FILE UNDER: WHITE NOISE

Peroxide locks stick out from her headwrap. The cute mujahid repeats the phrase with machinic fidelity until her batteries run out. “Islam is the light, Islam is the light,” says Mattel’s latest baby blonde squeeze-toy. Or at the least that what concerned parents across Yanquistan heard the the Little Mommy Cuddle ‘n Coo doll saying before Mattel “eliminated that segment of the sound file from future production.” Story here | aqui. (gracias Sonido!)

We live in a noisy world. Basic listening is difficult. Extracting sense from sound is even harder. The manufacturer Mattel blames the alleged proselytization on a misunderstanding caused by distortion and cheap foreign-manufactured electronics. “Because the original soundtrack is compressed into a file that can be played through an inexpensive toy speaker,” says Mattel, “actual sounds may be imprecise or distorted.” What they are saying is that proper audio fidelity would have prevented a collective misinterpretation of religious fidelity. Mass-manufactured gibberish ( “baby babble with no real sentence structure”) was misinterpreted as having meaning. Amidst intentional nonsense and unavoidable noise, a seemingly non-existent signal was heard, and acted upon. Zeal is the word we’re looking for. Or is it exegesis?

Little Mommie Coo

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“And now I wanna be your dog” sang Iggy Pop, whose rock-styled heresy was repudiated by the New Age gospel group the Stone Roses several years later. The Roses turned Mr.Pop’s statement on end, signing “I wanna be a door” – a compressed poetic declaration of non-sentient desire more in tune with 15th century Gnostics than the hedonistic environment of late 80s Manchester in which the Stone Roses found themselves. “I don’t have to sell my soul, Hizbollah is in me”.

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