08 October 2010

Hey, Kids, Here’s a Way to Add Color to the Tea Party!

The Tea Party Coloring Book for Kids got a lot of publicity last week, with some folks wondering if it was a parody, or simply self-parody. It’s self-published through a site called coloringbook.com, showing the ease with which we can now disseminate digital information. Self-publishing is the way to go when creators can easily identify and reach a niche market, and want to move fast.

The book’s picture of American history is bunk, of course. Talking Points Memo quotes the text this way:

In 1773 we had a Tea Party and this led to freedom from high taxes. Today we are having another Tea Party and this will lead to freedom from high taxes again! Ask grandma and grandpa what this means. Ask your friends what this means. Are you going to have your own tea party?
The issue of 1773 wasn’t “high taxes”; it was “taxation without representation.” You’d think people who so revere American history could remember that phrase—it rhymes and everything! (In fact, the British government wrote the Tea Act of 1773 to lower the consumer price of tea in North America.)

I find it telling how that passage mentions “grandma and grandpa.” Passing by the implication that those folks were around in 1773, that mention reflects how surveys find strong Tea Party adherents to be older than the average American adult. Similarly, most of the testimonials on the manufacturer’s website come from grandparents.

Another observation about this product came from Jezebel:
Things gleaned from the cover of The Tea Party Coloring Book For Kids: Tea Party includes many minorities, kids are angry about slow U.S. job growth, and money grows on trees.
And I don’t think any market-savvy publisher would have let the book’s cover suggest that boys in the movement outnumber girls 5:1.

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