PDATE 11/22/2013 18:52 PST: Okay, so apparently the Beastie Boys aren’t so cool about Goldieblox approximating their song for “fair use.” They’ve filed an injunction to stop the song from being used. Wow, I never thought I’d say this again, but shut the f**k up and quit your whining, Beastie Boys. I’ll be goddamned if people who make their bread and butter in an industry where sampling has become the name of the game start pissing because they might somehow get cheated out of royalties or something. If anything, the popularity of this damn video should help the Beastie version of “Girls” find a new fan base.
In their defense against the lawsuit, Goldieblox said: “GoldieBlox created its parody video with specific goals to make fun of the Beastie Boys song, and to further the company’s goal to break down gender stereotypes and to encourage young girls to engage in activities that challenge their intellect, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. The GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video has gone viral on the Internet and has been recognized by the press and the public as a parody and criticism of the original song.”
I feel like any time you have to preface an article by saying you’re all for equality, there’s a good chance whatever you say next is going to be full of shit. So I won’t go that route. Instead, in titling an article “The Odd Little ‘Secret’ Behind The Insanely Viral Goldieblox Video,” what I really want to expose is that there’s a sort of weird ventriloquist thing going on with this video and the hype surrounding it. It reminds me of that scene in the movie “Chicago” where Renee Zellweger is a puppet on Richard Gere’s knee. Yeah, I watched “Chicago,” I guess you could say I’m like one of those sensitive guys ‘n shit (Jeff itches balls and spits).
You see, all the articles covering this story can’t wait to talk about this really innovative “Girl Power” message associated with Goldieblox and about how they’re toys for girls and the lady who started the company a year ago off of Kickstarter funding, Debbie Sterling, is a Stanford grad with a motto of “Disrupt the pink aisle.” I dig the hell out of the motto, I’m all for including girls in more progressive toys than, say, Barbie … I’d even be perfectly fine with more girl engineers as this commercial and the product behind it aspire to create. But what you don’t see mentioned in all this hype about girl power was that the commercial was created by a couple of guys.
The commercial was directed by Sean Pecknold, part of an ad company called “The Academy” (ugh … hipster company name). And the fabulous Rube Goldbergesque machine? Designed and built by Brett Doar. So while it’s cool and all that we are focusing on girl power and repurposing a misogynistic Beastie Boys song (“Girls”) to do it, but I don’t know — why didn’t they have some girls come up with the commercial?
I guess we now need a toy product that inspires more girls to go into advertising …
This totally doesn’t fit with anything else in the story, but I love this article bit from the L.A. Times’ reporting on the video … appropriately in talking about “sexism” in toys they make the bold-faced typo of “pubic pressure” being applied to making Easy Bake Ovens gender neutral. Freudian? Even better, they actually chime in later to make a couple of corrections on their article — and yet they completely missed this one. Ahh, L.A. Times … you suck.