Good morning, Clown World!
What is happening in our world of woke supremacy?
Yesterday, it was Victoria’s Secret hiring transsexual and overweight models after being criticized for its lack of inclusivity. The day before that it was a shy boy in Britain being arrested and convicted of sexual assault for approaching a girl. The day before that it was CNN hosting an LGBTQ Townhall where Pete Buttigieg explained how as a cisgendered gay man he didn’t fully understand the nuances of oppression experienced by black transgender women.
This morning the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants is because accused of violent, racist settler colonialism in Oceania in an academic journal at the University of Washington.
“In an article entitled “Unsettling SpongeBob and the legacies of Violence on Bikini Bottom” published in “The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal of Island Affairs”, Barker presents an argument that SpongeBob SquarePants as well as the other characters in the series are normalizing the taking of land while also contributing to the erasure of the indigenous people living there, specifically referring to the location of Bikini Bottom being a real, non-fiction place.
SpongeBob SquarePants and his friends play a role in normalizing the settler colonial takings of indigenous lands while erasing the ancestral Bikinian people from their nonfiction homeland,” Barker writes (via Fox News).
She goes on to note that the colonization of Bikini Bottom is “violent” and “racist”. She also makes the claim that the series is a whitewashed version of the real-life activities carried out by the American military against native populations in the Pacific. …”
“Other issues for Barker: a perceived imbalance between male and female characters, and the name “Bob” representing an everyman rather than a culturally appropriate character
In the article, Barker claims that because of these themes, children have “become acculturated to an ideology that includes the U.S. character SpongeBob residing on another people’s homeland. …”
What kind of person would say such a thing?
“Billions of people around the globe are well-acquainted with SpongeBob Squarepants and the antics of the title character and his friends on Bikini Bottom. By the same token, there is an absence of public discourse about the whitewashing of violent American military activities through SpongeBob’s occupation and reclaiming of the bottom of Bikini Atoll’s lagoon. SpongeBob Squarepants and his friends play a role in normalizing the settler colonial takings of Indigenous lands while erasing the ancestral Bikinian people from their nonfictional homeland. This article exposes the complicity of popular culture in maintaining American military hegemonies in Oceania while amplifying the enduring indigeneity (Kauanui 2016) of the Marshallese people, who maintain deeply spiritual and historical connections to land—even land they cannot occupy due to residual radiation contamination from US nuclear weapons testing—through a range of cultural practices, including language, song, and weaving. This article also considers the gendered violence of nuclear colonialism and the resilience of Marshallese women.”
Holly M. Barker appears to be exactly the sort of childless, insane woman described by Ann Coulter in his interview with Eric Metaxas. She is exactly what you would expect to find though in any American Anthropology or Sociology department. There is nothing at all unusual about this take on SpongeBob SquarePants. That’s the norm in these fields.
It was people like the cultural anthropologist Franz Boas and especially his student Margaret Mead who laid the foundation of Clown World in the early 20th century with her takes on South Pacific Islanders. She argued that human nature was infinitely malleable.