Monday, November 14, 2016

The Nordstrom Hoodie Upsets the Chinese

Image: The Andrea Happiness Hoodie (Nordstrom)

Why Indifference? design featured on the Andrea Happiness hoodie (Andrea Marcaccini/Facebook)

Nordstrom was compelled to desist from selling a hoodie showing Japanese soldiers killing Chinese people during the ‘Rape of Nanking’ massacre in the 1930s.
The Andrea Hoodie, produced by the Happiness clothing company, prompted huge outrage online and was removed from sale on Remembrance Day.
Writing on Nordstrom’s Facebook page, many customers called for a boycott of the department store chain and the brand, while others called the hoodie “horrifying”.
“Making money off cold blood war crime,” wrote Suping Guan‎. “We demand an apology”.
“It was one of the most inhuman event in the history!” wrote Michelle Q. Zhang. “The Happiness Corporation creating such thing for sale is a big disgrace to our society!”
In an email to Daily Hive, Nordstrom’s public affairs manager Emily Sterken said she understood where the complaints were coming from and agreed the image was insensitive.
Sterken said the hoodie was never for sale in stores, and has now been removed from their website.
She added that when Nordstrom began receiving complaints about the hoodie, they reached out to the original vendor, who said the meaning had been misinterpreted.
The design was originally created for Happiness by Andrea Marcaccini. Writing on his own Facebook page, he said the image was supposed to be a criticism of indifference to war.
“I’d like to apologize with Chinese community if I may have hurt anyone’s feeling with this post,” wrote Marcaccini.
“But this picture is actually against war and indifference.” “No one ever speaks of that event (China massacre) in the Western world. It is not meant to be offensive in any way, on the contrary it’s a protest against the bigoted and narrow-minded people. This is a demur kind of art, not an insult!”
The Rape of Nanking refers to the mass murder and rape committed by invading Japanese troops. China says 300,000 people died during six weeks of carnage when the Imperial Japanese army overran the city in December 1937.

[Note: For additional info, kindly check out my blog post].

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Anyway, the hoodie design shows a scene from the film City of Life and Death, which told the story of the massacre. The eyes of the soldiers and civilians are scrawled out in red.
Superimposed on top is an image of a woman on a bench, looking away, and at the top, in scratchy red writing, are the words “Why indifference?”
A matter of perspective, really.
On Sunday, I was at the Sai Masters Toastmasters meeting where I took up two roles, i.e. Speech Evaluator and General Evaluator. In fact, two of the role players that afternoon were ex-Toastmasters, given the lack of attendees.
The members shouldn't be indifferent to their own club. Poor Dr Devi Menon was really in a tight spot yesterday.

I also submitted my CL award applications, #13 and #14.   

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