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December 12, 2003

If You Build It, They Will Come

European sales of Microsoft's popular Office software skyrocketed today after the Redmond based company admitted it had inadvertently included swastikas in its "Bookshelf Symbol 7" font set.

"I'm just getting ready, you know?" said Paris resident Jacques Lefemme, who bought multiple copies of the software as presents to give to friends over the holidays. The way things are looking now, that font could come in handy very soon, non?"

"It's kind of a tradition in my family," continued Lefemme, whose father was an official in France's World War II Vichy government.

Retailers all over Europe have reported brisk sales, as customers not only snap up copies of the software, but the computers needed to run it.

Fawazy Wazy, a recent West Bank immigrant to Hamburg, explained why.

"I never had access to computer in my village. Had to paint swastikas on Jewish graves by hand--very hard to keep lines straight. Now, will increase productivity through use of the Great Satan's genius."

"Is this great country or what?" Wazy added. "The imam will be so pleased."

Posted by Bigwig at December 12, 2003 02:01 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
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Comments

I hate to sound dense, but what is the big controversy here? The parody of European attitudes is right on (and quite funny), but I don't see how fonts with swastikas are necessarily a manifestation of anti-Semitism.

The swastika is a holy symbol for Bhuddists, I believe. I work with a couple of guys who lived in Korea, and they said it was not uncommon to see swastikas on the Bhuddist temples there. In fact, I remember a story about an Asian man here in Utah who drew swastikas all over his house for good luck, and then couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about.

As much as I detest the word "eurocentric", I'm afraid Microsoft is being just that by failing to recognize that swastikas are not used exclusively by Nazis.

Posted by: Captain Holly at December 12, 2003 08:00 PM
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