February 9, 2006

The new Ken doll.

He's into Buddhism, we're told. Shouldn't Buddhists be freaking out about the use of their religion as a fashion accessory?

UPDATE: I have one of the original Ken dolls -- complete with flocked hair. But I never got any outfits for him, so he only ever had his red bathing trunks. Because my Barbie was "Negligée Barbie," she did not have that classic swimsuit, and I never bought her one. Thus, my version of the famous couple had a doomed relationship.

36 comments:

Anna said...

Ken is so metro.

Freeman Hunt said...

I agree with Anna. New Ken looks like a girl.

amba said...

Buddhists rioting is an oxymoron.

(vw: pudtle)

PatCA said...

I hope they don't freak out. I'm sort of numbed to one group or the other freaking out.

bill said...

I was about to say Buddhists aren't known for freaking out, but remembered they occassionaly protest through self-emolation.

The upside of that being, with a sufficient firebreak they are only a harm to themselves.

Gaius Arbo said...

Hell, Steely Dan used Bodhisattva for a song. I don't recall angry protests......

Personally, I have always wondered if Ken was straight. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I just wondered......

Verfication: ycaaz

GemmySecretPal said...

If they did freak out that would seem to warrant some serious self-reflection.

tiggeril said...

Both Buddhism and Hinduism have been a fashion accessory for quite some time now. There's nothing the trendoids love more than some of that wacky Eastern religion every now and again.

GemmySecretPal said...

Based on impartial data in recent U.S. elections, it seems that the "trendoids" really love "wacky" Western religions the most.

tiggeril said...

Not those trendoids. Unless you're thinking of Kabbalah as a Western religion.

GemmySecretPal said...

No, I was thinking more about whatever cult Santorum and Brownback are part of. You know, the one were some supernatural being has told them when you get to be born, when you get to die and then how you are supposed to behave at a funeral.

37921 said...

amba: That's funny, a Google search on "Buddhist riots" turns up quite a few.

Oh right, no true Buddhist ...

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Townleybomb said...

When I lived in Japan, there were a number of fairly well-publicized riots in Korea involving not only Buddhists but Buddhist monks. Something to do with rivaliries between different sects. The Koreans are a badass people.

As for Ken's brokebackitude, let's not forget the notorious Earring Magic Ken, designed in the early '90s based on their observations of the guys who hung out in all-night clubs in NYC. A lot of those clubs have names like "The Manhole".

GemmySecretPal said...

I'm sure there must a be a dedication of merit in here somewhere. "may all non-sentient beings dwell in the Dreamhouse of equanimity"

Sean E said...

"...it seems that the "trendoids" really love "wacky" Western religions the most.
...No, I was thinking more about whatever cult Santorum and Brownback are part of."

Yeah, those trendy Republican politicians, always up on the latest fads, trying to look cool for the kids. Who can forget the infamous Gingrich goth phase?

Sean E said...

Re: violent Buddhists, aren't the shao lin monks, of kung fu fame, Buddhists?

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GemmySecretPal said...

"Who can forget the infamous Gingrich goth phase? "

I always thought he overdid it with the eyeliner.

Wade_Garrett said...

What does it mean to be "into" Buddhism? Is that the same thing as being a Buddhist? Or is that the cliche Southern California-Richard Gere-I'm-into-Buddhism-because-it-sounds-cooler-than-Christianity-or-Judaism thing?

reader_iam said...

Made me think of the touchy-feely sort of Zen Buddhist/New-Age-y sorts of things.

Which makes me think of the movie "Serial," starring Martin Mull.

Tommy Smothers' (I think) character:

"Youness, meness,
Usness, weness
Yourness, mineness,
Ourness."


Martin Mull's character:

Sickness!

Gaius Arbo said...

Riffing off townleybomb then, maybe that's the ticket to improving Ken's image:

Brokeback Barbie

"I wish I could quit you, Ballerina Barbie......"

Verif: gtdic

lindsey said...

New Ken is like New Coke. Kinda gay.

tcd said...

Speaking as a Buddhist, born & raised, I am not outraged. Ken doll is but a speck of dust. Now, the Taliban destroying centuries-old Bamiyan Buddha statues is another thing. Outraged? Doesn't come close. And yes, I know about the impermanence of things.

P. Froward said...

tcd,

Aren't you being a bit arrogant and insensitive, condemning the Taliban's "perfectly understandable" reaction to a grave offense against their religious sensibilities? They wuz provoked!

</sarcasm>


(Word verification COMSXORX -- if there are any Windows programmers in the audience, dig it: I've just been fighting with an inexplicably failing CoCreateInstance() call... COM sux0rx indeed.)

Eli Blake said...

tcd,

That does bring up an interesting point. Some Islamic extremists are willing to issue orders to murder some cartoonists for drawing a cartoon that insulted their religion, but they have no problem openly desecrating others' religion.

Eli Blake said...

I have one question though. How do they define his religion? I mean, you can give him clothes, but a doll is just a piece of plastic, and I wonder how you define their religion. Do they have a tattoo on him or something?

Eli Blake said...

Of course, with the new 'metro' Ken, it is sure to set off alarm bells at Concerned Women of America, a conservative group which recently jumped all over Barbie as 'promoting the homosexual/transgender agenda.'

Seneca the Younger said...

Hell, Ann, we're just so pleased to see someone knows where to put the 'h'. In the immortal words of the Sixth Patriarch, "fundamentally not one thing exists, so why get all excited about a stupid doll"?

Seneca the Younger said...

New Ken is like New Coke. Kinda gay.

Which means New Ken is a lot like Old Ken.

Seneca the Younger said...

Speaking as a Buddhist, born & raised....

Speaking as one of those 60's converts (probably like your parents, tcd) it still kinda freaks me out to run into "born and raised" American Buddhists.

Freaks me out in a good way, mind you, but it still freaks me out.

Jacques Cuze said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jacques Cuze said...

[using] religion as a fashion accessory

Not just the Ken doll, but sounds like George Bush the Cheney sock puppet too!

jvgordon said...

Sean E's comment about Gingrich's Goth phase reminded me of a real attempt to be cooler by Gingrich that I witnessed.

When I was interning for one of the House leadership groups in 1997, I used to have to arrange donuts for meetings of all the House Republicans. Gingrich would almost always be the first Member of Congress at the meetings. And while he was busy talking to staff or others, he would always look longingly over at the trays of donuts, but not take any. I asked him about it one day, and he mournfully explained that he was on a diet and couldn't eat things like that anymore. It was then that I realized that even the most powerful people in the world have limits imposed upon them by the importance of looking cool for others. The power of cool exceeds us all.

John in Nashville said...

Isn't any Barbie's and Ken's relationship problematic from the start? Something about neither having genitalia.

No Blood for Hubris said...

I'm Buddhist, not born and raised (but I bore and raised a Buddhist), and I'm also not freaked out about Ken. But dabbling in Buddhism means--what? He learned how to meditate? He can light an incense stick? He posted the Four Noble Truths at town hall next to the Ten Commandments?