Barbie's 50th birthday: Many happy returns - on the barbie


(Come on Barbie, light my fire…)

I’ve said it more than a few times before but people use language very carelessly. There are relatively obscure examples of this – like the way people misuse the verb ‘decimate’. As in, “The army was decimated,” for, ‘Close to wiped out‘, while the true meaning of that original word reflects the old Roman habit to kill every one in ten persons (as a way of punishment, mostly.)

Much wider spread is the truly silly misuse of the adverb ‘literally’. Obviously, this construct is simply a way of separating metaphor from actual fact but it has evolved or mutated to such an extent that it is now, mostly, used as a way to give extra emphasis to certain observations.

Like, “When ABBA walked upon the stage, the crowd literally tore them apart.”

Ah, wish it were so…

Anyway, another word that has morphed into something beyond its original meaning, is the word ‘tasteless.’ Obviously, this – literally – means, ’something that has no discernible taste whatsoever.’ Over time, the word has come to mean something completely different, i.e. something that truly tastes bad.

All of which idle thoughts passed through my idling brain, when I read the following news article, about a cake that someone really should have left out in the rain. Something that you’d pray would turn out to be literally tasteless – or, failing that, that it would taste so bad that eating even the tiniest morsel would do much worse than simply decimate both taste buds and brain cells, so that the even the memory of having read about this soul-destroying food would be totally erased from the system:

“The world’s biggest Barbie birthday cake has been unveiled to celebrate the doll’s 50th anniversary. The 2.1 metre tall cake was displayed on the First Fleet Steps at the Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia. An accompanying exhibition charted the history of the toy with examples both old and new.”

Obviously, I would not have gone for a cake.

Me, I would have opted for a world wide roast – indeed, one planet wide Barbie barbie.

Ah, how the smell of Barbie meat and the sweet music of her dying screams would rise to the stars, like a perfect offering - and how the soothing soot would rain down one a cleansed world, for blissful (if blistering) weeks…

Which only leaves us to choose between three songs, in order to conclude today’s post. As the caption below the opening picture shows, that could have been this, of course… Obviously, the sixth paragraph would suggest I should go with this one - and yet, this whole Barbie story has left a decidedly foul taste in my mouth and I really do not want to suffer these slings and arrows of outrageous Mattel products alone, so I am afraid that I will have to leave you with this song instead:

(It’s a terrible admission to make but, like an obscure form of skin cancer, this clip does grow on me…)

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