Since the 2000 political documentary filmmaker, Michael Moore explored the circumstances that lead to the 1999 Columbine High School massacre and, more broadly, the proliferation of guns and the high homicide rate in America, it is apparent Americans are becoming increasingly angrier. Why do 11,000 people die in America each year at the hands of gun violence?
Not only are more people grumpy, according to a recent study by researchers in New Zealand, Legos, yellow-faced people are madder than when they first hit the building block scene. The little, plastic, yellow-faced people, who are a snap-together part of the famous children’s building block set, appear proportionately more angry, the study revealed.
According to the New Zealanders, Lego has released more little yellow guys with angry scowls than ever before. The spike in plasticine ire, the study posits, is related to the release of more aggressively-themed Lego sets: space invaders, pirates and Harry Potter villains, all carrying weapons and grouchy faced frowns.
Researchers Christoph Barneck and Mohammad Obaid, who work for the University of Canterbury; the third author, Karolina Zawieska is from the Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements wrote, “It is our impression that the Lego yellow-face themes have been increasingly based on conflicts.” The researchers came to their conclusion after cataloging and photographing the 3,655 Lego characters released between 1975 and 2010, then asking 264 American adults to characterize the figures’ expression as angry, happy, sad, disgusted, surprised or fearful.
Bartneck stated, “We discovered a proportional growth of angry faces since the early 90’s. “Furthermore, variables, such as skin color and whether the figures’ head is attached to a body, didn’t substantially throw off our conclusions.”
The report has led, in one Ohio community, to place a ban on the purchase of Lego sets that include angry or otherwise unhappy little plastic men.
So the question might be…are the little yellow guys reflecting society or is society reflecting its mood onto the little yellow guys? The wise person knows the little yellow guys reflect society.
Why are Americans becoming more and more angry? ###
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