Satire from The Washington Post, by Alexandra Petri:
The Associated Press, 12:31 p.m., 2/25/21: Mr. Potato Head is no longer a mister. Hasbro, the company that makes the potato-shaped plastic toy, is giving the spud a gender neutral new name: Potato Head.
Conservative commentator Mark Dice, 12:33 PM, 2/25/21: It’s time for Republican states to secede.
Greg Biff, first citizen of Potatopia: I have thought for a long time that the Republican states should secede and form an autonomous republic based on the proposition that all potatoes are created with a gender assigned to them by Hasbro. It was a very specific thing to think, and honestly not an idea I expected would ever become mainstream, but that is the 2020s for you! Never assume!
Lucille Biff, “the Betsy Ross of Potatopia”: When Greg told me we were finally seceding, I dropped everything. To me, the first thing a country needs is a compelling flag. A lot of people who want to secede think you can just use the flag the secessionists used last time, but I think that is confusing, and people might think you were seceding for racist reasons rather than because of, uh, the potato-gender thing.
Trevor Brown, Greg’s neighbor: I saw this weird flag with a potato that very clearly had male genitalia on it going up over Greg’s boathouse, and I thought, oh, no, Greg is doing something again.
Helen Helenson, first applicant for asylum in Potatopia: The minutes when I thought I would have to look at a brownish plastic oval and not clearly know what gender it was were some of the most frightening of my life. I started to sob. I thought, what will they come for next? Soon I won’t know what gender any of the plastics are around my home.
Marcia Clark, lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trial: I do not think you meant to interview me for this oral history.
Trevor Brown:Sure enough, Greg came over and said, “Did you hear? It’s finally happening.” And I said, “What’s happening?” And he said, “They are making a gender-neutral potato, so we’re gonna secede.” And I said, “Yeah, that sounds about right. I remember how upset you were when Harry Styles wore a dress on the cover of Vogue, and he is not even a potato.”
Greg Biff: I just want to live in a country where potatoes are men, as God intended. I like to look at all the potatoes in my house and think, they will not ever tell each other what they are feeling or share intimate secrets that reveal their insecurities and doubts.
James Gadsden, “the Henry Knox of Potatopia”: I went quickly down the list of all the things the country would need. Of course we would need lots of potato guns and drones. Our military budget would be vast. And we would also need a navy because I just like how the navy makes a point to gender all its ships.
Marcia Clark: I am certainly happy to talk to you, but I don’t have any information about the potato country.
Helen Helenson: My precocious 6-year-old saw me crying and said, “Mommy, what has cancel culture wrought?” And I said, “Oh, Tomi, they are coming to take the gender away from all of our potatoes.” And Tomi started sobbing, too. We ran around the house seizing all the items we could think of — our masculine plastic potato, our feminine robot vacuum — and we hid them in the root cellar so Hasbro could not come and tell us their gender was a myth. We threw the television (masculine) out the window, but then we were sad because we could not watch “Veggie Tales,” where all the vegetables have genders as God willed them to have but none of them are interested in sex.
Ken Burns, documentary filmmaker: Once I heard that they were seceding, I was very sad, because I knew the toll of civil war. But I was also, of course, ready to make a documentary. I found a very moving letter.
Helen Helenson: Then I saw on my phone there was going to be a new country where potatoes were men. I said, “Tomi, we are going there right away. We are going to apply for asylum, and we will lead a better life there, with deep roots and open eyes.”
Ken Burns:“My dearest Sarah, I have gone to fight for my potato republic. I hope to return to see our tots, but then the love of my country, where all potatoes have Hasbro-assigned binary genders, comes over me like a strong potato-scented wind, and bears me irresistibly on to the battlefield. Po Ta To.”
Greg Biff: But then we saw that Hasbro had sent another tweet.
Hasbro, 3:37 p.m., 2/25/21: Hold that Tot — your main spud, MR POTATO HEAD isn’t going anywhere! While it was announced today that the POTATO HEAD brand name & logo are dropping the ‘MR.’ I yam proud to confirm that MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD aren’t going anywhere and will remain MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD.
Greg Biff: I sobbed with relief. We have a country again.
James Gadsden: At first I was relieved, but then I thought, without the potato tax revenue I was banking on, where am I going to get the billions of dollars required to pay for this navy I ordered?
Greg Biff: Then I got sad Potatopia wouldn’t exist anymore, but Lucille suggested I could start a party. A Gender Reveal Party. I liked that.
Marcia Clark: I wasn’t on Twitter at all yesterday, and I don’t know what any of this is referring to.