We could have used Michael Bay’s heavy hand in this

8 Dec

I still don’t know why they keep letting Michael Bay make movies (to give Megan Fox more pennies for her tattoo fund?) but I wish they would have let him travel back in time (if anyone has this technology yet, it’s Hollywood, unless Bollywood has beat them to it) to lend his talents to the following Unintentionally Funny Book. Luckily I have a mere shred of decency and realized that today’s post would have been completely inappropriate for yesterday (which was Pearl Harbor day, y’all). So you get it today. Problem is, this book could have used a bit of reality, even the Michael Bay type, in presenting the Japanese-American conflict. Instead, as you shall see, we get a milquetoasty, glossing over account of what was then recent history. We get this:

Please take your shoes off before entering this book.

John and Elsie Caldwell are not the youth pastors at your church who are way too old to be taken seriously by middle schoolers. They are a husband and wife team who lived in Korea and hence are EXPERTS on every country outside of Canada. They wrote a series of books (Our Neighbors, to be friendly, yo) in the 1960s to teach 6-9 year olds all about life outside of their American bubble. They are the type of people who wrote 48 pages on all of Africa and presented it as a comprehensive guide to the hopscotch set on a landmass teeming with thousands of ethnic groups, a long and winding history and too many climates to count. So, you can see what you’re in for here. Well, maybe not. Ahem, first page, please.

It's okay, Mr. and Mrs. Caldwell are here to protect you.

Like, it’s cool, kids. I mean we totally dropped atomic weapons on them, which is soooo like people, isn’t it? But now we are friends! Because we like cars that work past 150,000 miles and Hello Kitty and they like Louis Vuitton. So it’s all good! You would have so much fun if you went to a country that we nearly burned to death a few decades past. See how friendship in the adult world works, kids?

I hope this is not the Hello Kitty Toaster factory!

Yeah, just read the bottom of the page. Did you choke on your coffee, too? (Coffee from Central America? Which is another Caldwell book and it’s all about COFFEE and how much the people love to grow and drink it. When they aren’t fleeing from dictators and guerilla warfare. But that’s so like friends, isn’t it?)

A glimpse into the not-so-distance future.

Um, yes: everything that China has not made in my home, Japan has. Because American kids read books like these for “social studies” and now can’t accomplish anything beyond an Absolut vodka ad campaign or putting up dirty pictures on the internet.

Where is ChocoCat? He's my total fave.

This is like some dreadful haiku about the Japanese economy, yet also a creepy vision of someday soon when Republican presidents will happily let American workers and students fall behind and get replaced by robots. (Does ketchup count as a vegetable when it’s for a robot?)

“Don’t hate good workers.
Michael Keaton taught us that.
We still have Brad Pitt.”

Look! It's our economy being sent overseas!

It’s so uplifting and innocent. And designed to make us feel better about bombing the crap out of them. See, they totally recovered from a devastating, bloody war. Why can’t other countries freaking get pulverized then make affordable and efficient vehicles?

Um, why is this picture on this page?

So, the war in a nutshell. It totally sucked and people died because Japan just ‘decided’ to fight with other countries. Even six-year-olds feel this is condescending.

If you are going to destroy a city, you should know how to pronounce its name.

But, now are friends; isn’t that just like people? “Oh, Japan,” (US punches Japan playfully on its Hugo Boss-covered shoulder) “we sure had some rough times back then, but I am sooooo glad we are friends again. Let’s promise to NEVER fight again, okay? Look, I made you this BFF collage*. Let’s go do “I Will Survive” at the bar down the street!” It’s really that easy, kids.

*The US totally made almost the exact same collage for Britain, too. France is still pissed because it didn’t get one and saw the one in Britain’s locker. So France sent a fake ‘sext’ to Canada, pretending it was from the US, which is so gross because Canada is the biggest dweeb.

In summary...

No, seriously, this IS the summary. This is everything they want you to take from this book.

See, Japan is so not different from us! I mean, look they have little kids who do calculus at age 7 for fun, just like us! They wear sweaters from the Land’s End catalog, just like us! They had an atomic bomb dropped on them and managed to recover in astounding time, just like…oh, not us, not us! My bad! But still, we have so much in common and Gwen Stefani is counting her lucky stars right now.


2 Responses to “We could have used Michael Bay’s heavy hand in this”

  1. Michelle G. December 8, 2009 at 11:20 am #

    Dude, how vaguely threatening does “Remember, it takes less than a day to cross the ocean to Tokyo” sound???


  1. Unfortunate Covers: don’t stand so close to me « Unintentionally Funny Books - December 16, 2009

    […] for its continual highlighting of books that aim to bring the peoples of the world together (See: Japan post, Nepal’s tribute to Hillary Clinton, and gay cats among many others) and celebrate our […]

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