In a further demonstration that parody is dead and has been replaced completely by irony, I learned yesterday that it is possible to obtain a product known as TreeTop Barbie if one donates $50 or so to the International Canopy Network, based at the Evergreen State College in Olympia.
Here is the actual description of this product. As Dave Barry says, I swear I am not making this up.
"TreeTop Barbie is designed to raise consciousness among young girls (and boys!) about the importance of forest canopy organisms and interactions. TreeTop Barbie can provide a role model for kids and parents who are interested in alternatives to mainstream culture’s Barbie doll image. TreeTop Barbie can provide encouragement to kids who would like to be field biologists. Additionally, TreeTop Barbie can help to raise awareness regarding the importance of forest canopies, both in rainforests and the temperate zone.
TreeTop Barbie’s field clothes are hand sewn and include rough and tumble climbing pants, field vest, field shirt, helmet, boots and all the appropriate climbing gear (rope, harness, etc). TreeTop Barbie, armed with her binoculars, rite-in-the-rain [sic] data book and trusty field guide (both Barbie- and big girl-sized) is ready to identify plants and animals found in the forest. The TreeTop Barbie Package also includes a personal letter from TreeTop Barbie as well as some information about forests, both kid- and adult-oriented."
I am also not making up the fact that I learned about TreeTop Barbie yesterday when she was interviewed by a local newspaper.