It might be old news, but I saw one of these in a shop for the first time today. A Boutique edition of Monopoly, coloured entirely in different shades of pink. The focus is shifted from ruthlessly trading in real estate, to having lots of girly fun going shopping. Chance and Community Chest are replaced with Instant Message and Text Message. And it’s very pink.
My gut reaction was to call it the most depressing thing I’ve ever seen, and maybe if I were in a grumpier mood I’d have stuck with that. But actually, I don’t think there’s anything objectionable here. There are dozens of Monopoly spin-offs, and I don’t really see a problem with tailoring the specifics of a game so that a particular demographic can more easily relate to it. I know I’d rather play a version with £’s on the money and bits of London I’ve been to, than with dollars and a bunch of American places I’ve never heard of. The uber-pink theme is just an extension of that.
I know it’s the obvious thing to say that anyone or anything attempting to update itself by mentioning text messaging is tragically unhip, like an embarrassing dad trying to be “down with the kids” and failing hopelessly to get any of it right. But here it just seems like good sense. If I’ve won second prize in a beauty contest, sure, text me about it. But what the hell is a community chest?
The old-fashioned form isn’t “better” just because you’re nostalgic for it, and if somebody else’s childhood didn’t heavily feature Old Kent Road and a little stainless steel model of a dog, you can’t blame them if their current tastes don’t match up with your own personal fond memories. Sure, I’d miss the battleship if it was replaced by a handbag, but this game really isn’t meant for me.
I gather some people are concerned about the unhealthy gender stereotypes it could be reinforcing. If it was called “Monopoly: Girls’ Edition”, I think you’d have a point, but I think it’s just a version for people who like this sort of thing. Which seems fine.
If you like this, Amazon recommends Pink Yahtzee. Now that’s just retarded.
Not that I necessarily needed to be reminded, but this is why Crispian Jago is one of the highlights of the skeptical movement. I never got around to actually finishing my own attempted Pythonesque parody, but I should probably just stand back and let the maestro show us all how it’s done. (“SUSCEPTIBILITY attracting MIASMS? What kind of talk is that?”)
The Perry in that sketch, incidentally, is Simon Perry off of the Leicester Skeptics in the Pub, who had an article about homeopathy in Boots published in the Leicester Mercury paper lately. Less funny, but more informative, and kinda important.
Also, I got to chat to Adam Baldwin earlier. Yes, that one. Okay, it wasn’t exactly a chat, if I’m honest. He posted a link on Twitter to a political cartoon, which depicts a pampered government representative sitting with his feet up on a barrel of money, while several (white) men representing taxpayers are literally picking cotton and singing Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen. The government guy is talking to them about healthcare, and the scene is said to describe “the big issue of freedom vs. socialism. Or, in other words, freedom vs. slavery.”
Yes, the political philosophy of public ownership of the means of production is being equated to the way black people used to be white people’s property.
I made a comment to the effect that this was pretty damn classy.
And whatever else you want to say about Adam Baldwin, you can’t say that he’s totally oblivious to overpowering sarcasm.
He sent me a message back, directing me to this video, in which some US politician I’ve barely heard of asserts that Republicans have historically not been especially progressive, and gets a few significant facts wrong according to the captions. This, I’m told, provides some much-needed “context”. Context to the cartoon in which, if you remember, white people whose tax dollars might have to cover a comprehensive healthcare plan for a few million people who can’t afford insurance, are having their hardships compared to the suffering of the black people who were owned as property by white people a few decades ago.
If this context somehow sheds new light on that, and is supposed to be making me see it in a whole new non-crazy perspective, it’s not working.
I guess there was no particular theme to any of this, but that’s enough for today.