. But I'm a cantankerous jackass.

Enter "T," one of the idea's biggest supporters.

T: GI JOE made the Wall Memorial figure-was that cashing in too?
Nobody asked for a atmosphere scorched re-entry orbiter or take-apart action figure (no one mentioned this but you-you have issues and need help) you fuckwad. It was merely a suggestion to memorialize the crew, but your tiny pea of a brain cant get around that. Also it was mentioned that a percentage could go to astronaut families, but I'm sure you were more than happy to omit that as well.
Its just an idea fuckwad, why dont you go stand next to buttfuck.
No disrespect was meant to the Columbia crew or the families.
I for one liked B's idea, his intentions were good.
And one last thing Fuckwad, its an open forum, contrary opinions are expected, there's no reason to beat someone down like that, you could have gotten your reasons across just as easily as the others who disagreed.

Yes, I could have, but words need impact. Especially when they're being drowned out by knee-jerk reactionaries.

Gotta love T for jumping right into the name-calling, though. Excellent way to make his point.

yo: The intention may have been good, but nothing else was. It was a bad idea when it was posted, and it's a bad idea now. If no one else is going to point out just how incredibly stupid it is, then I will...

Obviously what I think is straightforward and what others think is straightforward are two separate things.

T: How is this incredibly stupid? B just thought AA could make a decent detailed shuttle-have you seen the one's out there? They suck.
If you dont like the idea then fine, considering the fact that most of people that posted showed genuine concern and sympathy on this board and would probably like to at least feel like they contributed in some way to the families and be mindful of the sacrifice for space exploration, how can this be considered stupid? Making a "memorial lawn gnome charred helmets", a blow apart battle damaged shuttle and crew members with removeable limbs-I believe no one mentioned any of these sick fucking ideas but you Fuckwad.
How utterly assinine and utterly stupid can you fucking be?
Do you have any idea of how little these people are paid? Not to mention the fact that the life insurance wont be paid until the investigation is over-think about 2 years. You dont have a fucking clue what you jumped into do you? The majority of people here are fans of trek and with that the hope of reaching and colonizing the final frontier, I can understand and empathize with public sympathy. Did you buy an american flag after 9/11 or put an american flag on your car? Tell me, was that cashing in or showing that you are an american and you were proud to show it? Tell me Fuckwad, I want to know. I didnt hear anybody bitching about jeez how can they charge so much for a sticker? How we choose to remember those that are lost is just that, a choice. All of us here collect space/trek toys, dont you think the logical thing to do would be to see something that involved stuff that we like (cuz this is a toy company and not anything else) and possibly put out something that we would be buy b/c A-to help the families get some monetary relief, B-remmember the Columbia as a critical part of the space program, C-all of the above.
You dont like the idea, that's cool. But to flame on this thread and infer that we are incredibly stupid just because we dont agree with your opinion? No, that's just reality and you being an utter ass.

Not big on formatting is our friend T. Or on defending his position with anything resembling decorum. But then, when you're fighting a losing battle...

In any case, for the record, there were cooler heads attempting to prevail:

UA: Okay guys. Settle down. Both sides here have perfectly reasonable points.

You're getting worked up over what? A coversation about a hypothetical toy that's never gonna happen? Is this really a reason to blow a gasket?

Okay, fair enough. It's all hypothetical. I'm ready to take his advice and just shut the hell up. But then T returned.

T: No its not anything to get upset about, I do however dont like people getting a beat down just for a suggestion.

Here's a question, what about all the military toys-guns, tanks-doesnt that capitalize on violence as well as police figures and firefighter figures and all thier accessories-is it capitalizing on them that die in the line of duty while on the job? Does a fisher price doctor's kit capitalize on life vs death.

Please be mindful of who brought up what-cuz yo go re's suggestions and your own addition were just sick and depraved.
Granted, you cant stop who exploits what, but as it has been pointed out-it's purely hypothetical and doubtful it will be made anyway.

Well, aside from not recognizing rhetorical exaggeration, T just had no clue who he was dealing with. And I'm not one to ignore a personal attack.

yo: > most of people that posted showed genuine
> concern and sympathy on this board and would
> probably like to at least feel like they
> contributed in some way to the families and be
> mindful of the sacrifice for space exploration,
> how can this be considered stupid?

Easily. Because the idea shows neither genuine concern nor sympathy. You want to feel like you contributed in some way to the families? Then contribute to the families.

A moment of silence, while showing respect, contributes nothing to anyone. Suggesting a toy contributes even less; it, in fact, detracts. It turns what is a real and weighty issue into five dollars' worth of plastic that can sit on your shelf and collect dust.

> Making a "memorial lawn gnome charred
> helmets", a blow apart battle damaged shuttle
> and crew members with removeable limbs-I believe
> no one mentioned any of these sick fucking ideas
> but you Fuckwad.

Yeah, and welcome to third grade to you, too. I didn't suggest them; I just said that those are only one step away from the original suggestion.

> How utterly assinine and utterly stupid can
> you fucking be?

Not dumb enough to think that a toy is in good taste.

> Do you have any idea of how little these
> people are paid?

Yes. What's that have to do with anything?

> Not to mention the fact that the life
> insurance wont be paid until the investigation
> is over-think about 2 years.

And? That doesn't change the fact that a toy is in bad taste.

> You dont have a fucking clue what you jumped
> into do you?

Battle of wits with an unarmed man?

> The majority of people here are fans of trek
> and with that the hope of reaching and
> colonizing the final frontier,

SFW?

> I can understand and empathize with public
> sympathy.

No one said anything about public sympathy. I said that a toy is in poor taste.

> Did you buy an american flag after 9/11 or
> put an american flag on your car?

Fuck no. Did you? Did you think you were making a difference?

> Tell me, was that cashing in or showing that
> you are an american and you were proud to show
> it?

That was cashing in. Nothing else.

> Tell me Fuckwad, I want to know.

I have told you, T, but I doubt you wanted to know it.

> I didnt hear anybody bitching about jeez how
> can they charge so much for a sticker?

Then you should have been listening. A tacky sticker in every car window is the worst kind of jingoistic pandering, and shows nothing but how hollow those people really are. Every U.S. flag sticker in every window is the governmental equivalent of a Christian who goes to church only on Easter and Christmas: either you feel it or you don't; putting on a show for your neighbors is pathetic.

> How we choose to remember those that are lost
> is just that, a choice.

Yes, it is. And some choices are bad.

> All

"Most"

> of us here collect space/trek toys, dont you
> think the logical thing to do would be to see
> something that involved stuff that we like (cuz
> this is a toy company and not anything else) and
> possibly put out something that we would be buy
> b/c A-to help the families get some monetary
> relief, B-remmember the Columbia as a critical
> part of the space program, C-all of the
> above.

D) None of the above. I think the logical thing to do would be to make your donations to help the family without expecting anything in return. If you really care, and really want to help, you'll do it without a toy. You'll do it because it's right.

Remeber Freedom, Mezco's "memorial" eagle toy? That was a bad idea that never should have gone ahead. Now the ill-conceived thing lingers on shelves, serving only as a reminder of those who tried to make a buck in the name of devastating events.

> You dont like the idea, that's cool.

No, apparently it's not, since it's "Fuckwad" this and "you buttfuck" that since you started replying to me.

> But to
> flame on this thread and infer that we are
> incredibly stupid just because we dont agree
> with your opinion? No, that's just reality and
> you being an utter ass.

If I were flaming, I'd've been gone by now. I got my hotheaded reactions and shook things up. Yay me. But that's not why I'm here.

I only contributed the voice of reason. Yes, I realize that it's easy to get caught up in the fervor of wanting to make a difference. But this isn't the way to do it.

Make a difference by contributing money to the families. Make a difference by volunteering at schools in an effort to spark a love of science in the child who will one day grow up and find a safer, more efficient form of space travel. Make a difference by calling your Congressmen and telling them you want more of the federal budget allocated to NASA so that they have the means and the staff to prevent this from happening ever again.

Make a difference. Make your difference. But choose the right way to do it...

That, folks, is how to win an arguement. Of course, I'm biased, since I said it. And I'm a cantankerous jackass. Musn't forget that.

At this point, "mm" returned, seemingly a bit confused:

mm: For all your ranting and raving, I'd love to see how much time/money you spend doing charitable things. Your opinions are fine, but you'll notice that most people posting here have a certain amount of class and decorum. Don't resort to personal attacks to make your point.

But what he didn't seem to notice is that T was the one wallowing in personal attacks;I was the one writing circles around him.

T: That's all that was being asked. Yo finally took the time to consider what he wrote-clap clap for you Yo. Put yourself as high up on that fucking mountaintop as you want. Opinions and perspectives will always be different. You set out to bash and not make a reasonable argument. Most "memorial" toys dont really do well at all, but this was just a hypothetical that just got under your skin and touched a nerve.

And for your information, yes, I do have an american sticker on my car-because I wanted one, not for anything else. I was there in New York helping out b/c no one in my hospital at Jersey City Med Center wanted to go. I saw all the devestation and despair of ems/firefighters and police first hand, I helped looking for survivors. For the first time in a long long while, this country actually came together, you met your neighbor for once, this entire country was civil to each other for three days after. Jingoistic as it may have been to buy a flag, it still means something to me, especially of what we could be, what we have the potential to be. I dont mind a contrary opinion, I do mind getting someone elses' opinion ramrodded down my throat and your 3rd grade antics as well. Play verbal commando all you want, your comments about lawn gnome helmets and blow apart shuttles are still sick and depraved, no one asked for that and I thought it was very unnecessary and distasteful.

"Verbal commando?" I like that. I'd adopt it, if 'cantankerous jackass' wasn't so much more fitting and true. And it's easy to put yourself high up on that mountaintop when you're so soundly winning the arguement.

And for someone who doesn't like others' opinions rammed down his throat, T sure does take a tight grip on the old ramrod. And again, I had no "3rd grade antics." That was all T.

from aph, I got a golf clap.

yo: Thankee, aph.

mm: I did rant and rave (without overt provocation), but my "personal attacks" have been limited to one sentence. I attacked the bad idea, not the person who posted it. Others jumped right into name calling where real arguements failed them.

T: Yes, I initially only bashed the idea. Obviously you needed a clearer explanation the first time. So I came back and spelled it out for you. But I'm still saying what I've always said; I'm just saying it with less "fuck"s. I now leave that to you...

T's witty rejoinder? A hearty "Fuck you!" in a private message. I guess the boy knows when he's been beaten. Or trounced, as the case may be.

So, was I wrong? Is a memorial toy a fitting tribute, or is a hollow show? I really do welcome more input. Hell, put me in my place. Show me how wrong I am. Make a convincing arguement for the figures. Because we certainly haven't seen any here today.

The typical rules and disclaimers apply to this piece as any of my other argement recaps: though I do pick and choose which posts I include, I don't ignore any posts that respond to something I've said or those to which I respond: it wouldn't be fair to only show my side of the arguement. I disguise names, but otherwise don't edit any of the posts for spelling, grammar or content. That would be cheating, and completely defeat the point of this post.


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