(Billund, Denmark) As the Christmas buying season approaches, a civil war has erupted within the LEGO Group that will define the company for a generation. At issue, the decision whether to market Lego’s “Build the Wall” kit during Christmas this year.
Earlier this Spring, a group of LEGO executives began conducting US marketing research. They quickly learned that LEGO has gained a cult like following within conservative families because the blocks can be used by their children to practice building the Mexican-American border wall. Seeking to capitalize on the marketing opportunity, LEGO’s North American President Soren Torp Laursen authorized the creation of the LEGO “Build the Wall” kit for Christmas 2018. Internal marketing studies predict that it will be Lego’s first billion dollar project.
It is likely that LEGO would have avoided a corporate civil war but for the fateful decision to put a “MAGA” emblem on the side of the kit’s packaging. In August, Lego’s worldwide CEO, Jorgen Vig Knudstrop, saw a mock up of the Build the Wall box and stopped the project in its tracks. He then sent what has become known internally as LEGO’s “Jerry Maguire memo” in which he stated that as a corporation, LEGO values compassion more than profits and would not sell kits clearly aimed at pandering to President Trump’s base. North American President Laursen fought back, issuing his own competing memo, a copy of which has been obtained by NGEFTO. Laursen’s memo states: “One MAGA emblem on the side of the box doesn’t make the kit political. Children throughout the world have built walls with Lego blocks since 1932. I categorically reject that this is a political kit. Sometimes a wall is just a wall. And there is nothing wrong with making a billion dollars while you are building walls with Lego blocks!” Refusing to fall in line, Laursen plans to move ahead with the project despite Knudstop’s directive.
On Tuesday, November 13th, Laursen and Knudstrop will face off and present their competing corporate visions to the Lego Board. At issue, the soul of this Danish company–will it choose profits or compassion this Christmas?
For the third straight day, city leaders desperately looked for solutions to resolve New York City’s escalating racial tensions. At issue, the city’s use of the “white man means walk” signal at New York’s pedestrian street crossings.
The protests started six months ago when persons of color began refusing to cross the street at intersections marked by the offensive signal. Initially, the protests were small and nonviolent. However, in July the movement reached a critical mass when activists pointed out that the choice to use the symbol for a “man” rather than a non-gendered person, reinforced gender stereotypes as well. Ten days ago, the protests turned violent. In addition to the specter of additional demonstrations, transportation and vehicular traffic has come to a halt as thousands of protesting citizens have engaged in a campaign of “militant” jaywalking.
On Friday, Mayor de Blasio issued the following statement: “I am ashamed of the decision of prior administrations to install these offensive street signals. I acknowledge they are racially insensitive. It saddens me that prior generations thought it was acceptable to use a “white man” to signal “good” and a “red man” to signal “bad.” I agree that our initial proposal to solve the problem by installing traffic signals that said “walk” and “stop” was misguided. As soon as it was pointed out to me that this reinforced the cultural stereotype that English is a mandatory language, I immediately appointed a task force to study this problem. However, it’s going to take us years to come to a solution and implement it. There are over 500,000 street crossing signals in the five boroughs and it is going to cost several billion dollars to replace them. I ask New Yorkers to pull together at this divisive moment and allow my Administration a three-month grace period to propose our solution. We are stronger when we stand together.”
Geneva Hall, an assistant professor of Sociology at Columbia University, has been appointed to head Mayor de Blasio’s committee tasked with solving this issue. On Saturday, NGEFTO spoke with Professor Hall, who offered the following: “Symbols matter. And it was long overdue for the city to acknowledge its callousness in choosing a simulacrum of a white man to tell women and persons of color whether they can walk or not walk. The smugness and patriarchy reinforced by these signals is chilling. It’s one step away from fascism! We are going to solve this problem in a way that empowers all New Yorkers, rather than the privileged few, to feel good about their decision to cross the street.”
On Monday, Jimmy Carter finally confirmed long standing rumors regarding prostitutes and cocaine use in the Carter White House.
Carter, one of our most cerebral Presidents, was publicly known for his humanitarian programs and relentless pursuit of peace in the Middle East. And in fact, Carter was mocked by some for admitting in his 1976 Playboy interview that he had sinned by “lusting in his heart.”
But on Monday, in a speech to the National Press Club, he confirmed that it was “nothing but hookers and blow” behind closed doors. Perhaps the most startling revelation was that after he won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, he took the award to the Cheetah III, an Atlanta strip club, and rubbed it on one of the dancers. Carter gleefully admitted the conduct stating: “I fucking made it rain!”
Contrary to earlier reporting, the President’s wife, Rosalyn was neither involved, nor aware, of the President’s conduct.