Thursday, January 24, 2008

Culture Wars

British members of the government's technology educational organization BETCA, have rejected a book for its annual Bett Award for schools. The book, The Three Little Cowboy Builders, is a recreation of the classic children's story book, The Three Little Pigs.

The CD-Rom digital version of the traditional story of the three little pigs, called Three Little Cowboy Builders, is aimed at primary school children.

But judges at this year's Bett Award said that they had "concerns about the Asian community and the use of pigs raises cultural issues".

The Three Little Cowboy Builders has already been a prize winner at the recent Education Resource Award - but its Newcastle-based publishers, Shoo-fly, were turned down by the Bett Award panel.

The feedback from the judges explaining why they had rejected the CD-Rom highlighted that they "could not recommend this product to the Muslim community".

They also warned that the story might "alienate parts of the workforce (building trade)".
No word yet as to whether BETCA has apologized to all non-Muslim Asians for insinuating that they might be intellectually barren enough to be offended by a story that could conceivably contain a cartoon pig or two, or for that matter, to flesh and bone pig farmers that really have to, you know, occasionally glance at the offensive beasts just to make a lousy living.
The judges criticised the stereotyping in the story of the unfortunate pigs: "Is it true that all builders are cowboys, builders get their work blown down, and builders are like pigs?"
I'm torn on any potential bad blood between cowboys and builders though. It seems there should be plenty of shame to go around there already, what with prairie imperialism turning out so sourly and my house being woefully out of square. Me, I could take either side.

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