This Doll Must Die

Don’t EVER let anybody tell you that Germans are lasch (feeble) when it comes to threats posed to them by foreign intelligence snoops.

Cayla

Forget about not caring about Putin & Co., forget about spinning your wheels ridiculously with your NSA spying affair. We’ve got a real live (sort of) freakin’ wi-fi-connected Internet doll on the loose and we’re all going to die if we don’t kill her first. OK. So we don’t know who she’s working for yet. But still.

A German government watchdog has ordered parents to destroy an internet-connected doll for fear it could be used as a surveillance device. According to a report from BBC News, the German Federal Network Agency said the doll (which contains a microphone and speaker) was equivalent to a “concealed transmitting device” and therefore prohibited under German telecom law…

“My Friend Cayla” uses a microphone to listen to questions, sending this audio over Wi-Fi to a third-party company (Nuance) that converts it to text. This is then used to search the internet, allowing the doll to answer basic questions, like “What’s a baby kangaroo called?”

Why would anybody want to know what a baby kangaroo is called, huh?

And this is just the beginning, too. These wi-fi-thingies will soon be everywhere. “It doesn’t matter what that object is — it could be an ashtray or a fire alarm.” Damn right. So after you’ve finished strangling this doll toss everything else out of the window while you’re at it. Just in case. They’re out to get us, people. They’re everywhere, I tell you. Whoever they are. Bad dolly!

At what point did we enter this Philip K. Dick novel, anyway?

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Barbie Must Die

And the “Barbie Dreamhouse Experience” must be wiped from our collective memory. And said dreamhouse must be razed to the ground, too. This is because Barbie is a clear and present danger and a real threat. At least here in Berlin it is.

Barbie

And as far as I can tell, these are the German feministic reasons for this:

Everything is pink. Barbie and her Dreamhouse are a “pink-colored, sparkling world of beautiful illusion.”

There is an “endless” closet, cupcake baking kitchen, fashion runway and pop-star karaoke stage” inside (OK, I’m with them when it comes to this part).

The Dreamhouse gives “children the chance to taste the sweet nectar of life as a doll” and the protestors don’t like “pretty propaganda” like this.

They find it unfair that “not many women have the possibility of creating such a life for themselves.”

They think that Barbie is a role model that makes young girls want to “always look good, and to cook and clean.”

Barbie and her Dreamhouse “lead to eating disorders,” too.

And on and on and on. The head feminist, Michael Koschitzki, a member of the far-left Left Party’s youth organization, has spearheaded the protest movement against the Dreamhouse, printing thousands of flyers and calling on fellow feminists to gather outside for speeches and protest outside the temporary attraction on Thursday.

I’m speechless, almost. And I’m not making any of this stuff up, either. And these aren’t little girls cranking out this nonsense. These are real live feminist grownup human beings openly calling to picket a Barbie house, albeit a “Barbie Dreamhouse Experience” kind of house, but still. And the worst part of all this? The Barbie Dreamhouse Experience will be charging adults €15 just to get in.

“Barbie has again become a tool for some to advance their own agenda.”