July 27 – Houseplants and Barbie Dolls Featured in Cray-cray Holidays

Posted on July 27, 2017


I take a look at a variety of sources when looking for a world holiday, historical anniversary, and/or famous birthday to write about.

And several sources insist that today is Barbie in a Blender Day. Wh-wh-what?

And, apparently, it's also Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day. Wh-wh-wh-wh-wh-what?

So, two weird holidays. Let's take a look at what they're all about:

Barbie in a Blender Day

Art is all about making us think, making us see a new bit of reality, or familiar reality in a different way. Sometimes art is beautiful, but some art is not at all beautiful. Some art is ugly, and what might be thought-provoking to some might be upsetting to others.

An American artist named Tom Forsythe wanted to make a comment about how commercial our society is. We buy too much stuff, we throw away too much stuff, and despite all that "too-much-stuff"-ness, we are constantly urged to buy-buy-buy even more.

I never know how artists come up with original ways to say things, so I cannot explain how Forsythe came up with this idea - but he decided to take a series of photos showing Barbie dolls being shredded or cooked in a variety of ways. He called the photo series "Food Chain Barbie." 

One of the ways to shred a Barbie could be by blender! BUT don't try it at home! Not only would it totally destroy the Barbie, it's likely to break or jam the blender! Even if you have a really good blender that can do the job, blending a Barbie would release dangerous plastic "smoke."

Anyway, back to Forsythe and his art project. Mattel Toys was upset at the photos of shredded Barbies, so they sued the artist. Even though Forsythe won, and Mattel was ordered to pay almost 2 million dollars to him, the case had dragged on for FIVE YEARS and cost Forsythe a lot in lost income and lawyers' fees. Any time a really big corporation sues a single artist, it's really hard on the artist.


So a student group called Freeculture.org decided to call attention to Forsythe's work, Mattel's intimidation tactic, and the importance of free speech. 

And they decided to do it by starting Barbie in a Blender Day.

In order to celebrate, do not destroy dolls and blenders, but instead, think about, read about, and talk about the importance of art and commentary on our society. Think / read / talk about the importance of free speech. Think / read / talk about the need to question "the way things are" and wonder "what if" things were different. Think / read / talk about the importance of questioning authority and standing up to big money and big corporations.



Also, if you want to see some blending action, today, check out the Blendtec "Will It Blend?" series. It's as cray cray as today's holiday!


Barbie in a Blender Day is more upsetting to me, but it is more serious and important than Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day

This is just for fun - a day when we are urged to carry our houseplants in our arms or wagon (or...?) as we show them around our neighborhoods. Hopefully, we will run into some neighbors we can introduce to the houseplants.

Silly, right?

Any excuse for exercise is good, but a more normal way of celebrating might be giving our houseplants a little tour of the house to see if there might be a better place for them to grown and flourish. Are they getting too much, or not enough, light? Do their roots have room? Be creative - think outside of the pot (as it were) - and come up with a better place or a better container for houseplants that aren't thriving.



 

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