Thursday, 1 July 2010

the spark up! post-slag: worrying under-representation of golliwogs in national chain-store

to: trevor phillips obe (chairman - equality & human rights commission)

from: xxxxx xxxx (spark up!)

dear sir trevor

i today visited the build-a-bear workshop, a soft-toy retail-outlet located at covent garden north piazza, london wc2e 7qa, and, despite observing a preponderance of flamingos, bears, pandas and the like, was most concerned to note the conspicuous lack of golliwogs on sale there. as you can imagine, i felt immediately compelled to enquire about this scandalous situation and approached a bear-salesperson in order to ascertain whether the afore-mentioned establishment's policy on golliwogs was, indeed, more a case of positive selection, rather than negative omission - however, in response to the question, "do you have any golliwogs in stock?" the assistant blurted out: "i don't exactly know what a golliwog is, but if it's what i think it is, no!" well, leaving aside the deplorable state of affairs whereby, in this day and age, an employee in such a line of business can be wholly ignorant of the existence of the golliwog, nay, utterly unable to identify one, i feel duty-bound to point out that the weight of circumstancial evidence collected at the build-a-bear workshop constitutes a prima facie case of gross discrimination against the beleaguered cuddly toy formerly known-and-loved as "golly", the child's bosom bedtime-companion. moreover, i am sorry to say, i cannot build, for this company, a specious defence based upon the notion, for example, that the build-a-bear workshop only sells the teddy bear and nothing but the teddy bear - for, as i have already communicated, i distinctly remember beholding furry flamingos and pekingese pandas strutting their stuff upon the display-shelves. i am thus presented with no other option but to conclude that there is in play, purely-and-simply, a pre-meditated marketing-plan which aims to intentionally exclude the traditional afro-caribbean playmate from the shop-premises - a decision which has deliberately left the continent of africa woefully and disgracefully under-represented in the build-a-bear workshop, and which has left me flabbergasted. (a decision, incidentally, which seems all the more astonishing in light of the fact that the museum of childhood in bethnal green, london, displays the renegade minstrel as an heroic role model)

i trust, sir trevor, that you will deal with this matter expeditiously and expediently, using the full gravity of your office.

yours sincerely

xxxxx xxxx


i beg you forgive my failure to supply a full address and my employment of a pseudonym - you will appreciate that whilst conducting my undercover-operations as a crusader against racial inequality, i have found the adoption of anonymity to be essential, as this genre of work is highly perilous and can, unfortunately, provoke completely unwarranted reprisals.


pryin' stalkin' creepin' wankin' livin' troll said...

perhaps the build-a-bear workshop would build you a golly (if the price is right)? i hear, for an extra score, they even provide a repo-service for lost toys.

jocelyn jack esien said...

in my opinion, golliwogs are accurate representations of freelance black entertainers who caricatured and stereotyped their own race, just like wot i do - some made their money playing to white audiences, some to black; some criticized racism, some did not; some were funny, some were not (just like me). i believe that gollies should be allowed the commercial liberty to sink or swim on the free-market, just like their real-life great-great-great-grand-fathers, who had the professional choice of ripping-off racism or re-inforcing it - but i think they should all be banned until they grow great big bulging bouncy black titties (just like me).

jocelyn jack esien said...


originally, of course, the blackface minstrels were white people blacked-up to take the piss out of african-american slaves, then freed african-american slaves were granted licences to entertain provided they blacked-up some gollies really represent white people, which, in itself, is quite funny actually - but given the history behind why they blacked-up...i'll have to go away and think about that one...and consider whether i should authorize those gollies' particular blackface performing permits.

spark up said...


thanks jocelyn, old girl, interesting stuff - you can be my golly anyday, darling. personally, i applaud the museum of childhood (bethnal green) for retaining their golliwog exhibition, it provides a very important point for discussion, on many levels. nevertheless, i wish the museum proprietors would concentrate less on fĂȘting the golliwog as a hero and spin-off-toy of the florence kate upton novels (where, in fact, golliwogg mutates from "a horrid sight, the blackest gnome" into being a friendly character with a "kind face"), and would rather they place more emphasis on the double-edged racial history of the blackface-minstrels upon which the original black minstrel-dolls were based - otherwise the cynical racial-caricaturing by the first pre-abolition minstrels becomes soot swept under the carpet.

sir trev trillips (pro-golly) said...

strangely enough, i'm (almost) on the same tack as you here, spark up, old boy. for whilst publicly denouncing all things golliwog...secretly snuggled in my bed at home, i own a rather off-black one which was specially delivered by stork from africa. i call it obama. it's so full of pins it looks like an ingrown hedgehog.

mishell obarmimama said...

11:42've certainly struck a chord there sir trev...but you should try the real thing, honey - i find home-needlework in bed with barack such an a1 fucking release...especially what with all this stupid religiously-bigoted flack about us sending full-metal-tampons into afghanistan. jesus h, don't these whingeing wogettes understand? we sistas gotta unite and fight for the poor melanine-deprived woman's ineligible human right to choose her goddamn abuser.

(president) barack obombaklaart said...


oh, all right dear...i suppose we've got to do something to deflect attention from this mother-fucking pile-up in paki-land...a war on gollies it is then.