Wakanda Mess is This

    Forever 21 is marketing a new sweater with the Black Panther logo.

    This is the model, presented via Twitter.

    Social media responded bringing holiday cheer. The tweet rapidly disappeared.






    Black Panther was an action film and if all one cares about is exciting scenes of fights and car or plane chases I guess it was good. But I look for more.  I hated the film and thought it was border line racist. Here you have the most technologically advanced nation on earth for it's time with many brilliant scientists and doctors and it's still a true monarchy. These intelligent educated people still allow themselves to be ruled by this absolute dictator/king. Worse yet in the event of the death of the dictator they choose the new dictator in a contest to see who can beat the other contestants for the throne with a stick. When the hated brute with a stick beats the preferred brute with a stick they stay with tradition and most knuckle under the hated brute with a stick. Only in a movie about blacks in Africa would you see this sort of garbage.  And now I'm supposed to give a shit about some white guy wearing a Wakanda shirt? Exactly why.

    Actually on a minor level I thought the sweater ad was interesting but I didn't comment until you were brave enough to. Just because I didn't want to get into more stupid arguments lowest common denominator about about pop culture stuff.

    I'd like to share what I was thinking about it now.

    I have paid more than a little interest to Forever 21's marketing in the past. They specialize in selling extremely cheap imported knockoffs of poor quality of the hippest and hottest most stylish stuff, the stuff that is appealing to current 21 yr. olds.And they hire buyers and marketers who get what is going on with that demographic.  The sweater itself looks like a goofy "lost in translation" cross-cultural import, the type of thing catalogued in websites titled "funny Chinese knockoffs" like this one for example. Where they try to copy to sell for American cultural taste, but don't exactly get it right, there's something amiss, more work needed before they "get it."

    All that given, I'm pretty sure that the kids putting the ad together, chosing the model, etc., and I suspect they were kids, were trying to get too hipster ironic for the lowest common denominator politically correct crowd. And they got a significant pushback because the joke went over the heads of the lowest common denominator crowd, and the bean counters at the company decided it was worth throwing their ironic brand under the bus for this one and issue a standard "we're horrified and sorry" apology.

    I would like to share that in the process of looking for some good examples of "funny knockoffs" sites, I ran across this very well done video on "why do the Chinese especially seem to have a copycat culture?" Though not that related to the sweater or Afro-American cultural issues topic, I highly recommend it, the young guy is both entertaining and knowledgeable on topic and packs a lot of thought-provoking commentary on cross-cultural issues into a few minutes




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