Man Who Go On Big Train Have Big Idea




"Just thought I’d give you the heads up on this ad for Virgin Trains:
Apparently the Apache dig the Moleskine too! ;-)"


View the ad on Virgin Trains

20 thoughts on “Man Who Go On Big Train Have Big Idea

  1. You can always send Richard Branson an email to protest. If you think the broken English is insulting and demeaning, wait till you see the ad. It’s pretty dumb.

  2. This is just a play with words along the lines of the old western movies, nothing to do with Virgin, or Richard Branson, or racism. Sorry, but if this is seen as a racist remark then the problem is with the reader not the writer.


  3. (Bad Bob. No frybread for you.)

    I’m all for allusion, double entendre, puns and word play of every sort. I’m missing something if there’s a play on words here, though. What I see is a replication of the stylized broken English portrayed ’50s westerns, etc.

    Bob, help me out here: you’re saying that old Westerns *weren’t* racist, and so by duplicating speech of the “Injuns” (typically played by Anglos in face paint, a la the Anglos in black face in the minstrel shows) portrayed by them, this ad/post title is also not racist? You’re kidding, right? I’m not saying we should be revisionists and go and “fix” the old Westerns. They are what they are, and some are entertaining as well as a bit uncomfortable to see. But to continue such racial stereotypes in an age when we’re supposed to have learned better is sad.

    I’m getting off my soapbox now. You see my point or you don’t; clubbing folks like baby seals isn’t going to help matters.

  4. I cant speak for Carina but I am pretty sure that her title was not seen as or meant to be racist by her and no offence was meant for double sure.

    I think you are mixing up racism with fun here, come on now, I have never heard anybody call the old western movies RACIST, and certainly not uncomfortable to see.

    [quote]What I see is a replication of the stylized broken English portrayed ’50s westerns, etc.[/quote] Exactly, and no harm is meant by it.


  5. No one, Bob? I know I said I was getting off my soapbox, but on the way down, I typed “westerns portrayal of natives” into Google, and there were a lot of hits for something no one has ever considered:

    Native Americans in the Movies: A Bibliography of Materials in the UC Berkeley Library

    “Native Americans are chief among the casualties of American westward expansion, and their depiction in Westerns remains a serious point of contention among critics of the genre.”

    _Going Native: Indians in the American Cultural Imagination_ by Shari M. Huhndorf

    “Movie after movie instilled and reinforced the concept of Manifest Destiny and male dominance by those of Northern European decent… Due to the popularity of the western, Native Americans have had many roles in the movies and on television. However, they are hardly ever in leading roles and are usually portrayed as savages. If they are shown as civilized they are in the role of the sidekick such as Tonto was to the Lone Ranger. The average American thinks that he or she knows a lot about the Native Americans, however, most of what they know is probably the Hollywood myth.”

    It was an interesting little meander through the Internet, and I only hit the first couple of pages worth of links. People far more eloquent than I have addressed this topic, and others far more rabid, too.

    (You still get no frybread, Bob. Sorry, but that’s the way it has to be.)

  6. Jsut like we should not “fix the old westerns” I don’t think we should judge what was a humorous title as a racist comment, I am sure if we look hard enough we can find anything we want on the internet, written by self professed experts, all in supposed good faith, too satisfy the PC brigade.

    I am not sure what “frybread” is so not sure if I am missing out on anything !!?


  7. Bob, you gotta at least learn the joys of Google. Like the last search, I went with a link on the first page of results:

    “Frybread (also spelled fry bread) is a Native American food, found throughout the United States. Frybread is a flat dough fried or deep-fried in oil, shortening, or lard. The dough is generally leavened by yeast or baking powder. Frybread was created in the 1800s, when Native Americans were forced onto reservations and given rations of flour and lard by the government. Native Americans did what they could, and fried bread in lard.” — from Wikipedia, which fails to mention just how delicious (it’s horrible for you, like all tasty foods) it can be.

    My saying “no frybread” is “Bad Bob, no biscuit,” but with a Native American reference.

  8. Alia, perhaps your offense at racism might be taken more seriously if you did not drop racist terms like “Anglo.” That’s the term for white dudes that is similar to “Injun.” Just saying.

  9. Anglo

    From Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary ( “1 : ANGLO-AMERICAN
    2 : a white inhabitant of the United States of non-Hispanic descent.” and following the link to Anglo-American:
    “1 : an inhabitant of the United States of English origin or descent
    2 : a North American whose native language is English and especially whose culture or ethnic background is of European origin.”

    To contrast “Injun” was not available without joining Merriam Webster to access their unabbridged dictionary, but typing it into Google produced:
    “(n) offensive terms for Native Americans” from

    “White dudes” wasn’t available in either dictionary, being a colloquialism.

  10. What, being in an online dictionary makes it less racist? The N-word is in there, too. Forgive me if a dictionary having a racial term in it does not take away my offense at you saying Anglo.

    You seem to get offended a lot by things on this site and always feel the need to share it, as if it is a free-speech forum and not someone else’s blog. I know I’m doing that now, too.

  11. My saying “no frybread” is “Bad Bob, no biscuit,” but with a Native American reference

    And this is not racist then that I am supposed to understand a “native american” reference??

    I have been using Google for many years but obviously I tend to use it constructively, not just to dig up possible racist references.

    By the way we fry bread in England too – its goes well under a fried egg.


  12. Thats a good link, but if you watch the advert right through you will see it is the Ind… sorry Native Ameraican who seems to have the last laugh though as he walks down the train gangway, pretending to be a waiter. I would call that reverse psychology and it works very welll as you reach the end of the advert thinking it is the Native American who is the smart guy here.


  13. The ad’s makers presumably thought of themselves as spoofing a genre and were therefore safe from being seen to attack anything in reality. The Apache walking down serving the coffee doesn’t really redress the slightly humiliating way they are presented previously. It is also a joke based on James Bond movies where one of the villain’s henchmen turn up right at the end when we think Bond has despatched them all. Many of Bob Strutton’s commments are a bit facile – just because an article is on the internet doesn’t mean it is written by a ‘self-professed expert’. Further, the idea that many Westerns are racist is actually accepted by most people.

  14. Well Mr “anonymous” British Obserever, when you reveal your true self the debate might continue.


  15. I don’t think it’s “accepted” that Westerners are racist, just acknowledged. There are many of us who refuse to accept it.

  16. The worse cross “Tonto” actually had to bear is not his broken English, but his name…especially since he seems to have been quite a clever and resourceful fellow,if I remember my episodes of “The Lone Ranger” correctly.

    Fry bread actually predates the reservation period as Indians became acquainted with flour as they became acquainted with other novelties such as steel knives, firearms, ledger books (useful for drawing pictures of the owner’s battle exploits), etc. A particularly handy form of bread for the nomadic life — no oven required.

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