June 20, 2003
Lost Boy

This story about a mixed race boy in South Africa sounds ripe for commodification into the standard products of consumer culture (movie, book, brand). In fact, it already has. The abandoned/kidnapped kid, whose blood and upbringing is more mixed than a Dairy Queen flurry, is already pitching paint ads with the line "Any color you can think of."

But beneath that, there are some truly deep racial and identity issues, of a very different hue than what we are used to here in the US.

Posted by tmonkey at June 20, 2003 12:25 AM

what struck me about that story is that if the boy looked black -- or didn't look quite as "modelly" -- the story probably wouldn't have been in the paper. Or at least there wouldn't have been a photo, which is likely what grabbed all of us. I think what spooks Times readers is the Tarzan overtones: what does it mean for a Euro boy to be raised by Africans? is he any different?

Posted by: phrisky on June 20, 2003 11:40 AM
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